Archive | January 2014

Republican Response to the State of the Union Speech

Here’s the fundamental flaw in Republican thinking: when US citizens are taxed on average of 40% (federal, state, local, usage, & sales taxes) over their entire lives, we actually expect something back for all that money. We want to know that we can get some of that money back if we lose a job or become very ill. We don’t want to have to ask our neighbors or our churches for financial help, as those groups are rarely in a position to provide substantial help for any meaningful period of time. Plus, we’re proud and private people and don’t want to admit our shortcomings to those groups or be a burden to them. Of course we do not want government that’s too big or that’s inefficient, but we do not want no government at all; we do want government services if we need them. And there is NOTHING shameful, selfish, or morally wrong with that.

Human Super-weed

One of the main concerns of the anti-GMO movement is that one day GMOs will adversely affect an ecosystem or multiple ecosystems and cause havoc as they displace indigenous plants and animals. Newsflash: that has already happened, not by GMOs, but by the species Homo sapiens.

We, people, we are the super-weed, the stink bug, the Asian carp.

So perhaps we need to label all newborn children with a tattoo that reads: “WARNING: this organism poses a threat to the health of mother earth”? 

The Bible? Really??

Christianity, in expecting us to follow it with unwavering faith, offers up The Bible — a vague, confusing, contradictory, and at times downright bizarre and macabre text — as sacred law and literature to guide us through an ambivalent life in an equally confounding world?

It kind of reminds me of the US tax code.

You know, it’s impossible to be in compliance and you’re screwed any way you run it.

Half Way To 90 (Years Old)

In keeping with my New Year’s resolution to take myself less seriously, I present …

 

New Jersey Governor

Remember, Jim McGreevey had to step down as NJ Governor in 2004. And all he did was be gay. So …

Gov. Chris Christie and the George Washington Bridge Scandal

Clearly Gov. Christie has and will learn a lot about the GWB scandal.  Hopefully one of the main takeaways he will embrace is to not ridicule the press anymore.  After months of him telling the press that the were making political hay out of nothing, it turns out they were on to something he should have absolutely known about from day one.

When the press smelled something afoul, he should have done more within his office than ask his staff if they knew of anything, he should have investigated fully. It looks bad when the Bergen Record knows more about the issue than Christie himself does, which also makes you think maybe he is not being 100% truthful. You want to believe Christie (as he wanted to and then did believe his staff) but this is a “trust but verify” situation and always has been. For that, Christie shows poor leadership of himself and his staff, and poor analysis of the issue overall.

Legalization of Marijuana

The most abused drugs in America are legal prescription drugs and account for the majority of overdoses. Minors have easy access to these drugs from their parent’s medicine cabinets. This doesn’t make the legalization of marijuana look all that bright to me. No there won’t be OD’s, but it’s inevitable more kids will be using pot. And yes, pot is generally accepted as safe in adults over 25 when used in moderation and responsibly (no heavy machinery use when stoned!) but that’s not at all the case with children and teenagers.

De-criminalization is absolutely the right thing to do, but industrializing the production and distribution (and then probably marketing) of pot is irresponsible in my opinion. You want pot use to be like abortion: legal, safe, rare. (Ok, so much for rare, but you get what I’m saying: you don’t want to encourage people to smoke pot anymore than you want to encourage them to smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, or eat fatty foods; remember trans fats are illegal in NYC as is smoking anywhere except in your home and on the sidewalk.) In a few years I think the states that have legalized pot are going to regret it once the downsides become apparent. Those states will then probably restrict and tax pot so much that people will just get it illegally anyway. Of course that assumes people will stop buying pot from an illegal drug dealer, which I bet won’t really happen en masse. Why would it when one phone call gets it delivered to your door in minutes??? Once the novelty of buying pot in a store wears off, the tax revenues will go way down and then states will have more societal problems due to pot use and less money to spend to deal with them. I mean, I doubt your delivery service is going to incorporate and start paying taxes!

So what do I suggest? I guess I’d make pot use and its sale legal, but I’d make the marketing of it illegal, and the sale of it in a store illegal as well. Then I’d have it so that the only way you could buy pot is via home delivery, but you’d need to buy a license to sell it that way, and then I’d make the penalty of not getting the license ridiculously high (like life in prison) so that dealers would see the sense of going legit and thus paying taxes. That would work I think.

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