Monday, December 31, 2007


I decided to call Sooner to see if his new found wealth had gone to his head. Rita his maid answered so I asked her if his money was making him act differently, she said she didn't think so but that Jives the butler and James the chauffeur might disagree.

Armed robber blasts woman officer

Bamber Bridge, Preston, United Kingdom

A man has been arrested by police investigating the shooting of a woman officer during a robbery at a pub.

Police dog handler Katie Johnson, 29, had been sent to a reported raid at the Hospital Inn in Bamber Bridge, Preston.

The Pc received 12 pellets in her leg when she was shot by a man wearing a balaclava, after colleagues ordered him to drop his weapon as he tried to flee.

The United Kingdom, has what is believed to be some of the strictest gun legislation in the world.

US Supreme Court ponders gun law

The debate over handguns is politically charged in the US
The US Supreme Court is to consider Americans' right to bear arms for the first time in nearly 70 years.

It has agreed to rule on whether a ban on handguns by the city of Washington, DC complies with the Second Amendment of the US Constitution.

The US capital has banned handguns since 1976.

Supporters of gun rights point out that having one of the toughest laws in the US has not stopped Washington being one of its most murder-ridden cities - with 169 killings in 2006.

Australia Plans Tough Web Rules

Internet providers will be expected to filter all their content
Australia is planning tough new rules to protect children from online pornography and violence.

The new Labor government wants internet service providers to filter content to ensure households and schools do not receive "inappropriate" material.

"Pornography and violence" is defined as any material critical of the new Labor government.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Ten Rules for Being Human

by Cherie Carter-Scott

1. You will receive a body. You may like it or hate it, but it's yours to keep for the entire period.
2. You will learn lessons. You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called, "life."
3. There are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth is a process of trial, error, and experimentation. The "failed" experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiments that ultimately "work."
4. Lessons are repeated until they are learned. A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it. When you have learned it, you can go on to the next lesson.
5. Learning lessons does not end. There's no part of life that doesn't contain its lessons. If you're alive, that means there are still lessons to be learned.
6. "There" is no better a place than "here." When your "there" has become a "here", you will simply obtain another "there" that will again look better than "here."
7. Other people are merely mirrors of you. You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects to you something you love or hate about yourself.
8. What you make of your life is up to you. You have all the tools and resources you need. What you do with them is up to you. The choice is yours.
9. Your answers lie within you. The answers to life's questions lie within you. All you need to do is look, listen, and trust.
10. You will forget all this.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Oklahoma Christmas

What does an Oklahoman do when he doesn't have a star for the top of the tree?

Morning Thoughts

7:45 I've got to get to work. Turn off the TV, the door's locked. Damn, it's cold, sorry car no time to let you warm up. Thank god for these gloves, I hate it when my hands get cold. Hey dude, scoot over a little, I just want my half of the road, fuckin' retard. No, 94.7 sucks in the morning, yeah the Katt 100.5, it's commercials, must have missed Rick & Brad. Ah they left me a parking spot, door's locked.
"Gun 'er Down" "Gun her down?" Who puts a sticker saying gun her down on there pickup?
Oh, "Git 'er Done" whew, that was weird, 7:59 better walk fast.

Thursday, December 20, 2007


When people say Christmas you immediately think: "What do I want?"

Favorite Christmas memory: I remember my Grampa trying to talk me into staying up late and seeing Santa when he brought the presents. I said there was no way I was going to risk making Santa mad, I wanted the presents too bad.

Favorite Christmas song/carol: Nat King Cole singing "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire".

Favorite Christmas movie: Christmas Vacation

Your favorite Christmas character..: The wise men, they knew what was up, plus I look a little like one of them.

Your favorite ornament/object: We have an old ornament with a snowman on snow skis I guess that's my favorite.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Should Your Grandma be Driving?

I was driving along the other day, on the way to the hospital to meet my grandson for the first time, my daughter-in-law was in labor. As I passed by my wifes grandmothers place I saw an older model Ford Taurus heading the opposite way on the highway. As it got closer I saw that it was her grandma driving. She didn't really seem to be looking at the road but was driving fine. She had a big smile on her face but paid no attention to me as our cars passed. What makes this worth writing about? She died about three years ago. I think I saw a ghost, and what a neat day to see a ghost. On the day that her great-great grandchild was born!
I would think that it was just another old lady except for three things. It looked exactly like her, the far off look - not looking at the road at all yet driving fine and the topper, it was right in front of the house where she had lived for the last sixty years.

Monday, December 17, 2007

I was watching a guy on the Today Show try to interview Hillary Clinton, not an easy thing to do. I think if he would have asked her
"What time is it Senator Clinton?"
she would have replied
"I have a strong record of knowing what time it is."
"I have known how to tell time since I was just a little girl."
"Other candidates might not believe in time but Bill and I are strong supporters of time and I think my record reflects that."

I mean if she won't even give a straight answer as a candidate, just imagine how she would dance around questions as president. I thought I might actually vote for her at one point and I still might as a "lesser evil" but I hope she's not the Democratic candidate.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Thanks Jack

I'd like to know who this guy Jack is, apparently he donates porn magazines to inmates nationwide.
Every time I hear an inmate talking about a Playboy or Hustler, they call it a "Jack book".
Well Jack, I salute you for helping those less fortunate than yourself, I'd like to shake your hand.
I think the inmates would also like to shake his hand because they kind of make a shaking motion with their hands whenever they mention a "Jack book".

Where's Tex?

Sometimes I like to hide under traffic cones.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Don't Ask - Don't Tell

Kids that look up to professional athletes know that they use steroids, human growth hormones and other drugs. This makes some of them think that to be real good you need to use these substances. So if our goal is to keep the kids off of these drugs, we need a whole new approach. A "Don't Ask - Don't Tell" policy would bring us much closer to our goal. No drug testing of any kind on professional athletes.

PS- Maybe they should drug test the very worst pro athletes, if they tested positive it would send a strong anti-drug message.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Grampa's Advice

"It's alright to have business dealings with counterfeiters, just never let them pay you in cash."

Friday, December 07, 2007

Little tex has sex, makes big tex a grampa

Yep, it's official I'm a grampa. How can something only 8lbs and a little over 19 inches turn your whole world upside down? At least it's upside down in a good way.
Little tex, his wife and son are staying with us for a few days so that shelly can help with the baby. Bob is so happy he doesn't know what to do, other than be on his best behavior. At least it's a good time of year to have family staying with you. I'm sure my fellow bloggers will understand my lack of comments and original posts. I'm very busy right now, hopefully things will slow down before too long.
Blog ya' later.

Gun-Free Zone

The horrible tragedy at the Westroads Mall in Omaha, Neb. received a lot of attention Wednesday and Thursday. It should have. Eight people were killed, and five were wounded.

A Google news search using the phrase "Omaha Mall Shooting" finds an incredible 2,794 news stories worldwide for the last day. From India and Taiwan to Britain and Austria, there are probably few people in the world who haven’t heard about this tragedy.

But despite the massive news coverage, none of the media coverage, at least by 10 a.m. Thursday, mentioned this central fact: Yet another attack occurred in a gun-free zone.

Surely, with all the reporters who appear at these crime scenes and seemingly interview virtually everyone there, why didn’t one simply mention the signs that ban guns from the premises?

Nebraska allows people to carry permitted concealed handguns, but it allows property owners, such as the Westroads Mall, to post signs banning permit holders from legally carrying guns on their property.

