SEIU is Off-Base on Legalizing Pot
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SEIU is Off-Base on Legalizing Pot
Posted by CN Staff on September 24, 2010 at 06:37:33 PT
By Arnold Schwarzenegger
Source: Los Angeles Times 
California -- The union's endorsement of Proposition 19 as a way for California to avoid cuts to social programs is wrong, Gov. Schwarzenegger argues. Pension reform is a better solution. I was surprised to read that leaders of the state's biggest union — the SEIU — had decided to endorse Proposition 19, which would allow Californians to legally grow and possess marijuana. Any patrol officer, judge or district attorney will tell you that Proposition 19 is a flawed initiative that would bring about a host of legal nightmares and risks to public safety. It would also make California a laughingstock.
Leaders of the Service Employees International Union say they support Proposition 19 so the state can avoid cuts to healthcare, home care, education and elderly care programs. Yet even the best-case estimates show Proposition 19 (assuming it would even pass constitutional muster) bringing in only $1.4 billion in annual revenue — a fraction of our current deficit.The SEIU could embrace a far better and more responsible solution for saving state programs: pension reform.Getting a handle on pensions would preserve far more jobs and prevent many more cuts than legalizing marijuana, and it would do so without the legal complications and safety risks inherent in Proposition 19. Yet for the past year, the SEIU's leaders have been fighting tooth-and-nail against common-sense measures to rein in a debt that is unsustainable and is severely affecting the state's finances.Indeed, California is suffering from a series of irresponsible decisions by SEIU-backed politicians, who have guaranteed huge retirement benefits to state workers without setting aside the money to pay for them. Because of this, we have $550 billion in unfunded retirement debt that is costing us $6.5 billion this year. Without reform, that unfunded debt will double in cost every 4.5 years. A single bill the Legislature passed in 1999 (SB 400, which retroactively boosted state workers' pensions without a way to pay for it) is now responsible for about $2.5 billion of this year's deficit. State pension costs for CalPERS are more than 2,000% higher today than they were 10 years ago, and that's not a misprint.How in the world can anyone consider that an even distribution of the people's money? And how could someone think legalizing marijuana is the best way to solve it?Six state employees unions have reached agreements with the state to roll back pensions for new hires. For example, the deal the California Assn. of Highway Patrolmen and other unions negotiated requires new employees to work additional years to receive full benefits, bases final retirement compensation on the highest three years of wages instead of the highest year, and increases the amount employees must contribute toward their retirement to a minimum of 10%.These are reasonable changes to the system that members of these unions have accepted. They have made it possible for the unions' members to avoid furloughs during this economic crisis, and they have lessened the state's long-term debt. Similar changes with the rest of the unions would preserve funding for higher education, public safety, healthcare, home care, education and elderly care programs.Sadly, SEIU's leadership is refusing to make any rollbacks to pensions. We understand that interest groups must fight for their members, but for the SEIU to endorse legalizing marijuana means it is willing to risk public safety to protect unsustainable pension costs.The notion that we have to choose between legalizing drugs and education funding or care for the elderly is false. The answer is to prioritize the money we already have, and funding pensions 2000% higher than we were 10 years ago means we don't have our priorities straight.SEIU members should tell their leadership that instead of focusing on extremist causes, they could agree to some common-sense rollbacks in what new workers are guaranteed. No one is asking for draconian concessions; even after changes to bring costs under control, we would still spend $2 billion more on compensation and benefits this year than last.There are no magic solutions to our state's problems, but there are some manageable ones, and SEIU's leaders know what they are. Scaling back pensions, not legalizing marijuana, would show our children that we have our priorities right.Arnold Schwarzenegger is governor of California. Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)Author: Arnold SchwarzeneggerPublished: September 24, 2010Copyright: 2010 Los Angeles TimesContact: letters latimes.comWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #17 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on September 26, 2010 at 10:48:34 PT
As for LAUGHING STOCKS, California already became that when, for the 2nd time, they elected someone governor mainly because they were a movie star.And an "actor" who never learned how to talk without his native accent, probably shouldn't call anyone or anything a "laughing stock", anyway.
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Comment #16 posted by Hope on September 25, 2010 at 10:33:53 PT
FiddleMan Comment 9
I so agree!
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Comment #15 posted by GentleGiant on September 24, 2010 at 23:52:18 PT:
Arnold, What A Hypocrite! 
Boy, what a hypocrite. I thought Arnold was cool. Same for Jerry Brown. They both know exactly what pot is for what it is. Their both sellouts.
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Comment #14 posted by Paint with light on September 24, 2010 at 20:12:36 PT
"Any patrol officer, judge or district attorney will tell you that Proposition 19 is a flawed initiative that would bring about a host of legal nightmares and risks to public safety."Any patrol officer, judge or district attorney that doesn't support prop 19 is more worried about job security than the good of the people.Seems I read the names of some peace officers judges and even an attorney general or two that signed on to the list of supporters.I know there were several former criminal justice officers on the list.Rogue cops and a corrupt judicial system are far more dangerous to public safety than any amount of cannabis.Legal like alcohol solves all the problems.
