Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Monday, February 24, 2014

The State of Pot (in Washington)

First off, I want to say that my family are druggies......well sort of. My relatives grew up in the 60s and 70s and did all the drugs. Sadly, both my uncles continue to do drugs to this day; one pot and one meth. So I have up close and personal experiences with drugs and have a very real reason for thinking about drugs like I do. The current state I live in, Washington state, has unilaterally decided to sell drugs to anyone over the age of 18. For now its just limited to pot, but in the future who knows. The legislature too this step all by itself, without even consulting the people that it was going to affect. I actually read the law itself and its despicable. First off, they hope to gain more revenues by finding more people "driving under the influence". Think about it, they are actually selling people drugs so they can catch them on the road just to fine them. So more people will be driving DUI and most likely kill others, just so the state can get more revenue??? Second, the law as it is written makes the state of Washington immune from prosecution if someone is hurt or killed by some pot smoker. This to me is just despicable, but the Supreme Court several years ago said that states and cities can make themselves immune from prosecution over laws they pass. I think this is 100% wrong. I also think that the state of Washington just became a huge drug dealer state. "Pot tourism" will skyrocket with people coming from neighboring states to get high, and kill our citizens when going home. Also, legalizing drugs brings a very nasty bunch of people to visit your state; just ask the Netherlands, a nation in Europe which is sick of all the horrible people coming to their country as pot tourists. I am against legalizing pot for several other factors, not only that its against federal law, international law, and flies in the face of what we are telling our Central and South American allies.

I am 100% against legalizing pot for health reasons. Most joints have 3-10 times as much tar in them as a regular cigarette. We will soon see a skyrocketing number of lung cancer cases in the state of Washington in the next few decades. Government is notorious for seeking short-term gains but then facing crippling long-term consequences. We are talking billions and billions in health care costs in the future, at a time we cannot possibly afford it.

Also, increasing the number of drug users in the state of Washington is extremely dangerous for the general public. Pot smokers will drive while high and its a proven fact that pot messes up your vision, making you a "disabled driver".

I am also against it for mental health reasons. There are many studies that show pot use is linked to various psychiatric problems. In addition, I have watched my uncle who has used pot for decades decline mentally, to a point where he has major paranoia and cannot form complete sentences. My "meth uncle" is even worse in this area.

As a society, we should be discouraging drug use, for many good reasons. First and foremost, its bad for families. Like many drug users, my uncle ignored him family most of the time, smoking his pot in the garage and rarely leaving it. His family, especially his 3 kids, suffered as a result of this and trust me, no one in his family group would say that pot is "no big deal".

Its also important to realize that if we legalize pot for anyone to use, we will be creating a vast  underclass of people who will never have good paying jobs, damaging the tax base of this country. Any decent company does drug testing, so this will permanently lock whole generations of people out of high paying and high skill jobs; a disaster for the USA which is already facing a nearly crippling level of high skill labor needs.

Also, pot is a "step drug", with 80% of users going on to more potent drugs like heroin, meth, and cocaine in order to find a "better high" (there are decades of studies that show this to be true).

In discussing this issue with friends, I have heard a lot of "pot propaganda", the most silly of which is that if we legalize pot, then the prisons wont be full. What a complete and utter LIE. Only drug dealers get sent to prison anymore, since they are so full. People caught with pot under a certain amount are usually just fined. If the state wants more revenue, I say fine pot users more heavily!!

Soma, ever heard of it? In a book called Brave New World, the majority of workers were drugged, encouraged to take their "soma" so they were kept docile while their corporate masters went on with the business of running (and ruining) the world without public input. Pot IS soma, as are other drugs and the fact that the government is now encouraging you to get high and stay at home and stay out of their business of running (and ruining) the country is shocking to me. I never thought in a million years that we'd ever reach this point, but sadly we have.

Finally, I would like people to realize that the "state" only legalized pot so they could get money by selling it. They need the "revenues". This is utter BS. Even drug lords think the same way; they "need" the money too. In Washington state, one of the most productive and wealthiest states in the union, poor Democratic leadership has led to major financial problems in this state. They wont even consider a hiring freeze for state employees or reducing state workers staffs by even a paltry 5%, which could save millions. Massive overspending in social welfare programs has also crippled the state, mainly due to illegal aliens taking advantage of the laws in our nation. Simple changes could easily put Washington state back in the black, and without drugging its own population. Lets hope for some better decision making by Olympia in the future, but if they's smoking dope I doubt it!

Obama vs Nixon

Monday, February 17, 2014

Saturday, February 15, 2014

More Obama Incompetence

The Senate Must Stop Obama's Diplomatic Corruption

The Constitution provides that the president “shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors.” In other words, no ambassador can take up his or her post without first winning the approval of the Senate.

The corruption of the nomination of ambassadors under President Obama is now so bad that the Senate must act. No Senator from either party can in good conscience consent to appointing ambassadors who are ignorant and unqualified.

