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Getting the discussions out there in the political arena

I haven’t talked too much about the political candidates out there lately, but it’s been a pretty good year for us — having both Ron Paul and Gary Johnson in the race (even though Johnson has been excluded from most of the debates) has meant that drug policy reform and legalization has hit the news as part of a Presidential campaign more often than usual.

Now it appears that Gary Johnson will be seeking the Libertarian Party nomination (to be announced next week), and Ron Paul is now the frontrunner in the Iowa Caucuses.

Ron Paul’s climb has been something to watch, despite the attempts by both the media and the GOP to discount him. In years past, it was easier for them to marginalize him as “the crazy one” or by re-airing things like the newsletter he published back in the 80s (something that’s now re-surfacing for the umpteenth time as Obama supporters get nervous). But this year, the rest of the GOP field is so completely wacked-out certifiably nuts that someone with an actual brain is seen as a refreshing change. And whether or not you agree with all his policies or past practices, there’s no doubt that Paul is smart and consistent, with a solid track record. You know what you’re getting.

Gary Johnson has lacked the established grass-roots machine that Ron Paul has – something that was absolutely necessary to get past the marginalization efforts of the establishment parties who are completely opposed to any kind of actual (as opposed to professed) limited government candidates.

As the Libertarian candidate, he’ll have another opportunity to get his message across. It’s a shame that he’s been left out so much. I have a number of Republican friends – sane ones – usually fiscally conservative, but socially open-minded – and when they’ve been introduced to Gary Johnson, they’ve immediately embraced his views and usually said, “Why isn’t he running for President?” Sigh.

I have absolutely no idea how this will all play out, but love the notion of two Presidential candidates seriously talking about drug policy reform.

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35 comments to Getting the discussions out there in the political arena

  • darkcycle

    Gotta admit, it may make the silly season worth it this time around.

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .
    You do realize that he’s decided to run as a Libertarian just to vex me, don’t you? Just because I said that I’d never vote for another Libertarian after watching the financial system come >< that close to imploding and realizing that a dedicated Libertarian would have just waved and said, "swim free little sewer trout, swim free" as our economy swirled the bowl. So if Dr. Paul gets the Republican nomination we'll have a faux Republican, a faux Democrat, and a faux Libertarian as the nominees of their respective parties. Will no one give my proposal that we need a system of involuntary conscription for what were previously elected offices a fair hearing? I'm even willing to fore go the requirement that anyone who actually wants to hold office be disqualified because of the practical impossibility of implementing such a restriction. After further reflection I've decided that the occasional, randomly placed malignant narcissist really isn't a deal breaker. So what if Newt gets drafted as dog catcher? At least the halls of government won't be overrun with his ilk and kin as we see today.

    • claygooding

      Have faith Duncan,,it ain’t over yet,,who do you think all those banks loaned all that stimulus money too?

      Words out that a lot of it was loaned to Europe.to bolster up their economy,and it is failing. That means no pay back if it does belly-up.

      First the federal government has to admit that is what it is becoming and cut their budgets just like most American households are doing now.

      • Duncan20903

        .
        .
        People still don’t get it clay. The controversy on the news about the 2% payroll tax cut is nothing but people reciting just how much it’s going to “cost” them if that “temporary” measure isn’t rescinded. No mention of the fact that the government spends worse than a drunken sailor in a whore house on pay day and is so broke that we’re borrowing the money to pay the interest on all the money that’s previously been borrowed and squandered just to keep the public debt current.
        ———-
        Just because they fucked up the stimulus and did it wrong doesn’t mean that doing something wasn’t the right thing.

        I was waxing nostalgic for the debate over the stimulus. Back in the day when I was primarily interested in high finance I used to frequent a site where we had sophisticated discussions about money and the economy. Some things never change:

        On Feb. 5, 2008 @ 9:25a WalStMonky said:

        Aluminum foil hats certainly are popular nowadays! I think maybe you get one free when you make a donation to Ron Paul’s campaign.
        http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/arcmessageview.php?start=320&catid=52&threadid=801804

        Damn I miss that crowd.

        • darkcycle

          I submit to you this Duncan…our esteemed leaders had to do something, and that is a fact. But there was a choice they were faced with. That (by some recent estimates TWENTY-NINE TRILLION DOLLAR) bailout could have been used to either a) Prop up the guilty, broken shells of banks and ensure that criminals guilty of fraud on a scale never seen before in history walk free, or b) Used to make DEPOSITERS whole and make an orderly, least-painful transition of remaining assets and un-dischargeable liabilities to the remaining, solvant and innocent small banks and Credit Unions. On the one hand, everybody who was uninvolved has been hurt, and entire continents have imposed austerity. Had the other choice been made, Insolvent Banks would have gone under, and investors and shareholders would have shouldered the burden. Investment involves risk, if you do it badly, you’re supposed to take your lumps.
          Seems to me with that sum of a bailout, we could have taken alot of the sting out of saying “Swim free, little sewer trout.”

