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Coca-Cola is looking at marijuana for its drinks, but not to get you high

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Coca-Cola is looking at marijuana for its drinks but not to get you high

The cannabis industry is growing as more and more states legalize the use of marijuana for both medicinal and often recreational use. Cannabis has more chemicals than tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the component of marijuana that gets people high.. It also has a component that some companies, including Coca-Cola, are exploring for its health benefits.

Why Coca-Cola May Add a Cannabis Component to Drinks

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-09-17/why-coca-cola-may-add-a-cannabis-component-to-drinks-quicktakeCannabidiol, or CBD, is a component of the marijuana plant. Unlike another marijuana compound, tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC, CBD doesn’t make you high or intoxicated.

Results from preclinical studies suggest CBD has anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-nausea and anti-seizure effects, according to Health Canada. While THC acts on specific cannabinoid receptors found in the brain and central nervous system, CBD appears to work throughout the body.

The component is still illegal nationally but legal in states where marijuana sales and production are legal. Nevertheless, it’s still a schedule 1 narcotic. The only reason it’s not addressed by national law enforcement is they have bigger fish to fry than an anti-seizure component of a relatively harmless drug.

My Take

While I don’t go as far as many of my Libertarian friends who want all drugs legalized, I have always felt marijuana has more positives than negatives. There’s a reason it’s often prescribed to people where it’s legal and not just for the high.

If it can truly be used by companies like Coca-Cola to help people, I’m all for it.

Image via HealthworxCBD

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Democrats

Fact Check: Did AOC really say the VA system isn’t broken and doesn’t need to be fixed?

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Fact Check Did AOC really say the VA system isnt broken and doesnt need to be fixed

If you want a preview of what government-run healthcare would really look like if Medicare-for-All is ever implemented, just take a long look at the VA. Only an idiot would think the system isn’t broken when even the leftist media acknowledges how poorly our veterans are treated as a result of being stuck in a system that betrays them daily. Only an idiot… like Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).

Of all the things she could ever choose to praise for being efficient and invoking the phrase, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” the VA shouldn’t be it. As CNN noted in 2014, at least 40 veterans died while waiting for health services through the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care system. When CNN is willing to acknowledge a problem within a system, you know the problem has grown beyond their ability to keep the people uninformed.

But that did not dissuade AOC from saying some of the dumbest things she’s ever said, which is saying a lot.

“The idea that this thing that isn’t broken, this thing that provides the highest quality care to our veterans somehow needs to be fixed, optimized, tinkered with until you don’t even recognize it anymore,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “Here’s the thing, they are trying to fix it, but who are they trying to fix it for is the question we’ve got to ask. They’re trying to fix the VA for pharmaceutical companies, they’re trying to fix the VA for insurance corporations, and ultimately they’re trying to fix the VA for a for-profit healthcare industry that does not put people or veterans first.”

This level of idiocy is hard to believe. Thankfully, there’s video.

On the surface, this seems like a very odd move for a politician who is known for attacking pretty much everything. When something is so obviously broken, it doesn’t behoove a politician to try to pretend like everything’s okay. But if we dig beneath the surface, we’ll see exactly why she’s willing to play devil’s advocate against common sense and rational thought on this issue.

The care the VA offers is very similar to the care the government will offer to everyone if Medicare-for-All is implemented. It’s designed to be overburdened because there’s simply not enough money to handle proper medical treatment within a vibrant healthcare system. That’s how the VA operates. It’s how single-payer systems operate around the world. It’s how the American healthcare system will operate if Medicare-for-All is ever allowed to be implemented here.

Fact check: Confirmed. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez believes the VA system works just fine. It reinforces her premise that the government should fully control healthcare. Lord help us if her dreams are ever realized in practice.

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Democrats

Stop underestimating the ignorance and gullibility of the left

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Stop underestimating the ignorance and gullibility of the left

As a conservative, I can break down the left vs. right paradigm by using two edited axioms. For the left, it’s “If at first you don’t succeed, double down and make it even worse.” For the right, it’s, “If it ain’t broke, do everything to keep the left from trying to fix it.”

I’m sure my friends on the left (few, but present) would disagree. I do what I can to keep and never completely alienate my progressive friends because I need them to help me understand why they react certain ways to different people, ideas, and circumstances. For example, a cordial conversation I had with a former Bernie supporter the other day revealed to me she still likes him, but she’s much more excited about Beto O’Rourke and Elizabeth Warren. I asked her opinion of Pete Buttigieg. She knew nothing about him.

