Tuesday, July 29, 2014

CO Gay Marriage Battle still Rages: State Supreme Court orders Boulder to stop issuing Marriage Licenses





The Same-Sex marriage Battle is still raging in the courtrooms of Denver. In the latest action brought by Colorado AG John Suthers, aka, "Wrong-Side of History GOP John" (pro-purge 30,000 voters from the rolls in 2010 until ordered to add them back by the court; anti-legal marijuana; anti-gay marriage), to the Colorado Supreme Court, the Court issued an order to Hillary Hall, Clerk and Recorder of Boulder County, to, immediately, stop issuing marriage licenses to Same-Sex couples.


Colorado Attorney General, John Suthers


In his motion to the state's highest court, Suthers argues that Boulder County — the only county in Colorado currently issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples — is causing "statewide confusion and legal chaos."
"The attorney general recognizes that this is an extraordinary request, but there is no question that this is an extraordinary situation," Suthers wrote. "The question before this court is simple: Should a single county clerk issue same-sex marriage licenses before the federal constitutional question has been settled? No. Uniformity of Colorado law and basic fairness demand as such."
Over the past month, Suthers has tried, twice, to get Boulder District Judge Andrew Hartman to stop Hillary Hall from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples over the past month but the District Court had denied his motions on the matter.

Courtesy of the AP
Hillary Hall, Boulder County Clerk and Recorder

As reported here, on June 27, 2014, Boulder County's Clerk and Recorder Hillary Hall began issuing Marriage Licenses to same-sex couples immediately upon the decision issued by the Federal 10th Circuit Court striking down Utah's ban on same-sex marriage thereby opening the door towards full civil rights for all citizens under the US Constitution.

Over the course of the next few weeks, Denver, Adams and Pueblo counties joined Boulder in issuing licenses to same-sex couples.


As reported here, last week,  U.S. District Judge Raymond P. Moore, in Denver, declared Colorado's constitutional ban on same sex marriage unconstitutional.  With that declaration, he issued a stay on that decision until August 25, 2014, stating the stay is to allow time for the defendants in the case (Colorado's Governor John Hickenlooper, AG John Suthers, and Jefferson County Clerk and Recorder Pam Anderson) "... to seek a stay of the injunction from a higher court."

Today's action (found here) by the state Supreme Court was issued as the Court agreed to hear arguments in the continued fight over whether or not clerk and recorder offices can issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples before the U.S. Supreme Court decides the constitutionality of "gay marriage" bans.

In response the the Court's stay, Boulder County has stopped issuing same-sex marriage licenses.

Another day, another stay and another delay in Colorado's GLBT fight for Civil Rights for all.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Self Determination & Environmentalism bring out-of-state quackery & sleaze to Colorado: Environmental Policy Alliance





Photo courtesy of Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences,
CU Boulder, Quote courtesy of Nebraska Farm Bureau News,
February, 2010


Colorado:
courtesy http://www.smilingglobe.com/
Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes, CO

The Land of the Rockies...known for 14,000 ft. mountains, pine and aspen forests, high plains and high desert...once pristine.


Colorado now fracked:
2013 Gas/Fracking wells (red) and Oil wells (Green) in Colorado

The Land that the Oil and Gas industry is destroying - dirty air, toxic soil (as well as mudslides, earthquakes...) and polluted water...


A marketing photo from FrackingJobs.co



Colorado has been drilled and fracked to the point that cities and towns are finally saying "ENOUGH!"  Voters in Broomfield, Longmont, Fort Collins, Boulder, and Lafayette all brought fracking bans, within their city limits, to a vote and the measures won in four cities - Lafayette, Boulder, Longmont and Broomfield passed full bans; Ft Collins passed a five year ban on fracking, even after being threatened with a lawsuit by Governor John Hickenlooper (a governor who collected lots of campaign cash from the Oil and Gas industry in 2010 and now, again, in 2014) that pushed the city council to pass a resolution urging voters to reject the ban.

The Colorado Oil and Gas Assn. (COGA) isn't taking the civic action lightly.  They have  "The Hick" (Governor Hickenlooper), the Governor's Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (Governor "Hick", a geologist, originally, turned bar and brewery development king, appointed oil and gas cronies to the subject commission in an apparent repayment for energy industry campaign cash as well as put his face on the industry promos - commercials and ads), as well as many members of the State House in their pockets and they will not let them just hang around the Capitol bickering about magazine sizes for guns.  No, the Oil and Gas boys are pulling every last string, calling in every last marker and squeezing every last drop they can from their state government to assure the revolt doesn't last.

