Tag Archives: marijuana

A Better Amercia

PLAYLIST
In The Hall of the Mountain King – Umphrey’s McGee
Dark End of The Street – The Flying Burrito Brothers
Shelcha – Yael Naim
Computer Games – Yellow Magic Orchestra
Clectric Café (Neotericz) – 8-Bit Operators
WTF? – OK Go
Super Brothers (Love Device Mix) – Guitar Vader
Rubber Band – Trammps
Brothers On The Slide – Cymande
Fascination – David Bowie
Strawberryfire – The Apples In Stereo
Raid (Instrumental) – Madvillain
Trouble (Eve of Destruction) – Blackalicious
The Evil that Pens Do – Extended Famm
White Flag (feat. Bashy, Kano and the National Orchestra for Arabic Music) – Gorillaz
One Day – RJD2
Golden Rule – Erin Anova & the Maroons
Funk Em – Hieroglyphics & Del The Funky Homosapien
Past Zero Time – Dark Matter
Sessomatto – Armando Trovaioli
The Sophisticated Hippie – Horace Silver (Easy Mo Bee)
Always True to You in My Fashion – George Shearing & Peggy Lee
La Vieille Meurt – Alain Goraguer
Waiting For The Worms/Stop/The Trial/Outside The Wall – Pink Floyd

Stranger in a Strange Land 2012-06-02: A Better Amercia by The Stranger onMixcloud

While the socialist-Maoist-Marxist-Trotskyite-Stalinist-communist-pinko-red-hippie John McCain badmouthed capitalism as ‘cruel’, and Bill Clinto went off-message on private equity, the old guard of Republicans (RINOs) futilely try to inject their reasonable wisdom into an insanely destructive party. Former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-WY) has lashed out at members of his party for their unyielding obstructionist opposition to new tax revenues.

“The only thing [SuperPAC money] can do to you, as an elected official, is defeat you for reelection. And if that means more to you than your country when we need patriots to come out in a situation when we’re in extremity, you shouldn’t even be in Congress.”

In America, a disturbing number of people seem to think that the impoverished are degenerates who deserve their fate and none of our society’s help. At least it’s encouraging to know that they also don’t believe the rich should get their unearned, undeserved bailouts. But these crooks don’t have anything to worry about.

Our police forces seem more interested in hauling away credentialed members of the media in cuffs. “Your First Amendment rights can be terminated,” was the warning issued by a Chicago Police Department officer caught on video. Our hypocritical Commander-in-Cheeba seems more interested in busting up medical marijuana stoners, than any cartels.

via OccupyWallSt

And even during the 2008 Republican National Convention, at which FBI informants Brandon Darby and Andrew Darst set up David McKay, Bradley Crowder, and Matthew DePalma on charges of possessing Molotov cocktails in two separate incidents. It’s important to note that the only Molotov cocktails that figured in the RNC protests at any point were the ones used to entrap these young men: the FBI were not responding to a threat, but inventing one.

Over the past month, the FBI have shifted into high gear with this approach. Immediately before May Day, five young men were set up on terrorism charges in Cleveland after an FBI infiltrator apparently guided them into planning to bomb a bridge, in what would have been the only such bombing carried out by anarchists in living memory. During the protests against the NATO summit in Chicago,three young men were arrested and charged with terrorist conspiracy once again involving the only Molotov cocktails within hundreds of miles, set up by at least two FBI informants.

None of the targets of these entrapment cases seem to be longtime anarchist organizers. None of the crimes they’re being charged with are representative of the tactics that anarchists have actually used over the past decade. All of the cases rest on the efforts of FBI informants to manufacture conspiracies. All of the arrests have taken place immediately before mass mobilizations, enabling the authorities to frame a narrative justifying their crackdowns on protest as thwarting terrorism. And in all of these cases, the defendants have been described as anarchists in the legal paperwork filed against them, setting precedents for criminalizing anarchism.

Smashing bank windows, for example, may be illegal, but it is increasingly understood as a meaningful political statement; it would be difficult to build a convincing terrorism case around broken glass.

