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Offline knarf

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Pride has sold its soul to rainbow-branded capitalism
« Reply #13215 on: June 28, 2019, 05:46:14 AM »
Fifty years after Stonewall, the LGBT  movement has abandoned its dream of sexual democracy


 A Pride march in New York: ‘City authorities extort vast charges from the Pride organisers and we are encouraged to buy rainbow-branded merchandise to express our sexual and gender identity.’

LGBT  people worldwide are gearing up to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the June 1969 Stonewall riots, which led to the formation of the modern LGBT  movement. More significant than the riots themselves was what they ignited: the formation of the Gay Liberation Front in New York.

GLF inspired thousands to come out and join protests for LGBT  rights. It organised the first Pride march, which took place in New York in 1970, and its revolutionary ideas and activism soon spread worldwide, including to the UK.

Aged 17, I was part of this Stonewall-era gay liberation movement. I later joined the newly formed London Gay Liberation Front.

Unlike earlier cautious law reform movements, GLF had a much more radical agenda of social transformation, rather than assimilation and equality within the status quo. Sceptical and discerning, we questioned what was and agitated for what could be. Our goal was an inclusive queer utopia that embraced the whole rainbow nation. We sought to overturn straight supremacism, sexual guilt and traditional gender roles.

GLF also uniquely sought political alliances with other marginalised communities to work for our common emancipation. It advocated unity and solidarity between all victims of injustice.

In contrast, much of today’s LGBT  movement has retreated from the ideals and vision of the GLF pioneers. Almost entirely LGBT -focused, it rarely links with other social movements.

Our community organisations have become increasingly corporatised and exploited, with UK Pride parades often dominated by big business sponsors and floats, vote-seeking politicians and state agents such as the police, who brag about their LGBT  inclusiveness but have not apologised or compensated us for their decades of oppression.

Pride is now capitalism with a pink hue. It has become monetised: we pay to march, the city authorities extort vast charges from the Pride organisers and we are encouraged to buy rainbow-branded merchandise to express our sexual and gender identity. Much of LGBT  is part of the neoliberal establishment.

Most queers no longer dissent from the values, laws and institutions of mainstream society. They happily settle for equal rights within the existing social order; often uncritically seeking what straights have, no matter how dubious. Increasingly, LGBT  culture has lost its critical edge. We have been mainstreamed, which on one level is great, but mainstreamed on heterosexual terms. Many of us seem to aspire to little more than an LGBT  version of straight family life.

The trend is to become carbon copies of heterosexuality. We’ve internalised straight thinking and become “hetero homos” – straight minds in queer bodies. Our LGBT  psyche has been colonised by a hetero-normative mentality.

How times have changed. GLF was so different. It never campaigned for equality. Our demand was LGBT  liberation. We wanted to change society, not conform to it. Our battle cry was “innovate, don’t assimilate”.

GLF set out a far-sighted agenda for a nonviolent revolution in cultural values and attitudes. It questioned not just anti-LGBT  prejudice and discrimination but also marriage, the nuclear family, monogamy and patriarchy. Making common cause with the women’s, black and workers’ movements, gay liberationists wanted fundamental social change and pursued an intersectional strategy of standing together with all oppressed people.

Our vision involved creating a new sexual democracy, without homophobia, misogyny, racism or class privilege. Erotic shame and repression would be banished, together with the privileging of monogamy, the traditional family and rigid male and female gender roles. There would be sexual freedom and human rights for everyone – lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. And for straight, non-binary and cis gender people, too.

As well as opposing the way things were, GLF outlined an alternative imagining of how society and personal relationships could be. This included living communally and cooperatively, gender-subversive radical drag and non-possessive multi-partner open relationships. These were revolutionary ideas, and they still are.

