Daily archives: September 7th, 2009

Obama to Tell Kids to Believe in Themselves. HE’S A WITCH!!!

Okay, Right Wing. Here’s the great, evil, mind-control speech the President of the United States intends to beam into your children’s brains tomorrow. Be afraid. Be very afraid.  After all…


You know the POTUS is up to no good when he tells kids, “Every single one of you has something you’re good at. Every single one of you has something to offer. And you have a responsibility to yourself to discover what that is. That’s the opportunity an education can provide.”


He even dares to say (courtesy of our friends at ENEWSPF):

Maybe you could be a good writer – maybe even good enough to write a book or articles in a newspaper – but you might not know it until you write a paper for your English class. Maybe you could be an innovator or an inventor – maybe even good enough to come up with the next iPhone or a new medicine or vaccine – but you might not know it until you do a project for your science class. Maybe you could be a mayor or a Senator or a Supreme Court Justice, but you might not know that until you join student government or the debate team.

And no matter what you want to do with your life – I guarantee that you’ll need an education to do it. You want to be a doctor, or a teacher, or a police officer? You want to be a nurse or an architect, a lawyer or a member of our military? You’re going to need a good education for every single one of those careers. You can’t drop out of school and just drop into a good job. You’ve got to work for it and train for it and learn for it.


And he goes on with his filthy, ugly lies:

You’ll need the knowledge and problem-solving skills you learn in science and math to cure diseases like cancer and AIDS, and to develop new energy technologies and protect our environment. You’ll need the insights and critical thinking skills you gain in history and social studies to fight poverty and homelessness, crime and discrimination, and make our nation more fair and more free. You’ll need the creativity and ingenuity you develop in all your classes to build new companies that will create new jobs and boost our economy.

We need every single one of you to develop your talents, skills and intellect so you can help solve our most difficult problems. If you don’t do that – if you quit on school – you’re not just quitting on yourself, you’re quitting on your country.

Further, he’s going to admit he’s human!

Now I know it’s not always easy to do well in school. I know a lot of you have challenges in your lives right now that can make it hard to focus on your schoolwork.

I get it. I know what that’s like. My father left my family when I was two years old, and I was raised by a single mother who struggled at times to pay the bills and wasn’t always able to give us things the other kids had. There were times when I missed having a father in my life. There were times when I was lonely and felt like I didn’t fit in.

So I wasn’t always as focused as I should have been. I did some things I’m not proud of, and got in more trouble than I should have. And my life could have easily taken a turn for the worse.

But I was fortunate. I got a lot of second chances and had the opportunity to go to college, and law school, and follow my dreams. My wife, our First Lady Michelle Obama, has a similar story. Neither of her parents had gone to college, and they didn’t have much. But they worked hard, and she worked hard, so that she could go to the best schools in this country.

Next, he’s going to try to fool them with EMPATHY!!!

Some of you might not have those advantages. Maybe you don’t have adults in your life who give you the support that you need. Maybe someone in your family has lost their job, and there’s not enough money to go around. Maybe you live in a neighborhood where you don’t feel safe, or have friends who are pressuring you to do things you know aren’t right.

But at the end of the day, the circumstances of your life – what you look like, where you come from, how much money you have, what you’ve got going on at home – that’s no excuse for neglecting your homework or having a bad attitude. That’s no excuse for talking back to your teacher, or cutting class, or dropping out of school. That’s no excuse for not trying.

Read all the lies from the President of the United States!

And give me a break.

Is America Ready to Decriminalize Drugs?

For four decades, the United States has been waging a war on drugs. Drugs won.

Drug dealers won.  The criminal justice system won.  Millions upon millions of dollars have been directed toward the construction of prisons in the United States.  Hundreds of thousands of young people and adults have found themselves behind bars for non-violent actions involving drugs.  In these prisons, serving time along side murderers, thieves and rapists, these non-violent offenders learned the real meaning of crime.

Is America ready for the change that’s needed?

There are a few recent developments we need to consider.

First, there is a wave of decriminalization sweeping through Latin America.

From The Guardian:

Bruno Avangera, a 40-year-old web designer from Tucumán inArgentina, pauses to relight a half-smoked joint of cannabis. Then he speaks approvingly of “progress and the right decision” by the country’s seven supreme court judges, who decided last week that prosecuting people for the private consumption of small amounts of narcotics was unconstitutional.

“Last year three of my friends were caught smoking a spliff in a park and were treated like traffickers,” he said. “They went to court, which took six months. One went to jail alongside murderers. The others were sent to rehab, where they were treated for an addiction they didn’t have, alongside serious heroin and crack users. It was pointless and destroyed their lives.”

The court’s ruling was based on a case involving several men caught with joints in their pockets. As a result, judges struck down an existing law stipulating a sentence of up to two years in jail for those caught with any amount of narcotics. “Each individual adult is responsible for making decisions freely about their desired lifestyle without state interference,” the ruling said. “Private conduct is allowed unless it constitutes a real danger or causes damage to property or the rights of others.”