How dare the People believe they have a right to self-determination!  Especially when big bucks for oil and gas companies are at stake (and Governor Hick needs new oily greenbacks for his re-election campaign...but I digress).


Now the oily governor and his COGA friends plan to go after Ft. Collins.

Even with all their manipulations and machinations, those gas and oil giants are taking no chances - they have brought the big guns in from Washington for a media blitz....

Enter Environmental Policy Alliance - the brain[demon]child of Berman & Co. and their father, the bastard Prince of Darkness, Dr. Evil (as declared by CBS' "60 Minutes"), Richard (or as I call him, The Dick) Berman, CEO...

His first "Hit Piece" was placed on YouTube last month....





His latest hit this month on all Colorado TV channels...





The Environmental Policy Alliance launched the 60-second spot this month as a way to counter what it says are are false claims from "radical activists" about hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, an issue that has dominated Colorado's political landscape for almost two years.

But in hyper-educated Colorado — which ranks second in the nation per capita for the number of people with college degrees — will the ad backfire?

No, said Anastasia Swearingen, senior research analyst at the Environmental Policy Alliance.

"We're trying to bring attention to the fact that everyone from the Environmental Protection Agency to officials in the Obama administration to state regulators have all said fracking is safe," she said.

But political consultant Eric Sondermann called the ad a "very, very risky strategy" at this point.

"Ultimately, this is a battle for which side comes across more reasonable and middle-groundish, and I'm not sure this moves the ball forward for the people who sponsored the ad."


So who is Richard Berman and his Berman & Co. (also known by their various entities to include Center for Consumer Freedom, Center for Union Facts, American Beverage Institute, Center for Media and Democracy, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, Pro Musica Hebraica, OLO, Big Green Radicals, Environmental Policy Alliance, and others)?

Rachel Maddow reported on Rick Berman in 2009:




Next, let's look at Berman's website.  Not the main marketing, corporate website, but the second site, Berman Facts at https://www.bermanfacts.com/. - A website, like so many other corporate whoremonger's PR websites, established to counter and spin all the negative press over the past decade, specifically the work of Center for Media and Democracy's Sourcewatch.  "Berman Facts" claims that all that negative press about Berman & Co. is nothing more than  "misinformation" put out by dishonest people with an ax to grind - of course everyone is lying...it can't be that Berman & Co. does anything manipulative and outright unethical.

Berman and Company (BAC) is a Washington, D.C. communications firm that manages several free-market non-profits and a trade association and provides traditional advertising and public relation services to outside clients. The Center for Consumer (CCF), The Employment Policies Institute (EPI), The Center for Union Facts (CUF), the Enterprise Freedom Action Committee (EFAC) and The American Beverage Institute (ABI) are all non-profit organizations managed by BAC. These organizations have been mainstays in Washington for decades. EPI and ABI were both founded over 20 years ago and CCF has existed for close to 15 years. CUF and EFAC, the youngest of the Berman-managed non-profits, have been around since 2006 and 2007.

These organizations were founded to combat a tidal wave of anti-business, anti-free market Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’s) that advocate for a battery of laws, restrictions and regulations that attack personal freedom and entrepreneurialism.


Our detractors often erroneously refer to the organizations we manage as “shadowy front groups” on left-wing funded websites like Sourcewatch.com, a label that is occasionally repeated by those in the media too lazy or malicious to report anything other than what they find during a cursory Google search. These same reporters often refer to Rick Berman as a “tobacco lobbyist,” despite Rick not having worked on any tobacco-related policies in almost 15 years. And when he did, it was to defend smoking sections in restaurants on behalf of restaurant owners. Rick isn’t even a lobbyist.

It is misinformation like this that has become so pervasive online—and even in the so-called mainstream press—that we felt compelled to put the facts about BAC in one place where researchers and reporters would have easy access to the truth. Please take a look around BermanFacts.com. If you have questions about Rick or Berman and Company beyond what is presented here, please contact us at 202-463-7100.

Methinks they doth protest too much...

Let's see what that evil and "pervasive" "misinformation" is all about, shall we?

