Sunday, November 10, 2013

Back Again?

I'm BAAAACK! Maybe....

After being caught up the last 2/3rds of last year in the Colorado marijuana initiative, some bus driving, trying to sell our South Dakota house and just plain living I stopped writing here.  Then we spent another winter in our Arizona home and learned last March that someone who had looked at the South Dakota home wanted to see it again.  They did, they made an offer, we accepted and the deal was done in late May.

Then, ugh, the move - from a place where we moved too much from Colorado to South Dakota ten years ago, to a home less than half its size we built in 2008 in Arizona which was already mostly furnished (we're just finishing RE-furnishing it with some better furniture now that we're full time).

Taking advantage of a good snow-bird friend's offer to use their garage as storage for a while, we got everything to Arizona that we didn't sell with the house or via a long garage sale. What a tale!  First, we had moved some things from storage in Sioux Falls back to the house, then packed or sold a bunch of stuff, then loaded up both cars and a trailer after already having hauled some things to Bette's sister's house in Colorado - and the trip home to Arizona began.

Most of Bette's side of the family helped in the effort.  We were on our own from Denver to Sahuarita, our Arizona berg South of Tucson. 

We still have some things in our neighbor's garage (they are late in arriving this year due to health problems).  Most of what is there is boxes of books, a few other thingies and a boat load of empty plastic tubs (if anyone needs any for their own storage - we have nearly 40 of them!).

In the meantime, I've lost some weight - now nearly fifty pounds less than a couple of years ago, yea!
All it took was lots of moving and finally getting teeth fixed - losing eight in the process (seven in one visit - fun!).  Some other drilling and being fitted with partials and, guess what - my feelings about visiting dentists haven't changed for the better!  I must say, though, that my new, young AZ dentist is kind, apologetic and as gentle as he can be (except for the last tooth he was trying to save but ultimately had to remove - small piece by small piece).  He even came up with a concoction of local anesthetics that actually worked (the various ...cains have never stopped the pain anywhere in my body!)! So, campaigning, selling, packing, moving, deteething...equals somewhat busy.

I know, I know - excuses, excuses!

Now, we're still garage selling, gifting or whatever old furniture and other stuff (ever try to rid yourself of about 10,000 books - "But I need to read it again, I haven't read that one yet...") while still getting delivery of new furniture - we hope to be mostly done with it all since we're going to Denver early December and don't plan to return to AZ until after Christmas (CO Westy '63ers - let's DO something!).

So, now, with so much stuff in the world to mouth off about, guess I'll mouth off every now and then.

Comments will always be welcome, civility appreciated, and I'll try not to be outright political.  I will spout off about stupid "policing", the drug war and other idiocies and try to see the humor in things.

Until then....


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Libertarians in the Book World

Cool trailer, huh! Wish I had done it.  Wish I could have done it. Gives me chills each time I see it. Computers generated anything, except for words, is beyond me.

One thing about Libertarians; they tend to be writers, wordsmiths, and talkers. Maybe they just have so much to say. Maybe they are, as a group, more intelligent. Maybe they turn to words, printed and spoken, because they tend, again as a group, to be loners and outcasts. For whatever reason, even those who I know to be quite social and quite capable socially seem to be great wordsmiths.  There are the David Bergland types (Libertarianism in One Lesson), who use words as a living. And there are authors like L. Neil Smith, Ayn Rand, and John Berntson (Lifeboats), who use words to weave marvelous tales. There are scientists among the libertarian movement who publish their take on the science of the day even if it is not the popular view. For instance, Terry Donze (Climate Realism) wrote on the 'wrong' side of the climate debate. (I loved all the science in that book. I hate hysteria but I can deal with facts, even those I don't like.) And speech writers and speech makers like Michael Cloud use words to persuade, prove and convince.

