Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Been around since the turn of the century


Hem is a Brooklyn based band that won't fit the labels. Nevertheless they turn out some fine music, like "Not California" from their album Funnel Cloud.


R.I.P. Robert Hite


Last surviving member of those Doolittle Raiders captured by the Japanese dies at age 95. One tough bird.

Pence says the bill isn't broke


But he is working with the same bigots who passed it in the first place to fix it. Which means that he has to fix a badly flawed law while appeasing the bigots who want the flaws.
Forced on the defensive by a growing backlash over a "religious freedom" law deemed discriminatory, Indiana's Gov. Mike Pence demanded Tuesday that legislation be delivered to his desk by the end of the week to clarify that the act would not allow anti-gay discrimination.

Pence said Tuesday he has been meeting with lawmakers "around the clock" to address concerns that the law will allow businesses to deny services to gays and lesbians.

The governor acknowledged that Indiana has a "perception problem" over the law but added that it has been "grossly mischaracterized" and defended it as a vehicle to protect religious liberty. "I don't believe for a minute that it was the intent of the General Assembly to create a license to discriminate," he said. "It certainly wasn't my intent."

The law signed by Pence last week prohibits state laws that "substantially burden" a person's ability to follow his or her religious beliefs. The definition of "person" includes religious institutions, businesses and associations.

Although the legal language does not specifically mention gays and lesbians, critics say the law is designed to protect businesses and individuals who do not want to serve LGBT people. For example, it may allow florists or caterers to refuse to provide services for a same-sex couple planning a wedding.

Lawmakers in Indiana have come under increasing pressure over the law.
Mike Pence is learning the cost of letting the crazies have their way, but the damage has been done. All the fixing in the world will just remind the world of how wrong it was and still is.

Will Indiana Now Go All The Way?


The good old days were so much fun.



New Tourism Ad For Indiana


From Funny or Die


Monday, March 30, 2015

A little traveling music


Lisa Hannigan performing "Passenger" from the album of the same name.


Worst Case Scenario


In which the ever intrepid Tom Tomorrow lays out how it might be possible for Ted Cruz to be elected president.

Keeping it under control


From the pen of Signe Wilkinson



Just another way to milk the poor dry


People go to prison as punishment
, that is not in question, what is in question is the cruel punishments visited on their families who try to maintain contact with their loved ones. Talking to them should be one of the easiest ways but thanks to the spirit of "free enterprise" it has become for many the most expensive.
Until the 1990s, inmates could place and receive calls to lawyers and family members at rates similar to those outside prison walls. But the prison phone system is now a $1.2 billion-a-year industry dominated by a few private companies that manage phones in prisons and jails in all 50 states, setting rates and fees far in excess of those established by regular commercial providers. The business is so considerable — some 500 million prison and jail phone calls totaling more than six billion minutes in 2014 — that it has caught the eye of private equity firms.

Now, after years of complaints from prison-rights groups and families of the incarcerated, the Federal Communications Commission is investigating the financial intricacies of the industry, which has been largely unregulated.

At the core of the inquiry are the hundreds of millions of dollars in concession fees, known as commissions, paid by the phone companies to state and local prison systems in exchange for exclusive contracts. The fees help drive phone charges as high as $1.22 per minute, and the leading companies say they need to charge at least 20 cents per minute, compared with typical commercial rates of about 4 cents a minute.

In 2013, a total of $460 million in concession fees was paid to jails and prisons, and to state, county and local governments, according to the F.C.C. The fees are legal, and they cover a range of expenses within prisons as well as outside.

The agency is expected to rule this year on whether to ban the concession fees and limit the costs of prison phone calls.

An analysis released in 2013 by the F.C.C. said the fees “have caused inmates and their friends and families to subsidize everything from inmate welfare to salaries and benefits, states’ general revenue funds and personnel training.”

It added, “The companies compete not based on price or service quality, but on the size of the commission.”