The decline of America’s representatives abroad takes place in a much larger context of the Obama administration.

President Obama first ran for his office with a foreign policy platform rooted, essentially, in himself. He assured Americans that his ascension to the presidency alone would transform the United States’ image abroad.

In a way, he was right. Although initially rewarded for his election with a Nobel Peace Prize, the President quickly found his naïveté thrown back in his face.

To his video offering the Iranian regime a “new beginning,” the dictatorship responded with a shrug and five more years developing nuclear weapons.

The same year, the Olympic Committee spurned Obama’s in-person pitch to host the 2016 summer games in Chicago.

And the Russian “reset” has only emboldened Vladimir Putin, who seems to take particular pleasure in sticking his thumb in America’s eye. Between his Syria op-ed in the New York Times, granting asylum to Edward Snowden, and, most recently, intercepting and publicly posting the private phone call of a senior State Department official, Putin has had plenty of opportunities, and he’s perfecting the art.

It turns out that the world is far too complicated for one personality to manage. But more than five years into the Obama administration, the President still isn’t approaching foreign policy seriously.

The attitude was obvious recently at the confirmation hearings for several of the President’s nominees to be ambassadors. The group was so unqualified and ignorant of the countries to which they’d been appointed envoys that video of their testimony went viral on YouTube.

Do you know how bad it has to be for ambassadors’ confirmation hearings to go viral on YouTube?

Here’s how bad: The President’s nominee to be ambassador to Norway said he’d never been there, referred to the country as having a president (it doesn’t--it has a prime minister), and said the government had been “quick to denounce” a faction that is in fact part of its own coalition. (Perhaps the Norwegians are now rethinking that Nobel Peace Prize, if they weren’t already.)

Obama’s pick as ambassador to Hungary was apparently incapable of giving a coherent answer when Senator John McCain asked her, ““What are our strategic interests in Hungary?”

And in the same hearing, the President’s nominee as ambassador to Argentina conceded he’d never been there, either. “I haven’t had the opportunity yet to be there,” the man said. “I’ve traveled pretty extensively around the world. But I haven’t yet had a chance.”

Obama's choice for ambassador to Iceland was in the same situation. He'd never been to his post country either.

How did such obviously unqualified people get themselves appointed ambassadors? It’s no great shock: they donated and bundled lots of money for Obama and the Democrats. About $1.3 million in the case of our next ambassador to Norway, $1.6 million for Iceland, and at least half a million each for Hungary and Argentina.

America’s new ambassador to China, on the other hand, former Senator Max Baucus, didn’t get his post as a fundraiser--he got it for resigning his seat to clear the way for Montana’s Democratic governor to appoint his replacement and give the Dems a better chance of holding onto the Senate this fall. In Senator Baucus’s confirmation hearing, he responded to a question about an important matter of national security with the confession, “I’m no real expert on China...”

This is a dangerous level of corruption. Certainly other presidents have made appointments for less-than-altruistic reasons, but none in recent history has done it so frequently as President Obama.

And more importantly, these are major countries. The President isn’t selling the ambassadorship to Barbados. He’s selling the ambassadorships to NATO allies and to one of the largest countries in the western hemisphere. And he’s picking an ambassador to China--the largest country in the world--out of domestic political calculation.

That’s a terrifyingly frivolous attitude to take with our foreign relations, one that deserves to be mocked around the world. And it’s being mocked here at home as well: Jon Stewart excoriated the Democrats on the Daily Show this week for the corruption. So did the Washington Post and L.A. Times editorial boards.

The Senate has an absolute constitutional obligation to advise and consent on ambassadorial appointments, and Americans should demand that their senators use that authority now. The Senate must repudiate every one of the nominees who showed themselves unfit to represent the United States.

Michelle Obama

Friday, February 14, 2014

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Hypersonic Rockets (Mach 20+)

Hello Scotland and WELCOME TO THE SPACE AGE! Yes that's right ladies and gentlemen, Scotland has joined several other nations in becoming a space power; well almost. That sonic boom that you heard 3 nights ago in the Scottish highlands, that was a hypersonic engine being tested at a local firing range. The device was built over a period of two years by a former military man whose Russian/British heritage seemingly makes it easy to develop some high-powered technological doo-dads. The hypersonic engine was chained to a 13 tons piece of concrete, which it easily dragged more than 30 feet. Estimated speed of the device is a STAGGERING MACH 20+. Using purified plasma and a magnetic drive system, this astonishing engine easily out shoots the US hypersonic missile (at Mach 5+) and the Chinese one (Mach 10+). This British inventor also created a working rail-gun system out of his backyard, blowing out a huge section of his garage while testing it (he repaired the wall by himself). He plans on creating several more hypersonic engines and mounting them on a rocket that a local group plans to put into orbit, sometime in the next few months. I hope he sells the engine design to NASA or BAE to let the rest of the world in on his amazing invention. Congrats, my friend!

