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Douglas Carpenter

Douglas Carpenter's Journal
Douglas Carpenter's Journal
January 20, 2016

Unfortunately all my dear friends, I am back in the hospital again.

I seemed to have acquired a fairly serious bilateral pneumonia. I suppose being immune suppressed both from cancer and chemo and having my body have to fight more than one problem - makes things significantly worse.

For those who know what it means - my O2 sat is running about 84% even on 50% O2 mask which I hope will change soon. I have legally declared myself DNR/DNI. So their are limitation on how far things will be pushed if push comes to shove. I am at peace with this. Since I have worked as an intensive care respiratory therapist for more than 34 years - I guess I am in a better than average position to judge the long term realities. And the reality is that no one really knows how things will go. Anyway, again I thank everyone for their messages, their prayers and messages of hope and support. ..... doug

January 13, 2016

The 2016 Presidential Candidates Who Could Let You Smoke Marijuana:

Among Democrats

Bernie Sanders

Scott Eisen/Getty Images

The perk of being an acting member of Congress is that you can introduce bills that clearly state your opinion on any number of topics, including whether people should have legal access to marijuana. Sanders used his role as the senator of Vermont to do just that, when he introduced a bill in November that would decriminalize marijuana possession on the federal level, and leave it up to the states about whether or not to legalize medical and/or recreational marijuana. For Sanders, this settles the debate about whether marijuana legislation should come from the federal or state governments. “It’s a state and a federal issue. The federal issue is that we should remove marijuana from the Controlled Substance Act. That’s a federal decision,” Sanders told CNN. “The state decision is that we live in a federal system of government where issues like tobacco and alcohol are significantly regulated by the states. And I think that is a province of the states.” Marijuana’s current status is a Schedule I drug, carrying the same classification as heroin, LSD, and ecstacy. Sanders’ bill would change this status and allow marijuana possession on a federal level, opening a clear path to state-by-state legalization. It would also allow current employees in the marijuana industry to use traditional banks to deposit their earnings, which thus far has been a tricky subject for those working legitimate jobs in states that have already legalized marijuana, like Colorado and Washington.

Hillary Clinton

Clinton has been fairly hesitant to speak up on the topic of marijuana, but during a town hall meeting in early November said she supports reclassifying the drug as a Schedule II substance, which would permit universities and health entities to conduct research on the effects of medical marijuana. “The problem with medical marijuana is there is a lot of anecdotal evidence about how well it works for certain conditions. But we haven’t done any research. Why? Because it is considered that is called a schedule one drug and you can’t even do research in it,” she said during the town hall meeting in South Carolina. Clinton did not endorse full legalization for recreational use, saying that she’d prefer to wait to see how states like Colorado and Washington continue to handle the ongoing rollout before making any changes on the federal level.

Martin O’Malley

O’Malley is hanging on by a thread to even participate in the next Democratic debate, but he rounds out the cast of characters from the Democratic party. Like Clinton, O’Malley supports the reclassification of marijuana to a Schedule II drug, but is waiting for states like Colorado and Washington to provide more insight before endorsing full-scale recreational legalization. During his time as governor of Maryland, O’Malley signed a bill that decriminalized the possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana, and was governor when Maryland legalized medical marijuana. Though initially against any marijuana use during his time as governor, he eventually changed tacks and now is exploring the idea in more depth. In September 2015 he visited Denver to participate in a roundtable discussion about marijuana with industry and legalization advocates.

Rand Paul

Among his conservative counterparts, Paul takes the most progressive approach toward marijuana legalization. Though it’s unlikely to pass because of inaction, Paul is a co-sponsor on the CARERS Act, a bill that would allow medical marijuana on a federal level and leave the other legalization details to individual states. In a visit to Denver in October, Paul indicated that state’s rights would continue to be an important part of any marijuana platform he establishes.

Mike Huckabee

Though Huckabee has traditionally said he’s against marijuana use in any form, he did say during an interview in October that he’s “open” to the idea of medical uses. The

Where do the rest stand?