But look what’s happened since then. Whereas GLF derided the family as a patriarchal prison that enslaved women, gay people and children, the biggest LGBT  campaigns of recent years have been for marriage and parenting rights. The focus on these safe, cuddly issues (worthy though they are) suggests that queers are increasingly reluctant to rock the boat. Many of us would, it seems, prefer to embrace traditional heterosexual aspirations, rather than critique them and strive for a liberating alternative.

This political retreat signifies a huge loss of confidence and optimism. It signals that the LGBT  community has finally succumbed – like much of mainstream society – to the depressing politics of conformism, respectability and moderation.

As we remember Stonewall at 50, let’s also remember that GLF showed that the world doesn’t have to be this way. In the immortal words of Oscar Wilde: “We are all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars.”

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jun/28/pride-rainbow-branded-capitalism-stonewall-lgbt
Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'

Offline knarf

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Switzerland's Stock Market Has Been Taken Hostage
« Reply #13216 on: June 28, 2019, 05:49:32 AM »
The EU's use of threats over market access to get its way politically is becoming worryingly common. There's a warning for Brexit Britain here.

An unnecessary and misguided economic split at the heart of Europe, driven by populist politics and trade spats. Nope, this isn’t Brexit, it’s the bitter diplomatic standoff between Switzerland and the European Union.

The small Alpine republic is at diplomatic loggerheads with its biggest trading partner over how to renegotiate and repackage the swathe of bilateral agreements that binds the Swiss economy to the bloc without it being a member. Brussels wants clearer terms of how Switzerland accesses the single market and for the country to offer more freedom of movement for EU citizens. Bern is trying to balance these demands against local anxieties about sovereignty, immigration, and the related fear about the pressure on wages and social services that might come with more migrant workers. The Brexit parallels have not been lost on Brussels, which wants a speedy resolution above all.

After years of negotiations and foot-dragging by the Swiss, EU officials now want to get the talks wrapped up before the new European Commission is formed in November (indeed, before the next deadline for Britain’s departure on October 31st). So they’re stepping up hostilities.

Brussels says that, given the snail’s pace of the negotiations, there’s no reason to keep recognizing Switzerland as an “equivalent” financial market to the EU, or one whose rules and supervision are deemed sufficiently close to the bloc’s. In a nutshell, this means it wants to force EU investors to trade Swiss stocks on EU soil only. Imagine the potential impact on shares in Nestle SA, where about 72 percent of its trading turnover is done on Zurich’s SIX market, according to data from Fidessa, a trading tech company.

Trying to take a stock market hostage is never a good idea, although in this case it’s more likely to trigger confusion than widespread disruption. Switzerland yesterday launched retaliatory measures, demanding that Swiss stocks be traded on Swiss soil. Law firms say this should create a kind of loophole, which should let EU banks and investment funds keep buying and selling shares in Zurich. Even if this works out, it will be a cumbersome fix. Longer term, investors may have doubts over liquidity and political risk on the Swiss stock market.

This sends a dismal signal on Brexit, too. Brussels recently threatened a similar punishment for the U.K. if it crashed out of the bloc without a withdrawal deal, warning that EU investment firms would have to trade British giants like Vodafone Group Plc on EU territory. Only the threat of tit-for-tat measures from U.K. regulators got the Commission to dial things down. By weaponizing this topic again just a few months before the next Brexit deadline, Brussels has sent a message to Westminster: The Swiss model so admired by Britain’s Brexiters is vulnerable to strong-arm tactics.

The fact that this is all politically driven makes it hard to guess what happens next. As bad as the EU’s behavior is, it’s possible that the pressure tactics will shake the Swiss into finalizing a deal. But the injection of politics into issues like market access is becoming an all-too regular feature in Europe and won’t help the continent’s attractiveness to investors. Last year, the chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman threatened to cut off EU banks from U.S. exchanges because of new regulations that he deemed overly intrusive.

The Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker warned Switzerland last year that if a deal wasn’t wrapped up soon, things “might get rough.” He’s been true to his word. The net result feels like a loss for all concerned.

