Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Kentucky Derby Time!!!

Pictured Derby Longshot Desert Party

My favorite time of the year, the first Saturday in May and the annual running of the Fastest Two Minutes in Sports, the Kentucky Derby. This is the 135th year of the Derby making it the oldest major sporting event in America and this year promises even more as there may be a favorite, but it is not overwhelming. That means anything can happen which is normal for the Derby anyway as the horse least likely to win is the pre-race favorite.

This year I Want Revenge is the favorite but he is not an overwhelming favorite. So I am going to take the approach that tradition will dominate and the favorite won't win. Horses like Dunkirk, Pioneer of the Nile and Friesan Fire all could win and will all have low odds. But I think this year will be different so I am going with the long shots.

I think the race will be between two such long shots, Desert Party and West Side Bernie and if I am right it will be a sizzling finish. West Side Bernie will probably push the lead throughout the race and Desert Party will remain in the pack. If Desert Party (15-1) is patient and remembers his roots, he could be the winner. Though from Dubai and having lost his last race against another horse from Dubai, Regal Ransom, both were bred in Kentucky.

Pictured Derby Longshot West Side Bernie

However, if West Side Bernie, a much longer shot in the early odds (30-1) does not get pinned between horses while challenging for the lead he could grab the trophy and Bed of Roses right out from under all the favorites. If Bernie gets an outside pole position it will make him even stronger. Now those of you who believe one long shot is crazy, two long shots are downright insane, well you may be right.

But I happen to think the Derby is always capable of a surprise. Winner - West Side Bernie, and Runner up Desert Party.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Obama Report Card - 1st 100 days - Chaos or Calculated Choreography

Everyone deserves a chance to know their grades so here is President Obama's chance to see how the Coltons Point Times grades his first 100 days as president. There are two elements to the grade, the personal actions of the president and the policy actions of the president. The true performance in both these areas is a reflection of just what type of leader he will become.

In terms of international relations the grade is quite good as most nations of the world are now more interested in photo ops with our president than trashing the USA. Yet we have received nothing tangible from other nations in terms of the things he asked them to do. Korea shot off the missile, Iran builds nuclear weapons, terrorists rule Afghanistan and Pakistan, drugs flow through Mexico, there is little coordination between nations in stimulating the economy and on and on but at least they are now smiling when they stick it to us.

Back here in the USA his grade is more mixed. There is little doubt he controls Congress and in order to take advantage of this he is flooding Congress with requests for legislation, appropriations and new programs. In fact the volume of requests from the Administration has clearly overwhelmed the ability of Congress to absorb them so we have the Pelosi & Reid Rubber Stamp which means if the president wants something and it is liberal enough, it gets rubber stamped.

The House and Senate Democratic leaders and even the president seem to think all those people who voted against Bush wanted immediate socialism when they wanted change but I don't think so and when people realize how far left we have already drifted they are going to be shocked. They also seem to forget that 47% of the people voted against Obama and another 45-50% of the people eligible to vote did not register or vote. That means in truth Obama got about 25-27% of the eligible vote, hardly a mandate from the people.

Campaign Spending

After promising to limit the cost of the campaign by taking public funds, Obama changed his mind and proceeded to spend the largest amount in history, $775 million. Add in another $160 million for his Inauguration and $18 million to be spent after the election and he is the first BILLION DOLLAR president in history. So much for limiting campaign spending. With tastes like that it is no wonder over $3 trillion has been allocated by the government for bailouts and bribes, payoffs and profits, all of which was approved by Obama.

It seems the same problem existed in his selection of talent when he promised all new people to replace the old gang of Washington insiders. He is surrounded by Clinton and other Democratic hacks along with a legion of former Goldman Sachs and other lobbyists who have now turned their attention from wrecking Wall Street and the economy to sucking every last cent from the federal government and Federal Reserve. In the process he also was the first president to nominate seven tax cheats to the highest offices in the nation.

Latin American Relations

Obama seems to have impressed the leaders of the Latin countries just as he did the Europeans and Asians and I don't get too concerned about him getting cozy with Fidel's brother in Cuba and Hugo Chavez in Venezuela even if they are playing him. We need to do a lot of work with the Latin countries and Canada, like form some kind of American Union, so we can fix the mess we are in. Maybe Obama can help?

