I recently had a conversation with a marijuana activist leader working the Washington DC beat. He complained to me that people where I live, Northern California, have unrealistic expectations regarding marijuana law change. He said that we shouldn’t expect any major changes during the first part of the Obama administration, he has too many other, more timely problems and can’t afford to to use too much political capital- we should just wait, be patient.
I thought about this a long while after the conversation and I realized that from his perspective, he was perfectly right. But his perspective ends because of inflation, slightly past the 495 interstate that rings metropolitan Washington.
I have been in the political minority all of my life; I am antiwar, pro civil rights, pro gay rights, economic rights, anti-imperialism, environmentalist and ecologist- but don’t worry I am not an holier-than-thou person, I love to have fun, I just didn’t want to kill or exploit anybody to do it. I would rather have a society based on the bonobos than the chimps. And of course, my attitude regarding marijuana: free the heads jail the feds.
It has only been in the last 8 years that the public has come to the same conclusions that I have. We don’t need military bases in 80 countries, we don’t have to spend as much on war as the rest of the world combined, and perhaps Iraq is and never was really a threat to us, it was all a big lie that nobody believes anymore.
When Obama was elected by a fairly wide margin (and marijuana won in 9 states by wider margins) the public thought that it was buying an end to war, a national healthcare system, medical marijuana law reform, and gay rights among others- but we can see now that the politicians within the 495 ring are floating in a tremendous disconnect from the rest of the country. They think that the public is going to buy into their lies once more, but this time it isn’t happening.
Now lets go back to Bush’s election in 2000. A supreme council made up mostly of old white men donning ridiculous robes dating back to the middle ages decided the vote. Luckily, countries around the world didn’t threaten the US for its stolen election. Now, let’s fast forward to 2009 Iran. A bunch of bearded, turbaned, polygamists wearing costumes from the middle ages decided the vote. The only difference is people in Iran took to the streets and rioted, while the people in the US were too concerned with their personal affairs—the result was the election of the dumbest president ever, really a marionette controlled by an evil task master. The Iranian system is now replicating our 2000 election. No different.
Back to the disconnect, which is all part of a circle of control, the really fresh perspective that people expected of Obama in terms of substantive policy change just hasn’t happened. Now, they are talking about a war till 2012. I learned today that they are building an embassy in Pakistan that will cost three quarters of a billion dollars. Is it an embassy, a bunker, a command center? More war. Pakistan, Obama’s war.
I was certainly disappointed that Obama did not take quick action on marijuana or civil rights for gays. My friend said he didn’t want to use up his political capital, his little savings account. But since marijuana is more popular than he is, seems to me he would have gained it.
Instead, he gave away 2 trillion unrecoverable dollars to pay off speculators when the casinos such as AIG weren’t capitalized. This pay out was the single biggest transfer of wealth to the rich that has ever taken place in the United States, far beyond anything the Reagan or even Bush could have ever dreamed. $2 trillion isn’t spare change- $10 billion here or there or a $55 billion scam- $2 trillion is 14% of the entire $14 trillion GDP of the United States. We are talking about real money here. How do we pay this back? If we sink into a little more debt, who is going to buy it? The Chinese have already said that they are overstocked, are we allowing the oil companies to inflate oil so that the oil monarchies can buy our debt and drain the American middle and lower classes further in favor of the rich? Talk about class warfare!
So here we are, picture the campaign poster Obama “Hope” and now it might read Obama “Hope for Spare Changes”.