The possibility of eliminating the fees has met fierce opposition from prisons and jails, sheriff’s departments and local officials. Some law enforcement groups have said changes could stoke inmate violence against prison guards because there might be less money for security.
Fierce opposition means they will fight to the death to protect their gravy trains. And it must be one heck of a train if private equity vultures are becoming interested. And all this on the backs of families that can ill afford this vicious gouging. If they could afford it they would have paid a good lawyer to keep their loved one out of jail.

Pity the poor mortgage bankers


After being forced by their management to crank out as many mortgages as possible, regardless of quality, and then have to foreclose on so many of them that the system became hopelessly clogged, now have the joy of watching homeowners keep their homes without further payments. It seems that mortgage foreclosures are subject to a statute of limitations in some of the worst hit states that require any foreclosure not presented within the time period since default to be dismissed.
There are tens of thousands of homeowners who have missed more than five years of mortgage payments, many of them clustered in states like Florida, New Jersey and New York, where lenders must get judges to sign off on foreclosures.

However, in a growing number of foreclosure cases filed when home prices collapsed during the financial crisis, lenders may never be able to seize the homes because the state statutes of limitations have been exceeded, according to interviews with housing lawyers and a review of state and federal court decisions.

“No one gets a free house,” Judge Michael B. Kaplan of the United States Bankruptcy Court in Trenton wrote in an opinion late last year, reflecting what he characterized as a longstanding “admonition” he and others made during the foreclosure crisis. But after effectively ending a New Jersey homeowner’s foreclosure case in November because the state’s six-year statute of limitations had expired, he wrote in his opinion, “With a proper measure of disquiet and chagrin, the court now must retreat from this position.”

It is difficult to know for sure how many foreclosure cases are still grinding through the court systems since the financial crisis. It is even harder to say how many of those borrowers are still living in their homes.

Bank of America, for example, has initiated the foreclosure process on roughly 20,000 mortgages that have not been paid in at least five years. The bank estimates that 90 percent of those homes are still occupied.

The courts are not the only source of delay. Over the years, the federal government has made 69 changes to its mortgage modification programs, forcing lenders repeatedly to scrap previous offers to homeowners and extend new terms.

Of course, the banks have also dragged out this reckoning through shoddy paperwork, botched modifications and general dysfunction as they struggled to cope with a flood of soured mortgages. Many cases were passed among lawyers like hot potatoes and lay dormant on court dockets.
The old adage 'You snooze, you lose', could and should come down heavy on the banksters who worked so diligently to steal the lives of millions of Americans for their profit.

Throwing gasoline on the fire


One group may be Shia and the other group may be Sunni but both are Yemeni and the battles between the Houthi and the government of Saleh/Hadi were essentially a power struggle between political groups. Now that the Saudis have gathered the Arab League to assist their brave Sunni brothers, it has become another part of the sectarian strife in the region.
Last September, the Houthis — a Zaidi Shia rebel group — took effective control of Sanaa, the Yemeni capital, riding on a wave of popular discontent over the transitional government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. That government had been installed under a U.N.-backed deal mediated by the Saudi-led Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to end the Arab Spring-inspired uprising against the country’s longtime leader, Ali Abdullah Saleh. The Houthis quickly inked a deal with Hadi and other political factions, but tensions soon emerged. By the start of March, the government had resigned, while Hadi — after escaping house arrest by the Houthis in Sanaa — fled to Aden and declared it Yemen’s temporary capital. U.N.-mediated talks continued in search of a political settlement, while the Houthis moved to consolidate power. The power vacuum resulting from the steady collapse of Yemen’s political order had already proven a boon to extremist groups such as Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), and deepened an economic and humanitarian crisis that had already left half of the country’s population food-insecure.

Any hope of an early resolution to the crisis among Yemen’s rival factions has been quashed by the Saudi-led anti-Houthi military offensive — euphemistically named “Resolute Storm.” Five nights into the air barrage, a return to calm seems as far away as ever, while the outcome of the Saudi-led intervention remains uncertain.