None of the other Republican candidates support widespread marijuana legalization, but talk about it in varying degrees. Carly Fiorina and Ted Cruz have both said they believe in state’s rights and wouldn’t enforce the federal ban in states that have legalized the drug, essentially leaving it at the uncertain status quo that exists today. Jeb Bush admitted to smoking weed in his younger years, but reiterated during a GOP debate in September that America has a “serious epidemic” of drugs that still needs to be addressed. He fell back on state’s rights during the debate, as does Marco Rubio, though Rubio’s explanation can be a bit confusing to follow. Donald Trump has said he’s generally not bothered by medical marijuana, but is solidly against recreational marijuana on the whole. Ohio Governor John Kasich, whose state just vetoed the use of marijuana, said in an interview last April that he wants to honor state’s rights but opposes legalization and that as president he would “lead a significant campaign down at the grassroots level to stomp these drugs out of our country.” Jim Gilmore is “not a legalization guy.” Rick Santorum believes in the war on drugs and believes federal laws should be enforced. Ben Carson said he would “intensify” the war on drugs, and is against marijuana legalization. Carson said medical use in “compassionate cases” is acceptable, but that it’s essentially a gateway drug. Chris Christie, though pointing out that New Jersey has laws in place for rehabilitation for first-time, non-violent offenders, has also said marijuana is a gateway drug. Like Santorum, he’s also said he would enforce federal laws. Candidates’ viewpoints are sure to become more defined as the political field narrows in the coming months, but until then the overarching theme is that states are acting on their own. Once the political actors become more clear, so will the future of marijuana legalization. Follow Nikelle on Twitter and Facebook


January 11, 2016

Weight loss?

Since I was about 18 - I have either been fat or on a strict diet. Now, at 61 - since my diagnoses with Esophageal/upper gastric cancer - without trying in the least I have lost around 80 pounds and kept it off without any effort. Of course both having a nausea problem and swallowing problem - I am unable to enjoy the food I have always loved. I must admit, I love all kinds of food. I just cannot partake very much of it anymore. I don't know if I ever will, again.

Yes, I have tried medicinal hemp - It helps with many of my symptoms and just generally puts me in a better mood. But, it really has not made eating easier. Because it is not so much a matter of appetite. It is more a matter of swallowing and food settling in my stomach.

I must admit I really like not being fat. Achieving it without trying is kind of nice. I don't like what I've had to go through to achieve that, though.

Has dealing with weight loss been an issue with any of you? Has being caught between liking not being overweight and not being able to enjoy food caused a strange dilemma?

January 10, 2016

“Poor people lose”: “Making a Murderer,” reality television and our shared mythology of a classless

society: "Making a Murderer" is a police procedural. It’s also that rare thing in American film: A story about class

by Jennifer Haigh

(Credit: Netflix/Screen composite by Salon)

Over the New Year’s weekend, I binge-watched Netflix’s 10-part documentary series “Making a Murderer,” which follows the remarkable case of Steven Avery – a man wrongfully convicted of rape and released after 18 years, only to be rearrested and convicted of murder. The filmmakers, Moira Demos and Laura Ricciardi, spent untold hours at home with the Avery clan, who live in a kind of family compound on their scrapyard in rural Wisconsin.

I see a lot of documentaries, but I’ve never seen one about people like the Averys. Watching, I was struck by how rarely a mainstream American film shows how poor people actually live. We see Steven’s mother frying hamburgers, talking on the phone, watching local news coverage of Steven’s trial while making soup. What makes these scenes interesting, even revelatory, is where they occur. Steven’s trailer, his parents’ modest house, look nothing like the set of a family sitcom or its contemporary equivalent, the “reality” show. If you spent your life watching television, you might reasonably conclude that all Americans live like Kardashians or “real” housewives. For poor rural folk, nothing could be less real.

The Avery story is unusual in that it isolates the variable of class from the powerful, and related, question of race. “Making a Murderer” takes place in rural Wisconsin; like the police, the prosecutors and the victim, the Avery family is white. If the Averys were black, their story would become part of the current conversation – long overdue – about racial inequities in policing, the criminalizing of blackness. We’d have a language to explain why police were so convinced of Avery’s guilt, or why his girlfriend was harassed by law enforcement, or how his learning-disabled nephew was interrogated for hours without legal counsel. Micro-aggression, targeting, the culture of incarceration: because the Averys are white, none of these terms seems to apply. The closest we ever get to an accurate assessment of the forces at work comes from Avery himself in the third episode: “Poor people lose,” he states simply when confronted with the new charges against him. It’s hard to disagree. Yet the fact that we lack any larger language for talking about class cuts to some basic truths about Americanness.

