AuthorTopic: The Surlynewz Channel  (Read 614977 times)

Offline Surly1

  • Administrator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 16969
    • View Profile
    • Doomstead Diner
Steyer says he bought website domain for Trump's 'Keep America Great' slogan
« Reply #4035 on: December 07, 2019, 04:32:14 AM »
Steyer says he bought website domain for Trump's 'Keep America Great' slogan

Aris Folley12/02/19 01:26 PM EST

Billionaire philanthropist and Democratic presidential hopeful Tom Steyer announced on Monday he purchased a site with President Trump’s campaign slogan, “Keep America Great,” which now redirects visitors to a page calling the president a “fraud” and “failure.”

“Trump’s campaign prides itself on hoarding websites of political opponents, but they forgot to pick up the URL for their signature re-election slogan, ‘Keep America Great,’ ” Steyer’s campaign said in an email announcing the move.

“Now, the website offers the opportunity to purchase a bumper sticker that highlights what a majority of Americans already know about Donald Trump: that he’s a fraud and failure who borrowed billions of dollars to bankrupt businesses,” the campaign added.

The Trump campaign, however pushed back on the claim made by Steyer’s team that the president’s campaign team “forgot" to register the domain name for Trump's 2020 slogan.

“Tom Steyer is lying about the availability of this website and he knows it,” Tim Murtagh, the campaign’s director of communications told The Hill. “The site was created in 2015, well before the election of 2016, and has been a Trump-hating website for more than four years."

Online records show the domain name was first launched on June 25, 2015. Trump formally launched his campaign on June 16, 2015. However, Trump, whose initial campaign slogan was “Make America Great Again,” didn’t officially announce his 2020 slogan, “Keep America Great,” until early 2017, more than a year after the domain first launched. 

A spokesperson for Steyer’s campaign told The Hill that the campaign “purchased the domain two weeks ago without the help of Russia because it's important to tell the truth about Donald Trump's record of bankrupting businesses.”

“It’s clear that Donald Trump has no problem bullying people online, but can’t take the heat when Tom Steyer turns the tables and exposes him for what he is - a fraud and a failure,” he added.

Steyer’s campaign did not disclose the amount of money it spent on the domain.

Currently, when visitors go to KeepAmericaGreat.com, they have the option to donate $1 in exchange for a bumper sticker that reads, “Trump is a fraud & a failure.”

On a page asking for donations, Steyer’s campaign highlights the Democratic National Committee’s new debate requirements that say a candidate must have 200,000 individual donors to qualify for the December presidential primary debate. 

His campaign says they’re “close” to the fundraising goal but “Tom needs your help to get there.”

The announcement by Steyer’s campaign comes weeks after Trump’s election campaign purchased the domain name TodosConBiden.com, which was the slogan former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign team coined for its effort targeting Latino voters at the time, according to NBC News.

The page now leads visitors to a page with Biden looking down next to the message, “Oops, Joe forgot about Latinos. Joe is all talk.” It also redirects users to a “Latinos For Trump” page.

"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

  • Administrator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 16969
    • View Profile
    • Doomstead Diner
The Centuries-Long History of Extractive Greed
« Reply #4036 on: December 09, 2019, 05:05:41 AM »
Josue De Luna Navarro: The Centuries-Long History of Extractive Greed
Climate change is a symptom of a malevolent virus borne out of capitalism and colonialism. Indigenous liberation shows the path towards healing the planet.


Any "climate action that doesn't connect the historic links between the carbon economy, colonialism, capitalism and ecological destruction would be oppressive to Indigenous communities," the author writes.
Any “climate action that doesn’t connect the historic links between the carbon economy, colonialism, capitalism and ecological destruction would be oppressive to Indigenous communities,” the author writes. (Photo: Joe Brusky/flickr/cc)

Two years after spilling 407,000 gallons of oil in South Dakota, the Keystone Pipeline erupted again. In November, a North Dakota portion of the pipeline leaked another 380,000 gallons – adding to the millions of gallons of crude oil that have spilled from pipelines over the last decade, as Undark has reported. 

As the climate crisis worsens, the fossil fuel industry has clearly messaged its apathy by continuing to pollute the planet. But these horrific leaks aren’t simply one-off “incidents.” They reveal a long history of oppression on communities of color and the planet.

 Colonial economies have depended on the extraction of natural resources and the oppression of people of color as early as the 16th century. This process took many forms – mining for gold and silver in the Global South, the creation of plantations, and the enslavement of Black and Brown people. 