Center for Media and Democracy


The Environmental Policy Alliance is a front group operated by the PR firm Berman & Co. Berman & Co. operates a network of dozens of front groups, attack-dog web sites, and alleged think tanks that work to counteract minimum wage campaigns, keep wages low for restaurant workers, and to block legislation on food safety, secondhand cigarette smoke, drunk driving, and more.
The Environmental Policy Alliance describes itself as "devoted to uncovering the funding and hidden agendas behind environmental activist groups and exploring the intersection between activists and government agencies." It is a project of the Center for Organizational Research and Education and consists of four sub-front groups, including Big Green Radicals, EPA Facts, Green Decoys, and LEED Exposed.[1 Environmental Policy Alliance, "Home Page," corporate website, accessed February 20, 2014]
According to Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, the Environmental Policy Alliance "attacks environmental advocacy groups and fights against environmental regulation by the government."[2 Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, Berman Exposed, BermanExposed.org, accessed June 12, 2014]
The organization shares a mailing address with notorious lobbyist and front-group operator Richard Berman and his firm. Research analyst Anastasia Swearingen, who has published materials on behalf of the Environmental Policy Alliance and its projects, has previously worked for other Berman-associated organizations Center for Consumer Freedom and the American Beverage Institute and is a Berman & Co. employee.[3 Anastasia Swearingen, Mis-LEED-ing green buildings, USA Today, March 12, 2014]

And concerning Big Green Radicals created just for Colorado Fracking... (more like We-Don't -Give-a-Damn-About-Anything-But-Love-Oily-Money-So-We-Are-Going-To-Spread-Industry-Lies-For-Quick-Cash[dot]CON)...
In May 2014, Big Green Radicals launched a PR campaign against various Colorado groups seeking to block fracking in the state, calling it "ground zero" in the fracking debate. BGR sought to define the groups -- including the Colorado branches of Food & Water Watch, Water Defense, and Sierra Club, as well as Americans Against Fracking and Artists Against Fracking -- as astroturf organizations, groups that claim to be grassroots but are really primarily created by special interests.[5 Environmental Policy Alliance, Big Green Radicals Colorado page, BigGreenRadicals.com, accessed June 12, 2014]
Big Green Radicals further asserted that these "extreme groups, mostly based far from Colorado in San Francisco, New York, or Washington D.C., are spending millions and spreading their anti-science message to scare voters into approving ballot measures in November to send the oil and gas industry (and the jobs and affordable energy it provides) packing from the Centennial State."[5 Environmental Policy Alliance, Big Green Radicals Colorado page, BigGreenRadicals.com, accessed June 12, 2014]
In addition to its attack on these anti-fracking groups, BGR rebuked Colorado Congressman Jared Polis as the "poster boy" for the anti-fracking movement.[5 Environmental Policy Alliance, Big Green Radicals Colorado page, BigGreenRadicals.com, accessed June 12, 2014]

We, the People, of Colorado should feel honored!  We have Berman & Co. pouring money into our economy in order to help bilk us out of our state!  Aren't we special?

Bad enough that we have corporate media bending over for the COGA; a governor owned by COGA; an Oil and Gas Conservation Commission that only cares about conserving COGA instead of the environment that COGA goes all out on destroying; and a State House that rolls over whenever COGA barks...

Now we have Berman & Co. filling the remaining space to create a 24/7 pro-industry propaganda rattle and hum.

So it goes, proving once again, the religion of America is not Christianity as the nutjobs in Congress and on RW airwaves would try to have us believe...The religion of America is Consumption and his Big Bro, Destruction - And one of the major "Profits" [sic], Rick "the Dick" Berman.

Ending with the Rock's (aka, Rock Cosmos - old man, significant other and all around life partner to the Cosmic Surfer) favorite admonition:

Money is GOD!  
Let's drill from the Arctic to the tropics, all around the planet; obliterate mountains, valleys, deserts, grasslands, oceans, lakes, rivers, and streams; cut down the last tree to build the last McMansion to sell to the last billionaire so we can make the last payment on the last SUV to come off the last assembly line....
Party's over - no need to turn off the lights, they will go out on their own.
It was a hell of a ride, wasn't it?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Federal Judge in Denver overturns Colorado's Gay Marriage Ban!



As reported by ThinkProgress in the last hour,  U.S. District Judge Raymond P. Moore has declared Colorado's constitutional ban on same sex marriage unconstitutional.

The latest is just another step towards legal marriage for same sex couples in Colorado.

As reported here on July 10, 2014, and here on June 27, 2014, John Suthers, Colorado's Attorney General, has been firmly entrenched on the wrong side of history.