That’s because while the Arab League countries waging the air campaign portray the Houthi rebellion as a product of Iranian meddling, Yemen’s conflict remains in essence a local struggle for political power. It was spurred by the deterioration of central government control in the run-up to Saleh’s exit and then exacerbated by his successor’s inability to consolidate power — all of which created a perfect opening for the Houthis, whose complaints about corruption and widespread pernicious foreign influence seemed to resonate with more Yemenis than ever. The Houthi campaign, until the middle of last year, was largely a turf war against tribal opponents in the highlands of northern Yemen — a conflict in which Hadi and the central government alternately played mediator and disinterested observer. More recently, however, as the Houthis grew stronger, they began directly challenging Hadi and his backers — with the support of their ally of convenience, former President Saleh. Houthis forged the partnership with Saleh more than a year ago, fueled by their mutual distaste for the Islah party, a Yemeni faction that includes the bulk of the country’s Muslim Brotherhood.

It's worth noting that Saleh’s support has put swathes of Sunni Yemeni soldiers and tribal fighters into the field on the side of the Shia Houthis, underscoring the fact that the roots of this conflict are not purely sectarian. Still, the conflict certainly has a sectarian tinge. The Houthi movement is rooted in the revival of Zaidism, a heterodox Shia sect found almost exclusively in the Yemeni highlands. And many of the Houthis’ Sunni opponents have framed their conflicts in religious terms.

The Saudi-led intervention has exacerbated the sectarian dimension. Politicians in the region have painted Yemen as a battleground between Sunni and Shia powers; western observers have cast it as a proxy battle between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Regardless of their veracity, such framings risk becoming self-fulfilling prophesies: Since the start of military action, the profusion of charged language — most obviously the application to the Houthis of a laundry list of sectarian derogative terms for Shia — has been nearly impossible to ignore.
And now forces beyond the control of any on the ground are guaranteeing a long and bloody conflict that will not be settled until the entire region reaches the end point.

It's really very simple



Sunday, March 29, 2015

So far a 7" disc and some tour dates


Hopefully we will get a full album and more from Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz, Aoife O'Donovan. Their rendition of "Crossing Muddy Waters" leaves a hunger for more.


Keeping the currency current


From the pen of Brian McFadden



Bibi shitting bricks over Iran deal


While most people have no idea of the details, Israel, through its AIPAC coordinated spies has a very good idea what the deal may potentially be and judging from his reaction, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin "Bugsy" Netanyahu is scared.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned on Sunday the framework Iranian nuclear agreement being sought by international negotiators, saying it was even worse than his country had feared.

Israel has mounted what it terms an "uphill battle" against an agreement that might ease sanctions on the Iranians while leaving them with a nuclear infrastructure with bomb-making potential. Tehran says its nuclear program is peaceful.

"This deal, as it appears to be emerging, bears out all of our fears, and even more than that," Netanyahu told his cabinet in Jerusalem as the United States, five other world powers and Iran worked toward a March 31 deadline in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Noting advances made by Iranian-allied forces in Yemen and other Arab countries, Netanyahu accused the Islamic republic of trying to "conquer the entire Middle East" while moving toward nuclearization.

"The Iran-Lausanne-Yemen axis is very dangerous to humanity, and must be stopped," he said.

Netanyahu's campaigning against the nuclear negotiations crested on March 3 with his speech to the U.S. Congress at the invitation of its Republican speaker, John Boehner, that angered President Barack Obama and many fellow Democrats.
So while we may not know yet, it appears there will be much that is positive for the US, Iran and the Middle East in the agreements being sought.

Happy FacePalm Sunday Indiana





Saturday, March 28, 2015

From 3 pc Harmony Band to 5 pc Indie Folk Rock band


But they kept the harmonies because that's what The Wild Reeds do best. "Let No Grief" from their 2014 album Blind And Brave.


