Archive | November 2012

Research Before You Rant

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This election was exhausting for me. There was so much information and not enough people willing to sift through it all. People were repeating stories they had read on The Onion, and the never-ending birther claims. What about The Donald? That guy should be embarrassed.

I live in Tennessee where almost 60% of the vote went to Mitt Romney. My Obama sign was stolen from my yard. Our lawn service thought no one was home, but they were seen putting my sign in their truck. The next week, I left a sympathy card with my payment. Above the “Sorry for your loss,” I wrote in “inevitable”. Then, “in the upcoming election. Your services are no longer needed.” I know it was childish, but man it felt good. Feels even better now that I’m right.

For this reason, I NEVER talk politics at work. Everyone knows I’m a Liberal. My truck has two Obama campaign bumper stickers, and my car has a HRC bumper sticker. I am very vocal about LGBT rights and my non-religious status, but only when faced with obvious prejudice against either. I also make it known that the “N” word is unacceptable to me.

Yes, it still happens often in the south, though it has improved since my childhood. The day after the election, one of my co-workers came into my office ranting about President Obama. I told him I respectfully disagreed, and he called me an Obama-lover, which felt a lot like “N” lover.

A former co-worker of mine, an older white man, consistently posts rants about President Obama and Liberals. Once he posted an Onion story about President Obama’s 19 year old son with a former lover who was present at the Democratic convention. He didn’t even know the Onion is satirical. Later in the election season, he posted another false claim that the President had signed 937 Executive Orders. When I worked with this man, he was a very vocal Liberal.

Another friend posts things like “Women don’t want free abortions and contraception, we want jobs.” Nobody is suggesting the government pay for abortions. We only want them to be legal. That choice should be made by a woman and her doctor and no one else. Woman should not have to prove to anyone they need an abortion or that they have been raped. Woman should not have to discuss that choice with anyone or undergo any unnecessary procedures to have an abortion. Provide affordable and accessible contraception and it is very likely the abortion rate goes down.

There is just so much information available that I cannot understand why so many people are so uninformed. This flood of information in the internet age is overwhelming making it hard to know what to believe. My approach is to try to stick to a few reputable news sources, cross-reference for accuracy, and research before I rant.

End the Failed Drug War

The failure of the war on drugs is because it is based on ideology, or the way things “should be.” Unfortunately, that is not reality. Far from it. People “shouldn’t” do drugs. No argument there, but they do. Making it illegal only creates criminals who prey on the addicts and terrorize society.

Legalizing marijuana would have a positive effect on our economy. The production and sell would create jobs, not to mention the support industries such as, delivery devices, production equipment, leases for shops, regulatory agencies. Ending the prohibition of alcohol helped ease our country out of the Great Depression and end the violence associated with the industry. Its parallels with the war on drugs are no coincidence.

Changing our policy has the potential to have a positive ripple effect all the way to South America. It could put the violent drug cartels out of business. These are our neighbors. We should be concerned about the 60,000 deaths (since 2006) related to the drug trade in Mexico, instead of complaining because Mexicans are fleeing their country to protect their families. Help make Mexico strong, safe and attractive and the US immigration problem is solved.

After 40 years and a trillion dollars, we continue to lose the war on drugs. It is a war we cannot win. The war we should be fighting is the war against addiction through education and treatment. Facing reality is the answer, and the reality is the war on drugs is a failure.

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