And now the Obama Justice Department is trying to do what Richard Nixon couldn’t: indict a media organization. . . . Charging Julian Assange with ‘conspiracy to commit espionage’ would effectively be setting a precedent with a charge that more accurately could be characterized as ‘conspiracy to commit journalism‘”

Key Democratic Senators such as Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein have publicly called for Assange’s prosecution for espionage (which in the case of both Assange and Manning may still carry a death sentence).

A group of journalists including Jeremy Scahill, Amy Goodman, Glenn Greenwald, and Kevin Gosztola joined WikiLeaks and their counsel, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), insuing the federal government over the extreme secrecy in the trial of Bradley Manning. CCR asked the court “to grant the public and press access to the government’s motion papers, the court’s own orders, and transcripts of proceedings, none of which have been made public to date.” CCR argues that the trial has been “even less transparent than the controversial military commission proceedings ongoing at Guantánamo Bay.”

Considering that any vaguely named combatant or anyone standing near said “combatant” can be blown up by the president without due process, it does seem like something we should probably guard against, right? Now, similar to the ‘Do Not Call’ and ‘Do Not Track’ lists, a ‘Do Not Kill‘ petition has been started to counter the president’s ‘Kill List’. People are now (only half-mockingly) begging the government not to kill them.

via Salon:

Could Obama order the targeted killing of an American citizen, in a country with which the United States was not at war, in secret and without the benefit of a trial? The Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel prepared a lengthy memo justifying that extraordinary step, asserting thatwhile the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee of due process applied, it could be satisfied by internal deliberations in the executive branch. Despite an executive order banning assassinations, a federal law against murder, protections in the Bill of Rights and various strictures of the international laws of war”

Attorney General Eric Holder then publicly claimed: “‘Due process’ and ‘judicial process’ are not one and the same, particularly when it comes to national security. The Constitution guarantees due process, not judicial process.” Both of those episodes sparked controversy, because of how radical of a claim it is.

John Brennan, the president’s counter-terrorism adviser, said in a recent speech that not a single non-combatant had been killed in a year of drone strikes in Afghanistan and Pakistan. And today’s Times article quoted a senior administration official who said that civilian deaths were in the “single digits.”
But it turns out that even this hey-it’s-better-than-carpet-bombing justification is rather flimsy. The Times article says “Mr. Obama embraced a disputed method for counting civilian casualties …It in effect counts all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants, according to several administration officials, unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent.” This was the exact language used by George Zimmerman in his 911 call about Travyon Martin (“it looks like he’s up to no good”), classifying all males in the vicinity of suspected Terrorists in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia — including teenagers — as “militants” and “combatants,” and deeming them fair game to be killed solely by virtue of their physical location, gender and age.

And of course, President Obama is creating a great recruiting tool for anti-American fundamentalist forces.

“These attacks are making people say, ‘We believe now that al-Qaeda is on the right side,’ ” said businessman Salim al-Barakani, adding that his two brothers — one a teacher, the other a cellphone repairman — were killed in a U.S. strike in March.

Who would have guessed that continually dropping bombs on a country using remote-controlled sky robots and killing their civilians would breed hatred and a desire to attack back? Not only do these constant Obama attacks extinguish the lives of innocent people, but they also exacerbate the very threat they are ostensibly designed to address.

Of course, if the president continues to utilize authoritarian methods of torture, profiling, surveillance, illegal wiretapping, terroristic war tactics,and  robotic death-from-the-sky, surely the conservatives will call him out on this big government tyranny! What’s that? They’re calling him a socialist, leftist, a Maoist, and a Muslim? And the left supports his Big Brother extremism as well? As the ACLU’s Jameel Jaffer asked: “Dems who think executive process is due process: Where were they when Bush‬ needed help with warrantless wiretapping?” or his indefinite detention scheme? Dianne Feinstein is more worried about stopping leaks and punishing whistleblowers than investigating the war crimes in the first place?