Colorado AG John Suthers

On June 27, 2014, Boulder County's Clerk and Recorder Hillary Hall began issuing Marriage Licenses to same-sex couples immediately upon the decision issued by the Federal 10th Circuit Court striking down Utah's ban on same-sex marriage thereby opening the door towards full civil rights for all citizens under the US Constitution.  Since that date, Denver, Adams and Pueblo counties joined Boulder in issuing licenses to same-sex couples.

The US 10th Circuit Court, immediately, issued a "stay" on their June 27th decision in order to hold the matter until it could be reviewed by the US Supreme Court (a SCOTUS with 5 fully entrenched radically right wing male justices in the majority).

AG Suthers has been attempting to force the clerk and recorders offices in Boulder, Adams, Denver and Pueblo Counties to cease and desist their practice of issuing same-sex licenses in state courts.  The AG's office holds the position that the 2006 Amendment to the Colorado Constitution banning Same-Sex Marriage is still in effect and the clerk and recorders are in violation of the ban.  On July 18, 2014, the Colorado Supreme Court ordered  Adams and Denver counties to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples but did not address either Boulder or Pueblo Counties in its ruling.


On July 23, 2014, the US District Court heard a suit brought by same-sex couples challenging the Colorado Constitutional Amendment banning same-sex marriage.   Justice Raymond P. Moore's ruling, today, states that the Colorado ban is unconstitutional.

The Justice issuing today's decision has issued a stay on that decision until August 25, 2014, stating the stay is to allow time for the defendants in the case (Colorado's Governor John Hickenlooper, AG John Suthers, and Jefferson County Clerk and Recorder Pam Anderson) "... to seek a stay of the injunction from a higher court."


Stay tuned....

And keep the popcorn warm...

Colorado may be brought kicking and screaming into the 21st century just yet (and Civil Rights might just be taken out of the hands of the state and actually allowed to be, as intended, for everyone)

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Snowden: NSA Spies Share 'Sexually Compromising' Photos (and we are surprised that contractors who spy for profit are pigs?)

Snowden: NSA Spies Share 'Sexually Compromising' Photos



Friday, July 11, 2014

When Independence for one means slaughter, displacement and destruction for another

An eye on Palestine



There is a growing sentiment towards the plight of Palestinians. Yes, there are extremists and idiots on both sides; yes there is a lot of negative influence over the region exacerbating the strife and feeding the anger (the US included as well as US based evangelicals who want a war to lead to building of the 3rd Temple that would "result" in the "2nd coming") - but history (not just the cherry-picked "facts" promoted by one side over another; by ally over "enemy"; by victor over defeated) has a way of coming to the foreground if we allow it.

The problems in the middle east are not just because a few people shoot rockets at each other. They have been brewed from a simmering pot of anger, fear, pain and suffering on all sides.

Understanding history can prevent future stupidity if we only pay attention.

Sadly, most of us have the memory and curiosity of a gnat...

Some history of the region through the suffering of Palestinians.......al Nakba:



Pro Publica: U.S. Taxpayers Are Subsidizing Defense of Alleged Killers of Palestinian Teen

U.S. Taxpayers Are Subsidizing Defense of Alleged Killers of Palestinian Teen



Thursday, July 10, 2014

Colorado District Court strikes Ban on Same-Sex Marriage then WUSSES out

Photo via Channel 9 News - Colorado KUSA




As reported here, on June 27, 2013, Boulder County's Clerk and Recorder Hillary Hall began issuing Marriage Licenses to same-sex couples immediately upon the decision issued by the Federal 10th Circuit Court striking down Utah's ban on same-sex marriage thereby opening the door towards full civil rights for all citizens under the US Constitution.

The US 10th Circuit Court issued a "stay" on that decision in order to hold the matter until it could be reviewed by the US Supreme Court (a SCOTUS with 5 fully entrenched radically right wing male justices in the majority.  Maybe all members of the GLBT community should incorporate than they might turn one or two of the SCOTUS radicals to the light side from the dark) then, immediately issued a stay in that decision because ...well, maybe civil rights for all might break out in Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico (as well as those portions of the Yellowstone National Park extending into Montana and Idaho... but I digress)


Unfortunately, the court chose to remain firmly entrenched in waffle mode by issuing an immediate "stay" in that decision.

That's right, after 49 pages of ruminating legalese, the court refuses to act on the "courage" of its conviction.

WTF?

Article XIV
1: All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
.......

.....wasn't to be part of the US Constitution   -  a mere clerical error, gone unnoticed, for over 200 years...


