Monday, June 18, 2018

Our Internet Today... and Yesterday

Nuts. I'm not 100% loving Facebook, but it's nice nationally and internationally to have a platform from which to easily and at least somewhat usefully do so. To do what? All that Facebook kind of stuff. Obviously.
Graphic from ITPulse
I started on the internet back in the late 80s.

I was involved in it, took classes in it, worked in IT (Internet, intranet technologies and...information technologies) in a variety of ways, jobs, levels and orientations.

It's amazing to see how far we've come. For that matter, how far I've come, as I've retired from IT and now am a full time author and filmmaker with at least ons screenplay in hopefully the right hands in Hollywood.

I even wrote a short sci fi story about America, the internet and media titled, In Memory, Yet Crystal Clear. It is recently available as of June 2018 as an audiobook as well as ebook. It was my first fiction sold to a horror quarterly back in 1990 and is the first story in my book of my older sci fi and horror fiction, Anthology of Evil. I have a sequel coming out of my newer writings, many of which have been published in magazines or anthologies with other authors.

Graphic from Zcorum

This Internet today is simply not what we wanted, in what we're seeing today. Like the Internet of things. Though it has surpassed the imagination of what many of us has conceived. We had wanted an internet free for everyone, where information was free to all... and open.

Much has even disappeared from online, or has become a fee based access situation. Overall, the Internet has benefited us all, if only we can get back some of our original orientation, if only we could counter some of the for profit issues and get back to the betterment of humanity.

At first for us it was, "information is free!" It should be Free! "The Internet is for Humanity!" Not big money! Not big business. Certainly not for Russia to alter our national elections!

Back in the 80s, if someone tried to sell something in the newsgroups back then in the beginning, or the middle, the late 80s, where we had mostly text based newsgroups, FTP, Telnet, Gopher, whatever text based stuff, they were crushed. Ostracized.

When the graphical internet, the World Wide Web, WWW, what came to be known as the internet as the dark parts sunk into the dark web...money started creeping its way in. A few of us pushed to keep it out until (I for one) realized that it was far bigger than us and far too powerful (money's like that) and that it could serve a good purpose. But then would obviously take a darker course. Simply because...it's inevitable.

Eventually I got it, as did others, but it worried me\us.

 I learned, I got educated about it, I took many classes. I worked in IT. First as a technical writer, then deeper and deeper into the mechanics of it all. Which led as it has to, to security. Something I'd been into before at a more physical level.

Graphic from Latest Internet News
I had stumbled into something awesome. Something that led to Internet security people and police as well as intelligence people at all levels and the government. Something I was headed into before. The great Soviet had died but that education and those skills were all still relevant.

Now here we are. We need a place for everyone to use. Not fractured, but cohesively. Not to polarize, but to feel to feed ourselves intellectually and other ways. To share with like, but also unlike minds.

We need this. It protects us. It also attacks us. Sometimes from those we elect or pay to protect us. Openness, transparency. THAT protects us. That and being able to share and openly so.

I don't care if it's Facebook or not. Or as I proposed in my above mentioned story, In Memory, Yet Crystal Clear, where the United Nations builds its own "Facebook" social media platform. Using experts from around the world to build it, all the best minds. It replaces Facebook. Everyone the world over uses it.

Photo from Daily Maverick
So that when any dictator or government shuts its people off from it, the UN pays attention, and immediately sends in moderators, "blue hats", to protect the people and stop more abuse as we've seen so much through the end of the last century and the beginning of this new one.

It became what it could become, as with Facebook or Twitter in the Arab Spring, or other national travesties. I had done my best back in 2011 to support that movement in Egypt and some did use my blog back then for updates to information their government was trying hard to keep them from. It was a hopeful time, that devolved into mediocrity, much as America has with the election of Donald Trump as president.

Before Facebook it was MySpace, which has changed into a music platform. Before that, there were others. Before that there were the BBSs, the Bulletin Board Systems you used a modem to dial your phone and PC up to.

Before that...well, it's been around for a while. This ability to communicate world wide. In the late 1960s when I was in jr. high and had a radiotelegraph license and could run a ham radio. I talked to other countries and wrote it all down as is normal procedure for hamm operations.

Before that it was telephones and before that, the telegraph. Although that technology was by a select few of trained and paid individuals, a kind of subculture grew up around it and telegraph stations across the nation. There are even very interesting books on that culture.

