Friday, June 29, 2012

Video: The Truth About Fast and Furious Exposed

Rachel Maddow exposes the sleazy details surrounding the "scandal"

I was going to write a post about how the Republicans had intentionally scheduled the vote on Contempt for Eric Holder, the nations first African-American Attorney General for Thursday June 28th to hide it from the general public and possibly especially from smart people like Rachel Maddow (fat chance) because it really is embarrassing to relate the details to anyone with a funtional brain, but watching Rachel Wednesday night I realized she'd thought of that too and her platform truly is bigger than mine. Still I think this should be put here so people can use it to show others in their lives how bogus the scandal is and that the NRA scored vote is. The NRA can force Democrats to vote for a lie so they don't lose their next election, but notice the over the top propaganda Wayne La Pierre uses. Obviously the man, in the position he's in is stumping for funds, the kind of big or plentiful donations that helps him live a very comfortable lifestyle indeed.

The Fortune Magazine article says
Quite simply, there's a fundamental misconception at the heart of the Fast and Furious scandal. Nobody disputes that suspected straw purchasers under surveillance by the ATF repeatedly bought guns that eventually fell into criminal hands. Issa and others charge that the ATF intentionally allowed guns to walk as an operational tactic. But five law-enforcement agents directly involved in Fast and Furious tell Fortune that the ATF had no such tactic. They insist they never purposefully allowed guns to be illegally trafficked. Just the opposite: They say they seized weapons whenever they could but were hamstrung by prosecutors and weak laws, which stymied them at every turn.
Apparently the ATF agent that made the first allegations about government sponsored "Gun Walking" was mad at his boss and CBS was eager to  trump and "explosive new story".
Here's a good question: Why aren't the conspiracy theories for CBS News and the people employed there causing firings like the report surrounding Bush's desertion at TANG which was asserted by insiders who told news people it was all basically true, even if the notes were not.

This truly phony scandal could help put Republicans back into control of the entire nation so they can have more massive tax cuts for the wealthiest, more domination of our culture by the same because you pay their taxes and they take their tax cuts and after "Citizens United" they can directly use more money campaign help which is barely masked bribery of our public officials.

And BTW, more war so the news can get all involved in "War News" again and forget about keeping an eye on fat cats who are stealing the nation's resources, bankers who are setting the nation up for another financial disaster, and energy companies and industrialists who are poisoning the citizenry with pollution and cutting wages while increasing work hours.

One last caution:  Though Issa hid the vote on Fast and Furious, the phony scandal will be trotted out repeatedly during all the GOP's various campaigns this year.  So memorize this information or save the location so you can offer misguided, delusional, and cynical GOP boosters and their targets the truth.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Punch Line in the Fast and Furious Scandal is That Gun Walking Started Under the Bush Administration!

All of the Republicans' hypocrisy over "Fast and Furious" is exposed by logic if you remember that the program started during the Bush years.

So, when right wingers and guns shop owners wail that it was started to "take away guns" ask them why do they think the Bush people wanted to take away their guns? And who do they think in the Bush administration was plotting to take away their guns? Was it Bush himself? Or was Cheney and Rove anxious that people could arm themselves in case of a widespread draft of young Americans?
--- Hint: I'm being real tongue in cheek here.  Of course, I don't think that Bush, Cheney, or Rove wanted to take away guns, but the same allegations made about the Obama administration or Democrats in Congress (many of whom are gun owners themselves) is ridiculous.

In fact, the reality that the Bush people started the Gun Walking programs, has embarrassed Darrell Issa to the point that now he is backing down and saying that he just wants Eric Holder to testify or produce some papers or resign or whatever.

Others are making up all kinds of conspiracy theories behind the scene, though, and I think it's enough that Issa (with his past) has created this wild "Watergate II" scandal so roads and bridges don't have to be repaired (ensuring safety of our travelways, and creating jobs), and the Congress doesn't have to act to stop student debt interest doubling in July.

Nancy Pelosi makes a valid point, too. Distracting the Attorney General from ensuring the accuracy of the count in November, and mking certain all valid voters get to vote when Republican state governments are trying to block minorities and poor people from the ballot box this year appears to one of the goals of the Congressman from California.