Who knows what would happen if the Courts ever actually took a definitive stand to enforce the US Constitution?

Mayhem might ensue - people of all shapes and sizes, races, colors, ages, faiths or non-faiths, economic level, sexual preference, gender, and ability might actually enjoy "... Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity."

No, we can't have that!  After all, people might get all uppity and start living "the dream" of equality.


Sunday, July 6, 2014

Scamming America (and the planet): NSA sweeps up more personal info on the innocent than anyone else, America, WTF?



Those with Snowden Derangement Syndrome, you can skip this post or increase your Haldol today.

As reported by The Washington Post, yesterday, (What, what, what?!?!! No Glenn Greenwald!?!?! Yeah, not Greenwald - one of the other reporters trusted with the documents.. So sorry to kill the angst-buzz)..

"Ordinary Internet users, American and non-American alike, far outnumber legally targeted foreigners in the communications intercepted by the National Security Agency from U.S. digital networks, according to a four-month investigation by The Washington Post.

Nine of 10 account holders found in a large cache of intercepted conversations, which former NSA contractor Edward Snowden provided in full to The Post, were not the intended surveillance targets but were caught in a net the agency had cast for somebody else."

Well, WTF are you worried about? If you haven't done anything wrong, who cares?

I care - most people care when it actually happens to them..
And everyone should care.

The NSA is rogue and has become so under the complete knowledge and approval of the Pentagon , Congress and the White House. The FISA Court was set up as a secret approval system for spying, stalking, harassing and attacks on personal freedom and civil rights of everyone not them or their handlers.

That means 95% of the planet.

Just how rogue are they? That's something we may never know under the current transparent and accountable president, just like we didn't under his predecessor. and it's doubtful we will under any future imperial president if the Wall Street owned Democrat-GOP-Libertarian Party has anything to do with the election.

After all, power, control and big money are at stake - the scamming of America and the rest of the planet must continue in order to keep power and control in the hands of power whores.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Turn on, tune in, drop out - The iconic Stephen Gaskin dies leaving The Farm and a movement as his legacy

photo by Sanford Pass, Highland Park NJ USA



Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
I’m not sleepy and there is no place I’m going to
Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come followin’ you

Though I know that evenin’s empire has returned into sand
Vanished from my hand
Left me blindly here to stand but still not sleeping
My weariness amazes me, I’m branded on my feet
I have no one to meet
And the ancient empty street’s too dead for dreaming

Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
I’m not sleepy and there is no place I’m going to
Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come followin’ you

Take me on a trip upon your magic swirlin’ ship
My senses have been stripped, my hands can’t feel to grip
My toes too numb to step
Wait only for my boot heels to be wanderin’
I’m ready to go anywhere, I’m ready for to fade
Into my own parade, cast your dancing spell my way
I promise to go under it

Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
I’m not sleepy and there is no place I’m going to
Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come followin’ you

Though you might hear laughin’, spinnin’, swingin’ madly across the sun
It’s not aimed at anyone, it’s just escapin’ on the run
And but for the sky there are no fences facin’
And if you hear vague traces of skippin’ reels of rhyme
To your tambourine in time, it’s just a ragged clown behind
I wouldn’t pay it any mind
It’s just a shadow you’re seein’ that he’s chasing

Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
I’m not sleepy and there is no place I’m going to
Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come followin’ you

Then take me disappearin’ through the smoke rings of my mind
Down the foggy ruins of time, far past the frozen leaves
The haunted, frightened trees, out to the windy beach
Far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow
Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free
Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands
With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves
Let me forget about today until tomorrow

Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
I’m not sleepy and there is no place I’m going to
Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come followin’ you
~ Bob Dylan
Mr. Tambourine Man
Copyright © 1964, 1965 by Warner Bros. Inc.; renewed 1992, 1993 by Special Rider Music



The miracle is not that you can't knock me down[;] my miracle is that I know how to get up. And I can teach you how to get up.
—Stephen Gaskin





Stephen Gaskin was the Guru of a revolution - not the pitchforks sharpened and brandished with angry violence in the streets kind of revolution (though he had been known to brandish a pitchfork, spade, scythe and other tools of a man working with and on the land).  Gaskin was the Guru of a new kind of revolution - one of the true socialist kind - returning to the land, building a commune, feeding the people and expanding the idea throughout the world.

