Monday, March 26, 2018

Commercial teevee drives American gun violence

Commercial teevee truly is the most dangerous gateway drug.

Until the Vietnam War school shootings were rare and scattered but after commercial teevee brought the carnage into every American living room something changed. School shootings spiked to seventeen in the 1960s.
According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, in 1950 only 10 percent of American homes had a television. Today, that number is an astonishing 99 percent. Nearly two-thirds of all TV programs contain violent scenes, including children’s programs. And it is well documented that children imitate behavior seen on television, including violence. Ninety-five percent of American adolescents aged 13-17 have smartphones, and 92 percent play video games. Both are commonly used without parental supervision. The Kaiser Family Foundation has performed numerous studies documenting the link between viewing violence and aggressive behavior. One study that evaluated 430 third-, fourth-, and fifth-graders found that children’s exposure to media violence predicted increased aggressive behavior.
Read the rest here.

Suffering from pounding headaches induced by post-traumatic stress disease Marine-trained sniper Charlie Whitman climbed to the observation deck of the 27-story clock tower at the University of Texas then killed thirteen people and wounded thirty others on 1 August, 1966. Until the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007 it was the deadliest shooting on a US college campus.
Whitman and the Fuesses chatted generally for an hour or so, and at one point the conversation turned to Vietnam. Whitman "said he couldn't understand why boys from the United States had to go over there and die for something they didn't have anything to do with." [source]
On 13 July, inspired by Whitman and what he saw on teevee Richard Speck broke into a townhouse serving as a National Maritime Union dormitory and murdered several young student nurses.
On Friday, July 8, 1966, his brother-in-law Gene drove Speck to the NMU hiring hall to pick up his seaman's card and register for a berth on a ship. Speck lost out that day to a seaman with more seniority for a berth on the SS Flying Spray, a C1-A cargo ship bound for South Vietnam, and returned to his sister Martha's apartment for the weekend. [source]
On 12 November, 1966 18-year-old Bob Smith took seven people hostage at Rose-Mar College of Beauty and shot each in the head. Smith reportedly admired Richard Speck and Charles Whitman.

During protests of the Vietnam War on 4 May, 1970 a string of shootings at Kent State University began with the death of four and the wounding of nine by National Guard Soldiers.

While protesting the US military presence in Cambodia two students were killed and twelve others injured when police opened fire at Jackson State on 15 May, 1966.

There were thirty school shootings in the 1970s, 39 in the 1980s, 62 in the 1990s, 64 in the 2000s and 149 so far in the 2010s.

Charles Whitman, Richard Speck, Timothy McVeigh, Eric Harris, Dylan Klebold, Dylann Roof, Adam Lanza, Robert Dear, James Holmes, Eric Rudolph, Jared Loughner, Wade Michael Page, Ted Kaczynski, Eric Frein, Stephen Paddock and Nickolas Cruz all are or were christians. All these men were victims of bullying, isolation and ostracism. All had histories of extensive teevee usage, many to video game exposure and easy access to firearms. Distrust of government was a factor in most, if not all of the episodes for which they are infamous.

Is this how Americans really want to live? Carry rifles and sidearms into every bar, church, and arena?

Stand your ground has become vigilante justice because the courts are overwhelmed with suspects in the war on drugs, our communities are becoming armed camps and we’re barricaded in our homes afraid to let our kids go to school.

How many more people will be caught in or die from as yet uncounted crossfires?

Prohibition doesn't work.

Raise the age of possession, operation and ownership of all firearms to 21, levy 100% excise taxes on the sales and gifting of the weapons on Senator Diane Feinstein's list then tag the revenue for Medicaid expansion so parents have the resources to address the devastating effects of commercial teevee on American youth.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Southwest fretting wildfire season

Some watershed managers in the Southwest have been taking advantage of conditions to burn dead fuels.
From prescribed burns to clearing brush, New Mexicans are preparing — perhaps more intentionally than 20 or 30 years ago, when the realities of climate change were not so painfully obvious. Without relief this season, it “could get really ugly” in Santa Fe and east toward the San Miguel County line, warned Todd Haines, Bernalillo District Forester for the New Mexico State Forestry Division. Santa Fe National Forest officials have set nearly a dozen prescribed burns in the past six months. Lit strategically, they also improve the health of the forest, serve as access points for fighting wildfires, and protect residential areas and their water supplies from out-of-control blazes. [Santa Fe New Mexican]


Friday, March 16, 2018

New Mexico Democratic Party leading state to legal cannabis

Enrollments in New Mexico's cannabis as therapy program are nearing 50,000 patients.
New Mexico Democrats adopted a party platform during last weekend’s pre-primary convention that, for the first time, supports the legalization of recreational marijuana use statewide. Specifically, the platform adopted last weekend by the Democratic Party of New Mexico – with more than 90 percent of delegates voting in favor – includes a provision that Democrats will support the decriminalization and legalization of cannabis in the state. [Albuquerque Journal]
Democrats are keenly aware that to energize millennials and a jaded base radical times call for sensible approaches to reforms of civil liberties for all adults.


