Saturday, April 26, 2008

Post #151: Random Thoughts

The following are an unconnected hodgepodge of thoughts that I gathered from my notebook for no other reason than the fact that I was bored senseless:

By the time one gets to be my age (Madonna and I will be fifty on August 16) one has personally known - at the very least - one hundred people who have died as the result of the intake of too much alcohol, and another hundred who have died from too much nicotine. Now ask yourself the following question: how many people have you known in your lifetime who have died as a result of the abuse of marijuana? Not only have I never known anyone to die in that manner, I am not aware of it happening in all recorded human history. Sure, there might be a debate to be had that it is a "gateway drug" that leads inevitably to harder substances, but that argument is defeated by the undeniable fact that your average junkie started his or her life of addiction by drinking beer. Although I quit smoking pot a long time ago (sometimes I wish I hadn't) I find it hard to believe that seventy-one years after grass was made illegal, we're still having this stupid debate over its decriminalization. I am not advocating the use of marijuana. I am only stating the obvious: it is a relatively harmless drug that has been proven to have some very real medicinal benefits. Sentencing people to long stretches in prison for its use is not only counter productive, it is criminal. Truth be told, I would sleep better at night knowing that a child I loved was a pot head rather than a alcoholic. BEEN THERE, DONE THAT....

When the coroners report is finally made available, the cause of death will be crystal clear: the American experiment died of starvation. America could have been a paradise. And now our very survival depends on us keeping the world supplied with weapons of death. Think about that. Were world peace to suddenly envelope the Planet Earth tomorrow, the United States of America would whither and die overnight. Oh, no. We cannot allow that to happen, can we?

For the second time in a generation, a halfwit from Texas has led this country into an untenable quagmire in a far away land. Come to think about it, that last sentence was grossly unfair to Lyndon B. Johnson. For all of his faults (and there were many) at least his heart was in the right place in most respects. For all of his epic flaws, a lot of good things came out of his administration. When the dust is finally settled and historians are able to objectively search through the wreckage of the last seven and a half years, it will be said that not one positive thing was achieved for the American people during the eight wasted years of George W. Bush's reign of terror and error - not one.

On the night of April 24, Chris Matthews reported on MSNBC that the president of the United States made an appearance on a TV game show called, Deal or No Deal. A GAME SHOW! Can you imagine - in your wildest, weirdest dreams - Jack Kennedy, Dick Nixon - or even a moron like Ronald Reagan - doing something as foolish and demeaning as that? How much further is this fucking idiot determined to trivialize the presidency? Enquiring minds want to know.

This week it was reported in the New York Times that the Bush administration used taxpayer dollars in order to propagandize the American people into signing onto a war that has proven to be the worst military blunder in American history; a war that has left over one million people as dead as an infinite pile of door nails. If I am not mistaken, that is a crime, is it not? The law clearly says as much. Call it a hunch, but my suspicion is that anyone who might be found to be behind such hideous machinations would be more-than-eligible for a very long, permanent stretch behind the walls of a federal prison.

That we were lied to is no state secret. What is astonishing is the effort they put into the spreading of those lies. As John Stauber asked in an excellent piece on AlterNet this morning [see link below], who in their right minds could have imagined the extent of the deception? The fact that the main stream media is ignoring what can only be described as the most important news story in years is disturbing and shameful. That is why the next president and congress needs to re-regulate the FCC. The future of our democracy depends on nothing less. Don't expect that to happen if John McCain or Hillary Clinton are elected in the Autumn.

Those who babble on about the consequences of America losing this war if we withdraw miss a crucial point: this war was lost in March 2003 the moment the first boot set foot on Iraqi soil. This war was lost when the FIRST FOOL stood on the deck of the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln, with that stupid, perverted smirk on his face, under the banner which proclaimed, "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED". Looking at that footage today, it is almost touching how gut-wrenchingly ridiculous our commander-in-chief looks. Show me a person who still thinks that sending this disgusting piece of shit to the White House was a good idea, and I'll show you someone who has overdosed on Stupid Pills.

The assault on the men, women and little children of Iraq is going to end disastrously for this country. It matters not whether we pull out in 2009 or in 2109, we will lose this war. We lost it years ago. Wake up.

It is clear that unless the Dems come up with a compromise candidate that the party can unite behind, someone who isn't damaged goods like Clinton and Obama, a McCain administration is all-but-certain come January of next year. John McCain is a doddering old fool. The best thing that can be said of the man is that he is a shade smarter than George W. Bush. Seriously, that's not much of an endorsement, is it?

