INTRODUCTION:

Welcome to BobKat's Lair ®

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A lair is a home; A castle; A burrow; A haven; a place where one should feel safe. To ensure our safety especially in one's lair, we have laws. And some laws cause more harm than good!

This is a good place. There's lots to see and do. It's apolitical while providing non-partisan news about politics, which we can't escape.

Check out my aquarium and feed the fish; check out my post(s), my favorite media list and the many links to websites that promote what I feel is important.

Time for the awakening...

That is what my goal is here... to present topics which highlight the plight of people. Why, 2000 years after Caesar Augustus, are we still a people being hurt? With all our advancements in technology, medicine, communications, why are we a people still being hurt? Human nature hasn't changed much, but that doesn't mean it isn't time now for that to happen, and it is undoubtedly happening - hard to see however. This blog is part of that change and a witness to it.

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My blog is dedicated to my family, friends, mentors, and all others whom I am grateful to, and love(d).

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The links I post here, sites like the ASPCA, NORML and LEAP, do not sponsor me. I am personally supporting these sites by posting their links. The links are genuine, and will bring you to the real place. I'd recommend that if you like a site that you've linked to from here, or from another blog or website, please verify the site is legitimate prior to providing personal information or money.

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Please view my Blog using the latest version of your browser. Some features may not be active if Java or Flash is disabled or not installed, or your browser is not compatible with Google Blog.

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NOTE: Nothing included in my Blog is intended to advocate behavior illicit in nature, or in violation of man-made laws where harm to a living person, animal or the environment is involved. Person's under 17 probably shouldn't be here, though there is far worse out there. Just saying.


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NOTE: Adding a comment to my Posts is easy and also encouraged, no matter what your point of view is.

Here's How:

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Please do not include links to other websites or blogs in your comments without prior approval from the site administrator, me. The comment will be deleted.

Thank-you!

Bobkat's Lair ® : ©2009-2014

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Petitions by Change.org|Start a Petition »

CURRENT RESCUE OF THE MONTH: AVAAS: Elephants..https://secure.avaaz.org/en/hours_to_save_elephants_usa/?cwOwQbb
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August 18, 2014

COMMON FACTS, QUESTIONS AND CONCERNS REGARDING MARIJUANA

Who said, "It's the best of times, the worst of times"? I could look it up, easily. The year is 2014 and it's the dawn of the computer age. The World Wide Web is a reality - almost like a spiritual Universal Knowledge - the idea being that we are all connected to a cosmic consciousness, where knowledge can be tapped into with one's mind, not to mention since before birth we are taking in cognitive experiences - just imagine all you've experienced since before birth... how little of it is actually consciously available at this moment? How much there is hidden in your mind - that alone is beyond comprehension, but it's there, in your brain.

From an evolutionary point of view it's been human destiny... unavoidable; just a matter of time. It's both miraculous, yet catastrophic - as knowledge is power, and until the WWW knowledge was a rather intimidating pursuit unless you had money and time. Now simply requires those special words typed into a browser window. Just consider for a bit where we are today and where we were just 50 years ago? 25 years ago? 5 years ago?

For many thousands of years humankind has survived by forming groups and "gangs", societies, and governments. It's a toss up as to which ancient government of the many was the most successful, however, I'd have to go with Rome, ending with the death of Caesar Augustus, Son of Caesar the Great.

Stories were originally handed down as verbal stories/anecdotes, then writing was invented, then suddenly in the 19th century audio recordings, then in the 20th century, came radio, then television... yet throughout time we have "listened"... literally listened  Always pretty much in the dark, dependent on leadership; those with knowledge.

When our forefathers saw a people "governed for the people, by the people", I doubt they realized what knowledge common people would acquire.

I'm amazed at the progress we're experiencing in America to reform marijuana laws for example, and end prohibition. It's odd or ironic that it happens along with rights and freedom for homosexuals. Both are simply Life choices, things about ourselves we discover that we do, that make our life better. In America the ability to do that is written into our US Constitution and our Bill Of Rights.



President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation may not have stunned the world, but it did stun many in the US. Especially many wealthy, prominent persons who vowed to undo it, much like Obamacare - or our current form of nationalized health Insurance.

