OK, I'm going to mouth off, here. I'm pushing 70 years of age, so I have the right to at times be "mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!" As the luminescent actress Julie Christie said to me (when we were protesting the invasion of Iraq), "When you get to our age, you get to see many wars." Here's the deal. America has to learn to move faster. I am as patriotic as any young Tea Bagger, but have a little more perspective because of my age.
Back in the day (the '60s) we thought that the innocuous little weed marijuana would be legal in five years. Hello! It's been 50 years since then! Hello, America! Hemp was the primary crop grown by George Washington at Mount Vernon, and a secondary crop grown by Thomas Jefferson at Monticello. It was used for rope by the Navy. Today, it helps cancer patients cope with chemotherapy. A non-psychoactive ingredient of cannabis -- CBD (Cannabidiol) -- is being studied for it's remarkably powerful medicinal potential.
Even though Prez O recently said that pot is no more dangerous that alcohol (which is a political statement, but at least it's in the right direction), for a long time it has been a "schedule 1" drug, which means it's supposedly as dangerous as heroin.
Even Barack admitted to experimenting with the substance in school, but he has been real slow at listening to the people, who are legalizing it via states rights. Please Mr. President, call off the Feds. There will be a few problems with legalization by those who overdue it, but they do not represent the millions who are confirming that pot is far less dangerous than alcohol... let alone heroin. Why hasn't the millions who inhaled (unlike Clinton... yeah, sure...) turned into heroin addicts? The only people against legalization will say I've smoked too much, and my ideas should be listened to with a pound of hemp because I'm a stoner! No one has died from consuming the substance, unlike the big legal drug alcohol. Come on, America. Legislating morality doesn't work (see: Prohibition). It produced the Mafia.
Number Two: I know dissing Ronald Reagan is sacrilege to some, but I'm old enough to remember the effect of some of his policies... so if you're a youngster, please listen up. I had solar panels on my roof back in the day, and got a tax deduction for it. The day Mr. Reagan took office that was taken away. The day Mr. Reagan took office, Jimmy Carter's solar panels were taking OFF the White House. Come on, America! We could have had electric cars 30 years ago. The fossil fuel industry has made advocating alternative energy sources a liberal/conservative thing, and an ideological battle, when it should really be about a healthier, less toxic world. As Bill Maher said the other night, "coal is a 19th century, Dickens way of looking backward." Even if "peak oil" is a myth, solar is the future. We're in the 21st century now, folks.
Germany wanted to run their country on 10-15 percent solar, and it worked so well they're up to over 20 percent renewable energy. And they don't have any sun! At least, compared to us. I swear, I love my country. I just want it to do better. I just bought a Volt (despite the fact that I hate the bankrupt, bailed out GM corp). 'Cause I want us to succeed. We are the hope of the world, so let's harness the enthusiasm of the immigrants who come here with such hope... and channel it into making us great again. Let's invest in innovation. Please, can we get together on this?
Just think of this rant as constructive dissing. The "love it, or leave it" '60s philosophy against any kind of criticism of our country during the Vietnam War didn't help us grow, it produced a polarization similar to today. Let's not sacrifice our country any more for some dated effort to return to the '50s. The '50s were so lame they produced the '60s! Yes, the '60s went too far, but we were trying to find new ways, better ways, to do things. And great seeds were planted: civil rights, the peace movement, the environmental movement, feminism. They're big seeds. They take a long time to come to fruition. Please, let's stop fighting, and get out our water cans.