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-06-28/switzerland-s-stock-market-has-been-taken-hostage-by-the-eu
Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'

Offline knarf

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Supreme Court Unleashes New Era of Extreme Gerrymandering
« Reply #13217 on: June 28, 2019, 05:53:46 AM »
Thanks to big data, politicians today choose their voters, instead of the other way around. The court says it’s not up to them to answer a ‘political question.’

The term “partisan gerrymandering” is a mouthful.  It makes a lot of people’s eyes glaze over.

But it’s a huge deal, and today’s Supreme Court decision about it in the case of Rucho v. Common Cause is like a nuclear bomb that will have devastating impacts on American democracy. It was another 5-4 vote along ideological lines, with conservatives in the majority.

Gerrymandering is the practice of drawing electoral districts to advantage whoever’s doing the drawing.  It’s been going on for centuries—it’s named after Eldridge Gerry, who died in 1814—but today’s gerrymandering is not Eldridge Gerry’s gerrymandering.

Thanks to “big data”, political operatives can slice and dice district lines on a house-by-house basis. They know so much about all of us, as we learned from the Cambridge Analytica-Facebook scandal in 2016, that they can predict with shocking accuracy how we’re going to vote.

And it works.

In Wisconsin, Republicans used big data methodologies to create the most slanted electoral map in memory. It gave Republicans 60 percent of the seats in the state assembly despite winning only 47 percent of the vote.

In Pennsylvania, 44 percent of Pennsylvania’s voters are Democrats—but only 33 percent of its congressional representatives.

And in North Carolina – the site of one of today’s two cases – thanks to a GOP-engineered gerrymander, Republican candidates won nine of the state’s 13 seats in the House of Representatives in 2012, although they received only 49 percent of the statewide vote. In 2014, Republican candidates increased their total to 10 of the 13 seats, with 55 percent of the vote.

Nationally, despite winning fewer than half of all votes for the House in 2016, Republicans still held an advantage of 241 to 194 House seats, thanks to the 2010 REDMAP project to flip state legislatures and gerrymander electoral districts.

Gerrymandering also has direct, concrete effects. The new documentary Slay the Dragon convincingly shows how the Flint water crisis was a direct result of Michigan’s gerrymandered statehouse, as protected Republican lawmakers overturned a massively popular referendum and installed “emergency managers” in cities like Flint. One such manager ordered Flint to change its water source, leading to massive lead poisoning in 2014.

The film also persuasively links gerrymandered legislatures to Wisconsin’s suppressive voter ID law and North Carolina’s anti-trans “bathroom bills,” neither of which were supported by a majority of the states’ populations.  The film is a must-see for anyone concerned about our democracy.

Yet today, the Supreme Court said all of this is perfectly fine.  Or at least, that the courts aren’t going to do anything about it.

“The partisan gerrymanders in these cases deprived citizens of the most fundamental of their constitutional rights.”
— Justice Kagan

https://www.thedailybeast.com/supreme-court-unleashes-new-era-of-extreme-gerrymandering?via=rss
Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'

Offline Eddie

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Re: 7 essential Eastern philosophy books
« Reply #13218 on: June 28, 2019, 10:43:13 AM »
All cultures in the world have sought to develop an understanding of themselves, their realities and seek deeper truths. While the scientific and reductionist worldview of European thought has labored to formulate and postulate on the world, a divergence of thought also flourished throughout the East with a more holistic view of existence. These ideals and differing thoughts have certainly pollinated and crossed one another throughout the years. Today, the old dichotomy and division of Eastern and Western thought has largely dissolved or converged. In the past century or so, these views of the world were more alienated from one another.

In a more seemingly rapid paced world without sanctuary or peace of mind, it's time we return to these books on Eastern philosophy. Discover what has been lost and what can be found again.





