Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Hidden, Hired Villians

Most Americans know that there are over 150,000 military troops in Iraq and Afghanistan at the moment. What most don't know is that there are tens of thousands of mercenaries there bought and paid for by the United States Government. Our own politicians allot hundreds of millions of dollars yearly to pay companies like Blackwater ( ) to send mercenaries to war zones. Those hired soldiers make far more money than true military soldiers. They have equal if not better equipment. And, by far the most absurd and frightening part of the situation, they only answer to the corporation.

So far around sixty U.S. soldiers have been court martialed for violent action against Iraqis. However, due to an act by the United States Government and the temporary Iraqi government set up during the first year of the occupation, those mercenaries can't be tried for crimes by the new Iraqi regime. There are documented cases of these hired security forces firing on civilians, and even American troops, that come too close to the convoys they guard and nothing is done to them. They can't even be touched by the military rules of conduct.

I've ranted many times about the use of mercenaries by the government. Most of the time, however, I've ranted about the fact that death tolls don't take them into account. Who can really say how many of these hired guns have died in Iraq and Afghanistan; especially since the U.S. military doesn't even have control over where these soldiers are positioned, only the company does. But, when hired thugs are allowed to run rampant in a war zone I feel I need to stop ranting for those that have died on their side of the guns and start advocating some damn law and order applied to civilians that are compensated for killing.


Subpoenas for Medical Records

In Portland, Oregon Chief U.S. District Judge Robert H. Whaley is working on a ruling of whether or not to throw out the DEA requests for medical records of 17 medical marijuana patients. According to OregonLive's News Flash,the subpoenas were served on the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program, which issues permits to patients and their authorized growers.
They also sent a subpoena to The Hemp and Cannabis Foundation, a Portland clinic where doctors determine whether a patient's condition would be eased by marijuana.

There are 11 other states that currently allow marijuana for medical use, although they also have lists of conditions for which the medical marijuana is appropriate. Section 3, (a) through Section 3 (c) of the 1998 Oregon Medical Marijuana Act describes the approved conditions as:

(a) Cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus or acquired immune deficiency syndrome, or treatment for these conditions;
(b) A medical condition or treatment for a medical condition that produces, for a specific patient, one or more of the following:
(i) Cachexia;
(ii) Severe pain;
(iii) Severe nausea;
(iv) Seizures, including but not limited to seizures caused by epilepsy; or
(v) Persistent muscle spasms, including but not limited to spasms caused by multiple sclerosis; or
(c) Any other medical condition or treatment for a medical condition adopted by the division by rule or approved by the division pursuant to a petition submitted pursuant to section 14 of this Act.

However, these 11 states, as well as the two other states considering making medical marijuana legal, are going through some rough legal battles between the feds and those involved with the medical marijuana use and dispensing. The federal government only recognizes marijuana as a schedule 1 drug that should be outlawed, has no medical uses, and anyone involved in medicinal marijuana use, cultivation, or prescribing is giving money to terrorists; according to current drug czar, John P. Walters - read his 'description' on this link to the White House Office of National Drug Control policy. You should notice how is details none of the current threats to landlords in California who rent to Medical Marijuana dispensaries. Nor does it explain how the Drug Czar sees fit to abandon the constitution side by side with good ol' George W. and pry into citizens' personal medical histories.

Other drugs labeled schedule 1 include heroin, Lysergic acid diethylamide, peyote, and Dimethyltryptamine (DMT).

Many of California's medical marijuana users and growers are being sent to jail, prosecuted and fined for providing or receiving LIFE SAVING treatments.

Kris Hermes, a spokesman for the advocacy group Americans for Safe Access, said the subpoenas suggest the DEA is looking beyond prosecuting dealers.
"It sends a message to the other states and their programs that they're vulnerable to federal interference," he said. "It doesn't take a brick to hit you over the head to know that the federal government is trying to undermine California's medical marijuana law, given all the raids and threats to landlords.
"This is one step further that shows the federal government is very serious about going after patients."

I can not see how any citizen of this country, founded on freedom, is ok willing to let patients suffer because the federal government believes they have the right to bring extinction upon a plant that has survived on this earth longer than us. A plant that has helped the human race for hundreds of generations. Who has the right to allow consumption of poisons which only, deteriorate the human body, and criminalize the consumption of a plant that helps to cure ailments, and create shelter for the human race. And, I'm not only talking about the over 400,000 different 'scripts out there. I am talking about the MSG and other poisons in foods sold nationally, globally, the lead, the asbestos cover-ups, 'black lung' and many, many more.

We must remember, too, that the federal government DOES in fact grow marijuana. They issue the federally grown marijuana to 13 lucky medical marijuana patients. This marijuana helps these people cope with the specific conditions and help to allow them to live productive, 'normal' lives which they would otherwise be incapable of doing.

It is time, America, to take a stand and not let the government bully these people around anymore. We have rights, we have privacy rights, and, unless each government official will let us in on their medical histories, background checks, and wiretapping, then I suggest to them they 'BACK OFF!'

No Rest for the Wicked

A non-denominational church, High Point Church in Arlington, Texas, was scheduled to host a memorial service for a Navy war veteran. However, the veteran, Cecil Howard Sinclair, was discovered to be gay by the church. This discovery was made by members of the church who were putting together his tribute video, which revealed pictures of men “engaging in clear affection, kissing and embracing”; according to an MSNBC report this morning.

The church’s pastor, the Rev. Gary Simons said that the church believes homosexuality is a sin, and it would have appeared to endorse that lifestyle if the service had been held there. I say, isn't everyone a sinner? Or does this church only hold funeral or memorial services for Jesus Christ? Yes. I do believe that in the Christian faith, everyone is a sinner, which is why Jesus was sent here in the first place. Now sins are being labeled that are not recognized by the Ten Commandments, but are worse.

Being gay is not mentioned in any one of the commandments, but love thy neighbor as thyself is. I hope Rev. Simons doesn't know about the gay Lutheran pastors. In a related MSNBC article, it has been reported that the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is now allowing gay relationship to continue with their clergymen without punishment. If the High Point Church in Arlington can't hold a memorial service for a veteran, who will the hold memorial services for? It would most likely be easy to find such things out, and to write about what kind of sinners they have helped remember in the past, or what lifestyles they have condoned, or what kind of lifestyles some of their members live, but I believe that would be wrong!

It does not matter what 'lifestyle' this person led, because no one else could be much better, although being gay is not even a sin. The Lutherans don't believe so, isn't that enough? I believe the church officials who made this decision are the 'sinners', would it be fair for me to decline them their rights to a peaceful memorial service in honor and memory of their lives, contributions to society, and for their families? I believe not.