Willie Nelson, the Border Patrol and the Teapot Party

Border Patrol agents stopped a tour bus carrying Willie Nelson and band members at a checkpoint in Sierra Blanca, Texas, 100 miles from the Mexico border, smelled weed, called the K-9s and found six ounces of wackybaccy on the bus. Nelson posted a $2,500 bond and was released four hours later.

The singer now faces 180 days in jail and $10,00 fine. Local county sheriff says he’d like to have Nelson cook and clean and maybe wear one of theose stripey outfits.

Rolling Stone reports

The arrest doesn’t sit well with Texas attorney Dick DeGuerin, a criminal defense lawyer who recently represented Tom Delay and country singer Billy Joe Shaver, and was lawyer to David Koresh during the 1993 FBI siege of the Branch Davidian ranch outside Waco, Texas. DeGuerin questions the lawfulness of the search, which he says occurred 100 miles from the Mexican border. “It needs to be contested,” he says.

“It’s supposed to be a checkpoint only for aliens, and [agents] overstep their authority all the time,” he says. “I’ve had several cases from that checkpoint and they just use the opportunity to check out anybody they want to. If you have long hair, if you’re driving a van or it looks like you’re from California or you look like a hippie, they do profiling.”

Nelson said in an email to CelebStoner.com:

There’s the Tea Party. How about the Teapot Party? Our motto: We lean a little to the left. Tax it, regulate it and legalize it. And stop the border wars over drugs. Why should the drug lords make all the money? Thousands of lives will be saved.

This is Nelson’s third arrest for pot. I hope he doesn’t pull a celebrity rehab redemption…Nah. Check out the stoners in this video.

Hey TSA: Wanna See My Underwear?


Even more effective than the Bill of Rights printed on a metal card you can buy at Penn & Teller shows: These sexy pieces of lingerie deserve to be called unmentionables because they have the Fourth Amendment printed on them in metallic ink so TSA agents learn what they’ve declined to acknowledge and respect.

From the website:

Underwear printed with

“READ THE 4TH AMENDMENT, PERVERTS”

They won’t find anything except for a challenge to their unwarranted searches. Let them know they’re spying at the privates of a private citizen. The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, meant to prevent unwarranted search and seizure, is readable on TSA body scanners.

Humboldt County Thanksgiving: Paul Gallegos Wins DA Race

During a delicious late afternoon feast of leftover turkey, homegrown organic potatoes and rustic kitchen-crafted cranberry sauce all mashed together, the final results of the tight and intense Humboldt County District Attorney’s race came in:

25,238 Gallegos
23,069 Jackson

Paul Gallegos, the standing–and surfing–DA, faced former Deputy DA Allison Jackson in a knuckle-whitening duel. Returns early election night November 2nd showed challenger Jackson ahead by 16 points, but when the sun rose on the 3rd, Gallegos was ahead  51.3 percent to 48.3 percent. But close to 13,000 ballots, mainly provisional and walk-in, as well as last minute mail-in ballots remained outstanding. Those votes have finally been certified.

Full disclosure: I am Gallegos supporter. He believes in environmental stewardship, self-determination, upholding the Constitution, and personal responsibility. And he surfs.

Gallegos’ opponent Allison Jackson, also lifelong Democrat, was fired from the DA’s office in 2004 for reasons secured in personnel files, ran as a law and order candidate, hard on crime and was supported by the county’s conservatives. Jackson is currently a partner in Harland Law Firm in Eureka, where she handles a wide variety of civil cases. She criticized Gallegos

saying he has failed as an administrator and essentially has been soft on crime by allowing some “mind-boggling” plea bargains to occur on his watch.

Ideally, our national politics and policies are shaped on a local level. Gallegos drew national attention for several bold acts as DA: He recently won a multi-million dollar law suit against Skilled Health Care Group, Inc., related corporations, and five of the defendants’ skilled nursing facilities in Humboldt County. The complaint alleged that the defendants intentionally failed to provide sufficient direct nursing care staffing for elderly residents at their skilled nursing facilities.  The case spread to four counties in California and impacted Skilled Health Care’s operations in seven states.