And WIRED gives us even more right-wing Nixonian extremism coming from the Obama White House:

The Obama administration is set to argue to a federal appeals court Friday that the government may breach, with impunity, domestic spying laws adopted in the wake of President Richard M. Nixon’s Watergate scandal.

The case tests whether Americans may seek recourse or monetary damages when a sitting U.S. president bypasses Congress’s ban on warrantless spying on Americans — in this instance when President George W. Bush authorized his secret, warrantless domestic spying program in the aftermath of the September 2001 terror attacks. A federal judge found in 2010 that two American lawyers’ telephone conversations with their clients in Saudi Arabia in 2004 were siphoned to the National Security Agency without warrants. The allegations were initially based on a classified document the government accidentally mailed to the former al-Haramain Islamic Foundation lawyers.

The document was later declared a state secret, removed from the long-running lawsuit and has never been made public. With that document ruled out as evidence, the lawyers instead cited a bevy of circumstantial evidence that a judge found showed the government illegally wiretapped the lawyers as they spoke on U.S. soil to Saudi Arabia.

Against the government’s objections, San Francisco U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker awarded the two lawyers — Wendell Belew and Asim Ghafoor — $20,400 each in damages and their legal counsel $2.5 million in costs. It marked the first time anyone had prevailed in a lawsuit challenging Bush’s so-called Terrorist Surveillance Program.

The domestic spying program was first disclosed by The New York Times in December 2005, and the government subsequently admitted that the the National Security Agency was eavesdropping on Americans’ telephone calls without warrants if the government believed the person on the other line was overseas and associated with terrorism. Further news investigations found that the government had secretly enlisted the help of major U.S. telecoms, including AT&T, to spy on Americans’ phone and internet communications without getting warrants as required by the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
Parts of the surveillance program were so egregious that the upper echelon of the Justice Department, including then-Attorney General John Ashcroft, threatened to resign en masse if it wasn’t changed.

Congress, with the vote of President Barack Obama — who was an Illinois senator at the time — subsequently legalized much of the warrantless spying in the summer of 2008. The legislation also provided the nation’s telecommunication companies immunity from lawsuits accusing them of being complicit with the government’s warrantless wiretapping.

The government, however, claims said it cannot be held liable under the spying law, and that Congress has not waived sovereign immunity — meaning the government has not consented to being sued for breaching its own laws.

And via EFF:

In a disappointing ruling for government transparency advocates, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals held the government could keep secret “cables describing waterboarding; a photograph of a detainee, Abu Zubaydah, taken around the time that he was subjected to the ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’; and a short phrase that appears in several Justice Department memos referring to a ‘source of authority.’” This suit came on the heels of revelations that tapes allegedly showing waterboarding were destroyed by a CIA officer. The court accepted the government’s argument that waterboarding was an “intelligence method” and therefore exempt from disclose. The Obama administration argued in favor of this interpretation despite previously banning waterboarding as torture. As the ACLU’s Alexander Abdo wrote, the ruling means “the CIA can effectively decide for itself what Americans are allowed to learn about the torture committed in their name.”

Meanwhile, the Department of Homeland Security has been forced to release a list of keywords and phrases it uses to monitor social networking sites when looking for “signs of terrorist or other threats against the U.S.”

The list was posted by the Electronic Privacy Information Center who filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act, before suing to obtain the release of the documents. The documents were part of the department’s 2011 ’Analyst’s Desktop Binder‘ used by workers at their National Operations Center which instructs workers to identify ‘media reports that reflect adversely on DHS and response activities’.

I present them all here in the hopes of generating more blog traffic and wasting expensive government resources. It is especially entertaining to know that one can get on Intelligence Agency radar with sentences such as “Pirates plot smart power pork cloud exposure, help aid meth lab explosion body scanner wave!”

