Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth (INFOGRAPHIC)

For you pocket protecting, tapped glasses and bow tie wearing fun loving video game nerds out there here is some advice on how to propose to your lady and for those who do not care for the nerdy variety here are some things to consider. For that matter, all men out there here is a guide to the proposal from Neomam Infographic Studios breaking down the essentials of your big day before you reach the big day. Even if you are married or not quite there, this infographic will make your day.
2013-04-25-proposing1.jpg

Colorado May Not Be As 420 Friendly As We Thought

Despite the massive amount of revenue to the state and for that matter federal government the legalization of marijuana could bring, Colorado is re-considering its legalization of marijuana. As people tens of thousands of people from all walks of life descended on Denver Colorado on April 20,2013, no one expected that the celebration would be cut short. After the Boston Marathon bombing, police focused on crowd security and were not as concerned about the yearly pot event billed as the largest April 20 celebration.  The festival the previous year brought 50,000 people together and were hoping to bring more people since it is the first celebration since Colorado and Washington voted to legalize recreational use Associated Press reports. Even with legalization, open and public use is illegal, but authorities look the other way as the 420 friendly participants celebrate at a park at the base of the state Capitol and music keeps the crowd entertained well past 4:20. Both states are waiting for federal response to votes and want to set up commercial pit sales limited only to medicinal marijuana right now. The celebration drew many marijuana activists from out of state.

However the day was marred by a shooting during the rally that wounded two people and Denver police last Monday had yet to arrest anyone in connection with incident but did interview a man wanted in connection causing the event to be canceled for security reasons. The man seen in a YouTube video was believed to be an accomplice to the primary shooter last Saturday according to police spokesman Sonny Jackson. Police urged people to watch the video showing a man in brown and wearing a white checkered shirt walking away from the scene. Jackson said last Monday the man came in voluntarily and spoke to detectives then left later that day. Police received numerous tips based on videos and photos provided by revelers and encouraged the public to keep sending them around the time of 5p.m. when the shooting occurred. Still unknown is the primary shooter but the man was wearing a blue hat, gray sweatshirt and black pants at the rally and it is not known whether it is gang related or not Associated Press reports. The shooting happened last Saturday at the end of the outdoor celebration when the crowd became panicked after shots were heard leaving a man and woman with non-life threatening gunshot wounds and a juvenile grazed by a  bullet which was treated at a nearby hospital. Organizers canceled a Sunday event after the shooting and it remains unclear if the shooting would affect future events.

This last Friday, backers of the Amendment 64 announced a news conference for the morning at the State Capitol to denounce what they are saying is an effort by anti-legalization group’s effort to repeal Colorado’s recreational marijuana legislation Huff Post reports. Mason Tvert, former co-director of the Amendment 64 campaign ans communication director of the Marijuana Policy Project, states that “numerous Colorado state lawmakers are considering supporting a strategic maneuver to repeal Amendment 64 floated by anti-marijuana group Smart Colorado.” According to Huff Post, Tvert believes lawmakers are considering putting the secret measure before Colorado voters on November 2013 if voters don’t pass a separate measure on marijuana taxes which is on the same ballot. Tvert, according to his statement, commented,”We are surprised that legislators are even taking this proposal seriously. Placing such a measure on the ballot would amount to extortion of the voters. They will be told that they must vote for whatever taxes the legislators choose in order to prevent the repeal of the constitutional amendment they just approved.” Any effort to repeal the law may be more difficult as the measure is part of the state constitution which requires the lawmakers to prove a repeal would be constitutional. Two thirds majority of the House and Senate would be needed to place the repeal on the ballot and with less than two weeks left on the legislative calendar this year makes it almost impossible to do.