Middle East Relations

In spite of our presence in Iraq and the Middle East, our troops stationed there, and our massive foreign aid expenditures to both sides of the Israel and Palestine groups, we have little impact on anything that happens there. The Middle East is oil rich country, oil we could temporarily replace with drilling offshore and in Alaska and sharing the resources of Canada, Mexico and South America. If we were moving in the direction of eliminating oil consumption over a period of decades we could supply our own oil and gas right from the Americas.

The Middle East problem cannot be solved at this time. Hatred runs rampant between Moslem Shiites and Sunni, between Moslems and Israelis, between the Taliban and traditional Moslems, between the Christians and radical Moslems, between just about everyone. There will be war in the Middle East because there is always war in the Middle East, for as far back as our history takes us. Obama could be a Moslem, Jewish, Coptic Christian and it will not matter, there will be war.

Our policy so far has been to aid and arm all sides, a technique perfected by the European bankers that helped fuel a constant state of war in Europe for a couple of centuries. The Christians, Buddhists and Hindus of the world can sit back and watch as the Arabs and Israelis battle it out once again. It seems ironic that the Talmud of Israel is like our Old Testament and the Moslem Koran is like our New Testament yet the nations following them seem oblivious to the most important Commandment of all, love thy God and love thy neighbor.

Banks and Credit

Now that we have pumped about $3 trillion into economic stimulus and corporate bailouts what have we achieved? We are still here. Credit remains a problem but VP Biden finally got his way and Obama will be meeting with the credit card companies to discuss ways to save them. Most of these companies are located in Delaware, the same state Biden used to represent. What a coincidence. Biden should have the agenda down pat, he took care of these companies when his son was their lobbyist. He even sponsored a bill to change the personal bankruptcy law to protect the delinquent bills of credit card companies during a bankruptcy action.

Goldman Sachs continues to rule Wall Street and Washington, DC meaning anyone who owes them money through loans, warrants, derivatives or other manipulations will get a government bailout at least enough to pay off their debt to Goldman. So AIG teeters on the brink of disaster and gets $173.3 billion in federal aid then pays off $30 billion to Goldman. A failing company and Goldman gets 100% of all the money owed by AIG. It does go to show how firms like Goldman have seemingly unlimited access to the US Treasury and Federal Reserve.

When is Obama going to have Treasury tell us how much money is yet needed to cover the toxic loans, the commercial real estate loans, and the credit card delinquencies? Someone knows the numbers but the transparency of the president seems to have no effect on his people. Do we face trillions more in socialist subsidies and bailouts before we see light? Maybe!

Health Care Reform

Somehow the notion of spending $634 billion as a "down payment" on health care reform is not how reform is achieved. Normally you identify the savings and then reduce the budget, not increase it. As the changes work, a rather bold assumption, you bring in the people not covered by health insurance. Did you ever see health and life-expectancy statistics on people with no health care? What if they live longer and happier than those covered by insurance? Just how many billions and billions of dollars are spent on unnecessary operations and medication?

If Obama is really an advocate of transparency, then he should publish the total income of doctors, hospitals and clinics from government programs like Medicare, Medicaid and veterans treatment, or did they contribute so much to the campaign they are protected like so many other groups? This entire industry from professional services to hospital facilities, drugs to treatment costs to insurance must be investigated from top to bottom to find where greed took over and then eradicate it.

Obama and Religion

"America is not a Christian nation!" so echoed the words of our new president in his first major address to the Moslem people of the world. Since taking office his liberal media allies have been foretelling the death of Christianity in America and his actions have helped pound a couple of nails into the coffin of Christianity. Our founding fathers might have found his words a bit hard to swallow.

It took Obama 8 weeks from the day he was inaugurated to find his way to a church with his family. At that pace he will attend church service 6 times his first year in office, or about 100 less times than he gets on the basketball court for a little b-ball. Of course after his experience with his big mouth minister during the campaign maybe he is a little gun shy. At least we found out he doesn't pay attention while at church since he didn't hear a thing his radical minister bellowed from the pulpit.