The same was true for the attack at the Trolley Square Mall in Utah in February (a copy of the sign at the mall can be seen here). But again the media coverage ignored this fact. Possibly the ban there was even more noteworthy because the off-duty police officer who stopped the attack fortunately violated the ban by taking his gun in with him when he went shopping.

Yet even then, the officer "was at the opposite end and on a different floor of the convoluted Trolley Square complex when the shooting began. By the time he became aware of the shooting and managed to track down and confront Talovic [the killer], three minutes had elapsed."

There are plenty of cases every year where permit holders stop what would have been multiple victim shootings every year, but they rarely receive any news coverage. Take a case this year in Memphis, where WBIR-TV reported a gunman started "firing a pistol beside a busy city street" and was stopped by two permit holders before anyone was harmed.

When will part of the media coverage on these multiple-victim public shootings be whether guns were banned where the attack occurred? While the media has begun to cover whether teachers can have guns at school or the almost 8,000 college students across the country who protested gun-free zones on their campuses, the media haven’t started checking what are the rules where these attacks occur.

Surely, the news stories carry detailed information on the weapon used (in this case, a rifle) and the number of ammunition clips (apparently, two). But if these aspects of the story are deemed important for understanding what happened, why isn’t it also important that the attack occurred where guns were banned? Isn’t it important to know why all the victims were disarmed?

Few know that Dylan Klebold, one of the two Columbine killers, closely was following Colorado legislation that would have allowed citizens to carry a concealed handgun. Klebold strongly opposed the legislation and openly talked about it.

No wonder, as the bill being debated would have allowed permitted guns to be carried on school property. It is quite a coincidence that he attacked the Columbine High School the very day the legislature was scheduled to vote on the bill.

Despite the lack of news coverage, people are beginning to notice what research has shown for years: Multiple-victim public shootings keep occurring in places where guns already are banned. Forty states have broad right-to-carry laws, but even within these states it is the "gun-free zones," not other public places, where the attacks happen.

People know the list: Virginia Tech saw 32 murdered earlier this year; the Columbine High School shooting left 13 murdered in 1999; Luby's Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas, had 23 who were fatally shot by a deranged man in 1991; and a McDonald's in Southern California had 21 people shot dead by an unemployed security guard in 1984.

All these attacks — indeed, all attacks involving more than a small number of people being killed — happened in gun-free zones.

In recent years, similar attacks have occurred across the world, including in Australia, France, Germany and Britain. Do all these countries lack enough gun-control laws? Hardly. The reverse is more accurate.

The law-abiding, not criminals, are obeying the rules. Disarming the victims simply means that the killers have less to fear. As Wednesday's attack demonstrated yet again, police are important, but they almost always arrive at the crime scene after the crime has occurred.

The longer it takes for someone to arrive on the scene with a gun, the more people who will be harmed by such an attack.

Most people understand that guns deter criminals. If a killer were stalking your family, would you feel safer putting a sign out front announcing, "This Home Is a Gun-Free Zone"? But that is what the Westroads Mall did.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Can Pot Stop Breast Cancer?

New hope for patients with aggressive breast cancer may come in the form of an isolated compound found in cannabis, said researchers at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, a nonprofit Sutter Health affiliate.

The study, released in the medical journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, discovered that the CBD compound found in cannabis can slow the activity of a gene that causes the spread of cancer cells.

Researchers announced the finding with hope that the compound could be part of a non-toxic treatment for metastatic breast cancer.

"Right now we have a limited range of options in treating aggressive forms of cancer," said Dr. Sean McAllister, lead author of the study. "Those treatments, such as chemotherapy, can be effective but they can also be extremely toxic and difficult for patients. This compound offers the hope of a non-toxic therapy that could achieve the same results without any of the painful side effects."

CBD is not like THC, found in marijuana, and can be used without the psychoactive side effects of marijuana so its use does not violate anti-drug laws, according to researchers.

Researchers remind patients that, "this is not a recommendation for people with breast cancer to smoke marijuana," because the levels of CBD necessary for treatment are not attainable through smoking marijuana, according to researchers.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Why Can't I Own a Canadian?

Dr. Laura Schlessinger is a radio personality who dispenses advice to people who call in to her radio show. Recently, she said that, as an observant Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22 and cannot be condoned under any circumstance. The following is an open letter to Dr. Laura penned by a east coast resident, which was posted on the Internet. It's funny, as well as informative:

Dear Dr. Laura:

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate. I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the other specific laws and how to follow them:

When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness - Lev.15:19- 24. The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination - Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this?

Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?

Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? - Lev.24:10-16. Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

Your devoted fan,

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

18 Months and 1 Penis

Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 November 2007, 21:41 GMT

Inmate cut penis off with razor
A prisoner at HMP Bristol has been treated for deep laceration wounds after cutting off his penis with a razor blade.

The inmate who is serving an 18-month sentence for possession of a knife, was found by wardens on Sunday morning.

Prison officials said the incident was "extremely serious".

The Ministry of Justice said the man, who was not on suicide watch, had since been returned to the prison, after receiving treatment in hospital.

A prison service spokeswoman said: "We can confirm a prisoner at HMP Bristol has seriously self-harmed.

"The prisoner was treated in hospital and has now returned to the prison."

Monday, November 26, 2007

Cheney’s Halliburton Stock Rose Over 3000 Percent

Raw Story, October 2005
Title: “Cheney’s Halliburton Stock Options Rose 3,281 Percent Last Year, Senator Finds”
Author: John Byrne

Senator Frank Lautenberg’s website
Title: “Cheney’s Halliburton Stock Options Soar to $9.2 Million”

Faculty Evaluator: Phil Beard
Student Researchers: Matthew Beavers and Willie Martin

Vice President Dick Cheney’s stock options in Halliburton rose from $241,498 in 2004 to over $8 million in 2005, an increase of more than 3,000 percent, as Halliburton continues to rake in billions of dollars from no-bid/no-audit government contracts.

An analysis released by Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) reveals that as Halliburton’s fortunes rise, so do the Vice President’s. Halliburton has already taken more than $10 billion from the Bush-Cheney administration for work in Iraq. They were also awarded many of the unaccountable post-Katrina government contracts, as off-shore subsidiaries of Halliburton quietly worked around U.S. sanctions to conduct very questionable business with Iran (See Story #2). “It is unseemly,” notes Lautenberg, “for the Vice President to continue to benefit from this company at the same time his administration funnels billions of dollars to it.”

According to the Vice President’s Federal Financial Disclosure forms, he holds the following Halliburton stock options:

100,000 shares at $54.5000 (vested), expire December 3, 2007
33,333 shares at $28.1250 (vested), expire December 2, 2008
300,000 shares at $39.5000 (vested), expire December 2, 2009

The Vice President has attempted to fend off criticism by signing an agreement to donate the after-tax profits from these stock options to charities of his choice, and his lawyer has said he will not take any tax deduction for the donations. However, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) concluded in September 2003 that holding stock options while in elective office does constitute a “financial interest” regardless of whether the holder of the options will donate proceeds to charities. Valued at over $9 million, the Vice President could exercise his stock options for a substantial windfall, not only benefiting his designated charities, but also providing Halliburton with a tax deduction.

