Category: Politics

Picketing Bill: “Where’s Jacki’s Medicine?”

Just back from Bill Clinton’s appearance at the historic Stock Pavilion on the University of Wisconsin Campus. When Gary Storck and I approached, we were directed across the street by the most polite pair of Secret Service agents I’ve ever dealt with, but, as it’s a narrow street, not an unreasonable “Free Speech Zone.”

Our signs referred to Bill’s encounter, as a Candidate, with Jacki Rickert of Mondovi, Wisconsin in 1992. Jacki had been approved for the federal medical marijuana program, but not yet admitted when Bush I closed the program to new admissions in 1989. She caught up with Bill in Osseo on his post-Convention Mississippi River bus tour. After she explained her odyssey through the federal bureaucracy, Bill “I feel your pain” promised “When I’m President, you’ll get your medicine.”

Come the Inaugural, Jacki sent letters, made calls seeking fulfillment of that commitment, but got back only form letters. “If drugs were legal, my brother Roger would be dead.”

Delivering on this promise would not have required action by the Congress, as the Controlled Substances Act does not prohibit medical use of Cannabis, rather, it requires a permit, issued at the discretion of the Secretary of HHS. At the time Jacki was blocked, there were 14 patients receiving medical marijuana from the government’s pot farm in Mississippi. They were grandfathered in. 4 survive, and get monthly deliveries.

As Bill disembarked today, we caught his eye, and I was close enough to shout, “You priomised Jacki Rickert you’d get her Medical Marijuana in 1992.”

If I’m correctly reading body language, he turned to State Democratic Chair Joe Wineke, asking “what’s that about?”  Joe knows Jacki’s story, he was around for the ceremony last fall on the introduction in the Wisconsin Assembly of the Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Act.  

Taibbi Taunts Dems

Matt Taibbi reminds me of that yappy friend who could get you into trouble at a bar. he is one of the reasons I still subscribe to Rolling Stone. Although we often bemoan the lack of critical coverage in the MSM of our political authority figures, he has consistently swiped, barked, spit and frothed at the Bush administration. In the latest issue, he venomously roasts the Dems as posers and collaborators. The whole article is worth a read. He introduces his tasty vitriol by arguing that Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi has orchestrated the one of the ” most awesome political collapses since Neville Chamberlain“, they have consciously and purposefully betrayed ardent anti war believers. Indeed after reading the article, it clarifies for me why I think current leadership cannot be trusted to advance any progressive ideals even with a change in presidency.

Because. They. Don’t. Want. To.

If Reid and Pelosi were your lawyers in court and decided not to mount a defense because the “timing was wrong”, wouldn’t you fire them? If Reid and Pelosi drove your taxi to a location to one other than what you requested because you didn’t actually understand where you wanted to go, wouldn’t you refuse to pay them? If Reid and Pelosi were your surgeons and decided the life saving procedure you needed just wasn’t worth doing because they had other priorities, wouldn’t you….. probably be dead?

Yeah, this feels good, baby….

After all we aren’t sophisticated practitioners backed by years of training and indoctrination into the political process. We are just the great semi unwashed….

A Personal View — Discontent

There’s an old saying in the Jewish Talmud: “he who understands will understand.”  This essay is written in that spirit.

This is a time of rage and revolution among activist citizens of the United States who are watching national crimes being committed, with no end in sight.

I am not looking for new answers.

I am trying to see what is already here.  Right now.  Fully formed.

What makes that vision difficult is the bombardment of information, the daily tolling of the bad news bell of the United States of America, the evils that prompt the human spirit to react instead of respond.  This to me is the most difficult task, to make myself quiet enough to see the answer staring me in the face.  It is easy to write.  It is not easy to do.

No, I am not looking for new answers.  I’m not looking for answers at all.  The answer has already arrived.  The only thing left to do is grasp it and in that grasping, the action will thus be taken.

Time to DEMAND Accountability

As Congress voted to grant telecoms immunity, I ask myself… what does this mean, in the larger sense?

The Agony… and the Agony…

This news item is a few weeks old, so I apologize to those who have read it already, rolled their eyes, and punched a wall. It aptly illustrates that we haven’t quite arrived at the station aboard the post partisan express, and maybe, just maybe, talking about race and gender is instructive. It is also proof one can still turn the verbal double play all in one conversation and be racist and sexist at the same time. Certainly takes a special talent. The short article appears here.

A county judge in Hagerstown was reprimanded for calling three black female lawyers “the Supremes” in court and advising the defendant to get “an experienced male attorney.”