The testing grounds


From the pen of Rob Rogers



Pentagon promises no more killers or war criminals


Which if upheld will probably greatly reduce the potential pool of professors at the National Defense University. Who else knows the finer points of what they are trying to teach their students?
The Pentagon rebuffed efforts to remove a Chilean professor accused of torturing and murdering political prisoners, keeping him on the payroll of a prestigious U.S. military school for almost three years after the State Department revoked his visa because of the alleged human rights violations.

Exploiting legal loopholes and inaction across several government agencies, the accused torturer was able to remain in the United States, renew his work contract twice and even travel widely despite his visa revocation, a McClatchy investigation reveals.

The Pentagon now promises changes to its vetting process for foreign nationals working throughout its National Defense University, with an emphasis on accusations of human rights violations.

Officials with the U.S. military school – the William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies – knew by at least 2008 that Jaime Garcia Covarrubias had been accused of being part of Chile’s brutal secret police and stood accused of torture and murder.

Yet after the State Department revoked his Defense Department-sponsored visa on June 18, 2011, and a special U.S. human rights violator unit notified defense officials afterward, Garcia Covarrubias was paid sick leave and collected an annual salary in excess of $100,000 until February 2014.

The compensation was paid despite recommendations from the U.S. Embassy in Chile that Garcia Covarrubias face deportation proceedings and potential removal from the United States because of the allegations.
Some say that matters like this call into question the US commitment to human rights. Most people forget that commitment was glorified because of our fight against an opponent so repugnant that we would have accepted the devil himself as an ally. And since then we have pulled that hoary old cloak out of the closet whenever we assaulted the moral high ground, to be put back and ignored when it was over.

Well, if you really want to know....



Elizabeth Warren responds

To the threat from the heads of the 5 Wall St Mob Families Banks to withhold their contributions is she and other progressives weren't muzzled.


Wall Street isn’t happy with us

| By
In 2008, the financial sector collapsed and nearly brought down our whole economy. What were the ingredients behind that crash? Recklessness on Wall Street and a willingness in Washington to play along with whatever the big banks wanted.

Years have passed since the crisis and the bailout, but the big banks still swagger around town. And when Citigroup and the others don’t quite get their way or Washington doesn’t feel quite cozy enough, they quickly move to loud, public threats. Their latest move is a stunner. According to Reuters:
Big Wall Street banks are so upset with U.S. Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren's call for them to be broken up that some have discussed withholding campaign donations to Senate Democrats in symbolic protest, sources familiar with the discussions said.

Citigroup has decided to withhold donations for now to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee over concerns that Senate Democrats could give Warren and lawmakers who share her views more power, sources inside the bank told Reuters.

JPMorgan representatives have met Democratic Party officials to emphasize the connection between its annual contribution and the need for a friendlier attitude toward the banks, a source familiar with JPMorgan's donations said.
That’s right, the biggest banks on Wall Street have made it clear that they expect a return on their investment in Washington. Forget making the markets safer (where they can still make plenty of money) and forget the $700 billion taxpayer bailout that saved them and forget the need to build a strong economy for all Americans. Forget it all. The big banks want a Washington that works only for them and that puts their interests first – and they would like to get a little public fanny-kissing for their money too.

Well forget it. They can threaten or bully or say whatever they want, but we aren’t going to change our game plan. We do, however, need to respond.

According to this breaking news, our 2016 Democratic Senate candidates could lose at least $30,000 because of this decision. Can you help us raise $30,000 to match Wall Street’s money right now – and keep fighting for a Democratic Senate that will work for people instead of big banks?

Now let’s be clear: $30,000 is a drop in the bucket to JPMorgan and Citigroup. Heck, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon makes more than $30,000 in just a few hours.

The big banks have thrown around money for years, spending more than a $1 million a day to hold off Dodd-Frank and the consumer agency. But they are moving out of the shadows. They have reached a new level of brazenness, demanding that Senate Democrats grovel before them.

That kind of swagger is a warning shot. They want a showy way to tell Democrats across the country to be scared of speaking out, to be timid about standing up, and to stay away from fighting for what’s right.

Ok, they have taken their shot, but it will not work.

