Free To Speak
Rodney Simmons

We the People

Posted Wednesday, October 12, 2011, at 9:31 PM
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  • The marijuana legalization movement is picking up steam. Civil libertarians and users are starting to understand that they're not the fringe group the media portrays them as. We can END federal prohibition of marijuana and leave the laws up to the states. The answer is H.R. 2306 - The Ending Federal Prohibition of Marijuana Act of 2011. Here's how we can get it passed:

    This two part plan is the only action the citizens of the US need to take to end federal marijuana prohibition:

    1) EVERYONE that sees these links sign up at both sites and weigh in on the debate

    - http://pvox.co/CdiFqY

    - http://wh.gov/gDQ

    2) Propagate those two links and ensure that everyone that sees them go to both those sites.

    Too many people are blaming the President for enforcing the federal marijuana prohibition. Contact Congress (the LEGISLATIVE branch [that's the important one when it comes to law]) via the first link. Contact Obama (the EXECUTIVE branch [until Obama vetos a passed H.R. 2306 it's on Congress - but tell Obama anyway]) via the second link. It really is THAT easy. Participate in democracy!

    -- Posted by AdvocateReason on Thu, Oct 13, 2011, at 12:32 AM
  • And to think, just yesterday I was under the assumption that all of the pot-heads, in this nation, who also represent "We The People" were just sitting around on their couches watching TV and contemplating future crimes. It seems as though they have (at least in part) exchanged their couches and TV's for computer monitors and social networking. Impressive! Pot-heads Unite!!!

    -- Posted by memyselfi on Thu, Oct 13, 2011, at 7:20 AM
  • Whoo Hoo what a debate it is. Must be my age. I am tired of supporting the pot user with tax dollars while he sets in jail. If the Federal Government would get out of the picture... we could do with fewer jails, bondsman's and attorney's. I do not believe MJ is a gateway drug and I never saw anyone smoke pot and kill someone. I am not a user, I just think it is horrible people are given pain pills (and drive) and people accept that, but for them to have some "herb" and set at home they think it is wrong. Then you see all the border crossing, that our Federal Goverment is sanctioning and they are bringing MJ in by the truck loads. Tax it like whiskey and you could solve the Federal debit!

    -- Posted by Union on Thu, Oct 13, 2011, at 7:27 AM
  • I'll start a petition asking Obama to resign. That's guaranteed to get 25,000 signatures.

    I wonder what his response would be?

    -- Posted by quietmike on Thu, Oct 13, 2011, at 7:54 AM
  • I'll sign that one quitemike

    For 3.00 you can be put in for a drawing to have lunch with the Obama's, I hear their having trouble getting people to pay the 3.00

    -- Posted by bellbuckletn on Thu, Oct 13, 2011, at 8:39 AM
  • A petition to ask the President to resign!Then what?A petition asking to do away with DUI laws,then another to do away with child porn and child abuse laws.What else can this this lead to?Just wondering.

    -- Posted by jdem on Thu, Oct 13, 2011, at 6:41 PM
  • As I'm only interested in the one for resignation, I'll leave the others for you to pursue.

    As for what it would lead to.... A much improved country would be the obvious thing.

    -- Posted by quietmike on Thu, Oct 13, 2011, at 7:29 PM
  • I created the petition and I'd ask anyone who agrees to sign it. Thanks.


    -- Posted by quietmike on Fri, Oct 14, 2011, at 10:29 AM
  • I signed your petition, Mike. But I don't think it's going to get enough votes to get anything done.

    -- Posted by PrpleHze on Fri, Oct 14, 2011, at 11:03 AM
  • Even if it got the required votes, I don't think anything will happen, his egomania will prevent it.

    The votes a year from now will be a different story.

    -- Posted by quietmike on Fri, Oct 14, 2011, at 1:39 PM
  • Rodney, I thought for sure you would have some sort of blog up about Occupy Wall Street by now. I'd be interested in your thoughts and the thoughts of the others that frequent the blogs.

    Some sort of poll would be cool too. I for one would like to see the a rollback of the legislation that repealed the Glass-Steagle act. Or, at the very least separate those investment banks from the everyday bank of the people.

    Another thing I would be in favor of eliminating the big money influence on the political process and the politicians themselves. It just breeds corruption-though we don't call it that, we call it influence.

    Investopedia has a nice little article about the Glass Steagall Act. This portion of the article could be quoted about recent times:

    Reasons for the Act - Commercial Speculation

    Commercial banks were accused of being too speculative in the pre-Depression era, not only because they were investing their assets but also because they were buying new issues for resale to the public.

