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Green marijuana leaf

Although there were rumors that relief would come this December for those awaiting their legal medical marijuana in Ohio, Santa will not be depositing any cannabis beneath the tree this year.

Mary Jane Borden, Free Press’ cannabis reporter, tells us that “Even if cut today, the plants would still have to dry for a time. Testing laboratories aren't scheduled for final inspection until mid-December, according to the Department of Commerce. Also, there is not yet a patient registry. I suppose that dispensaries could open without product and sell ‘accessories’ as provided in HB 523, but I don't see anything that tells me Ohio will have functional dispensaries with cannabis for sale this year.”

The September 2018 date initially predicted for the opening of the medical marijuana market in our state has long passed. It looks like it will be January before the first crop is ready. Cultivators at Buckeye Relief in Eastlake, Ohio claims to have buds that will be harvested soon. Cresco Labs in Yellow Springs announced a few weeks ago their plants were almost full grown.

Smiling black man standing in a suit on a stage holding up a huge pair of women's undies that are white with two red harts on them

How to put it politely? Naughty-naughty-naughty 85-year-old blues bandleader and singer Bobby Rush and his two equally naughty female dancers emphasized nothing but their chakras related to sexual intercourse at his Woodlands Tavern show the last Monday in November.

Call them your crotch chakra and booty chakra, or how to bump-and-grind your spine to better alignment, it was the most entertaining blues show I have ever seen. Eighty-five years young and so old-school I think Moses and he wore short pants together in kindergarten, Rush was the funniest, rockin'est, dirtiest good time I can ever remember having to a quality blues/funk band. And brother, I have seen a lot of them.

With his super-tight five-pieces and two super-funky, super-sexy, super-fly lady dancers, Rush started off with a straight blues ballad and then went off like a X-rated Roman candle into blue-blue-blue-light special land of naughty and super-naughty jokes and lyrics while his rock-hard funk-and-blue grooves flowing like good bourbon.

Black faced white bordered device like a radio with two round knobs facing out that look like eyes and lines in the middle that look like a mouth

It’s that time of the year when conspicuous consumption disguises itself as altruism, and we are encouraged to purchase unnecessary goods for the people we care about. Last year was the year of the smart speaker (Echo, Alexa, etc.) also known as the always-on microphone capable of 24-7 surveillance. While many people have rejected the idea of the newer editions that include surveillance cameras, they are still on the market. Rather than giving gifts that benefit Big Brother, here’s a a cyber-punk gift guide designed to give your friends and family more privacy – or at least devices that respect the privacy that they already have.

Gift Idea #1 – A Virtual Private Network subscription

This is one of those services that many technologists already encourage people to use. Last year, rules were lifted that had prevented your Internet Service Provider (ISP) from spying on your traffic and profiting from knowing so much about you. Many people started promoting Virtual Private Networks VPN) as an alternative.

Comune opened in the Nationwide Children’s Hospital corridor on Parsons Avenue in mid-November to the delight of the surrounding neighborhood. The Columbus Vegan Meetup community has been abuzz with accolades. Even our celebrity chef of international fame, Del Sroufe of the film “Forks Over Knives,” praised the soup and the chocolate cake as “some of the best ever” for their world-class flavor. If you are looking for a finer dining (though not quite a white tablecloth level) atmosphere and high caliber food, you now have another comprehensive plant-based, vegan-friendly option, from appetizer to dessert and coffee, tea or other libations.  

   

The holiday season is in full swing with lots of exciting vegan community events to get involved in. VeganShift and the Columbus Vegan Meetup are doing their monthly “Second Saturday Ask a Vegan” lunchtime dine-in event on Dec 8, and It’s All Natural is doing their annual Holiday Pop-up Market on Dec 9. Vegan Shift has partnered with Stomping Grounds to deliver a dinner and dancing New Year’s Eve Party.  

    

Comune

Glacier National Park is drip drip dripping into a puddle.

People and companies and governments are cutting down trees to burn them to save the planet from global warming, mixing the sacrificial trees with oh-so-clean coal, and in Detroit with tires, and in North Carolina with chicken shit.