Tao Te Ching

Tao Te Ching: A New English Version (Perennial Classics)

This influential and widely known Chinese text is attributed to the great sage Lao Tzu. Short and whimsical, the "Tao Te Ching" reads more like folky Aesop's fables than fundamental religious doctrine. It's a slim book and a quick read, but leaves behind new profundities on the nature of being and reality. Stephen Mitchell's poetic translation keeps the wisdom intact.

Considered the foundational text for Taoism, the "Tao Te Ching" leads its reader into a newfound, harmonious way of existing in the world. Taoism is the paradoxical concept of non-action or "doing not-doing". Mitchell writes in the introduction that: "The game plays the game; the poem writes the poem; we can't tell the dancer from the dance."

"Fill your bowl to the brim
and it will spill.
Keep sharpening your knife
and it will blunt.
Chase after money and security
and your heart will never unclench.
Care about people's approval
and you will be their prisoner. Do your work, then step back.
The only path to serenity."

– Lao Tzu

The Analects

"The Analects" are a collection of Confucius' sayings after the fact; they were written sometime after his death in 497 BCE. Confucius' goal was to create and uphold the ideal vision of what a man should be. He wanted to perfect one's moral character and develop the methods toward pursuing such a grand goal.

Drawing from many different ancient Chinese texts and philosophies already in existence, the philosophy or religion of Confucianism has gone through many iterations. It shares a similarity with Christianity and the works of Socrates as both these philosophies and religions had the words of their leaders written after their deaths by their devotees.

One of the great classics of world literature, "The Analects" have to be read firsthand to be truly understood.

"Not to discuss with a man worthy of conversation is to waste the man. To discuss with a man not worthy of conversation is to waste words. The wise waste neither men nor words." – Confucius, "The Analects"

The I Ching

The I Ching, or, Book of Changes (Bollingen Series XIX) (Bollingen Series (General))

"The I Ching" has had an immense influence on the world. It's influenced Chinese thought for thousands of years and radically changed notions of mathematics and psychology in the West within the past few centuries. As the basis for binary code and a whole slew of other interesting phenomenon, "The I Ching" is one of the oldest efforts to try to reconcile the human mind into the greater cosmic scheme of things.

Richard Wilhelm's translation is the definitive book on "The I Ching", serving as both a reference, commentary and faithful rendition of the original text. The book can be used in a number of ways, and it stands as both the source for Confucianist and Taoist philosophy.

The Bhagavad Gita

The Bhagavad Gita, 2nd Edition

Nowhere is there a more full picture of the rich spiritual realm and world of the Hindu faith. Considered to be a masterpiece of Sanskrit poetry, "The Bhagavad Gita" is one of our best sources for ancient Hinduism. It's part of a larger epic called "Mahabharata", but stands alone as a cornerstone of the religion.
Have you read?

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The story describes a battle between two great armies as the god Krishna comes down mid-battle to enlighten the warrior Arjuna. The epic is non-linear and a long running philosophical treatise on the notions of freedom, understanding, meaning of life and the nature of reality. Concepts of the cyclical nature of time and cosmic oneness of the universe are all expressed in this book.

"The nonpermanent appearance of happiness and distress, and their disappearance in due course, are like the appearance and disappearance of winter and summer seasons. They arise from sense perception, and one must learn to tolerate them without being disturbed." – "The Bhagavad Gita"

Siddhartha

Siddhartha: A Novel

Herman Hesse's classic has resonated with countless generations and remains an inspiring novel. The story is written in simple verse and follows a wealthy Indian Brahmin as he leaves a life of privilege and religiosity to try to find true spiritual fulfillment. Hesse's treatment of the religious enlightenment is diverse as he weaves into classical Eastern thought, Jungian psychology and existentialism.

Siddhartha leaves home with his friend Govinda and journeys through the many iterations of enlightenment seeking. He is not confined to any piety or guru worship as he joins the ascetics, follows the Buddha and even rejects him before going on to become a rich man and experience the pleasures of the world. Soon he understands that all experience is provisional and dependent on himself. Only the individual can find their own enlightenment.