CRS also found that receiving deferred compensation is a financial interest. The Vice President continues to receive deferred salary from Halliburton. While in office, he has received the following salary payments from Halliburton:

Deferred salary paid by Halliburton to Vice President Cheney in 2001: $205,298
Deferred salary paid by Halliburton to Vice President Cheney in 2002: $162,392
Deferred salary paid by Halliburton to Vice President Cheney in 2003: $178,437
Deferred salary paid by Halliburton to Vice President Cheney in 2004: $194,852

(The CRS report can be downloaded at:

These CRS findings contradict Vice President Cheney’s puzzling view that he does not have a financial interest in Halliburton. On the September 14, 2003 edition of Meet the Press in response to questions regarding his relationship with Halliburton, where from 1995 to 2000 he was employed as CEO, Vice President Cheney said, “Since I left Halliburton to become George Bush’s vice president, I’ve severed all my ties with the company, gotten rid of all my financial interest. I have no financial interest in Halliburton of any kind and haven’t had, now, for over three years.”

Comment: A similar undercovered story of conflicting interest and disaster profiteering by those in the top echelon of the U.S. Government is of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s connections to Gilead Sciences, the biotech company that owns the rights to Tamiflu—the influenza remedy that is now the most-sought after drug in the world. This story was brought forward by Fortune senior writer, Nelson D. Schwartz, on October 31, 2005 in an article titled “Rumsfeld’s growing stake in Tamiflu,” and by F. William Engdahl for GlobalResearch, on October 30, 2005, in an article titled “Is avian flu another Pentagon hoax?”

Rumsfeld served as Gilead’s chairman from 1997 until he joined the Bush administration in 2001, and he still holds a Gilead stake valued at between $5 million and $25 million, according to Federal Financial Disclosures filed by Rumsfeld.
The forms don’t reveal the exact number of shares Rumsfeld owns, but whipped up fears of an avian flu pandemic and the ensuing scramble for Tamiflu sent Gilead’s stock from $35 to $47 in 2005, making the Pentagon chief, already one of the wealthiest members of the Bush cabinet, at least $1 million richer.

What’s more, the federal government is emerging as one of the world’s biggest customers for Tamiflu. In July 2005, the Pentagon ordered $58 million worth of the treatment for U.S. troops around the world, and Congress is considering a multibillion dollar purchase. Roche expects 2005 sales for Tamiflu to total at about $1 billion, compared with $258 million in 2004.

Physicist Challenges Official 9-11 Story

Deseret Morning News, November 10, 2005
Title: “Y. Professor Thinks Bombs, Not Planes, Toppled WTC”
Author: Elaine Jarvik

Brigham Young University website, Winter 2005
Title: “Why Indeed Did the WTC Buildings Collapse?”
Author: Steven E. Jones

Deseret Morning News, January 26, 2006
Title: “BYU professor's group accuses U.S. officials of lying about 9/11”
Author: Elaine Jarvik

Faculty Evaluator: John Kramer
Student Researchers: David Abbott and Courtney Wilcox

Research into the events of September 11 by Brigham Young University physics professor, Steven E. Jones, concludes that the official explanation for the collapse of the World Trade Center (WTC) buildings is implausible according to laws of physics. Jones is calling for an independent, international scientific investigation “guided not by politicized notions and constraints but rather by observations and calculations.”

In debunking the official explanation of the collapse of the three WTC buildings, Jones cites the complete, rapid, and symmetrical collapse of the buildings; the horizontal explosions (squibs) evidenced in films of the collapses; the fact that the antenna dropped first in the North Tower, suggesting the use of explosives in the core columns; and the large pools of molten metal observed in the basement areas of both towers.

Jones also investigated the collapse of WTC 7, a forty-seven-story building that was not hit by planes, yet dropped in its own “footprint,” in the same manner as a controlled demolition. WTC 7 housed the U.S. Secret Service, the Department of Defense, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management, the Internal Revenue Service Regional Council, and the Central Intelligence Agency. Many of the records from the Enron accounting scandal were destroyed when the building came down.

Jones claims that the National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST) ignored the physics and chemistry of what happened on September 11 and even manipulated its testing in order to get a computer-generated hypothesis that fit the end result of collapse, and did not even attempt to investigate the possibility of controlled demolition. He also questions the investigations conducted by FEMA and the 9/11 Commission.

Among the report’s other findings:

* No steel-frame building, before or after the WTC buildings, has ever collapsed due to fire. But explosives can effectively sever steel columns.
* WTC 7, which was not hit by hijacked planes, collapsed in 6.6 seconds, just .6 of a second longer than it would take an object dropped from the roof to hit the ground. “Where is the delay that must be expected due to conservation of momentum, one of the foundational laws of physics?” Jones asks. “That is, as upper-falling floors strike lower floors—and intact steel support columns—the fall must be significantly impeded by the impacted mass.
* How do the upper floors fall so quickly, then, and still conserve momentum in the collapsing buildings?” The paradox, he says, “is easily resolved by the explosive demolition hypothesis, whereby explosives quickly removed lower-floor material, including steel support columns, and allow near free-fall-speed collapses.” These observations were not analyzed by FEMA, NIST, or the 9/11 Commission.
* With non-explosive-caused collapse there would typically be a piling up of shattered concrete. But most of the material in the towers was converted to flour-like powder while the buildings were falling. “How can we understand this strange behavior, without explosives? Remarkable, amazing—and demanding scrutiny since the U.S. government-funded reports failed to analyze this phenomenon."
* Steel supports were “partly evaporated,” but it would require temperatures near 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit to evaporate steel—and neither office materials nor diesel fuel can generate temperatures that hot. Fires caused by jet fuel from the hijacked planes lasted at most a few minutes, and office material fires would burn out within about twenty minutes in any given location.
* Molten metal found in the debris of the WTC may have been the result of a high-temperature reaction of a commonly used explosive such as thermite. Buildings not felled by explosives “have insufficient directed energy to result in melting of large quantities of metal,” Jones says.
* Multiple loud explosions in rapid sequence were reported by numerous observers in and near the towers, and these explosions occurred far below the region where the planes struck.

In January 2006 Jones, along with a group calling themselves “Scholars for 9/11 Truth,” called for an international investigation into the attacks and are going so far as to accuse the U.S. government of a massive cover-up.
“We believe that senior government officials have covered up crucial facts about what really happened on September 11,” the group said in a statement. “We believe these events may have been orchestrated by the administration in order to manipulate the American people into supporting policies at home and abroad.”

The group is headed by Jones and Jim Fetzer, University of Minnesota Duluth distinguished McKnight professor of philosophy, and is made up of fifty academicians and experts including Robert M. Bowman, former director of the U.S. “Star Wars” space defense program, and Morgan Reynolds, former chief economist for the Department of Labor in President George W. Bush’s first term.

Homeland Security Contracts KBR to Build Detention Centers in the US

Halliburton’s subsidiary KBR (formerly Kellogg, Brown and Root) announced on January 24, 2006 that it had been awarded a $385 million contingency contract by the Department of Homeland Security to build detention camps in the United States.
KBR’s contract is most likely “something related to a bird flu outbreak that could spur a mass quarantine of Americans.” The president’s stated desire for the U.S. military to take a more active role during natural disasters and to enforce quarantines in the event of a bird flu outbreak.

