How Does This Help Anyone?

On Friday the Huffington Post reported that starting next summer, Berkeley, California, residents with incomes below $32,000 per year will be able to fill their prescriptions for medical marijuana at no cost.

I am not opposed to medical marijuana. I am opposed to the fact that it is over-prescribed in places where it is legal. If you pick up a Sunday paper in California, you will find multiple pages of advertisements for doctors who prescribe medical marijuana for headaches, flat feet, stress, etc. Historically, when medical marijuana is legalized in a state, the results are not significantly different from simple legalization of marijuana.

The article reports:

Under a law passed unanimously by the city council, dispensaries must set aside 2 percent of their pot for distribution to the poor.

Not everyone is on board with the plan.

“It’s ludicrous, over-the-top madness,” Bishop Ron Allen, head of the International Faith Based Coalition, told Fox News. “Why would Berkeley City Council want to keep their poverty-stricken under-served high, in poverty and lethargic?”

A website called drugfreeworld lists the effects of marijuana:


  • Sensory distortion
  • Panic
  • Anxiety
  • Poor coordination of movement
  • Lowered reaction time
  • After an initial “up,” the user feels sleepy or depressed
  • Increased heartbeat (and risk of heart attack)

LONG-term effects of marijuana

  • Reduced resistance to common illnesses (colds, bronchitis, etc.)
  • Suppression of the immune system
  • Growth disorders
  • Increase of abnormally structured cells in the body
  • Reduction of male sex hormones
  • Rapid destruction of lung fibers and lesions (injuries) to the brain could be permanent
  • Reduced sexual capacity
  • Study difficulties: reduced ability to learn and retain information
  • Apathy, drowsiness, lack of motivation
  • Personality and mood changes
  • Inability to understand things clearly

I have never used marijuana, so I cannot personally verify this information; however, as a parent, I have known teenagers who have used the drug. My personal experience with one particular teenager was that heavy marijuana use in high school totally ruined his ambition and his hope for achieving the things he was capable of achieving. I believe that marijuana has a negative impact on ambition and drive for success. Someone needs to explain to me how giving people living in poverty free access to marijuana is actually going to help anyone.

One Opinion On The Cause Of Ferguson

Yesterday PJ Media posted an article entitled, “The Real Villain of Ferguson.”

The article opens with the following comment:

It’s hard to have sympathy for anyone in the Ferguson affair — the cops, the demonstrators, the pontificating politicians, the exploitative media or we its pathetically loyal audience that keeps tuning in.  The whole event plays out like the umpteenth rerun of the famous quote from Marx about history repeating itself, the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.

The events in Feguson have gone on for a number of days now. It is unfortunate that a young man died, but I just don’t understand why that justifies looting and violence. As more evidence becomes public, the story changes from the original sympathy for the innocent young man brutalized by the police to a young man, possibly high, charging a policeman. We shall see how all of this shakes out.

Meanwhile, the story at PJMedia concludes:

But, you say, this was a white-on-black crime. An o-fay cop offed a brother. (Never mind that brothers can butcher brothers like it’s going out of style, this pig had white-skin privilege.)  Well, yes, and we don’t yet know the circumstances, but even accepting the narrative of, say, the Huffington Post that the cop was the reincarnation of Bull Connor and that the “youth” was a “gentle giant” on the way to a contract with PBS as the next Mr. Rogers, the event is basically a charade.  Everyone knows we’ve seen it before and everyone knows we’ll see it again.  In fact, many parties don’t want it to go away.  The beat must go on.  It has to go on or their very personalities will disintegrate.  And I will tell you why — what caused it.

