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Downtown Digs for Seniors


replied to: When is Volume One going to clearly define…

Welcome to news in the 21st century. This has been proliferating for years as newspapers have withered on the vine, desperate for revenue. It contributes to general public ignorance and people increasingly cannot discern the commercial from the substantive.

A bicyclist actually gave me a heads up…


replied to: So Ariel, please whitesplain to me why a…

I too get annoyed with rude people who impede the movement of others when they could easily accommodate. I've ridden for five decades and anytime I encounter a group of riders sprawled out across the road, I get annoyed. It's dangerous for others, it's dangerous for themselves, it's rude and it's poor riding etiquette and practice. Group rides used to be about teaching etiquette and learning how to ride correctly. Now it seems to be either social hour or a race among Freds.

All that said, I rarely encounter it on the bike or in the car. Instead, what I usually see from annoyed drivers is incompetent driving. A single rider is riding a couple feet from the edge of the road. Instead of speeding up and passing, said incompetent driver brakes and goes through the usual tentativeness in his/her brain: "Oohhh...I don't know if I can make it! Can I pass and not hit the cars coming the other way that are a minimum of ten feet over from me!" Yes, poor driving is the culprit the vast majority of the time. People who have zero ability to judge vectors, who have about zero depth perception, who have zero ability to recognize and reason when you should speed up and when you should brake. This is what happens when you turn driving into a right rather than a privilege. If we're looking at data, it's not even close. Those drivers I profile are the ones causing the vast majority of the mayhem on our roads, not cyclists.

Starting the Conversation: New…


"Many white parents like me want to shield our children from some of the ugliness of the world. We have a tendency to avoid any kind of conversation about prejudice, discrimination, bias, or racism. …"

And you base this conclusion upon what, exactly? Oh yes, the technical terms for that would be "prejudice" (pre-judging) or stereotyping. In other words, using your lexicon, "bias."

One of the more curious aspects in the degradation of our culture has been the denigration of "color-blindness" by one contingent of our polity. This goal was widely accepted by civil rights activists in the 1950s and 1960s. As those titans have died or receded from public view, new generations have embraced the group identity approach. This is one in which, far from moving beyond group identities to focus on individuals, embraces judging people based upon groupings we assign to them, regardless if these people want to be grouped in this way in the first place.

As most of you can probably figure out. We live in just about the most tolerant country on the face of the planet, one of the reasons non-whites want to come here so desperately and, ironically, why the same people who peddle this sort of talk encourage them to come. Most can also undoubtedly figure out that embracing color-blindness does not entail ignoring the history or struggles of any particular group. It is the recognition that at one time, group identity was paramount and we arranged those groups into a hierarchy and penalized or rewarded individuals based upon these groupings. Therefore, the ideal is to stop judging people based upon these groupings and instead look at them as individuals. Once again, more than any other country on the face of the planet, our society has sought to recognize injustices of the past and move towards this ideal of color-blindness. It's a shame that the intelligentsia is near-monolithically trying to move us in the opposite direction into something that will encourage more balkanization.

The proposed Eau Claire county referendum…


replied to: Melvin Bummer, I’m not disagreeing with…

They prosecuted Socrates for this. Doesn't it make life more interesting? Is there anything more boring than being in a room with a bunch of people who agree? I don't think so. I've never been one to follow the crowd and, to be honest, though I believe in everything I post, I also enjoy being on the opposite side of the majority/mob. This issue is a perfect example. It's also a way to flesh out who will be an interesting or enjoyable person. Most people can't stand any sort of debate or any criticism of any idea they hold. I avoid them. When I find someone who can take honest debate and is secure enough to have their ideas challenged, I try my darndest to hold onto that person because they aren't common.

I love puppies. I love babies. Ice cream is hit-or-miss. It's somewhat overrated, though a Heath Flurry is delectable.

The proposed Eau Claire county referendum…


replied to: Not trying to trap you into a certain…

Thanks for the serious questions.

1. I don't believe so. Decriminalization has resulted in normalization. And when it was decriminalized in Ann Arbor, dealers simply turned their focus from adults to juveniles. As with alcohol, once you legalize, you can't go back. We decided to give up on that one, which is a terrible justification for giving up on others. I'm sure you've noticed the normalization I mention. It's a stunning change over my lifetime.

2. Alcohol is more harmful. Arguing that since we gave up on alcohol, we should give up on other harmful drugs is not sound logic. I should mention that I used to advance all these arguments you see from the pro-marijuana, pothead crowd. All of them. Then I had a friend who chronically used/abused this garbage. Then I began working with teenagers and saw these weed zombies day-after-day. My colleagues and I see teenagers who, when clean, are reasonable and relatively calm. Hopped up on marijuana, they are agitated, belligerent, paranoid. Understand that the stereotype of the laid-back, non-confrontational marijuana abuser couldn't be further from the truth, particularly with young people with still-developing brains. I don't like giving mass killers attention, but sometime do a cursory search of the backgrounds of these youthful shooters you see in the news and see how many of them are long-term users of mind-altering drugs, starting with marijuana.

3. I don't know. I can tell you that there is little to no evidence that mandated drug/alcohol treatment is effective. We tend to focus on the dealers and not the abusers, as if the latter is better than the former.

4. The idea of a "war" on marijuana that is advanced by pro-marijuana propagandists is a canard. We do not have masses of Americans being imprisoned for marijuana use or even for dealing. Of course dealers who deal large amounts do sometimes receive prison sentences, but plenty of dealers also avoid prison time. So, we cannot conclude that criminalization hasn't helped because we haven't been severely punishing marijuana abusers/dealers for some time.