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Comment #13 posted by observer on September 24, 2010 at 13:00:59 PT
False Dilemma
False Dilemma:re: "Scaling back pensions, not legalizing marijuana,A silly and false dilemma by Maria Shriver's non-steroid user and never-marijuana-using ("I'm not a girly-man!"), once-muscle-bound, (though barely articulate in English), husband. A false dilemma is when two alternatives are presented as mutually exclusive, and are presented as the only alternatives, when other possibilities exist. Like this insinuated dilemma: Hey pardner, our only two options here are that we either legalize dope, or we scale back pensions. Those are the only alternatives. Choose one. Fast. "would show our children that we have our priorities right"Oh, here we go again. A politician's predictable platitudes about "the children.""A platitude is a trite, meaningless, biased, or prosaic statement that is presented as if it were significant and original." (wikipedia)Politicians use platitudes in their rhetoric as filler to say things that sound nice, while committing to nothing. It is politician's verbal equivalent of kissing babies, and falls into Orwell's "pure wind" category of political language."Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give the appearance of solidity to pure wind." -- George Orwell
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Comment #12 posted by konagold on September 24, 2010 at 13:00:54 PT
what seems most expedient in the Gov.'s rant is that anti-19 lip service is paid so he can vent against his real target -- union pensionsmost of his opinion is directed at the cost of pensions and unfunded legislationquite a red herring from the pro or con issue on prop 19, as tho gaining "only $1.4 billion" is just chump change compared to cost savings on pensions[ageism]which of course begs the question: if your so debt conscious why not do both??a clear case of CDS Cannabis Deficiency Syndrome e.g. he must be smoking inferior "leaf"[snigger, snicker & snort] 
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Comment #11 posted by firedog on September 24, 2010 at 11:14:41 PT
California is a laughingstock, a visionary leader, a rebel, a spendthrift, an entertainer, and a wildly successful entrepreneur all rolled into one. You can't really separate them from each other, though. That's what makes California what it is.Prop. 19 won't make California any more of a laughingstock than it already is, except perhaps in the South, and that would be a perfect example of the pot calling the kettle black.
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Comment #10 posted by firedog on September 24, 2010 at 11:08:15 PT
“That is not a drug. It’s a leaf” - Arnold Schwarzenegger, 2007
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Comment #9 posted by FiddleMan on September 24, 2010 at 10:49:10 PT
Extremist Causes???
“extremist causes”? I am totally offended that Governor Schwarzenegger thinks that ending Cannabis prohibition is an “extremist cause”.
Is it extremist, Sir, to NOT want your government to break down your door and arrest you for enjoying a plant (that is safer than aspirin) in the privacy of their own home? It is not! 
It is EXTREMIST GOVERNMENT on the other hand, that WILL break down your door and terrorize you for such a reason.“to endorse legalizing marijuana means it is willing to risk public safety”? Governor Schwarzenegger seriously needs to be educated in this subject. 
Legalizing Cannabis will INCREASE Public Safety by a very large factor. The fewer people with hangovers and addictive alcoholic habits the better! Not to mention the amount of people who will be able to quit Tobacco! Legalizing Cannabis will help greatly in these areas! Thus Legalizing Cannabis will INCREASE Public Safety by a very large factor. Legalize Cannabis Now!
