My Letter to President Obama

Today President Obama offered a statement regarding the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Connecticut.

I felt compelled to write him a letter today on the White House website.

Regarding today’s shooting in Connecticut. President Obama, I understand the need to issue a statement but prayers are hollow. Two hands working will do more than thousands clasped in prayer. Prayers do nothing to alleviate the issue at hand. Are we finally going to have an open discussion about the proliferation of guns in this country and the machinations of the NRA to do the bidding of a weapons industry?

I am writing this under the subject of civil rights because I believe it is my right as an American citizen as it was the rights of those little children who died today to a life of liberty and pursuit of happiness as proclaimed in our declaration of Independence. While that declaration was not canonical law. It was however, the statement to the world what this great nation was to be about.

I am heartsick at what is happening and that the pockets of the few cause the suffering of many.

Please, I beg of you, open up the discussion that Bob Costas made his plea for just a short while ago and many of us have cried out for over the decades.

This has to stop.

I am not starting a petition but I am asking that anyone who happens to run across my little space on the web to seriously think about where we are and what the ready availability of weapons has done to this country.

Today my co-workers were discussing beefing up security at their children’s schools. Our schools already are looking like medium security prisons instead of places of learning. Security is not the issue. Weapons designed to kill are. The easy availability of these guns have led to all of the mass shootings in this country. For every gun-toting geriatric  stopping robbers video, there are thousands of incidents ending in grief for the families of innocents.

Stop this nonsense. In Florida they are at the one millionth mark of concealed carry permits. How many of those weapons holders (no rigorous requirement by the way) will end up walking into a shopping mall, a school or old age home and open fire?

The constitution of these United States makes no assurances to idiots, guaranteeing the accessibility of weapons.

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Enough With The Petitions Already!!!

Come on, these web petitions are getting out of hand. Anyone with the slightest gripe can start an online petition.

Don’t like Obama? Start a petition to get your state to secede. (Please Texas just do it already. We’re sick and tired of you and your backwardness and bloated sense of self-esteem. The only thing bigger in Texas is their ability to enact nutty laws and elect near morons as governor. I’ll even help you build a fence.) But I digress.

My inbox gets inundated with online petitions and letter writing campaigns. Some are from valid sources; ACLU, Planned Parenthood, Center For Inquiry, Florida Cannabis Action Network, Environment America and others. And even half of the emails I get from them are simply pitches for fundraising, “sign our petition or sign our letter to your congressman and while you’re at it, can you send us $50 please so that we’ll send you even more of these emails once we realize we’ve got you on the hook?”

Then there are the email petitions that ask you to sign and forward to your friends,  don’t bother you’re just getting on another mailing list.

And then there are the petition websites; Change.org, iPetition, Activism.com, I’ve_got_a_gripe_and_won’t_u_sign_me.com…

There are valid times for petitioning, such as unjust laws, people using their political influence to get laws enacted that will line their pockets at taxpayer expense (like welfare drug testing in Florida, opening up public coffers to religious schools, privatizing our toll roads, etc). Politicians need to know that their constituents have a spine and are watching them. Otherwise they’ll continue to do what they want and accept “gratuities” from the lobbyists and special interests, because they think no one is paying attention meanwhile calling for cuts to entitlements while doling out corporate welfare. (Yeah we know who you are.)

But then there are the petitions like “Big box store unfairly fired this person of (fill in the blank gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, incapacity, etc) can you help (Him/Her/It) get their job back? Of course no details are ever provided concerning the real cause for termination. How do I know the schmuck wasn’t hanging out back smoking joints all day and not doing the job they were getting paid (albeit below market value) to do?

Then I ran across this one in the news yesterday.

NJ Girl To Meet With Easy Bake Team At Hasbro

Apparently the colors of the Easy Bake Ovens produced by Hasbro aren’t gender neutral enough. Pink and Purple. Seriously? This is important enough to start an online petition? Just don’t buy them. Their market research will find out why and Ta-da! New colors available. More colors than Toys-R-Us is willing to even stock. Somehow I seem to remember they were sort of green at one time.

What’s wrong with the colors currently available?

If you ask the NFL wearing pink is cool even if it is Pepto Bismol pink. Because hey, it’s cool to wear pink to protect boobies. Hooray for Boobies!

And keeping with the NFL, purple is the color of the Minnesota Vikings. So that’s a gender neutral color. Ask any Green Bay Packers fan! (Cheeseheads rule!)

And Prince, wasn’t he known as the Purple One? You can’t get much more gender neutral than Prince.

So enough with the petitions already.

I don’t care if they never make another Twinkie ever.