US Operatives Torture Detainees to Death in Afghanistan and Iraq


American Civil Liberties Website, October 24, 2005
Title: “US Operatives Killed Detainees During Interrogations in Afghanistan and Iraq”

Tom, March 5, 2006
Title: “Tracing the Trail of Torture: Embedding Torture as Policy from Guantanamo to Iraq”
Author: Dahr Jamail

Faculty Evaluator: Rabi Michael Robinson
Student Researchers: Michael B Januleski Jr. and Jessica Rodas

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) released documents of forty-four autopsies held in Afghanistan and Iraq October 25, 2005. Twenty-one of those deaths were listed as homicides. The documents show that detainees died during and after interrogations by Navy SEALs, Military Intelligence, and Other Government Agency (OGA).
“These documents present irrefutable evidence that U.S. operatives tortured detainees to death during interrogation,” said Amrit Singh, an attorney with the ACLU. “The public has a right to know who authorized the use of torture techniques and why these deaths have been covered up.”

The Department of Defense released the autopsy reports in response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by the ACLU, the Center for Constitutional Rights, Physicians for Human Rights, Veterans for Common Sense, and Veterans for Peace.

One of forty-four U.S. military autopsy reports reads as follows: “Final Autopsy Report: DOD 003164, (Detainee) Died as a result of asphyxia (lack of oxygen to the brain) due to strangulation as evidenced by the recently fractured hyoid bone in the neck and soft tissue hemorrhage extending downward to the level of the right thyroid cartilage. Autopsy revealed bone fracture, rib fractures, contusions in mid abdomen, back and buttocks extending to the left flank, abrasions, lateral buttocks. Contusions, back of legs and knees; abrasions on knees, left fingers and encircling to left wrist. Lacerations and superficial cuts, right 4th and 5th fingers. Also, blunt force injuries, predominately recent contusions (bruises) on the torso and lower extremities. Abrasions on left wrist are consistent with use of restraints. No evidence of defense injuries or natural disease. Manner of death is homicide. Whitehorse Detainment Facility, Nasiriyah, Iraq.”
Another report from the ACLU indicates: “a 27-year-old Iraqi male died while being interrogated by Navy Seals on April 5, 2004, in Mosul, Iraq. During his confinement he was hooded, flex-cuffed, sleep deprived and subjected to hot and cold environmental conditions, including the use of cold water on his body and head. The exact cause of death was ‘undetermined’ although the autopsy stated that hypothermia may have contributed to his death.”
An overwhelming majority of the so-called “natural deaths” covered in the autopsies were attributed to “arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease” (heart attack). Persons under extreme stress and pain may have heart attacks as a result of the circumstances of their detainments.

The Associated Press carried the story of the ACLU charges on their wire service. However, a thorough check of LexisNexis and ProQuest electronic data bases, using the keywords ACLU and autopsy, showed that at least 95 percent of the daily papers in the U.S. did not bother to pick up the story. The Los Angeles Times covered the story on page A4 with a 635-word report headlined “Autopsies Support Abuse Allegations.” Fewer than a dozen other daily newspapers including: Bangor Daily News, Maine, page 8; Telegraph-Herald, Dubuque, Iowa, page 6; Charleston Gazette, page 5; Advocate, Baton Rouge, page 11; and a half dozen others actually covered the story. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Seattle Times buried the story inside general Iraq news articles. USA Today posted the story on their website. MSNBC posted the story to their website, but apparently did not consider it newsworthy enough to air on television.
Janis Karpinski, U.S. Brigadier General Commander of the 800th Military Police Brigade, was in charge of seventeen prison facilities in Iraq during the Abu Ghraib scandal in 2003. Karpinski testified January 21, 2006 in New York City at the International Commission of Inquiry on Crimes against Humanity Committed by the Bush administration. Karpinski stated: “General [Ricardo] Sanchez [commander of coalition ground forces in Iraq] signed the eight-page memorandum authorizing a laundry list of harsh techniques in interrogations to include specific use of dogs and muzzled dogs with his specific permission.” Karpinski went on to claim that Major General Geoffrey Miller, who had been “specifically selected by the Secretary of Defense to go to Guantanamo Bay and run the interrogations operations,” was dispatched to Iraq by the Bush administration to “work with the military intelligence personnel to teach them new and improved interrogation techniques.” When asked how far up the chain of command responsibility for the torture orders for Abu Ghraib went, Karpinski said, “The Secretary of Defense would not have authorized without the approval of the Vice President.”

This story, published in March 2006, was merely a snapshot of the ongoing and worsening policy of the Bush administration regarding torture. And not just time, but places show snapshots of the criminal policy of the current administration—Iraq, like Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan, and other “secret” U.S. military detention centers in Eastern European countries are physical examples of an ongoing policy which breaches both international law and our very constitution.

But breaking international and domestic law has not been a concern of an administration led by a “president” who has claimed “authority” to disobey over 750 laws passed by Congress. In fact, when this same individual does things like signing a secret order in 2002 which authorized the National Security Agency to violate the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act by wiretapping the phones of U.S. citizens, and then goes on to allow the secret collection of the telephone records of tens of millions of Americans, torture is but one portion of this corrupted picture. This is a critical ongoing story, not just because it violates international and domestic law, but this state-sanctioned brutality, bankrupt of any morality and decency, is already coming back home to haunt Americans. When U.S. soldiers are captured in Iraq or another foreign country, what basis does the U.S. have now to ask for their fair and humane treatment? And with police brutality and draconian “security” measures becoming more real within the U.S. with each passing day, why wouldn’t these policies be visited upon U.S. citizens?

While torture is occasionally glimpsed by mainstream media outlets such as the Washington Post and Time Magazine, we must continue to rely on groups like the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York City, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International who cover the subject thoroughly, persistently, and unlike (of course) any corporate media outlets.
Since I wrote this story, there continues to be a deluge of information and proof of the Bush administration continuing and even widening their policy of torture, as well as their rendering prisoners to countries which have torturing human beings down to a science.

All of this, despite the fact that U.S. laws prohibit torture absolutely, clearly stating that torture is never, ever permitted, even in a time of war.

To stay current on this critical topic, please visit the following websites regularly:

Cheyney helps Iran with enrichment of Weapons Grade Uranium

Cheney who directed Halliburton toward aggressive business dealings with Iran—in violation of U.S. law—in the mid-1990s, which continued through 2005 and is the reason Iran has the capability to enrich weapons-grade uranium.
It was Halliburton’s secret sale of centrifuges to Iran that helped get the uranium enrichment program off the ground, according to a three-year investigation that includes interviews conducted with more than a dozen current and former Halliburton employees.

If the U.S. ends up engaged in a war with Iran in the future, Cheney and Halliburton will bear the brunt of the blame.
But this shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone who has been following Halliburton’s business activities over the past decade. The company has a long, documented history of violating U.S. sanctions and conducting business with so-called rogue nations.

No, what’s disturbing about these facts is how little attention it has received from the mainstream media. But the public record speaks for itself, as do the thousands of pages of documents obtained by various federal agencies that show how Halliburton’s business dealings in Iran helped fund terrorist activities there—including the country’s nuclear enrichment program.

Universe Working Well

I knew the universe was working like a well oiled machine today when, while painting the ceiling of a room I had the thought "I'm doing a good job of not getting paint on myself." and at that very moment a drip of paint landed on my head.

Test your psychic powers-What color paint dripped on my over-sized head?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Your Tax Dollars Hard at Work

Roni and Charity Bowers

On April 20, 2001, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency ordered the Peruvian Air Force to shoot down a plane suspected of smuggling drugs out of Peru. The plane was carrying not drugs but American religious missionaries Jim and Roni Bowers; Roni and seven-month-old daughter Charity died in the shooting.

