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Gender: Male
Current location: Potlandia
Member since: Fri Sep 28, 2007, 04:39 PM
Number of posts: 9,307

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Woo v. Science: A DU Tempest in a Teapot

About 50 years ago, I took my first LSD trip. Together with the wondrous colors, hyper aliveness of trees, clouds, people, rocks, was a new awareness that took several days to come fully into focus. Undergirding the sensory tsunami of dancing energy patterns was some new piece of important information that would profoundly change how I viewed my world. In my "new" world the jig was up, there was an inherent sense of knowing that all things are intricately and delicately connected and inter-related somehow. Spirit and matter were no longer at odds with one another, and truth could take me wherever it led without my "science v. spirit" blinders.

This new insight, simply stated, was this: That there is nothing inherently oppositional or problematic about the seeming dichotomy of "science v. spirituality", because they are ultimately one in the same thing. The endless war of words about "science v. spirituality" is nothing more than a proxy war for those at the top of their respective authority structures seeking personal/professional advantage. Truth does not oppose itself, but humans -- when possessed by greed and avarice -- have an unfortunate habit of misusing truth to abuse one another.

During the intervening 50 years, advances in the field of quantum physics and string theory have pretty much confirmed the voracity of my experience on acid: i.e. that all things are alive and somehow interconnected in ways that cannot be adequately explained with the Newtonian mechanistic worldview, that there is life-force energy permeating everything, etc.

So please forgive me if I find this "woo v. science" kerfuffle on DU 50 years later to be downright laughable.

Why Is the IRS Fighting Efforts to Unmask Karl Rove & U.S. Chamber Political Money Laundering?

Why Is the IRS Fighting Efforts to Unmask Karl Rove and U.S. Chamber Political Money Laundering?
The IRS is fighting the whistleblower instead of pursuing the alleged criminals.

December 31, 2013 - An IRS whistleblower lawsuit that attempts to finger an overseas non-profit affiliated with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as a dark money conduit that put tens of millions into Karl Rove’s hands during the 2010 elections may soon die in an obscure federal court—unless the judge allows evidence-gathering over the IRS’s objections.

Robert Jacobson, a Tuscon, Arizona physician who brought the lawsuit, believes that a nonprofit created by the State Department in conjunction with the U.S. Chamber to build a much-ridiculed exhibition at the 2010 Shanghai Expo in China had another purpose—diverting large slices of the $70-plus million in donations to Rove for campaigns to retake the House. The idea was that money from GOP-friendly corporations and even the Chinese government would evade oversight by flowing through barely regulated nonprofits.

“I took it to U.S. Tax Court to do discovery,” Jacobson said this week (discovery is the legal term for gathering evidence). “We were in the midst of doing informal discovery, which is the process the IRS has to avoid trials. The chief counsel hates whistleblowers… They have a routine to kill whistleblowers.”

Suffice it to say that federal courts have ruled, and the Supreme Court has affirmed, that the IRS doesn’t have to pursue whistleblowing investigations if it finds there is no penalty money to be collected. Jacobson filed his case against Shanghai Expo three years ago. Between 2008 and 2012, the IRS received 33,064 whistleblower complaints and made 630 awards, recouping $1.46 billion and paying $180.1 million in awards, it reported to Congress. Last year, the IRS concluded that since the Shanghai Expo nonprofit had disbanded there was no point in pursuing a further investigation.


OK ... NOW I believe it.

I said I would not actually believe Reid "would" do it, until he actually fucking DID it.

Harry made a believer out of me today. Woot!

Feds raid Denver-area marijuana dispensaries and grow operations. WTF???

Feds raid Denver-area marijuana dispensaries and grow operations
The Denver Post * By Jeremy P. Meyer and Eric Gorski * 11/21/13

Federal authorities Thursday morning were executing search warrants and seizure warrants at multiple Denver-area medical marijuana facilities, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

The raids are occurring at both medical marijuana dispensaries and at warehouses where pot is grown.