But we don't do that anymore. Though, we kind of do. Don't we? Everything now is recorded and saved, somewhere. And, we need that. For history, for our protection. For our coming together. For humanity growing closer, rather than continuing to take advantage of those less knowledgeable, less powerful, less whatever. But we're seeing humanity growing more apart. Why? We need to work on that, and turn things around, to be sure.

In that way we can make those others and ourselves, more than. Not less. Because as we're seeing, too many are trying to make us all, less than we can be. I'd really prefer to be more, for us ALL to be more than we are. Even if I don't always win. Even if I don't become rich. Even if I can't, have everything.
Graphic from WordlessTech
Just enough really is enough. That alone, would make me happy. For us all to better ourselves and come together. To be more informed, more aware, more proactive. More caring for all others as well as ourselves.

Especially if those around me, are happy too.

Monday, June 11, 2018

In Memory, Yet Crystal Clear, A New Audiobook

It is finally UP and Available to the public on Amazon, Audible and iTunes:

Original artwork by Marvin Hayes
In Memory, Yet Crystal Clear. The title, an homage to science fiction writer Isaac Asimov's 1979 first autobiography which I found so affective and orienting to me as a writer, In Memory Yet Green.

My story is a tale of how a dystopian society comes to be through the efforts on a single man who takes over much of America's thinking through his managing their daily feed of information.

Sound familiar? Seem a bit too real? A bit too much like today? It is. But this is a reality we can easily escape, simply by finishing listening to or reading the story.

From the Amazon description:

A short story about a world reminiscent of a Philip K.Dick story since the 2016 US Presidential election, or this story here where a world famous surgeon helps his missing son's best friend. Only to find that his actions lead to monumental changes in the United States and as well around the world. All in ways he would never have foreseen.

I wrote this story in the 1980s and eventually saw it sold to an east coast horror quarterly magazine. It became my first published short sci fi horror fiction in 1990. Then in 2012 it became the first story in my first book Anthology of Evil (to which I'm currently shopping to publishers its sequel, Anthology of Evil II). That first book of mine is a collection of my original older short sci fi and horror, including its ending novella (Andrew) that evolved through one other short short story (Perception) into my second book, DEATH OF HEAVEN.

In 2013 I had produced and narrated three audiobooks on my own. The Conqueror Worm (first and standalone short horror which opens my DEATH OF HEAVEN book), The Mea Culpa Document of London (also in Anthology of Evil), and Expedition of the Arcturus (the title an homage to the 1920 book,  Voyage to Arcturus, by Scottish author David Lindsay) and was first published in the hard sci fi free online magazine PerihelionSF.com (thanks there to publisher Sam Bellotto).

I am now putting out audiobooks with friend and professional voice actor Tom Remick in a collaboration we are both finding rewarding and just fun to do. Here is a short video intro to Tom's work. We have since changed our equipment and recording setup for the current audiobook, In Memory, Yet Crystal Clear.

Next up... first, I am narrating my most popular piece, a science fact article I've renamed, On Psychology. It details the history of psychology, proposes new research on synesthesia and schizophrenia and offers some perspective on today\s related political environment.

We already have audio tracks for the next story recorded for Mr. Pakool's Spice, a short story about a single father trying to get his two young kids to safety through the back winter woods of Oregon during a zombie apocalypse. With no food, barely surviving, and with of all people an international terrorist hot on their tail. It's a well drawn and heart wrenching tale.

Included with that story in the ebook and now audiobook is the short short story, The Regent's Daughter, a medieval tale which won Best Tension, in a short short story contest among a group of writers.

After that we will be recording the engrossing and tense sci fi horror story, EarVu about a new and frightening technology. It seems like a fun technology... at first. Then the several scientists who developed it find strange things happening around their top secret lab.

Tom and I are having a great time. Producing audiobooks is not easy and takes a lot of work which we hope genre fans and others, will appreciate. It's especially rewarding for me as some of these stories I wrote a very long ago. My older ones even going back to my university days in the early 1980s.

Having read and re read them so many times during the crafting process, over the years and then to hear a talented voice actor read them, to bring them alive, brings another level entirely to these stories. Some of which I have now updated to be more relevant to today's sensibilities. And in some cases as with this current audiobook, our present reality has only enhanced the intensity of the story.

So many authors have said their stories are in a way, like children to them. This experience has been like my stories have gone from high school to college and who knows, perhaps one day they will achieve professional status to become produced on film. Part of the reason I retired in 2016, buying film production equipment and restarting up my LGN Productions (AKA Last good Nerve Productions, started in 1993) company was to produce my stories in new formats.