Yesterday, she told me she was all in for Buttigieg. I asked why. She said he seemed more genuine than Beto and a better campaign strategist than Pocahontas (her choice of nicknames).

That’s the state of affairs in the Democratic Party. Every candidate has their share of faithful followers, but outside of Sanders’ and possibly O’Rourke’ most faithful, the game is wide open for most Democratic voters. They move their preferences up and down, left and right just as Republicans did during the early days of the 2016 primary season. In that regard, the left and right aren’t very different. At this stage, a lot of the popularity of the candidates will be based solely on personality. People like who they like and as long as they check the right ideological boxes, the early days are nothing more than a personality contest.

This is why every candidate is picking and choosing their policies to promote as well as the policies to avoid. You can tell when a candidate believes in a more moderate approach to handle any issue when they’re not willing to say much about it. When they’re radical on an issue, they blast it out there. This is the part that scares me.

Those who were paying attention in the late months of 2014 and the early months of 2015 know something that would probably shock most voters today. There was a topic the GOP wanted to avoid altogether. Strategists said not to bring it up. Analysts said it was a losing issue. Then, Donald Trump announced his intention to run and suddenly the taboo topic was front-and-center. That’s right, before Trump entered the race and gave his famous speech about deporting Mexicans, the GOP consensus stated that immigration was a topic to be avoided through the primaries and possibly onto the general election.

It’s important to understand this because it demonstrates very clearly how election season, especially primary season, sets the stage for not only the topics that will be discussed but also the way the country will be governed based on which side wins. It concerns me greatly that the topics being discussed by the Democrats today are Medicare-for-All, Green New Deal, reparations, higher minimum wages, eliminating student debt, and socialism in general. The presence of these radical ideas in the early days of the primary season tells us these are the topics that will be driven home by the eventual winner of the Democratic nominee.

If the Democrat then wins, they’ll be expected to start implementing these ideas just as President Trump was expected to repeal Obamacare and build the wall. He ran on those ideas, so he’s expected to deliver.

Republicans might think, “Bring it on.” I hear about it when talking to GOP strategists. I see it in the bluster of keyboard pundits on Twitter. I even see it in the posts and statements by the GOP itself. Most are licking their chops at the opportunity to take on these radical progressive ideas. Unfortunately, they’re not doing it right, and by “they” I mean I’ve seen a tiny handful who are even taking it seriously.

What we’re seeing instead is the complacency that goes with underestimating the ignorance and gullibility of the left as well as the malleability of the center. That friend who now supports Buttigieg happens to be a nurse and happens to adore the ideas of both the Green New Deal and especially Medicare-for-All. When one of my other friends (who happens to be a more moderate leftist) asked her the standard question of how they’re going to pay for it, the new Buttigieg fan said, “The rich will pay for it.”

I started to rain on her parade with actual numbers, but stopped immediately. This wasn’t the time to debate anything, let alone the idiocy of believing only the rich would be dramatically affected by such insane increases in the budget. After all, I need to keep some progressive friends around and this particular one would never have spoken about politics with me again if I shared the truth with her. I let it go.

It’s anecdotal, but I have a very strong feeling this thinking is common and growing more prevalent every day. This wasn’t a random reasoning. This is what they’re saying among the hyper-leftists in the Democratic Party. It seems every candidate has a variation of the “hose the rich” plan. They know very clearly that the numbers are far too large for the average American to stop and think about. There are sheep on both sides of the political aisle, but the numbers are going up dramatically on the left thanks to the sudden total disregard for fiscal responsibility that is now Kosher to the new Democrats.

And the people will follow. They won’t challenge them. They won’t question them. They won’t do the math. They’ll nod their heads in unison as these candidates promise exponentially more than Bill Clinton or Barack Obama ever had the gall to promise.

The fact that these socialistic ideas absolutely, positively cannot work will be ignored by the candidates as they fly over the heads of the leftist voters. I’m not saying they’re stupid. Many are quite bright. But anyone who believes socialism has any chance of success is willfully ignorant to the facts and gullible to the progressive sales pitch.

It is incumbent on conservatives to do everything we can to educate the population. If you’re as cynical as me, you’ll probably think it’s a nearly impossible task. If you’re as worried as me, you’ll know there’s nothing else we can do but try.