Others are hacking down old forests to grow marijuana where it’s least likely to be found: another great benefit of drug prohibition.

Over 95% of California’s wild game was mercilessly slaughtered between 1865 and 1890.

Ted Turner is liberating the remnants of the bison in the American West on the model of the liberation of Baghdad: they end up $18 a plate.

Ranchers are luring wolves with sheep carcasses and tracking wolves’ radio collars like a Saudi hit squad tracking a journalist, before playing American Sniper.

Endangered species are being hunted just as viciously by lobbyists.

The Actors’ Gang has long been among my favorite theatre companies. Over the years I’ve attended their hard-hitting dramas and trenchant satires, from Tim Robbins’ early anti-Iraq War Embedded to an adaptation of Orwell’s 1984 that commented on the Bush regime’s torture policy to the antiwar classics Bury the Dead by Irwin Shaw and the docu-play The Trial of the Catonsville Nine about the pacifist Berrigan Brothers and so on. To be fair, the intrepid troupe has presented its fair share of comedies, too - more often than not performed by thesps donning commedia dell’arte masks in original works written by Robbins, such as Harlequino - although these productions often contain heavy doses of social commentary along with hearty laughs.

 

But with The Gang’s Aphrodite’s Holiday Show it is, as Monty Python pithily put it, time “now for something completely different” at the Ivy Substation. In this 90 minute variety show performed without intermission the usually thought-provoking Gang here lets its collective hair down with a diversion designed to maximize merriment during this season of mirth and goodwill to all people.

I was involved in pro-peace, anti-war, anti-US Imperialism efforts during the most hideous years of the Reagan/Bush administrations (from 1980 – 1992) that resulted in the deaths and sufferings of millions of innocent people in virtually every South and Central American nation you can think of.

 

As I remember the many innocent – often “disappeared” - war-refugees who suffered, starved and died at the hands of my war-profiteering national leaders, I am unable to shed any tears for the guilty ones, even if they are now dead or dying, for they were war-mongers that never apologized for their misdeeds. They were members beholden to Wall Street and War Street whose intentions made them responsible for brutal massacres, assassinations, torturing, mass killings, starvation and the impoverishment of millions of innocents that wanted to live in peace  in their homeland that had been targeted for exploitation by my once-beloved homeland.

 

 A new film called A Dangerous Idea argues that the concept of the gene will be looked back on (if humanity lives long enough) in the way that we look back on claims of “royal blood” and skull size as justifications for power and social status. The film makes the case that eugenics and (its more recent name) genetics has been driven by the same interests as those past claims.

A big sign on a sheet saying Stand Against Oppression Stand for Justice for Palestine

Wednesday, Dec. 5, 5:30pm
William Oxley Memorial Statue, 181 Oval Sr. S, OSU campus
Gathering at Thompson statue at 5:30 and then marching together to the USG meeting to present our resolution for BDS. The USG meeting starts at 6:30 pm in the senate chamber on the second floor of the Union, and there will be an open forum where anyone can speak for up to two minutes in support of our resolution.

A balding white guy with red framed glasses and facial hair smiling sitting at a table with his arm around a bald black man in a white and black designed sweater also smiling

Who knew the war-torn Congo and Hollywood would meet in Ohio and make for a good movie subject?

Keida Mascaro – that's who. 

"I gotta make this movie – here, 100% in Columbus, with Columbus money and as much Columbus talent as possible," said Mascaro of New Americans, his and writer Jeffrey Newman's drama about a former Congolese boy-soldier-turned-refugee-turned-immigrant landing here wearing his decades-old refugee camp Surf Ohio t-shirt and a desire to find a certain Ohio amusement park he became aware of in the refugee camp. 

"He comes to Columbus because of that shirt and an old '80s cassette Columbus radio mix-tape that has an Ohio amusement park ad," Mascaro explained at the Luck Brothers coffee shop after his post-Thanksgiving workout. "It's his dream, escaping the nightmare horrors of civil war and the get-nowhere camp and finding a paradise of amusement parks and maybe some surfing. Of course reality butts in and his extended family is there for him to a point. His PTSD and naivete complicate matters something fierce."

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