But until that happens these stories are available as print, ebook and now audiobooks as we produce more and more of my stories. Please take a look and a listen. I think you'll be very pleased with the result we have culled out of them in bringing new life to them as audiobooks. If you do like what you hear and read in my stories, please do share with friends and feel free to post your reviews. I look forward to seeing what you think.

All the best and do... keep reading and listening!

From the ever beautiful American Pacific Northwest... JZ Murdock.

Slainte!


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Monday, June 4, 2018

Cannabis As A Legal Intoxicant

I'd like to clear something up about Cannabis, pot, weed, ganja, or whatever you like to call it.

I may come across as a die hard activist about it, but actually I don't think anyone should do drugs if they can avoid them. Meds, obviously are another issue. The concept of using medical pot for recreation has always been a bastardization of it, something our government should hang their heads in shame over the need for that to have come about. That has nothing to do with the actual need for medical pot. I'm talking only recreational use.

I just don't think people should be abused as we have, through prohibition (and alcohol in my view is as bad as cocaine and just or nearly, as dangerous). Unlike most of those against all this, I learned to have my opinion through research and experience, not just having a jaded opinion as many who are against it.

There has also been more interest by the public in drugs after our government has lied to use for so many decades about them. There are now doctors, scientists and journalists talking about drugs and the real information about them. Therefore there is also more interest in hallucinogens.

People like Michael Pollan with his book, How to Change your Mind - What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence,.discusses this. At the writing of this here, I'm still waiting for the audiobook to hit retail.

I go in depth about this myself in my latest audiobook, On Psychology. It should be available any day now on Amazon, iTunes and Audible.com. See the addendum at the end of that article about the history and systems of psychology and study of synesthesia and schizophrenia. It's a fascinating article. Even if I do say so myself. And I explain in it what that is so and how I know that to be true.

I don't say this in my psychology article but I'll mention it here. I do mention drugs like LSD in the article and audiobook, however. Years ago I was in a job I couldn't quit, couldn't get away from and had it for several years. It was stressful and difficult to go back day after day until finally I had ran out my condition of employment. It allowed me to get my degree eventually in psychology from a university, so in the end, that was good. But it was a stressful few years.

I would use LSD over a weekend sometimes when I really needed to escape but couldn't. So that come that next Monday, I felt refreshed and recharged, like I had been on vacation for an entire week. I would also use it at times to kill off a bad habit, or one I wanted to change but kept failing to. I was drop (take) the acid (LSD) alone, concentrate on what I wanted through the experience and find that afterword, There is talk nowadays about microdosing LSD. Taking low doses on a daily basis. The word is out on that for now but they are beginning to research it.

And I Found that I had indeed changed that habit after a single acid trip. Now I'm not advocating this method for people, just saying that it worked for me. And I admit, I was unusual in my understanding of drugs and psychology, even before I got a degree in it. Yet, I didn't go crazy, didn't lose my job, didn't need medical attention, didn't harm anyone, not even myself, and it seemed to me to only be a benefit to me. And to be sure, in the 1950s it was actually used in therapeutic ways. But our government, out of fear and ignorance, as usual, had made it illegal because of the 1960s counterculture.

Weed in comparison to those other drugs is pretty harmless, in that it doesn't kill like the other drugs can that it's been inappropriately grouped with. Grouping pot with heroin and meth, is ridiculous and always has been. Cocaine and cannabis are not physically addictive. The issue there comes not in physical but emotional. They are not the same thing. But cocaine is vastly more dangerous that cannabis.

Yet there are dangers related to legalizing cannabis, now. And oddly enough, they have little to do with the substance itself.

The dangers come not in the substance but in big money as usual and through corporate mismanagement (also as usual), in trying to push a product on us more than is good for us. They will seek to sell us pot soda pop, pot everything, now. Anyway they can make a buck and addict us just as in tobacco.

Except, as stated above, weed isn't addictive in the same sense as heroin or alcohol.

But does that mean it should be illegal? No. We will go through a honeymoon period for a while and then slack off some as it becomes culturally normal and we acclimate to how to use and not abuse it. As we mature into it's national use as we did alcohol after prohibition, or as a human maturing into adulthood and make decisions of use or abuse.

Also, in over enhancing the weed itself to powerful medical levels, something that came from the underhanded way that decriminalizing it had to go, we have it more and more in a far more powerful than necessary form.

