Mom's Pissed

My name is Mandy and I live in Washington DC. I like dogs, fountain pop, and Jason Bateman. Joe Biden is my spirit animal.

Shuffleboard? Oh, Maybe Let’s Get High Instead ›

When company stops by her home in Akron, Ohio, she offers a joint, and when it’s someone’s birthday, a bong is prepared. She even hosts summer campfires where the older folk listen to the Beach Boys, Led Zeppelin and the Beatles; eat grilled steaks and hot dogs; and get high (not necessarily in that order).

“It’s nice,” Ms. Neufer said. “It’s just a social thing. It’s like when people get together, and they crack open their beers.”

Statistics suggest that more members of the older generations, like Ms. Neufer, are using marijuana. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported in 2011 that 6.3 percent of adults between the ages of 50 and 59 used the drug. That number has risen from 2.7 percent in 2002.

And anecdotal evidence points to much of this use being sociable rather than medical.

***

It makes sense that the baby boom generation and people a little younger might be more casual and open about marijuana use; after all, they grew up in the ’60s and ’70s, when getting high was the norm. According to Richard J. Bonnie, the author of “Marijuana Conviction: A History of Marijuana Prohibition in the United States,” in 1971 a national commission on marijuana drug use even recommended decriminalizing the drug, something that, for many people, was “recognized as a perfectly sensible proposal,” he said.

Some pot smokers of decades ago simply never stopped indulging with their friends. Indeed, Ms. Neufer, a self-proclaimed hippie (“I will be forever in my heart, and in my mind,” she said), started smoking at 21 and has been growing pot in her backyard and organizing drug-fueled sing-alongs ever since.

She pointed out that those who have moved on from corporate work might feel more comfortable revealing and sharing their marijuana use.

“Most of us are either retiring or are retired,” Ms. Neufer said. “You don’t have to worry about your job knowing, so it’s a little easier for us. I don’t care if you use my name, I don’t care if they know!”

The individual mandate survives as a tax. So the mandate is constitutional. Chief Justice Roberts joins the left of the Court.

Muslim Brotherhood's Mursi declared Egypt president ›

The Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed Mursi has been declared the winner of Egypt’s presidential election run-off.

He won 51.73% of the vote, beating former PM Ahmed Shafiq, the Higher Presidential Election Commission said.

The head of the panel of judges, Farouq Sultan, said it had upheld some of the 466 complaints by the candidates, but that the election result still stood.

The announcement prompted scenes of jubilation in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, where Mr Mursi’s supporters gathered.

They have been maintaining a vigil there for days in protest at the series of decrees by the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (Scaf) which they say are designed to reduce or constrain the power of the president, and entrench the power of the military.

On 13 June, the justice ministry gave soldiers the right to arrest civilians for trial in military courts until the ratification of a new constitution.

Four days later, just as the polls were closing in the run-off, the generals issued an interim constitutional declaration that granted them all legislative powers and reinforced their role in the drafting of a permanent constitution. The military was also exempted from civilian oversight.

Then on Monday, the head of the Scaf, Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, announced the re-establishment of a National Defence Council, putting the generals in charge of Egypt’s national security policy. (BBC News)

Entire article.

Freed Activist Blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad on Egypt’s Future. ›

The last year has been very hard because many activists died or were injured. We had perhaps 1,000 or 2,000 activists die within the last year, killed by policemen and armed forces. Nearly 50,000 activists were injured during the last year.

Yet democracy and human-rights activists grew in numbers. Many people sacrificed their safety and lives to try to reform Egypt into a free country where citizens can live in a democracy with human rights and dignity.

When my country and people had free elections, we voted for liberal parties. When Sadat held a referendum on the peace treaty, the majority voted for the peace treaty, not against it. So I believe in my people and that they seek development and peace.

I understand that they can’t find free media channels to provide them with the good and right information needed to make decisions. But the Internet and new media are changing this. It might take years, but in the end they will realize the facts. And I know that no free country was born or created as a free country; people have to sacrifice for freedom and for human rights.

And I am able and willing to make these sacrifices for the good of my people and for the good of humanity. (Keyes, The Daily Beast)

Entire article.

Al-Qaeda commander Abu Yahya al-Libi killed - US officials. ›

Senior al-Qaeda leader Abu Yahya al-Libi was killed in a drone strike in Pakistan on Monday, a US official has told the BBC.