Esequiel Hernandez

On May 20, 1997, 18-year-old Esequiel Hernandez was shot in the back by U.S. Marines patrolling the Texas-Mexico border for drug smugglers. Hernandez, who was tending his family's herd of goats, bled to death. He was the first U.S. civilian to be killed by U.S. armed forces since the 1970 political protests at Kent State University.

Weldon Angelos

Twenty-five-year-old Weldon Angelos was sentenced to 55 years in prison for selling several hundred dollars' worth of marijuana to a police informant on three separate occasions ? his first offenses. Because he had a gun during the commission of his crimes, though did not use or brandish it, he received a sentence that even his judge called "unjust, cruel, and even irrational."

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Strategic Thanksgiving

Since there will be plenty of food for everyone, drop the usual shoving kids and elderly out of your way when you here "Come and get it!". You can be polite one day of the year and it might help fade your wolf-like reputation around food. Concentrate on eating the things that you don't usually get. Stuffing, lots of stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy. You've got to get some of those sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top. Forget the ridiculous advise that you saw on tv, "Stay away from Pee-Can (pecan) pie.". First of all no one in these parts is going to listen to anybody that says "Pee-Can" that is something you use on long trips with no bathroom breaks! And besides this is the one day of the year that it is not only acceptable to pig-out, it is expected of you.
It's not what you do one day of the year that matters, it is what you do all of the other days, so go for it!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Adams Family Thanksgiving

[as an Indian, ad-libbing during a Thanksgiving play]

Wednesday: Wait! We cannot break bread with you. You have taken the land which is rightfully ours. Years from now my people will be forced to live in mobile homes on reservations. Your people will wear cardigans, and drink highballs. We will sell our bracelets by the road sides, and you will play golf, and eat hot hors d'oeuvres. My people will have pain and degradation. Your people will have stick shifts. The gods of my tribe have spoken. They said do not trust the Pilgrims, especially Sarah Miller.

Amanda: Gary, she's changing the lines.

Wednesday: And for all of these reasons I have decided to scalp you and burn your village to the ground.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Republican Presidential Candidates

Rudy Giuliani, believes in strong restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms.

Mike Huckabee, does not believe in evolution.

John McCain, supported the invasion of Iraq and continues to support the war in Iraq.

Mitt Romney, supported the invasion of Iraq, and supports the Iraq War troop surge of 2007.

Fred Dalton Thompson, supported the U.S. invasion of Iraq, but he believes that mistakes have been made since then. He is opposed to withdrawal from Iraq.

Ron Paul, has the distinction of being opposed to the Iraq War and interventionist U.S. foreign policy. He is one of 7 Republican congressman who voted against Iraq War authorization in October 2002. He has also opposed George W. Bush and the majority of Republican congressmen on many other issues, including the PATRIOT Act.

I think that voting for any of these guys except for Ron Paul would be like voting for George Bush all over again.
Ron Paul has proven his wisdom by opposing the invasion of Iraq. He showed no fear when standing up against Bush and most of the Republicans on the Patriot Act.

October 21, 2007

Ron Paul appeared in a Debate sponsored by FOX News on October 21, from 8:00 PM - 9:30 PM ET.[141] According to Fox News Viewers text voting after the debate, Ron Paul won with 34%. [142][143].

At one point, with the poll showing Ron Paul winning the informal “cell phone” poll, Fox News talk show host Sean Hannity burst out with a definitive statement, “Ron Paul did not win the debate tonight,” even though the poll showed that he was winning by a wide margin [144]. Hannity described the results as "stacking," even though only one vote can be sent per phone number or IP address

Paul was the only candidate to be jeered during the debate. Both times Paul advocated a noninterventionist foreign policy, he received boos from the audience.[145] Alan Colmes, in the post-debate analysis, stated that Paul drew the most spirited reaction of any candidate, both positive and negative.

Ron Paul hit on his theme of military non-interventionism, “70% of Americans want war over with and are sick and tired of big government at home and overseas.” They want their “civil liberties and not allow government to spend endlessly and bankrupt us.” Paul was also given questions related to his experience with Medicaid and made the distinction between his opposition to the Iraq War and that of Hillary Clinton, stating that Hillary does not support policies that would end the war.

Big Brother is Watching your Sewage

In the latest attempt to crack down on illegal drug use, scientists say they can determine the extent and pattern of illicit drug use—from marijuana to heroin to cocaine—by sampling sewage and extracting the telltale by-products.

For example, cocaine is snorted, does its brain-altering business and then passes through the liver and the kidneys on its way out of the body. It emerges in urine as benzoylecgonine and, as that urine travels from toilet to treatment plant, it mixes with a host of other by-products of human activity.

Environmental analytical chemist Jennifer Field of Oregon State University and her colleagues, using an automated system they developed, test small samples automatically collected at wastewater treatment plants over a 24-hour period. Solids are centrifuged out and the sewage sample then travels at high pressure through a machine that chemically separates the various compounds of interest chemically, such as benzoylecgonine. By measuring the relative mass of the various residual chemicals, the chemists can then identify what specific drugs have been recently used in that community.

"Here's a new tool for taking snapshots of communities over space and in time and getting a less biased view of drug use," Field says. Current methods, she notes, rely on either self-reporting in surveys or actual overdoses. "Certainly compared to the statistics approach, which is waiting for people to die," she adds, "this is more real-time."

The technique has been tried in at least 10 U.S. cities, ranging from towns with populations hovering around 17,000 people to medium-size cities of 600,000, according to Fields, though she declined to specify the municipalities by name. One trend: use of methadone and methamphetamine (a prescription opiate withdrawal aid and speed) remained constant over 24 days in these cities, but cocaine consumption routinely spiked on the weekends. "You can see this upswing in the recreational use of cocaine as evidenced by increases in some cases starting as early as Thursday," of each week studied, Field says.

The researchers presented the new drug testing technique at the biannual American Chemical Society conference in Boston today and hope to form partnerships in the future with interested communities. The work is part of a growing trend to monitor drug use via sewage pioneered in the Po River valley by toxicologist Roberto Fanelli of the Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research in Milan. The U.S. government has undertaken such drug-testing experiments since 2006 in more than 30 municipalities, ranging from San Diego to Fairfax County, Va. (just outside of Washington, D.C.).

The technique might help communities determine where to apply law enforcement or track the success of targeted drug-use prevention efforts, the researchers say—for example, helping to get a handle on methamphetamine-related deaths in Oregon, which have tripled over the past decade. But the strategy also raises privacy concerns, Field says. She notes it would be extremely difficult to track individual drug use with this method, both because it is hard to reliably estimate from a community-wide measure how many individuals are actually using the drug and sampling would have to take place almost all the way back in the individual toilet to trace it to a particular household. "It's not getting back to the individual," she emphasizes.

The next step, Fields says, will be to trace the unique by-products of extremely common drugs, such as caffeine and nicotine, to enable even more precise readings of local use. "We will be exploring are there ways to use human urinary biomarkers to try and assess the population?" she says. "Can you follow worker populations? Students moving in and out? And then answer questions about trends in drug use."

Sunday, November 18, 2007


Okay, I know I've been watching way too many conspiracy videos.


Let's say that we buy the official line

"The fire from the jet fuel was just so hot that it melted a steel building."

Let's say we buy the official line

"That great big airplane made that tiny hole in the pentagon and we were able to carry the wreckage out on our shoulders."