All because our government lied to us ever since the Nixon commission said it was safe and he  as president ignored that because of his own personal bias. Just as we're seeing now with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, whom even the man who appointed him as said, was a bad idea. This had led since Nixon to a war on (citizens, not) drugs (as it failed in waring on drugs), where we found ourselves eventually with a very powerful form of pot that never appeared in nature.

I would suggest to anyone wanting to use pot, to seek the weaker forms, to learn they don't need to consume as much now a days to get reasonably high, to imbibe with reason as you would (or should) alcohol.

The less often you use it, the less it can become normalized in your system. Use at little as possible to enhance life, to "take the edge off" and not make it a life in and of itself. In that form, it can be very useful as an adjunct to life and not an end all, be all. Rather than use it and do nothing, use it and do something, safely, and legally.

We simply need to act like responsible adults. The ability now to eat THC (or CBD) is healthier than smoking it. Using a bong or water pipe (even better as it doesn't burn the substance just as a vape does not), is healthier. Vaping the oil or other such substance is better too than smoking it due to the heated smoke, the particulates hitting the lung's alveoli.

Let's face it, drugs aren't for kids. But if my own pre adult kids (or as adults) were to use a drug, I'd far more prefer it be cannabis, than literally any of our other of the scarier prospects out there, including alcohol. Deaths to cannabis are nearly if not completely non existent. Death due to alcohol, domestic violence, drunk driving, weapons charges on booze, etc., are astounding. The more we can get people to replace alcohol use with cannabis, the better we'll all be.

And then, there is the tax situation. Robbing drug cartels of their mainstay, removing crime from cannabis use. This isn't rocket science and states with legal cannabis are proving this to extraordinary degree. Including my own state of Washington. Where we are also leading the way on serious drugs like heroin use in needle exchanges and safe injection and use locations.

This is America and I've always been stunned at how our government continues to try to make decisions for us, that we should be making ourselves...if America is such a great and free nation.

Let us see it. Let us decide. And stop abusing us for mere political gain.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Overhead Conversation in a Bar Near Biloxi, Mississippi

Conversation overheard in a bar near Biloxi, Mississippi:


A regular patron walks in and shouts:

"Happy GREAT Americans Day!"

First time visitor of another regular:

"Uh, what's that again?"

Regular loudly as he sits with a group of large friends:

"Just what they've been calling Martin Luther King's Day in Biloxi since the 80s is all."

"Since When again?"

"Well you know. It's also Robert E. Lee's birthday as well."

"Seriously? Doesn't the irony in that choke you at all? Besides, aren't their birthdays like four days apart."

"So?" Another: "What of it!?"

"Well?" Worried, "Uh, King's, is first?"

"So? Lee was born first!"

"Okay, fine," looking around at everyone staring him down, "I... surrender."

"About time the south won one." Cheers!


Thanks Tig Notaro for the initial idea.


Monday, May 28, 2018

US Attacked with Mind Control Weapons?

First off, today is Memorial Day. I was in the military myself years ago. It paid for my college and university degrees (thanks everyone!) And I know not all of us are that lucky and instead have massive college debt. But, that's another topic for another time (and one that needs to be addressed).
I have to say, having had an appreciation of the military before hand, after serving in the military, I had an even better understanding of it all.

Memorial Day is a day for reflection and appreciation of all those who have gone before us, died for us, for their beliefs in our country, and for all those who currently serve and are daily in harm's way. We thank you all!

That being said, with so many false narratives lately, postured patriotism and disingenuous partisanship, a word from our President...our FIRST President:


Now, for today's blog....

BEIJING — An American government employee posted in southern China has signs of possible brain injury after reporting disturbing sounds and sensations, the State Department said on Wednesday, in events that seemed to draw parallels with mysterious ailments that struck American diplomats in Cuba.- New York Times

What in the hell exactly is going on here?

If I had to guess with a gun to my head, I'd have to lean toward the plausibility of it being Putin yet again. Another Russian operation. It just fits the scenario we're seeing. Beginning in Cuba, moving to China. Russia has traditionally and historically had easy access to Cuba, to do things both with and without government knowledge.

So Cuba may be telling the truth about their ignorance and if it's Russia they may not have wanted to share or alert Cuban officials for obvious reasons.

In then doing this in Chian, Russia may feel they are thinning the argument against them. And as well, double bonus, sending a warning signal to China... and others.