US officials said Libi was the target of a drone strike which hit a volatile tribal area of Pakistan’s north-west, killing 15 suspected militants.

There has been no confirmation of his death from sources in Pakistan.

According to officials, he played a critical role in the group’s planning against the West.

Libi had gravitas as a longstanding member of al-Qaeda’s leadership, the official told the BBC, and his religious credentials meant he had the authority to issue fatwas and provide guidance to the Pakistan-based operation

"There is no-one who even comes close in terms of replacing the expertise al-Qaeda has just lost," the US official told the BBC. (BBC News)

Entire article.

Wisconsin Recall in ‘Dead Heat’ ›

Political eyes will all be focused on Wisconsin Tuesday as voters go to the polls to decide whether to recall Republican Gov. Scott Walker. Walker’s challenger, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, said the race is a “dead heat,” as most polls showed Walker has a narrow lead over his 2010 challenger.

State election officials said Tuesday that they had issued 206,000 absentee ballots, which could delay the results of the election as they are counted.

Earlier surveys indicated a majority of voters have already made up their minds—and polls show that this could have the highest turnout for a gubernatorial election in 50 years. (The Daily Beast)

Entire article.

Amelia Earhart Distress Call Details Emerge. ›

Dozens of previously dismissed radio signals were actually credible transmissions from Amelia Earhart, according to a new study of the alleged post-loss signals from Earhart’s plane.

The transmissions started riding the air waves just hours after Earhart sent her last inflight message.

The study, presented on Friday at a three day conference by researchers of The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR), sheds new light on what may have happened to the legendary aviator 75 years ago. The researchers plan to start a high-tech underwater search for pieces of her aircraft next July.

At 07:42 local time, as she flew toward the target destination, Howland Island in the Pacific, with her navigator Fred Noonan, Earhart called the Coast Guard cutter Itasca, stationed at Howland Island to support her flight.

“We must be on you, but cannot see you — but gas is running low. Have been unable to reach you by radio. We are flying at 1,000 feet,” she said.

This uninhabited atoll in the southwestern Pacific republic of Kiribati is where TIGHAR believes Earhart and Noonan landed safely and ultimately died as castaways. (Lorenzi, Discovery News)

Entire article.

U.S. Added 69,000 Jobs in May; Jobless Rate at 8.2% ›

The United States economy gained a net 69,000 jobs in May, the Labor Department said Friday, a dismal showing that reflected mounting fears of a global slowdown. The unemployment rate rose to 8.2 percent from 8.1 percent in April.

It was the third mediocre performance by the job market in three months, after a period of solid growth over the winter that raised hopes that the recovery was gaining momentum.

“In February or March, I thought the labor market had achieved escape velocity,” said Patrick J. O’Keefe, the director of economic research at J. H. Cohn, a consulting firm. “It appears to me now that that was a premature call.”

The country’s economy seems to be weaker than it first appeared this year. Consumer confidence, as measured by one of two major surveys, has fallen, and there are some indications that orders for new manufactured goods have slowed significantly. New claims for unemployment benefits have ticked up. On Thursday, the estimate for overall growth in the first three months of 2012 was revised downward, to a 1.9 percent annual rate from 2.2 percent.

On the other hand, there have been bright spots, like the auto industry, where sales have been booming.

With the latest slowdown, the economy is following a pattern it has established over the past couple of years, of strong winter growth and then a spring or summer slump. “This is definitely a movie we’ve seen before,” Mr. O’Keefe said. (Dewan, The New York Times)

Entire article.

The chimp who learned to trick humans...and pelt them with stones. ›

One day in 2010, an apparently annoyed Santino was fed up with being ogled, so he scared visitors away by aggressively flinging stones. (No one was hit.) Later that same day, when a different group of people approached his pen, the chimp came up with a new idea. “Santino approached them holding two stones, but this time appearing nonaggressive and munching on an apple,” says Eoin O’Carroll at The Christian Science Monitor. When he got close enough, the sly primate let the rocks fly, taking the humans by surprise.

The deliberate and complex nature of the attacks demonstrates a capacity for thinking nearly on par with humans. “What is interesting is that he made these preparations when the visitors were out of sight, and also incorporated innovations into the behavior,” Osvath tells Discovery News. Santino’s planning closely resembles something psychologists call “theory of mind,” or the ability to understand that others possess thoughts, desires, and motivations different from one’s own — a first for the ape world. (The Week)

Entire article.