At one raid in Boulder, a pile of seized marijuana lay in the snow like Christmas trees. At the VIP Cannabis dispensary in Denver, broken glass from a shattered front window littered the parking lot while agents hauled boxes of evidence into a U-Haul truck.

"The Drug Enforcement Administration, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations, the Denver Police Department and state and local law enforcement are today executing lawfully obtained search warrants and seizure warrants," said Jeff Dorschner, spokesman for the DOJ.

"Although we cannot at this time discuss the substance of this pending investigation, the operation under way today comports with the Department's recent guidance regarding marijuana enforcement matters," Dorschner said in his e-mailed statement to The Denver Post.


A Rare Glimpse into the Psyche of a National Security State Enthusiast

Advice To Enjoy Being Young Came Out Way Sadder Than Intended

Advice To Enjoy Being Young Came Out Way Sadder Than Intended
NEWS IN BRIEF • ISSUE 49•45 • Nov 4, 2013

NEW YORK—An attempt Monday to impart a piece of upbeat, life-affirming wisdom about enjoying one’s youth reportedly conveyed a desperate, melancholy tone that made the message feel considerably sadder than intended, sources confirmed. “Enjoy all the freedom and all the options you have now because you can never go back,” a well-meaning Jeff Gibbons, 48, told Eric Portman, 24, in what observers said sounded far less like a motivational appeal to seize the day, as he meant it to, and more like a naked cry for help.

“Sooner than you think you’ll wake up and you won’t have your whole life ahead of you. And those carefree days when it seemed like anything was possible will be over. So enjoy it while it lasts.” At press time, instead of coming across as playful and lighthearted, Gibbons sounded like he would absolutely kill somebody if it meant he could be Portman’s age again.


Millington Navy Base shooting? yawn. ho-hum.

These mass shootings are becoming literally a DAILY event.
Like some macabre game-show. Who's "Shooter of the day"?

Maybe one upside is that the luster may start to fade when a wacked out
shooter becomes just another statistic, rather than having their names
blaring on headline news for weeks on end.

Perhaps then we can start addressing the real issues behind this tragic
pointless national bloodbath.

Why are Guv-mint HATERS even allowed to run for guv-mint office in the first place?

Shouldn't these TeaBaggers be out in the wild somewhere stockpiling weapons & food?
... rather than pretending to care about governing the nation, the very same guv-mint
they claim to hate so much?

Government-haters ought to be the last people on earth anyone would actually vote for
to run their guv-mint.

Small wonder TeaBaggers are so piss-poor at governing. Can the American People say
"Never again" will we elect one of these boneheads.?

Why American Exceptionalism Is a Dangerous Sham

Why American Exceptionalism Is a Dangerous Sham
Perhaps we're not the hero of every story and God has not blessed us over all others.
The American Prospect via Alternet * By Paul Waldman * September 18, 2013

In a democracy, politicians seldom counsel the public to be modest. They flatter and praise the voters, telling them that they are just and wise, hardworking and principled, possessed of boundless vision and common sense. And here in America at least, they also generalize those virtues from the people to the nation itself. America, Americans are endlessly reassured, is unique and special among the world's countries. It isn't just that we're the most important country, which is undeniable, since we have the biggest economy, the biggest (and most frequently deployed) military, and the most influential popular culture. Those things could change someday. Instead, what voters are told over and over again is that we're "exceptional." We're not just stronger or richer; we're better. Indeed, we're stronger and richer because we're better. And we may well be exceptional in how often we're told that we're exceptional. My knowledge of the electoral politics of other nations may be limited, but I don't recall hearing about presidential candidates in Portugal or Peru who feel the need to convince voters that their country is superior to all others and they are the world's best people.