Pretty slick if you think about it. But has a Donald Trump feel to it also, if you keep thinking about it. Not that he did it, but a dramatic mentality he might dream up. Along with a lack of associated ethical implications and considerations.

Of course we know about Chinese black hat hackers like China Eagle, funded by the Chinese military. But the Russians have been the biggest threat to us of late. Obviously they have been researching and applying that in operations against us. Well, in part it's what we do to one another. We have done some underhanded things to be sure, but Russia under Putin certainly, isn't constrained by the same considerations we are, do to the nature of our government. And perhaps, mindset? Maybe.

It may not even have been a weapon directed AT us, but a weapon, more ingenuously, using the components already in place, or perhaps, subtly added to.

Here's an article on that.

These types of weapons are no longer the purview of science fiction. Many of them are now science fact, with more are to come. Apparently some of those which the American government are developing came to light recently in accidentally disclosed documents through a FOIA (Freedom Of Information Act) request.

To anyone paying attention this isn't news, overall. Regardless, the specifics are indeed fascinating.


"Forced orgasm?" They could make a killing on that alone.Seriously, if some people would just get laid, they just might mellow out. I jest. Sort of. But others just need to get relax, smoke a joint, stop the alcohol or pills, or perhaps...simply have a drink.

Who knows, maybe they've discovered THE anti war weapons: Forced Orgasm. There are already several in popular and branded culture. The Orgasmatron. Cultural examples have been in various incarnations by name and otherwise. As in Barbarella, called the Excessive Machine, a famous scene in cinema. Or Woody Allen's Sleeper. And Motorhead's album of the same name.

I've experienced that transparent eyelid thing myself. It's weird, disconcerting when I'm trying to go to sleep. Too much mind, I think, as my Aikido Sensei liked to say. It's like a dream stare overtaking a waking state and you can "see" what you can't see.

I remember studying that in M. Merleau-Ponty's book Phenomenology of Perception in college toward my psychology degree. I taught it to my kids and have used the concept in my novella, Andrew.

Seeing things that aren't able to be seen and yet, you can see them, and so on. It's also useful for martial reasons. For instance, one can hit a target that can't be seen clearly with bullet, throwing knife (or dart) or arrow. I've done that many times. Initially to my great surprise. My college archery instructor taught it to us, though I'd already known about it for some time.

Some simply call it, Zen. I believe Zen in the Art of Archery may even discuss it. One tries to aim when the target CAN be seen and yet miss, but in using one's mind, it can be hit seemingly way too accurately.

I don't doubt that any of what's on that diagram is in research stages, though it doesn't mean they've already achieved it, fully. Or was it not an accidental release at all? As for thoughts, we're doing interesting research and products on that, but not in a direct way we'd expect. Rather in a roundabout way of achieving similar results and a little less exciting that it at first sounds.

Or, maybe they're just staring at goats again.

I'm glad we're researching these things though. I've been a proponent of non lethal weapons for years. We have GOT to stop relying so heavily upon firearms. Just as we have to do the same for internal combustion engines and using fossil fuels as sources of energy. They're anachronistic, archaic, and it's time to look to the future and put behind us our childish ways.

I'm not complaining here about other countries having these weapons. That was bound to happen. My concern is the same obvious concern anyone would have in hearing these news reports. Essentially terrorist tactics to harm people doing nothing overtly to harm those attacking them.

I understand for instance, general tactics of espionage. I get harassing foreign agents, especially in countries not of either combatant's. I also understand the concept, in place for hundreds of years  if not thousands, of leaving known agents in place to monitor and gleam intelligence from them, if not at times to also feed false intel to.

But to do damage to others, to those not directly in the field against your own agents, is unacceptable. People working in offices? Really?

Regardless, it seems pretty clear this is Russia.

It also seems pretty clear that both Russia AND America have problems with who their current leaders are. Both of which have been in office for far too long for the sanity and safety of either country, or the entire world.

Putin has been in power far too long at the detriment of his country and their reputations. Trump should never have been allowed anywhere near the White House and our reputation has been damaged in only a single year. That as well as regulations, protections, laws and issues of trust will take us years if not decades to rectify.

So many years of hard work, of people dying for our cause, have been damaged or destroyed by only one narcissist, one Russian Oligarch style man as our president, as POTUS. Term limits, if not special prosecutors, may be our saving grace. And luckily people around the world are aware we change presidents at least every two terms of four years ago. Our government overall is strong, weakened only recently by a defective nationalism mindset and populism run amuck.

We are living in interesting times. So pay attention.