 

Tvert commented the two ballots would be included in the same resolution, while lawmakers have not commented yet. The House Finance Committee did pass House Bill 1318 7-6 last Thursday which wants 15 percent excise tax and 15 percent special sales tax on marijuana in the state according to Huff Post. The Associated Press’s Kristen Wyatt reported that some state lawmakers fear voters could reject one or both tax proposals leaving the state to foot the bill for enforcing pot sales. Although HB-1318 passed, it did so with a narrow margin in committee while the same is true of HB-1317 which lays out the regulatory structure for recreational sales in the state with a vote of 6-5. According to a Public Policy Poll, Huff Post reports that backers of Amendment 64 have confirmed that 77 percent of the voters support a 10 percent sales tax in addition to the 15 percent excise tax with only 18 percent opposed. The poll polled 900 registered voters from April15-16. The taxes if passed would yield $90.9 million according to the Colorado Futures Center, but backers of the amendment were told by state officials that the cost to enforce the recreational regulations would be no greater than $30 million meaning lawmakers could lower the tax rates to 10 percent and still come out ahead at $60 million. Tvert said on Friday, “If legislators are concerned that a special sales tax will not pass, they should consider reducing the tax rate to 10% instead of embracing the nuclear option proposed by anti-marijuana advocates.”

Smart Colorado the Huff Post reports describes their vocal opposition to marijuana legalization on their website as:

 

We are citizens from every county and corner of the state. We have banded together as individuals and organizations to form this nonpartisan, broad-based alliance dedicated to a responsible and reasonable approach to marijuana policy.Using reputable science and sound principles of public health and safety, we advocate for smart policies that decrease marijuana use and its harm to our people, communities, businesses and healthcare system.

Smart Colorado puts the public’s interests ahead of the interests of the marijuana industry.

The actual Amendment 64 passed last November limits sale, possession and growing of the drug for recreational purposes legal for adults 21 and over. A64 states:

Adults can possess up to an ounce of pot, can grow as many as six marijuana plants at home (with only three flowering at any given time), but that home-grown marijuana can only be for personal use and cannot be sold, however, adults can gift one another up to an ounce of pot.

 

To Infinity and Beyond…

Stephen Hawking Space

Not just a line of Buzz Lightyear, but a dream for the United States since the beginning of the Space Race. With a changing climate, species becoming extinct and the melting of the ice caps, I think it is about time for a back up plan. Have we not learned anything from movies? They are not all pointless drivel as some of the aspects of our favorite sci-fi movies have come to fruition. Stephen Hawking, a man who spent his career decoding the universe has spoken out and urged the continuation of space exploration for humanity’s sake, while others have taken it upon themselves to continue the mission such as the Inspiration Mars Foundation.

The 71 year old British cosmologist said Tuesday, he believes that humans could not survive another 1,000 years “without escaping beyond our fragile planet” the Associated Press reports. He was speaking to an audience of doctors, nurses, and employees at Cedars Sinai Medical Center where he toured a stem cell lab focused on Lou Gehrig’s disease. Diagnosed with the neurological disorder 50 years ago, Hawking commented, “if you understand how the universe operates, you control it in a way.” His Tuesday hour long talk entitled “A Brief History of Mine” was full of nuggets of advice such as look up at the stars not at your feet and be curious. Hawking even said, “However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at.”Hawking has survived with Lou Gehrig’s disease or ALS which attacks nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that control muscles longer than most receiving around the clock care, communicating through twitches and relying on a computer mounted to his wheelchair to convey his thoughts. Hawking has remained active in 2007 he experienced weightlessness by making parabolic dives in an aircraft. Dr. Robert Baloh, director of Cedars Sinai’s ALS programs who invited the cosmologist has no explanation how the physicist has survived for 50 years with the disease where few survive past ten years.

Speaking at the National Space Symposium, members of the Inspiration Mars Foundation described the challenges in launching two people on a 501 day flyby journey to the Red Planet and back in January of 2018 yet remain optimistic. The plan  for the luck two will consist of living in an RV sized space for more than a year, breathe recycled air, eat dehydrated food, drink purified urine and if they die they will be freeze dried in body bags. Even with all of this, application have been rolling in according to Huff Post yet according to Jane Poynter, president of the Paragon Space Development Corp., no show stopping applications yet.

