The Jeff Sessions Marijuana Pop Pot Quiz

TO:  Mr. Jeff Sessions, United States Attorney GeneralSessions 01 cropped

RE:  Marijuana

Dear Attorney General Sessions:

You’re all about marijuana being an illegal “controlled substance,” but how much do you actually know about it?

For instance, can you pronounce, let alone spell, the psychoactive component of marijuana?

It’s tetrahydrocannabinol.

You and other marijuana-challenged folks can just call it “THC.”smoking A.jpg

So Mr. Sessions, in the interest of helping you become better informed, here’s a Pot Quiz.  No cheating and skipping to the end for the answers!

  1. Which of the following is not a marijuana nickname:

a) Muggle.
b) Maui Wowie.
c) Broccoli.

  1. In your very own place of business – Washington, DC – marijuana is:

a) Legal for medical purposes.
b) Legal for recreational purposes.
c) All of the above.
d) None of the above.

  1. At your confirmation hearing in 2017, when you were asked about marijuana,sessions 08 cropped flippedyou said, “I won’t commit to never enforcing federal law.”  With that in mind, is the following statement true or false:  Jeff Sessions understands the double-negative rule of English grammar.

a) True.
b) False.

  1. Medical marijuana is legal in a majority of states in the U.S.

a) True.
b) False.

  1. Recreational marijuana is legal in nine states. Three of them are:

a) Florida, California, Nevada.
b) Vermont, Maine, Oregon.smoking 01
c) Colorado, Wyoming, Alaska.

  1. Which of the following can be legally traded on the U.S. Stock Exchange:

a) U.S. marijuana company stock.
b) Canadian marijuana company stock.
c) All of the above.
d) None of the above.

  1. Even though you consider marijuana illegal, you’re considering investing in publicly traded marijuana stock because:

a) Sessions 02 cropped The U.S. Marijuana Index, compiled by Marijuana International Corporation, has delivered 158% returns over the past one year, as of October 17, 2018.  The S&P 500 has over the past year generated only 9.78% returns.
b) You’ll be out of a job soon, and money is money.
c) You won’t inhale.
d) All of the above.

  1. What’s the difference between politicians and stoners?

a) Politicians don’t inhale…they just suck.
b) All of the above.

And finally…

  1. What moron said, “Good people don’t smoke marijuana”?

a) Jeff Sessions.
b) Jeff Sessions.B3AN1K

Answers:

1.   Fooled you! They’re all nicknames for weed.  I mean, marijuana.
2.   c) All of the above.  Medical marijuana has been legal in Washington DC for almost 20 years, and in November 2014, voters in DC legalized recreational marijuana for adults 21 and older.
3.   b) False.
4.   a) True.  Medical marijuana is legal in 30 states, plus Washington DC.
5.   b) Vermont, Maine, Oregon.  The nine states where recreational marijuana is legal aresmoking marijuana 03 Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, California, Colorado, Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, plus Washington, DC.
6.   b) Canadian marijuana company stock.
7.   d) All of the above.
8.   a), b)
9.   a), b), and below.

sessions 06 cropped

Do You Know Jack?

There’s not a lot that’s noteworthy about Lynchburg, TN.

It’s not quite in the middle of a state that’s not quite in the middle of the country:

Map

And has a population of around 6300 people, who are managing just fine with just one traffic light.

There’s not a lot going on in Lynchburg, though Columbia, TN isn’t far, and it’s home of the Pumpkin Paradise Festival:

“Take a hayride, play in the corn box and test your skills with steer roping.  Kids spend some energy running around the indoor hay maze, enjoying the duck races, and the corn cannon which launches corn in the air.”

corn-cannon
A corn cannon!  Note the real corn coming out of the cannon!

A corn cannon.  Whew.  After all that excitement, I need a drink.

But I won’t be getting one in Lynchburg, TN because Lynchburg is a dry town, and that means no buying alcohol, nowhere and no how.

