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 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.


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