~The Stranger
thestranger@earthling.net

Assassination, attack, domestic security, drill, exercise, cops, law enforcement, authorities, disaster assistance, disaster management, DNDO, domestic nuclear detection office, national preparedness, mitigation, prevention, response, recovery, dirty bomb, domestic nuclear detection, emergency management, emergency response, first responder, homeland security, DHS, maritime domain awareness, MDA, initiative, militia, shooting, shots fired, evacuation, deaths, hostage, explosion, explosive, police, team, DMAT, organized crime, gang, gangs, national security, state of emergency, security, breach, threat, standoff, threat, standoff, SWAT, screening, lockdown, bomb, bomb squad, bomb threat, crash, looting, riot, emergency landing, pipe bomb, incident, facility, hazmat, nuclear, chemical spill, suspicious package, suspicious device, toxic, national laboratory, nuclear facility, nuclear threat, plume, cloud, radiation, radioactive, leak, biological infection, biological event, chemical, chemical burn, biological, hazardous, hazardous material incident, industrial spill, infection, powder, white powder, gas, spillover, anthrax, blister agent, chemical agent, exposure, burn, nerve agent, ricin, sarin, North Korea, outbreak, contamination, exposure, virus, evacuation, bacteria, recall, ebola, food poisoning, foot and mouth, FMD, H5N1, Avian, flu, salmonella, small pox, smallpox, plague, human to human, human to animal, influenza, Center for Disease Control, CDC, Drug Administration, FDA, Public Health, agro terror, tuberculosis, TB, agriculture, listeria, symptoms, mutation, resistant, antiviral, wave, pandemic, infection, waterborne, airborne, sick, swine, pork, strain, Tamiflu, World Health Organization, WHO, quarantine, H1N1, vaccine, epidemic, Norvo virus, viral hemorrhagic fever, E. Coli, E Coli, infrastructure security, airport, CIKR, Critical Infrastructure & Key Resources, collapse, AMTRAK, computer infrastructure, communications infrastructure, telecommunications, critical infrastructure, national infrastructure, Metro, WMATA, airplane, chemical fire, BART, MARTA, Port Authority, NBIC, National Biosurveillance Integration Center, transportation security, grid, power, smart, body scanner, electric, failure, outage, black out, blackout, black-out, brown out, brownout, brown-out, port, dock, bridge, cancelled, delays, service disruption, power lines, drug cartel, violence, drug, narcotics, cocaine, marijuana, heroin, border, Mexico, cartel, southwest, Juarez, Sinaloa, Tijuana, Torreon, Yuma, Tuscon, decapitated, US Consulate, U.S. Consulate, consular, El Paso, Fort Hancock, San Diego, Ciudad Juarez, Nogales, Sonora, Colombia, Mara salvatrucha, MS13, MS-13, drug war, Mexican army, methamphetamine, Cartel de Golfo, Gulf Cartel, La Familia, Reynosa, Nuevo Leon, narcos, narco banners, Los Zetas, shootout, execution, gunfight, trafficking, kidnap, Calderon, Reyosa, Bust, Tamaulipas, meth lab, drug trade, illegal immigrants, smuggling, smugglers, Matamoros, Michaocana, Guzman, Arellano-Felix, Beltran-Leyva, Barrio Azteca, artistic assassins, Mexicles, New Federation, terrorism, Al Qaeda, terror, attack, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, agro, environmental terrorist, eco terrorism, eco-terrorism, ecoterrorism, conventional weapon, target, weapons grade, dirty bomb, enriched, nuclear, chemical weapon, biological weapon, ammonium nitrate, improvised explosive device, IED, Abu Sayyaf, Hamas, FARC, Armed Revolutionary Forces Colombia, IRA, Irish Republican Army, ERA, Euskadi ta Askatasuna, Basque Separatists, Hezbollah, Tamil Tigers, PLF, Palestine Liberation Front, PLO, Palestine Liberation Organization, car bomb, jihad, Taliban, weapons cache, suicide bomber, suicide attack, suspicious substance, AQAP, Al Qaeda Arabian Peninsula, AQIM, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, TTP, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, Yemen, pirates, extremism, Solamia, Nigeria, radicals, Al-Shabaab, home grown, homegrown, home-grown, plot, nationalist, recruitment, fundamentalism, Islamist, ice, emergency, hurricane, tornado, twister, tsunami, earthquake, tremor, flood, storm, crest, temblor, extreme weather, forest fire, brush fire, stranded, stuck, help, hail, wildfire, wild fire, Tsunami Warning Center, Emergency Broadcast System, magnitude, avalanche, typhoon, shelter-in-place, disaster, snow, blizzard, sleet, mudslide, mud slide, erosion, power outage, warning, watch, lightning, lightening, aid, closure, interstate, burst, cyber security, botnet, DDOS, dedicated denial of service, denial of service, malware, trojan, keylogger, Cyber Command, 2600, spammer, phishing, rootkit, phreaking, cain and abel, brute force, brute forcing, MySQL injection, cyber attack, cyberattack, cyber terror, cyberterror, hacker, china, conficker, worm, scammers, social media

