The Joe Blow Report 2

Everything Is About Something Different

Help name Firedoglake’s Marijuana Legalization Campaign

with 6 comments

[UDATE Below]   

Here’s the latest Joe Blow Report contribution the Marijuana Legalization Campaign

The following is copied from the FireDogLake website:


Late Nite FDL 4/20: “Name That Pot Campaign” Contest!

By: Jane Hamsher Tuesday April 20, 2010 8:02 pm

It’s been a few years since the last FDL Late Nite contest allowed our readers to display their skill at doggerel. Four to be exact.   

Long-time FDLers will remember that in 2006, the Vice President of the United States, Richard B. Cheney, shot Harry Whittington in the face and then refused to talk to the cops about it for a day.   In order to commemorate that notable event, we held the Dick Cheney poetry contest — or “Dickfest” as we called it.  Hundreds of entries were submitted, our readers voted, and the prize went to 88 for this poem:   

If epitaphs were polygraphs,
This, terse and edifying,
Would crown the veep in final sleep:
Here lies Big Time–still lying.   

Dickfest was immensely popular, inspiring art, a t-shirt line, and even imitators. Since that time, we haven’t felt that there has been a moment quite so poignantly appropriate to display the poetic prowess of our readers til now:  We need a great name for our marijuana campaign.   

Some suggested that we simply appropriate the “yes we cannabis” slogan that other campaigns have used, but after perusing a bunch of old High Times covers I became convinced that our readers, inspired by the subject matter, could easily surpass that. So here are the rules:   

  1. All entries must be submitted in the form below by 8pm ET tomorrow night.
  2. Slogan must be no longer than 5 words — should be able to fit on a bumper sticker or a t-shirt.
  3. Semi-final voting will begin tomorrow night at 8pm, when we’ll be here at Late Nite once again to let everyone know what the entries are. Voting will close at 8pm the following night.
  4. The top 10 vote getters will proceed to the finals on Thursday Night Late Night, and voting will continue through the weekend.
  5. We’ll announce the Gold, Silver and Bronze medalists at Late Nite a week from tonight.

Remember — the campaign is not aimed at babes in bikinis roller skating on the Venice boardwalk.  Well, not exclusively anyway.  When marijuana legislation goes on the ballot in November and beyond, many voters  are older and likely to be persuaded more by pragmatism than stoner puns. But, hell.  Who are we to limit anyone’s creativity.   

We’ll also use the winning slogan (or slogans, as the case may be) for the campaign, as well as on t-shirts, bumper stickers and whatever else we decide might be good for getting the message out.   

If you’re looking for inspiration, the Marijuana Policy Project has a series of informative short videos on YouTube, the Drug Policy Alliance has a page on myths & facts, Students for Sensible Drug Policy also has a fact sheet, and Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) has great messaging on how the “War on Drugs” has backfired.   

We also have some special guests who have been working on drug policy for years who will be joining us in the comments.  So please help me welcome them as we celebrate 4/20 in fine FDL fashion.  It’s great to be back hosting Late Nite once again, and I’m looking forward to seeing the fruits of everyone’s personal 4/20 celebration in the comments.   

Submit your entries here — and remember, 5 words or less   


There’s a Times-Standard front-page article on the local celebration you can read here.   

Interesting commentary by the Arcata Police Chief, Tom Chapman:   

Reputation, and all that comes with it, is a big reason for the increased enforcement folks saw firsthand Tuesday.   

It’s not just this event, it’s everything the event brings with it. There’s an influx of people, and the town gets overrun,” Chapman said, adding that his department annually sees increases in petty theft, vandalism, illegal camping and public intoxication in the weeks leading up to April 20. “It’s a national draw. People travel to Arcata for 4/20, and that’s what we want to stop.    *******   

“The main thing we’re trying to accomplish is to make this an unattractive event.”   

That’s message is clear as crystal. Arcata City Government and local business don’t want “these kinds of people” coming to their community for no kind of frolic in the redwoods. The police obviously just don’t like these people and what they represent. When you consider the report of their activities that day, they were there to simply harass these people. Even the Police Chief had to acknowledge that what they were doing had limits. Specially when people bring their children into a war zone “in strollers”.   

