Thursday, December 27, 2012

Protect and Serve

War is hell but when it’s justified, I suppose it must occur. Our country, however, has been in perpetual war since World War II; perhaps out of some silly notion that constant war keeps us away from the economic depression. It certainly does keep some military industrialist very rich.

Have you heard; we’re renewing our troop efforts in Africa in 2013. Is every other nation out there ‘evil’ in some way? Are we just ‘fixing’ everyone to the ‘holy path,’ the American standard? Are we getting rid of every single terrorist on this planet, assuring ourselves more angry terrorists will arise from the rubble we leave behind.

When the British were killing our ancestors during the American Revolution, I doubt they had much concern for us just as we have little to no concern against combatants and innocents we kill in other countries. Despite being confounding, I guess the selective moral outrage is not unheard of.

Take a look at a history book, those ‘Massacres’ on our homeland at the birth of our nation, whipped us into a fury and, with assistance, we fought back the British to form our great country of America. So why don’t we believe our killings across the globe are doing the same thing, with the gun of repercussion pointed firmly at America’s head?

We need to find the outrage towards our country, towards our government; operating and killing in secrecy as they keep us tied down with arbitrary fiscal cliffs and debating our own civil rights.

Meanwhile, citizens across the globe wait in fear for another American drone attack. They have no time to discuss their rights except their right to live as a human being; the right to not be killed by an American drone for doing nothing wrong except living in a country that isn’t America.

That’s the mentality I grasp from many Americans: God Bless the fact that we were lucky to be born in a country that is currently leader of the world when it comes to killing abroad, and a shame to be you if you were not.

If we are going to police the world, let’s ‘protect and serve’ not ‘seek and destroy.’ Our job is not to create America-friendly areas but to be a world leader and share our influence without arms. If we lead with an example that isn’t death from above or a hail of gunfire, then perhaps the world would not be seeking our demise. Perhaps if we did not rain down terror where we go, it would not be wished upon our country.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Voter Impact

I’m tired of the third party vote being pointless. Even a conservative vote in California and other ‘locked’ states is like throwing your presidential ballot in the trash. How is that supposed to give us a good feeling of our representative democracy? How are we supposed to feel like we make a difference and matter?

I think this lack of impact directly relates to voter enthusiasm and engagement. People don’t care because it doesn’t really matter; their vote, different than the majority, is a waste in states that don’t swing politically. This doesn’t make for a good system that involves the people but then that’s exactly what the government wants; they’d rather continue lack-luster participation and allow their controllable representatives to rule our Republic. There’s even talk regarding abolishment of the seventeenth amendment, which allowed voters to select their senators instead of state legislatures; your voter impact could very well be further diminished around you.

The third party vote is too often dismissed and it shouldn’t be. It shouldn’t just serve as an eventual guide on popular policies for the two-party system; there should be a legitimate fear that a third party candidate might win but we don’t have that, not at the local level and not on a national level. We’re not even close.

Every vote should count, every vote should matter; in every state, your voice should be heard but it’s drowned out in states with rigid political leanings. Perhaps it will all go to bunk with a direct democracy approach but at least it will be a bunk of our own design and choosing; a bunk where we all had a say in how terrible we’ve made our situation. Our representatives are doing no better at creating this terrible nation for us.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Dispensary Misuse

Misuse comes up all the time in regards to medical marijuana dispensaries but I ask you who does not also attribute misuse to liquor stores? We don’t talk about closing them down or banning them, or limiting the number. Who does not also attribute the Aurora tragedy to weapon’s misuse? We argue gun control versus the second amendment with great fervor and get nowhere.

You’ve allowed your minds to be tainted by the stigma you’ve given us. I can say ‘liquor store’ in a disparaging way and rattle off a list of general crimes that COULD occur at liquor stores and yet no one will be on my side in wishing to ban them or push them away from schools. It’s a free country, proponents will say, the liquor stores are a symbol of that. But now that the drug is marijuana and not alcohol, suddenly everything has changed. Liquor stores were allowed the cultural shift in your minds; allow dispensaries that same perspective change.

The scenario is often pitched, how many dispensaries in an area are there then compare that to the number of pharmacy stores. Some how this is an argument against dispensaries but no one asks how many liquor stores are in those districts as well and those are ‘bad’ too; you don’t even need extra permission from a licensed medical professional, you just need a government issued ID. Getting marijuana requires extra checks but what do you care about safety really; you just hate who we are.