More on Issa's past:

Issa may be the most corrupt politician since Duke Cunningham

Note on and link to Ryan Lizza's report on Darrel Issa.  Lizza has even more on the Congressman than I've heard before.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Vagina Dialogues Performed On The Steps Of The Michigan Captiol Building

The anti choice right wing leaders in the Michigan legislature banned a female representative for saying the word "vagina" in their chambers though they themselves feel they have a right to dominate women's vaginas and their lives with unreasonable rules  and prohibitions.  Michigan shows how fascist Republicans really are.  They have broken rules of proceedure long held in the chamber (and certified in their constitution) to enable themselves to de-certify voting rights, to destroy elected local government, and now to shut up a woman who is their equal for a ridiculous reason.

Michigan, it is time to clean house.  First, make sure you become fully certified to vote according to their racist rules, and then get to the polls in November and send them packing.

If you cannot vote yourself because of  unconstitutional post incarceration block, then help 10other people get to the polls, offer to babysit, drive, whatever it takes to get your friend and family fully registered and to the polls.  If you do, you have a much better chance of getting your right to vote back.  Because Republicans are intent to keep the poor and minorities from voting.   They have no right to block people formerly convicted of felonies.  In fact, most constitutional scholars say there is no reason to block people in prison from voting.  Stop this criminal destruction of rights, this year.

If you can vote, you can work to help others, too.  I don't meant to exclude you in getting your family and friends their proper representation.

Start with what you can do now.  Can you make sure everyone has a birth certificate and a photo ID?

Stop being controlled by people who do not care about you and you people, only about the money they can get from fat cats for selling out your rights to a decent life.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Stand Your Ground Increased Homicides in States with the Law, Didn't Reduce Violent Crime

Bad news for states with Stand Your Ground laws on the books.  Apparently many people who think they are standing their ground  have led to an increase in unjustified homicides  (See video report above) but don't reduce violent crime (See Miami New Times: "Stand Your Ground" Laws Increase Homicides, Don't Deter Crime, Study Says.)

Other news: Florida's Stand Your Ground Defense More Likely To Succeed If Victim Is Black: Study

We  got desperate for some info right about the time that the Texas A&M report was first hitting news sites and used a page from the CDC to find out if gun shot deaths in Florida had increased since the Stand Your Ground law took effect.  And, in fact, they did, though before that they seemed to be on the decline.  The chart we used only counted gunshot deaths of any kind and could indicate accidents, homicides, or SYG justified deaths.  We saw a decrease in gun shot deaths through 2005.  SYG went into effect October 1, 2005 or the first day of the last quarter of the year.  Starting in 2006 we see an immediate increase in gunshot deaths per 100,000 people in a state that had seen decreases for years.  See post at our other blog: 1999-2007 Florida Firearm Death and Rates per 100,000 people.

This new info shows that Stand Your Ground endangers citizens of states that have the law on their books, and don't deter violent crime.

Many people believe the laws were written to improve gun sales for dealers.  Another cynical ploy from the right for campaign funds.  Why am I not surprised?

States with SYG laws (from Wikipedia)
  • 2.1 Arizona
  • 2.2 Florida
  • 2.3 Illinois
  • 2.4 Kentucky
  • 2.5 Montana
  • 2.6 North Carolina
  • 2.7 Oklahoma
  • 2.8 Texas
  • 2.9 Utah
  • 2.10 Washington
  • 2.11 West Virginia

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Are Israeli Security Groups Pushing the US Towards War With Iran?

Down 'n' OutLower Stairway Falls in Pennsylvania

All states have nice parts and ugly parts.  The ugly in PA could  be an Israeli security group which may be playing world wide games in our nation, readying the country for another war in the Middle East.

Above photograph is placed using native Flickr coding and used via Creative commons License: Attribution (CC by 2.0). Rollover for name of photographer who has no connection to this blog or blogger.

According to a 2010 report at This Can't Be Happening : Harah!: Israeli Company Hired by State Government to Spy on Pennsylvanians the PA Homeland Security Agency has contracted with a private Israeli security company, as have "a number of local police departments in the state".

So you ask, what's so funny?

Scott Ritter may have been personally targeted by a Pennsylvania police department, in an entrapment scheme that I wrote about just 7 months ago in Doesn't Anyone Else Think It's Weird That Authorities Just Threw Scott Ritter in Jail As They Work Up A War on Iran?