The project is the brain child of Dennis Tito, the first space tourist in 2001, unveiling the plan called “Mission for American” in February. The hope is to send a man and a women possibly a married couple on the journey in January 2018 the ideal time as Earth and Mars  are positioned for a quick trip  and the next opportunity not until 2031. The date also falls on the 11 year solar minimum where the crew will deal with less solar radiation than other launch windows according to officials.  Tito will bank roll the project for the first two years with private donations covering the rest. The ultimate goal of the mission is to inspire Congress to recommit to long distance space travel Tito explained at the National Space Symposium.

The 501 day mission will not touch down on Mars as that requires addition propulsion equipment and science experiments will be kept to a minimum on board, but will prove that humans can explore deep space. The crew on board will collect biological samples from their own bodies so researchers can study the effects of long term space travel and cosmic radiation exposure. Keeping the crew alive is a whole other challenges according to Taber MacCallum, Inspiration Mars’ chief technology officer, as the two voyagers must be mechanically inclined to fix problems that arise during the mission but will require no spacewalks as everything is fixable from the inside. Psychology of the couple will be important as well as Poynter points out that they must be stable as possible in order to avoid the pitfalls of long term space travel like depression, mood swings and hallucinations.

Obama Cannot Imagine A State’s Gay Marriage Ban Being Constitutional

Obama Cannot Imagine A State’s Gay Marriage Ban Being Constitutional.

Does anyone remember this line in the Declaration of Independence not the Constitution that states the unalienable rights to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”? Or how about this famous line from the Bill of Rights which is the first ten amendments of the Constitution stating “the separation between church and state”? Why do I bring this up? Simple. The issue keeps coming up from time to time and never goes away much like the second amendment and its misuse by the gun lobby yet this is another conversation entirely. During an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos on Wednesday, Obama was asked whether gay marriage was a right under the Constitution. According to Huff Post, he responded by saying, “Well, I’ve gotta tell you that — in terms of practical politics, what I’ve seen is a healthy debate taking place state by state, and not every state has the exact same attitudes and cultural mores. And I — you know, my thinking was that this is traditionally a state issue and — that it will work itself out. On the other hand — what I also believe is that the core principle that people don’t get discriminated against — that’s one of our core values. And it’s in our Constitution.” After his response Obama was then asked if a state’s gay marriage ban was constitutional, he responded by saying, “Well, I can’t, personally. I cannot. That’s part of the reason I said, ultimately, I think that, same-sex couples should be able to marry. That’s my personal position. And, frankly, that’s the position that’s reflected — in the briefs that we filed — in the Supreme Court.” Obama’s  position has changed since last May when he stressed that the issue was for the state’s to decide even though he is in support of it. The Supreme Court will be taking up both the Prop 8 marriage ban from California and the Defense of Marriage Act in back to back cases in March. The Obama administration submitted a legal brief stating that it believes the California ban is unconstitutional and the Justice Department has stopped defending the constitutionality of DOMA.  The fight for gay rights will not be over until gay marriage was recognized in all states according to Obama in his second inaugural address: “Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law… for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.”

‘Gun Owners Support Starbucks’ Day Celebrated On February 22

‘Gun Owners Support Starbucks’ Day Celebrated On February 22.

With all the problems in American and for that matter the gripping financial crisis across the globe, I think the issue of gun control has become so tied up and ridiculous that the impending sequestration that will occur on March 1 takes priority. Don’t get me wrong gun violence is on the rise unfortunately, so something really does need to be done about it but the government keeps getting tied up with special interest groups and people who really don’t understand the second amendment. I am not afraid to say it people once again the constitution is their to protect our right but people have taken it to a whole other level. I believe in protecting our rights, but I think anyone will agree that their is a better way to protect our children and ourselves than more guns. Instead of focusing on just the weapons themselves, all I am ask is that more measures are taken and followed to keep as many guns away from people who really should not have them such as criminals and mentally unstable individuals. It does not make me feel safe seeing anyone carrying a gun freely in public not even the police because who can you trust now a days it makes me nervous that is why I do not own one. The people these pro second amendment people should be going after are the ones on our payroll…the lawmakers and president not each other. People like to think the NRA has their interests at heart, but they stand to lose a lot of money if membership or guns are regulated more (gun manufacturers hello) that is why they have so many lobbyists. Hey if you want to own a gun more power to you but get your facts right before you attack people about their dislike of guns. Guns don’t necessarily paint a pretty picture they just make a mess.