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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.

Jive (Talking and Smoking)

2010-07-24

Though some think the zen ‘third way’ will kill us all, I’ll be knocking myself out.

PLAYLIST
Big Brother and The Holding Company – In The Hall Of The Mountain King
Cat Stevens – Matthew and Son
Hugo Montenegro – Slaughter On Tenth Avenue  – Bongos & Brass
Cats and The Fiddle – Killin’ Jive  – Harlem Station
Lil Green – Knockin’ Myself Out  – Lil’s Big Hits
Ella Fitzgerald – When I Get Low I Get High  – The Legendary Volume 1
Billie Holiday – Just Friends  – 40 Great Songs
Peter, Paul And Mary – Puff (The Magic Dragon)
Dr. Hook – I Got Stoned and I Missed It  – Bankrupt
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – King Midas in Reverse  – 4 Way Street
Shel Silverstein – Smoke-off  – Best Of Shel Silverstein
Milt Buckner – The Beast  – Ultra-Lounge, Vol. 4: Bachelor Pad Royale
Louis Jordan – Caledonia  – Jump Jive
Carl Perkins – Jive After Five
Tex Williams – Smoke Smoke Smoke (That Cigarette!)  – Encyclopedia of Country Music Vol. 1
Danny Reeves – I’m a Hobo  – the Best of Ace Rockabilly
Esquivel – Surfboard  – Space Age Bachelor Pad Music
Waylon Jennings – Down Came the World  – Greatest of the Great: Waylon Jennings
Bob Dylan – Talkin’ World War III Blues
The Inkspots – I Don’t Want to Set the World on Fire
Beatles – World is Waiting for the Sunrise/Flaming Pie  – Anthology
Terry Snyder – Deep Night / Softly As In a Morning Sunrise  – Bongoland: Ultra-Lounge Vol. Seventeen
Billy Lee Riley & His Little Green Men – Red Hot  – The Ultimate 50’s Rockin’ Sci-Fi Disc
Lee Hazelwood and Nancy Sinatra – Paris Summer
New Riders Of The Purple Sage – I Don’t Know You  – The First Album
Johnny Burnette – Dreamin’

Stranger in a Strange Land 2010-07-24: Jive (Talking and Smoking) by The Stranger on Mixcloud

~The Stranger
thestranger@earthling.net

“pushing the envelope straight into crazy”

The Big Lebowski Game

YOU WILL NEED
vodka (or rum)
cream, milk, or half & half
Kahlua or Tia Maria
ice
‘Old-Fashioned’ glasses
that good Sasparilla root beer
PBR and Miller High Life beer
weed rolled into joints
In-n-Out Burgers

must drink a Caucasian whenever the Dude does
must ‘do a j’ when the Dude does
must sip either beer or that good Sasparilla when ‘the Dude’ is said
when ‘fuck it man, let’s go bowling’ is said
when ‘shut the fuck up, Donnie’ is said
whenever someone says ‘Johnson’ or ‘Marmot’
whenever someone gets a strike
must make ‘one hell of a Caucasian’ when Jackie Treehorn does
must eat In-n-Out burgers when they appear on screen

HEMPSGIVING

11/28/09

Because who needs thanks?