        • Duncan20903

          .
          .
          In 2008 I promoted my solution. Calculate the number of dollars needed to ‘jump start’ the economy. Determine an ‘ex-dividend date’. Call the Social Security Administration and get the total number and a list of every valid SSN on that date. Divide the number of dollars by the number of valid SSNs and mail a check. No arguing over who lives, who dies, who deserves it, who doesn’t. People with outstanding tax bills would have those reduced in lieu of a check. The only particular group of people where I’d have even allowed a discussion about were those currently incarcerated. It never really mattered where the money went, the crux of the biscuit was to get the money flowing. No one was getting a windfall in my plan no matter how people might see their lump sum. That money would have simply been (partial) compensation for their loss because the creation of money had a direct impact on everyone’s bottom line. But just as they (as a whole) would have seen those checks as ‘found’ money their losses were ‘unrealized’ losses. Unrealized because for the most part no one realized that they suffered an actual, very real loss in their personal net worth.

          You can blame the ‘corporations’ but people were just too into passing judgement and just had to argue over who lived and who died, as if they ever had much of a say in the matter. The result was that they argued themselves into distraction while the crims stoked the fires of division and diverted those dollars into their accounts while ‘laughing all the way to the bank’ just like the old chestnut. If you think it would have been the crims standing in the soup lines if we had flushed the economy you’re sorely mistaken. You’re falling prey to the same trap that caused all the laughing to the bank. The economy doesn’t know or give a shit about you, me, Barry, the banksters or anyone else. Like I said, just because they did it wrong doesn’t mean that it didn’t need to be done.

          In the end the only bailout for the everyman was for those who were willing to help themselves. I sure didn’t have a problem doing just that after the events unfolded. I’m not going to sit around whining ‘well where’s my bailout??’ while those who understand macro-economics pick my pocket. I am sorry that I couldn’t get anyone to understand what was going on but it was impossible to get anyone to listen to the reality of what happened. Shit, I couldn’t even enlighten my wife and I pretty much have her ear 24/7/365. But it still went a long, long way toward assuaging any lingering resentments in my head and that made it worth it. I’ll never understand why people choose to sit around helplessly feeling disenfranchised. It just makes no sense to me at all.

  • JDV

    The way they’ve ignored Gary Johnson is downright criminal. Hell, I hadn’t heard of him until a few months ago.

    • Windy

      They’ve been treating Ron Paul the same way until this year when his grassroots support could not be denied any longer. I would like to see Ron Paul win the nomination and election with Gary Johnson as his VP.

  • claygooding

    Gary Johnson has never had enough support,,he was in a debate when his numbers rose but then they dropped and nobody reports on candidates without backers asking the reporters questions.

    The opposite is true about Ron Paul,he has been in tthe top third since the start and mainstream media still only reports derogatory clips of his efforts.

    Going by my bullshittometer,,,since Ron Paul is being downplayed by mainstream media,,who are owned by the corporations running this country,,he is probably the best chance of any kind of reform. Reform that could effect the profits of some very large corporations.

  • primus

    If the Republican party wants the next president to be from their party, they will nominate Ron Paul. Only he has a chance to beat Obama. The rest of the candidates are pitiful.

  • gravyrug

    I wish that I could vote for issues rather than candidates, because every candidate (except Johnson, and I don’t hear about any of his positions except drug reform) has as much to hate as to like. Ron Paul is especially difficult, because the issues I agree with him on, I agree wholeheartedly. Unfortunately, the issues I disagree with him on are deal-breakers.

  • kaptinemo

    IMHO, Gary Johnson was back-handed by Fate.

    Most may not remember, but on 10 September 2001, Johnson debated – and tore to shreds – the then head of the DEA, Asa Hutchinson, a debate covered by C-SPAN. It was the very first time in living memory a head of the DEA was willing to debate…and the very last.

    The people at DEAWatch were furious about that. You might guess why.

    Had the Johnson/Hutchinson debate not been overshadowed by the horrific events of the next day, that debate might have led to a bigger role for Johnson, up to an including a much earlier run for Prez. Who knows what might have happened then.

  • kaptinemo

    And another thing: In going back over some other posts I made at CannabisNews that day, it struck me just how prescient so many of us were about what was going to happen after 9/11. It’s really incredible.

    See for yourself. A lot of what was predicted actually did happen.

    And the prohibs say ‘stoners’ don’t have enough mental wattage? We saw what was about to take place over the next ten years with alarming clarity. Considering how ‘surprised’ the MSM was about each little thoroughly predictable (and I repeat, predicted) turn-of-the-screw, it really makes you wonder at the theory that the body needs THC like a vitamin, and that those who don’t ingest it are suffering mental deficits as a result.

    • ahyup, right there with ya Kap… prolly told this here before but… I’m a chatty old fart so suffer. Respect your idlers.

      When 9/11 hit I had turned on a morning news program, something I hardly ever do… and you know the towering part of that story. Here’s my part…

      I was scheduled to go on a short vacation that day out to the east side of the state for some High Desert camping.