Stephen Gaskin was a real Hippie - not the modern day term used by poseurs and wanna-bes, nor the epithet used by the willfully ignorant and arrogant (though, I am quite certain, he heard the term spat with vile disdain by those who just didn't get it or who were so very threatened by his ideas).  Gaskin was a true hero of the counterculture that sprung from the toxicity of fear and angst - Cold Warring, nuclear bombing, duck and covering, greed and hubris exploding in America post WW II.  Rejecting that fear and angst, a  new/old culture was re-born - a culture sewn with the hope and dreams of re-learning, re-teaching, re-living, re-creating -  low tech, hard work and high reward.... Righteous Right Livelihood.

From the beginning, Stephen Gaskin was special.  An ex-Marine - a veteran of the US war on Korea - moving to the Haight and coming into his own.  He taught writing at San Francisco State College and there his "Monday Night Class" began - a place for rapping, thinking, creating and building a concept that birthed a movement back to the land.

Stephen Gaskin leads the Monday Night Class at the Family Dog in 1970
[Gerald Wheeler]

By 1970, a ragtag group of true believers took off in painted buses, step vans and old bread trucks.  The Caravan - tripping and dancing through the country from San Francisco to Tennessee.


The Farm was born out of the hardship of labor - a new re-birth in honor of the Great Mother - The Earth.


"After a lengthy search, a down payment was made on a 1000 acre former cattle ranch in middle Tennessee. It was called, “The Farm.”  In the beginning there was one house, a couple of barns. Buses were driven and pulled into the woods, down the old logging roads, and people settled in to build a new life."  Farm Community History - The Early Years



From Manhood in the Age of Aquarius: Masculinity in Two Countercultural Communities, 1965–83, by Tim Hodgdon:

As the decade of the 1970s neared its conclusion, Stephen Gaskin, spiritual teacher to a Tennessee commune of more than a thousand residents, put the finishing touches on Haight-Ashbury Flashbacks, a book that recounted some of his most memorable experiences as an acidhead in the Haight-Ashbury. He recalled how he and his peers had had to improvise the LSD subculture of the mid-1960s while trying to make sense of the overwhelming LSD experience: we, today, might liken the process of creating social rules for using acid to traversing the metaphorical "new speedway" of a Grateful Dead song, which described a highway that lacked markings of any kind, and rules of the road as well.

On this unmarked highway, Gaskin took many wrong turns. At first LSD produced for him only pleasant, interesting sensations. His twenty-sixth acid trip, however, truly blew his mind, shaking the foundations of his identity. "My consciousness," he later wrote, "was reduced to zilch, zero, and I crawled back up many times, caught myself putting it back together wrong and kicked it down again, and didn't accept one until I found a direction of growth I . . . could live with." Neither he nor his friends had expected to become convinced of the literal existence of a metaphysical dimension of reality, which they often called God. But his use of terms like astral plane signals immediately that he and his companions did not become conventional Christians. They plunged into an informal study of comparative mysticism, searching the world's religious traditions for the tools that might put tripping into perspective. This was a first step in Gaskin's development of a syncretic but mostly Buddhist spirituality that seemed, to these psychedelic travelers, to reveal the possibility of human transcendence of conflict—war, racism, poverty, and even the battle of the sexes. They dedicated themselves to developing a spiritual discipline that might steer all humanity toward peace through spiritual enlightenment.

By choosing to interpret their LSD experiences as revelations of profound spiritual truth, Gaskin and his followers rejected the Hegelian materialism of the New Left. Inequality, violence, and the degradation of the natural environment certainly required, in their view, a radical response—but these were problems primarily of human consciousness, not material structure. In a 1970 interview, Gaskin argued that "we don't have to change the material plane around. That's just moving the furniture—you change people's heads and you can do all of that. . . . So that's why I'm not political—politics is about changing the system. I'm about changing people."


From High Times:




Stephen Gaskin - guru, father, brother, son; one of the planet and one with the planet - returned to star dust,  July 1, 2014.



 "I'm a teacher, not a leader. If you lose your leader, you're leaderless and lost, but if you lose your teacher there's a chance that he taught you something and you can navigate on your own."
~ Stephen Gaskin

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Fight For Our Future: What is the Internet? Time to Reset The Net


Fight for the Future is dedicated to protecting and expanding the Internet's transformative power in our lives by creating civic campaigns that are engaging for millions of people. Alongside internet users everywhere we beat back attempts to limit our basic rights and freedoms, and empower people to demand technology (and policy) that serves their interests. Activating the internet for the public good can only lead to a more vibrant and awesome world. More coming soon.

Action - Reset the Net:




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