I shouldn't have called it jail.  He was actually sent to prison where people spend long times.  Details are at the link above.

Now I learn that Pennsylvania's Homeland Security Agency has been using an Israeli security team since 2010. One of the courses the group taught at University of Pennsylvania was “Undercover/Plainclothes Tactical Operations".  We know that quite a bit of of anti-terrorism happens online. And tactics being tactics one just needs to question if Ritter was somehow entrapped jsut because he was Scott Ritter. If a person had his email address she, or, as it turned out, he could have actually invited Mr. Ritter to the chat room where he met the "15 year old girl" he allegedly knowingly made advances on.

Did Mr. Ritter ever have contact with the particular group or any Israeli security group or even anyone in Israel with whom he shared emails?  We know how any information they can get their hands on is scooped up and recorded by the Israeli government.  In one case, Mossad was shown to have used the identities of people who have passed through their customs gates to commit terrorism.  (The Israeli government copies passports and other documents people are carrying into Israel are often taken and copied upon entry).

Who wants the US to invade Iran and cripple our nation with another massive disastrous war?


Who spoke out strongly before the invasion of Iraq, and would have spoken out strongly against an invasion of Iran, especially exposing the faux nuclear weapons expert David Albright  who so often "discovers" new reasons to invade the nation?

Scott Ritter.

Luckily, President Obama, is not George W Bush, but Romney sure looks and acts like Bush except for slight differences due to Romney being a spoiled Upper Midwest elitist who self deported to the North East while "Dubya" was a spoiled North East to Texas Cowboyland elitist.

More on the danger of an invasion of Iran if we don't elect the right man in November: 

You may remember that many GOP heavies signed a letter allowing them to start and maintain a massive war effort if any terrorist struck our nation.  So far, we have struck back at two nations, one nation the Bushies refused to spend resources on and even let the terrorist mastermind get away at Tora Bora for the reason -- as explained by Army experts -- of enabling the invasion of Iraq by not exhausting the American public's tolerance for war, and the other has damaged our military to the point of near collapse.  Dubya was supposed to invade Iran during his second term according to the neocons inside and outside the government (the Israeli government) but public outrage was so high by that time that even "Bushie" figured it out. 

So when Israel decided the time was right for the US to invade Iran during Obama's term, they sent out their feelers and pressure groups.  A prominent liberal columnist advised Obama to do it because it would guarantee his re-election.  The columnist was probably honest, knowing how the news system works. It can't abuse a president at war -- even if he's liberal and mainstream media get most of their money from the 1%.

Luckily for us, Obama wouldn't take the bait.

Many experts agree that there can be no more war of any size, without a draft (because the military is exhausted) which the SSS wants to extend to the age of 34, and prohibit most deferments, including those for being female.  The SSS also wants to be able to draft doctors, computer experts, linguists, and other unspecified persons, of any age because of their "special skills".  This was all admitted during the Bush administration, but MSM has done it's best to hide this again.

I think it was Tom Brokaw, along with Susan Eisenhower and another media or government related person who sat on a 3 person panel in which each agreed that any more war would require a draft, though notably Marco Rubio has a plan to import, or take Dreamers and documented people from other nations to serve in our military.  Then Americans would only have to foot the bill is the implication.

Of course, footing the bill for Af-Pak and Iraq nearly destroyed our economy when you factor in the fact that the Bush administration was able to hide it's horrific inattention to the financial sector by being enabled by MSM's fixation on the "wars".  I mean really, just how much space do you think they could open up in their papers and online between celebrity news and war news to actually warn us of impending disaster?  Online the space could be less limited, but still the writers have to be hired to write the stuff, and /or speakers to do the talking in podcasts or news reports and the local newscasts are a joke with possibly 5 minutes of "real news" hidden somewhere within sports, celebrities, and weather.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

5 Things to Know About the Investigation of Fast and Furious

The graphic above is a screen grab that came from Alan Colmes "Liberaland" blog which was a summary of a Think Progress Report Five Things To Know About The Republican Witchhunt Against Attorney General Holder  which is a very important article to read.

Issa himself is no stranger to using trumped up charges for overturning government.  He was the one that started recall petitions against democratic Governor Davis in California in 2003, only to be pushed aside by his party-mates as a "can't win" so they could focus on action star Arnold Schwarzenegger who further crippled the state (after the power companies scam during the rolling blackout period) and worked to break the strong liberal majority within it.