He has liberalized abortion in the year when America has now reached over 50 million legalized abortions performed. For every 6 Americans living one was aborted and for every 2 abortions performed for medical reasons (either the fetus or the mother) 25 abortions were performed for no reason. Add in the expansion of stem cell research Obama approved, research certain to lead to even more abortions for profit, and we fail to find much of anything that would appeal to Christians.

Global Warming

So what can we say about the Obama multi-billion dollar Global Warming initiative? Well I've studied a little bit of history and seems I've found a little information that casts doubt on this Global Warming thing. It seems global warming and cooling are a natural part of the existence of Earth.

In fact the worst ice age of all time occurred between 850 million and 630 million years ago during the Cryogenian period. Scientists believe it produced a Snowball Earth in which the entire globe was covered in permanent ice. Back then the accumulation of greenhouse gas, the stuff we are trying to get rid of, was produced by volcanoes which melted the ice and saved the Earth.

At least four major ice ages took place in our Earth's history. The current age started 2.58 million years ago and we are currently in the warming phase. These cycles of warming and cooling complete their cycle at 40,000 and 100,000 year time periods. The next ice age can be scientifically predicted to begin about 50,000 years from now, with or without human generated global warming. Nature will follow it's course no matter what we do.

Since the last ice age was longer than 2.58 million years ago and at least four ice ages have taken place with most if not all of the entire globe frozen, and this was before civilized man, before any man we know of, what caused the natural cycle? Either volcanoes explode, and there are still many around the world and in America, they create a dense layer of soot and ash in our atmosphere, and the debris blocks the sun from hitting the Earth. A few hundred years are required for the Earth's atmosphere to clean up and then we have another ice age. A large meteor could do the same and some have hit the earth.

How could we have had four major ice ages and thousands of warming and cooling cycles like we are in without mankind populating the earth and no advanced technology? No doubt mankind can speed up the process of global warming with our excessive consumption and emissions. But no matter what we do the global warming and cooling cycles will come and go

Personally I think if we want to stop polluting we should just ban all plastics which are made from oil, ban imports from countries that are polluting with their factories, and give a tax rebate of $2,500 for every car bought getting 35-49 miles per gallon (mpg), $3,500 for cars getting 50-75 mpg and $5,000 for cars getting 76-100 mpg. That kind of subsidy will make the hybrids, hydrogen and electric cars profitable to the car makers.

Okay, so what about the report card? Well, I say forget the grades, the Democratic leadership in Congress will just change the grading system in America to accommodate and cover up the fact we no longer lead the world in much of anything. It is not politically correct to encourage individual excellence, leadership, innovation or exceptional performance in a socialist world if that is what the left wing wants. I say give them a blank report card just like the report cards our public school students get. How else could we have the highest cost of education in the world and the worst results of most developed nations?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Can Goldman Silence the Media?

Article from Daily Telegraph of UK

Wednesday 15 April 2009 Banks and Finance feed All feeds

Website of the Telegraph Media Group with breaking news, sport, business, latest UK and world news. Content from the Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph newspapers and video from Telegraph TV.

Goldman Sachs hires law firm to shut blogger's site
Goldman Sachs is attempting to shut down a dissident blogger who is extremely critical of the investment bank, its board members and its practices.

By James Quinn, Wall Street CorrespondentLast Updated: 2:16PM BST 11 Apr 2009

The bank has instructed Wall Street law firm Chadbourne & Parke to pursue blogger Mike Morgan, warning him in a recent cease-and-desist letter that he may face legal action if he does not close down his website.

Florida-based Mr Morgan began a blog entitled "Facts about Goldman Sachs" – the web address for which is – just a few weeks ago.

In that time Mr Morgan, a registered investment adviser, has added a number of posts to the site, including one entitled "Does Goldman Sachs run the world?". However, many of the posts relate to other Wall Street firms and issues.

According to Chadbourne & Parke's letter, dated April 8, the bank is rattled because the site "violates several of Goldman Sachs' intellectual property rights" and also "implies a relationship" with the bank itself.

