The Joe Blow Report 2

Everything Is About Something Different

Archive for the ‘Pot’ Category

Just Desserts?

leave a comment »

Bloomberg Businessweek published on MSNBC this rather all inclusive report about marijuana in California.

Reefer sadness for pot farmers

Marijuana growers in California find legalization could be worst thing that ever happened

It was the following excerpt that really pissed me off:

Jason says he clears $150,000 to $200,000 a year in profit from the land surrounding his house, depending on how good the crop is. He earns more from other plots he owns nearby. He doesn’t pay taxes on the income because he doesn’t file a return (“I don’t lie about it. That’s when you get in trouble”). Spending all that cash in the middle of nowhere can be a challenge. He and his wife eat all-organic, and he’s got a few trucks to play with as well as a $28,000 Kubota backhoe. Some of the money is “seasoned” slowly into a bank account, so as not to draw attention.

How long has this been going on?

The 1996 passage of Proposition 215, which legalized the possession and cultivation of marijuana for medical use in California, ushered in a green golden age. *** The very vagueness of the rules created opportunity: Midlevel entrepreneurs such as Jason who were willing to live with the risks and ambiguities of a semi-legitimate market rushed in and thrived, though there are no reliable estimates of how many there are. [Emphasis added]

$200,000 plus tax-free dollars for 10 years or more? No wonder they can thumb their noses at us dummies that work for honest dollars. In all the years that I hired out as a logger or truck driver, even when the wife worked we were lucky to GROSS, in the beginning $20 to $30,000, later it was rare to even get close to $40,000. It wouldn’t bother me to see these people lose all of their ill-gotten gains.

Yeah! I know that just being spiteful. After getting it rammed in all the dark places for 50 years, you sometimes get that way. [Source]

–Joe

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:

user   

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.   

–Joe   

[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 Salon.com 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?

Corporate Elite’s Dirty War

leave a comment »

This reality really hit home Wednesday, April 14, 2010 on Democracy Now’s interview with Charles Bowden, a “reporter who has extensively covered the drug violence in Mexico. He is author of the new book Murder City: Ciudad Juárez and the Global Economy’s New Killing Fields.”

Why is any of this important to Humboldt County? For one thing, you cannot endure the consequences of the past 50 years’ social changes caused by marijuana and other drug trade without dealing with the harmful and lasting effects caused to this community. The local war on drugs as implemented on local towns and rural areas along with code enforcement essentially pits the government against the people.

If you want to see what happens when the exceptional elitist American’s defend their right to destroy this Earth and wage war on the people, look no further than Ciudad Juárez in Mexico. First, they force poor countries to accept and enforce the North American Free Trade Agreement where all the small land owners are forced off their land because the can’t compete, so Mexico can’t support itself. Then you have “slave factories all over the country, where nobody can live on the wages, two generations at least of feral kids on the street,” where a large portion of them want to become professional killers. Like water, people have to live, and so they take the course of least resistance. To deal with their impossible situation they take to drugs, since it is a major moneymaking industry. Those that can, come to the United States. Since it is always the victims fault, the United States takes its War on Drugs to the next higher level and reinforces the Mexican government to the tune of “a half-a-billion dollars a year.”

That’s this Report’s take on the good part of this catastrophe. “Nearly 23,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence in Mexico since a US-backed military crackdown on cartels began more than three years ago. The city of Ciudad Juárez, which borders El Paso, has by far been the most violent area, with more than 4,300 people killed in the past two years.” Bowden says:

“What’s happening is, this thing started in 2006 with the new president, as a statement of his personal power. You know, mano dura—“I’m a strong man.” He ripped the mask off Mexico. In other words, he was going to claim he’s the big guy. And the mask he ripped off revealed what’s really going on in Mexico: mass poverty and social disintegration. Now it’s turned into a war by the Mexican government against the Mexican people.”

With the continued looting of American the President Obama and his complicit Democrats and Republican representative allies are doing nothing to stop it, there is only a matter of a small amount of time before we begin to really feel the brunt of this epidemic. Bowden offers some simple, commonsense solutions everyone needs to consider.

Bowden’s conclusion is somewhat hopeful and well worth repeating here:

And I think the war on drugs is ending, because, frankly, it’s no longer the darkness at the edge of town. I do stories all over this country. I don’t care where you go, the drugs are everywhere. I don’t care where you go, people are being arrested. I did a story in western North Dakota, county of—you know, got more people in this room maybe than the county. They busted eighty meth labs in a year. What are you going to say, that these are, you know, the lesser breed or something? I mean, these are a bunch of people that look like potatoes that plow fields. That’s what our war on drugs has come to. We’re killing ourselves with our war. We’re not helping anyone.

 If that statement is not proven true here in Humboldt County, I don’t know what is.

[Picture source]

–Joe

SHAME!

leave a comment »

10,000 plants pulled by CAMP raids

John Driscoll/The Times-Standardcamp-pot_0001_309x278
Posted: 09/05/2009 01:30:26 AM PDT

“An estimated $3 million worth of marijuana was seized in a raid on U.S. Forest Service land outside Willow Creek on Thursday. … ”

What does CAMP do with THREE MILLION DOLLARS of pot? They burn it, that’s what!

Let’s see, $3,000,000 divided by 10,000 plants comes to $300 a plant. The question we should all be asking is, how much taxpayer money did each one of those plants actually cost to erradicate and burn? 