Friday, February 07, 2014

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Great SOTU Address Commentary by Matt Bai

For a week leading up to the president’s Tuesday address, White House advisers were trying out yet another new catchphrase, telling any reporter they could find that President Barack Obama had discovered he had “a phone and a pen,” and he intended to use them in the year ahead. Up until now, apparently, the president has been relying on the quill and telegraph Rutherford B. Hayes left behind, so this is kind of a breakthrough.

This pen-and-phone business represents a pretty stunning admission from a president five years into his term – that he and his senior aides are still groping about for ways to wield the power of the office, and that they have essentially given up on legislating. Their latest strategy holds that, since a small number of Republican lawmakers have effectively decided to thwart the public will, Obama must resort to doing the things he can do on his own, mainly by signing executive orders and making lots of calls.

Obama has, in fact, governed at a time of intense polarity and general wackiness in Congress, and at a time of fast-fracturing media, when the so-called bully pulpit doesn’t command a room like it used to. But none of this gets to the hard truth that underlies Obama’s lagging approval ratings, which is that while most Americans may agree with the president’s assessment of what’s wrong in government, they no longer trust him to fix it.

In an ABC News poll released last weekend, a few days before Obama’s address, only 37 percent of voters said they had confidence in Obama to make the right decisions, compared with 61 percent when he took office. Only 47 percent said he understands the problems of ordinary Americans. In other words, Obama isn’t tanking simply because nihilistic conservatives are bent on blocking his policies. Rather, conservatives can get away with blocking his policies because the voters aren’t persuaded they’ll work.

If all of this perplexes Obama and his aides, it probably shouldn’t. Most Americans who voted for the president in 2008 thought they were getting a pragmatic reformer who would channel the most powerful impulse in modern American politics – to make government work. In this way, Obama seemed to echo his Democratic predecessor, Bill Clinton, who remade the welfare system and tore down the decaying housing projects that were blighted symbols of bureaucratic failure.      

From the start, though, Obama’s presidency went in a decidedly different direction. Facing an economic catastrophe and buoyed by polls that showed Americans open to activist government, Obama set about expanding the reach and ambition of the federal government for the first time in a generation. This was likely the right policy choice, and it might have been fine politically too, except that Obama’s White House has shown little sustained interest in making government more efficient at the same time.

There was debate inside the White House, in those early years, about maybe collapsing some of the sprawling bureaucracies housed in 20th century Cabinet departments. Later, in his State of the Union address in 2011, Obama vowed to bring government into the information age. (“The Interior Department is in charge of salmon while they’re in fresh water, but the Commerce Department handles them when they’re in saltwater,” he despaired. “And I hear it gets even more complicated once they’re smoked.”)

But all of this came to very little; basically, the administration’s big idea was to fold the Office of the United States Trade Representative into the Commerce Department, which went nowhere. Most often, Obama has generally talked and acted like a man held prisoner by the systems he inherited, rather than the guy in charge of them.

No doubt Obama and his allies fear, as Democrats have since the Reagan years, that publicly questioning the efficiency of government would only abet conservative efforts to dismantle it. I get it. But nothing did more to erode the credibility of government than the disastrous rollout of the federal health exchange. That Obama relied so heavily on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to design a massive, eBay-like website tells you a lot about his own abiding faith in government born of the industrial age.

And such perceptions matter when you’re proposing to increase the investments that government gets to make. White House aides should ask themselves why New Yorkers gave overwhelming support to their new mayor, Bill de Blasio, and his tax-raising agenda. Sure, residents of Park Slope and the Upper West Side are inherently more liberal than most Americans, but it’s also true that they’ve just enjoyed 12 years of ruthless efficiency under the Bloomberg administration. They take for granted the basic competence of government, and that makes all the difference when you ask them to expand it.

Obama did announce in his State of the Union on Tuesday that Vice President Joe Biden would lead an Al Gore-style effort to re-evaluate federal job-training programs. That’s a good idea, if they’re serious about it. But if Obama’s really going to give up on pushing major legislation (otherwise known as being the president) and focus instead on executive orders, then he might as well focus his power on the one place where he really can make both a substantive and political difference, which is reforming the federal government.

On the 50th anniversary of the War on Poverty, Obama could take up the conservative challenge to review the litany of existing anti-poverty programs and figure out which ones actually work. He could establish clear rules to reform the government’s collection of our personal data, rather than leaving it to Congress and multiple boards. He could learn the right lesson from the fiasco of the health care rollout, which is that a lot of archaic agencies throughout the government aren’t up to the technological challenges of the new age, and it’s time to reboot them.

With three years left in his presidency, Obama still has time to be something like the generational figure a lot of Americans hoped he would be, forcibly pulling government into the digital world. Or he can spend his time working the phones and signing small orders with his pen, sort of like the most powerful claims adjuster on earth.