"Words do not express thoughts very well. They always become a little different immediately after they are expressed, a little distorted, a little foolish. And yet it also pleases me and seems right that what is of value and wisdom to one man seems nonsense to another." – Herman Hesse, "Siddhartha"

Be Here Now

Be Here Now

This is the recounting of a lifetime of experience and spiritual seeking from the man who would begin his journey as Dr. Richard Alpert and transcend into Baba Ram Dass. Both a biography, exploration of mysticism and period piece of the 1960s counterculture, "Be Here Now" is a riveting and unconventional book. It's a book to be experienced. There are many illustrations and wonderful poetic distillations of the many religions of the world.

Ram Dass has a simple message and that is to live in the present moment.

"Early in the journey you wonder how long the journey will take and whether you will make it in this lifetime. Later you will see that where you are going is HERE and you will arrive NOW... so you stop asking." – Baba Ram Dass, "Be Here Now"

The Way of Zen

The Way of Zen

Alan Watts wrote and lectured on Zen Buddhism for much of his life. He had an incredible way of explaining its practices and principles to early curious Western readers in the mid-20th century. Watts considered Zen to be "one of the most precious gifts of Asia to the world." He wrote:

"Since opposed principles, or ideologies, are irreconcilable, wars fought over principle will be wars of mutual annihilation. But wars fought for simple greed will be far less destructive, because the aggressor will be careful not to destroy what he is fighting to capture. Reasonable – that is, human – men will always be capable of compromise, but men who have dehumanized themselves by becoming the blind worshipers of an idea or an ideal are fanatics whose devotion to abstractions makes them the enemies of life." Alan Watts, "The Way of Zen"

Watts explains the concept of Zen as far as he can take it before that switch clicks and you're in on the cosmic laugh. Although Zen is one branch of Buddhism, it is more concerned with the ideals of spontaneous action and thought. Emptiness, detachment from desire and even renouncing the idea of enlightenment are all tenets of Zen that Watts lays out in a playful and profound way.

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/06/7-essential-eastern-philosophy-books/

I don't put Herman Hesse on the list, although I give him plenty of credit for helping Eastern thought leak over into the West in the 50's and for influencing  the Beat Generation in a major way.

Siddartha just wasn't a book that  I remember as life changing. I read it in high school, I think. He did not influence me nearly as much as Alan Watts did,

And speaking of Watts, I also don't think The Way of Zen is anything like Alan Watt's best book.

Watts  WAS very responsible for changing my world view immediately, when a friend (now long passed, may he rest in peace) turned me on to him when I was about 19.

I read many of his little books, there are a lot of them....but the one that really distilled it down for me was The Book.







Being the same age as Steve Jobs, I got a lot of my intros into a lot of things from the Whole Earth Catalog, which did the 1970 equivalent of going viral when it came out. That was where I first read about the I Ching.

As I recall, in the Last Whole Earth Catalog, there was a thing about the I Ching that was written by Ken Kesey. It might have been this:

                                                                                                                                 http://www.ep.tc/realist/89/10.html



Steve Jobs  said he was turned on to Paramahansa Yogananda by the Whole Earth Catalog....and I think it might also have been where I first heard of him too...but it turned out to be my wife who really turned me on to Autobiography of a Yogi, some years later. And it was actually the really great audio reading by Ben Kingsley that finally got me through this rather long book, which chronicles the life of the man who is REALLY most responsible for bringing Eastern thought to the US.

Jobs was known to keep a supply of Yogananda's Autobiography....... and hand them out like Bibles to anyone he liked and thought could benefit. He considered it the most life-changing book he ever read. Yogananda was really important because he wanted to reach Christians, and his books about Jesus, too, should be required reading in Christian seminaries, Too bad they aren't.

And there is one more book I'd surely add to my list of essential reading about Eastern thought.