“Reputation?” What’s he talking about? Whose reputation? His or Arcata’s?   

The War on Drugs has failed. Heavy-handed law enforcement with the objective to beat undesirable people into submission only breeds systemic failure. The tide has turned; people everywhere are fed-up with being ruled over and victimized by dictatorial, corrupt, stupid, arbitrary liars. More and more the police are forced to make a choice. Political and business leaders should take a lesson.   


[UPDATE :: Friday, April 23, 2010]   

There’s a considerable amount of chaffing among Americans the the “media,” in particular the news media is more partisan, too liberal, not news, but propaganda, etc. This Report has observed that the local news media hasn’t escaped this trap either. The biggest complaint we observe is the constant drumbeat of prejudice propaganda and not so subtle dictatorial, authoritarian commentary telling everyone how to think and what to believe.   

Kevin Hoover of the Arcata Eye, a weekly newspaper and Internet site recently took offense at my usage of the words: “people everywhere are fed-up with being ruled over and victimized by dictatorial, corrupt, stupid, arbitrary liars” he said I was applying to Arcata, CA. A critical read of his commentary will show a rather convoluted understanding of what the Report actually said. Notice my words, “people everywhere”? But then, Kevin Hoover went on in his comments to define those very words and identify the “local” problem when he demonstrated the very same attitude reported in the Time-Standard.  

So, when I read Glenn Greenwald’s, “Various Matters” post on this morning it seemed appropriate to copy and repost here. There are some other good commentary, but this one seems appropriate locally.  To show the comparative similarity the words “Humboldt County” were added in parenthesis.  


(6) Every now and then there are little vignettes that capture what Washington really is:  an insular, incestuous, fundamentally corrupt royal court, populated — as all sickly imperial capitals are — by political and media courtesans and other hangers-on.  One such vignette was a recent New York Magazine profile of Liz Cheney and her circle of friends, adeptly excerpted by Susan Gardner, which is well worth reading.  Another was just provided by Mark Leibovich in his fawning New York Times Magazine profile of his good friend, the Supreme-stenographer-servant to the powerful, Mike Allen of Politico:   

On a recent Friday night, a couple hundred influentials gathered for a Mardi Gras-themed birthday party for Betsy Fischer, the executive producer of “Meet the Press.” Held at the Washington home of the lobbyist Jack Quinn, the party was a classic Suck-Up City affair in which everyone seemed to be congratulating one another on some recent story, book deal, show or haircut (and, by the way, your boss is doing a swell job, and maybe we could do an interview).   

McAuliffe, the former Democratic National Committee chairman, arrived after the former Republican National Committee chairman Ed Gillespie left. Fox News’s Greta Van Susteren had David Axelrod pinned into a corner near a tower of cupcakes. In the basement, a very white, bipartisan Soul Train was getting down to hip-hop. David Gregory, the “Meet the Press” host, and Newsweek’s Jon Meacham gave speeches about Fischer. Over by the jambalaya, Alan Greenspan picked up some Mardi Gras beads and placed them around the neck of his wife, NBC’s Andrea Mitchell, who bristled and quickly removed them. Allen was there too, of course, but he vanished after a while — sending an e-mail message later, thanking me for coming.   

 If you ever find yourself wondering why there’s so little adversarial journalism and accountability for crimes and corruption in Washington (Humboldt County), just read Gardner’s post and that above passage.  Beltway denizens play various assigned roles — this one reads from the Journalist script, that one poses as a legislator, this one’s a Democrat and that one’s a Republican, the one over there is a regulator, this one is a lobbyist, etc. — but they all feed from the same trough, and their sole allegiance is to their decadent, insular, endlessly nepotistic, and deservedly dying pseudo-aristocratic culture, and to one another.  Chris Hayes captured the point nicely this week in a spontaneous one-minute television outburst.  

Any lessons learned here?


6 Responses

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  1. Joe,

    You’re being unfair, and misleading your readers.

    If you re-read Chapman’s remarks, he didn’t say anything about anything about “kinds of people,” despite your misleading quotation marks.

    He quite clearly talked about behavior – the destructive things that people do, not what they are.