I don’t care if your neighbor’s tree encroaches on your yard.

I don’t care if your employer doesn’t provide you with enough benefits. (Do what the rest of us do. GET ANOTHER JOB.)

So excuse me if I don’t sign your petition, I’m too busy starting my own to ban Twitter. (Especially now that the Pope is on there.)

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Marco Rubio once a partisan hack…

Can you tell how much I love Senator Marco Rubio’s form letter responses when he’s contacted by a letter writing campaign? He sticks to the party line no matter what, which in light of the last election will not, hopefully, get him re-elected.

Note: it usually takes a couple of weeks for his office to respond to letters. I guess it takes a while to read the Karl Rove playbook when you have to decipher all the Grover Norquist crayon edits.

Dear Mr. NoSacredCow,

 Thank you for contacting me with regard to the housing market. This is an important issue for Floridians and I appreciate the opportunity to discuss it with you. 

As you know, misguided government policy fueled excesses in the housing and real estate markets throughout the 2000s, leading to a peak in the market in 2006 and a subsequent crash. The losses to American homeowners were enormous. Families across the country lost more than thirty percent of their home’s value, in many cases leaving them underwater on their mortgages, and many have still not recovered to this day. Nationally, the housing market is beginning to recover, albeit slowly. 

Though the worst may be passed, homeowners continue to struggle. Policymakers must learn the correct lessons from the recent crisis and not repeat mistakes. Past promises of assistance have only resulted in financial ruin for millions of Americans. 

Federal legislation passed during the downturn served only to make matters worse for Floridians by prolonging the negative impacts of government favoritism. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, passed under a Democrat-led House and Senate and signed by the President in 2010, imposes stringent regulations on small and community banks, the most important lenders in a housing market recovery. One community bank president described the Dodd-Frank regulations as, “Costly, both in time and personnel to implement,” and, “confusing to our [customers].” By placing burdens on the lenders and creditors most vital to recovery, this law will continue to hurt homeowners and families in Florida. 

Additionally, the Federal Housing Authority (FHA)and the government sponsored enterprises (GSEs) known as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have served as short-term band-aidsfor the housing market and further distort the true value of Americans’ homes. The FHA recently said it may need a federal bailout of as much as $93 billion. With more than 90 percent of all mortgage originations backed by the government, a larger government role in the market and more bailouts are exactly the wrong solutions for taxpayers. 

Floridians know that if the government created a mess of the housing market, itcannot be trusted aloneto be the solution. We cannot ask our children and grandchildren to finance Washington’s risky lending and irresponsible government policiesby accumulating more debt. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac must be wound down and reformed, allowing a fair market for housing to return in the private sector. The federal government must learn the lessons of the Great Recession and allow lenders and borrowers to make informed decisions without excessive government meddling. 

A healthy housing market is a goal shared by all Floridians. Restoring choice and an open marketplace in housing will revive economic growth for all Americans. I will keep your suggestions and thoughts in mind when considering issues that will impact the housing market in Florida and the nation as a whole. It is an honor and apleasure to serve the people of Florida. 

Sincerely,
Marco Rubio United States Senator

Aah yes it was misguided big government not greedy capitalists who took advantage of laws designed to get people out of paying money to slumlords and paying themselves into home ownership instead.

The same big government that bailed out AIG and made taxpayers a profit. The same big government that bailed out the auto industry and saved hundreds of thousands of jobs AND MADE A PROFIT.

Gee, if only GOP favored firms could only learn the lesson that you can do the right thing AND make money off it. Nope the Ayn Rand self-entitled greed factor always kicks into overdrive and becomes greenback blind.

Well at least when Marco is a smarmy schmuck, he’s a consistently swarmy schmuck.

Remember his stances Floridians when you go to the polls in 2016.

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Florida Surgeon General’s Office Maintains Anti-Cannabis Stance

Recently I signed an online petition to contact the Florida Surgeon General’s office regarding Medical Cannabis and changing the ludicrous Schedule I status.

The text of the letter and the response follows, but first I simply would like to say that cannabis (aka marijuana) is nature made, non-lethal and carries far less problems than alcohol when abused. I’ve never seen anyone get violent on pot. (except maybe concerning a bag of Oreos, I’ve seen someone with a bad case of the munchies tear that sh!t up). When it comes to pot, you shouldn’t give it to minors (except in the case at the link below), you shouldn’t drive under the influence. The fact that some people will abuse it (who frankly will abuse anything including cleaning products and model airplane glues) shouldn’t belie the fact that cannabis has the ability to help those with medical conditions where other methodologies provide little result.