    Read more: http://www.investopedia.com/articles/03/071603.asp#ixzz1bWiQAA6d

    -- Posted by Midnight Rider on Sat, Oct 22, 2011, at 11:02 AM
  • quietmike, I originally thought this topic (and your petition) was pretty funny. After some additional thought though, I realize that this is a serious topic. I hate that you created your petition. There are a couple of ways to look at it. On one hand, Obama created the online petition in order to open communication between the people and Washington. If that is the case, he deserves a degree of respect for freely giving what no other administration has, a voice to the people. On the other hand, perhaps he got the idea from Mao's Hundred Flowers Campaign. Either way, I fear your reaction may have been misguided.

    That being understood, I imagine that you could get the signatures needed by a few hours of posting links to Tea Party, white separatist, and various conspiracy theory blogs.

    Midnight Rider, I doubt it is what you were hoping for, but I'll put in two cents.

    Likely, the Wall Street protests will come to nothing. If they develop a serious and sustained following, which survives the demonization and marginalization that is sure to come, the movement will be assimilated into the traditional political system through infiltration or compromise. The protection of wealth (and infinite growth for it) is currently a non-negotiable.

    The way I see it, the repeal of Glass-Steagall represents only one facet of a much larger issue. The deregulation that we have experienced is a direct result of the "influence" created by fractional banking, fiat currency, the dependency upon the financialization of our markets, and the super-citizen status afforded the largest corporations on the global stage.

    The failure of the system is inevitable. The only question is whether we are experiencing a quickening, one of many death throws, or a slow and painful process of rectification.

    -- Posted by memyselfi on Sun, Oct 23, 2011, at 3:47 PM
  • Looks like the "stoners" are too "baked" to get the word out. They only have a little more than 5000 signatures.

    -- Posted by Midnight Rider on Mon, Oct 24, 2011, at 12:51 AM
  • "Looks like the "stoners" are too "baked" to get the word out. They only have a little more than 5000 signatures."

    -- Posted by Midnight Rider on Mon, Oct 24, 2011, at 12:51 AM

    My bad, I looked at the wrong petition. The "stoners" have mobilized. They have a little more than 72000 signatures:


    -- Posted by Midnight Rider on Mon, Oct 24, 2011, at 1:02 AM
  • Memyselfi,

    Why can't you liberals debate the actual issues about the obama administration without playing the race card?

    What does huffingtonpost talking points say about debating Tea Party members who support Herman Cain? Kinda throws a wrench in the standard response doesn't it?

    -- Posted by quietmike on Mon, Oct 24, 2011, at 4:31 PM
  • quietmike, Hmmm, that is not exactly where I was going, but whatever. I am a little confused though. Exactly what issue were we debating about the Obama administration before I started playing race cards? Whatever it was, it is apparently about race now.

    Since you bring it up, why cant you (insert your choice of meaningless, divisive, and rhetorical labels here) ever consider any racial issue without screaming "race card" as if it were an involuntary response? I, for one, do not even know what it means. I doubt a "race card" even exists, except in the minds of those who have created it, in the hopes of not dealing with reality. At any rate, I know for certain that I have never seen one.

    There are indeed racial issues that still plague 21st century America. Unfortunately, minorities are disproportionately represented in areas such as living in poverty, prison terms, and crime victimization, while being inversely represented in levels of education, upward mobility, and wealth accumulation.

    Again, there are two ways to look at it. Judging from your past comments, I guess you will claim that everyone gets equal opportunity, and that people, by and large, get exactly what they deserve. Another way to look at it though, is that in many instances, people cannot overcome their circumstances.

    Either perspective appears to be harmless enough on the surface, but upon closer inspection, the first assessment necessarily indicates that minorities are statistically less deserving of opportunity and more deserving of hardship. The justification for racism is inherent within the paradigm itself. Moreover, it is self-affirming in the sense that the proof is manifest within the statistics themselves, and self-fulfilling in the sense that acceptance of the premise ensures more of the same in the future. So, just to clarify, what do you believe creates the discrepancies?

    I was honestly just giving you a suggestion to get more than five signatures on your petition. The three groups I singled out would all have a vested interest. You may have read too much into it.

    I really do not know how to answer your second paragraph. I do not know who Herman Cain is, nor do I have the mental energy to sift through Tea Party or huffingtonpost.com pointless political posturing.