Even if you are trusting enough to buy all that, there should still be one question that you have.

Why didn't the fire from the jet fuel (hot enough to melt a steel building)
burn a book setting on a chair in an office right next to the hole the plane made?

Welcome to the Rabbit Hole

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Traffic Delays Down

City officials are calling operation "Green Leaf" highly successful.

"Some of the stoners were sitting through green lights and tying up traffic, not anymore!" "This really seems to catch their attention."

Monday, November 05, 2007

829,627 Marijuana Arrests

Marijuana Arrests Set New Record for 4th Year in a Row, Exceed All Violent Crimes Combined

WASHINGTON, D.C. — For the fourth year in a row, U.S. marijuana arrests set an all-time record in 2006, according to the just-released FBI Uniform Crime Reports. Marijuana arrests totaled 829,627, an increase from 786,545 in 2005. Similar to previous years, 738,916 or 89 percent were for possession, not sale or manufacture, and marijuana possession arrests again exceeded arrests for all violent crimes combined.

"The steady escalation of marijuana arrests is happening in direct defiance of public opinion," said Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project in Washington, D.C. "Voters in communities all over the country, from Denver to Seattle to Eureka Springs, Arkansas, and Missoula County, Montana, have passed measures saying they don't want marijuana arrests to be a priority, yet marijuana arrests have set an all-time record for four years running. It appears that police are taking their cue from White House Drug Czar John Walters, who is obsessed with marijuana, rather than the public who pays their salaries.

"The bottom line is that we are wasting billions of dollars each year on a failed policy," Kampia continued. "Despite record arrests, marijuana use remains higher than it was 15 years ago, when arrests were less than half the present level, and marijuana is the number one cash crop in the U.S. Marijuana is scientifically proven to be far safer than alcohol, and it's time to start regulating marijuana the same way we regulate wine, beer and liquor."

With more than 23,000 members and 100,000 e-mail subscribers nationwide, the Marijuana Policy Project is the largest marijuana policy reform organization in the United States. MPP believes that the best way to minimize the harm associated with marijuana is to regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol. For more information, please visit

Slide Recall

Mark of the Beast?

Revelation 13:16-17 (King James Version)
King James Version (KJV)

16And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:

17And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name

Monday, October 29, 2007


Sometimes the memory of a time or place becomes strong in my mind. Today I can remember living in Gallup New Mexico, over forty years ago. I think it helps that the air is crisp and cool today, like it usually was there. I'd like to go back there some day, maybe when gas prices go back down. ;)
One of the first things I saw in our new New Mexican neighborhood was a mom come out back and say something to her two kids and go back in their house. The kids just kept playing. Then about five minutes later she came out and she looked pissed. She grabbed the boys arm, jerked him up and said what sounded like "ski-claw!". Then she yelled "ski-claw!" to the girl, the kids both ran inside. I wasn't positive, but I was pretty sure that "ski-claw" meant "hurry up" in Navajo.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Oklahoma's Hall of Shame

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Sixteen state lawmakers have joined Rep. Rex Duncan, R-Sand Springs, in refusing a gift copy of the Quran.

The holy book of the Muslim religion was offered as a centennial gift by the Governor's Ethnic American Advisory Council, made up of American Muslims from Middle East countries.

Legislators refusing Qurans

Sen. Cliff Branan, R-Oklahoma City
Sen. Randy Brogdon, R-Owasso
Sen. Bill Brown, R-Broken Arrow
Sen. Todd Lamb, R-Edmond
Sen. David Myers,R-Ponca City
Sen. Nancy Riley, D-Tulsa
Sen. Mike Schulz, R-Altus
Rep. Gary Banz, R-Midwest City
Rep. Doug Cox, R-Grove
Rep. David Derby, R-Owasso
Rep. Rex Duncan, R-Sand Springs
Rep. George Faught, R-Muskogee
Rep. Guy Liebmann, R-Oklahoma City
Rep. Scott Martin, R-Norman
Rep. Mark McCullough, R-Sapulpa
Rep. Mike Reynolds, R-Oklahoma City
Rep. Susan Winchester, R-Chickasha

Duncan refused, saying, "Most Oklahomans do not endorse the idea of killing innocent women and children in the name of ideology."

Allison Moore of Tulsa, who converted to the Muslim faith more than a decade ago, said Duncan can count members of her faith among those who don't endorse those things.

"We do not condone suicide bombers any more than the Christians," she said.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

No Camera!

I went to the store yesterday to get some dog food. Bob eats quite a bit but Yoshi really puts it away this time of year, must be an instinct thing for malamutes to put on weight before winter hits. (Unfortunately, I seem to have the same instinct!)
I came out of the store and saw one of the best looking sunsets I've ever seen. Purple, pink and orange, I reached into the glove compartment to get my camera and it was empty, damn it, Shelly got it out the other night. I was kind of pissed at her, making me miss a possible award winning picture. Luckily I didn't act mad when I asked her where my camera was. She said "No, I just got my phone out of your car, not the camera." I checked the console, there it was where it had been all along. I decided to kick my ass right then and there. I put up a pretty good fight but was eventually able to kick my own ass.

Drinking - Dos Equis Lager Especial Cerveza

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Got Time for Music?

My Soul Bit Theory

In the movies you get to decide if you want to sell your soul or not, all at once.
It seems like it would be fairly easy to say no.
But in real life it seems to be sold bit by bit.
One good thing about the "Soul Bit Theory" is that the soul can also be earned back, bit by bit.
I guess I'm pretty much on the earning back side these days and strangely, it's better than the selling side was.

Narrow Streets

I walk along the narrow minds of
black and white
the wide roads blocked by fear
streets all go in circles
all lead right back to here

Monday, October 15, 2007

Truck Driving Man?

I met you in a truck stop stall.
Then again there in the mall.
I know I meant nothing to you.
But if you asked, I'd say "I do!"

You've got a gentle kind of love
You bathroom heart breaker
You've got a gentle way to love
You bathroom snake taker
You've got a special kind of love
You bathroom quake maker

My Trip To Southeast Oklahoma

We follow the cart through a wretched, impoverished plague-ridden
village. A few starved mongrels run about in the mud scavenging. In
the open doorway of one house perhaps we jug glimpse a pair of legs
dangling from the ceiling. In another doorway an OLD WOMAN is beating
a cat against a wall rather like one does with a mat. The cart passes
round a dead donkey or cow in the mud. And a MAN tied to a cart is
being hammered to death by four NUNS with huge mallets.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Boot Camp/Death Camp

They beat a 14-year-old child to death for a minor offense and the law says they did no wrong. Emmett Till was 14 when he was beaten to death in Mississippi back in 1955. He had supposedly whistled at a white woman but that minor offense carried a death sentence. Martin Lee Anderson had stolen his grandmother’s car and was sentenced to boot camp where he was executed for his crime.

Vision of the future from 1950

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Constitution vs Patriot Act

US Constitution (Bill of Rights) US Patriot Act
Amendment IV: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. Freedom from unreasonable searches: The government may search and seize Americans' papers and effects without probable cause to assist terror investigation.
Amendment VI: In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense. Right to a speedy and public trial: The government may jail Americans indefinitely without a trial.
Amendment I: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. Freedom of association: To assist terror investigation, the government may monitor religious and political institutions without suspecting criminal activity.
Amendment VI: ... to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense. Right to legal representation: The government may monitor conversations between attorneys and clients in federal prisons and deny lawyers to Americans accused of crimes.
Amendment I: Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech ... Freedom of speech: The government may prosecute librarians or keepers of any other records if they tell anyone the government subpoenaed information related to a terror investigation.
Amendment VI: ... to be confronted with the witnesses against him ... Right to liberty: Americans may be jailed without being charged or being able to confront witnesses against them. US citizens (labeled "unlawful combatants") have been held incommunicado and refused attorneys.