Whatever the reason, libertarians seem to be above average when it comes to the use of words.  I have read books by all of the people I've mentioned with the exception of Ayn Rand.  All have been entertaining and most have left me wanting more.  But I am a fiction reader by nature, so I love a good fiction novel that also teaches me things about life, love, and of course politics - that thing that everyone wants to talk about but are afraid they would be drop-kicked out of class, church, and card games if they did.  Not only am I a fiction reader, I love a good science fiction. L. Neil Smith did tons of interesting science fiction.  John Berntson's science fiction book Lifeboats was so fun I went after another book of his. One of my favorite authors, of course, is Michele Poague.  Her recent science fiction trilogy is a balanced view of three different societies. As she says, "Any political philosophy is perfect in a given moment...but moments are fleeting.” This is fascinating to me as a libertarian since we believe our free market/ personal responsibility philosophy is the best.

Right now Michele is doing a blog tour and has a interesting raffle going. You can enter it at the end of this post.  I thought I would include a description of her books and a couple of comments from other readers. If you want to dip your toe into science fiction or want to explore what happens when three societies collide, take a look at The Healing Crystal trilogy. I have included guest posts by two of my favorite people, right after the trailer.  Don't forget to enter the raffle, too!

Guest Post by Leah and Beth

When I first was asked to do this guest review, I was a bit hesitant because I am a very to the point person.  I have trouble coming up with more than a line or two. However, a line or two of honesty is better than a whole paragraph of fluff. Beth offered to lend her thoughts. Here we have an introduction to Healing Crystal Trilogy, including our reactions.

The Healing Crystal Trilogy is a science fiction epic about lost technology, the morality of power and the creation of religious and political philosophy.

In Book One, Heir to Power, we meet Kairma, heir to the Healing Crystal and destined to become the leader of Survin, a reclusive colony hidden in the mountains for more than four hundred years. Kairma and her closest friends discover a tomb containing artifacts from the Ancient Ones, leading them all on a quest to find the true purpose of the Crystal.

Leah’s thoughts:
I loved it! I couldn't put it down until I finished it. Now I can't wait for the next one. If you love fiction of any kind, sci-fi, adventure, fantasy, you'll love this.
I enjoyed "Heir to Power" better than the Harry Potter books. Seriously....I did.

Beth’s thoughts:
Fantastic book. I thoroughly enjoyed being lost within this story. All the characters were very likeable and so well described it was like watching a movie in my mind.

       In Book Two, Fall of Eden, we find ourselves asking, "What is the Healing Crystal and who is the rightful heir? Is it a religious object or a powerful weapon? Does it belong to a fallen line of kings or to the colonists of Survin? Should its fate be left in the hands of the young and inexperienced Kairma or to Narvin, the last descendent of a line of kings?"
      Kairma holds the Crystal and believes she will become the next leader of Survin, while her younger sister Kinter, believes she, not Kairma, is the rightful heir. Narvin believes the Healing Crystal is the Star of Genesis, a powerful relic his ancestors have been seeking for centuries.
       Determined to possess the object that will return him to his glory, Narvin is unwavering in his quest to possess it, and Kairma is caught in a fierce race across barren deserts and rugged mountains to a shattering finish where the winner must decide the fate of the world.

Leah’s thoughts:
Loved.  The characters are still strong and the book moves quickly.

Beth’s thoughts:
I couldn’t put the first two books down in this trilogy and enjoyed the stories immensely.  Now I look longingly at book 3, Ransom, knowing that once I pick it up I will be again immersed in the lives and emotions of Kairma and the Survinees.  I hesitate a bit to start because once I begin I know that within just a few days I will finish reading and my ties with these characters will have to come to an end. 

In the exciting conclusion of The Healing Crystal Trilogy, Karima, bearing the weight of the most powerful object known to mankind, must choose between returning to Survin and blissful ignorance or trusting powerful strangers to create a new future. Will she make the right choice?

Leah’s thoughts:
I thoroughly enjoyed the Healing Crystal Trilogy. Since Ransom was the last book, I'm really disappointed there's not a fourth book. I did not want it to end!
Even though the series is considered fiction, it could very well be a prophecy of a post-apocalyptic America.
I'm looking forward to more books by Ms. Poague.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, April 15, 2012

LEAPing at opportunity - or not...