Unsurprisingly for a man who has conjoined the bank's name with the Number of the Beast – although he jokingly points out that 666 was also the S&P500's bear-market bottom – Mr Morgan is unlikely to go down without a fight.

He claims he has followed all legal requirements to own and operate the website – and that the header of the site clearly states that the content has not been approved by the bank.
On a special section of his blog entitled "Goldman Sachs vs Mike Morgan" he predicts that the fight will probably end up in court.

"It's just another example of how a bully like Goldman Sachs tries to throw their weight around," he writes.

Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, Mr Morgan explained how he went through a similar battle with US homebuilder Lennar a few years ago after he set up a website to collect information on what he alleged was shoddy workmanship in its homes. The pair eventually settled out of court.
"Since I went through this with Lennar, I've had advice from some of the best intellectual property lawyers, and I know exactly what I can and can't do. We're not going to back down from this," he promises.

Mr Morgan adds that if Goldman manages to shut down his site, he has a number of other domain names registered.

• Speculation is mounting that Goldman Sachs is set to raise several billion dollars via a share sale, possibly next week, in order to pay down a $10bn (£6.8bn) US government loan, as revealed in The Sunday Telegraph last week.

Susan Boyle Stuns Britain

There are moments when the Raggedy People are given a chance to show what they can do and when those moments come we best pay attention. Such a moment came this week in England during the English version of American Idol when a frumpy 47 year old from Scotland took the stage. Watch this from start to finish and you cannot help but be touched.

Here is Susan.

Click on this link...

Saturday, April 11, 2009


It is sure a good thing our new president is a people's president ready to return the White House to focusing on the needs of the "little people". Of course there are a few contradictions in what he has done to date that raise eyebrows but his loyal staff seem able to sugar coat these actions with the adoring media and thus deflect attention from the contradictions.

I mentioned in an earlier article how he vowed to keep lobbyists out of government and then violated his own executive order and hired lobbyists. There are the seven senior executive nominees who owed back taxes, quite significant sums in some cases. He promised to bring reform to campaign laws which are yet to be seen while his people's campaign shattered spending records more than doubling the most ever spent in a presidential campaign.

He has given no explanation to his secret relationship with Goldman Sachs other than to help them remain the dominant investment banking house in the world, keeping their stock value at a level far beyond their closest competitors, and even giving billions to AIG of which $30 billion were passed on to Goldman Sachs. That is quite a return on their investment of a few millions into his campaign. More important, in spite of his highly publicized ranting and raving about the greed of bankers and Wall Street, he has never mentioned the biggest and greediest of all Wall Street, Goldman Sachs.

This Ivy League by product, we are now in the 21st straight year of having an Ivy League president and will reach 24 straight years by the end of his first term, has little in common with the little people. He attended Columbia and Harvard, his wife attended Princeton and Harvard. Both spent under-graduate and graduate years in the Ivy League at the most expensive schools in the world. Today it would cost about $435,000 for the law degree, meaning Michelle and Barack spent nearly $1 million ($868,000 in today's dollars plus other expenses) for their Ivy League educations.

Since he entered public service as a community organizer and state senator, both quite low paying jobs, one wonders how all those education loans got paid. I don't remember anyone in the media asking who paid the million dollars during the campaign. Still, even with the huge debt they were able to spend another $1.6 million for a home when he was first elected to the US Senate. His close advisor who arranged that deal is now in jail, Tony Rezko, a Chicago multi-millionaire fixer who lived across the street.

Then Obama enters the White House promising to change things, clean out the old Washington and bring in new people. His top advisor is a hand-me-down investment banker from Clinton and his top five White House advisors are all multi-millionaires. Again it seems rather unusual for a people's president to be surrounded by millionaires. Of course when his daughters toured their new home in the White House and found the Jonas brothers recording stars in their bedroom, it once again seemed rather unusual for a populist.

Now that he has been in office a couple of months he has added a couple of trillion dollars to our budget and his first budget increased government cost by another trillion. At the rate he is spending he will double our national debt in about three years, twice as fast as Bush did in spite of 911 and two wars. In fact our taxes for his budget next year only pay for 44% of the cost. Where in the world is the rest coming from?