Gallegos also instituted guidelines for medical marijuana which could be a model for all California counties and states with  MMJ laws.

Additionally, under new case law allowing for restitution through the criminal courts, Gallegos’ office secured a judgment on behalf of bicyclist Greg Jennings’ widow for lost financial support when Jennings was killed by Alan Bear who lost control of his truck. Gallegos had filed a felony case against Bear, but lack of evidence reduced charges to a misdemeanor. Bear was sentenced to the maximum for one year in prison on the reduced charges; his widow received the largest criminal restitution order in Humboldt County history, avoiding the cost and time of civil attorneys. That’s some effective tort reform!

Gallegos faced recall in  2004, when Pacific Lumber (PALCO) launched an aggressive campaign against Gallegos, donating 90% of the money raised to fund the recall effort, which included paying petitioners $8 per pro-recall signature collected for ballot qualification. Gallegos’ home was broken into twice, and emails from his office were leaked to media. The cause of the recall? On behalf of Humboldt County, the District Attorney brought suit against PALCO for violations of the California Business and Professions Code. Gallegos:

sued Pacific Lumber on the grounds that the corporation had provided the state with deliberately fabricated information regarding the potential environmental impact of its logging. The six-count litigation asserted that the company’s misleading attempt to generate a greater profit had “caused destruction to ancient redwoods, serious harm to Humboldt Bay, and serious harm to streams, bridges, roads, homes, and property rights of Humboldt County.”

Moreover, Gallegos sought an additional $2,500 for each tree that was cut, a lawsuit that had the potential of costing the corporation over $250 million. When asked about his decision to pursue the case, Gallegos responded, “Government needs to represent and treat everyone equal. Whenever you have businesses engaged in unlawful fraudulent activity…it affects the overall integrity in our systems. We cannot have two levels of justice in Humboldt County. That is how simple it is.”

Gallegos beat the recall attempt 61% to 39%. At the time of the recall, Pacific Lumber was a major force in Humboldt County, employing nearly 900 workers and generating over $54 million in business activities.

In 1998 Pacific Lumber was cited for fourteen violations of state forestry laws.  A year later

Pacific Lumber agreed to the Headwaters Forest settlement in which it would sell 5,600 acres of land to the state as a public trust for $480 million. In return, the company would be allowed to log the remaining 211,000 acres, although it would have to follow a strict set of environmental restrictions. However, it was later discovered that the company had lied to state officials about the risk of cutting down trees on unstable slopes in order to make an additional profit of $40 million per year. Richard Wilson, the Department of Forestry’s director, stated that if h e had been given accurate information, he would not have sanctioned the company’s logging plan.

(As a side note, during peaceful protests of the Pacific Lumber at the company’s offices, on timber sites, and in Congressmember Frank Riggs’ office in 1997, officers from the Eureka Police Department and/or the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department applied pepper spray directly to the eyes of the civilly disobedient who were chained together in passive devices. Condemned by Amnesty International and several major newspapers, the action drew the ACLU into a lawsuit brought by the victims against Humboldt County, the county sheriff, city police, and sheriff’s deputies, and police officers; the 9th Circuit Court later ruled law enforcement personnel used excessive force, a violation the Fourth Amendment.  tl/dr: PALCO pretty much ran things in Humboldt until Gallegos was elected and the Headwaters Forest Defense case drew international attention.)

In 2003, a judge concurred with the Humboldt Watershed Council that Pacific Lumber had violated environmental regulations, but refused to penalize the corporation or even slow down its logging. Furthermore, the California Fish and Game Department did nothing to punish the company. But then Gallegos filed suit against Pacific Lumber for fraud, setting off the recall. The suit was dismissed in 2008, with the First District Court ruling that

“Pacific Lumber’s communications, whether fraudulent or not, fall squarely within the scope of the litigation privilege,” wrote Alameda County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Horner, sitting by assignment to the First District…Pacific Lumber’s lobbying is “a classic form of political expression” that is immune from liability under Noerr-Pennington.