2008 is going to be a nightmare. At no time since 1932 has the need to go in a new direction been as painfully evident as it is at this moment. And yet it seems that November of 2008 is only going to bring more of the same. Good going, America!

"Senator Obama, who is more patriotic: you or Reverend Wright?"

Congratulations are in order to George Stephanopoulos for asking the dumbest question thus far in this campaign. All one has to do is watch a video of the 1960 Kennedy/Nixon debates to be shaken awake as to how dumbed down America's national political conversation has become in the forty-eight years since. The American Broadcasting Company's April 16th debate was beyond embarrassing - it was a disgrace.

Truth be told, I don't want to see George W. Bush go to jail (or "gaol" as the English spell it....what's up with that??) for his crimes against the human race. "Jail" is where you go to when you've had one-too-many on a Saturday night and you accidentally back your car into the plate glass window of the local pharmacy. I want to see George W. Bush sent to prison for the rest of his life.
The 110th Congress will be remembered as the most cowardly, pathetic legislative body since the invention of dirt. Never has there been such an abundance of evidence that warranted the impeachment of a sitting president. Ten years ago Bill Clinton was almost removed from office for telling a little white lie about having a fling with a half-witted intern (It is helpful to remember that he never actually had sex with "that woman, Ms. Lewinsky"). Why, then, are Bush and Cheney still in power? Why have they not been impeached? What the hell has happened to the party of Franklin Delano Roosevelt?

Once again, the Democrats have been handed a bottle of finely aged, twelve-year-old scotch and these gutless assholes have turned it into donkey piss.
There. I feel better already,

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

Link to the John Stauber piece on AlterNet:
Special thanks to brother Pete Degan for the Harry Truman photo.


At 7:27 AM, Blogger Fabianna said...

Thank you for all those juicy interesting insights! The marihuana one though.....I will need to do more research on that one.

At 11:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am very glad to see someone else thinks like I do about marijuana, I lost a son at the age of 32 to alcohol. I have always told people I would rather my kids smoked thank to drink and they look at me like I'm crazy. My son was always happy when he smoked and I'm sure it wasn't eating his liver!It was awful to watch him waste away!!

At 3:16 PM, Blogger charles moore said...

Hi Tom,

I can truthfully say that at my advanced age (66) I have never tried marijuana BUT I will defend to my death the right of anyone else to use it. As a matter of fact, I know several people who use it regularly for medical problems and it does give a relief not available from anything else. And I am very open to the idea that at some point, I just might find it necessary to use marijuana also. Given the number of deaths caused by alcohol or tobacco, it is stupid, narrow minded and inconceivable that marijuana should be criminalized and not the others. It is just another example of the back-asswards thinking of so many of our politicians and church people. About as rational as abstinence only sex education.

At 3:22 PM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

I'm very sorry for the loss of your son. Something like that is too horrible to even contemplate. The fact that we are still sending people to prison for the possession of marijuana is amazing to me. Our prisons are crowded enough to begin with. Why send the pot heads there? Think about it: They tend to be a fairly cheerful, non-threatening bunch. Sure they DO giggle a little too much and they often eat more that they should. But other than that....

Tom Degan

At 4:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Richard Nixon appeared on LAUGH-IN in 1968.

At 4:52 PM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Regarding Richard Nixon's 1968 appearance on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In, someone else reminded me of that just yesterday. In fairness to Nixon (not that I am in any way comfortable defending the old bugger) he was only a candidate at the time and not yet POTUS. I can't believe that he would have done something like that as president and, in fact, he never did. Good point, thoug.

Tom Degan

At 7:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your reminding me of my first ever encounter with a microwave oven at Tom's parent's house. Someone was insisting that an sole english muffin could be toasted in the microwave and that several additional applications of full power was all that was required to make it happen. Being raised with a low waste philosophy - and having an extremely intense case of the munchies, I ate the toughest muffin ever...

At 5:07 PM, Blogger Phil said...

Your Pot Shot was right on target, Tom. But, unlike you, I do advocate for the use of marijuana by any consenting person over the age of 18 (mj is too good for anyone under that age). In fact, it would make great good sense if 1st-time marijuana use became a rite of passage. I also advocate for removing all restrictions against growing cannabis hemp and manufacturing hemp products for any purpose (including making enough rope to hang everyone who pursued the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq).

