Friday, April 21, 2006

Can We Trust Government "Science?"

Copyright © 2006 Laurie D. T. Mann

Please read my blog entries at my Web site:

The FDA reports that marijuana has no benefit for medical use.

Given that the FDA is under the thumb of Republicans, who have no respect for science, I don't believe what the FDA says. I've known too many sick people who report improvements in appetite and nausea when they use pot. Even very conservative people (like my own mother) think medical marijuana is OK.

Since our government ignores facts when they interfere with its agenda, I do not believe this FDA announcement. The same FDA won't permit "Plan B" to be sold without a prescription because the government claims Plan B is abortion. The same FDA won't promote use of the anti-cervical cancer vaccine for fear that it might encourage young women to be promiscuous. The same government doesn't believe that human activity influences global warming, and didn't believe (until really recently) that energy conservation was a good idea.

Don't get me wrong - personally, I don't use marijuana. I found out over 30 years ago that pot triggers asthma and gives me a sore throat. But I do think pot should be legal for home use. It shouldn't be anyone's business. Pot shold be regulated and taxed the way that alcohol is.

I look forward to having a reality-based government someday. We clearly don't have one now.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

We Are Here...

Somewhere around 1960, my parents bought me a pine dresser. It lasted through my childhood. At one point, I painted it blue. Eventually, when Jim, Leslie and I moved Massachusetts, I retrieved the dresser from my parents and gave it to Leslie.

Since it was a pine dresser, it really wasn't meant to last for 45 years. It's been falling apart for a few years. So, since we're moving, Jim and I are getting new dressers, and I'm giving my current dresser (which I think had been Jim's grandmother's) to Leslie.

Before I put the pine dresser out for the garbage collectors, I noticed we'd both signed the same drawer:


Friday, April 07, 2006

The Birthdate Meme and the States Visited Meme

Not clear where this came from, but:

Go to Wikipedia ( Type in your birth date (but not year). List three events that happened on your birthday. List two important birthdays and one interesting death. Post this in your journal.

My birthdate is February 2, aka Groundhog Day.

Interesting Events

1709 - Alexander Selkirk is rescued from shipwreck on a desert island, inspiring the book Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe.
1933 - Adolf Hitler dissolves the German Parliament.
1990 - Apartheid: In South Africa President F.W. de Klerk allows the African National Congress to legally function again and promises to set Nelson Mandela free.

Interesting Birthdays

1882 - James Joyce, Irish author (d. 1941)
1949 - Brent Spiner, American actor

Interesting Deaths

1461 - Owen Tudor, Welsh founder of the Tudor dynasty of England

In addition to Dead People Server, I've been tracking a list of people born in 1957.

States Visited Meme

A new hack from Google, apparently.

create your own visited states map
or check out these Google Hacks.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

The Current Immigration Problems...

Most of my family has been in the United States for a very long time. My ancestors were mostly English and Scottish. They started leaving the Old World for the new as early as 1642. I have no idea if they had the proper papers or not. I only know that they came and ran farms, small businesses, churches, and families all over New England.

I think the hysteria over illegal immigration is troublesome, because it focuses on the wrong problems. Yes, of course governments should be on the lookout for potential terrorists. But should they be focused on so much on economic refugees? I don't think so. Should we declare illegal immigrants and the folks that help them felons? Why? What ever happened to "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free?" What ever happened to "Love thy neighbor as thyself?"

People willing to come to this country to work should not be discouraged. And that's all the vast majority of the illeagal immgrants want.

But aren't they taking American jobs? Sometimes. But many people have reported that Americans generally aren't working in the fields. I've read blogs by Mexican-American writers who report never having seen "Anglos" working in the fields. Granted, these are low-paying, backbreaking jobs.

But if Americans aren't taking these jobs...why can't immigrants?

I love going to areas where I don't always hear English. I've been delighted to be one of the only non-Asians at a dim sum restaurant in San Francisco. I don't mind having to work a little harder to speak slowly to a person who isn't a native English speaker. This tends to freak many Americans out.

The bottom line is the immigration debate brings out racism in a very vocal group of Americans.

As much as President Bush has been so wrong so often in his public career, he's been about the most rational public voice on the immigration debate. And thank goodness for the common sense displayed by the Senate Judiciary Committee on this issue.

It would be nice if the more Americans could show as much common sense.