XIX – Current Events

A lot has been happening in the news lately. I think I’m going to put in my two-cents’ worth on recent topics. Why not?

Let’s start with a recent one. The 41st president, George Bush just died on 30 Nov. He was Ronald Reagan’s vice president, who became his successor. President during the Persian Gulf war (“Desert Storm”), infamously known for his “Read my lips: no new taxes” speech, which later he reversed with a tax increase that I feel was a big contributor to his losing to Bill Clinton in the election of 1992. Whatever was the cause, he was president from 1989-1992. Far from being the best president, he wasn’t the worst one, either. At that time, the worst president was Jimmy Carter, though since then there has been a new entry of worst president. Opinions will differ as to whom that person might be (Trump or Obama), but most agree that Carter can no longer be classified as such. I have my own opinion as to which person fills the category of worst, but it shall not be disclosed at this time, nor does it matter in this context.


What else has gone on recently? The fires in California. They’re out now, but for a while there, it was hell on earth. No one wants to see anyone lose their homes, and yes, it’s sad that even some celebrities lost their homes, but the biggest tragedy is the people who perished in the fires, especially in northern California, where an entire town was basically erased from the map. And those who did survive have lost everything. Some escaped with their animals in their cars, but that’s all they have left. I can’t imagine suffering through what these people are experiencing now.


In other disaster news, how about all the shaking, rattling and rolling in Alaska? Anchorage, a city of around 300000 people, gets awakened by a 7.0 earthquake. Thankfully, no one died or was seriously hurt, and there wasn’t a lot of severe property damage, since they have pretty damn strict building codes since the gigantic 9.2 earthquake they had in ’64. What sucks for them right now is the collapsed, damaged or otherwise impassable roads they have to deal with. A lot of broken glass abounds. I don’t want to imagine how bad the shaking must be in earthquakes of those magnitudes. The worst ones I’ve ever experienced were only like 5.9, and those were in 1987 and 1992 (Whittier and southern Utah, respectively). I thank god that the one I went through 26 years ago was the last one I’ve had to deal with. I still remember those two I mentioned. In 1987, I was just arriving at school; I was in the 10th grade at the time. I was locking my bike to the rack when I heard metal rattling, then felt the ground move. There were no overhead power lines at the school, and the bike rack was actually an enclosed fence area about 5 feet tall, and not attached to any buildings, so I didn’t worry too much. My dad’s house escaped any damage, thankfully. Then there was 1992. Southern Utah, along the “Hurricane Fault” (named for the city where I live—oddly enough, pronounced by the natives HURR-uh-kun, unlike the tropical storm of the same spelling [hurr-uh-CANE]), that one was around five in the morning, so everyone was sleeping. I felt the movement, and, having lived in the area only a couple of years at the time, I was awakened, said aloud, “oh, an earthquake, cool”, and proceeded to attempt a return to sleep. It was no big deal to a native Californian, but many people in Utah were scared shitless. Most of them had never experienced one ever. If another one ever struck this area again, I’d probably be alarmed, simply because I haven’t had the misfortune of experiencing an earthquake in just over 26 years.


One more recent event. In this year’s election, there was a proposition on the ballot in Utah as to whether or not the medicinal use of marijuana should be legalized. Up until now, any possession of marijuana in Utah has been illegal. The map on this website shows the up-to-date stats of where pot is legal, be it medical or recreational. Seventeen states still prohibit marijuana in any form, as well as federally. Surprisingly, Utah voted for medical marijuana ahead of Idaho, Texas and most of the “Bible Belt” states. That is, the voters of Utah agreed with Proposition 2. The Mormon church has even stated that the use of marijuana is acceptable in certain medical situations. However, something about Prop 2 apparently rubbed the Church the wrong way. This news story from a Salt Lake City news station mentions that the Church had a lot to do with Utah’s lawmakers (who, as of 2016, were 88% of the Mormon faith) deciding to give Utah voters a huge fuck you and pass a revised “compromise” law. Many could argue that part of the deal against pot in Utah is because many big drug manufacturers are based in Utah, or that “big pharma” is a big donor to the church, or that the Mormon Church has holdings in some of those companies, and that it’s against those drug companies’ interest to allow pot, because of their big drug sales.

Despite being a “happy state”, Utah has one of the highest rates of depression and opioid sales and abuse rates.🤔 Marijuana has been shown to benefit many very sick people. It can help with a myriad of conditions, including insomnia, depression, and pain relief. Ironically, alcohol is legal in Utah, but pot wasn’t until recently; however, alcohol can be deadly, whether it be alcohol poisoning or drunk drivers. But there has never been one instance of pot overdose. Go figure.

I’ve never used marijuana, but I feel that it can do a lot of good and those who need it should be able to obtain it. Hell, you want to smoke a joint? I think you should be free to. As far as I know, it’s not as dangerous as cigarettes (which are also totally legal in Utah for adults).



Well, that’s a quick look at recent goings-on in this corner of the Milky Way. A lot is happening, the world is melting down and, like AC/DC sang, we’re on the Highway to Hell. So, look ahead, enjoy the ride while you can, be safe and be well.

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