The petition drive for the recall was itself the target of and investigation for illegal petition gatherers and signers from other states (California law states that only California residents (as shown by having permanent living arrangements like a renter's agreement for an in-state dwelling, can pass petitions, and only registered voters, again required to be residents, but also to have  legally completed a registration for voting in the state at least 5 weeks prior to using any voter privileges).

Of course, no matter what top Republicans say now they are grateful for this conspiracy theory against Obama's Justice Department and a black man,  So Issa, using a program started under Bush and his Justice Department to try to pretend it's all a plot from the Obama administration is just like toppings for the hot fudge Sundae of a program to get back into power and pass tax cuts for fat cats and stage more wars for their military industrial complex buddies.

Fire Crews Gaining Ground

Remember the other day when Romney sneered about government hired firefighters? And then later he claimed he didn't know  how to help local governments hire cops, firefighters and teachers?
Funny, because President Reagan, Bush 41,Clinton, and Bush 43, all knew how to help local communities and states hire firefighters (some of which are hired by the state) and cops and teachers.

I guess all that Romney knows how to do is throw money at fat cats.  Isn't that convenient that Romney has no other plan than to toss millions at the billionaires who are financing the Citizens United allowed superPACs promoting Romney's campaign.

You don't have to worry that this gives Romney's candidacy a phony image as a bribe-centric effort to grab millions from hard working American who will be forced to replace the money taken from the general fund to pay off his backers, because there is nothing phoney about it.  This is the real deal, a massive scheme whereby fat cats steal from our nation after giving their favored candidate massive political donations.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

TDS: Why Florida Purges

Are people partying with your voter registration?  Inquiring minds want to know (and imagine) what happens to your registration form after you sign it.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Video: FOX News Tries To Scare Farmers About Drones in the Sky

The EPA is using drones to make sure that Midwest farmers are not dumping animal feces into rivers that supply fresh water to other localities. Yet, unless Jon Stewart is wrong on this, FOX News hosts use this to try to scare the farmers into thinking they will be attacked as if they are al Qaeda.

 You have to remember that this is the channel that hires Bill O'Reilly who thought the" sun comes up and the sun goes down and nobody knows why it does that". The truth is that the sun just moves along it's trajectory and the earth moves around it in an orbit. In the meantime the earth rotates, so you and those living near you experience that rotation into and out of the earth's own shadow as night and day. Blue's friend Steve taught my kids that when they were very young. Sorry about O'Reilly's education.  I'll be quite honest it wasn't pointed out so explicitly when I was in school, but we had the fundamentals of the earth circling the sun and revolving as it did so we instinctively knew that..

 Bill O'Reilly, was probably was thinking about the passages in the Bible which state that no one knows such mysteries about why there are days and nights, tides, and seasons. That's because the Bible was put to bed (in the language of news reporting) at the latest about 1900 years ago. Science has changed a lot since then, and Pope Bill the 124th can't get all the scientists locked up, nor apparently can he be forced to hire people with some background in science or even Wikipedia to check out some basic facts. When someone explained how day and night works to O'Reilly, he then lashed out that we don't know why there are tides. When someone explained they are created by the pull of the moon, he asked "Why do we have a moon? "Mars doesn't have a moon!" he proclaimed. Wikipedia though tells us that Mars does indeed have a moon. In fact, it has two moons. I may not know everything myself, but like you I would probably check a source with a reputation of telling the truth as it's experienced these days,  before I went on TV to talk about them. Apparently FOX News people don't have the same compunction.

But the report above is on a whole new level, and appears to be a deliberate attempt to scare cattle ranchers (and possibly other types of farmers) into a knee jerk vote for Mitt Romney. I'm sure they don't care about farmers and ranchers except for a base of votes for Mitt Romney who will dump tax cuts into their and especially into Rupert Murdoch's lap while draining education, and programs that people paid into their entire life only to have them yanked away as they approach the time in life that they'll need them.