The war on drugs is a very expensive failure and abuse is better dealt with through education and treatment rather than incarceration and interdiction. (and it’s far cheaper)The problem facing those who either wish to use cannabis medically (and there are many documented ailments that are alleviated through the ingestion of cannabinoids) is that an industry has been developed keeping cannabis illegal.

So here is the form letter sent to the Florida Attorney General.

Dear Surgeon General Armstrong,  

I am a Florida resident concerned with the welfare of the many patients in Florida. Our Attorney General, Pam Bondi, was recently petitioned to remove cannabis from Schedule 1 of Florida’s Controlled Substances Act. I trust she will come to you for information and that you are fully informed on the endocannabinoid system and how it homeostatically regulates the other body systems (cardiovascular, digestive, endocrine, excretory, immune, nervous, musculoskeletal, and reproductive).

The overwhelming available studies in the National Institute of Health online library should be enough to convince anyone of the importance of returning cannabis to the American Pharmacopeia. Cannabis has been a part of medicine for over 5,000 years. Unfortunately, Congress acted out of misinformed hysteria and enacted laws against the plant in 1937, against the advice of the American Medical Association of the time. Ironically, US Patent 6630507, “Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants,” issued October 2003, was assigned to the US Department of Health and Human Services.   Cannabis is a safe medicine for so many people, offering relief of symptoms they can not receive from the traditional medicines used today. For many patients across the country it has made a huge impact improving the quality of life over conventional treatments. Cannabis is being found to cure cancer for many with early detection, and has been a support for those when all else has failed. Eighteen states and Washington DC now have medicinal use of cannabis. That fact clearly shows cannabis does not belong listed on Schedule 1 which requires a threshold of not being accepted for medical use in the United States.

Changing the Florida Schedule of cannabis would allow patients’ current doctors to prescribe or recommend cannabis to those patients it would benefit. This would avoid the “clinic” type of programs that often end up with problems, and have led to what some perceive as chaos in some other states.

The need for the medicine is great. I hope you will help guide Florida in setting up a medicinal use of cannabis program that will set a standard for the nation.  

Sincerely,  

My Name

My Address

Tampa, Florida

So in response the FSG’s office simply maintains the stance (no matter how wrong) and throws in a reminder that while you have written your name and address is available to the public. (I assume that the hint is law enforcement and employers)

Thank you for your email to State Surgeon General Armstrong regarding medical marijuana. The United States Controlled Substance Act lists marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance, and further states that marijuana has no currently accepted medical use in the United States, lacks accepted safety for use under medical supervision, and has a high potential for abuse. In addition, federal law criminalizes possession of marijuana in any instance.

Possession of marijuana is a crime under federal law.   I appreciate you sharing your concerns about this issue.   Please note: Florida has a very broad public records law. Most written communications to or from state officials regarding state business are public records available to the public and media upon request. Your e-mail communications may therefore be subject to public disclosure.

So in other words, contrary to what we constantly carp about, we don’t actually believe in states rights. We don’t believe in empirical evidence. We will continue to maintain a stance that even the GOP leaning AMA disagrees with.

Florida. We don’t just have backwards voting rules…

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Gone West

Allen West - Caricature

Allen West – Caricature (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

Buh-Bye Allen West. Don’t let the door hit you on your onward christian soldier chanting, I’ll out bloviate Rush Limbaugh,  tea bag lovin’ ass.

Why couldn’t I stand Allen West?

Was it

A) Because the majority of his “town hall” meetings were held in churches where he had a very narrow demographic audience with the lowest chances of hearing a dissenting opinion?

B) Because he always toted around his helmet bag to remind people just how “patriotic” he was?

C) Because he railed on ceaselessly about how much against big government he is while always having been employed by the same government or having worked for someone under a government contract?

D) Because he never met jingoistic rhetoric he didn’t like and spewed it every time he spied a microphone near him?

E) Because when the incoming freshman republicans put on their show of reading the constitution out loud in congress he showed up for his part, read it out loud and promptly turned heel and left, showing exactly what his new seat and his constituents really meant to him?

F) All of the above.

Hey, he served his country as did generations of his family before him. So I give him credit where credit is due. His family probably even loves him.

He is the epitome of what is wrong with brainwashed right wing demagoguery.

Good riddance.

Now he’ll probably get a job with Fox. (So I’ll never have to see him again)

I’m only sorry I was no longer in his district to cast one of those votes against him.

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Marco Rubio That Smarmy So and So

English: Official portrait of US Senator Marco...