Is the “war on drugs” ending? The Argentinian ruling does not stand alone. Across Latin America and Mexico, there is a wave of drug law reform which constitutes a stark rebuff to the United States as it prepares to mark the 40th anniversary of a conflict officially declared by President Richard Nixon and fronted by his wife, Pat, in 1969.

That “war” has incarcerated an average of a million US citizens a year, as every stratum of American society demonstrates its insatiable need to get high. And it has also engulfed not only America, but the Americas.

The incarceration of a million US citizens every year is something we’ve long neglected to face.  After all, the law can’t be wrong.  Drugs are illegal!

I had a circuitous discussion with my brother just a few weeks ago that went along those lines exactly.  When I suggested that we decriminalize drugs and treat drug addiction as a medical condition, he responded (several times), “You can’t! Drugs are illegal!”

Again, from The Observer, this time from the editorial section:

In June 1971, US President Richard Nixon declared a “war on drugs”. Drugs won.

The policy of deploying the full might of the state against the production, supply and consumption of illegal drugs has not worked. Pretty much anyone in the developed world who wants to take illicit substances can buy them. Those purchases fund a multibillion dollar global industry that has enriched mighty criminal cartels, for whom law enforcement agencies are mostly just a nuisance, rarely a threat. Meanwhile, the terrible harm that drug dependency does to individuals and societies has not been reduced. Demand and supply flourish.

“It is time to admit the obvious,” writes Fernando Henrique Cardoso, former president of Brazil, in the Observer today. “The ‘war on drugs’ has failed.”

The ‘war on drugs’ has failed.

Another cogent observation we forget about this ‘war’:

One point of general agreement is that heroin is the big problem. It is highly addictive and those who are dependent – up to 300,000 in Britain – tend to commit a lot of crime to fund their habit. But then it is hard to tell how much of the problem is contained by prohibition and how much caused by it.

Leaving gangsters in charge of supply ensures that addicts get a more toxic product and get ever more ensnared in criminality.

In the Chicagoland area, hardly a day goes by without a drive-by shooting, gang members fighting gang members over drug turf.

We have lost the ‘war on drugs’ because drug prohibition is bad policy.  It’s black and white thinking over an issue that demands critical thought and consideration.  Drug addiction is a medical issue, and the use of recreational drugs does not necessarily mean one is addicted to anything.

At any rate, I’m only getting warmed up on this one.

Judy Baar Topinka, Make-Up and All, Running For State Comptroller

Judy Baar Topinka is running for State Comptroller.

I wish her luck.  Really.  And have a “Close Encounters of the Judy Kind” story to share.

First, from CBS 2 Chicago:

Judy Baar Topinka, once the main face of the Illinois Republican Party, is staging a political comeback after being defeated in the 2006 governor’s race by the since-indicted Rod Blagojevich. 

But she’s not setting her sights on the top of the 2010 Republican ticket and mounting an “I-told-you-so” campaign this time. Instead, the former three-term state treasurer sees the bottom of the ticket as the place to reinvigorate her political career. 

Topinka is circulating voter petitions to get on the Feb. 2 ballot as a candidate for state comptroller, the post that Democrat Dan Hynes will vacate to campaign against Gov. Quinn in his party’s gubernatorial primary. 

With the soreness of her 2006 loss having eased, Topinka, 65, comes at this election having warned voters — long before his ouster from office and indictment — that Blagojevich was a political time bomb waiting to explode.

She was right about Blago.  I have no idea if she’s right for State Comptroller.

At any rate, a few years ago, during the gubernatorial campaign in Illinois, I had the opportunity to accompany some Young Democrats to the IVI-IPO’s annual awards dinner in Chicago.

As we entered the ballroom, we located our table and found Judy Baar Topinka herself standing right next to our table chatting with folks, holding a 20 oz. cup of coffee.

The Young Dems, a high school group I shepherded for several years, took their seats at their table.

Just then, Judy finished chatting with whoever she was chatting with, and turned and faced those of us seated at this table.

The next moment was strange, and left us all with an eerie feeling.

Ms. Topinka looked at my group seated at the table and swooped her face over us, literally, bellowing, “Hello-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o!”

It was quite odd.  The high school kids just froze and looked at each other. I recall that her make-up looked pasty white.  Pasty white.  No kidding.

The silence lasted a breath or two.

At this point, Ms. Topinka muttered something, and walked away.

After she left, one of the kids told us Topinka said, “Must be a liberal table!” And with that, she strolled away.

Look, I honestly wish Ms. Topinka well in the upcoming election cycle.  Certainly Rod (“What’s she thinking?!?!?!?) Blagojevich was the wrong man for the job.  Judy should have won.  But I’m not about to vote for her for Comptroller out of sympathy.  I’m looking very closely at David Miller right now.

But, Judy?  She needs to remember, in politics and elsewhere in life, first impressions are everything.

And we’ll always have Chicago.