 Farmers are easily fooled because so far Congress hasn't had the chops to stop sending them those massive farm aid moneys. I checked around, even a small farm will net the farmer a full $25-30k a year. That was close to what Michelle Bachman's inlaw's farm got from the government for ten years, and I've heard that from other reports.  One Tea Party official gets $200k a year for owning farm land. But, farmers should beware, once the Republicans drain the suburban and city folks of all their money for tax cuts for the wealthy, they will have so much control of the nation that they will turn the starving, poorly sheltered city folk against them because of the rural welfare known as farm aid. And FOX News will be out front framing the outrage against those "affluent farmers". Because FOX News runs on the premise that if you make more government money flow to the wealthy, then they can dribble a lot of that their way.

 It used to be that the less affluent of the city and the country worked together to create a middle class. The Right wing's greatest achievement has been to destroy that alliance. And  in the future the middle class of the urban, suburban, and rural areas will, in the end, be put in their place as serfs for the wealthy, whether working for peanuts in factories, on farms, or in the military as they are used to grab cheap resources for companies from weaker nations, until the strength of our nation is gone and the wealthy will move on to another section of the world (probably China) to drain the rest of us people of that which makes life worth living so they can have multi-million dollar villas and compounds and jet around the world continuously partying like the royalty and nobility of old.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Jon Stewart: What's Fair Game in Politics

Report: U.S. debt load falling at fastest pace since 1950s

1960 cotton kite
The Good and the Bad of a Sturdy Cotton Kite
It won't go up fast, but it's built to last, like Obama's recovery.What could be better?  Nylon would be lighter and sturdier, but the GOP, in Congress, as well as business and families that do have money, won't give the president a better recovery through a more Keynesian stimulus so that's the best we'll get.

Picture shared via Flickr native coding, and allowed by Creative Commons License Attribution (CC by 2.0) Thanks to Flickr user Swithin Hall Free Photos.

A slow but steady recovery has started, and a report from the Wall Street Journal's Marketplace '' sees good and bad in it. It is good in that debt is being reduced, making for a solid base, but also bad because people need recovery so terribly and as fast as possible.

Who's making the recovery slow? According to the WSJ's Marketplace author, it's the Republicans in Congress and the rest of us, in business and without who are focused on reducing private debt.

We're doing Keynesian economics wrong.

Rex Nutting:
If you want to know why economic growth has been so tepid, here’s your answer. Four years after the storm hit, the economy is still deleveraging. And it’s very hard for any economy to grow when everyone is focused on increasing their savings. The rapid rise in federal debt over the past four years has distracted us from the big picture. The level of public debt is indeed worrisome, but it’s not as big a worry as the economy’s total level of debt — public and private. Although we have a whole cottage industry devoted to warning us about the dangers of too much public debt, we don’t have any comparable Cassandras telling us about the dangers of too much private debt. Yet the history of the past 30 years (or 300) clearly shows that too much debt, of whatever variety, can pose a systemic risk to the national and global economies. As much as we hear politicians, pundits, tea-party patriots and the Congressional Budget Office obsessing about government debt, it was excessive private debt — not public debt — that caused the 2008 financial meltdown. And it was private debt — some of it since transferred to the public — that lies behind the current European debt crisis. (Greece is unique in having a public sector that ran up spending while its private sector is rather conservative.) As the political rhetoric about the federal deficit has heated up, we’ve lost sight of the progress that’s been made in bringing total debt back under control. The U.S. is actually doing much better than you’d think if you just listened to the conventional fears about how we’re rushing headlong into a debt Armageddon. In fact, since the recession ended in June 2009, total U.S. debt has risen at the slowest pace since they began keeping records in the early 1950s. While Washington has taken on a lot of debt since then, the private sector has paid off, written off or dumped on the government almost as much.
So, in two ways, the economy in the US is healing. By reducing debt, and by a slow but steady jobs recovery.

What we don't need is for Romney to run in and start dealing out massive tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans like Bush did, skyrocketing the national debt, while possibly creating inflation, delfation or having no effect except an increase in national debt, but doing little to help with an underlying economic weakness. Throwing money at fat cats helps no one but the fat cats. and creates problems for everyone else. During Bush's first term the supply side tax cuts passed in the Spring of 2001 were so ineffectual that by January 2003 economists started worrying about actual "deflation" (linked is one of many references to articles from that time I just found via web search of economist worrying about the apparent deflation threat). Those of us who were  renting were rather ecstatic about the price of houses coming down, but those who owned homes and had the necessary massive mortgage to go along were very upset.