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Comment #8 posted by museman on September 24, 2010 at 10:40:05 PT
What does a bad actor do
who can't work in hollywood anymore'Why become governor, or president!" even distribution of the people's money"Whose people's money?Whose face is on the coin? People? Or the modern Caesars?Republicans, Democrats, good cop, bad cop -still cops.Republicans want elite society -complete with the controlled peasant class (and no middle class) to service their desires,The democrats want a middle class society -with the controlled peasant class to service their desires.Both worship money and power, both compromise important truths to satisfy greed and self-serving interests.They are all wealthy beyond their needs.Where has all this mythical money gone?Ignorance points to China (I wonder what kind of future scenario is being setup there?), but the jet-setters are still jetting, the limos still ride, and the Cadillacs keep burning gas. The corporate lords still rule, (after some being given gifts of the so called 'taxpayers money') and national policy is made according to their designs, not the health, safety, and welfare of the people.The lipservice given to constitutional liberty, promised to every citizen by the academic institutions that twist wide-eyed innocence into the beer-swilling, warlike, slave class that pays for the elites' daily entertainment, is in practice a lie, or at best unrealized potential that needs incredible force of intellect, dedication, much time -sometimes entire lifetimes - to initiate change, or even validate what is supposedly already in place (like the bill of rights, and the 'inalienable rights' no one has been able to define in over 250 years) -but if you got the money honey, you can buy any liberty you choose, even if the 'liberty' is at the expense of 90% of the population.If only the people weren't such followers of mainstream fad and fashion, if only there was more than a minority with the gumption to stand against fascists, imperialists, liars and thieves -who have successfully indoctrinated the masses to 
"accept their lot in life" as if we all lived in the ancient caste system of India.If only there weren't so many who are so quick and willing to compromise with the liars and thieves, because resistance cuts into their entertainment time, and they have no faith in anything but money, so they worry about tomorrow during most of the today.So the few who are brazen enough to make a stand, have to deal with the lukewarm pretenders, within their own ranks -like parasites eating away from the inside - because the status quo seemingly has redefined 'reality.' There are literally millions of children who have to learn from a book, or a 'teacher' that milk doesn't come from a store, but a cow, or that there are actually more stars in the sky than you can count (but they can't be seen for the lights and the pollution) or that this entire planet is alive, one big organism, and we are not separate. No they learn how to labor at mindless tasks in a great juggernaut of waste and destruction, labeled by the keepers of the status quo as 'progress.' They learn how to be selfish, and define the fine points of 'yours and mine.' They learn how to shut down their consciousness by various mind-control 'disciplines' until they have successfully blocked access to higher Spiritual Consciousness, and they are rewarded for their submission to rule by a piece of paper that initially says; "Here be a good slave." And the certificates of dampened spirit are revered amongst the peasants as some kind of 'elevation of class' while their masters laugh in Rio, or the Bahamas or whatever.I guess that when they taught us about our liberty as Americans in their dumbing-down institutions called 'schools' they thought we were too busy doing mindless exercises called 'homework' or 'memorization' of useless information to take up the memory storage space, to pay attention to the truth behind the intent and language of our Constitution. And going off with much youthful 'patriotism' to fight the wars for the rich either got you killed or disillusioned (they try to get the smart ones killed if possible -intelligence doesn't make for good killing machines - or future cops). They should have never lied about our liberty. If they'd been honest about the reality of the situation, we would have all been brought up believing -like so many do anyway- that it's just our 'lot in life' to suffer and labor hard while a few go about their daily entertainment at everyone else's expense. But they tried to fool us. And though most were fooled, some notable few got their message across before the status quo assassins got 'em.And it's real easy to misquote or deliberately mis-interpret the meaning of a dead mans words. Dead men offer no resistance, and books are easily burned. Hire an 'academic' with 'credentials' and you can rewrite the language to conform to your conditions. And all it takes to be an 'expert' is money. Nothing else. So you need to 'publish' something in order to fulfill the vague criteria, just hire someone with talent (rare -if ever- that talent and money come together from birth, and using money to make money is no talent, it's just a corrupt and rigged game) and they can write your book, and you can then 'speak' as an expert.History has recognized few true 'experts' and it is notable that their 'testimony' is 100% not in agreement with the various status-quo 'experts' that fill up our libraries with verbose dross. I have read, witnessed, and experienced the nature and content of the true experts, the true teachers, and I will stick with them.Buddha, YSHWH, Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., John Lennon, and many more that history rejected because they spoke the truth instead of the lies of the status quo.If you haven't the will to follow their truths, your compromises will gain you nothing.LEGALIZE FREEDOM
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Comment #7 posted by Sam Adams on September 24, 2010 at 10:32:54 PT
Thanks so much for your opinion - the rich man who made his career in movies by being one of the first bodybuilders to commit to steroid use in training.  I'm sure all those men & women who clean toilets and push mops at 3 o'clock in the morning need YOUR multi-millionaire opinion on this matter.Hypocrite!
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Comment #6 posted by dongenero on September 24, 2010 at 09:35:02 PT
Ya, Calyfornia vill be like a laughing shtock, girly man who gets sand kicked in his face, you little girly mans.The truth is, financial reasoning is only one of several reasons for legalization. It's just that money is the only one that "speaks" to Republicans. So, that argument is used to get their heads spinning.Much better reasons are the Constitution, basic human rights, basic humanity, and truth. It's just that those issues don't resonate with Republicans.
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Comment #5 posted by runruff on September 24, 2010 at 08:51:15 PT
Hi kids!
I have been given a new title, "Karma Comedian"!I must admit, I love it!
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Comment #4 posted by Zandor on September 24, 2010 at 08:28:06 PT
Here is one answer
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Comment #3 posted by HempWorld on September 24, 2010 at 07:15:12 PT
Marijuana Prohibition in the USA has made this 
country a laughing stock in the world!Prohibition is not a solution for anything!
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on September 24, 2010 at 06:46:58 PT
This looks stupid to me!
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on September 24, 2010 at 06:41:10 PT
The harder I try to understand Republicans the more my head spins. They want to privatize the VA Health Care System. Leave it as it is. It isn't perfect but it has saved my husband's life.
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