English: Official portrait of US Senator Marco Rubio of Florida. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the past Senator Marco Rubio has been very non-committal (other than toeing the party line). You couldn’t get him to take a stand on anything. His responses to correspondence were very bland. The form letters were simply “thank you for writing and I welcome your letters.”

Personally, I’ve never trusted Marco Rubio. I’ve seen him in person and watched him in the media and he’s always struck me as disingenuous, smarmy and a bit slimy. (Again that is my opinion but if I must say, my first impression of people tends to a pinpoint accuracy.)

Today I received a response to an email sent to Senator Rubio’s office. I wrote because American service women do not receive the same healthcare benefits as the average American working woman. As many as 19,000 service women are sexually assaulted each year. Yet, they are not eligible for abortion services nor are provided access to the morning after pill.

In response this is the message received from the office of Senator Rubio,

Thank you for taking the time to contact me about this issue.  I’m grateful for your thoughts and welcome the opportunity to respond.  As your Senator, I am committed to hearing Floridians’ views, and I understand that abortion is an important issue.   As you may know, I believe all of our rights are derived from the self-evident, fundamental right to life, which promotes equal rights and equal protection for the unborn.  In the United States Senate, I will continue to work toward establishing a culture of life and will work to uphold pro-life policies.  I also pledge to support well-qualified judicial nominees who will interpret laws as written, instead of establishing new policy from the bench as the Supreme Court did in Roe v. Wade.   In my commitment to these principles, I have officially co-sponsored the Protect Life Act (S. 877) and the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act (S. 906) to codify longstanding policy preventing taxpayer funding of abortion and applying it to the health care reform bill. 

In the future, I will continue to stand up for Floridians and Americans, particularly those most vulnerable among us.  Thank you again for writing to me with your concerns, I look forward to hearing any concerns or input you wish to share in the future.

Sincerely,

Marco Rubio United States Senator

So in other words screw your opinion, and he’ll sponsor bills that do nothing since federal laws already state that federal funding will not go to abortion. (Note, he only cosponsors the bills of others. He has no original thoughts of his own.) He follows the party line at 99%. Can we really take four more years of this guy? The guy is a party hack and frankly it’s a dying party.

Floridians deserve better. Especially in light of the last election results. Marco Rubio it’s time to go-go.

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Fox News: “Dewey Wins!!!” Karl Rove’s Death Star Takes Shot In The Vent.

Fox was wrong again. They called Mitt Romney the winner. Well they have been consistently wrong on so many things is it any wonder they would make a last stab at protecting their propaganda machine?

My disappointment for the day? Ryan kept his seat. But Michele Bachmann and Allen West losing could very well make up for it. (As of this time both races haven’t been determined yet, but I’ve got my fingers crossed. West was trailing by 3,000 votes.)

Cannabis for personal use legislation won in two states, Colorado and Washington, and it’s great that the country is finally coming to its “sinse”.

Massachusetts becomes another state to legalize medical marijuana. Arkansas of course rejected it. Which continues the circular reasoning conundrum. They believe the imaginary friend created everything and yet they don’t want people to acknowledge some of it. “Genesis 1:11 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind” It just shows that propaganda has staying power but needs constant reinforcement.

Elizabeth Warren won. Good for her, good for Massachusetts and eventually American consumers since she now officially has a voice in the senate. (Better watch out BoA)

Speaking of the senate, sorry Karl Rove, your evil machinations failed and your death star took a fatal shot in the poop shoot. Americans are rejecting the star-spangled hoods of the tea party. Isn’t that grand?

Sheldon Adelson in a fit of pique has locked himself in a Las Vegas suite after blowing so much money on a loser (granted it came from his coin purse) and refuses to return to the light of day. He will concentrate on growing out his nails instead and dreaming of a day when Israel shall rule the world. (mmbwa-ha-ha-ha-ha)

Another big loser? The jowly one, Mitch McConnell, he who was quoted as saying, “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” The single most important thing is that he should have been working to make this country a better place. Well hopefully the voters in his state, should he come up for reelection, will make it the single most important thing to make sure his ass gets bounced to the unemployment line.

Ann Romney said on the campaign trail that this will be her husband’s last election. Let’s hope that at least one Romney doesn’t flip-flop.

And finally, Congratulations President Obama. There’s no more playing the Bush card. We’ve given you your second term, now we need you to do what we elected you to do in 2008.

Good fortune to all of us in America.

May science and reason prevail.

 

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The Rich Get Richer And Protest If You Find Out About It

I’m an American. I was born to believe in capitalism. I still do to a point.

Everyone should have the ability to improve their lot in life, to build a business and to make a profit.