Because what is happening during this period will be discussed and studied for many decades to come.


Monday, May 21, 2018

A Brief Word on Cannabis and Psychedelics

With due consideration to a variety of changes going on in this country, politically but also socially and medically, I thought it might be good to say a word about a certain drug (cannabis) and certain psychedelics.

Check out Nightline's Growing Promises, piece. As for those who would remark about the final scientist's comments about loving CBDs but hating THC.... I would then ask him to compare and contrast it to alcohol which is legal. Because I suspect, that he would rather have alcohol illegal and legalize cannabis for recreational use.

It's really all in the Gestalt of the information, not just the information by itself. That's something that far too many people have no clue or awareness of. Sadly.

Science is about finding truth in our physical reality. It is not to be about partisanship, tribalism, or beliefs over peer reviewed, repeatable and verifiable facts. So why do we base science oriented issues on emotions and politics? Especially when it damages our culture and citizens?

In that vein I feel I need to diverge from the internally organic (legal) to the organically derived and illegal. I came to this article in doing the audiobook for my psychology article (my degree is in psychology and writing) on synesthesia and schizophrenia where at the end I conjecture we could one day train ourselves to use natural abilities to hallucinate as entertainment.

Which we can now do with drugs in using caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, or cannabis, so called "magic" mushrooms and so on. Some of those legal are not that safe, some of those illegal ones, are.

Although the article focuses on the natural and organic, internal forms of doing what people have typically used chemicals or drugs to do, there has of late been an increasing amount of interest in the media about psychedelics. This is in part because of the increasing trend of states in America legalizing cannabis for recreational use.

Briefly, what was once called “marijuana”, mostly in order to vilify and associate it with its use by Mexican, Blacks and the poorer classes, should really now more reasonably be referred to using its proper name, cannabis. Thus shedding the historically negative racist baggage forced upon it by our national and local government and police.

This renewed interest now however is also because of a much more knowledgeable citizenry. This is due in part to the prevalence and evolution of today's media. But as well to the rise of our overall national level, if one can momentarily sidestep concerns of what has generally and sadly been referred to as this “post truth” world, of what we could nominally call, wisdom. That is, we are as a group wiser now than ever before in history.

Even though the news media calls into question just how wise we are anymore, people are in general more aware of what is going on now than ever before rather than just what we were once told to believe. I am sure that one day hopefully soon, we will all learn better how to more appropriately handle this awesome responsibility.

The trouble of late in our transition is an inability of so many, mostly on the political right, to be unable to tell the boundaries of reality and think that actual journalistic efforts are "fake news", and much that actually is fake news, is real news, actual journalism. Not the least for the efforts of those who are trying, like our president Donald Trump, to further their own agendas, at the expense of American citizens, for self aggrandizement and protection.

Reality always needs to trump opinion and lies.

Since as we have seen the government was apparently incorrect in so many of their professed fears about certain “recreational” drugs which they had so disingenuously sown into the fabric of our nation, our citizens are now reasonably beginning to wonder, and rightly to question.

For decades our government assiduously denigrated cannabis since the Nixon Administration first initiated their miscast "war on drugs," with the ensuing devastation it has perpetrated upon the American people. A devastation born mostly by our fellow citizens within our ethnic minorities. But also by every American tax payer.

The Shafer Commission formally known as the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse, was appointed by Republican U.S. President Richard Nixon in the early 1970s and concluded that:

"Neither the marihuana user nor the drug itself can be said to constitute a danger to public safety," concluded the report's authors, led by then-Gov. Raymond Shafer of Pennsylvania. "Therefore, the Commission recommends ... [the] possession of marijuana for personal use no longer be an offense, [and that the] casual distribution of small amounts of marihuana for no remuneration, or insignificant remuneration no longer be an offense."
What happened was the Nixon commission recommended legalizing marijuana and Nixon completely ignored his own commission's rational and factual assessment, plunging the nation into decades of waste and abuse.

Ever since ridiculously being labeled a dangerous drug, cannabis has been grouped in with such drugs as heroin and cocaine as a Schedule 1 drug. Reality, sanity and facts would include alcohol as it has many of the dangerous and descriptive elements of cocaine. LSD also does not belong listed as a Schedule 1 drug. The categorizing of cannabis and even LSD in this group are therefore political and not rational, factual medical considerations. It is a political boondoggle.