But life isn't decided by those like us.

The threat of deflation probably sealed Iraq's fate more than any real conviction within the Bush White House of WMDs. The war drums were brought out, a 70% majority against the war was either flipped or faked to a 70% majority for the war (remember that at this time Karl Rove did his propaganda & news crafting work right within the White House) and the bombers took off for Baghdad in March, eventually leaving over 1 million dead, more than 1/5 of the population of Iraq either displaced within it's borders or to another country, and the US in debt for another trillion dollars (with more to follow as medical and psychological help is needed by veterans for many years).

Now though we are recovering and could recover faster if the Republicans in Congress would work with this president. Maybe if they see that the American people want recovery more than anything, and certainly not inflation or deflation and weakness produced by trickle down tax cuts, Republicans will start to understand..

I doubt, though, that we can craft more sensible stimulus if the GOP is still so strong in Congress next year. Hopefully, Americans can see through Norquist's and Fox News' lies and vote for the people who will strengthen our nation economically, not just those who scream loudest the the economy is dead and won't revive until the wealthiest in the nation get to raid the public coffers again.

Supply side tax cuts were also used in the Reagan administration.  The result, I remember was a very slow recovery, but also, inflation that made life for those in the working class difficult when their wages didn't go up as rapidly as the increase in the cost of living, and then more malaise near the end of his administration.

The Clinton administration and  Bush 41 before him used tax cuts for working and middle class people with modest tax hikes for the wealthiest and we saw the strongest economic growth since the 50s when Europe and Asia were trying to recover from WW2 and couldn't compete with us. Maybe that should tell us something.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Shocker Romney was For the Stimulus Before He Was Against It

And now he has turned against stimulus and towards communism. Lawrence O'Donnell explains in video above. (He explains how Romney has turned into a classic communist. Though we know Romney's real plan is to do away with Medicare -- and probably Social Security -- and dump massive tax cuts on those immensely wealthy people who paid his way into office, while raising taxes on the poor and the lower middle class, it still counts as communism because it's a massive restructuring of the economy. What do you expect of the guy who started Bain Capital--the experts in making money by destroying jobs?)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Video: Why Students at Stanford Shunned Young Mitt Romney

And how and why Romney avoided the draft though he believed the Vietman War was good.  (He even demonstrated against anti-draft demonstrators.)

Still he refused to go and deferred until he had a high lottery number.  (The draft lottery was based on your birthday. So there were 366 choices. You stood for it for one year, at which time a new lottery was held for the next batch of eligible young men who would stand for it, and usually no one with with a birthday that ranked over 150 were required to report to the enlistment center.)  Bill Clinton did the same, using deferments based, not on his powerful and wealthy father, but on his brainpower that got him scholarships (Clinton's parents were not rich and, in fact, his mother had left his step-father I think by that time. Clinton's own father died in a car accident in the months before he was born, IIRC.).  But Bill Clinton was against the war on moral grounds.  Mitt Romney was for the war, and would have gotten a relatively safe, assignment, like Al Gore's (who was the son of a Senator), but dodged, just like Cheney and other Chickenhawks.

Even at that though, the unauthorized use (or claim thereof) of a troopers uniform is creepier still.  As others have pointed out, the Washington Post article that exposed Romney's known bullying past also relates a tale of Romney in collusion with two friends, staged the governor's son dressing in  trooper uniform arresting the young men on a double date an leaving the two young women apparently stranded in the middle of the night by the side of the road.  The article does report though the young women were back in their dorms by 11:00 pm.

Monday, June 4, 2012

California : Prop 29 is About Cancer Research #CAPrimary

Rocks off Malibu

What can be better than fresh air and sunset?

Picture above shared via coding available at Flickr and allowed by Creative Commons License  Attribution (CC by 2.0). Thanks to  Flickr user Gtall1 who has no connection to this blog or blogger

California's Prop 29 is a tax on cigarettes that funds cancer research.

You wouldn't know that from the attacks ads on the proposition.

The largest opposition groups are related to cigarette manufacturers and their allies such as anti-tax groups , you know like the people who brought us Proposition 13 that continues to cripple our state in education and public services everyday of the year.

