Democrats reportedly taking bullet for conservatives in legal pot battle?

It sucks to be poor all the time, but especially this time of year. Store with gleaming gifts and online ads with great deals mean nothing but added stress and a reminder of circumstances, the focus is on keeping the lights on and food in the fridge. So thanks to those who have brightened my dreary days and stuffed a few bills in my meager Christmas stocking. Thanks to them I’m almost halfway to solvency for the month, please consider a small holiday donation to my Paypal account at Darksydothemoon -at- aol if you can. Later this month I’ll have a snail mail address available for anyone who prefers that.



The only way viable path to decriminalize marijuana, so far, has been by voter referendum. Any politician who sticks their lone neck out on the issue takes a big risk: It’s just too easy for a political opponent to paint them as soft on crime, pro-drugs, anti-family, etc. So a few states like Colorado and Oregon have made it legal, turning it into an industry and revenue base. Which so far has worked out well for everybody, with the possible exception of big organized drug cartels.

This last election day, the District of Columbia followed suit. Initiative 71 passed by a whopping 70%, small amounts of the drug could now be legalized, a source of prison overcrowding and life-ruining policies softened, the people have spoken and some sanity has prevailed! At least until democrats reportedly offer themselves up to take the bullet for conservatives and others who can’t stand the thought of legal weed: [Read more…]

Exquisite aurora light up longest, darkest nights

The shortest day is the Winter Solstice, ringing in locally on Sunday, December 21, at 5:03 PM CST this time around in 2014. But the earliest sunset occurs a couple of weeks before the solstice, the latest sunrise a couple of weeks after. The reason for that is hard to visualize. But that’s literally how the world turns. Bottom line, if you live in the mid latitudes of the Northern hemisphere, these next few nights are when you’ll notice it getting dark quick. [Read more…]

Cop decks women in handcuffs, no charges filed

Many thanks to those kind readers who have kicked in this holiday season! My Paypal account is at Darksydothemoon-at-aol and I’ll be headlining here all month …

The video below is hard to watch. It starts out gritty and routine, like an episode of COPS, with dashboard camera showing a couple of policemen trying to make heads or tails of domestic dispute that appears to have spilled out of a nearby house and into the street. For whatever reason one cop decides the wife needs to go to jail. He’s shoving her in the backseat of a patrol car, handcuffed, and it’s hard to see but she allegedly kicks him. What’s not hard to see,  he loses his temper in an instant and decks the absolute living shit out of her. She goes down, hard, and later turns out to have a broken eye socket. It looks like he could have killed her with that punch. [Read more…]

The Military Religous Freedom Foundation

Boonie Weinstein, middle-class mother of three, grandmother of one, and author of the new bestseller To the Far Right Christian Hater ...

Bonnie Weinstein, middle-class mother of three, grandmother of one, and author of the new bestseller To the Far Right Christian Hater…You Can Be a Good Speller or a Hater, But You Can’t Be Both: Official Hate Mail, Threats, and Criticism from the … of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. Click image for book info.

I have some Q & A with Bonnie Weinstein of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) going up at Daily Kos today, about the Foundation and her new book that sold out of its first print run before the official Dec 2 release date (More books are already being printed and can be ordered now). Bonnie has become the subject of particularly nasty, scary homegrown domestic terrorism. You be the judge, but as the Daily Kos piece will be widely read, I thought it would be best to use that valuable real estate to set the record straight on what the Weinsteins and the Foundation are really all about, rather than expend space to reward trolls and nutcases with exposure on the largest progressive website in the world. Because the truth is, almost 100% of active and retired US military people who support the MRFF are themselves religious and the lion’s share of those are Christians. The best way, perhaps the only way, to stop this madness is to stress the true nature of the MRFF and their supporters:

Daily Kos InterviewOur windows have been shot out, we’ve had swastikas and crucifixes painted on our house, we’ve had animals decapitated and their heads left at our home … that bulls-eye painted on me in the pic, it’s not a joke. That’s how I really feel …

In  my view, this is the key item to get across: the MRFF is not an atheist organization or a political one, far from it, which means the cowardly clowns who have vandalized the Weinstein’s home and sent threatening email and snail mail are engaged in an organized terror campaign of ideological fratricide, they’re terrorizing the wrong people! Below the fold is an exclusive excerpt for FTB readers in Bonnie’s own words, followed by a few samples of the endless hate mails they receive on a regular basis. I encourage you to read the whole thing here and take time to thank the Weinstein’s for taking on this important and increasingly dangerous work. [Read more…]

A strong economy could, finally, turn the tables on corporations



Thanks again for the Christmas cheer, its helping a lot. If you can put a few bucks in my stocking at the Paypal link, I’d appreciate it!

The latest job numbers spell an ominous sign for employers who’ve grown fat and lazy over the Great Recession. If it holds up, corporations that have been in the driver’s seat for years are going to have trouble adjusting back to low unemployment.