The Great Society.  There, I’ve said it.  The Great Society, which I voted for and supported from the bottom of my heart, is the villain behind Ferguson.  Ferguson is the Great Society writ large because the Great Society convinced, and then reassured, black people that they were victims, taught them that being a victim and playing a victim was the way to go always and forever.  And then it repeated the point ad infinitum from its debut in 1964 until now — a conveniently easy to compute fifty years — as it all became a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The Great Society and similar policies screwed black people to the wall. It was racist to the core without knowing it.  Nobody used the N-word.  In fact, it was forbidden, unless you were Dr. Dre or somebody.  But it did its job without the word and did it better for being in disguise.  Those misbegotten kids running around Ferguson high on reefer and wasting their lives screaming at cops are the product of all this.  Stop it already.  No one has said this better than Jason Riley, author of Please Stop Helping Us.  Listen to Jason if you want to end Fergusons.

There are people out there who represent the voice of reason. We need to start listening to them instead of those the media places in front of us.

The ACLU Gets It Right

John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article yesterday about Congressional Democrat’s attempt to repeal the First Amendment. Part of this attempt would insure that incumbent politicians would be able to stay in office indefinitely–opponents would be prevented from raising the amount of money necessary to achieve the name recognition needed to be viable candidates. A hearing on the bill was held yesterday.

The article lists some of the details of the law, which is sponsored by Tom Udall:

Congress shall have power to regulate the raising and spending of money and in-kind equivalents with respect to Federal elections, including through setting limits on—

(1) the amount of contributions to candidates for nomination for election to, or for election to, Federal office; and

(2) the amount of funds that may be spent by, in support of, or in opposition to such candidates. …

Nothing in this article shall be construed to grant Congress the power to abridge the freedom of the press.

States would also be given similar powers.

Here are a few quotes from the ACLU‘s letter to Congress opposing the bill:

To give just a few hypotheticals of what would be possible in a world where the Udall proposal is the 28th Amendment:

    • Congress would be allowed to restrict the publication of Secretary Hillary Clinton’s forthcoming memoir “Hard Choices” were she to run for office;

    • Congress could criminalize a blog on the Huffington Post by Gene Karpinski, president of the League of Conservation Voters, that accuses Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) of being a “climate change denier”;

    • Congress could regulate this website by reform group Public Citizen, which urges voters to contact their members of Congress in support of a constitutional amendment addressing Citizens United and the recent McCutcheon case, under the theory that it is, in effect, a sham issue communication in favor of the Democratic Party;

    • A state election agency, run by a corrupt patronage appointee, could use state law to limit speech by anti-corruption groups supporting reform;

    • A local sheriff running for reelection and facing vociferous public criticism for draconian immigration policies and prisoner abuse could use state campaign finance laws to harass and prosecute his own detractors;

    • A district attorney running for reelection could selectively prosecute political opponents using state campaign finance restrictions; and

    • Congress could pass a law regulating this letter for noting that all 41 sponsors of this amendment, which the ACLU opposes, are Democrats (or independents who caucus with Democrats).

Such examples are not only plausible, they are endless.

This proposed law is one example of the reason term limits for politicians would be a really good idea. One of the major effects of this law would be to insure that incumbents would remain in office. It is an unfortunate fact of life that any limit on campaign donations gives an advantage to incumbent office holders–they have access to the press and can stage press events. Candidates running against them have a much more difficult time getting the attention of the press–therefore they are forced to spend money on campaign ads in order to be viable candidates.

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Ruining Someone’s Life For No Apparent Reason

Today The Blaze posted the story of Jordan Wiser, an Ohio high school senior. Jordan was taking Firefighter 2 and EMT courses to bolster his dream of future public service. He had also joined the Army, enrolling the Future Soldiers program, and was scheduled to ship out in August. After his planned military service, he figured he’d embark on a career as a police officer or firefighter. Unfortunately, an overzealous school administrator has seemingly ruined those plans.

The article explains Jordan Wiser’s recent accomplishments:

“Last year, I completed the law enforcement course,” the 18-year-old told The Huffington Post. “I received several certifications, including the National Terror Defense certification from FEMA, the Terror Recognition certification and (certification as an) Emergency Vehicle Operator.”