So some people were taken aback last week when Vladimir Putin, in his op-ed inThe New York Times last week, took exception to Barack Obama's talk of exceptionalism. "I would rather disagree with a case he made on American exceptionalism, stating that the United States' policy is 'what makes America different. It's what makes us exceptional,'" Putin wrote. "It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation." He probably didn't realize that every American president says that sort of thing; it's our national program to build self-esteem. That's how politicians put a gold star sticker on our papers, pat us the head and tell us that we're smart and kind and good-looking, and if the other countries don't like us then that's their problem, not ours.

It was a bit amusing to see Barack Obama being chastised by Putin for his comments on American exceptionalism, since it put conservatives in the uncomfortable position of defending the president for the very thing they spent so much time criticizing him for in the past. It seems like a distant memory now, but Republicans spent most of their 2012 presidential primary competing to see who was most appalled by Obama's allegedly insufficient belief in America's uniqueness. There was barely a Republican contender's stump speech that didn't feature thunderous insistence that, unlike that anti-American socialist in the White House, they knew deep in their red, white, and blue bones that this great land stands alone. Mitt Romney titled his book No Apology: The Case for American Greatness; Newt Gingrich offered A Nation Like No Other: Why American Exceptionalism Matters. "America is different," wrote Tim Pawlenty in his book. "And what makes us different makes us great. Barack Obama doesn't see it that way." Or as Sarah Palin put it in her inspiring tome America By Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag, Obama "seems to see nothing admirable in the American experience."


US & Russia Reach Deal on Syria's Chemical Weapons (US still holds to possibility of military force)

US, Russia Reach Deal on Syria's Chemical Weapons
Despite agreement, US still holds to possibility of military force

Saturday, September 14, 2013 * Common Dreams * Andrea Germanos, staff writer

The U.S. and Russia reached a deal on a process to remove or destroy Syria's chemical weapons by mid-2014, officials for the two countries announced in Geneva on Saturday.

After a third day of talks, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov outlined the details of the deal, including a condition that Syria must provide a comprehensive list of its chemical weapons stockpiles within a week.

Kerry told reporters, "I have no doubt that the combination of the threat of force and the willingness to pursue diplomacy helped to bring us to this moment."

Echoing Kerry, President Obama said on Saturday, "This this plan emerged only with a credible threat of U.S. military action."

However, as Howard Friel and Noam Chomsky have pointed out, the threats of force against Syria the U.S. has issued are illegal.

Obama also emphasized that the deal did not mean that the possibility of force was off the table. "We will maintain our military posture in the region to keep the pressure on the Assad regime," he said. "If diplomacy fails, the United States and the international community must remain prepared to act."

The "Framework for Elimination of Syrian Chemical Weapons" released by the State Department on Saturday states, in part:

In furtherance of the objective to eliminate the Syrian chemical weapons program, the United States and the Russian Federation have reached a shared assessment of the amount and type of chemical weapons involved, and are committed to the immediate international control over chemical weapons and their components in Syria. The United States and the Russian Federation expect Syria to submit, within a week, a comprehensive listing, including names, types, and quantities of its chemical weapons agents, types of munitions, and location and form of storage, production, and research and development facilities.

We further determined that the most effective control of these weapons may be achieved by removal of the largest amounts of weapons feasible, under OPCW supervision, and their destruction outside of Syria, if possible. We set ambitious goals for the removal and destruction of all categories of CW related materials and equipment with the objective of completing such removal and destruction in the first half of 2014. In addition to chemical weapons, stocks of chemical weapons agents, their precursors, specialized CW equipment, and CW munitions themselves, the elimination process must include the facilities for the development and production of these weapons. The views of both sides in this regard are set forth in Annex B.

The United States and the Russian Federation have further decided that to achieve accountability for their chemical weapons, the Syrians must provide the OPCW, the UN, and other supporting personnel with the immediate and unfettered right to inspect any and all sites in Syria. The extraordinary procedures to be proposed by the United States and the Russian Federation for adoption by the OPCW Executive Council and reinforced by a UN Security Council resolution, as described above, should include a mechanism to ensure this right.

MORE: http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/09/14

(This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License)
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