SCHEDULE 1 (CLASS I) DRUGS are illegal because they have high abuse potential, no medical use, and severe safety concerns; for example, narcotics such as Heroin,LSD, and cocaineMarijuana is also included as a Class 1 drug despite it being legal in some states and it being used as a medicinal drug in some states.
Even some of our most conservative leaders are now beginning not to see the mistake in keeping cannabis illegal when so many find it so reasonable, safe and useful. Useful both to themselves but also to our society at large.

If cannabis isn't as bad as we were told, people now wonder, what about other drugs? Truth be told we have devastated entire sectors of our society, especially within our social minorities, destroying people's lives, the lives of their families and many of their (and our) social structures.

Mission creep from the war on drug's original intent moved aggressively to one of vast losses to our economy, social strata and national persona. It has jammed up and made defective our police, our courts, our prisons and our social services. It has affected children growing up unnecessarily without one or both parents.

It has forced people into seeking methods of social lubrication limited to what is legal, with dangerous prescription drugs and alcohol and even dangerously mixing them so that now we have had useless deaths and a massive opioid crisis. All perhaps while there were far better, safer and cheaper alternatives.

So why the institutional and governmental allergy to “this” reality...to actual reality? To actuality? Rather than to their own desires of what they merely want to be true for some unfathomable reason with all the damage it has, and they have caused.

This has been a trend lately and one we need quickly to get under control. We have recently seen more authors and self professed experts turning up in the media, trying to sound very politic and clever. If their research is not at times exactly legal, then they attempt to decry professional credentials of, if not medical, then journalistic. At the very least they try to sound educated and authoritative. What they have to say is actually if not simply entertaining, frequently useful and insightful to our newer American consciousness. To our latest, Zeitgeist.

Yet in some ways much of that is just so much nonsense.

We have seen for decades now that drugs aren't what they were purported to be. Some drugs once thought safe no longer are seen in that light. While others are viewed in quite the opposite manner.

Cannabis for instance is now seen as not only benign but indeed, it seems to have a wealth of associated benefits to both its use in imbibing, but also in a variety of manufacturing endeavors which is why our Founding Father grew hemp for very much the same reason. Though hemp has no psychoactive elements, it does have vast uses in making a variety products such as rope, clothes, paper, and even fuel, and so on.

Not to mention the decrease legalizing it would mean for policing, for prison overcrowding, for hampering drug cartels and in using legal taxation for the common good. Also the enhancement that would bring to bettering relationships between police, communities and citizens who use it.

With decades now of experience and of citizen testing, we now as a culture understand it and ourselves far better than we did in the 1980s, the 1970s and before. It is curious to consider that the government restricted agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to research certain things such as cannabis and even, and oddly enough... firearms.

After all, more knowledge is always better than less and is a mainstay of entire article on synesthesia, this present piece developed from. We can now be overall more informed, better aware and reasonably less fearful; not just simply, ignorant and fearful. We should never fear better and more accurate information. It is better to have it and decide what to do with it, than to not have it and base very important things on bad if not false, information.

Consider how seeing someone driving a modern car back in 1900 would appear, a car that could easily do over 100MPH when most cars could barely do 20MPH (in part because of the roads). As extremely novel things pop up we should indeed be wary of them. However wisely so and not just foolishly (or childishly) concerned or fearful about them.

Our world, the entire universe is something to explore, not to fear.

If someone were to drive say, a Chevrolet Corvette back in 1900, under the understanding and consideration back then of what is normal, it reasonably would be to the commoner a little frightening...at least until they better understood it, and what it was, what its potential actually was for safety or for danger.

And so, there we all are now, with things like cannabis and some of the hallucinogens. Not all drugs are good or beneficial or easily and safely administered by the typical citizen. Those who say we are not now at that more informed and aware place are simply fear mongering. If not merely ignorant themselves. However do be aware that those in we put in authority are actually charged by us with shedding their ignorance more quickly than most. And yet, they seem to do that so infrequently.

Whenever they do not update their understanding of things, they are not following their agreed and accepted mandate to properly protect the citizenry whom they are sworn to protect and serve. There may always be plenty of those types around, sowing fear for their own agendas be they personal, or political party (or ideology) affiliated.

However with proper awareness and protection (as one should do in going out drinking alcohol over the course of an evening), many of these drugs in question are actually safer than current legal drugs, like alcohol. In point of fact, much safer. We should therefore give them due consideration and realize that legality and jurisprudence are not the modes through which we should deal with them. Rather we should deal through information, actual and confirmed, freeing them of the unreasonable legal strictures which have plagued us for so very long now.