As you have seen in the news the past couple of weeks, this weekend is the sixth "Summit of the Americas" conference in Colombia (where some of our military and Secret Service guys seem to have stepped in a bit of a pile....).  There, among other topics, the nearly universal War On Drugs was to be a major topic at the behest of several currently-in-office Latin American leaders. All of them believe that the prohibition is far too costly in terms of expense and - particularly in those countries, just as in Mexico -violence.  In the last few years more than 60,000 people have been killed in drug war related violence as drug cartels battle over black market prices.

Many of you know of my involvement with Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP - or for the past seven years, as well as my work on the medical marijuana front in Colorado, Montana and South Dakota.  So you can imagine that I might be slightly disturbed when OUR country's leaders continue to push this failed policy.

Fellow LEAP speaker and Executive Board member Jim Gierach was able to state the case well with  a COVER article in the Bogota Free Planet -

Dear Editor --
Pres. Obama is dead wrong about the legalization, regulation and control of dangerous drugs. The WAR ON DRUGS (drug prohibition) is the policy that is killing Mexicans and other Latin Americans by the tens of thousands, killing teens in Kenosha, WI (heroin ODs), and killing kids in Chicago, L.A., New York City, across America, and around the world in gang turf-wars and cartel competition over the control of black-market drug distribution and sales.
Prohibition is the drug policy of AL CAPONE, the United Nations, and the drug cartels of the world. To oppose drug legalization and the control of dangerous drugs is to side with and support drug cartels and street gangs.
Historically, politicians (Democrats and Republicans alike) have sold the public PROHIBITION SNAKE-OIL in exchange for votes and re-election. Barack Obama is up for re-election. But the David Axelrod’s, Karl Rove’s, Barack Obama’s and Mitt Romney’s of the world had better wake up. (Note: Ending torture, concluding wars, killing bin Laden, saving the US auto industry, taking a stab at healthcare reform, reviewing Bush tax cuts for the richest of the rich as the middle class shrinks are all positive initiatives, but…) The people of the world are on to them.
The people of the world know that the war on drugs is PUBLIC ENEMY NO. 1. The people of the world overwhelmingly judge the drug war a dismal failure.
Sadly, lethally, the drug policy of the U.S. has become the drug policy of the United Nations, encapsulated in three U.N. prohibitionist treaties just reaffirmed on motion and resolution of the U.S. at the 55th Session of the U.N. Commission on Narcotic Drugs held in Vienna in March. That killer policy cements the member nations of the world into a suicidal pact, moaning and bellowing in a “single, unified voice,” chanting “zero tolerance” and “prohibition forever” even if it kills us, and that’s just what it’s doing.
We, U.S. citizens and responsible citizens of the world, must join the courageous leaders of Latin America who for the first time exhibit the wisdom, courage and leadership to call out the KILLER WAR ON DRUGS and dare to call for a transition from world drug prohibition to world drug decriminalization, legalization, taxation, and the control of dangerous drugs.
James E. Gierach
James E. Gierach is a former Chicago drug prosecutor, board member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition ( and municipal attorney.
Last month, having heard that the sitting presidents of 12 Latin American countries are saying "Enough!" (Bolivia told the UN to, in essence, "Get lost" about the drug war treaty), VP Joe Biden scurried down to Mexico to meet with candidates for President in their upcoming election.  The purpose:To make certain they would stay with the current prohibition policy.  And, of course, to offer them more US taxpayer money to help them WIN this drug war (apparently, thousands of lives being lost is WINNING).
Now, in an interview with Univision, the President of the U.S. says he doesn't think legalizing drugs (with a policy of regulation and control) is the right way to go:
So, apparently, after the loss of thousands of lives, 40 years of failure, over $1TRILLION of expenses, Latin American leaders begging for a change, hundreds of embarrassing drug raids gone bad (with unarmed people being shot, kids being terrorized, dogs being killed in households, police officers dying over a few ounces of MJ) and numerous other signs of total failure - our leaders can't see any other way to deal with the drug problem.
As I wrote in my previous blog - WTF (What TOTAL Foolishness)!!
So, here's what I ask of you - help us continue to make this conversation grow among Americans (and people of other countries burdened by this idiocy).  Make the "leaders" of our country understand that pushing a failed, destructive policy that has only served to make the problem far worse is NOT the way to garner votes for re-election.  Visit us (, JOIN us.
You can see the pressure is rapidly rising - the Feds have pulled out all the stops, doing things they have not done before against MMJ operations and all things related and AGAINST the voted will of citizens in state after state (and in violation of the 10th amendment!).  Why?  Can they see the end coming?  Can they see the awakening of the people they are supposed to be serving?
Help us effect change of a bad, damaging policy.  Hasn't it gone on long enough?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