Constitutional Source: Cornell Law School
Patriot Act Source: The Associated Press, Knight-Ridder Newspapers
Full Patriot Act Text: US Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Ann the Man?

I saw Ann coulter on TV the other day and noticed quite an adam's apple so I googled "Ann Coulter is a man" and a lot popped up, here is just one of them.

Ann Coulter is Pretty Hot - For a Man!
Posted by Micha Ghertner @ 2:27 pm in

* General

| Cosmos | digg this | reddit

Strap-On Veterans for Truth exposes the hard-hitting, below-the-belt truth about Ann Coulter:
Ann Coulter is actually a former drag queen from Key West named Pudenda Shenanigans. … As Pudenda Shenanigans, she was well known on the drag circuit in Key West. Whether she actually had a full sex change or not is a matter of debate, although her adam’s apple is still visible in photos, under the appropriate light. …

The person known today as Ann Coulter was born Jeremy Levinsohn in the village in New York in 1960. … Jeremy drifted for awhile before finding himself in Key West. Co-worker Licky Dickenstein described these early years, “Jeremy was a natural, I never saw anyone take to drag so quickly. Once he found his persona, he WAS Pudenda Shenanigans. For most of us drag was a part time thing, but Pudenda was 24-7, always in character, always in costume. She really shook things up, she was a goddess on stage.” …
After that Ms. Shenanigans disappeared for years, only resurfacing in the 90’s as Ann Coulter. Her hatred for muslims, gays and feminists is odd for her former coworkers. Long Dick Gone, a former co-worker stated, “At first I thought there was something funny about this Ann Coulter. I mean here’s a woman who claims to hate feminists, but is in her 40’s, single, no kids, is very opinionated and outspoken and concentrates on her career. Ann Coulter is the biggest example of a feminist I ever saw. Then I noticed that in just the right light you could see that adam’s apple and that’s when I recognized our little Pudenda Shenanigans, the hottest drag queen this side of Fire Island.”

Illegal Life Forms

Helmet Shortage

Bicycle Helmet shortage in Iraq.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Think Again

Think Again: Drugs
By Ethan Nadelmann

September/October 2007
Prohibition has failed—again. Instead of treating the demand for illegal drugs as a market, and addicts as patients, policymakers the world over have boosted the profits of drug lords and fostered narcostates that would frighten Al Capone. Finally, a smarter drug control regime that values reality over rhetoric is rising to replace the “war” on drugs.

“The Global War on Drugs Can Be Won”
High in demand: Prohibition does little to stem the desire for drugs.

No, it can’t. A “drug-free world,” which the United Nations describes as a realistic goal, is no more attainable than an “alcohol-free world”—and no one has talked about that with a straight face since the repeal of Prohibition in the United States in 1933. Yet futile rhetoric about winning a “war on drugs” persists, despite mountains of evidence documenting its moral and ideological bankruptcy. When the U.N. General Assembly Special Session on drugs convened in 1998, it committed to “eliminating or significantly reducing the illicit cultivation of the coca bush, the cannabis plant and the opium poppy by the year 2008” and to “achieving significant and measurable results in the field of demand reduction.” But today, global production and consumption of those drugs are roughly the same as they were a decade ago; meanwhile, many producers have become more efficient, and cocaine and heroin have become purer and cheaper.

It’s always dangerous when rhetoric drives policy—and especially so when “war on drugs” rhetoric leads the public to accept collateral casualties that would never be permissible in civilian law enforcement, much less public health. Politicians still talk of eliminating drugs from the Earth as though their use is a plague on humanity. But drug control is not like disease control, for the simple reason that there’s no popular demand for smallpox or polio. Cannabis and opium have been grown throughout much of the world for millennia. The same is true for coca in Latin America. Methamphetamine and other synthetic drugs can be produced anywhere. Demand for particular illicit drugs waxes and wanes, depending not just on availability but also fads, fashion, culture, and competition from alternative means of stimulation and distraction. The relative harshness of drug laws and the intensity of enforcement matter surprisingly little, except in totalitarian states. After all, rates of illegal drug use in the United States are the same as, or higher than, Europe, despite America’s much more punitive policies.

“We Can Reduce the Demand for Drugs”

Good luck. Reducing the demand for illegal drugs seems to make sense. But the desire to alter one’s state of consciousness, and to use psychoactive drugs to do so, is nearly universal—and mostly not a problem. There’s virtually never been a drug-free society, and more drugs are discovered and devised every year. Demand-reduction efforts that rely on honest education and positive alternatives to drug use are helpful, but not when they devolve into unrealistic, “zero tolerance” policies.

As with sex, abstinence from drugs is the best way to avoid trouble, but one always needs a fallback strategy for those who can’t or won’t refrain. “Zero tolerance” policies deter some people, but they also dramatically increase the harms and costs for those who don’t resist. Drugs become more potent, drug use becomes more hazardous, and people who use drugs are marginalized in ways that serve no one.

The better approach is not demand reduction but “harm reduction.” Reducing drug use is fine, but it’s not nearly as important as reducing the death, disease, crime, and suffering associated with both drug misuse and failed prohibitionist policies. With respect to legal drugs, such as alcohol and cigarettes, harm reduction means promoting responsible drinking and designated drivers, or persuading people to switch to nicotine patches, chewing gums, and smokeless tobacco. With respect to illegal drugs, it means reducing the transmission of infectious disease through syringe-exchange programs, reducing overdose fatalities by making antidotes readily available, and allowing people addicted to heroin and other illegal opiates to obtain methadone from doctors and even pharmaceutical heroin from clinics. Britain, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, and Switzerland have already embraced this last option. There’s no longer any question that these strategies decrease drug-related harms without increasing drug use. What blocks expansion of such programs is not cost; they typically save taxpayers’ money that would otherwise go to criminal justice and healthcare. No, the roadblocks are abstinence-only ideologues and a cruel indifference to the lives and well-being of people who use drugs.

“Reducing the Supply of Drugs Is the Answer”

Not if history is any guide. Reducing supply makes as much sense as reducing demand; after all, if no one were planting cannabis, coca, and opium, there wouldn’t be any heroin, cocaine, or marijuana to sell or consume. But the carrot and stick of crop eradication and substitution have been tried and failed, with rare exceptions, for half a century. These methods may succeed in targeted locales, but they usually simply shift production from one region to another: Opium production moves from Pakistan to Afghanistan; coca from Peru to Colombia; and cannabis from Mexico to the United States, while overall global production remains relatively constant or even increases.

The carrot, in the form of economic development and assistance in switching to legal crops, is typically both late and inadequate. The stick, often in the form of forced eradication, including aerial spraying, wipes out illegal and legal crops alike and can be hazardous to both people and local environments. The best thing to be said for emphasizing supply reduction is that it provides a rationale for wealthier nations to spend a little money on economic development in poorer countries. But, for the most part, crop eradication and substitution wreak havoc among impoverished farmers without diminishing overall global supply.

