Two Sick Stories. Maddening & Saddening.

Sometimes you read stuff that makes you sad, then you read things that make you mad. Here are two topics that combine those emotions.

Domestic Spying
The GOP will be meeting in Minneapolis in an effort to salvage this year’s disastrous political season. They plan to select a president (John McCain), a vice president (probably Mitt Romney), and between parties with high class hookers, they will grab their strongest lipstick, thickest rouge, blackest eyeliner, and try to make their ugliest pig (representing their party) look somewhat less repulsive.

The paramilitary state known as the Minneapolis Police Department, in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Scrutiny is prepared. They are already recruiting spies to infiltrate protest groups. That’s right. Americans spying on Americans, simply for exercising their First Amendment Rights.

They did this in 2004, illegally, and caused the unwarranted arrest and detention of thousands.

Carroll’s story echoes a familiar theme. During the lead-up the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York City, the NYPD’s Intelligence Division infiltrated and spied on protest groups across the country, as well as in Canada and Europe. The program’s scope extended to explicitly nonviolent groups, including street theater troupes and church organizations.

There were also two reported instances of police officers, dressed as protestors, purposefully instigating clashes. At the 2004 Republican National Convention, the NYPD orchestrated a fake arrest to incite protestors. When a blond man was “arrested,” nearby protestors began shouting, “Let him go!” The helmeted police proceeded to push back against the crowd with batons and arrested at least two. In a similar instance, during an April 29, 2005, Critical Mass bike ride in New York, video footage captured a “protestor”—in reality an undercover cop—telling his captor, “I’m on the job,” and being subsequently let go.

According to this story, in trying to hire U of M sophomore Paul Carroll, the local uniformed thugs are looking for a repeat performance, seeking to infiltrate and spy on Americans.

In 2004, people planning to protest in New York were tagged by e-mail and blogs, and once they arrived in NY, identified and spied upon. Here. In America.

It looks like 2008 will be no different.
– – –
Medical Marijuana

From both anecdotal and personal experience, I have heard and seen how medical marijuana helps the seriously ill make it through the day, and even live more productive, less painful lives.

The GOP’s (and this White House’s) fixation on medical marijuana research, legislation, and criminalization is one just one of many absolutely vile realities that we need to change. To claim that medically prescribed use of marijuana is a crime causing one to be put under a sentence of death – that is simply inhuman.

For those interested in changing these archaic, insane laws, both federally and locally, you can contact the Marijuana Policy Project at
These guys do really good work, and are chronically underfunded, especially in the face of a determined federal government to put away anyone who lights up a natural leaf. Do us all a favor. Contact them, send them some bucks, and support their hard and very important work.

What is saddening, maddening and just plain wrong is how the current policies have actually led to the deaths of people.

A medical-marijuana user who was denied a liver transplant because of his use of the drug has died, the Associated Press reported May 2.

The University of Washington Medical Center recently told Timothy Garon, 56, that he would not be placed on its liver-transplant list because of his marijuana use; hospital officials said they would reconsider if Garon completed a 60-day addiction-treatment class. Garon, whose liver had been damaged by Hepatitis C — a byproduct of injection-drug use in his youth — died last Thursday.

If this were only a solitary mistake, an error in judgment and misstep in human understanding. If only.

Unfortunately, not. The same damned story is repeating itself, with the probable same damned result.

Jonathon Simchen, 33, of Fife is a diabetic whose kidneys and pancreas have failed. He said he was booted out of the transplant program at Seattle’s Virginia Mason hospital because he admitted using medical marijuana, and then the University of Washington Medical Center transplant officials refused him as well.

“I’m just so discouraged,” said Simchen, a community college student and would-be teacher. “I’ve lost all remnants of hope. I look at my life right now as if it is a prison term. I just have to serve each day.”,0,4806384.story

What kind of nation have we become? Has fear and loathing replaced all that was good and right with this country? Have the religious reichists, with paranoid, hateful and close-minded policies become so powerful and important that a simple matter of human understanding and respect of others becomes impossible?

As for the domestic spying that the Minnesota authorities are preparing, I actually have some mixed feelings. Given their war crimes, the abuse of the constitution, and the very strong likelihood that this summer’s GOP convention will produce more of the same, I would support domestic surveillance over the GOP – the real lawbreakers, rather than those marching in the streets to protect our constitution.

There is one redeeming point here. At least we know what to expect from the authorities. Closed off fenced in protest areas, fake riots caused by undercover police, and worse. Once people are aware, they are also prepared. Once they are prepared, they will know that spies will be placed in their midst, that fake riots will be blamed on the innocent, and that police will taze, beat, arrest and abuse those who care most for this country. Not all police, and not all DHS personnel, but just enough for use to worry about this nation’s future.

But this medical marijuana story is just astounding. Just imagine if you or a loved one suffered a massive organ failure, and you were given a veritable death sentence – just because you smoked helpful medical marijuana, with a doctor’s prescription.

What happened to our country? And what must we do to get it back?