Pacific Lumber has since filed for bankruptcy, something Skilled Health attempted; Gallegos negotiated a settlement with the nursing home giant, insuring that those harmed will benefit form the judgment and the company will stay in business, providing housing and care for the elderly and employment throughout the country.

Gallegos’s win enhances Kamala Harris’ victory for California Attorney General and Jerry Brown’s gubernatorial success, hopefully ushering in an era of civil and environmental rights in our state that will embrace a justice which is blind to the stature of those involved, seeking instead to defend truth, the environment, the populace, and the Constitution.

Canada: Lawyer Says “Anti-Polygamy Laws Unconstitutional”

Polygamy is heating up Canadian courts with an attorney for the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints arguing in British Columbia court that

Canada’s ban on polygamy is an unconstitutional law rooted in religion that persecutes the rights of the very women and children the government claims to protect.
After British Columbia abandoned its prosecution of two polygamous religious leaders from the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Bountiful, B.C., the  question of whether the ban on polygamy violates religious freedoms was referred to the court in Vancouver as a test case.

The court appointed veteran lawyer George Macintosh as an amicus to argue the unconstitutionality of the ban, which is supported by Canadian federal and provincial governments.

TSA Wants to Sniff My Pie

The TSA is trying to defuse the “Don’t touch my junk” aspect of travel with a cuddly holiday  reminder, letting us know what’s cool to travel with: Leave the snow-globes, cranberry relish, gravies and salsas behind, unless you’re carrying under 3 ounces. But pies are fine. Wait — whut? Pies are okay?!

What are they thinking!?  Pies could be made with Paxo, and I don’t mean the British stuffing mix, but rather the old school Troubles version, potassium chlorate and paraffin, which can react pretty violently with sugar, an item found quite commonly on airplanes.

And that aside, pies are usually secured in metal pie pans and foil. Heck, I wrapped my precious pie safely to prevent heinous radiation damage (yes, the little man in the boat wears a tin foil hat to travel), though I knew was risking a frisking. So I guess TSA will just have to take a deep whiff to make sure my pie is cherry, pumpkin.

Pope Bounces Pope’s New Rubber Rules: Condoms Aren’t So Sinful Afterall

Pope Benedict XVI just had a sexy new revelation from his God: Condoms are allowed during sex to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS. Of course, it’s still a sin to use them as birth control, but it’s a greater sin to pass HIV/AIDS.

The Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano on Saturday published excerpts from a new book form the Pope, Light of the World. Then in an interview with a German journalist, Ill Papa said

that in certain cases, such as for a male prostitute, condom use could be a first step in assuming moral responsibility for stemming the spread of the virus that causes AIDS. 

In the book, the Pope said that condom use to reduce the risk of infection is

a first assumption of responsibility.

This is kinda huge!

But questions arose the pope’s meaning; the Italian translation of the book used the feminine for prostitute, whereas the original German used the masculine term. Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi tried to clarify things for reporters, saying:

that he asked the pope whether he intended his comments to apply only to men. Benedict replied that it really didn’t matter, the important thing was that the person took into consideration the life of another. (emphasis mine. And my note: That is HUGE!)

“I personally asked the pope if there was a serious, important problem in the choice of the masculine over the feminine,” Lombardi said. “He told me no. The problem is this: … It’s the first step of taking responsibility, of taking into consideration the risk of the life of another with whom you have a relationship.”

“This is if you’re a man, a woman, or a transsexual. … The point is it’s a first step of taking responsibility, of avoiding passing a grave risk onto another,” Lombardi said.

Lombardi went on to say that the Pope emphasized the church’s main advice in the fight against HIV/AIDS is still the same: Sexual abstinence for those not married and fidelity among married couples. Lombardi then quoted Benny 16, saying that the Catholic Church does not regard condom use as a real or moral solution, adding:

With this, the pope isn’t reforming or changing the teaching of the church, but reaffirming it, putting it in the context of the value and the dignity of human sexuality as expression of love and responsibility.

LEAKS: Palin Family Suffers Slings and Arrows of Fame

Willow Palin uses terms the terms “gay ” and “faggot” in a derogatory way on Facebook. Tammy Bruce has a good excuse:

The ‘slur’ used here is one you could hear on the streets of West Hollywood or Chelsea every day of the week. Apparently, it’s only a ‘homophobic slur’ when it comes from the daughter of a conservative female leader.

Facepalm.jpg.

Bristol is still lead-footin’ her way into America’s heart as one of the final three on Dancing with the Stars which I guess shows the power of the people.

Meanwhile Sarah Palin herself is kinda upset because excerpts of her new book, an analysis of her  family and American culture, are hitting the internets.

Uh, see, that’s publicity. And when you sign a contract…

Speaking of contracts implied or otherwise, I wonder what will happen when one of the Palins is pulled aside for TSA screening. Here’s a clue from America by Heart:

This is my America, from my heart, and by my heart. I give it now to my children and grandchildren, and to yours, so they will always know what it was like in America when people were free.

She also REALLY likes Simon Cowell, writing that he could be:

a little harsh at times, but he upholds the highest standards, and something in us recognizes and responds to that.

Remind us of that next Monday when it’s time to vote on DWTS.

Late Night: Exclusive! First Celebrity Backscatter Scan! And Willow Drops the Fa***t Bomb on Facebook

It was only a matter of time before some celebrity’s Naked Airport Machine scan was saved by TSA and uh sent to the media, in this case me.  Guess which star is below the fold!

(more…)

Full Body Scan or Pat Down?

I am flying soon and am wondering which to do: The daring, racy and novel full body scan (X-rays=hot!) or the tried and true pat down (fun, if done correctly; otherwise, pesky and mild). I may try one flying out and the other on the way back, just to see which I like best since I have yet to experience the anticipated soothing brusqueness of a  homegrown TSA frisk.

I had some some pretty nice pat downs this summer in Europe while traveling. I don’t get all fussy over a pat down; they are so not a big deal. I mean, what does it say about us as a nation that we won’t let other Americans get paid to run their hands up and down our  thighs? Or perhaps we suspect that there are ulterior motives for security wanting to pat down Grandma and not Aunt Jenny.

I am still trying to figure out the issues behind the full the body scan aside from getting microwaved or macrofried or whatever. Could they see my tattoos? Do I care?

And like seriously, aside from the potential life-threatening, cellular-disrupting, DNA-damaging sizzle of  electrico-magnetic Kryptonitic theremin waves–or the concern that there might be some transporter beam glitch and you’d end up hanging with the Sleestaks or centaurs–why are people so upset at having their naked meat suits seen by total strangers? You’d think with reality shows, amateur porn, and people sending each other rather intimate images via text-tickles and twits (and getting medical body scans!), it’d be all like, “So what?”

Fear of the search must come down to Puritanical roots combined with the belief that our fellows will mock our defects. Alongside simmers the perverse hubristic  hope that they might also do something sticky with our X-rays.

How can we think so lowly of our fellow Americans?! Surely we all live by the Golden Rule of doing unto others as we would have done to us. And I like  Larry Flynt’s addendum:

Only do it first

Pastor Comes Out to His Mega-Church

Pastor James Swilley of Georgia-based mega church, Church of the Now, has come out to his congregation from the pulpit explaining that there were two things in his life he couldn’ t change, even if he wanted to: His calling from God and that he is gay. The suicide of Rutgers University student Tyler Clementi was the impetus fo rhim to discuss his orientation.

For some reason, his situation was kind of the tipping point with me. There comes a point in your life where you say – how much time do we have left in our lives? Are we going to be authentic or not?…At a certain point, you are who you are.

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