The article reports:

It all started Dec. 12 when administrators at Ashtabula County Technical and Career Campus (A-Tech) in Jefferson, Ohio — about 60 miles northeast of Cleveland — questioned Wiser after an alleged tip regarding videos uploaded to Wiser’s YouTube account. Among the clips are reviews of video games and merchandise, home defense tactics, and an interview with a local police officer.

“The principal said he had reason to believe I had weapons in my vehicle and needed to search it,” Wiser told the Huffington Post. “He made me empty out all my pockets, and the vice principal grabbed me and patted me down very forcibly. It was somewhat awkward. Then they took my car keys. I told them what was in my car and said, ‘Don’t be alarmed.’”

Wiser added that he didn’t give school officials permission to search his vehicle, nor was there a warrant to perform the search. But they cited the school handbook as their warrant, he said, adding that they denied his request to call an attorney.

Jordan Wiser explains in the article:

“My stun gun was locked in the glove box,” Wiser told the Huffington Post, “and the knife was in my EMT medical vest. I bought it at K-Mart and have it as part of my first responder kit for cutting seatbelts.”

The article explains the consequences of the discovery:

“I was in jail for almost 13 days,” Wiser told the Huffington Post. “The first bond hearing I went to was on December 15. The judge ordered me [to be] held on a half million-dollar bond, pending a psychological evaluation. I did that and passed. They found I was not suicidal, homicidal or a threat to anybody. My attorney brought it up in front of a different judge, who let me out on a $50,000 bond and an ankle monitor. I was released from jail on Christmas Eve.”

I don’t know what is going on here, but if the story as told is true, the school is leaving itself wide open for a huge lawsuit. This young man knew what he wanted to do and was moving in that direction. First of all, what right does the school have to search a student’s car without a warrant? Does a student give up his constitutional rights when he steps on his high school campus? If the events in this story occurred as told, the school has a lot of explaining to do. I don’t believe it is standard procedure to send a student to jail for having an EMT kit in his car that included a knife.



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Agreement On Something From Both Sides Of The Political Spectrum

It’s rare when the right and left agree on anything. It is really rare when publications on the far right and the far left agree, but that has happened on the issue of rationing drugs for the elderly. This article is based on articles in The American Spectator and The Huffington Post.

The American Spectator reports:

Buried beneath the avalanche of recent news reports about the latest Obamacare-mandated funding cuts to the Medicare Advantage (MA) program is a related but far more disturbing story — the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has taken a major step toward rationing medications to the elderly. Since passage of the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003, seniors enrolled in the Medicare prescription drug program have been guaranteed access to “all or substantially all” of the drugs in several classes of pharmaceuticals. President Obama’s health care bureaucrats, however, have proposed removing three of these classes from the “protected” list.

The Huffington Post reports:

A proposed rule issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) would make significant changes to the Medicare Part D prescription drug program. In short, the rule change affects what are known as the “protected classes” of pharmaceuticals under Part D — classes of drugs in which, under current law, coverage must be provided for “substantially all” medicines. The logic in maintaining these protected classes is inarguable. Medicare beneficiaries coping with serious, chronic illnesses should have access to the medications that they and their physicians have deemed the most effective treatment for their conditions.

Medications are not interchangeable. One drug can have vastly different effects, and side effects, on different patients. Thus, Medicare Part D is structured to ensure that patients who require antidepressants, antipsychotics and immunosuppressants (critical drugs for patients who have undergone organ transplants) have access to the unique medicines they need to protect their lives and health.

…The best way to make Medicare more cost-efficient is to help patients better manage their chronic illnesses and avoid long hospitalizations and expensive acute care episodes. The CMS proposed rule change will do just the opposite. Restricting access to the medicines patients need to manage depression, avoid organ transplant rejection, and treat psychosis will drive healthcare utilization in far more costly ways. That’s a betrayal of Medicare’s promise of access to care for our most vulnerable, older Americans.