Washington County Circuit Judge W. Kennedy Boone has acknowledged that his comments suggested racial and sexual bias. In his written response to a complaint, Boone said he was trying to protect the three public defenders from representing a difficult defendant.

Oh, I get it, he was trying to help them, ah the burden of the white man must be excruciating. What is a guy to do when he is surrounded by those he is certain are beneath him? There is no chance that these lawyers went to school to learn their profession and could be competent. Maybe he was gravely concerned that they went to one of those girl law schools where they teach you to dress cute and make a darn good cup of coffee for the men and might be overwhelmed by the challenge of …. being a lawyer. Was he worried they went to the singing law school, you know the one that black women all go to. After all, if an experienced male attorney was assigned to the case he might be able to fix up one of these women with an appropriate husband. Isn’t that why women of any color go to law school? To find husbands? Besides, these women were taking honest work away from experienced male attorneys and somebody has to stand up for their rights.

Clinton Obama and McCain ALL Show Up in Seattle in One 24 Hour Period

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Clinton at the Pier, Seattle 8:30 PM Feb. 7, 2008 – 5000 people
Obama at Key Arena, Seattle 11:00 AM Feb. 8, 2008 – 17,000+ inside (capacity), 3,000 -10000 (outside)
McCain at Westin Hotel, 5 PM Feb. 8, 2008 – unknown

Trying to make their last impressions before our caucus 1:00 PM Feb. 9, 2008

My son went to Obama – said it was all lit up electronically like at a Sonics game with the camera panning around at people dancing to music, doing the wave, etc. & they showed it on four-sided big screen that hangs from the ceiling. He said there were an amazing number of young people but all ages too, lots of minorities, and so many who took off work for it. He had friends who took the day off and couldn’t even get in.

Obama said he is looking forward to a debate with the presumptive Republican presidential candidate John McCain. “I think it will be fun.”

The emails are starting to come in:

I recall going to the Cow Palace in San Francisco to see JFK during the campaign and they shut the doors after 20,000 jammed the old barn. That’s when I knew something special was happening.

and

Suzy and I drove over to Key Arena to hear Obama!! Went past the Pacific Science Center and saw A LINE OF FOLKS ALL THE WAY FROM THE KEY ARENA past the PACIFIC SCIENCE CENTER and down to the STREET! Finally got parked, walked 5 blocks upto the THE KEY. The MOB was 15,000 capacity inside [no we didn’t get inside!] and another 10,000 folks outside. Lots of announcements about keeping FIRE EXITS clear!!! Amazing !!

PS -Hillary got 5,000 at Pier 30 last night! GO OBAMA!!!

writing in the raw: destroying republicans. hahahahaha

buhdy wants to know…  what should we do to fight evil?

harsh and simple: stop partnering with it.

The Flannel Shirt

Years ago, a professor that I disliked because he had a tendency to hush the women and allow the men to expound even when they did verbal fishtails and even confused themselves, told me I just wasn’t that bright and I did not belong in graduate school. Now when somebody tells me I am an idiot, I cheerfully agree and ask them to teach me.

But it came at a time of intense personal and intellectual flux and insecurity. I came from a small school of no significance attended primary by locals. We played soccer either with the profs, drank beer with them, a few profs even taught informal seminars just for the hell of it. I had one friend who was an intellectual star and went on to be a successful corporate lawyer. The rest of us were merely curious goofballs and it was encouraged. However, being a curious goofball turned out to be a deadly downfall in graduate school.

I lacked intellectual rigor you see, I had arrived and found out taking class X was impossible if I had not already read A, B, and C. So, I panicked. I dropped a class, added another, switched my areas of concentration for my comp exams was told I would fail

because the reading list was too extensive and lured a few others into a study group for the purposes of mutually assured survival. I plowed through my degree like a chastened farm animal.

My curiosity evaporated.

My Big Fat Candidate Lobotomy

Something is wrong with me. I am not feeling the whispering winds of engulfing unity.

The rhetoric of change has not hit me yet. Perhaps I doubt it is really coming. See it is nothing personal against the two Dem candidates, they might be fine people. Right now they are in the courting phase and whichever of them wins will continue the courting right up until they win, if they win. But whoever does win won’t be calling you in the morning to reminisce about what a good time they had last night. The have advisers and experts, and the advisers and experts like the system. They think it works great primarily because they don’t actually know anybody who might possibly be considered an average American or even an American who isn’t average, just in the process of getting royally fucked.

writing in the raw: self reliance. rewritten.

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Empowerment.

The big, new-century term. I hate it.