  1. Direct Democracy

    Direct Democracy Direct Democracy

    Is this REALLY the best we can do?

    Direct Democracy

  2. Sandra Price

    We lost control of our government from the city, county, state level all the way to federal. I’m experiencing a real problem in my Sun City Retirement community where politics at any level is forbitten at any meeting and even in the swimming pools. When I first moved here, all I heard was discussion on Oprah, Dr. Phil and several names I that I had never heard. I live in a world of tabloid information.

    Religion carries the day as far as meetings go and even that ends up in a flurry of fighting. Unless we communicate with others they will continue to live in their own little worlds and may not always vote for the best candidate.

    I’m a member of MPP because when I was a Hospice worker I knew that much of the loss of appetite and calming of nerves could be helped by Marijuana. I’ve never used it as the last thing I need is a larger appetite.

    Most of this mess comes directly from the Republican Hypocrites and I am tired of their criticism and the phobias they carry with them.

  3. ekaton

    According to the readings at the doctor’s office, marijuana lowers the pressure in my eyes more effectively than lumigan. He told me he had no qualms about me using it, other than the illegality. I stick with lumigan but its nice to know there is a useful backup.

    — Kent Shaw

  4. Bluesman2007

    I think we’ve allowed this to happen through apathy and ignorance. The masses just didn’t give a damn (“the masses are asses”…who was that? Shakespeare or Karl Rove? I can’t remember. So, in light of that, the powers that be just pushed it further and further into their sick, greedy and destructive paradigm because they realized no one would fight back and they were right (no pun intended). No one cared enough. Not enough cared enough.

    This country has been in a profound sleep for the last 50 years that I can remember. What does everyone say in response? It’s usually some form of “I’m only one person. I can’t do anything”. But that’s the point. That’s exactly what “they” want you to think. That’s the big lie “they” told you. It’s a perfect mindset for them to operate under. Think about it – running a surplus into trillion dollar debt and no one is held accountable. Imported goods from China killing us and our pets and no one is held accountable. Remain silent while outsourcing helps destroy our economy while giving life to another and no one is held accountable (we’re told it’s good business – it is. But not for us). Launching an illegal/immoral war that was completely unjustified and no one is held accountable. Gut the constitution and no one is held accountable. Paint the opposition as un-American and unpatriotic and actually get away with it and no one is held accountable. Violate the law and claim executive privilege and no one is held accountable.

    What’s even worse than the fact that no one is accountable, is that, even knowing it’s happening, it isn’t immediately stopped.

    If you were a smoker living in a Condo with CC&R’s expressly forbidding smoking and you light one up in the garage on the way out, you’ll find your butt in court within the week. But are you still letting doctors use Heparin on you? What about lead in toys? Got any of those around? Want to play a fun game sometime? Look around your dwelling and collect five points for everything you can find that’s made in China (or elsewhere). It’s fun. It’s informative.

    In the latest saga, congress has subpoenaed Karl Rove to testify under oath regarding the US Attorney purge because, thus far, he’s refused to do so – executive privilege, you understand. Any bets that he’ll never testify?

    People at large are completely ignorant of what’s going on around them and no one is held accountable. Most of us don’t even hold ourselves accountable. Well, it’s my belief that the accountability has to begin with us and I mean ALL of us. Either we start to get involved en masse or we do nothing and watch a once great nation circle the drain. Those are the only two options I see for us. How much more freaking obvious does it have to be? How much does it have to smack us in the face? Does gas have to get to $10 bucks a gallon? $20? When a can of corn costs $10, will we notice? Will a college degree become so expensive that only the very wealthy will be able to afford it? (As the “phone lady” coined the phrase “well isn’t that convenient”. Will we care? Will we care enough to give it something more than a passing thought or mere lip service? Will we stand up like that character in that wonderful movie and scream “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it any longer”? Will we ever “get” the fact that we’re getting screwed and never kissed? No flowers. No dinner. Nothing. I don’t know. I do know we can, but I don’t know if we ever will. Will we?

  5. eliduc1


    My wife’s son got a medical marijuana card from some quack doctor here in Oregon supposedly for back pain. He drifts from job to job. He lasts about 6 months on any job. During hunting season he spends every weekend in the woods walking miles. He frequents the Oregon Dunes where he bounces over the dunes on his quad. He never seems to have a problem with his back. He lives in my wifes house rent free and raises dope in the back yard. The home has been burglarized three times in the past year. He has no girl friends and little ambition, like most other pot heads.

    I have an acquaintance who was a mechanic. He was never happy on the job and had problems with his customer relations. Then a transmission fell on his head. He also has a card. Now he collects disability and works around the small vineyard he and his wife own when he is not working on his own cars in his shop or building an addition to his home. I asked his wife how the grape crop was last year and she replied that it was not very good. She said she thought her husband had smoked too much medical marijuana and forgot to water the vines.

    In most cases medical marijuana is a crock and should be more closely scrutinized. In the above article the second
    “outrage” discredits the first.