As I have indicated at the end of my synesthesia article, perhaps one day most people will retire to home after work to organically relax. Perhaps using a method involving synesthetic experiences rather than drugs or alcohol. But until that time isn't it only rational, sane and economically if not sociologically (and psychologically) feasible (and reasonable) to allow other safe and novel ways of relaxing. To seek, if not inner peace then internal reflection and relaxation? In our fast paced world we need that relaxation, but in a more safe and not organically damaging way of tobacco, alcohol or prescription drugs.

I think we "jumped the shark" as it were, when we went from organically available natural drugs (a theist might say ones that |God gave us and that grow naturally and are useful merely by picking them in the world), and without the need to synthesize or even semi-synthesizing them.

There is a fascinating world available out there right before us.

We just need to merely open our minds and explore, rather than closing them, believing whatever a confused and biased government tells us.

Because in doing so we harm not only ourselves, but possibly all those around us.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Easily Debunking NRA's Wayne LaPierre's Lies

"Happy Mother's Day. You're child's been shot and killed."

This is life today in America and around the world. Except America has chosen it outright. We have argued it's a right. We have argued it's just as important as Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness, or is even greater than that.

We have got to lay to rest this nonsense about how:

"Only a good guy with a gun can stop a bad guy with a gun."

First off, it's not true. Did we not only recently see how a young black man stopped a bad guy with a gun... with his bare hands?

Not that President Donald Trump would mention that in his racistly disparaged beliefs. Weren't there also two Marines in Belgium who did the same on a train just not that long ago?

Yes.

Certainly not the preferred method of going up against a gun, but it doesn't only take a gun, or a good guy.

After all, two guys rob a place, once starts shooting people, couldn't the bad guy suddenly go, "Hey, WTF?" And just shoot his partner because he may be a robber but not a murderer?

Yes.

There are some very serious realities that are being completely ignored in that soundbite pro gun nuts so dearly love to reiterate like (not smart parrots) but dumb mimics. You'll never hear reality (stated below) from these people, because they are in love with their guns and their hero worship complex.

MANY people who carry guns ARE looking to get to use them someday. That is really not what you want in a person carrying because they view it romantically. They see it more as a toy, entertainment, through a kind of faux hero syndrome filter. Not as what it is, a killing tool. Not as a machine of death, as it was designed to be. (oddly enough, they also deny that, much to the offense and confusion of gun manufacturers who put a lot of money and research into just that end)

MANY people who carry guns are carrying out of fear and will NOT use them in a real life shooter scenario unless their life is directly at risk. It just makes them feel safe. To pull a gun in a real scenario takes far more than they are willing to experience, and do not experience UNTIL they are faced with having to pull or not to pull a gun out and face down someone shooting at them. It's all fun and games until someone really is about to get hurt. And they know, they may miss entirely as they get gunned down.

MANY people who carry guns are not trained or not well trained. Sometimes not trained is better as they won't pull their gun when faced with death. A semi trained person can be a danger both to themselves and to others. When you can buy a gun and get a license to carry (or not and still carry), with no training whatsoever, you...YOU are the danger to society.

MANY people who carry guns will NOT ever pull out their gun and use it, UNLESS maybe directly threatened in a mass shooting and possibly, not even then. Facing down the reality of death evokes fight or flight, or FREEZE.

MANY people who carry guns will miss if they do pull and shoot, they will instead hit bystanders, never hitting the shooter at all. They will actually add to the death toll, the maiming count and in the end, the shooter could potentially get away or kill the "good" guy with a gun too, anyway. Effectively having helped in killing or harming as many as possible, which was the shooter's purpose in the first place. And how does THAT help the situation.

Let's not forget, some carring and pulling could potentially be shot by police when they arrive. Especially if you are black or a minority or look like a bad guy, merely from your dress. What if you're Muslim? Or just look Muslim? Police see a white guy who WAS shooting people, but they don't see his gun but instead yours, who's going to get shot?

These are the things you NEVER hear alluded to in that statement:

"Only a good guy with a gun can stop a bad guy with a gun."

It's a trap. It avoids reality. It avoids dealing with the actual issues of there being guns killing innocent people in the first place.

It's a stop gap measure to add guns to stop guns, but it's not the solution, not the long term fix.

It just sounds good, and makes people feel like they are important.

And after all, that's what pro gun types and organizations like the NRA, the GOP, are all about.

We're better than that. We CAN be, better than that.

BE, better than that.