That's Baba Ram Dass's little runaway bestseller.................Be Here Now, first published in 1971 and still being reprinted.....and it's sold millions of copies.



Baba Ram Dass was of course, famously, Timothy Leary's friend and sidekick. He is still alive, nearly 90 now.

So...I suppose we all have our favorites, but those are the one's I think of offhand,










« Last Edit: June 28, 2019, 11:11:03 AM by Eddie »
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline azozeo

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Re: Knarf's Knewz Channel
« Reply #13219 on: June 28, 2019, 10:49:47 AM »
I've read the Tao & Iching.

I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world.
You don’t know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind

Offline Eddie

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If you've been arrested for weed in Illinois, you can breathe a sigh of relief.
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker just signed HB 1438 this week, which makes cannabis legal in the state for individuals 21 and over, along with sweeping criminal criminal justice reforms designed to help those whose lives have been upended by the state's drug laws.
In addition to legalizing marijuana, the 610-page bill offers relief to the roughly 770,000 residents of the state with marijuana-related offenses on their criminal records, according to the Marijuana Policy Project.
A new law legalizes weed and helps those caught with it in the past

The state's new Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, which takes effect in 2020, allows people to automatically receive clemency for convictions up to 30 grams of cannabis. Those convicted with larger amounts, from 30-500 grams can petition a court to have the charge lifted.
The bill defines expunge to mean to "physically destroy the records or return them to the petitioner and to obliterate the petitioner's name from any official index or public record, or both." But it doesn't require the physical destruction of circuit court files.
The bill also includes a "social equity program," which makes it easier for those with marijuana convictions to get business licenses. The program also allocates $12 million for startup businesses related to cannabis, as well as funding for job training programs in the state's cannabis industry, the Marijuana Policy Project says.
The state's Department of Agriculture and its community college board are creating pilot programs to get people ready to work in the newly legal industry, and the state will require them to focus on enrolling the low income students into those programs.
Illinois is the latest state to liberalize its cannabis laws

Gov. Pritzker is fulfilling a promise he made on the campaign trail, and is making Illinois the 11th US state to legalize recreational marijuana. So far 18 states have decriminalized marijuana, the MPP says, and in all 34 states allow patients with health complaints to use medical marijuana.
And Illinois is the latest state to offer clemency for marijuana convictions. Last month Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed a law that gave marijuana offenders the ability to have their sentences vacated in the state.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/27/us/illinois-expunging-marijuana-convictions-trnd/index.html

I talked to my son last night, and he's pretty stoked by the sensible changes coming in on the tide with the new Illinois governor J.B. Prtizker, who is already getting a reputation for getting things done that have needed to be done for many years in Illinois.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2019, 11:26:17 AM by Eddie »
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline azozeo

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If you've been arrested for weed in Illinois, you can breathe a sigh of relief.
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker just signed HB 1438 this week, which makes cannabis legal in the state for individuals 21 and over, along with sweeping criminal criminal justice reforms designed to help those whose lives have been upended by the state's drug laws.
In addition to legalizing marijuana, the 610-page bill offers relief to the roughly 770,000 residents of the state with marijuana-related offenses on their criminal records, according to the Marijuana Policy Project.
A new law legalizes weed and helps those caught with it in the past

The state's new Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, which takes effect in 2020, allows people to automatically receive clemency for convictions up to 30 grams of cannabis. Those convicted with larger amounts, from 30-500 grams can petition a court to have the charge lifted.
The bill defines expunge to mean to "physically destroy the records or return them to the petitioner and to obliterate the petitioner's name from any official index or public record, or both." But it doesn't require the physical destruction of circuit court files.
The bill also includes a "social equity program," which makes it easier for those with marijuana convictions to get business licenses. The program also allocates $12 million for startup businesses related to cannabis, as well as funding for job training programs in the state's cannabis industry, the Marijuana Policy Project says.
The state's Department of Agriculture and its community college board are creating pilot programs to get people ready to work in the newly legal industry, and the state will require them to focus on enrolling the low income students into those programs.
Illinois is the latest state to liberalize its cannabis laws