    -- Posted by memyselfi on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 2:02 AM
  • Herman Cain is a black Republican candidate who is leading in most current polls.

    The "race card" is played like a "trump card" to explain away misdeeds or lack of success by blacks or other minorities.

    As for why blacks are more likely to be poor, in prison, and not successful, I would blame our entitlement system. It has effectively replaced fathers in black families, where 75% of children are born without fathers in the home. This may lead to psychological issues of abandonment, leaving the child with an unresolved need for family. They may be drawn to gangs for this sense of family, medicate themselves with drugs, or emotionally harden themselves and repeat the cycle.

    Add to the mix that a successful black, who is educated and works hard, is likely to be branded by some on the left as an "uncle tom" or "house ni**er" for not acting like a victim.

    American Indians receive more federal aid than any other ethnic group, and look at how most live.

    No one can control where they came from or how they begin in life, but everyone controls where they go and what they will become. Anyone who says anything differently is either trying to sell you something or control you.

    -- Posted by quietmike on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 3:26 AM
  • I agree that Occupy Wall Street would make a good topic to address. For anyone who has actually gone up there they would be able to confirm that it consists of a wide variety of people who are concerned about the future of the PEOPLE of our nation. I saw not one person pushing a right or left agenda, they were all respectfully representing the 99% who actually make this county the one we love.

    -- Posted by wonderwhy on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 11:59 AM
  • Mike, you don't have to answer this but I have 2 questions for you, one/ how old are you? and two- do you think you could relate to rednecks ?

    -- Posted by wonderwhy on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 1:49 PM
  • 40ish. Relate to them in what way?

    -- Posted by quietmike on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 1:53 PM
  • would you say your more like them or say main stream stereo type middle age people

    -- Posted by wonderwhy on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 3:08 PM
  • I prefer to deal in facts and statistics not stereotypes. If you have a specific question, ask it.

    -- Posted by quietmike on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 3:25 PM
  • good point, people are "stereotyping" each other with out facts, they are assuming that just because a person is in one party or the other they are one way or another. I would have led to see a redneck to be the equivalent of a gun tote-in' strict republican and a stereo type middle ager to be your average main stream middle of the road dem or rep. and the to go way the other way perhaps describe the far left to be your solar panel vegetarian ( I am going over board both ways intentionally) Now I am not saying you are one or the other--- so play along if you will a bit longer. What would you define a redneck to be? I really do have a point here promise.

    -- Posted by wonderwhy on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 3:39 PM
  • It depends on your definition of redneck.

    The dictionary definition of redneck is a poor white farmer, that definitely describes how I grew up, if that helps.

    -- Posted by quietmike on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 6:51 PM
  • Thanks for going along, I had been told they were rowdy, white, gun waving ( not your respectable gun holders) who wreck havoc on those they do not approve of or just to raise heck. Then we have your definition, and then earlier today I read that the term started in the 20's when miners wore red scarves to show solidarity in their fight for workers rights.

    Now to my point, which is not actually geared towards you personally but to anyone, we are all so quick assume what people are like by tags they have been labeled with, most often unjustly. Poor,rich, disabled, redneck, preppie, hippie, lefty, righty, just to list a few and just how different the meaning of these tags can be from one persons point of view to another.

    Now the funny thing that brought it to my attention was that a group that calls itself "The Redneck Party" gathered in Franklin to protest Scott Walker who was speaking at some dinner. AND well seeing as I would have bet a red neck would be a staunch Republican it got my attention when I saw they were fighting against one of their own Boy was I off base on that assumption, considering they got their name from the miners fighting for workers rights.

    We should be careful not to come to quick assumptions about people with out knowing the facts about who they are as individuals and the circumstance they have that make them who they are, chances are we will be wrong other wise.

    -- Posted by wonderwhy on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 11:39 PM
  • quietmike, Your answer was, as usual, both insightful and articulate. It made some good points, a few of which I would even agree with. However, I was a little disappointed that you really did not answer the question. You just kicked it a little further down the road.

    You see, the question was directed specifically to what you believe creates the statistical racial discrepancies. Your answer would have been complete if we all did not live with the same entitlement systems available, but we do. Minorities do not get preferential treatment at any entitlement office that I know of. The potential adverse effects of receiving entitlements alone does not address the discrepancies at all. In order for your answer to be complete, you would almost necessarily have to add that minorities are for some reason more inclined to require benefits in the first instance, or alternatively, that they are for some reason more vulnerable to the negative effects of entitlements.