I’m not going to stop talking about the unprecedented grasp that Citigroup has on our government’s economic policymaking apparatus. I’m not going to stop talking about the settlement agreements that JPMorgan makes with our Justice Department that are so weak, the bank celebrates by giving their executives a raise. And I’m not going to pretend the work of financial reform is done, when the so-called “too big to fail” banks are even bigger now than they were in 2008.

The big banks have issued a threat, and it’s up to us to fight back. It’s up to us to fight back against a financial system that allows those who broke our economy to emerge from a crisis in record-setting shape while ordinary Americans continue to struggle. It’s up to us to fight back against a regulatory system that is so besieged by lobbyists – and their friends in Congress – that our regulators forget who they’re working for.

Let’s send the biggest banks on Wall Street our own message: We’re going to keep fighting, and your swagger and your threats won’t stop us. Help us match their $30,000 right now.


Friday, March 27, 2015

Friday is a good day for Linda & her friend Nelson


Linda Ronstadt singing "Bewitched, Bothered And Bewildered" as arranged by Nelson Riddle.


One more worry about flying


From the pen of Jim Morin



The New GOP American Value


Unwavering support for Israel. With the unending slide into the depths of reactionary Teabagger birchism, the party faithful now demand full and complete support of Israeli Bibiism.
When former Secretary of State James A. Baker III accused Israel’s leader this week of undermining the chances of peace in the region, he said nothing more than the kinds of things he had said at times when he was in office a quarter-century ago.

But the instant backlash from fellow Republicans that prompted Jeb Bush, the son of Mr. Baker’s best friend, to distance himself underscored just how much their party has changed on the issue of Israel. Where past Republican leaders had their disagreements with Israel, today’s Republicans have made support for the Jewish state an inviolable litmus test for anyone aspiring to national office.

“If you’re a Republican and you hedge on your support on Israel, it’s viewed as having a flawed foreign policy,” said Ron Bonjean, a party strategist who has worked for Republican leaders in Congress. “It’s a requirement for Republicans these days to be very strong on Israel if they’re going to be taken seriously by primary voters.” Any deviation on that, he said, leads to inevitable questions: “If you’re not supporting Israel, then who are you supporting? Are you supporting Iran?”

The shift in the party’s attitude toward Israel stems from several factors, according to Republicans – a greater sense of solidarity in the fight against Islamic extremism since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, increased support for the Jewish state among evangelical Christians and the influence of wealthy donors like Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas casino magnate. And the more Mr. Obama feuds with Mr. Netanyahu, the more Republicans feel motivated to come to the Israeli leader’s defense.

“It is remarkable,” said William Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard, a conservative magazine and one of the leading voices promoting Israel’s cause in the United States. Mr. Netanyahu, who goes by the nickname Bibi, has become a rallying point for Republicans, he said. “Bibi would probably win the Republican nomination if it were legal,” he said.

Mr. Kristol, emailing from Israel where he was meeting with Mr. Netanyahu, described the shift as a result of broader underlying trends in American politics as the political left grows more “European” and the political right grows more “Reaganite.” He added that “the conservative belief in American exceptionalism is akin to Zionism.” And he said the contrast between Mr. Obama’s friction with Mr. Netanyahu and former President George W. Bush’s strong support for Israel “is pretty dramatic.”
So combine the money of a rich SOB like Adelson with the antipathy towards that black guy in the White House and add in a dollop of typical Republican Manichean fallacy and you end up support the fascist ruler of a rogue state over our own country. And we didn't even touch on the necessity of using Israel as a stepping stone to the Rapture.

About that estate tax


You know, the one that is supposed to be destroying all the family farms? Seems that anyone with half a brain can put paid to that lie. One who did was David Cay Johnston and he writes about it in Al-Jazeera.
Congress is voting this week on whether to repeal the estate tax. The step would be a huge boon to billionaires and others whose fortunes would forever escape taxation, creating an even larger dynastic class of inheritors who owe their riches to their skill at picking their parents.