WTF! (What Total Foolishness)

Many who may come to see what this blog is about already know who I am - and maybe even more so, who my lovely wife is (BetteRose - Bett E, like in Bette Davis, the actress).

Anyway, having been a cop in Denver, CO for forever, I've seen/done a lot of things most people haven't.

Another thing you may know about me is that I'm actively involved in efforts to end the War On Drugs - being a speaker for and Executive Board member of LEAP (Law Enforcement against Prohibition -

So when I hear about various drug war absurdities like last week's multi-Fed agency raid on Richard Lee's Oakland medical marijuana dispensary and his Oaksterdam University (legally operated under both state and city laws), I get weary, disheartened and angry - WTF!

Forty-one years into a repeat of a prior failed experiment in controlling human behavior through assinine and ridiculous laws (alcohol), our "War On Drugs" has long since become what many have called a "war on people".  And, some people more than others.

Now, decades later, with well over $1 TRILLION spent to literally no avail (unless you actually think making a country with 5% of the world's population having 25% of the world's prison population - over a third of them non-violent drug possessors or users - a sign of success), WTF!

And then, there's this... My wife's aunt has become a diabetic in her later years (70's) and found herself in need of a glucose testing device.  Bette had an extra one around with some probably still useful but beyond "recommended useful life" test strips.  So, the next day her aunt went to everyone's corner drug store to obtain fresher test strips.  First, she was told they weren't made anymore for OTC sales - that they now required a prescription.  But, if she REALLY needed some before she could get the required prescription to submit for purchase, they could somehow sell her a few to tide her over (50 for the lowly sum of $70!!).  and, of course, she had to produce the machine to back up that she needed these $1.40 prescription only test strips.

Excuse me, but WTF?!  Diabetics need a prescription for test strips that cost about 2 cents to make but cost $1.40 to buy? 

What would one do with such a dangerous object besides put a drop of blood on it and test it for glucose levels?  Eat it and overdose?  Sell it to kids for a black market price (as if the price isn't that high already) so they can become addicted to it? 

But then, as evidenced by the Oakland raid last week, Federal agencies don't have enough to do as it is.  So, someday, in a neighborhood near you, they may kick in the door of a diabetic with a no-knock warrant to search for the deadly, threat to society as we know and love it - glucose test strip obatined/possessed without a prescription.

That's where we are folks. WTF!


Sunday, April 1, 2012

So, here I am on April Fool's Day rummaging around the internet to see what's happening, etc. - and I find an editorial in the Denver Post urging votes against a proposed law that would require all states to recognize gun permits from other states.

This, of course, generated a string of comments ranging from sensible to funny to weirdly fearful of all things gun related.

I've seen this - as has nearly everyone - all to often.  Here's the bottom line, I think.

Whether it be a continuing effort by government to disarm society for some future evil purpose or simply fear on the part of numerous people, who knows? But falling into the trap of saying, "Well, after all, guns KILL people!" is a bit simplistic and...well, I'll stop there.

Yes, guns in the wrong hands ARE used to kill people.  So are guns in the RIGHT (if you will) hands: those of people who wish only to protect themselves from others who would do them physical harm, people whose job it is to protect others, and themselves, from society's predators.

Those who argue that guns are only used for harm are wrong.  Gun ownership in numerous places results in a lower crime rate.  I used to say, crassly, I guess - by some standards - that nothing slows down robberies for a time more than some robber being blown away by the would-be victim or the police. And, having been a cop for eons, I know that for a fact.