When I started questioning my assumptions on drugs a few years ago, I started to research claims by pro-marijuana folks, like the one I mentioned above. For example, I looked up the percentage of inmates who were imprisoned for drug offenses. If you listen to pro-marijuana propagandists, you will believe that a majority of inmates are in for drug offenses. In truth, the last time I checked, it was around 30% of inmates in federal prisons were in for drug offenses. That's a lot of people, but nowhere near the exaggerated claims of the propagandists.

You will see headlines about "Teen Drug Use Down Colorado" after legalization. Here is some more careful analysis of the data:

And this one points an overall increase in marijuana abuse by teens: The author also points out the today's marijuana bears little resemblance to marijuana of some decades ago due to the amount of THC, which is a crucial point.

The proposed Eau Claire county referendum…


replied to: I have serious concerns about people like…

Ah, the "plant" euphemism. Tobacco is also a plant. I guess therefore, using this moronic logic, it can' t possibly be harmful. After all, it's a plant. (And one that is also smoked and pumped into the lungs. Would you be a dear and explain how pumping carcinogens into your lungs is nothing health-wise?) And, let's see, cocaine has a base of coca, another plant. Shall I go on?

Standing against the massive tide of pro-weed propagandists (many of whom stand to financially profit off the suffering of others, a la the tobacco and alcohol industries), there are a few researchers studying the long-term effects of marijuana on the brain. It confirms the experiences of those of us who work with young people, and I mean people up through their twenties. Marijuana exacerbates the symptoms/effects of mental illnesses. Long-term marijuana deleteriously affects the brains of young people with psychosis, schizophrenia, chronic depression. It also adversely affects IQ: Persistent cannabis users show neuropsychological decline from childhood to midlife | PNAS Again, this is a "duh" proposition to those of us who see weed zombies march in each day, but it's good to find more and more research confirming this. A loss of 10 IQ points with a person of average IQ, is significant.

It would be refreshing if advocates were frank about their advocacy. If you simply stated,"Look, I want to do what I want to do. I know there are serious risks in using this chemical, but adults should be free to do foolish, harmful things," I could respect that. Instead, we get fallacious arguments coupled with bro science, meant to obscure the legitimate data about the harm done by the long-term use of this chemical.

Some more research an data on marijuana:

"One of the biggest faux pas found with the common misconception of marijuana is how it compares to other drugs. Many people assume that the drug isn’t physically addictive, but in reality it can be incredibly mentally and socially addictive. A person’s mind begins to require it to experience a relaxed state, making it difficult for the body to naturally induce relaxation by itself. In 2009, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration results from the 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health stated:

'Marijuana is currently the leading cause of substance dependence other than alcohol in the U.S. In 2008, marijuana use accounted for 4.2 million of the 7 million people aged 12 or older classified with dependence on or abuse of an illicit drug. This means that about two thirds of Americans suffering from any substance use disorder are suffering from marijuana abuse or marijuana dependence.'

Dr. Phyllis Boniface, who specializes in psychiatric care, emphasizes how damaging marijuana can be.

'To compare it to alcohol … humans are designed to metabolize alcohol in the liver at a certain rate per hour. The brain is largely fat and this drug is stored in fat. So after the intoxication is long over we have a drug that’s hanging around, exerting an effect on your nervous system for weeks to months.'

As mental health studies become more advanced we are able to see the possible long-term effects of partaking of marijuana with one of the biggest problems being schizophrenia. Dr. Phyllis Boniface, who was quoted earlier, also goes on to discuss how individuals who partake in marijuana at a young age have earlier onsets of psychosis and schizophrenia. Studies are discovering that there may be a gene linked to schizophrenia, that when exposed to marijuana, can become active up to three years earlier than the standard diagnosed age.

When it comes to any sort of bodily health issues, studies show that the chemicals in marijuana can cause the body to kick its production of myeloid derived suppressor cells (MDSC’s) into overdrive. MDSC cells are used to keep the rest of the immune system in check. They make sure that just the right amount of force is used to fight off infection. An increased amount of MDSC’s can cause them to suppress the immune system to the point where it can’t effectively fight off infections."

The proposed Eau Claire county referendum…


One out of ten abusers of marijuana becomes addicted and it hastens/exacerbates psychosis and schizophrenia in young users. The lies told by marijuana users and by the budding industry intent on profiting from the drug are shameful. It's remarkable that so many of the advocates of decriminalization are the same folks who will speak of social justice and concern for exploited people in poor nations. The misery that use of this drug exacts on folks in the countries from which we extract this drug to give pleasure to wealthy kids and adults in our own country is untold. And it will continue and the potheads will continue to live in willful ignorance of this fact so that they may continue seeking this pleasure.

Speak to someone like me, who works with young, chronic abusers of marijuana to disabuse you of the lies told of this drug. Like, for instance, that it makes people more serene and less violent. Or that it relaxes users.

I'm a bit frightened to visit our county…


Get 100% deet bug spray. Fleet Farm has Repel brand 100% Deet and it works very well for me and I'm someone who spends quite a bit of time in the woods. Deet only causes problems to a small percentage of people and only if you use it often.

"Natural" bug repellents are useless in a place like Wisconsin and they also cost about four times as much for what you get. I'd avoid those like a tick-borne plague.

A Tribute to Ray “The Menards Guy”…


With regards to The Alpha Incident: D-movie director Bill Rebane had the only working movie studio in the midwest north of Merrill, in the Gleason area, in the 1970s and early 1980s and he produced the movie Szmanda appeared. One of Rebane's movies, The Giant Spider Invasion, became the most successful drive-in movie of all time.