The Obama Administration seems to forget that senior citizens vote. Senior citizens also pay attention. ObamaCare may have been passed with the support of the AARP, lulling seniors into a false belief that the it would not be harmful to them, but many seniors are waking up to the fact that serious cuts to Medicare are part of the President’s plan for ObamaCare. Senior citizens and Americans have been lied to about ObamaCare. It is time to repeal it and start over.


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Uneven Treatment, Uneven Coverage

As a former New Englander, I remember when Rhode Island representative Patrick J. Kennedy was driven home in Washington, D. C. after a small automobile accident. His spokespeople reported that he was taking sleeping pills and had suffered side effects. There were other drug-related incidents, and Representative Kennedy eventually entered a short rehabilitation program for OxyContin use. He was re-elected until 2010, when he decided not to run for office.

Fast forward to 2013.

On January 27, 2014, the Christian Science Monitor reported:

US Rep. Trey Radel (R) of Florida, a once-rising star in the tea party movement, resigned from Congress on Monday, following a November conviction of cocaine possession.

Congressman Radel pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of narcotics possession in November, after he was caught Oct. 29 trying to buy 3.5 grams of cocaine from an undercover federal agent in Washington’s Dupont Circle area. During his trial, he reportedly told Judge Robert Tignor that he had “hit a bottom” and realized that he needs help. Radel was sentenced to a one-year probation and a $250 fine.

The story was widely reported.

Today, this story was reported in the Huffington Post:

Rep. Rob Andrews (D-N.J.) will resign his seat Tuesday, a source familiar with the situation told The Huffington Post. The congressman will hold a press conference at 11:30 to make the announcement.

The Philadelphia Inquirer first reported that Andrews was leaving to take a job at a Philadelphia law firm.

Andrews is the subject of a House Ethics Committee investigation over whether he improperly spent campaign cash to pay for personal trips to Scotland and Los Angeles, and over allegations that he used a graduation party for his daughter to raise funds. His legal bills have risen as a result of the investigation.

A resignation would likely end the ethics investigation against him.

The story also appears at ABC News, but Representative Andrews political party is not mentioned in that version of the story.

Above are some examples of why we need alternative media.

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Behind The Rift Between The United States And Saudi Arabia

Yesterday Michael Ledeen posted an article at the Huffington Post about the recent rift between America and Saudi Arabia. Mr. Ledeen reminds us that the problem between the two countries is a result of the problems that Iran is causing in the Middle East.

The article reports:

During the 2011 “Arab Spring,” for example, Iran and Saudi Arabia came very close to direct armed conflict in Bahrain. The Iranian regime had allegedly fomented uprisings among the Shi’ites in Bahrain, a small island just off the coast of Saudi Arabia, to which it is connected by a two-mile causeway. There seemed to be a real possibility that the pro-Saudi, pro-American royal family might be overthrown, and the Saudis threatened to send troops across the causeway to put down the disturbance. Iran reacted violently, but when Saudi troops marched into Bahrain, the Guards were nowhere to be found.

Following the Saudi intervention, the Revolutionary Guards were reportedly ordered to organize attacks on Saudi targets all over the world. They reportedly recruited hundreds of Iranian suicide bombers (although this is usually disinformation, since the regime typically uses Arabs, not Iranians, for such operations).

The article at the Huffington Post lists a number of incidents in recent years where Iran has targeting the Saudis and their interests around the world.

The article concludes:

Bottom line: there’s a very real war out there, and the Saudis are in the Iranian crosshairs. The Royal Family are not just worried about the destiny of Syria, they’re very much concerned about their own fate. This is what gives so much intensity to their recent actions and statements.

The Saudis are not angels. However, they are a successful counterbalance to Iran i the Middle East. They are also responsible for the fact that oil is traded in American dollars. We need to treat them well.

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The Internal Revenue Service Scandal Raises More Questions Than It Answers

Yesterday’s Daily Caller posted a story that asked the following question:

…could someone at the IRS have leaked Romney’s tax information to Reid? At the time, Reid claimed he learned of Romney’s tax background from someone who had once been an investor in Romney’s firm, though he wouldn’t say who.