Okay, so there are a few conflicts, but what about the dog. After the election he promised his kids a dog and the family promptly decided to set an example by getting a pound pup. Three months later it turns out there will be no pound pup but a Portuguese Water Dog from one of the most exclusive breeders in the world where the dogs can cost over $2,500. Did I mention the Texas breeder where he is getting the dog is the same who breeds Portuguese Water Dogs for the Ted Kennedy family?

Tonight, Good Friday, one of the holiest days in Christianity, he is throwing a party for 140 of his closest friends at the White House and having Chicago deep dish pizza brought in from St. Louis, not Chicago, which I suppose is the Ivy League way of honoring the death of Jesus.

Finally there is the mysterious selection of Joe Biden, resident pit bull and bionic tongue and godfather to America's credit card companies and their insane interest charges as Vice President. You do understand he is a heartbeat away from the presidency? With his tongue he is the time bomb of the Obama team. Now to be fair, he did predict a major international crisis within a few months of Obama taking office. I guess the attempted hijacking of the American cargo ship by Somalia pirates and taking the captain hostage qualifies.

Does anybody know just who we elected to be president?

Thursday, April 09, 2009

American Idol Winner!!!

The final winner won't be announced for 6-8 weeks but I can save you a lot of time by telling you the winner today. It will be Danny Gokey. When I saw him during the auditions of over 100,000 people I knew immediately he was the one.

Obamamania Thrills Liberals and Socialists Throughout the World

So Europe has an Obama, the Muslims have an Obama, Russia and China have their Obama, Michelle might even have her own Obama, Turkey has one and even we have one, or two, or three. Don't get me wrong, I do not want the president to fail. However, there are a lot of things he is doing that give me the creeps.

He promised change then loaded his staff with former Clinton people, not exactly my idea of fresh new faces. Seven nominees by Obama owed back taxes. What is that all about? He has the greatest collection of liberal socialists next to the French parliament or the old Soviet Politburo.

What happened to the new era of ethics in government? What happened to his ban on lobbyists working for him? His appointees quickly violated both of those promises. I don't remember him saying he would generate more national debt in four years or less than Bush did in eight years.

He promised to eliminate or slash the budgets of all those departments and agencies that don't do their job but the only budget cut has been our national defense. He promised to build a wall to stop illegal aliens then went and promised to let the 12 million illegal aliens stay here behind the wall and become citizens. I thought the wall was to keep them out.

Now we discover he sent the Congressional Black Caucus to negotiate with Fidel Castro to open our borders to Cuba. Okay, if the average Cuban makes $9 a month under the Communist country aren't they going to become illegal aliens trying to get into America as well? And besides, the Black Caucus was never approved by the Senate to negotiate treaties.

He spent trillions more than he promised in just his first year and even spent a trillion on stimulus when less than a third of it can actually stimulate. Big cars are gone. Bank accounts are empty. There will be no drilling for oil though millions of gallons are there to drill.

He doesn't bow to the Queen of England but does bow to the King of Saudi Arabia. Countries at the G 20 and NATO meetings greeted him cordially then refused to do anything he asked. He can't even make up his mind about the dog for his kids.

He promised no pork bills from Congress would be allowed yet thousands of pork projects costing billions of dollars have already been signed in to law by him. What happened to reforming our corrupt campaign laws? Where is the new level of ethics? What has been done to stop special interest groups from buying the influence of Congress?

We know stem cell research has been expanded. The floodgate to more abortions have been raised as if 50 million abortions already performed in America were not enough. We know we won't be in Iraq long even if the country falls apart when we leave. And that bad prison in Cuba will be closed although no one knows where the hundreds of terrorists will be set free.

All in all our new president is off to quite a start. Now he did get something right, he picked North Carolina to win March Madness. Stay tuned.

Newt Might Be Nuts

Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House before the dark days of Pelosi, back when the Republicans were in control, expressed his disgust with the present direction of the good old Republican party this week. Funny, I thought they just lost their compass.

Then he expressed his disgust with the direction of the Democrats and their agenda of socialism for the country. Of course if the minority party of Republicans does it's thing in Congress it can still block Obama and the Democratic Socialist Party from overthrowing the Constitution and having their way.