The Emancipation Proclamation Act freed Blacks, but that didn't necessarily mean society changed a whole lot. And with wealthy prominent persons doing backroom deals, with politics involved, you can bet things happening under the tables. The biggest change? The US Federal Reserve. Money and Control of the populous.

WIKIPEDIA LINK: The Emancipation Proclamation was issued January 1, 1863. Although implicitly granted authority by Congress, Lincoln used his powers as Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy, "as a necessary war measure" as the basis of the proclamation, rather than the equivalent of a statute enacted by Congress or a constitutional amendment.It is as much of a modern day invention as there is, although I'm sure similar practices have occurred in countless societies.

By 1910, the powers to BE were meeting secretively at Jekyll Island in NC. Their goal was to control the flow of money. WIKILINK:

"Planning of the Federal Reserve System
At the end of November 1910, Senator Nelson W. Aldrich and Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Department A. Piatt Andrew, and five of the country's leading financiers (Frank Vanderlip, Henry P. Davison, Charles D. Norton, Benjamin Strong, and Paul Warburg) arrived at the Jekyll Island Club to discuss monetary policy and the banking system..."

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Where previously money was controlled by banks, by people, now it was controlled by the federal government.

The federal government, for all it's good intentions, is controlled by special interests, the majority of which we don't know about until someone like Jack Bower , oops, I meant Edward Snowden, spills the beans... Without the internet it could not have happened, so unless the internet becomes a controlled technology, knowledge is in the hands of the people.

Which says nothing about how this power is being used. For the most part, for Gay rights, Climate change and animal rights and protection reform, and ending marijuana prohibition, the internet has been a great success. But it's obvious those in government move at a snails pace. If at all. Why marijuana remains a Federal Schedule One drug is beyond my comprehension. The truth is out there... as obvious as a tree you could walk into.

But what makes continued persecution of marijuana worse is it disproportionately targets minorities.

Recent news has pretty much outed marijuana as a plant worthy of throwing people in prison, breaking up families and casting a big letter M on their chest when they go for a job interview.It pretty much says marijuana is okay. I know that sounds weird - after more than 75 years of fictional horror stories, but it's okay. Relax.


The New York Times, considered the #1 news agency in the nation, who in the 1960's warned people about the legalization of marijuana have now come about 180 degrees:

"Repeal Prohibition, Again" By THE EDITORIAL BOARD": "It took 13 years for the United States to come to its senses and end Prohibition, 13 years in which people kept drinking, otherwise law-abiding citizens became criminals and crime syndicates arose and flourished. It has been more than 40 years since Congress passed the current ban on marijuana..."

If that's not enough to get people thinking, and hoping...

Consider:

Study: Arrests For Marijuana Offenses Increasing In Many States - Yes, it appears there is a correlation between recent years of legalization of marijuana and increased arrests by law enforcement.

22 States have legalized medical use of marijuana and two states have legalized recreational use to adults 21 or older. That's half the US.

And the irony is, the most drug arrests nation-wide are still for marijuana... sure the premise is public health and safety and marijuana is gingerly mixed in with hard drugs such as meth, heroin and Oxycontin; however it is statistically, scientifically a fact that, marijuana is none of those. It is a naturally growing plant with far less of the harmful effects popularly cast about, as well as less dangerous than legally available substances or pharmaceuticals. Although for some people cannabis feels addictive, there is actually very little physical addition (as defined by any serious symptoms of withdrawal), with sometimes strong psychological addiction. The significance of these distinctions if we compare marijuana to tobacco, the former may be difficult to part mentally from, but unlike the latter drug, there aren't the physical withdrawal symptoms that make tobacco so difficult to quit..  

The current plight for adults and freedom of choice for their "drug of choice", didn't occur in 1937, as thought. That was ruled unconstitutional in the early 1960's. That's when the "Tax-Act" and the propaganda machine began running, and marijuana as the bogey-man was begun, but a leaning to a full scale assault against Americans really didn't begin until money began to lose value in the mid-1960s. And it wasn't because of hippies, free love or Vietnam. The tipping point was the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The same year we went off from the silver (standard) for lower denomination coinage and gold became legal to own again after decades of being illegal.

The Federal Reserve bank was the branch of government that provided the impetus to cause the tipping point to tip...  It was the Emancipation Proclamation's knee jerk reaction all over again.