But that’s not what was heard at a House Ways and Means Committee hearing last week. Instead the theme was how the tax was eviscerating American farmers.

This plan has no chance of becoming law while President Barack Obama is in office, but it has some Democrats running scared instead of standing on their principles. Some of them are talking about exempting farmers from the estate tax.

On the basis of the hearing, it’s hard to imagine why any people would want to farm or run their own business — that is, if you assume the hearing was grounded in reality.

The fact is that any claim that the estate tax is killing family farms is a lie...

I did finally manage to find two examples — not that they were particularly apt and not that we should make national policy on the basis of anecdotes.

One was a California vineyard, but the problems dated to 1981, before federal estate tax law was changed to allow a surviving spouse to inherit free of tax.

The other was a Colorado rancher whose family inherited little of what could have been a good-sized fortune. Their father had failed to file income taxes for years, did no estate planning and did not even write a will, resulting in the Internal Revenue Service’s auctioning off the land after he died to pay taxes, penalties and interest. Had he availed himself of the tax avoidance opportunities Congress allows, his family could have inherited all his land while paying little or no tax.

Two months after my piece about the myth of the family farm ran on the Sunday front page of The New York Times, I was astonished to learn that Bush told an Iowa audience he had just spoken to families whose farms were lost to the estate tax. My calls to the White House press secretary asking for details so I could run a corrective piece evoked promises to call me back. I never received a follow-up call.

That Rep. Paul Ryan, the Wisconsin Republican who chairs the tax writing Ways and Means Committee, could not find a single case of a farm lost to the estate tax for last week’s hearing illustrates his willingness to use lies to sell his policies.
Why do they hate the estate tax? What better time to pay taxes than when you are dead? And it really has no effect on 99% of the population and the the other 1%? Fuck them, they can afford it!

You would think their home grown trash was good enough


But the insatiable hunger for trash in South Carolina has them lawmakers looking for ways to attract more trash to the Palmetto Bug State.

Trash from out of state has been flooding into South Carolina, with allegations that it may be due in part to some state politicians accepting campaign money from private waste companies.

Residents fear new state legislation may bring in even more waste. Those who live near one landfill say the trash contains human feces and "smells very badly."

According to the Department of Health and Environmental Control's 2012 report, 628,684 tons of household garbage came into South Carolina from other states in fiscal year 2012. Lee County Landfill took in the largest amount of out-of-state garbage, weighing in at almost 225,000 tons, of which 215,000 tons came from New York.


The New York City Department of Sanitation pays about $112 for each ton of garbage disposed at the Lee County Landfill, according to South Carolina news channel WYFF News 4. In 2012 alone, the landfill received $24 million worth of trash from New York.

Groups such as 'Don't Dump on SC' have campaigned to keep the trash out, arguing that the abundance of out-of-state trash compromises the beauty of the state, hurts taxpayers, lowers property values, and damages the quality of the air and environment.

Lawmakers have already passed House Bill 3290, and are set to vote on Senate Bill 203 in 2014. These pieces of legislation would take away the power of counties to control their own flow of solid waste. The passage of Senate Bill 203 could potentially eliminate public garbage services and pave the way for private companies to maximize their profits by setting prices for and taking in more trash from out of state.
The nerve of those locals trying to stop their home state from looking like a dump. Don't they know that if the free market creates enough profit people just don't matter anymore.

Another whiny boy on Obamacare


The latest Republican coming out of the medical closet is that ignominious piece of Kansas shit Tim Huelskamp, the bull goose of the Teabagger caucus.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz isn’t the only ardent critic of Obamacare in Congress who is signing up for health coverage under a law he’s vowed to repeal.

Kansas Rep. Tim Huelskamp, the chairman of the Tea Party Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives, admits he, too, has enrolled for health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act, despite repeatedly voting to repeal it.

“For the record – I am on Obamacare – yee-hah!” Huelskamp recently confessed to constituents at a town hall meeting in north central Kansas, according to The Clay Center Dispatch. “My wife complains about it all the time.”