American society is classless, a pure meritocracy: this is part of our shared mythology. My parents believed it. Raised poor, they joined the military, went to college on the G.I. Bill and became schoolteachers. They believed they’d made it, and in a real way, they had. They worked and saved, built a house, sent two kids to college – the sort of incremental mobility that was possible for poor white people (and, thanks to discriminatory lending practices, largely off limits to poor blacks).

read full article:

January 8, 2016

Ben & Jerry's co-founder gives an amazing interview - revealing a potential Bernie- inspired flavor

by J.D. Durkin | 8:54 pm, January 7th, 2016

On Thursday afternoon ahead of a highly contentious rally in Burlington, Vermont featuring GOP frontrunner Donald Trump, the cofounder of Ben & Jerry’s took time to do an interview with MSNBC and it’s absolutely awesome. Branded with a proud “Bernie” sign for his own support of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, Ben Cohen spoke with MSNBC’s Kate Snow, discussing his personally passion for the Sanders campaign. Cohen also made a pretty surprisingly reveal about a potential new Ben & Jerry’s flavor that he’s been imagining.

“Yeah I’m outdoors,” Cohen replied in the most relaxed fashion imaginable. “This is what we call balmy in Vermont.” He continued to discuss Thursday night’s Trump rally very casually; despite the expected overload of thousands of ticket recipients who would not be allowed access, Cohen added “Yeah, I’m thinking about dropping by.”

Although Cohen was critical of Trump — “He gets ahead by pushing other people down,” noted the ice cream legend — the real flavor of the interview came after Snow asked Cohen about his allegiance to the self-described Democratic-Socialist Senator from Vermont. As for a potential Bernie Sanders-inspired ice cream flavor, Cohen admitted that Ben & Jerry’s formerly did not have any plans to move forward.

However, Cohen did shed some light on what this flavor might look like with a pretty incredible description that speaks perfectly to the populist-driven grassroots effort of the Sanders camp:

“I came up with one. It’s called ‘Bernie’s Yearning’. When you open up the pint, there’s this big disk of chocolate on the top, covering the entire top, and below it is just plain mint ice cream. And the disk of chocolate represents the 90% of the wealth that has gone to the top 10% over the last ten years. The way you eat it is that you take your spoon — you whack that big chocolate disk into a bunch of little pieces and you mix it around and there you have it: ‘Bernie’s Yearning.’

video of interview:

January 7, 2016

'New Democrats' sound alarm over Sanders and Clinton's leftward march

Observers on both sides of the party’s divide suggest presidential primary debate confirms a resurgence of more populist economic policies

Leading architects of the “New Democrat” movement are sounding the alarm over a lurch to the left in the party, after candidates at the latest presidential primary debate confirmed a resurgence of more populist economic policies.

Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley spoke passionately about the need to reduce wage inequality and corporate power during a forum in South Carolina on Friday in which all three distanced themselves from the establishment orthodoxy that has long prevailed in Washington.

It followed a similar performance from Clinton at the first official debate, in Las Vegas, last month that restored her lead over Sanders – who describes himself as a democratic socialist – but has nonetheless left the party with one of its most radical policy platforms in decades.

“We’re at a point in history right now where both our democracy and our economy are not working for the majority,” the former secretary of state told MSNBC moderator Rachel Maddow at the South Carolina event.


January 5, 2016

Donald Trump Releases First TV Ad Touting Proposed Muslim Ban 4/1/2016

Posted FYI because it is so stupid it is mind boggling

January 3, 2016

The Orwellian redefining of the meaning of the words "centrist" and "moderate"

It is hard to argue when some one calls themselves "centrist" or "moderate" because those words imply that someone is in the middle and that their positions on issues are the middle way - the sensible way - not too far left - not too far right.

By any reasonable definition I suppose I am a centrist and a moderate. I don't believe that capitalism is all bad and I don't believe that capitalism is all good. I don't believe that socialism is all good and I don't believe that socialism is all bad. I believe there are some things better left to the private sector - while some things such as education, healthcare as well as fire and police protection are better handled by the public sector. I believe history has clearly shown that a balance between capitalism and socialism - a balance between altruism and individualism is what works best.

I don't believe that global projection of American military power is all a bad thing and I don't believe it is all a good thing. The sure size and scope of America and its interest in the world almost assures that it will be a major player on the world stage - but our own national interest as well as the issue of sustainability of international stability means that we cannot continue on the path of that we are currently on - one of endless military conflicts and quagmires.