PLAYLIST
Funk United – In the Hall of the Mountain King
Harlem Underground Band – Smokin’ Cheeba Cheeba
Bela Fleck & the Flecktones – Weed Whacker
The Fraternity Of Man – Don’t Bogart Me
Tom Petty – Roll Another Joint
The Beatles – What’s the New Mary Jane?
Human Instinct – Stoned Guitar
Black Sabbath – Sweet Leaf
Jimi Hendrix – Purple Haze
Steppenwolf – The Pusher
Robin Trower – Too Rolling Stoned
Black Jazz Chronicles – Dope Stuff
Ray Charles – Let’s Go Get Stoned
Makaha Sons of Ni`ihau – Pakalolo
Sublime – Smoke Two Joints
The Upsetters – Kutchi Skank
Peter Tosh – Legalize It
Frankie Paul – Pass The Kushempeng
Bob Marley – Natural Mystic
MF DOOM – Smokin’ That Shit
Diggable Planets – Nickel Bags
Cypress Hill – Sticky Green Weed
Eligh – Chronic
Bone Thugs-N-Harmony – 420
Medeski Scofield Martin & Wood – Legalize It
Quasimoto – Greenery
Snoop Dogg – No Sticks No Seeds
Bullet – Smokey Joe The Dreamer
NRBQ – Wacky Tobacky
Twelve Clouds Of Joy – All The Jive Is Gone

Face reality now.

Stranger in a Strange Land 2009-11-28: Hempsgiving by The Stranger on Mixcloud

Every once in a while I proudly expend a lot of effort and intense thought on timing and editing to craft a methodically seamless show of anal-retentive audio perfection. This is not one of those times.

~the Stranger
thestranger@earthling.net

“Did you ever realize… that pot… helps you realize stuff?”
-Harry

Hero with a Thousand Disgraces

Michael Phelps, not just America’s Golden Child, but Golden Child eight times over, was caught *GASP* partaking in some other Olympic water event at which he apparently also excels like a champ.

4:19, a new record!

And though conservative American values and traditional niceties demand outrage (or perhaps just… disappointment), a much larger segment of America just doesn’t care. Is this yet a further sign of the times that only those old and out-of-touch (and, of course, it bears hilariously repeating, no longer in control of the country) folksy type folks give a fuck who in this country smokes weed? Add this to the slew of casual Judd Apatow movies, White Castle endorsements, and Obama’s nonchalant response that inhaling is, indeed, the whole point, and we may be able to claim something that George Carlin never will: the legalization of Cannabis in our lifetime!

Or not. Phelps apologized to the outraged conservative public outcriers, telling the Associated Press that he will have to ‘live with’ what he did (oh, how will he manage to go on), but hopes he can grow from it (he’s going to start growing already). “By no means is it fun for me. By no means is it easy,” he told The Associated Press after a swim in Baltimore. His sponsors vow continued support, but hope that he ‘learned his lesson.’*

Instead of once again using this forum to expound upon my libertarian views on federal intervention of a naturally-occurring substance, the history and medical research related to this specific drug, or the inalienable rights of man to his property, pursuit of happiness, and condition his condition is in… well, I think Robin Williams said it best…

In a related news item, documents unsealed by a federal judge Wednesday in the government’s criminal case against Barry Bonds reveals five blood and urine tests positive for performance-enhancing drugs. My response to all the pushy, Bonds-ass-kissing, loud-mouth (for no discernible or meritable reason), cut-you-off-by-the-stadium-on-game-day Giants fans out there: BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! And though this comes as no surprise except, perhaps, to those in denial or chemically imbalanced or delusional, it remains to be seen if he will be convicted, face house arrest, or simply kicked out of MLB and the Hall of Fame (as was Pete Rose for merely arrogantly betting on his own team to win, but that too, is another rant).