    As the story stated, the problems are petty theft, vandalism, illegal camping and public intoxication. These things bring down the quality of life for everyone.

    It might play to the cheap seats, but there’s nothing at all in Chapman’s comments to establish him as a “dictatorial, corrupt, stupid, arbitrary liar.”

    I mean, if you want to be honest, and I know you do, you have to face the reality of the situation, not play the fascism card in defense of chump crime.


    Kevin Hoover

    April 22, 2010 at 12:05 am

  2. Kevin:

    Thank you for commenting. It seems your a rather courageous fellow since all I know how to do is attack people like you. So, I’ll try to be objective and kind.

    First, I wasn’t quoting Chapman. You should “re-read” what I wrote. Okay?

    Would you have everyone believe that “petty theft, vandalism, illegal camping and public intoxication” has nothing to do with a “certain kind of person”? The quotation marks are there for emphasis and to distinguish one kind of a person from another. Not all people degrade everyone’s quality of life.

    Did Chapman and his bosses, the Arcata City Council and all the businesses that support them establish themselves as “dictatorial, corrupt, stupid, arbitrary liar.”?

    Moreover, the issue facing Arcata is hardly about “chump crime.” And that was my point, Chapman and his officers WERE NOT THERE to dissuade “chump crime.” They were there for exactly what he did say, “People travel to Arcata for 4/20, and that’s what we want to stop.” And: “The main thing we’re trying to accomplish is to make this an unattractive event.” No where did I say that is what Chapman is. What he says and what he did as reported in the newspaper says all that is necessary to answer that question. No where am I asking you or anyone else to agree with me or tell you what kind of a person Chapman is.

    Perhaps you could tell everyone how the War on Drugs is NOT a play on fascism?

    Regardless, I do appreciate the comment. It helps me reevaluate what I write and what I’m trying to say; keep the observations objective and encourage thinking.

    Joe Blow

    April 22, 2010 at 12:36 am

  3. The war on drugs is idiotic. As are most of the confused tangle of cannabis laws that distort people’s behavior and our society.

    If you talk to the cops off the record, they don’t give a shit about people smoking pot. In 20 years of reporting in Arcata, I haven’t met one yet that cares about that. It’s the impacts of a mass gathering that concern everyone.

    The problem with 4-20 is the destruction, and when it’s sunny and lots of wasted people are out there, the potential for fights, thievery, etc. Everyone is worried that one of these years, something really bad could happen, like an assault, or a brawl.

    I went out with Environmental Services this morning. You should have seen the contemptuous filth the visitors left in our forest. Campsites just coated with crap – abandoned camping gear, plastic and glass flung into the blackberry brambles, piles of human shit everywhere (they don’t even bury it), trees cut down for fires, garbage thrown in the creeks… you name it. The people who did this don’t respect our community, the environment, or the human beings who have to clean it up.

    Frankly, Joe, it’s childish to objectify the police and City workers who have to deal with this awfulness as monsters. They’re people, like you and me and the folks who come to town to party. They’re enforcing laws that were democratically enacted by our elected representatives.

    In Arcata, we even have an extra layer of democracy – the citizen-composed advisory committees, made up of working citizens like you and me who have volunteered their time. Why don’t you ask the people on the Forest Management, Wetlands and Creeks, Parks and Rec or Open Space committees what they think about 4-20? It reverses much of the work they put into improving our environment.

    A lot of good people put a lot of effort into restoring our forests and waterways. Arcata is trying to deal with an influx of buzz-seekers, some of whom make selfish decisions that harm our City. Nowhere in this response do I, personally, see any evidence at all of “dictatorial, corrupt, stupid, arbitrary liars.”

    Kevin Hoover

    April 22, 2010 at 1:44 am

  4. Kevin:

    When I responded to your comment I did so from my email notice. I DID NOT pickup on the fact that you are the Editor and Publisher of the “Arcata Eye” newspaper. Had I done so I would have readily understood why you addressed me as you did. Now that I do, let me say, of all people I would fully expect you to be able to distinguish between the subject from the object.