After trashing both parties he said if things didn't change he was going to start a new third party. Now that is an interesting possibility. Hello Newt, hello Obama and hello Pelosi, there is already a third party and it is already bigger than either of the grand old parties.

Here in America we call the disenfranchised voters Independents. They know that other than the right wing fringe versus the socialist fringe behind the two political parties there is really no difference between them. There is no room in the Independents for a Newt, a Fig Newton, or any other kind of Newt.

Independents are a strange breed. They expect honesty, common sense and a devotion to individual liberty in their politicians. That must be why they skipped both parties to be an Independent, couldn't find what they were looking for in them.

They expect a politician to keep his promises, mind the budget and meet the basic needs of the people. Again there is little of any of those things in the present parties. They expect a lot more from their elected representatives and that is why they are in neither party, the Independents know they won't find it there.

It is time for a third party, because it is time that one third of the people be recognized. Just give us the same rights as the two political parties and we will show you how to unite people, rather than buy them off.


I never thought I would get the chance to do this article but there is no doubt that truth changes here in America and it is about time we take another look at the facts. The subject is marijuana use in America and the facts are this; over 100 million Americans have tried marijuana and 14.8 million use it monthly. Over 40% of all high school age kids have tried it.

Now for comparison purposes, there are three recreational drugs in America, alcohol, tobacco and illegal drugs including marajuana.

Results from the 2007 National Survey on Drug Use and Health
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
Office of Applied Studies (OAS)

Slightly more than half of Americans aged 12 or older reported being current drinkers of alcohol in the 2007 survey (51.1 percent). This translates to an estimated 126.8 million people, which was similar to the 2006 estimate of 125.3 million people (50.9 percent).

More than one fifth (23.3 percent) of persons aged 12 or older participated in binge drinking (having five or more drinks on the same occasion on at least 1 day in the 30 days prior to the survey) in 2007. This translates to about 57.8 million people, similar to the estimate in 2006.

In 2007, heavy drinking was reported by 6.9 percent of the population aged 12 or older, or 17.0 million people. This rate was the same as the rate of heavy drinking in 2006. Heavy drinking is defined as binge drinking on at least 5 days in the past 30 days.

In 2007, among young adults aged 18 to 25, the rate of binge drinking was 41.8 percent, and the rate of heavy drinking was 14.7 percent. These rates were similar to the rates in 2006.

The rate of current alcohol use among youths aged 12 to 17 was 15.9 percent in 2007. Youth binge and heavy drinking rates were 9.7 and 2.3 percent, respectively. These rates were essentially the same as the 2006 rates.

In 2007, an estimated 70.9 million Americans aged 12 or older were current (past month) users of a tobacco product. This represents 28.6 percent of the population in that age range. In addition, 60.1 million persons (24.2 percent of the population) were current cigarette smokers; 13.3 million (5.4 percent) smoked cigars; 8.1 million (3.2 percent) used smokeless tobacco; and 2.0 million (0.8 percent) smoked tobacco in pipes.

The rate of current use of any tobacco product among persons aged 12 or older decreased from 29.6 percent in 2006 to 28.6 percent in 2007, but the rates of current use of cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, cigars, and pipe tobacco did not change significantly over that period.

Between 2002 and 2007, past month use of any tobacco product decreased from 30.4 to 28.6 percent, and past month cigarette use declined from 26.0 to 24.2 percent. Rates of past month use of cigars, smokeless tobacco, and pipe tobacco were similar in 2002 and 2007.

The rate of past month cigarette use among 12 to 17 year olds declined from 13.0 percent in 2002 to 9.8 percent in 2007. However, past month smokeless tobacco use was higher in 2007 (2.4 percent) than in 2002 (2.0 percent).

Illegal Drugs
In 2007, an estimated 19.9 million Americans aged 12 or older were current (past month) illicit drug users, meaning they had used an illicit drug during the month prior to the survey interview. This estimate represents 8.0 percent of the population aged 12 years old or older. Illicit drugs include marijuana/hashish, cocaine (including crack), heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants, or prescription-type psychotherapeutics used nonmedically.