Well, with one exception:

The Jack Daniel’s distillery, home of the world’s most famous bourbon, is located injack-daniels-tennessee-whiskey-welcome-to-lynchburg cropped Lynchburg, TN.  This is the oldest, most famous distillery in the U.S. and it’s in a…

A dry town.  So dry, that Tennessee enacted its own prohibition 10 years before it became the national law.  After Prohibition ended in 1933, counties could vote to remain dry or not, and so far, Moore County – location of Lynchburg – is a “dry.”

It’s illegal to purchase or drink Jack Daniel’s bourbon anywhere in Lynchburg except at the distillery, where, according to the website, you can take a 90-minute tour for $20 and “you’ll linger over and sip five of our most popular whiskeys and liqueurs.”

Hmmm.  Doesn’t sound all that “dry” to me.

Healthy croppedBut healthy?  Oh, yeah.  Several Jack Daniel’s products list “Zero” for fat, sodium, carbohydrates, sugar, protein and caffeine.

Though after sipping “five of our most popular whiskeys and liqueurs,” who cares?

If you want to know more about Jack Daniel’s bourbon or even Jack himself – and yes (see above photo), he was a real person – you can learn all that on their website.moonpie store_01 cropped

And if you want to find other exciting things to do in the area – besides the corn canon – try hanging out at the MoonPie General Store on Lynchburg’s charming Main Street:

“Hundreds of MoonPie varieties and novelties can be found within the store for the MoonPie lover in your family!”

Do you know any MoonPie lovers?

Do you know what a MoonPie is?

No?

Then…

you don't know jack_01

Memo To Melania: When It Comes To Opioids…

You’ve heard of the movie Sleepless in Seattle?

I propose a new movie:  Clueless in Cairo.

That’s my take on Melania Trump’s recent trip to Africa.

Melania’s trip took her from Washington DC to Accra, Ghana; to Lilongwe, Malawi; to Nairobi, Kenya; to Cairo, Egypt; and back to DC, a trip of close to 17,000 miles, by my reckoning:

Africa trip

While she was there, Melania…

Hugged babies… melania and kid_01 cropped
Met some Republicans… melania met elephants cropped.jpg
Hugged more babies, and… melania and kid cropped
melania trump rene belloq
Wore an outfit that numerous Internet wits have likened to… That of Nazi collaborator Belloq in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

And yes, this is the same woman whose idea of a fashion statement was a jacket emblazoned with “I really don’t care.  Do you?” on a June visit to detained immigrant children who were separated from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border.

be_best_logo_aBut back to Africa.  The trip was made under the auspices of Melania’s BE BEST initiative which, according to the website, focuses “on some of the major issues facing children today” and concentrates “on three main pillars:  well-being, social media use, and opioid abuse.”

Memo to Melania:  If one of your “major issues” is opioid abuse, you didn’t have to travel 17,000 miles to, around and back from Africa.

When it comes to opioids, there’s no place like home.

On your BE BEST website it says “more than 300,000 Americans have died from overdoses involving opioids since 2000.”

Here’s an overdose death map from 2016 – and we know it looks even worse today:

Overdose Map

Pick a state.  Any state.  In fact, every state.

You could easily travel thousands of miles around the U.S. to get up close and personal with people (including children) affected by opioids.

And Melania, here’s a thought:  While you’re in a travel mode, why not spend some extra time in states that have been devastated by hurricanes, floods and wildfires – just this year.  Places like…

hurricane-florence-flooding-nc-sept-14jpg-2c057bb83ebf9420.jpg wildfire-ca-pol-hb-171206_16x9_992
Hurricane Florence, September 2018, North Carolina, South Carolina 2018 Wildfires in AZ, CA, CO, ID, MT, NV, NM, TX, UT, WA, and WY

Here’s another idea:  Since you like hugging children so much, why don’t you spend a little extra time hugging kids in California, the state with the highest poverty rate in the country:

Headline.jpg

You can log 17,000 miles in no time!