But I draw the line at those who are already wealthy or in positions of power and hope to use that position become wealthy, who game the system to get a further leg up over the rest taking unfair advantage.

My case in point. The Congressional Research Service had released a report that shows that what the GOP has been carping about for decades as their economic policy basically has no empirical data to support it.

The report showed that lowering taxes on the wealthy does nothing to stimulate the economy.

So what does the GOP do? Protest the release of the report and has it withdrawn.  (And Martha Stewart went to jail for her part in insider trading trying to protect her wealth.)

Kudos to the GOP for proving what many of us have known for a long time. The GOP is a tool of the very rich. The rich keep getting richer and wait what’s this? The poor keep getting poorer? The middle class is footing the bill and losing their savings and joining the poor? Well that can’t be right can it? Trickle down economics is supposed to…you mean Mitt Romney is lying?

At his recent rally in Florida, “We love all of our fellow citizens. We come together at times like this and we want to make sure that they have a speedy and quick recovery from their financial, and in many cases, personal loss,”

Notice Mitt keys in on “financial” first? It is what he loves most. It’s all about the money.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/02/business/questions-raised-on-withdrawal-of-congressional-research-services-report-on-tax-rates.html?smid=pl-share

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Got Vote?

I really like early voting. There are a number of reasons.

Being an atheist in Florida, early voting allows me to vote at the public library instead of forcing me to vote at a church on election day. What’s up with Florida making churches polling places? Isn’t that kind of thumbing their collective nose at the separation of church and state?

I tried voting on Saturday but it was nuts, you couldn’t find any parking and there were a bunch of lunatics outside waving signs every which way.

Seriously, somehow some moron waiving a sign saying “Take Back America” was going to change my mind at the last minute? That I was going to suddenly lose all common sense and vote for Romney? He couldn’t even get the support of the Salt Lake City Tribune for crying out loud.

Or did they think that it would help me make a decision about who to vote for that up until that very moment I couldn’t make? Ummm do you think if I was still on the fence I’d even bother to show up?

And “Take Back America”?!?!? From what? From Who? I could see if you were a native American, but not some lily white cracker with a crazed look in your eye. We know who you really mean. We understand the code. I don’t need to see the johnny reb flag on the back of your pick ’em up truck.

And aren’t there laws about electioneering? Don’t they have to maintain a specific distance from a polling place? Or am I thinking of a different state? (One a bit more civilized and better “edumacated”). If there aren’t laws there should be.

So after circling for a while I said screw it and got an estimate on a paint job for my car instead. It needed to be done.

Then I got up early on Sunday and went to vote while all of the “special” people were at church. It was peaceful. There was plenty of parking. The folks at the polls were relaxed and unharried. The felt tip markers for the ballots were all in good shape. I had my coffee in my hand, my earphones in my ears listening to music and it was nice, pleasant. Filled in all of the appropriate ovals in black. I was in and out in ten minutes. Got another sticker for my bike. Life is good.

Can’t wait for next time. The only thing I regret is not being able to vote against Allen West again in my old district. Voting against Connie Mack the fortieth just doesn’t have the same satisfaction.

I was left wondering a few things though. How come all of the republican candidates were listed first? After all D comes before R. Even if you went alphabetically by candidate name it would have been mostly democratic candidates first. Is this how the GOP manages to keep control of Florida politics? Subliminal messaging? Hmm it’s listed first must be best, well golleee…

Another thing, How do politicians get to add constitutional amendments to the ballot without any input from the voters first? Of course I voted against all of them. Hey if it’s coming from the herd in Tallahassee it can’t be good. (there were all initiated by republicans too…) Most of the amendments would have meant shortfalls for local budgets, which meant more public school funding would be cut. Or was that the nefarious plan? Lets make public schools suck so bad they everyone will be begging for a voucher so that cousin Bubba can make a buck with his charter school.

So now that I got my voting done I can just set my DVR for the next week so that I can buzz past all of the political ads and ignore all of the lying ads from American GPS Crossroads and the Chamber of Commerce and all of the other groups back with unidentifiable money who don’t give a rat’s patooties about us citizens but only care about lining their own pockets. I’ll start watching live tv after the 8th.

Now if I could only get my mail carrier to stop stuffing my mailbox with all of that crap.

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Rick Santorum: ‘Smart People’ Will Never Be On Our Side (VIDEO)


Rick, Rick, Rick you are absolutely correct.
Elite smart people will never believe the nonsense spewed by the likes of your ilk.
While I will not make any claims to being elite and smart, I can honestly say that you are not the sharpest tool in the shed.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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