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Marijuana was legal for growing or purchasing in the US until November 1937.  It was used mostly as a medicinal plant, listing in the US Pharmacopedia until 1940. It's scientific name is cannabis and the two forms that are popular are cannabis sativa and indica. The latter is the one with the most THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol). There are other natural chemicals in cannabis that make it medicinal and valuable, not to mention the industrial uses for cannabis, called hemp in that case.


Marijuana is now legal in two states in the US for adults 21 and older. That is a fact.

Despite legalization in various states for medical use beginning in the early 1990's,  the war on marijuana seems without end. Being an advocate for decriminalization and repeal of laws directed towards marijuana almost makes one seem fanatical. Fantastical? Out of touch with reality. Yet here we are today... and all the polls indicate over 50% of Americans approve legalization of marijuana. Yet the federal government is hardly budging, though some promising compromise has been offered.

A lot of attention is still directed towards use of marijuana by those under 21. In fact, such concerns has effectively trumped legal use for adults, as was recently made apparent from a speech given by Florida's governor, Jeb Bush:

"(CNN) - Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush announced his opposition Thursday to an overwhelmingly popular proposal that would legalize medical marijuana..."

"Family friendly states"... Where does such rhetoric emanate from? Most of the world is a den of evil... whatever evil is to you. The US is no exception. "Family Friendly" is a joke. People are thrown in jail, fined large amounts of money and forever scarred so a state can say they are "Family friendly". You throw fathers and Mothers in prison and that is friendly???

The real question seems to be what exactly are the effects of marijuana on the mind and body of a person under 21?

The answer: It's profound and perhaps troubling! I know, you thought I might say it would be disturbing, disastrous, crippling.

First, we need to understand virtually no studies have actually been done conclusively nor have results been common as to the effects of marijuana on those under 21. Also, federal law prohibits such studies or research without express approval from the NIH.

Second; any evidence of adverse behavior by persons under 21 is pretty much anecdotal. He says, she says, he says...

When I was 16 I came very close to dying of alcohol poisoning. I drank too much. In health class the danger was marijuana, not alcohol back then. Today, it is still probably marijuana is more dangerous as schools receive federal funding.

At 16 after I smoked marijuana for the first time while on a family vacation. Nothing happened other than I drank too much alcohol again, but not enough to die this time. No, it's common that the first time use of marijuana will have no effect. Partly that's because all animals have THC receptors throughout their body, not just in the brain. Our bodies produce natural cannabinoids, natural THC chemicals that lubricate the mind and body, relieve stress, help one forget bad days and trauma.

The first time a person uses marijuana likely the endo-cannabinoids don't register with a body used to regulating it's own personal manufacturing process.

Now the second time was quite different. As I was under age 21 this should be of interest to prohibitionists looking to make examples of below 21 users.

Disclosure: I was 19 in 1973... it was legal for me to smoke tobacco and to drink alcohol.

By now you should all know the story... hanging out with two childhood friends late afternoon on a Summer's night, and one friend offers a marijuana; a first and I'm terrified. I'm a prohibitionist at that point in time. The propaganda had been reinforced into my head.

But I took my friend up on his offer and I'm really glad I did.

So what happened that I'm glad it happened?

I laughed like I'd never laughed before; and you know what they say, "laughter is the best medicine".

So was that life threatening? "No".

What else happened?

Well, I kind of stopped. I stopped and looked around. It was like the first time in my life I did that. Until then I was running errands. I was focused on expectations. To be honest, I didn't know I existed.

Is that bad?

It could be.

See, I remembered a book I read when i was 8. My Aunt Helen gave it to me. It was by Ray Bradbury, "R Is For Rocket", a short story within called "Frost and Fire".

I remembered that book and my future formed. A future that happened to be in total opposition to what my parents had in mind for me. I didn't live home when the plan took over... I moved out quickly. I got a job as a custodian at the local community college, nights, in the Fine Arts building where all the artists and writers were.

Because of that one decision that night using marijuana with my two friends, my life took a different turn. I have forever felt blessed by the turn, but it was alienating.

Now I'm not advocating exactly that marijuana be considered for legalization for those under 21, though I think honestly the age of 18 ought to be considered as one can use tobacco at that age.