At 10:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom -

Marijuana is nowhere near the 'gateway' drug that cigarettes are. That's where it starts. Even before beer. Tobacco is government-sponsored addiction and death. Why do people still do it? Rational adults don't start, only teens and preteens (I never did). And by the time you are a rational adult (whenever that really is) and you've been smoking for, well, for years, then good luck. I'm looking at double nickels not long after you reach the 5-0, and I'm not about to stop taking a toke on occasion, yet I gave up alcohol over 10 years ago when I decided I simply could no longer support that industry and the havoc it has unleashed on our society. Along with its lack of societal-related problems (other than its illegality) we are missing the boat on its wide-ranging uses because marijuana/hemp is illegal. If it doesn't make sense, it must be american.

At 5:44 AM, Blogger Fabianna said...

OK,I´m not QUITE convinced yet but I will admit that I´ve done some very superficial research on my favorite search engine Google. (If my husband ever found out about Google and me he would divorce me for infidelity.) It doesn´t appear that marijuana is any WORSE than cigarettes or alcohol, just different risks. Deformed babies, increase chance of pschizofrenia in genetically predisposed subjects, sharp increase in irresponsible behavior towards job and school, gateway drug........ If it were decriminalized it should at least come with a warning label.

At 8:07 PM, Blogger Phil said...

A little something to assist fabianna on her marijuana research project:

At 8:10 PM, Blogger Phil said...

Sorry 'bout that! I'll put the URL on two lines. Reassemble in the browser URL window--without spaces:

At 4:21 PM, Anonymous Lori said...

My ex is a pot smoker. He was a brilliant engineer and designed power plants. He got up in the morning and smoked pot before work, came home on his lunch hour and smoked some more. Came home from work and smoked until he basically passed out. All day on the weekends. His career went down the drain. He has no motivation and has become a hermit. At age 40, he has given up. Those who say that marijuana is not addictive or harmful don't know what they are talking about.

At 9:00 PM, Blogger C. Marie Byars said...

I'm one of those "squares" who never inhaled or got close to pot. In H.S., I did occasionally drink to excess---I had some dysthymia I was hiding. (I was also an agnostic at the time because of some really stupid things in my so-called Christian family. I have since, obviously, been converted backto the Faith.) Also never drank & drove---in those days, you could drink & walk & get 'most anywhere you needed to be. Anyway, thanks for visit. I love that book "Man without a Country", also---assuming it's the one where the guy is forced to sail for the rest of his life and never set foot on any country's shores after cursing the U.S. I also like the Marx Bros but have different faves. With your feelings about "W", you might like my other site, too. I am an unapologetic moderate & wish we could smoosh together some view of each of the 3 candidates left standing to get something better. (Actually, I think any of the 3 will be better than "W".)

At 3:18 AM, Blogger Fabianna said...

All right, I know that there have been a few more posts since this one but I can´t get the marijuana issue out of my head. I decided to do more superficial Google research to completely blow all of you marijuana pro-legalizers out of the water. I said to myself, AHA! Smoke. SMOKE is bad. There must be a link between smoking marijuana and cancer, again no worse than cigarettes but still..... Well, Google failed me. Not only did it tell me that there is no proven link between marijuana and lung cancer, it even went as far as to tell me some studies have shown to REDUCE cancer growths! I was able to dig up the following though:
Smoking marijuana regularly (a joint a day) can damage the cells in the bronchial passages which protect the body against inhaled microorganisms and decrease the ability of the immune cells in the lungs to fight off fungi, bacteria, and tumor cells. For patients with already weakened immune systems, this means an increase in the possibility of dangerous pulmonary infections, including pneumonia, which often proves fatal in AIDS patients.
Of course I am not going to reveal my sources, aside from Google, but this last bit was from someone´s 1999 broken linked personal website. I may have to use another search engine and get back.

At 3:30 AM, Blogger Fabianna said...

Even so I can´t think that being a regular pot smoker will not affect your job performance if you are a corporate worker or work with heavy machinery. While I have heard of "functional alcoholics" who sober up just in time for work on Monday, I have never heard of a functional pot head. The "high" effects of marijuana accumulate if you are a regular user and make you kind of goofy, not good if you have to drive to and from work.... but gee, I have to admit I can´t find any truly strong argument against marijuana that makes it worse than alcohol or cigarettes. And perhaps legalizing it would be economically advantageous now that everyone is talking about economic crisis. Pot dealers always have money in their pockets and may be selling gerbil food.


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