But lose the pith helmet, please.

Pith Helmet Colonialism in Africa_01
Clueless in Cairo:  Melania displayed either her total ignorance or total lack of caring, and wore a pith helmet in Africa. The pith helmet has strong negative connotations in Africa, recalling British colonialism – and oppression – in the 19th century.

 

Guess Where Beauty Pageants Are On The…

I wouldn’t watch a beauty pageant even if I was in one.

beauty-pageants child cropped
Child beauty pageant; I guess they hadn’t gotten the word about “no swimsuits.”

And the chances of that are…

None.

I think beauty pageants suck:

Beauty Pageant:  A fiasco* in which females in various age groups, from toddler and up, invite the public to objectify, trivialize, and criticize them, based on their appearance.

*Fiasco:  A thing that is a complete failure, especially in a ludicrous or humiliating way.

But the September 2018 Miss America Beauty Pageant sucked slightly less.

And that’s because of one contestant:

Miss Michigan, Emily Sioma.

Since we’re both from Michigan, I’m going to call her “Emily.”

As I understand it, at some point in the pageant the contestants are given about eight seconds to introduce themselves.  Instead of highlighting her achievements, here’s what Emily, 24, said:

Emily with HeadlineWow!  When I read that the next day, did I sit up and take notice!

And so did the media:  the Washington Post, the New York Times, CNN, the BBC, People Magazine, numerous other newspapers, and network and local TV stations.

People were on Twitter, too – few doofuses, sure, but most praising Emily for using that short stretch of time to make a strong statement about her state – and herself.

Emily’s “none for its residents to drink” was referring to the water crisis in Flint, MI that began in 2014.  Flint’s tap water had become contaminated with lead after officials switched from the Detroit system to the Flint River to save money.

Fint water headline.jpg

In 2014 and 2015, Flint didn’t properly treat corrosive water that was pulled from the river.  As a result, lead in old city pipes contaminated the water going into homes and brown water_01businesses, and it streamed from household taps as a brown, smelly fluid.  Some children were found to have elevated lead levels in their blood, leading to long-term health concerns.

There were tons of blame to go around:  Michigan’s Governor Snyder, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the Environmental Protection Agency, and emergency managers appointed by Snyder to help the city handle its finances.   Attorney General Bill Schuette charged at least 15 people in his criminal investigation.

As of early 2017, the water quality had returned to acceptable levels, but residents were instructed to continue to use bottled or filtered water until all the lead pipes have shower with bottled water_02been replaced, which is expected to be completed no sooner than 2020.

Shower with bottled water.  Yeah, right.

Many residents – understandably – still trust neither the water nor the officials who are telling them their water is safe.  In the meantime, the state had been providing free bottled water to Flint residents, but that assistance ended back in April.

As Emily said, “none for its residents to drink.”

This isn’t the first time Emily has stood tall and spoken out; here she is bravely standing – alone – during her 2016 graduation from the University of Michigan, with I survived written on her mortarboard:

graduation.jpg

Emily says she was sexually assaulted twice in college, and found few resources for help.  When she was crowned Miss Michigan this past June, Emily said she hoped sharing her story of campus sexual assault will raise awareness of the issue and encourage other survivors to be proud of their recovery journey:

“I realized this is going to be a hard battle I’ll be fighting for the rest of my life, but if I don’t start now, who’s going to do it?”

And here’s Emily on Facebook on September 14, speaking out in support of VAWA, the Violence Against Women Act, due to expire September 30, and urging people to contact their reps:

Facebook violence

This federal legislation, aimed at protecting women from violent crimes, was granted a short-term reauthorization only until December 7 in the stopgap spending bill that was passed in September.

So, OK.

This year, for the first time ever, the pageant did away with the swimsuit competition.  And the organizers don’t call it a “pageant” anymore, but rather a competition with the emphasis on scholarship.

If Miss America becomes a platform for energized, intelligent women to raise their voices on behalf of those who aren’t in the spotlight, then perhaps it will suck even less.