    That being the case (and as far as I can tell, it is) what do you imagine causes minorities to be disproportionately affected by entitlements, which in turn causes them to be disproportionately represented statistically?

    Let me make this easy. In case you do not see where I am going, no matter how far down you kick the question, it ultimately reduces to a fairly rigid racial divide that will only be explained through environment, genetics, or some combination thereof. There is just no other way around it.

    You know, I have heard a lot of complaints about Obama from many different races, but I have never heard him called Uncle Tom, not yet anyway. Perhaps those labels do not attach themselves only to successful blacks, but specifically to those whose success is achieved at the expense of others.

    There have been several black Republicans who have been fairly successful. I have not heard anything about Cain, but it is way too early for me to be interested in politics. I am somewhat disillusioned with the political process anyway. I do not imagine that anyone who is likely to make waves will ever be given the opportunity to do so.

    -- Posted by memyselfi on Wed, Oct 26, 2011, at 1:40 AM
  • Yes, we all live with the same entitlement system available to all of us, but how many of us have people like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Shiela Jackson Lee, and countless government programs that tell us we arn't good enough to make it on our own?

    That is what happens with quota systems and set asides like affirmative action.

    I doubt you'll ever hear Obama called an "Uncle Tom", because he toes the leftist line of preaching victimhood. But a successful black person who tells people that instead of supposed systematic oppression, blacks are poor because of their own bad choices, they will quickly receive the label. Clarence Thomas, Alan Keyes, and Allen West, for example.

    Bill Cosby's famous "poundcake speech" sums it up very well.


    -- Posted by quietmike on Wed, Oct 26, 2011, at 3:32 AM
  • quietmike, You are harder to pin down than a well-greased piglet. Your answer was a good one, but not exactly what I was hoping for. Just for the sake of clarity, let me go over this one more time, just to be sure that I am not "putting words into your mouth".

    You appear to be suggesting that minorities are influenced by environmental factors. For example, the purveyors of entitlements and the multitudes of other enablers, which in turn make them either more statistically apt to use, or be negatively impacted by, the use of entitlements, which in turn creates the statistical discrepancies evidenced between the quality of life of minorities, as compared to averages. Is that correct? Please don't take this the wrong way, but do you even know the rationale for your beliefs, or are you just making this up as you go?

    Does Obama preach victimhood? I have not heard that personally. What I have witnessed is an admission of racial issues, as opposed to reflexively crying "race card" as if there had been a fowl in a ball game, expecting some form of quarter from the realities we all experience daily by creating the illusion that pointing out racial issues is an indication of weakness and a red herring. Not that he has done anything to address any of those issues, any more than he has addressed any issue that does not affect his true constituency, whose composition (like most politician's) has less to do with race than influence.

    -- Posted by memyselfi on Thu, Oct 27, 2011, at 3:06 AM
  • That pretty much sums it up. The overt racism of old has been replaced and disguised with the soft racism of lowered expectations. The same folks are responsible both.though.

    Obama preaches the victimhood mentality at every turn. Asking people who already pay the majority, to pay "their fair share". Demonizing the haves while appealing to the have nots.

    -- Posted by quietmike on Thu, Oct 27, 2011, at 7:00 AM
  • (sigh) I just do not know how to answer that. I am honestly at a loss. I fear that we are separated by a great gulf fixed that no quantity of mere words will ever bridge.

    I do sincerely agree with this: "The overt racism of old has been replaced and disguised with the soft racism of lowered expectations. The same folks are responsible both though". The only thing that I would add is that it does not matter if racism is overt or covert, or for that matter, if it is a foundation of one's ideology, or the direct result of one's ideology, it all has the same consequences, which is more of the same.

    -- Posted by memyselfi on Sat, Oct 29, 2011, at 2:42 AM
  • it does not matter if racism is overt or covert, or for that matter, if it is a foundation of one's ideology, or the direct result of one's ideology, it all has the same consequences, which is more of the same.

    -- Posted by memyselfi

    I would agree except that escape from the current version of racism is less risky, and arguably easier to do. Also, I don't know if it can still be called racism since it has spread across racial boundaries and would probably be more accurately described as classism.

    All someone needs to do to escape is to reject the teachings that (insert evil OTHER person)is keeping them down, and accept the reality the each individual has more than enough resources in this country to be responsible for their own destiny. Don't be satisfied with mere rations from your oppressor (the government), instead go make your own fortune. The only person holding you back is yourself.