Gov. Pritzker is fulfilling a promise he made on the campaign trail, and is making Illinois the 11th US state to legalize recreational marijuana. So far 18 states have decriminalized marijuana, the MPP says, and in all 34 states allow patients with health complaints to use medical marijuana.
And Illinois is the latest state to offer clemency for marijuana convictions. Last month Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed a law that gave marijuana offenders the ability to have their sentences vacated in the state.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/27/us/illinois-expunging-marijuana-convictions-trnd/index.html

I talked to my son last night, and he's pretty stoked by the sensible changes coming in on the tide with the new Illinois governor J.B. Prtizker, who is already getting a reputation for getting things done that have need to be done for many years in Illinois.


How soon until the frivolous lawsuits start clogging up the court systems in these states over pay & suffering for the "now" innocent tax donkeys 
I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world.
You don’t know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind

Offline Surly1

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If you've been arrested for weed in Illinois, you can breathe a sigh of relief.
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker just signed HB 1438 this week, which makes cannabis legal in the state for individuals 21 and over, along with sweeping criminal criminal justice reforms designed to help those whose lives have been upended by the state's drug laws.

I talked to my son last night, and he's pretty stoked by the sensible changes coming in on the tide with the new Illinois governor J.B. Prtizker, who is already getting a reputation for getting things done that have needed to be done for many years in Illinois.

Not surprising, since in past administrations "Governor of Illinois" has been synonymous with "felon." Anything that got done got done because someone was paying to grease the skids. Rob Blagoiovich, anyone? Pritzker is rich enough he doesn't need a credit card machine at his desk. Pritzker beat out incumbent Republican Bruce Rauner, who was himself a rich fuck who literally bought the campaigns of e very statewide R candidate to insure he could get things done his way.

"Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly now, love mercy now, walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it."

Offline Eddie

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Re: 7 essential Eastern philosophy books
« Reply #13223 on: June 28, 2019, 02:10:01 PM »
One more of those little Watts books I remember as really important to me.

 I think if might have been The Two Hands of God.....it's been more than 40 years since I read those books, but they were quite educational for someone who grew up in a fundie family in the consumer culture of the 1960's and '70's.

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Offline knarf

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Re: 7 essential Eastern philosophy books
« Reply #13224 on: June 28, 2019, 03:18:34 PM »
One more of those little Watts books I remember as really important to me.

 I think if might have been The Two Hands of God.....it's been more than 40 years since I read those books, but they were quite educational for someone who grew up in a fundie family in the consumer culture of the 1960's and '70's.



Those are all good choices to begin to understand the eastern way of seeing the world. I haven't read a couple of them, but that's ok because I am no longer a monk. Buddhism is a tool for the mind to understand deep hidden memories of oneness, the interconnection of all life, and to teach you a way to still the mind enough to realize how meaningless this life is. That is liberation. The void that is not empty. So Buddhism showed me those things, and now it is over, the raft has reached the other shore, and I have journeyed away from the raft. We are remodeling the church building, and it's operation to reflect my giving up Buddhism. We will be much more of a guide for those looking for a way to understand eastern philosophy and practice/s.
Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'

Offline Surly1

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Re: Knarf's Knewz Channel
« Reply #13225 on: June 28, 2019, 05:52:43 PM »
I've read the Tao & Iching.

I read Be Here Now in the early 70s and it had a profound effect on me and my approach to life.
"Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly now, love mercy now, walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it."

Offline azozeo

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Re: Knarf's Knewz Channel
« Reply #13226 on: June 28, 2019, 06:14:16 PM »
I've read the Tao & Iching.

I read Be Here Now in the early 70s and it had a profound effect on me and my approach to life.