What we MUST NOT do is take jabs at the ideologies and policy proposals with an assumption the voters will get the jokes. Here’s Tweet tonight from the GOP:

As Tweets go, this one is horrible. Imagine a leftist or even a centrist leaning towards Medicare-for-All reading this. Government takeover of the healthcare system, single-payer, and elimination of private health insurance – to someone who doesn’t understand the numbers, this might seem like the GOP is endorsing Buttigieg because none of the negatives they pointed out are negatives in the minds of most leftists.

But it’s worse than that. This Tweet nor anything I’ve seen from the GOP so far on Twitter or elsewhere does anything to teach Republican voters how to counter arguments in favor of Medicare-for-All. Zero. The next election is going to be won or lost based on whether the GOP can demonstrate these “new” ideas are bad. And it won’t just be the candidates and pundits who need to do this. The voters themselves need to be able to make a solid case for why any one of these ideas are horrible.

The GOP needs to step up its game and attack the horrible leftist policy proposals with facts. Right now, it seems like they assume most Americans believe socialism is bad. Come election day, that may not be the case if the GOP doesn’t fix their messaging.

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Conspiracy Theory

Free speech and the anti-vaxxer movement

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Free speech and the anti-vaxxer movement

Put aside, for the briefest of moments, whatever you believe about vaccines. I’m not going to try to convince you one way or the other about vaccinating children and the alleged health risks posed by vaccines. I’m not even going to get into the debate about whether or not parents should be compelled to have their children vaccinated. I want to talk about free speech (technically, freedom of thought) and whether or not human adults can be trusted with making their own choices.

I’ve done my own research about the science in favor and against the anti-vaxxer movement. I made my decision based on this information. What my decision was isn’t relevant for this discussion. The point that needs to be first considered is the fact that there is data is out there for people to read. The videos are there for people to watch. The opinions are available for people to digest.

But that may not be the case for long. Those opposed to the anti-vaxxer movement are urging everyone from tech companies to the federal government to the United Nations to essentially outlaw any information that does not conform with the majority opinion. Much of these efforts are driven by the pharmaceutical industries themselves, but most is driven by concerned citizens who believe parents should not have a choice about their children’s healthcare as it pertains to vaccines. Their argument is a good one: When anti-vaxxers put their own children at risk, they put other people’s children at risk. This is a textbook argument about one person’s rights impeding on another person’s rights.

The counter argument is that if vaccines are so effective, then there’s no reason for those who have their children vaccinated to worry about being exposed to children who are not vaccinated. Again, it’s a good argument.

And that’s the point. There are good arguments on both sides when it comes to rights. The science is heavily weighted towards favoring vaccinations, but that doesn’t mean the science that talks of risks of vaccinations should be stifled.

As is usually the case, I am referring specifically to freedom of thought rather than freedom of speech, since technically there’s no freedom of speech issue here with private companies banning anti-vaxxer information. They are private companies, and while they inappropriately enjoy certain protections as content platforms while simultaneously invoking their privilege as content aggregators, the bottom line remains the same: thoughts are being suppressed because they’re considered dangerous by some.

This isn’t a 1st Amendment issue because as of right now, the government isn’t involved in the suppression as far as we know. That means the battle over whether or not information from anti-vaxxers should be shareable on social media, searchable on Google, and discussion-worthy on mainstream news outlets is becoming a series of oversteps on the part of the companies helping with suppression. This should concern everyone regardless of their choices and beliefs regarding vaccinations.

Those who have followed this topic over the past few months are likely aware Google and Facebook, among others, have embraced certain types of policies with varying levels of transparency behind them in an effort to make anti-vaxxer information as inaccessible as possible. Those opinions are quashed now and the crackdown hasn’t even reached its apex. Now, GoFundMe is no longer allowing fundraisers for anti-vaxxer organizations on their platform, either.

It’s extremely important to understand this point: I would rather a government say vaccinations are mandatory than for the “information czars” of social media and search engines to quash ideas that are unpopular with the majority. That’s not an opinion swayed by my personal perspectives on vaccinations; I’d feel this way whether I was a Big Pharma lawyer or Charlie Sheen. But we’re adults. We can discern information and should be allowed to do so. Some will choose wisely. Others will not. It’s not the responsibility of tech companies or governments to tell us which information is too dangerous for our petty little minds to access.

Just give us the facts and let us make up our own minds.

When government says vaccinations are mandatory, there’s recourse for those against them. When Facebook, Google, or GoFundMe think anti-vaxxer advocates are worth hiding or removing altogether from their platforms, there’s no recourse.

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