      For 3 days it was as quiet as any 3 days in my life, there was not a single plane in the sky… no airplane lights at night, no prop jobs, no contrails… it was wonderful. My brother and I had talked from the time we pulled out of Eugene about what 911 meant and what changes would be coming down the pipeline… and like Kap’s experience we nailed it. A new bureaucracy, increased surveillance of the public… yada yada…

      What we weren’t prepared for was day 4. A healthy dose of fun guys made our afternoon hike a resplendent one. We sat at sunset watching this beautiful scene before us, high as all get out (peaking at sunset in the desert? oh yeah…) A low rumble started to our east, we looked at each other and then – all of a sudden – RRRRRRRRRRROOOOAAAAAAARRRRRRRR! a fighter jet does a max vertical climb straight over us, the roar incredible (any USAF vets would recognize that end-of-the-runway super growl as throttles are maxed).

      We took it personal. Still do. I travelled 300 miles to camp in the desert vastness and it’s immense silence and commune with nature my way and they do that… tsk, tsk, tsk… it’s not nice to fool with allan’s nature.

      I also can’t help but remember that 8 days earlier 50 FBI agents were called to the Michigan woods… terrorists afoot and they’re chasing hempies… it’s all about priorities I guess.

  • darkcycle

    What happened then was the neocons hijacked our democracy and flew it right into the Trade towers. My wife was due to fly from Cincinatti back to Seattle that day. She was visiting her dad, I called just before they left for the airport and told her to put her ssuitcase down and turn on the TV. They didn’t want to, they actually thought they were rumnning late. The first tower was burning, at that point and the second had yet to be hit. I had GED testing that day and so I left for work. I administered and scored forty-one tests that day, awarded two diplomas, and then spen two hours with new admissions assessment testing. I had the testing office staff to fill me in between sessoins, but I was incommunicado that whole lousy day.
    The whole time I was left to my imaginings. I imagined something like this.

  • darkcycle

    Say, in the absence of an open thread, i was wondering if this was appropriate, but it follows nicely and while I don’t agree 100% it is a very well thought out and written piece. Witness:
    “The simple truth is this: Some people don’t like the kind of people they think smoke weed. Call ‘em “hippies”, “liberals”, “libertarians”, “thugs”, “gangstas”, “dopers”, “losers”, “druggies”, “hedonists”, whatever way your prejudice copes with the fear of the mostly young, mostly minority, mostly working class people we surveil, harass, intimidate, screen, terminate, evict, terrorize, arrest, and imprison… all under the justification of making sure Phillip-Morris, MillerCoors, Pfizer, Starbucks, Sarah Lee, and Frito-Lay all have a “drug-free” workforce. Marijuana’s illegality ensures that only the fringiest pot smokers remain visible, thus making continued demonization of them easier, since the moms and dads and teachers and firemen and rocket scientists and gold medal athletes can’t speak up for it without losing their kids, their jobs, and their Kellogg’s cereal endorsement deals.”
    http://www.opposingviews.com/i/society/drug-law/debunking-theory-marijuana-gateway-drug

  • kaptinemo

    DC, all I can say about the events of 9/11 and what happened after fits an all too predictable pattern, mirrored in history, time and again.

    And your observations concerning the ‘culture war’ aspects of drug prohibition have been true since the inception of drug prohibition. The intent has ALWAYS been ostracism of the ‘deviant’. But when the ‘deviant’ becomes the norm, as it apparently has with the latest polling results, with 50% wanting cannabis legal again, the problem (as it always has been) is the entrenched enforcement bureaucracy…and its’ true masters, the corporations.

  • Peter

    Gingrich on Ron Paul’s supporters:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/22/newt-gingrich-ron-paul-drugs_n_1165250.html

    He should get 50% + of the vote then

  • totally off-topic… an electric car, 110 mph over 1/4 mile, 11.9 sec… a ’72 Datsun, 300 hp – electric! An electric motorcycle that goes from 0 – 60 in 2 sec… wow.

  • darkcycle

    Oh yeah, an electric motor produces 100% of it’s torque at zero rpm. It’s not possible for a combustion engined vehicle to leave the line as quickly…it’s just not. A freak of measurement and scale effect that still blows my mind years after learning it: Any standard engine will produce peak torque at 5250 rpm. Any one, selected at random and strapped to any dynomometer. Freaky huh? But it’s really not. It does make sense once you understand what horsepwore and torque really are and how they relate to one another. It’s an explanation I’ll save for another random off topic post. 🙂

      • darkcycle

        5250 is the point where the horsepower and the torque curve intersect…I don’t know what I was saying there… and I did it very badly. Must have been the cold medicine. Not “Peak” but the intersect point. I badly mis-spoke, sorry. Please disregard the above. But electric motors DO produce 100% torque at 0rpm, I was just on the way to a totally botched explanation…brain fart.

        • yeah… it was cool. Caught this on OPB (oregon’s PBS) last night. And I hadn’t ever considered it but yes, w/ electric motors torque starts at zero… and man that Datsun flew off the starting line! The fella that built it understands how ultimately problematic (and inefficient) fossil fuels are. Watching a ’72 Datsun smoke everything that it went up against… awesome. Big Daddy Ed Roth would be proud.