It’s a big if.

Emily was her own woman when she walked onto that Miss America stage.  She didn’t make the top 15, but who cares?

She’s still standing tall and speaking out, and as she told Glamour magazine, “I’m just getting started.”

Facebook Believe Women

I Just Don’t Get It

There are words in our language that do not induce warm fuzzies:

  1. Tornado
  2. Hurricanetornado
  3. Typhoon
  4. Earthquake
  5. Sarahsanders
  6. Flood
  7. Wildfire
  8. Avalanche

Let’s go with avalanche.

An avalanche is “a mass of snow, ice, and rocks falling rapidly down a mountainside.”

You’ve heard the stories, seen the videos – avalanches are unpredictable.  Uncontrollable.  Scary, and worse than scary, deadly:  Avalanches kill more than 150 people worldwide each year.

It’s hard to find anything good to say about an avalanche.

Ask WhySo could someone tell me why – WHY – General Motors named a car “Avalanche”?

With nearly a half-million words in the English language to choose from, why choose a word that denotes a disaster?

Yet GM did, and the Chevrolet Avalanche was in production from 2001 to 2013.

This came to mind recently when I was at a stop light and noticed the name of the car in front of me.  “Avalanche?” I thought.  “What kind of car name is that?”

Actually, I thought, “What the @#$%&! kind of car name is that?

avalanche_02 avalanche car
Q:  What does this avalanche………………Have in common with this Avalanche?
A:  Nothing.

But auto makers seem committed to using strange names for cars.  And not just using – but creating names for car models.

Let’s start with the strange names that are, at least, real words.

A guy gets home and says to his wife, “Honey, I got the Viper!”  Logically, she’d expect him to walk in with a nasty poisonous snake.  But somehow Dodge thought Viper was a cool name for a car for 20+ years.

Or how about “Spider,” used by several car manufacturers?  Supposedly that tarantualword indicates a small convertible, but to me spider indicates a huge, ugly, possibly deadly bug with eight legs and, if it’s in my house, on a suicide mission.

Maybe the worst of all:  the Eagle Talon.  Now, “eagle” I can understand – eagles are fast, smart, powerful, and impressive to look at, suggesting that the car is, too.  But an taloneagle’s talons – are its toenails.  Its long, curved, sharp toenails that the eagle uses to catch and kill prey.

What was Chrysler thinking with that one?

As for the made-up car names – with that half-million words in English, car makers couldn’t find anything to name their latest and greatest?

And if it isn’t an actual word, what are these supposed to say about the car?Not a Word_03

  1. Allanté
  2. Astre
  3. Elantra
  4. Invicta
  5. Sentra

Here’s the conversation:

Husband:  Honey, I got the Invicta!
Wife:  Oh, no!  Do you need to see a doctor for that?

I guess I’ll just continue wondering about automobile names, and longing for the good old days when a car’s name made sense.

ford-model-t-1915-1Like Henry Ford and his Model T.  Ford had been producing cars for years, starting with his Model A in 1903, then progressing with the Model B and C and so on, skipping some letters when the plans for those models didn’t make it off the drawing board.  He didn’t do all that well with any of them until 1908 when he struck gold with his Model T – a name that made sense, as the next letter in the alphabet.

By 1914 it was estimated that nine out of every 10 cars in the world were Fords.  The Model T put Ford on the map, put millions in his pocket, and put thousands on the road in the first car middle-class Americans could afford. edsel_02

Of course, then there was Ford’s Edsel, which was supposed to be the car of the future but lasted only from 1958 to 1960.  Ford named the car for his only child, his son Edsel, who was named for Henry’s close friend, Edsel Ruddiman.

At the time some wit wrote in Time magazine that the Edsel looked like “an Oldsmobile sucking a lemon.”

The car’s name became synonymous for “failure.”

But at least the name made sense.

makes sense_02

What A Thoughtful Guy

When:  October 16, 2018

Where:  Washington DC

The interview is about the missing Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi.  This appears to be a tragic story with no possible good outcome.