No, I'm advocating precisely that over 21 is a no-brainer for legalization. Well, maybe 18 would be more realistic.

Questions about how marijuana affects a persons brain... you're surrounded by the answer as millions of people use it regularly and any number of them interact with you on a daily basis.

President Obama recently said he's ashamed of his days when he was younger using marijuana. Yet he boasts about his White House beer! Not that he explains why he was ashamed, being an alleged guru of marijuana according to several well known histories of the President, he's ashamed maybe because according to federal law he should be like many others who have been arrested for marijuana, and now can't find a job due to prejudice against "drug users"; almost 50% of those with a record for a marijuana arrest.

And by doing so as a nation what have we accomplished exactly?

A more logical, humane way to consider the future:

http://www.regulatingcannabis.com/

August 09, 2014

REPLACING THE HEADLAMPS ON A 2004 SUBARU OUTBACK - TECHNICIAN'S GUIDE

Since "changing the temperature sensor on my 2004 Subaru" has come to be the 5th most popular post, I thought showing you how to change the headlamps would be of interest. The lenses are plastic and over time become milky and opaque. This appears to be a common occurrence for most new cars, as the bulb itself is no longer external and made of glass, but rather is a high intensity bulb within an enclosure.

The first step was cost feasibility. The suggestion that cleaners are available to restore the original appearance of a plastic lamp. The cost for a new lamp alone without replacing the housing?

I headed over to www.rockauto.com and looked up replacement lights. Wow, for $40 each, new headlamp enclosures with bulbs. I order one for each side. Here is my car with the new sitting on top of the old:





The new ones are an exact replica of the originals.

There are three screws holding the lamps in place, as well as three electrical connectors.

One screw is a sharpie in that its pointed. The other two in the front are more like bolts.

Images of where the bolts are located:










Remove those and the three electrical connectors and you have this - note how dull and opaque the old lamp is:




Putting the new lamp assembly into place requires a small amount of finesse.  It's actually simple... first plug in the two outside electrical connectors. You'll plug the inner one in last. Then slide the outside edge of the lamp inward as if along a track. That will leave you with the inside edge of the lamp caught against a metal-post, which with a little finagling you will get past.

The result... brand new front headlamps! Total cost around $80. Total time? 1/2 hour or less.





July 26, 2014

2004 Subaru Outback - Body Work - Amateur Style

I am an amateur when it comes to body work on a car. I've never shied away from doing it; sometimes I do better than other times. A lot depends upon what part of the body needs to be repaired and how? I've never worked at a body-shop. I was an auto tech, not a body specialist. Still, given the interest in changing my temperature sensor, I thought some body work as an encore would be appropriate.

In most way modern day Subaru's since the late 1990's are a great car. Like any car there are problem areas. Seems Subaru doesn't have many, but one obvious problem is that the rear fenders tend to rust out:


This is my car before I started the repairs. I had sprayed some silver paint on the rust to make it less obvious, but you can see how bad it is.

Here is a close-up:

 

The other side is only starting to rust. This is the side that I need to repair. If for no other reason than it wouldn't pass inspection.

I begin by grinding as much of the bad, rusted metal away as is necessary. Then I swab it with gun bluing acid.




It doesn't take long to dry. But here is where one has some serious choices to make. One can probably buy the body panel. It would cost a lot I'm sure, and the labor would be a lot also. One could weld metal onto the area. It would take additional time preparing the area to be welded, and getting those curves would take talent, which I don't have. 

What about Bondo? Auto-body filler? Well those are some seriously large holes. Spray-in foam? That would trap moisture - no good. My choice is to spray the area with primer and use fiberglass.




Looks messy. It is, sort of. Actually you cut the fiberglass mat to size, mix up the resin with the hardener, and paint the mat on with a throw away paint brush. I probably should have used epoxy first to glue the mat in place - More work and also messy, but provides a much better bond to the metal.

Now we use the auto-body filler. Sorry, no pictures of that part. I was to occupied trying to fill all the holes. To get it smooth; involved a lot of sanding, refilling with filler.

I ordered the factory matched paint online. So here we have it:



It'll pass inspection; I doubt I'll get a very good grade in auto-body repair. I think it looks worse in the picture than it does looking at it. Of course it'll weather. It'll fade and blend.It won't rust to quickly. And it's better than it was.