When asked if I thought his records suddenly don’t count as a result of his drug use, my immediate and unqualified response was and is a solid ‘yes.’ The argument was made to me today that since everybody in baseball is doing it, then everybody in baseball has to do it to keep up (funny, the ‘everybody’s doing it’ argument was exactly what D.A.R.E. said to avoid). I’ll go even further with this ‘slippery slope competitive edge’ future of baseball: Rollerball Thunderdome arenas with springboard bases and spiked paths and laser cannons. If the American Empire is going the way of the Roman Empire, we should at least have our own Amphitheatrum Flavium for our national pasttime.

Why the hypocritical distinction? Well, I believe there’s a big difference between Michael Phelps taking time off from his lifelong obsessive pursuit to be the freakishly best at some random human skill (that, for the record, I cannot do at all) and outright… you know.. cheating. Hell, if the guy didn’t smoke pot his life would seem pretty one-note and sad. Or.. eight golden notes… and sad.

As a matter of fairness, if Pete Rose cannot be in the Hall of Fame, then neither should Bonds, McGwire, or Giambi. Or the Red Sox, but just because I hate them.

The argument can be made that as a role model to children, these celebrities need to be more responsible in their personal lives so as not to promote copycat drug use. And while we do perhaps need to examine the society that has made just such a sick atmosphere possible not only on the professional stage but in the high school locker room, I think most of that fear-mongering finger-waggling is bullshit. Just as someone cannot be unwillingly hypnotised, kids are going to do what they want to do, and not do what they don’t want to do. Try getting them to eat spinach. People who once thought Michael Vick was a great football player didn’t all go out and torture dogs. They don’t just buy Air Jordans because Michael Jordan says they’ll make you a better basketball player. They buy them because they’re really nice sneakers, and because Michael Jordan says they’ll make you a better basketball player. They smoke pot not just because their hero does it, but mostly because it feels good.

The issue that I think supersedes all of this is that of hero worship. Or in America, our pantheon of celebrity worship, glazed with a golden hue and exported around the world. It’s unhealthy to the point of creating screaming, makeup-running, gender-ambiguous Youtube rants in their defense. No matter what they manage to get themselves into, the American people gladly pay ridiculous magazine fees weekly to digest the goings-ons of their inner courts, elevating these malleable, fallible people into epic, immortal, untouchable, nigh-fictional deities. Who Zeus is sleeping with behind Hera’s back, how many kids Shiva has adopted from around the world, when Anansi is getting out of rehab, what racial epithet Anubis might have uttered, how much Zoroaster paid for his boat, Loki hopping madly up and down on Medusa’s couch, and all the backstabbing treachery from Valhalla.

That’s why I don’t expect anything from anybody. Ever. You can only ever be disappointed. I’ll point you towards Spiderman 3.

The greatest myth of all is that excelling at something makes you a better person. History shows that quite often the opposite is true. Ghengis Khan. Adolf Hitler. Joseph Stalin. Except maybe Alex Trebek. That’s the morality figure (not to mention body type) that should be our societal ideal.

I don’t even advocate exercise, let alone steroid-induced iron-pumping.
I mean, just look at some of the horrendous things that can happen:

prolapsed rectums
of urban legend status
comically exploding arms

substance addiction
and douchebaggery
& public office in California (remember, going from Mr. Universe to state Governor is a demotion)

Until next time, keep it mediocre.

*Smoking weed is still a crime, I wouldn’t lie to you. But in London, you are caught on CCTV over three-hundred times a day, and graffiti still manages to go up. Food for thought.

THINGS YOU DO NOT* WANT TO DO STONED

*Hang out with people smoking more pot than you.
*Hang out with people smoking less pot than you.
*Quote/Dissect/Perform Monty Python.
*Show somebody else Yellow Submarine for the first time.
*Try to analyze Easy Rider, in any certain terms.
*Think of all the girls who got away.
*Picture people as dinosaurs.
*Use the word badger more than once.
*Lie on top of your buddy’s car hood and picture yourself losing gravity, falling directly up into space, face a mask of horror as each darkening moment becomes a screaming nightmare losing the sweet, sweet taste of fresh air.
*Get all twitchy.
*Pretend not to be stoned.

We may add to this list in the FUTURE…