In the midst of this I couldn’t help but notice:

Image 2

It’s raining.

He’s got an umbrella.

She doesn’t.

Image 3

He doesn’t even make a pretense of sharing it with her.

He’s probably too busy thinking about other things.

Like…

Human rights.

Image 4

Yeah.

Thoughtful.

Book Review: Outstanding In Her Field

NY Times
When I wrote this blog, “In Pieces” was #2 on the 10/14/18 New York Times Best Sellers list.  Not bad for a first-time author!

Publication date:  September 2018

Review, short version:  Three roses out of four.

Review, long version:

I generally don’t read memoirs because unhappy people write them.

I think they’re people whose lives are mostly misery, starting with their dysfunctional families and not improving much after that.  Whatever moments of hope or joy they experience are often smothered by the next tsunami of misery, until the book ends and I’m left shaking my head and wondering, “Why did I read that?”

But I read Sally Field’s memoir, In Pieces, because I like Sally Field.

family
Field’s not-so-happy family:  Sally,  Jock, Margaret, and brother Ricky.

I think she’s an actress of great range and great endurance, and she’s a survivor – of parents who divorced when she was four, leaving Fields with a mostly absent father until he wanted to borrow money, and a distant, narcissistic mother (my words, not Fields’); of a stepfather, actor Jock Mahoney, who sexually abused Fields throughout her whole childhood – which I believe her mother knew about, and did nothing – and who also borrowed money; two failed marriages; and 50+ years in show business, experiencing the highest highs and lowest lows.

I like survivors, and I like Field.

Field’s mother, Margaret Morlan, was put under contract with Paramount in 1945 at age 23.  Margaret’s career never amounted to anything, and I’m betting it galled her to witness Field’s numerous successes including:

norma rae
“Norma Rae,” 1980
  • Primetime Emmy, Outstanding Lead Actress, Miniseries or Movie, Sybil, 1977
  • Academy Award, Best Actress, Norma Rae, 1980
  • Academy Award, Best Actress, Places in the Heart, 1985
  • Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress, Drama Series, ER, 2001
  • Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress, Drama Series, Brothers and Sisters, 2007
  • Best Supporting Actress, New York Film Critics Circle Award, Lincoln, 2012

If I listed all her wins and nominations I’d still be writing this into next week.

gidget
“Gidget,” 1965

Fields’ career started in television in 1965 as the lead in the sitcom Gidget – not bad for an 18-year-old with no TV experience – and has encompassed dozens of TV and movie roles.  And she’s still working; in 2017 she appeared on the Broadway stage in The Glass Menagerie, for which she received four award nominations including a Tony for Best Actress in a Play.

Pretty good for a woman who thought she’d be forever pigeonholed as a flying nun.

I’ve twice said “I like Sally Field” and I do, but I’m also alluding to an event Field doesn’t mention in her book – the decades-long mockery of her acceptance speech at the 1985 Academy Awards.

Field spoke for just 67 seconds but afterwards people chose to repeat – to mock – just the last 15 seconds when she said, “And I can’t deny the fact that you like me!  Right now!  You like me!”

Sally You Like Me_01
Academy Awards, 1985

It was a sweet burst of honest enthusiasm rarely seen at the overly hyped, overly long, and overly tedious Academy Awards.  I read elsewhere that Field later said she was trying to describe the fleeting experience of being at the top of her field, knowing that she’d been on the bottom and might be again.

Why anyone would mock that is beyond me.

There’s much more to In Pieces than I’ve mentioned, and the book offers many insights into Field’s life and journey.  There is a fair amount of the aforementioned misery, but I think there’s a good balance of ups to go with the downs.

Enough balance to give me the right answer to, “Why did I read that?”

Field_70_stars_cropped
Sally, 70, and still going strong.  On Broadway with Joe Mantello in “The Glass Menagerie,” 2017.