With the Internet droning on endlessly about the Clinton / Trump debate I thought I would focus on a ballot initiative that will be on several states this fall: the legalization of marijuana for recreational use.
Currently Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington (as well as Washington, D.C.) allows the recreational use of marijuana. In November five more states will ask residents to vote on making the sale of marijuana legal to buy and sell for recreational use (including Massachusetts).
According to 24/7 Wall St., Massachusetts voters have a good chance of voting to legalize marijuana, and if legalized, Massachusetts is estimated to reap as much as $187 million in new tax revenues. Massachusetts projected tax revenues pale in comparison to the $1+ billion California could reap, but nearly $200 million ain’t exactly chump change and could go a long way to funding that pesky Green Line extension everyone says we need but cannot seem to afford to build.
Yes on 4: Massachusetts Marijuana Legalization
Following in the footsteps of the NBA which announced this summer that they would move their 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte, the NCAA will pull seven championship events from North Carolina. The NCAA said it will relocate the men’s basketball first- and second-round games that were scheduled for March 17 and 19 in Greensboro as well as the following games listed below.
- Division I women’s soccer championship, Dec. 2 and 4 in Cary
- Division III men’s and women’s soccer championships,Dec. 2 and 3 in Greensboro
- Division I women’s golf regional championships, May 8-10 in Greenville
- Division III men’s and women’s tennis championships, May 22-27 in Cary
- Division I women’s lacrosse championship, May 26 and 28 in Cary
- Division II baseball championship from May 27 to June 3 in Cary
In response to the NCAA’s decision, citing that state’s anti-LGBT law – HB2, the North Carolina Republican Party issued this bizarre statement.
“This is so absurd it’s almost comical. I genuinely look forward to the NCAA merging all men’s and women’s teams together as singular, unified, unisex teams. Under the NCAA’s logic, colleges should make cheerleaders and football players share bathrooms, showers and hotel rooms.
“This decision is an assault to female athletes across the nation. If you are unwilling to have women’s bathroom and locker rooms, how do you have a women’s team? I wish the NCAA was this concerned about the women who were raped at Baylor. Perhaps the NCAA should stop with their political peacocking — and instead focus their energies on making sure our nation’s collegiate athletes are safe, both on and off the field.”
It is unclear how to respond to such a bizarre reaction. I’m starting to wonder how much of a financial burden North Carolina politicians are willing to assume before recognizing that they are not only being made a pariah but they are doing harm to their state’s economy and reputation that will linger long after HB2 is repealed.
Perhaps you heard the collective gasp followed by a squeal of delight when it was announced that Hillary Clinton would return to Provincetown for another fundraiser, this time alongside pop icon Cher. Hillary’s fundraising stop with Cher is scheduled for August 21st from 1-3PM. If you have a boatload of money to donate you can see her but at the time I was writing this post the minimum donation available to get a ticket was $2,700. This makes me still #FeelTheBern but like Sarah Silverman said it is time to stop being ridiculous.
Cher has been incredibly vocal about her dislike of Donald Trump repeatedly using the icon to refer to the Republican Presidential nominee and calling him a con-man. Actually she has used much stronger language, but I’ll leave that to your imagination. Her denunciations led to a rather creative take on Clinton’s campaign slogan and a website created by a fan of both Hillary and Cher.
The antidote to homophobia is to speak up when you see something and for those of us who identify as LGBTQ to come out of the closet. The importance of living openly was driven home (again) in USA Today’s article, How Warriors president Rick Welts influenced the NBA’s All-Star Game move.
Below is an excerpt from the article.
Golden State Warriors president and chief operating officer Rick Welts, 63, who is openly gay, explained his meaningful and lifelong affiliation with the NBA and told league owners he didn’t feel comfortable attending the All-Star Game in Charlotte if the law remained as is.
His words weren’t emotional, and they weren’t delivered as a threat. But Welts, who was instrumental in shaping All-Star weekend into the big-time event it is today, didn’t plan on attending if the North Carolina law wasn’t repealed or changed.
Following the meeting, a few owners talked, and a prevailing message emerged: If Rick Welts doesn’t feel comfortable coming to the All-Star Game, the decision to relocate just got easier.
Who can say how the NBA may have reacted if Rick Welts didn’t share his thoughts or if he had remained in the closet, choosing to live his life privately and away from the scrutiny and scorn often shown openly gay men in sports? Welts decision to live as an openly gay man provided the NBA owners with a perspective that (to paraphrase some of the NBA team owners) made “the decision to relocate the All Star game easier“. Thank you Rick for speaking up and sharing your perspective and thank you NBA for hearing him.
I couldn’t make this crap up if I tried. Responding to Michelle Obama’s inspiring speech from the previous night Bill O’Reilly felt the need to point out that the slaves referenced in Michelle Obama’s speech were “well fed and had decent lodgings.” Pardon my language but are you fucking kidding me? Does he mean to infer that these slaves should have been happy about their bondage? Does he mean that we shouldn’t be proud of the progress our country has made with regards to civil rights? What does he mean? Below I’ve included an excerpt of Michelle Obama’s speech which O’Reilly felt the need to critique.
“That is the story of this country, the story that has brought me [Michelle Obama] to this stage tonight, the story of generations of people who felt the lash of bondage, the shame of servitude, the sting of segregation, but who kept on striving and hoping and doing what needs to be done. But today I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves, and I watch my daughters, two beautiful, intelligent black young women playing with their dogs on the white house lawn. And because of Hillary Clinton, my daughters and all our sons and daughters, now take for granted that a woman can be president of the United States.” – Michelle Obama
Bill O’Reilly’s ugly commentary reminds me of what Michelle Obama said she and Barack tell their daughters when people take the low road in politics:
Photos of Rep. & Dem. Party interns in D.C. illustrate a divide that is difficult to overlook
Earlier this month House Speaker Ryan snapped a photo of Republican interns in Washington, D.C. and a few days later the photo on the right of Democrat interns was shared. All the interns deserve a lot of credit and respect for getting involved in our political process, which is more than most Americans can say.
However, the Republican party needs to deal with their lack of diversity if they want to have a future as a national party. The US Census Bureau estimates the minority population will to rise to 56% of the total population by 2060, compared with 38% in 2014, but declining birth rates with white Americans could make this a reality even more quickly.
Which photo best exemplifies America as the world’s Melting Pot?
I understand that economics is a big motivator for people who vote Republican (at least around New England). What I can’t understand is why one would ever tolerate a party that has through their rhetoric and policies made their party an island closed to anyone who doesn’t look or talk like them. Ryan’s photo is a tangible example that the lip service the Republican Party pays to diversity and empowering minorities is a problem. For everyone’s sake I hope the Republican Party will evolve on this issue. The US needs more political options not fewer, but if they can’t get their act together I predict the Republican Party shall go the way of the dodo bird; and if they can’t moderate themselves I say good riddance.
Set your DVRs and enjoy the show. I guarantee this will be far more interesting than anything you will see on those 24-hour news networks tonight.