    -- Posted by quietmike on Sat, Oct 29, 2011, at 8:25 AM
  • To get back on topic the white house has sent two emails in response to petitions about implementing the fair tax and legalizing marijuana.

    Both contained the standard canned response we have heard for decades.

    IMO these petitions were little more than a publicity stunt, and a "hundred flowers campaign" seems more likely than an honest attempt to consider opposing views.

    -- Posted by quietmike on Sun, Oct 30, 2011, at 1:44 PM
  • Comment #1: There is no doubt in my mind that the racism witnessed today is much easier to escape (and much less extreme) than that experienced in antebellum America, or even that of fifty years ago. What is curious to me though is the way in which you love to hate the framework that has created this possibility of individuals eluding past realities. What do you imagine has advanced this actuality, if not quotas (not recently though, they have been illegal for decades), affirmative action, the desegregation of schools and society, the protection from systematic discrimination, and the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments imposed upon us by our oppressors (the government)?

    It would be great if I could attribute the statistics of minorities to classism, but that is impossible to do. You see, problematic lives have always been spread among the races, but not equally. We might be able to call it classism if/when certain races are not more statistically likely to be found within the negatively impacted classes, but not until then. To do so is reminiscent of a street-corner con of three card monte, within which the race card is manipulated and hidden, but never really goes away.

    Look, I will meet you halfway here. I will admit that if I were ever in a position to council a young minority, my advice would be virtually indistinguishable from what I imagine yours would be. I would offer up the same spiel that I have read from you, complete with a strong emphasis upon personal responsibility, autonomy, and empowerment. However, can you admit that (just like me) the entire time that you were reciting it, you would know, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the youth was less likely (at least to a correlation of the statistics) to escape the negative realities than a non-minority counterpart would be? Can you acknowledge that the deck is still somewhat stacked against them, as every hand they are ever dealt in life necessarily has a race card within it?

    Comment #2: I do not know if the canned response is indicative of intention. The cogs of republicanism turn much more slowly than those of radical democracy. I hope that you are mistaken though, and that it is neither a publicity stunt nor one out of Mao's playbook, but I am not too worried about it.

    The way in which I view the world prohibits me from being too concerned about day to day politics, or even who occupies the White House at any given time. I do understand your issues with the current administration, but I seriously doubt any other would be much different.

    As far as I can tell, the drama that is currently being playing out, is doing so upon a stage that was set decades ago, and has been reinforced by every administration since. Do you honestly believe that a single person (or even a handful of people) would ever really be given the opportunity to run the world, especially those whose authority is entirely dependent upon the whims of the majority?

    The people whom we typically assign the praise and blame for the political events in our lives are merely actors in a world full of playwrights and directors. Obama will not do anything that has not already been scripted, for whoever was to eventually play the part.

    -- Posted by memyselfi on Mon, Oct 31, 2011, at 3:47 AM
  • It seems as if you've answered your own question.

    I do agree that there is still institutionalized racism at work. It is mainly classism with a dose of modern day racism thrown in.

    Why do we still need an NAACP? BET television? Congressional Black Caucus?

    Reverse racism is still racism. Whether you tell someone they are an ignorant, incapable person by calling them the "N" word, or you do it implicitly with set asides and special programs the message is still the same.

    If enough people tell a person they look like they are sick, after a while they will begin believing it and will make themselves sick. The same thing will work if enough people tell a group they are unable to succeed on their own.

    With that said, the Jessie Jacksons, Al Sharptons, and a large segment of the democrat party have a vested interest in making sure there is a dependent underclass who looks to them for protection from all the evil people out there keeping them down. All they have to do is vote for them or contribute money to "the cause". When the Mafia did it, it was called a "protection racket" or extortion. When politicians do it, they call it "protecting the unfortunate".

    -- Posted by quietmike on Mon, Oct 31, 2011, at 5:37 PM
  • If enough people tell a person they look like they are sick, after a while they will begin believing it and will make themselves sick. The same thing will work if enough people tell a group they are unable to succeed on their own."

    That is a very good comment Mike, but on the other side of the coin no matter how much you tell some one who s sick that they are not will not cure them!!! Believe me for over 10 years I had doctors tell me I was not sick when in fact I was . and had they listened to me and not tried to push me aside I wold not be where I am today!! I would not have the lasting complications from it I do.

    -- Posted by wonderwhy on Tue, Nov 1, 2011, at 9:47 AM
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