The rate of current illicit drug use among persons aged 12 or older in 2007 (8.0 percent) was similar to the rate in 2006 (8.3 percent).

Marijuana was the most commonly used illicit drug (14.4 million past month users). Among persons aged 12 or older, the rate of past month marijuana use in 2007 (5.8 percent) was similar to the rate in 2006 (6.0 percent).

In 2007, there were 2.1 million current cocaine users aged 12 or older, comprising 0.8 percent of the population. These estimates were similar to the number and rate in 2006 (2.4 million or 1.0 percent).

Hallucinogens were used in the past month by 1.0 million persons (0.4 percent) aged 12 or older in 2007, including 503,000 (0.2 percent) who had used Ecstasy. These estimates were similar to the corresponding estimates for 2006.

There were 6.9 million (2.8 percent) persons aged 12 or older who used prescription-type psychotherapeutic drugs nonmedically in the past month. Of these, 5.2 million used pain relievers, the same as the number in 2006.

In 2007, there were an estimated 529,000 current users of methamphetamine aged 12 or older (0.2 percent of the population). These estimates were not significantly different from the estimates for 2006 (731,000 or 0.3 percent).

Among youths aged 12 to 17, the current illicit drug use rate remained stable from 2006 (9.8 percent) to 2007 (9.5 percent). Between 2002 and 2007, youth rates declined significantly for illicit drugs in general (from 11.6 to 9.5 percent) and for marijuana, cocaine, hallucinogens, LSD, Ecstasy, prescription-type drugs used nonmedically, pain relievers, stimulants, methamphetamine, and the use of illicit drugs other than marijuana.

Did you really check out the statistics? Alcohol was used by 126.8 million people 12 and over, tobacco was used by 70.9 million people 12 and over, and illegal drugs were used by 19.9 million Americans 12 and over. Of the latter 14.4 million used marijuana. Over time 100 million people have used marijuana.

The cost of illegal marijuana is staggering with a study by Jon Gettman, Ph.D. indicating that Americans spend nearly $113 billion annually on the drug. We also spend $10.7 billion in law enforcement to control the drug before the stimulus and new drug enforcements efforts by the Obama Administration. In other words our government loses nearly $31.1 billion in lost tax revenue to illegal marijuana and spends $10.7 billion trying to stop it, about $42 billion a year.

That is only the beginning of the cost however. The majority of the drug is grown in South America and Asia and smuggled into the states. Along the Mexican border over 6,000 Mexicans have been murdered in drug wars in the past year alone. Tens of thousands of people in other countries have been murdered over the years supplying the US with pot.

Yet the effects of marijuana are nearly insignificant compared to the physical and psychological damage inflicted on us from legal drugs sanctioned in America, alcohol and tobacco. If you threw in the abuses in the prescription drug use here you would find billions more in wasted money. We know all these legal drugs kill and cost us billions of dollars in medical costs.

So why not legalize marijuana? The benefits now substantially outweigh the risk. Marijuana is the only natural drug of the three sold in a natural state. Where it has been legalized in places like the Netherlands, the use by the public has dropped significantly below the rate in America. In fact in Columbia where it is grown the drug use is a fraction of the American use.

Not only would legalization eliminate the $10.7 billion in law enforcement costs, money that could be better used chasing the criminals in suits whose actions cost us trillions of dollars in losses, but the $31.1 billion in lost tax revenues could pay for a lot of deficits in states and a lot of new initiatives nationally.

Marijuana could be grown in America putting tens of thousands of acres into productive, tax generating use, land currently sitting idle and generating no property tax revenue. States that lost significant property taxes with the loss of tobacco crops would have a way to recover the losses. Thousands of lives in Mexico would be saved every year by eliminating the drug smuggling and drug wars involved in distribution.

When we tried to prohibit the sale of alcohol in America it backfired and we should have learned our lesson. We allow the sale of tobacco which has hundreds of chemicals added to it to make us addicted to it and the government still can't stop 126.8 million people from using it. The last three presidents of the United States have all admitted to using marijuana. There would be a great sigh of relief from all the countries trying to stop the flow of marijuana into America and we would be saving thousands of lives a year. How about we use common sense and finally legalize it and put billions of dollars to work for us?

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