A New Leaf

Happy 4/20, everyone! Earth Day, Hitler’s birthday, and most importantly, Takei Day! We’ll be celebrating the more renowned reason for the season, and I certainly don’t mean Hitler (although I’m straining my hardest not to invoke Godwin’s Law at some of the news items tonight)!

To gain support within his party, the once moderate Romney takes a hard-right into the rampant radicalism ramparts, and sullies his campaign with the same strange rhetoric he projects onto his opponents. Further pitching us into an economic class war in which someone born into a family in the bottom income bracket has virtually no chance of moving into the top quintile, and where middle class Americans are increasingly losing ground to those at the top. His tax policies, experts contend, will raise student debt (already in the trillions) and hurt the middle class.

It’s very hard to overcome our biological processes, with research suggesting that  people prone to ignoring evidence that contrasts their viewpoint are more likely to make delusional leaps, and where materialism may in fact be a mental disorder.

For while the ‘Buffet Rule’ only takes a tiny dent out of our deficit, it is still a necessary, albeit largely symobolic, step. And ignored by most national news sources; more than 300 economists, including three nobel laureates, have signed a petition calling attention to the findings of a paper by Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron, which suggests that if the government legalized marijuana it would save $7.7 billion annually by not having to enforce the current prohibition on the drug. The report added that legalization would save an additional $6 billion per year if the government taxed marijuana at rates similar to alcohol and tobacco.

And though the waves of technological protest and dissent may promise to save us, the surveillance state, corporate invasions of privacy, and for-profit spy lobby show that the information age, once ‘equalized’, may prove to reinforce the old status quo with new tools.

Shaheed Nick Mohammed, associate professor of communications and author of The (Dis)information Age: The Persistence of Ignorance:

“We have to rethink some of our most common assumptions about modern life and, specifically, we need to rethink assumptions that the information age will naturally lead to a society that is intelligent and scientifically literate. In fact, we may have moved backwards in many respects.”

The NSA now has the capability to record and track every American citizen, should they choose to turn it on us, if they haven’t done so already!

Even Tim Berners Lee, who developed the Web in 1990, says the proposals to allow intelligence agencies to monitor Internet use and digital communications of citizens would be a “destruction of human rights.”

Perhaps it will take a cataclysm even greater than the Great Recession to shatter the hold of establishment dogmatism and force fresh thinking. Or perhaps it will take a new generation of leaders too young to care about refighting the battles of the New Deal era and the Reagan era that followed it.

PLAYLIST
In The Hall Of The Mountain King – Sounds Incorporated
Reefer Man – Cab Calloway
Blue Rhythm Fantasy – Gene Krupa
Let’s Go Get Stoned – Ray Charles
Stoned Love – The Supremes
Mary Jane – Rick James
Raga: Patdeep – Ravi Shankar
A Child’s Garden of Grass – Jack Margolis & Jere Alan Brain
Guns Of Navarone – The Skatalites
The Weed (Aka Man Pyabba) – Count Lasher with Lyn Taitt &
Pass The Kushempeng – Frankie Paul
Ganja Smoke – Ziggy Marley
Weed Whacker – Bela Fleck & the Flecktones
Sticky Green Weed – Cypress Hill
Weed Song – Bone Thugs-N-Harmony
Sea Weeds – Captain Dan and the Scurvy Crew
Stoned Guitar – Human Instinct
Wacky Tobacky – NRBQ
let’s go smoke some pot – Dead Milkmen
Smoke Two Joints – Sublime
Big Yellow Joint – Steven Sprung
Oriental Vibrato – Raymond Guiyot
(Down To) Seeds and Stems (Again) Blues – Commander Cody
I Got Stoned and I Missed It – Dr. Hook

Stranger in a Strange Land 2012-4-20: A New Leaf by The Stranger on Mixcloud

~The Stranger
thestranger@earthling.net

Getting Involved

– April 25: National Day of Action Against Student Debt

On April 25th, the total amount of student loan debt in the U.S. is due to top 1 trillion dollars. This staggering economic milestone marks a momentous victory for Wall Street and the 1 percent against two generations of students and families. A day of action will target big banks and student lenders, as well as increasingly corporatized universities.

-May 1st: May Day – OCCUPY THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE

Recognized worldwide as International Workers’ Day, May 1st marks the Haymarket Massacre of 1886 in Chicago, where workers were fighting for the eight hour workday. Look for rallies and gatherings across the country that will draw attention to the needs and concerns of workers.

Move Your Money

The Move Your Money campaign was launched in 2010 to take on the power of the megabanks that helped cause the financial crisis and continue to wreak havoc on our economy. Numerous ongoing actions around the country are calling attention to the need for fairness and accountability in the banking industry (read about the latest: “Move Your Money” Goes Nationwide As Cities Pull Their Money”)

Occupy Wall Street

The leaderless resistance movement continues to take on the greed and corruption of the 1 percent, including a recent day of action for public transit workers. Check the website for gatherings and actions in your community.

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