The question arises because it has come to light that for the last two years, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has been targeting conservative groups and leaking confidential information to liberal groups.

Harry Reid used his position as Senate Majority Leader to level charges at Mitt Romney that would have been impossible to disprove without totally compromising any bit of privacy Governor Romney might have had. In essence, he demanded that Mitt Romney prove a negative. The narrative went something like this:

In an interview with The Huffington Post, Reid claimed he had been called by someone who had invested in Romney’s former firm, Bain Capital. That person said Romney didn’t pay taxes for 10 years.

“He didn’t pay taxes for 10 years! Now, do I know that that’s true? Well, I’m not certain,” Reid told the liberal news outlet. “But obviously he can’t release those tax returns. How would it look?”

Romney’s campaign denied Reid’s accusations, eventually releasing a summary of the former Massachusetts governor’s taxes that — according to Romney staffers — showed he paid taxes over the last 20 years.

But Reid continued to argue that Romney’s tax returns included something that the Republican didn’t want everyone to see.

“He’s hiding something,” Reid said on a conference call. “He’s hiding something! It is so evident he’s hiding something!”

First of all, I seriously doubt the charges were true. However, since when did investors get to see the tax returns of board members of the companies in which they were investing? If in fact Harry Reid actually knew anything about Mitt Romney’s tax returns, where did he get that information?

Just a note–last year was the first year my husband and I have ever been audited. I am on the membership list of a number of conservative groups that probably have applied for tax exempt status. Hopefully, that is just a coincidence.

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Sometimes Things Happen That Restore My Faith In Humanity

Oddly enough, the article that has (at least temporarily) restored my faith in humanity was posted at the Huffington Post. The article reports on two things that happened at the Olympic Games that made me smile.

Fabien Gilot, a member of the French freestyle relay team (swimming), after the team won the gold, raised his arm to reveal a tattoo. The tattoo was in Hebrew:
אני כלום בלעדיהם, meaning “I am nothing without them.” The swimmer stated that it was a tribute to his grandfather, Max Goldschmidt, an Auschwitz survivor, who died earlier this year.

The article also reports:

This is not the only moving tribute to a Jewish figure at this year’s Olympic Games in London. The same day that Gilot revealed his Hebrew tattoo, the Italian delegation to the Olympics held a minute of silence with the Israeli team to commemorate the 11 victims of the 1972 Munich massacre.

Sometimes, when organizations do the wrong thing, people do the right thing.

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It May Not Have Been Very Funny, But I Believe It Was A Joke

Even as a retiree, I sometimes get too busy to pay attention to what the news is actually saying. And when I pay attention to the mainstream news media, I generally get confused. Recently I wondered why Allen West would make the remark he made recently about communists. It really doesn’t seem to fit with the entire picture of who he is.

Well, I got my answer this morning when I heard the full story on my local talk radio show (Helen Glover). It seems that the sound bite played by the media was not the entire sound bite. Why am I not surprised at this?

The Huffington Post reports:

West’s video is nearly 30 seconds longer but adds little in the way of content. Most of the added time is taken up by audience members murmuring after West states that “about 78 to 81 members of the Democrat Party that are members of the Communist Party,” which was the focus of the original video from the Democrats. After the reaction dies down, West identifies his alleged Communists.

“No, they actually don’t hide it. It’s called the Congressional Progressive Caucus,” he tells the audience.

I think the video released by Allen West  totally changes the content–even if the Huffington Post doesn’t. I suspect the comment was made rather tongue in cheek. Unfortunately, a lot of the mainstream media and the left have lost their sense of humor. Maybe they should look for it the same place they lost their sense of fiscal responsibility!