The global markets in cannabis, coca, and opium products operate essentially the same way that other global commodity markets do: If one source is compromised due to bad weather, rising production costs, or political difficulties, another emerges. If international drug control circles wanted to think strategically, the key question would no longer be how to reduce global supply, but rather: Where does illicit production cause the fewest problems (and the greatest benefits)? Think of it as a global vice control challenge. No one expects to eradicate vice, but it must be effectively zoned and regulated—even if it’s illegal.

“U.S. Drug Policy Is the World’s Drug Policy”

Sad, but true. Looking to the United States as a role model for drug control is like looking to apartheid-era South Africa for how to deal with race. The United States ranks first in the world in per capita incarceration––with less than 5 percent of the world’s population, but almost 25 percent of the world’s prisoners. The number of people locked up for U.S. drug-law violations has increased from roughly 50,000 in 1980 to almost 500,000 today; that’s more than the number of people Western Europe locks up for everything. Even more deadly is U.S. resistance to syringe-exchange programs to reduce HIV/AIDS both at home and abroad. Who knows how many people might not have contracted HIV if the United States had implemented at home, and supported abroad, the sorts of syringe-exchange and other harm-reduction programs that have kept HIV/AIDS rates so low in Australia, Britain, the Netherlands, and elsewhere. Perhaps millions.

And yet, despite this dismal record, the United States has succeeded in constructing an international drug prohibition regime modeled after its own highly punitive and moralistic approach. It has dominated the drug control agencies of the United Nations and other international organizations, and its federal drug enforcement agency was the first national police organization to go global. Rarely has one nation so successfully promoted its own failed policies to the rest of the world.

But now, for the first time, U.S. hegemony in drug control is being challenged. The European Union is demanding rigorous assessment of drug control strategies. Exhausted by decades of service to the U.S.-led war on drugs, Latin Americans are far less inclined to collaborate closely with U.S. drug enforcement efforts. Finally waking up to the deadly threat of HIV/AIDS, China, Indonesia, Vietnam, and even Malaysia and Iran are increasingly accepting of syringe-exchange and other harm-reduction programs. In 2005, the ayatollah in charge of Iran’s Ministry of Justice issued a fatwa declaring methadone maintenance and syringe-exchange programs compatible with sharia (Islamic) law. One only wishes his American counterpart were comparably enlightened.
“Afghan Opium Production Must Be Curbed”

Be careful what you wish for. It’s easy to believe that eliminating record-high opium production in Afghanistan—which today accounts for roughly 90 percent of global supply, up from 50 percent 10 years ago—would solve everything from heroin abuse in Europe and Asia to the resurgence of the Taliban.

But assume for a moment that the United States, NATO, and Hamid Karzai’s government were somehow able to cut opium production in Afghanistan. Who would benefit? Only the Taliban, warlords, and other black-market entrepreneurs whose stockpiles of opium would skyrocket in value. Hundreds of thousands of Afghan peasants would flock to cities, ill-prepared to find work. And many Afghans would return to their farms the following year to plant another illegal harvest, utilizing guerrilla farming methods to escape intensified eradication efforts. Except now, they’d soon be competing with poor farmers elsewhere in Central Asia, Latin America, or even Africa. This is, after all, a global commodities market.

And outside Afghanistan? Higher heroin prices typically translate into higher crime rates by addicts. They also invite cheaper but more dangerous means of consumption, such as switching from smoking to injecting heroin, which results in higher HIV and hepatitis C rates. All things considered, wiping out opium in Afghanistan would yield far fewer benefits than is commonly assumed.

So what’s the solution? Some recommend buying up all the opium in Afghanistan, which would cost a lot less than is now being spent trying to eradicate it. But, given that farmers somewhere will produce opium so long as the demand for heroin persists, maybe the world is better off, all things considered, with 90 percent of it coming from just one country. And if that heresy becomes the new gospel, it opens up all sorts of possibilities for pursuing a new policy in Afghanistan that reconciles the interests of the United States, NATO, and millions of Afghan citizens.

“Legalization Is the Best Approach”

It might be. Global drug prohibition is clearly a costly disaster. The United Nations has estimated the value of the global market in illicit drugs at $400 billion, or 6 percent of global trade. The extraordinary profits available to those willing to assume the risks enrich criminals, terrorists, violent political insurgents, and corrupt politicians and governments. Many cities, states, and even countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Asia are reminiscent of Chicago under Al Capone—times 50. By bringing the market for drugs out into the open, legalization would radically change all that for the better.

More importantly, legalization would strip addiction down to what it really is: a health issue. Most people who use drugs are like the responsible alcohol consumer, causing no harm to themselves or anyone else. They would no longer be the state’s business. But legalization would also benefit those who struggle with drugs by reducing the risks of overdose and disease associated with unregulated products, eliminating the need to obtain drugs from dangerous criminal markets, and allowing addiction problems to be treated as medical rather than criminal problems.

No one knows how much governments spend collectively on failing drug war policies, but it’s probably at least $100 billion a year, with federal, state, and local governments in the United States accounting for almost half the total. Add to that the tens of billions of dollars to be gained annually in tax revenues from the sale of legalized drugs. Now imagine if just a third of that total were committed to reducing drug-related disease and addiction. Virtually everyone, except those who profit or gain politically from the current system, would benefit.

Some say legalization is immoral. That’s nonsense, unless one believes there is some principled basis for discriminating against people based solely on what they put into their bodies, absent harm to others. Others say legalization would open the floodgates to huge increases in drug abuse. They forget that we already live in a world in which psychoactive drugs of all sorts are readily available—and in which people too poor to buy drugs resort to sniffing gasoline, glue, and other industrial products, which can be more harmful than any drug. No, the greatest downside to legalization may well be the fact that the legal markets would fall into the hands of the powerful alcohol, tobacco, and pharmaceutical companies. Still, legalization is a far more pragmatic option than living with the corruption, violence, and organized crime of the current system.

“Legalization Will Never Happen”

Never say never. Wholesale legalization may be a long way off—but partial legalization is not. If any drug stands a chance of being legalized, it’s cannabis. Hundreds of millions of people have used it, the vast majority without suffering any harm or going on to use “harder” drugs. In Switzerland, for example, cannabis legalization was twice approved by one chamber of its parliament, but narrowly rejected by the other.

Elsewhere in Europe, support for the criminalization of cannabis is waning. In the United States, where roughly 40 percent of the country’s 1.8 million annual drug arrests are for cannabis possession, typically of tiny amounts, 40 percent of Americans say that the drug should be taxed, controlled, and regulated like alcohol. Encouraged by Bolivian President Evo Morales, support is also growing in Latin America and Europe for removing coca from international antidrug conventions, given the absence of any credible health reason for keeping it there. Traditional growers would benefit economically, and there’s some possibility that such products might compete favorably with more problematic substances, including alcohol.

The global war on drugs persists in part because so many people fail to distinguish between the harms of drug abuse and the harms of prohibition. Legalization forces that distinction to the forefront. The opium problem in Afghanistan is primarily a prohibition problem, not a drug problem. The same is true of the narcoviolence and corruption that has afflicted Latin America and the Caribbean for almost three decades—and that now threatens Africa. Governments can arrest and kill drug lord after drug lord, but the ultimate solution is a structural one, not a prosecutorial one. Few people doubt any longer that the war on drugs is lost, but courage and vision are needed to transcend the ignorance, fear, and vested interests that sustain it.

Ethan Nadelmann is founder and executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance.

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