I also know that numerous heinous crimes involving assault resulting in death are committed without using a gun at all - more than those WITH a gun. I've seen people seriously injured or killed with knives, ball bats, table legs, pool cues, car jacks, chairs - whatever is handy.  Preplanned deaths are infrequently implemented with a firearm - too easily traced.  Such things as poison, "accidents", etc. are used much more often.

And the last part is so simple it is ridiculous - why don't courts adequately penalize a weapon's user - not just blame the weapon?  Yes, a gun is designed to kill something, more often than not.  It is not necessarily designed to kill for the wrong reasons.  So when it is thusly mis-used, there should be a stiff penalty against the user.  We haven't banned ball bats, table legs, pool cues, car jacks or chairs, have we?

Common sense and proper education on the issue - as in most things - are the best weapons against gun misuse.


Monday, March 26, 2012

If you know me, or have read our blog page header, you know that I was a cop - for a long time.
I served in the City and County of Denver, CO.  Not one of the largest cities in the country, but - by most definitions - still a large city (Zogby - the polsters - rate anything over 100,00 as a "large" city), and the Denver Police Department, at around 1,450 sworn personnel, qualifies as a large police department. 

Not LA, Chicago (thank God!), or NYC - but, large.  The average size for US law enforcement agencies is less than 100 officers.

Anyway, my career was somewhat eventful - what with being shot, stabbed, bitten, having my head split open 18 stitches worth, broken bones in a hand and foot and having a knee smashed in an auto accident when a drunk ran a red light and broadsided my partner and I back in 1974 (not a good day for him - he was driving his girlfriend's car).

The good new is - I survived it all with little long-term effect (physically, at least).

So when I choose to offer up an opinion here, it will no doubt be influenced by what I saw and experienced in 36 years of police work - mostly "on the street".  I saw the worst of humans and some of the best.  I saw what has the worst effect on society in terms of violence, accidents and mayhem (alcohol), and the best effect (neighbors joining together to help each other, regardless of race, creed - or anything else).

Now, here we are in 2012, in a country filled with issues that seem unresolvable to many.  I am in no way able to solve any issues, but - in light of life's experiences and a front row seat on the experiences of others - I may have some useful suggestions, being able to look at these things from more than one side.

So, if you wish, join in - maybe we can all learn something and review our own hard ideas in a different light when we see what someone else's experiences have been.  Let's walk a mile in someone else's shoes - get a sense of what it feels like to be viewed as somehow "different" because of ideas, gender, race, religion or whatever it is we humans often like to sieze upon.

I have but one request - try to be civil and respectful.  I know we all would expect that from others, so if it starts with us, maybe it will remanin so...

Here's to good thoughts on important things, some fun, some easy teasing, some comraderie.  Take a few moment from life's troubles for a few minutes now and then.  It works - I've seen it happen with a group of my high school classmates in the last year.


Friday, March 9, 2012

Opening Musings

Hello, every whomever;

At the urging of the lovely BetteRose, I've decided to take a stab at blogging.  It isn't that I think the world has been holding its' collective breath to hear what I have to say - just that sometimes I'd like to spout off about things that I think deserve comment.

You see, while I'm not a particularly well-informed individual, I think I'm more informed (by virtue of being far more involved in some areas than most people) and therefore have the same right to spout off as those crazy people we routinely here from on the radio, the TV and various other mass media.

I can't be any more of a "far out, from another planet, drinking my own bathwater" than most of those famous/infamous people, can I?

So, if this has some strange appeal to you, please hop on and feel free to join in whatever I or Bette stir up. 

One thing - as I try my best when I'm sounding off to remain civil and uninsulting, I would like that others exercise the same restraint.  Good discussion and disagreement/agreement should be the product of at least a modicum of  knowledge  and not just the desire to engage in name calling or other evil display of lack of  knowledge and self-control. For that you can go to your local newspaper's Letters to the Editor comments section.

Thanks, all - let's enjoy this...