On Friday, gun rights activists plan to descent on Starbucks in order to bring the coffee chain face to face with the nationwide debate on gun control. Why Starbucks? The chain allows customers to carry guns openly as long as it is legal in the state, so to show their appreciation some activists have designated Friday, February 22 as “Gun Owners Support Starbucks” Day. More than a thousands people plan to participate and 700 people liked the moments Facebook page.  An organizer of the event, Ed Levine, told WNEW that “Some anti-gunners wanted citizens such like myself kicked out of Starbucks for carrying a gun and Starbucks said, ‘Hey, we’re here to sell cakes and coffees.'” Zack Hutson, a spokesman for Starbucks commented to the Huff Post that, “Where laws can permit open carry, our stores permit it. Where laws don’t permit open carry, our stores prohibit it. We encourage customer and advocacy groups from both sides to share their input with public officials.”

Everyone has the freedom to hold their own opinions and beliefs, but where the problem comes is when people do not acknowledge other people may not believe the same thing. Here in lies the conflict in any major fight. I don’t think gun control and gun violence would be such a controversial issue if people would compromise to come to a solution that benefits everyone without compromising their beliefs. Guns do little to bring people together as it as proven in the past and second amendment activists are proving now.

 

Colin Powell: ‘Birther Nonsense’ Is ‘Killing The Base’ Of The GOP

Colin Powell: ‘Birther Nonsense’ Is ‘Killing The Base’ Of The GOP.

And this is why I love Colin Powell he harkens back to the days of Eisenhower that no B.S. don’t care what you think attitude. The former Secretary of State has continued to criticize his own party on Monday, telling Republicans that they need to leave this “birther nonsense” alone and shift their attention to the nation’s shifting demographic by developing new policies. On ABC news, Powell commented that “Republicans have to stop buying into things that demonize the president…I mean, why aren’t Republican leaders shouting out about all this birther nonsense and all these other things? They should speak out. This is the kind of intolerance that I’ve been talking about where these idiot presentations continue to be made and you don’t see the senior leadership of the party say, ‘No, that’s wrong.’ In fact, sometimes by not speaking out, they’re encouraging it. And the base keeps buying the stuff.” Powell continues on to say that the Republican party needs to focus on how to win the next election instead of attacking everyone who doesn’t agree with the party including himself. He makes a good point since something is really wrong when your parties favorability rating is 26 percent and more and more people feel disconnected to the party itself. Scheming for the party hasn’t worked, so why not try doing some work instead of blaming everyone else. Powell offered up a suggestion to increase their appeal with minority voters by reflecting on where the party is heading and pursue policies to support that. He further criticize the repression of voters in the last Presidential Election. I think what he says next is true of politics in general right now but the comment was aimed at the Republicans. Last week, Powell had said that “a dark vein of intolerance in some parts” of the Republican structure does exist. Of course, the Republican strongly rebuke the claims Powell has made.

Vatican Welcomes Obama Gun Control Proposal

 Vatican Welcomes Obama Gun Control Proposal.

You know you’ve done good if the pope is telling the world “we are headed in the right direction.” The Vatican was pleased with President Obama’s gun control proposal. The Vatican’s chief spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi along with 47 religious leaders have appealed to the U.S. Congress to limit firearms because society is paying the price. Lombardi stated that the fact that Americans possess 300 million firearms “people cannot fool themselves that it is enough to limit the number and use (of guns) to impede in the future horrendous massacres like that of Newtown that shook the conscience of America and world, as well as that of children and adults.” About the recent shootings occuring in the U.S. specifically Sandy Hook, he continues to say that these massacres are “carried out by unbalanced or hate-driven persons, there is no doubt that they are carried out with firearms.” The Vatican continues to encourage the fight against the production, commerce and contraband of all types of arms fueled by huge economic and power interests.