Friday, March 9, 2018

Democrats secure funding to keep Chief chugging


Growth on the Front Range is driving planners to pick up the pace on passenger rail.
The federal Department of Transportation approved a grant request from Colfax County under the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery program, better known as TIGER. The $16 million award, combined with millions of dollars in state and corporate investments, will “fund critical repair work in New Mexico, Kansas, and Colorado,” said a news release issued Wednesday from New Mexico’s congressional delegation. “The Southwest Chief is an engine of economic growth in New Mexico that connects rural communities from Raton to Gallup,” U.S. Sen. Tom Udall said in the release. U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich and U.S. Reps. Ben Ray Luján and Michelle Lujan Grisham also praised the grant. [Santa Fe New Mexican]

Equip the Rail Runner to connect with Amtrak farther south in New Mexico then on to El Paso and put the Rail Runner into downtown Denver to connect with the California Zephyr, maybe into Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Legal cannabis for New Mexico's adults could help foot the bill for Positive Train Control.

It's time to connect the Southwest Chief to the Empire Builder at Shelby, Montana through Denver, too.

Who's with me?

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Investigations of Russian trolls confirm blogger's Dakota Access, Sanders concerns



This interested party tried to expose Senator Bernie Sanders as a planted spoiler as soon as he entered the presidential race as a Democrat.
A new report from the Republican majority staff on the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology claims trolls from Russia exploited the #NoDAPL movement in order to undermine America's energy sector. According to the report, one of the Russian trolls attempted to capitalize on the wide reach of @People4Bernie, an independent group that supported Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont during the run-up to the presidential election in 2016. On its website, People for Bernie said "#NoDAPL" was one of its main causes and Sanders himself was an outspoken opponent of the pipeline. "@People4Bernie: If we can halt the pipeline at @SacredStoneCamp, we can halt it in Iowa too!" one of of the "Russian Tweets" read, according to the committee. The Sacred Stone Camp was the original #NoDAPL encampment -- others also cropped up as thousands flocked to North Dakota in 2016 to oppose the project.
Read the rest here.

And from Vermont Public Radio:
The defendants "engaged in operations primarily intended to communicate derogatory information about Hillary Clinton, to denigrate other candidates such as Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, and to support Bernie Sanders and then-candidate Donald Trump."
Read or listen here.










Saturday, March 3, 2018

Albuquerque could decriminalize casual cannabis

Democrats are keenly aware that to energize millennials and a jaded base radical times call for sensible approaches to reforms of civil liberties for all adults.
City councilors Pat Davis and Isaac Benton are planning an event on Monday with Emily Kaltenbach of the Drug Policy Alliance to announce the reintroduction of legislation that will decriminalize the herb. If the legislation passes, marijuana would still be illegal in the city. But officers would be instructed to either do nothing about it or write someone a $25 ticket, similar to a parking ticket, if they catch someone with an ounce or less. “I think New Mexico will be a state to legalize when we have a change in leadership next year in Santa Fe,” Davis said. [Albuquerque Journal]
State Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino (D-Albuquerque) wants all adults in New Mexico to be able to grow, possess, and buy cannabis legally.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Sick of winter? Cannabis is an effective therapy for SAD


Meth use is a symptom of South Dakota's statewide hopelessness as the state's residents stare down another punishing, relentless, and unforgiving winter.
Dr. Steve Manlove, a former Custer resident and practicing psychiatrist for 31 years, agrees that depression plays a big role in suicide, saying suicide attempts are almost always connected to depression and feelings of hopelessness.
Read more here.

A study recently published in the Journal of Rural Health found the suicide rate for farmers is not only the highest of any occupation in America, it's spiking because of a lack of ready access to mental health care services.

Cannabis is an effective treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

Still another study just concluded cannabis is an effective antidepressant therapy for some patients while keeping it illegal creates paranoia, anxiety and stigmatization.

Even the South Dakota State Medical Association contends that although "marijuana and dronabinol decreased pain" the fact that it is illegal makes it less effective as a therapy.
Although there are different schools of thought concerning the efficacy of marijuana to treat certain medical conditions and concerning whether its possession and use ought to be decriminalized altogether, the fact remains that it is a violation of federal law and South Dakota law to possess or distribute it for any purpose.
Read that here.

South Dakota is among the worst states for opioid abuse but even red states like Alaska are learning that cannabis works to treat that disease, too.