Almost as much as i hate that last century throwback, political correctness.

Two ideas that both disable and imprison people. IMO.

Ideas like these are what make us like our pet dogs: in a perpetual state of puppy hood… needing to be fed, cared for, and looked after throughout our lives.

It’s time to toughen up. And it all starts with the way we think:::::: about ourselves.  

Why doesn’t being wrong count?

This is my problem lately.

It seems that I’m (unfortunately?) old enough to have a memory. And unlike most Americans, who live in what Gore Vidal likes to call the United States of Amnesia, I can remember what politicians said and did, and what the outcomes were.

Throughout my lifetime, politicians who were correct about things generally are not remembered fondly, and they were often not victorious in the next election. Whereas the people who were wrong about almost everything keep getting more Friedman units from the voters, as if we just know they’ll someday get it right.

It seems being correct counts for nothing! We keep electing people who, if they’re intellectually honest, have to constantly apologize for all their wrongheaded ideas and their votes for things that didn’t come close to producing the promised outcome. Or if they’re sociopaths like Dick Cheney, they just deny that they said what you clearly heard them say. Or they deny the actual outcome, by producing phony measurements (aided by the “think tanks” like the American Enterprise Institute, whose goal it is to produce phony measurements while sounding “academic.”)

A scientist would never accept these kinds of results! In a scientific world view, correct predictions are the most important currency, and incorrect predictions are how you figure out what (theory) not to trust. Of course science doesn’t deal with broken campaign promises, but one would assume that would count against the politician who made them and didn’t keep them.

How can democracy be so screwed up?

Some (few) examples below.

Nurses: Who Are They?

The average age of an RN in 2004 was estimated to be 46 years. I will be 44 in May, so I am approaching that average. They also tend to be white (88%) and female (95%).

Although, this essay is not a discussion of the nursing shortage, there is one. That fact is often not a central one when we discuss the “health care crisis” in America, but it should be. According to surveys, all 50 states will be affected by the nursing shortage in varying degrees by the year 2015. By the year 2020, there will be a nursing shortage of approximately 340,000.

Clearly,  areas in which there could be recruitment would be among men and non-Caucasian women. The reasons for the shortage are vast and varied. My own theory is that years ago when my mother became an RN, there were few career choices for women. Now, women have a broader range of options and while nursing does pay well, there are other sectors that do as well and they don’t involve shifts, weekends and holidays. The older nurses and I like to joke at work that a) our retirement plan is death and b) we will be caring the hell out of our patients in the coming years as we totter into rooms in on walkers or zip in on electric scooters. It is amusing in an oh shit kind of way.

It wasn’t my dream to become a nurse, although when I was growing up, I was always asked if I was going to be a nurse “just like mom”, when I got older I found it insulting nobody could conceive of a different future for me. My mother did not subject me to that. She told me not to be a nurse. However, I found myself going to nursing school at age 29 after flopping around in the job market doing contract jobs I actually liked but so no future in and jobs I altered my resume to get because I needed to eat and pay rent. So, yes, I lied on my resume to get jobs, specifically eliminating some of my education and manufacturing some experience that nobody checked up on. I did not want to be super nurse, be an angel, save the world, or do anything heroic. I wanted a job and I did worry when I entered training that I wouldn’t actually like it or even be competent at it. Unlike many of the younger students, I knew what I was getting into and had already worked shifts at crap jobs, so the idea of working on a Saturday night was not a huge burden.

That I ended up in oncology and working with children was an accident. I like kids but not in a romantic, cutesy, mushy way. I have had them call me names, swing and make contact, tell me they hate me, had teenage boys ask for a younger prettier nurse, get spit at, bitten ect ect. When I was in staffing, I used to tell the older ones who called me a “bitch”, sometimes I am, now take your medication and if you can quit being a jerk off for five minutes, we can hang out and talk. When the younger kids told me they hated me I said I know you do, but I still like you. I have a particular approach that helps me when parents or kids are unpredictable and mean: compassion is a philosophy. Everybody deserves it even when we don’t feel like offering it, nothing and everything is personal, and this to shall pass. Now that I am a supervisor, I repeat “this to shall pass about a hundred times a night”. The other tactic my fellow supervisors and I use especially when we are already aware that it will be a challenging and unpleasant night is to say: even if it is a bad night we are gonna find some good in it. It works, when you deal with life and death and the unfairness of it all you really need a coherent philosophy to survive and avoid burnout. Most of my colleagues are Christians and I am not. I don’t make a public statement about it, but most of the ones I have worked with for a long time are aware of it.

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