NYT — The numbers are these: The 321,000 payroll jobs added represent the best monthly result since January 2012. Revisions to September and October counts add a net 44,000 positions, boosting those months’ results from “solid” to “pretty good.” Over the last three months the nation has added an average of 278,000 jobs a month, the best result since the 2008 recession except for a brief boom caused by census hiring in 2010. But what was warming the hearts of many jaded economy-watchers on Twitter Friday morning were the numbers on wages.

Remember, don’t waste mercy and sympathy on a company, corporations are not alive, the Supreme Court notwithstanding. But if they were, they’d be a spoiled, sociopathic toddler with a big trust fund used to getting everything they demand. Most will stubbornly stick to the same methods they’ve been using for more than five years when it comes to hiring. My goal here is to make that adjustment to normal employment as painful as possible for every last one of them. A few things to watch out for below the fold, especially for you young folks who have never known a normal, healthy economy in your entire working life.

[Read more…]

Eric Garner: Speechless in Staten Island



I want to thank those who have kicked in a little Christmas cheer to my Paypal account. I try to only ask once a year in December, but this site and this blogger would have perished without direct support over some tough times in 2014. Believe me, small donations are fine, I’m grateful for every single dollar.

After hearing and reading reaction to the Grand Jury verdict announced yesterday in the death of Eric Garner, I have to conclude there are some people, lots of them apparently, who seem to feel we might as well just line those people up and shoot them. Because if the victims are poor and especially if they’re black, they’re not real people. [Read more…]

Mystery of UT’s missing brains



I like blogging, sometimes you learn a lot and it’s always cathartic. Sure, I have to beg readers for money — which is not going well at all this season, hint hint — and deal with a small amount of hate mail directed at atheist-progressives. But when my days are free and time permits, there’s some fun stuff to enjoy mixed into every dismal news cycle. Like this tidbit on missing brains from the nearby University of Texas: [Read more…]

God would never let bad things happen to good people

Income inequality

If you think the middle-class has it bad, try being poor in this shitty time and place. Just admitting you are struggling is a huge risk for the suddenly poor, like painting yourself with a laser for teaparty smart bombs to get a fix on. It creates a convenient target for ragers and haters. As a nation, we love hating the poor so much that we end up blaming them for anything and everything.

I pass the hat every December. But this is my second Christmas of actually being dirt poor and literally begging for any holiday shekels you might have to pay basic bills like power or rent. If you can, my Paypal account is DarkSydOtheMoon -at- aol. I know I’ll make it out of this, but a fair question is how did a smart, college educated single guy end up here in the first place? I ask myself that a lot, at the risk of scaring people, it’s just luck. It was just a bad sequence of events packed close together. And not only could it happen to you, it probably will happen to you in some way, at some point in your life, if present trends continue unabated. [Read more…]

Austin shooter was a ‘Vigilante of Christendom’



Please consider a small gift to my Paypal account this season, DarkSydOtheMoon -at- AOL, and thanks for any amount. It sure hasn’t been a quiet Thanksgiving in Central Texas! The peaceful extended holiday weekend in Austin was shattered early Friday morning by downtown gunfire. Larry Steven McQuilliams shot up three buildings, the Austin Police Department headquarters, the Mexican consulate, and a federal courthouse. He was killed at the APD scene, but maps with dozens of buildings and the tools of terrorism were found in his nearby van, indicating he planned to continue his destructive rampage. Thanks to a quick thinking Austin police officer who dropped the assailant with a single expert shot from 100 yards away in the pitch dark,  there were no other injuries reported.

Investigators revealed this week that McQuilliams was an ex-con who also appears to have been a follower of an obscure Christian group called the Phineas Priesthood, an ideology and theology espousing violence by its members, justified as the will of God, especially if used against gay people, abortion proponents, interracial marriage, and of course Jews. One of the groups’ most admired books is a manifesto of divinely inspired white supremacist violence called Vigilantes of Christendom: [Read more…]

The elusive economic recovery: a nerd can dream




There’s the lucky one percent, the luckier top tenth of one percent, there’s the fifty percent, and then there’s the bottom quartile. Somehow, despite an education and skills, I’ve ended up in the bottom and it’s as scary as it sounds. I’m talking minimal survival here, struggling every day for basic food, basic healthcare, modest shelter. That’s why I’m asking for donations this holiday season. A site like that this can’t operate for long as a hobby, not without a little support, but it’s way past that for me and so many others like me. The corporate sector has let us down, again and again, over the last few years. It has let down the kind of people you read about, the reportedly highly sought after employable computer nerds, regardless of what media stereotypes have been packaged and sold. And it doesn’t have to be that way, judging by reported corporate earnings, there should plenty to go around. Especially for those of us who actually do the work. Alas, for many there is not. [Read more…]