Whether you know it or not, we all know someone who has used, is using, or will use marijuana; how can you continue to shout in our face your demands while allowing hypocrisies to spring up like weeds using your very own arguments. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Cultural Shift

I was at the Los Angeles City Hall to speak on the medicalmarijuana dispensary ban proposal. I see a large cultural shift happening; there is a segment of the population prepared for it and desiring it. Then there’s another segment fighting fiercely and hoping it will just go away. I will tell you that it will not simply go away.

Dispensaries are businesses; we seem to forget that frequently. What this means is, someone or a few people talked to landlords, filled out paperwork, obtained competitive merchandise, advertized, bought containers, bags, showcases, refrigerators and the countless other resources you need to run a good business. The government then finds that these business cannot be for profit but this is an impossible demand. No physical structure, no product, no rent can paid in any other way than with money. If you continually lose money or break even, your business will eventually go under as you suddenly find yourself unable to pay your apartment rent or the mortgage on your home.

At least two council members mentioned that if marijuana is what we say it is then we should allow it to be sold in drug stores. This merely comes out of a strong desire to control; to get a handle on the trade and give it to big business. I don’t want to buy marijuana from CVS, I want to buy it from the guy I can chat with about life at my favorite dispensary. Don’t crush the dispensaries; don’t put all those owners, all those employees out of work when we should be praising their business prowess. The dispensaries owners are the entrepreneurs that saw the demand and did the necessary work to capitalize on it; let’s not punish them for that.

Allow yourself time to shift your views.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Feeling Trapped

Life is really confusing; you can go through it one way and realize you fucked up. Or you feel like you did.  See I was confused in school; not only was I not really developing well socially (though not a complete loner), I also had skewed priorities when I did start to socialize; those priorities blinded from becoming an individual, myself essentially. I was so focused on one thing and I just allowed the rest of my life to be on auto-pilot; instead of learning of my profound interest in politics, current events, and my desire to teach, I stuck with film classes which, admittedly, I’m still glad I took but, on the job market, they are completely useless as is my experience in film work. I’m not saying the programs have no merit, they absolutely can and do but you don’t know if you’re going to be allowed the freedom to do what you wish. Then where will you be?

Right here; which is nowhere.

I've squandered the education period of my life and now find myself, apparently, 'uncertified' (yet not actually unable) for anything I might want to do. Currently, I am trying to seek employment in various entry-level capacities but finding work without networking is extremely difficult; in fact, it seems like you need connections just to get a sub-standard job these days.

Sometimes I think about going back to school; overlooking the obvious problems such as my father not wishing to pay for school that isn’t business, law, or medical, it’s extremely unclear on how one can proceed to the next step. If I want to seek schooling and assistance for a job in education, as a current non-student, who can I talk to and get the answers I need without a sales pitch? Where do you go after you’ve completed your education to seek out that employment? It seems like there are only questions and few concrete answers.

There's no help, there's no assistance. Do I need to go back to school for something? Am I find with my current education and experience? How do you know if a place even read your resume and didn't just toss it in the trash for a justified reason or maybe they just don't like you're name. There are so many factors and at least one other person involved in your potential hiring that you have no idea where the breakdown is when you never hear back from these employers.

What’s sad is this isn’t even my first choice; I’d love to be a teacher but I still dream of becoming a filmmaker but you get older and time ticks away, bills pile up, and you realize that you need to get moving on something. So you think up alternates, other things you’d enjoy doing, but now you have to return to school and gain a degree for that and any thing else that might be required for employment in that field. You’ve worked hard for your first choice only to fail at gaining an income from it; now you’ve got to start all over for your second and third choice with no guarantee of success at any stage of the game.

How is this the way employment works? How is this working hard and following your dreams? Why does it seem like it’s those with seemingly unlimited amounts of money have the freedom to pursue their passions, go to school, and get paid for it?

There's a constant feeling of inferiority and frustration looking at site and after site trying to get a job that's not anywhere near your life's work or even pleasant to do but you realize, you're not qualified for it anyways either in education and/or experience. Everyone has to work, everyone needs to garner an income but there's blocks at every step of the way. Whereas high school was leading students down a more concrete and understandable path, college drops you off in front of an unending and unscalable wall you have to figure out how to get to the other side.

Maybe I just chose wrong when it comes to college but why is that a death sentence for my future? How is it I lack the funding and support to return? I know I am not alone but knowing there are others like me is no comfort to an overdraft bank account or a credit card over the limit. It doesn't give my father reason to speak to me again after quitting a job he got me but I lacked the heart for the work and the people.

Why is it so hard to maintain conviction, maintain your person, and be able to garner employment? It seems like employers aren't willing to gamble on professional free-thinkers, they merely want those who have shown a talent for for falling in line with the ruling authority, be it school or with employment.