I'll have to look that one up. Is it based on an inward journey to self awareness ?
I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world.
You don’t know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind

Offline Surly1

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Re: 7 essential Eastern philosophy books
« Reply #13227 on: June 28, 2019, 06:33:50 PM »
And there is one more book I'd surely add to my list of essential reading about Eastern thought.

That's Baba Ram Dass's little runaway bestseller.................Be Here Now, first published in 1971 and still being reprinted.....and it's sold millions of copies.



Baba Ram Dass was of course, famously, Timothy Leary's friend and sidekick. He is still alive, nearly 90 now.

So...I suppose we all have our favorites, but those are the one's I think of offhand,

I loved, loved, loved this book. Very important to me.

Your pick of the Alan Watts book as well.
"Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly now, love mercy now, walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it."

Offline Surly1

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Re: Knarf's Knewz Channel
« Reply #13228 on: June 28, 2019, 06:51:41 PM »
I've read the Tao & Iching.

I read Be Here Now in the early 70s and it had a profound effect on me and my approach to life.

I'll have to look that one up. Is it based on an inward journey to self awareness ?

Of a piece and not unrelated to The Book. My first acquaintance with the illusion of the ego ands the myth of separateness. Be Here Now contains a collection of metaphysical aphorisms. One of my greatest takeaways was the importance of living in the here and now, not reviewing the past or worrying about the future.

I wish I'd ridden that horse longer and farther.

I could probably do better but it's been almost 50 years!
"Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly now, love mercy now, walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it."

Offline knarf

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US, Taliban to open Doha talks in fresh bid to end war
« Reply #13229 on: June 29, 2019, 05:04:03 AM »
ISLAMABAD (AP) — A fresh round of talks between the U.S. and the Taliban is to begin in Qatar Saturday, just days after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington is hoping for an Afghan peace agreement before Sept. 1.

Suhail Shaheen, spokesman for the Taliban’s political office in Doha, told The Associated Press that the Taliban’s negotiating team was set to open talks with U.S. peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad. He has been in the region for several weeks meeting a legion of regional and Afghan officials, including Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

Khalilzad has been relentless in his pursuit of an intra-Afghan dialogue after an earlier planned meeting between the government and the Taliban in Doha was scuttled when both sides disagreed on participants.

As in previous rounds of talks between Khalilzad and the Taliban, the focus will be on the withdrawal of U.S. troops and Taliban guarantees to prevent Afghanistan from again hosting militants who can stage global attacks. Still, both Khalilzad and Pompeo have said that agreements with the Taliban will come hand in hand with agreements on an intra-Afghan dialogue and a permanent cease fire.

Until now the Taliban have refused to meet directly with Ghani’s government but have held several rounds of talks with a collection of Afghan personalities from Kabul, including former President Hamid Karzai, several prominent opposition leaders and government peace council members. Both those meetings were held in Moscow earlier this year. The Taliban say they will meet with government officials but as ordinary Afghans and not representatives of the government __ at least not until an agreement with the U.S. is finalized, saying the U.S. is the final arbiter on the Taliban’s biggest issue of troop withdrawal.

The Taliban have also refused a cease-fire. Taliban officials who have spoken to the AP on condition they not be identified because they are not authorized to speak to the media, say they won’t agree to a cease-fire until troop withdrawal is in place because returning Taliban to the battlefield with the same momentum of today if the U.S. reneges on its promises could be difficult.

After nearly 18 years and billions of dollars in the protracted war that began in 2001 to unseat the Taliban and hunt down al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and his followers who carried out the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in the United States, the Taliban control or contest roughly half of Afghan territory.

The latest round of talks comes amid heightened expectations that followed Pompeo’s optimistic time frame for a pact to end Afghanistan’s nearly 18-year war and America’s longest-running military engagement.

https://www.apnews.com/69c8b1ad23a7463f9fab4f61413a6a81
Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'