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Exploiting The Office Of The American Presidency

Martha's Vineyard - Massachusetts

Martha's Vineyard - Massachusetts (Photo credit: Dougtone)

We hear a lot of attacks on the rich these days–they are accused of not paying their fair share of taxes, of being uncaring, and of just generally being bad people. It’s just awful that we have to live with them. However, I would like to point out a few things about the rich men who recently held the office of American President. When George Bush was President, he gave up golf while our soldiers were overseas fighting–he just felt that it was not appropriate for him to be on the golf course when soldiers were dying overseas. When George Bush went on vacation, he went to his ranch in Texas or his father’s house in Maine. What happens when we elect a President who grew up in the Middle Class? When President Clinton and President Obama were in office, the taxpayers paid for extravagant vacations on Martha’s Vineyard. During the Obama Presidency, taxpayers have financed expensive Hawaiian vacations, vacations in Spain for the first lady, ski vacations for the first lady, and now spring break in Mexico for Malia. Nevermind that Americans are still struggling financially and can’t afford vacations–off they go!

It does seem that the Obama Administration is becoming aware that this is a public relations problem.

Big Government reports:

An AFP story, linked at the Huffington Post and elsewhere, reported on Malia Obama’s visit to Mexico despite a Texas public safety warning, she’s reportedly accompanied by 12 friends and 25 Secret Service agents. The Huffington Post story link now directs to the main page and the AFP item is fast disappearing from view. 

The Yahoo News link now diverts to a completely different story, in contrast to the url: The headline now reads: Senegal music star Youssou Ndour hits campaign trail.

The story was also reported in the International Business Times, but is no longer there. Aside from the cost of the trip, the fact that the warning was ignored is troubling. Malia is thirteen years old. I realize that 25 Secret Service agents provide serious security, but there is no insurance against being in the wrong place at the wrong time. As a parent, I know that even if they were traveling in a tank with an armed platoon as an escort, I would not allow any of my daughters to ignore a travel advisory.

It’s a shame that the President and his family believe that travel advisories and economic restraint in choosing vacations simply don’t apply to them.


A website called media bistro is reporting the following:

Politico reports several websites have scrubbed stories about the trip from their websites after being asked to do so. A White House spokesperson says:

From the beginning of the administration, the White House has asked news outlets not to report on or photograph the Obama children when they are not with their parents and there is no vital news interest. We have reminded outlets of this request in order to protect the privacy and security of these girls.

This is ridiculous. The taxpayers are paying for the vacation and the secret service protection. There is a vital interest–the President is sending his daughter to a place with a travel advisory and possibly putting members of the secret service at unnecessary risk in the process. If the President’s daughter had chosen to go to Florida or any place but Mexico, the story would not have been news.

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The End Of An Institution

English: A picture of the inside of a remodele...

Image via Wikipedia

One of the family jokes in our household has always been that when my computer-geek husband finally retires, he wants to be a Wal-Mart greeter. There might be some problems with that in that he is a native New York City person, and I am not sure greeting is the first thing you think of when speaking of native New Yorkers. He is, however, a very friendly person and would do a very good job as a Wal-Mart greeter. Alas, his hopes for a second career have been dashed.

A website called is reporting that the Wal-Mart greeters will no longer be at the front of the store greeting you.

The article reports:

This week, news is spreading throughout business circles about Wal-Mart’s greeters being phased out. Patch spoke Tuesday to a longtime greeter at the Walmart Supercenter in Eureka, who said the good news is that greeters will not lose their jobs. Instead they will be repositioned at other locations inside the store, he said.

I have no idea how that will work, but it is an interesting concept. It is also good to know that the greeters will not be losing their jobs.

I was intrigued by the closing paragraph of the article:

An article about this topic in Huffington Post on Wednesday stated Walton first stumbled onto a greeter at a small Walmart in Louisiana in 1980. The greeter explained to Walton he had a “dual purpose: to make people feel good about coming in, and to make sure people weren’t walking back out the entrance with merchandise they hadn’t paid for.”

And all this time we thought they just wanted to be friends!

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