    The problem here is that once you assault me personally for what I said, for what you think I said or for what you want me to have said, you change the rules. The issue, for whatever it is worth, ceases to be about what is written or said and all about personal character and credibility. Proof of that is your insistence in trying to tell me what I wrote, i.e., last sentence in your comment.

    What I would like to know is why you can’t discuss what is written without GETTING PERSONAL? Calling me “childish” and questioning my “honesty” assaults me as a person and identifies you and your attitude. Where do I “objectify” the police and city workers as “monsters”? If they are, that’s you saying it, not me. I was identifying a prejudiced and bigoted attitude in what was said and done. That record stands as written and identified in my previous comment to you. About this I wrote: “The police obviously just don’t like these people and what they represent.” What about you? Is that why you took personal offense at what I wrote? Let’s see if you share the same attitude.

    Notice what you tell me: “A lot of good people put a lot of effort into restoring our forests and waterways.” How do you know that I am not one of these “good people”? You have no idea how much money, time and effort I’ve pumped into this community. Next you say: “Arcata is trying to deal with an influx of buzz-seekers, some of whom make selfish decisions that harm our City.” You’ll have to excuse me for not knowing exactly what you mean by, “buzz-seekers.” I can certainly draw your inference and adversarial relationship to a certain type of people that you say “harm our City.” That statement identifies your attitude and explains your conduct.

    It is the attitude that offends me. I don’t need some police officer accosting me like some low-life indigent bum depreciating the neighborhood with my presence just because one of my neighbor’s up the street told him that’s what he thinks I am because he doesn’t like the length of my hair, the color of my skin, the church I go to, or the fact my mongrel dog barks too much. The attitude here is the same. It is used to justify how and why the police and city fathers do what they do. That doesn’t make it right nor does it address the problems in an effective way. It only makes matters worse; witness your comments to me.

    I and my family live in a nice neighborhood and we do everything we can to protect and defend it. We support those that support, defend and protect it and our right to live here free from the scourge that plagues many locations in Eureka – we frankly count our blessings. So, don’t try to tell me I’m denigrating the Arcata city workers for being forced to do the things you say when the police didn’t do their job. You either enforce the laws or you change them. You don’t put the police in an untenable situation where they are forced to decide, as was clearly the case in this incident. You end up with exactly what you got. Just keep it in Arcata.

    A suggestion, how about from now on, try staying on point, worry about the subject and let the object take care of itself?

    Joe Blow

    April 22, 2010 at 6:33 pm

  5. Hi Joe,

    I forgot to comment on this.

    “It seems your a rather courageous fellow since all I know how to do is attack people like you.”

    1. It’s you’re, not your. 2. I don’t consider arguing on the Internet to be much of a Badge of Courage. 3. People like me? You mean there are more like me? God help us all.

    Now then, as to your latest ill-tempered riposte.

    “The problem here is that once you assault me personally…”

    Hah? I pointed out your errors, not your character deficits, such as they may or may not be.

    “It is the attitude that offends me. I don’t need some police officer accosting me like some low-life indigent bum”

    I don’t think you should objectify human beings that way. Some of these “low-life indigents” have various mental or other problems that prevent them from joining the mainstream.

    “You’ll have to excuse me for not knowing exactly what you mean by, “buzz-seekers.””

    It seems self-evident. That would be people seeking to get buzzed.

    “How do you know that I am not one of these “good people”?”

    Well, are you on a City committee? If so, which one?

    Kevin Hoover

    April 23, 2010 at 12:30 am

  6. Kevin:

    You are a rather arrogant S.O.B. aren’t you? More than that you are really stupid and mealymouthed.

    People like you are so damned transparent it is absolutely hilarious. You proved my point. You think that just because I answered your Ad Hominem comment that somehow you are important, that you somehow have meaning? That was a mistake I made, alright. I gave you far more credit than you deserved. An oversight I won’t repeat. Regardless, I got you to identify yourself and show everyone exactly what you are. The only low-life indigent bums in this community with mental problems are self-evident.

    Did I attack you? Did you think you could come to my home and tell me what a bastard you think I am and if I defended myself you could use that to justify more personal assaults? When you change the rules fool, learn to live with the consequences.

    Joe Blow

    April 23, 2010 at 3:13 am

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