President Obama was very honest, candid and forthcoming when he said that in the 1980's he would have been seen as a moderate Republicans. He was also very honest and candid when readily stated clearly and unambiguously on national television that President Nixon was in many way more liberal than him.

The Orwellian redefining of the meaning of the words "centrist" and "moderate" by the right wing seems to suggest that policies in line with 1980's moderate Republicans or policies closer to Richard Nixon's policies rather than New Deal/Great Society Democratic policies or something to the right of that is what is centrist and what is moderate.

This implies that finding a workable balance between capitalism and socialism - finding a sustainable foreign policy that doesn't have us in permanent military conflicts defending an unsustainable global military empire - establishing real universal healthcare such as is practiced in every other developed country in the world - Making sure our democracy is not something bought and paid for by hedge fund managers, Wall Street investment bankers and corporate lobbyist - Stopping and reversing the never ending redistribution of wealth from ordinary working people to the very few - Having a vision of an America where poverty has been at least as eradicated as it has been in most other advanced democracies - Striving to see in our time an America - socially just at home and at peace with the world - These are now seen as far left pipe dreams - although they were once mainstream opinions held by ordinary Americans - I see nothing extreme at all about this agenda - I say that in the real world it is simply being reasonable, sensible and indeed moderate and centrist.

December 31, 2015

I support Bernie 100% - but a few of my fellow supporters are not being realistic

This is either concern trolling or an appeal to reason depending on how one wants to take it..

First of all I am not talking particularly about Bernie's chance of winning the nomination or the Presidency. BERNIE CAN WIN!! But it is not going to be easy and there is simply no denying that as of this moment - Hillary is the front runner and significantly the front runner. That can change and I hope it will. If it does not change and Hillary goes on to win the nomination - This campaign has still not been in vain - we will have made a real difference in altering the parameters of debate, changing the political paradigm and brought back social-democracy or at least the New Deal into the mainstream of discussion.

What I am primarily talking about is the question of, what if Bernie does win and becomes President of the United States?

First of all not even FDR or Ronald Reagan came close to achieving all or even most of their goals. What they did was put the country on a whole new course and direction. They established a whole new body politic that dominated the whole nation's body politic and to an extent most of the world's body politic for at least a generation. They made their agenda the dominant political force for a long, long time after they were gone.

I have lived and spent a great deal of time in Europe and observed first hand how social-democracy operates. I'm convinced that it works better than any other system. In fact I would say that nothing else works and social-democracy is the last best hope for humanity.

However, ordinary people do pay higher taxes - including ordinary middle-income and perhaps even lower middle income people do in fact pay higher taxes. It is certain in my mind and in the minds of the overwhelming majority of people who live under more social-democratic systems that it is well worth the price. Even the most conservative of people who live under social-democracy would not want to trade their system or reduce it to U.S. levels. Even Margaret Thatcher promised the British public that the National Health Service and their socialized health care system would be safe under them.

But, again I must mention that even ordinary middle class people do pay higher taxes. Is Bernie being dishonest for not emphasizing this more? NO, I don't think so. I think he understands what many leading Democrats don't seem to understand and that is you must always start negotiations at the maximum one might get - not the minimum. But, the point remains that like with FDR or Reagan - compromises will be made including some very significant compromises. I hope that if Bernie does become President people here are not calling him a sell-out when he has to compromise as he did when he was mayor of Burlington.

Even on foreign policy and military issues - most of us on the progressive end of the spectrum and many others as well would like to see the United States get out of the imperialism business. An unsustainable global military empire is simply not a viable option - realistically. However, as things currently stand almost the entire global security system and even the guarantee of borders and nation/state legitimacy is largely in American hands. We absolutely must try to reduce this to viable and sustainable levels. But it is not going to be easy. We all saw the chaos that came when Soviet power came to an end. In other words, yes we can greatly reduce U.S. interventionism - But it is going to be a very difficult and one might say a very "tricky" process.

Anyway, Rome was not built in a day nor was Rome overthrown in a day. I just hope that none us put our hopes for a better future for our country and our world to such lofty levels that disappoint that cries of "sell out" will be inevitable. Again, take this as either concern trolling or an appeal to reason. For me it is simply a matter of being realistic.

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Corry (Erie County), Pennsylvania 16407
Home country: USA
Current location: Saipan, U.S. Commonweath of the Northern Mariana Islands
Member since: Wed Jun 1, 2005, 07:56 PM
Number of posts: 20,226

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