When there is NO money to pay for school busses for our children and grandchildren, or money for the elderly, the two parts of our society that needs help them most, the State of CA has millions to spend on something as frivolous as harvesting POT. For some reason the Sheriff’s Department deemed it important to make the distinction that the pot wasn’t grown by local small-time farmers. They say, “written material and personal belongings found at the site indicated that an organized drug trafficking organization was behind the grow.” That’s really BAD! Drug traffickers in Humboldt County justifies the cost . . .

If all CAMP and all their allies are doing is going after the “organized drug traffickers,” who benefits? Must be the local boys and girls. Good way to drive up the value. Hey, we got THREE MILLION DOLLARS worth of worthless pot. Who benefits from this make-work program?

What I really like is how John Driscoll for the Times-Standard just rolls out the various spokesperson’s dribble as if it was the god’s-gospel truth. Then when these same “people” are asked to explain, the conveniently hide behind some “BS” excuse like “inquiries from the media” need  “to be cleared through the agency’s Washington, D.C. office.” Then follow-up by saying their enquiries were not returned by deadline.” 

Thus the newspaper rubberstamps what the government agencies want people to know and ends further reporting.

When more money is needed for schools and other essential programs why would the City of Arcata interfere in a developing tax base? The other front page article on Saturday’s Times-Standard, “Danco considers bypassing Arcata council for Creekside Homes annexation” offers up this choice bit of nonsense.  This says it all: “I (Councilman Shane Brinton) certainly understand their perspective and I know it can be frustrating to jump though the hoopsthat government sets up, but those hoops are there for a reason.” Jump through the hoops? Government? Mayor Mark Wheetley and Councilman Shane Brinton take a lot upon themselves when they say it is “the government” that’s putting up the hoops. Who are the people that won’t address the request? Why my goodness:

Mayor Mark Wheetley and Councilman Shane Brinton said they didn’t see the need to meet on the issue again.

”I thought our message was pretty clear,” Wheetley said. “We said that there were just too many other issues in the mix.”

He added that the council wanted to utilize staff time and resources for other projects that were at hand.

These are just some of the reasons the Joe Blow Report tries to stay out of these kinds of political mix, mash messes. It’s rather hard to do when your children and grandchildren are expected to travers Eureka on foot this year just go to school when they had bus transportation last year. When it comes to the people and what benefits them the most, “government” takes care of their own first. Remember, the police work for, protect and serve the “government,” not the people.

–Joe

Passe – Blase or Just Plain Worthless?

leave a comment »

whatswrong_mJoe has had some interesting conversations this past week about the detrimental consequences to the North Coast social structure caused by decades of lawless profiting by everyone and their brother cashing in on the marijuana “trade.” None of these people ever gave one damn about themselves, living legal, what they were doing to their communities or what they were teaching their children. Now, all they can talk about is getting pot-growing legal in such a way that they can still protect their pocketbooks. They think that will get the monkey off their backs. Problem is, they don’t want anything to do with all the monkeys they put on the backs of all the law-abiding folk that really care about the communities they live in. Well, we know what they were teaching their children. Everyone on the North Coast lives with that reality.

It all may have seemed a simple matter of survival to all these lawbreakers. Grow and sell a little pot for food and shelter. It’s just a harmless weed that people use for private reasons. What’s the harm? Local businesses were suffering and all that cash money was a god-send. That symbiotic relationship grew until the hills and the towns proliferated with their blood money. In the meantime, no thanks to these criminals, everyone was subjected to their corrupt influences. Mob rule became the norm, the ends justifies the means and now these rebels all want everyone to forgive and forget; amnesty.  So, is it any surprise that the Bush Republican’s and their complicit enablers’ assault on the law these past years gets the same pass? Read the following article by Glenn Greenwald and see if the hair doesn’t stand up on the back of your neck everytime you think about what these people have done to society.

Glenn Greenwald
Tuesday March 3, 2009 06:31 EST

The newly released secret laws of the Bush administration

Various universal perception biases always make it difficult to assess how genuinely consequential contemporary events are:  events in the present always seem more important than ones in the past; those that affect us directly appear more significant than those that are abstract, etc. (though powers of denial — e.g.: all of those bad things I’ve read about in history can’t happen to me and my country and my time — undercut those biases).  Whatever else is true, it seems undeniably clear, at the very least, that the extreme decay and instabilities left in the wake of the Bush presidency will alter many aspects of the social order in radical and irrevocable (albeit presently unknowable) ways.

One of the central facts that we, collectively, have not yet come to terms with is how extremist and radical were the people running the country for the last eight years.  That condition, by itself, made it virtually inevitable that the resulting damage would be severe and fundamental, even irreversible in some sense.  It’s just not possible to have a rotting, bloated, deeply corrupt and completely insular political ruling class — operating behind impenetrable walls of secrecy — and avoid the devastation that is now becoming so manifest.  It’s just a matter of basic cause and effect.

Yet those who have spent the last several years pointing out how unprecedentedly extremist and radical was our political leadership (and how meek and complicit were our other key institutions) were invariably dismissed as shrill hysterics.  As but one of countless highly illustrative examples, here is a November, 2004 David Broder column scoffing at the notion that there was anything radical or unusual taking place in the U.S., dismissively deriding the claim that there was anything resembling an erosion of basic checks and safeguards in the United States:

Bush won, but he will have to work within the system for whatever he gets. Checks and balances are still there. The nation does not face “another dark age,” unless you consider politics with all its tradeoffs and bargaining a black art.

That was (and still is) the prevailing attitude among our political and media elites:  it was those who were sounding alarm bells about the radicalism and damage of the Bush administration — not Bush officials themselves — who were the real radicals and, worst of all, were deeply Unserious.

* * * * *

Anyone get the connection?

Read the rest at Salon

–Joe

%d bloggers like this: