Personal Liberty Issue Update: Chuck Norris – Kicking Ass for Freedom

While supporters of same-sex marriage are still glowing over the decision that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional, the gay rights movement has tasted both victory and defeat concerning the military's Don't Ask Don't Tell policy. As the mid-term election nears in California, the campaign to legalize marijuana is gaining steam and even has former Reagan administration members changing their tune from Just Say No to Just Say Now. Oh yeah, and Chuck Norris is going to kick your ass if you don't vote in those midterm elections.

  • Unlike HeadCount volunteers, Chuck Norris doesn't ask if you're registered to vote. He threatens you with a karate chop. And to draw attention to 2nd Amendment issues and the concerns of gun owners around the nation, Chuck and rocker Ted Nugent have teamed up with the National Rifle Association for Trigger the Vote, a Get Out the Vote effort aimed at getting gun owners and enthusiasts to the polls.
  • Hot on the heels of the decision to repeal Proposition 8 in California, Senate Democrats fell short of mustering the 60 votes needed to move legislation repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", the law that prevents gays from openly serving in the military, out of the Senate. Senate Republicans blocked debate on the bill with the threat of filibuster by Sen. John McCain, even though the bill also would have authorized $726 billion in defense spending. The move was election politicking at it's finest, stalling the possibility of DADT repeal until after the midterm election during the lame-duck session of Congress. Some feel that despite this outcome, like a ban on gay marriage before it, "DADT is on its last unconstitutional leg."  -- Lady Gaga went to Maine just before the vote hoping to sway the support of Maine's Republican Senators Susan Collins or Olympia Snowe to no avail.  Repeal supporters are furious over the White House's lack of action despite President Obama's promise to fully repeal DADT.
  • Many eyes are on California's Proposition 19, which would legalize recreational marijuana use for adults over 21. It's currently polling at about 50% support and if the initiative passes on November 2, it will be the first state in the U.S. to ever legalize and allow for sale and taxation of cannabis. While Prop 19 has drawn opposition from politicians like Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who serves as co-chair of the No on 19 campaign, it has been endorsed by the California NAACP, California Young Democrats, and the SEIU.
  • Just Say Now, a campaign calling on President Obama to end marijuana prohibition, was launched by the political blog Firedoglake in partnership with Students for Sensible Drug Policy. The group started a petition to the President and is mobilizing a large Get Out the Vote drive to support marijuana reform efforts on the ballot in states like California, Arizona, South Dakota and Oregon. Opponents of Just Say Now are calling it a distasteful twist on the Nancy Reagan's infamous Just Say No campaign, despite the fact that the Just Say Now advisory board features two members of the Reagan administration.
  • Social media giant Facebook pulled ads run by Just Say Now that promoted Prop. 19 because of the image of a marijuana leaf (after the ads ran over 30 million times). That's funny when it turns out that the Yes on 19 Facebook page has more fans than any politician in California. Then things got hilarious when Conde Nast, the parent company of social news site Reddit, told Reddit admins it "didn't want to benefit financially" from running ads in favor of marijuana legalization. That didn't stop Reddit from running the ads though; they just ran them for free instead! Google, on the other hand, had no problem running the pro legalization ads.

Feeling liberated? I hope so.