Cruz, Huelskamp and other far-right lawmakers are in an awkward political position: Do they use an Obamacare exchange to purchase insurance, and risk being charged with hypocrisy? Or do they stand on principle and decline coverage or resort to the private insurance market, thereby giving up thousands of federal dollars offered to government employees to help pay premiums?

They have a choice. Some are choosing Obamacare.

Cruz, a Republican senator who’s running for president, said this week that his family planned to go on Obamacare because they’d no longer be able to get health coverage through his wife’s employer. She’s taking unpaid leave from her job to join Cruz on the campaign trail.

Like Cruz, Huelskamp has railed for years against Obamacare – in speeches in Congress, on the stump during elections, in town hall meetings with voters, in emails to donors and in statements to the press and on television.
Despite his congressional wealth, Rep Huelskamp chose not to stand on his principles and pay full freight for his insurance. Instead he got on board with Obamacare for the financial incentives offered. None of this will stop him from whining about Obamacare or trying to repeal it because despite the advantages provided to him, it was still passed by that colored guy and it helps little people, which really chaps his ass.

Your values?



Thursday, March 26, 2015

Blues For Herb


Played by the late jazz guitarist Emily Remler. Someone should really write a tune for Emily.


R.I.P. Gregory Walcott


Even though we saw you face a thousand times, it took Plan 9 for many to know your name.

About that freedom...


From Facebook



Why do we only have 1 Bernie?



Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A PR stunt or are C & W fans just a bunch of dicks?


Seems that a lot of radio listeners are bitching about Little Big Towns' "lesbian song". For what it's worth, "Girl Crush" is OK with the Opry and is #4 on iTunes. It is just the parents who seem to have a problem with it. What do you think?


Another way of life lost to modern technology


From the pen of David Horsey



It is still hard to do research


Because the Federal government still stupidly call Marijuana a Schedule 1 drug and federal rules, if not the money, govern most of the research in this country, the increasing islands of marijuana sanity that have arisen in this country have done nothing to help research about how it does what it does.
Despite the growing momentum for pot legalization, marijuana remains one of the most difficult substances to study in the United States.

Critics blame a labyrinthine federal approval process in which a handful of government agencies hobble gold-standard scientific research with red tape and intimidation and perpetuate a culture of fear and data illiteracy that delays reform.

“These are agencies in place to reflect a policy that marijuana is a prohibited Schedule I substance,” said Paul Armentano, the deputy director for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), a pro-legalization advocacy group based in Washington, D.C. “They are in the business of funding and approving research to reinforce that policy.”

The criminalization of cannabis dates back to 1971, when Richard Nixon’s administration called for a war on drugs. One year before, Congress had passed the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act, classifying marijuana as a Schedule I drug with no medical value and high abuse potential, right alongside Ecstasy and heroin.

Today a trio of federal agencies — the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the Food and Drug Administration — regulate the federal marijuana research process, determining which research gets a government stamp of approval, along with research-grade cannabis.

At the federal level, researchers first need approval for their studies from the FDA and the Public Health Service, in an interdisciplinary review process. It isn’t unusual for agency review boards and applicants to engage in a back-and-forth revision process for their protocols. Critically, researchers also require a separate Schedule I license from the DEA. NIDA’s director has the final say on whether studies merit funding. Once studies are approved, the agency releases marijuana that it grows under contract with the University of Mississippi, the site of the nation’s only licensed pot farm and — until recently — the only institution with which it considered partnering.

Critics say the tightfisted multiagency approach bottlenecks marijuana research and invites poorer findings that opponents of reform then recycle into the public debate. The effect, they say, is quantity over quality...

“The federal government uses a very low scientific burden to assess harms associated with marijuana,” he said, adding that the agencies require that pot researchers use “the highest standards of scientific research — knowing that these regulatory and legal hurdles make doing this kind of research nearly impossible.”
Any moron can pass a law but you need to be Einstein to do any research, especially about marijuana.

Despite Ted comparing himself to Galileo


This still remains true.



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