If you smoke, you need Proposition 29 because you are the most likely to end up  with the one of the most most deadly and swiftly forming of cancers

Lung cancer can spread quickly to the brain and both people who I knew learned within weeks of their diagnosis that the cancer had already spread to their brains. It was likely there before the diagnosis, and, in fact, both had suffered from personality changes that drove friends and family from their sides at a time when they needed them most.  Of course, those closest to them rallied around in the end, but the painful disruptions to their family and circle of friends in the time before their diagnosis was devastating to them as well. 

The organized opposition whines that the money doesn't have to be spent in California!

Yeah there's a reason for that.

California one of the most expensive places in the world in which to do medical research.  Remember the goal of Prop 29 is to be able to get the most medical research that will stop the plague of death surrounding a practice that you or a loved one may have acquired.


Some treatments are transferable between specific types of  cancer and a lot of palliative care can help with many forms of the disease.   Therefore Proposition 29 could help save others of your friends and family that develop other types of cancer.  I don't see anything in the writing on the ballot that says that the money from 29 is restricted to lung cancer.

Now if you're the person I hope you are, you don't subject your family to breathing trapped second hand smoke.  Kudos to you, and this comes from a person that grew up in a persistent fog of second hand smoke since cigarettes were cheap, the tobacco industry was still denying that they caused cancer, and the national government which brought us the Vietnam War let them do it.

Now the same greedy type of Tobacco People want you to vote against Proposition 29 because "it will not all be spent in California".  What they are worried about is people not buying as many cigarettes as before because of an extra tax on the products.  This would actually be the most likely to happen with young smokers.  AND THAT IS A GOOD THING!  To do anything to keep young people to from developing a heavy habit is possibly the best part about this bill.

Though she tried hard, my mom, who started smoking young at a time when no one knew what cigarettes would do, wasn't able to stop until clear messages came through that second-hand smoke was even deadlier than smoking.  In the end she stopped for her family.  She avoided lung cancer, but died of a heart attack and stent operation (a treatment that is no longer highly regarded as a cure and which was always extremely dangerous).   Heart disease is also often initiated and/or increased by tobacco use, especially the heavy long term  addiction like the one from which my mother suffered.

To keep the next young person from smoking as much as he or she thinks is cool or comes to crave, may, in itself save their lives and their relationships when they are older.  Both of the people I know who died of lung cancer started young and smoked until their diagnosis.  And it wasn't any easier for them to stop at that time, than it would have been earlier, and they both still had to deal with the inoperable cancer in their brains.  It was tough for all concerned.  Any method of keeping young people from getting addicted is therefore good.  And if you are a smoker it will help you too, to get rid of the habit or at least to reduce the impact of the toxic chemicals you get from your "smokes".


Even anti-tobacco groups have disliked other taxes on cigarettes because the state governments could use the money for other purposes than trying to help people who smoke or get cancer.  Many felt that it made state governments too reliant on the money they got from people buying cigarettes to do anything to help keep people from smoking or curing the health problems that smoking and tobacco products cause.

For instance,  a tax of 10 cents per pack was placed on cigarettes in 1959 for support of the general fund.

Proposition 10 passed in 1998 placed a $.50 tax on a pack of cigarettes to support early childhood education.

And even the funds from Proposition 99 passed in 1988 ($.25 a pack) to be  used for tobacco education and prevention efforts, tobacco related disease efforts also included  health care services for low income persons and environmental and recreational resources, and could be used to replace money from the general fund.  Some anti-smoking advocates say that dependency on  cigarette taxes that could be used to replace state funds, led the California government to a less proactive position on reducing smoking.

But Proposition 29 takes the money collected from the sale of cigarettes and puts it in the hands of a 9 person panel, rather than the CA legislature's budget process, so it should be safe from replacing general funds or usage on anything else than research on cancer and tobacco related diseases, and anti-tobacco programs.  It would also target other tobacco products with excise taxes that would go for prevention and or cure of diseases related to their use according to the Voter Guide.

This is not a tax the government will put to other uses, and then get addicted to.   In fact, the expectation is that the dollar intake by the fund will be reduced every year because of the relatively heavy excise tax imposed.

Proposition 29 is good for California, but especially  for you unless you're one of the 0% who will never have to worry about getting any kind of cancer, emphysema (both of which can be induced by smog, too) or other smoking or pollutant related illness.