It's scary to take risks. But to not take one on the fear and unlikely chance that it may blow up in your face is scarier still. To expect a backlash is to flatter one's self. The only way to cut through the clutter is do something magnificent and exciting. And to do so is to walk a tightrope over the valley of disaster.
It's becoming clearer that what we are putting into the environment is returning to haunt us, resulting in unnecessary loss of lives, malnourishment, disease and starvation. Another key lesson is, the developed nations are not shielded from climate change, nor do they have the capacity to deal with a devastation of such cataclysmic proportion as the recent severe weather event in Colorado.
On August 12th I was flying into Denver and still feeling the effects of the four-day Transrockies Challenge. I had got pretty beaten up, riding my mountain bike, navigating trail sections between Blairmore and Canmore. It had been just over a week since it was completed and the cuts and bruises were starting to heal.
There is indeed change in America's winds, and it smells like the chronic. Recreational weed will not just be legal in Colorado and Washington, but will be be produced, packaged, and sold in retail stores. Personally, I've never partaken in smoking weed myself because it's illegal in Canada and I am an upstanding, law abiding citizen.
On November 6, three states have on their ballots the outright legalization of marijuana -- Washington, Oregon and Colorado. So far, support is strong and bipartisan. The last such vote occurred in 2010 in California where a state-sanctioned referendum on legalization narrowly lost. So you may not hear about the marijuana issue in debates or from the campaign stump, and in polls, but people south of the border are taking the matter into their own hands.
Is the U.S. election really a neck-and-neck race, like the pollsters in the mainstream media keep reporting? Not really. It would be close, if the popular vote indeed decided the Presidency, but it's the Electoral College that determines who wins. That's why Obama and Romney don't bother to campaign in California, New York, or Texas; the outcomes there are "givens." The swing-states are where the action is -- and this time around, Ohio is the "swingyest" of them all.
The exurban neighbourhods of El Paso County, Colorado seem, to this observer, environments designed for alienation and loneliness: street after street of developer-built houses fronted by enormous, power-operated garage doors, which display an defensive attitude to the street, and to the larger world. It all makes The Netherlands, where I currently live, seem mighty urbane, and civilized.
The gas-masked gunman who opened fire at a theatre full of people, killing twelve and injuring dozens more, reportedly had a shotgun, two pistols, an assault rifle, gas canisters, and potentially explosives in his home. What I don't understand is how it can possibly be alright for a civilian to have access to these kinds of weapons.