Dina Gilio-Whitaker, the author of As Long As Grass Grows: The Indigenous Fight for Environmental Justice From Colonization to Standing Rock, notes how the 19th-century codification of racist ideologies, like Manifest Destiny and the Christian Doctrine of Discovery, allowed the U.S. to assume “ultimate dominion over the lands of America.”

These ideologies became the backbone of false moral and legal justifications of genocide and slavery, which provided the land and labor for massive extractive operations like the Gold Rush. As historian Howard Zinn states, the removal of Indigenous communities was “necessary for the opening of the vast American lands to agriculture, to commerce, to markets, to money, to the development of modern capitalistic economy.”

Nothing has changed today. The legacy of genocide and ecological destruction continues to live and thrive in the present-day global economy, thanks to the greed of extractive industries and the state power that protects them from community resistance. 

In Honduras, water defenders in the community of Tocoa have been killed and imprisoned for organizing against mining companies. In Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro’s right-wing neoliberal government is helping corporations with their deforestation and land grabs, which are displacing Indigenous communities in the Amazon. In the United States, water defenders organizing against the Dakota Access Pipeline were arrested and violently repressed by a militarized police presence protecting the pipelines. Meanwhile Indigenous protesters opposing the expansion of the leaking Keystone Pipeline are criminalized

Unfortunately, this is only a minuscule list of examples. But as long the foundation of racism, and genocide is not addressed, corporations will continue to benefit from ecological destruction. 

Exxon Mobil, Chevron, and ConocoPhillips have managed to become the top three companies responsible for the climate crisis we live today, thanks to neoliberal policies that have allowed them to displace Indigenous communities. And they don’t act alone. They have plenty of accomplices in the financial sector.

According to a recent report from the Indigenous Environmental Network, 33 of the world’s largest banks have financed fossil fuel industries to the tune of $1.9 trillion since the 2016 Paris Agreement. JPMorgan Chase alone – the largest fossil fuel financier by a wide margin – poured $196 billion into these extractive projects, including fossil fuel expansion. 

According to The Guardian, Vanguard, BlackRock, and State Street manage a combined $300 billion in fossil fuel funding. Put together, all three managers are responsible for the management of nearly 10 billion barrels of crude oil alone, responsible for up to 900 million tons of CO2 emissions

 The fight against the climate crisis has been going on for more than 500 years. After all, colonialism, slavery, and extraction are three faces of the same ogre – capitalism – that continues to devour our planet today. And recognizing these intersections is crucial. As researcher Adriana Gomez Bonilla writes in El Cambio Climatico: Alternativas Desde La Autonomía Zapatista, any climate action that doesn’t connect the historic links between the carbon economy, colonialism, capitalism and ecological destruction would be oppressive to Indigenous communities.

Indigenous communities have always considered the relationship between humans, living organisms and Earth to be sacred. From the mexica Tlaltecuhtlithe Lakota Unci Makaand the Inca Pachamama to the Vedic Prithvi Mata and the Akan Aasase Yaa, virtually all Indigenous communities have always had a concept of Mother Earth as a living organism we must respect – a harmonious relationship disrupted by capitalism and the greed for profit.

Even after centuries of oppression, Indigenous communities have protected, and cared for ecosystems, showing the path forward for treating the climate crisis we are facing today. “Community approaches…informed by indigenous knowledge and local knowledge” the UN’s IPCC 2018 landmark report notes “can accelerate the wide-scale behavior changes consistent with adapting to and limiting global warming.”

But using Indigenous knowledge to tackle the climate crisis isn’t enough. Any climate solution must be centered on Indigenous liberation. 

As we continue to address the climate crisis systematically, we can’t turn a blind eye to the draconian legacy of genocide and slavery caused by the state and by extractive corporations. Any climate action must hold them accountable and prioritize the decolonization, land restoration and environmental self-determination of Indigenous communities. 

Climate change is a symptom of a malevolent virus borne out of capitalism and colonialism. And to heal the planet, Indigenous liberation provides a cure.


Josue De Luna Navarro

Josue De Luna Navarro is the New Mexico Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies.

First published by Inequality.org. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.

"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

  • Administrator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 16969
    • View Profile
    • Doomstead Diner
GREEK FIGHTER JET "LOCKS-ON" TO TURKISH FRIGATE WITH FIRE-CONTROL RADAR
« Reply #4037 on: December 09, 2019, 07:09:32 AM »
Perhaps this bears watching. What could possibly go wrong?

GREEK FIGHTER JET "LOCKS-ON" TO TURKISH FRIGATE WITH FIRE-CONTROL RADAR
Hostilities now thought "Imminent"



8  December, 2019
 
An extremely serious incident has taken place in the Aegean Sea between the armed forces of Greece and Turkey.
A Greek Mirage 2000 fighter jet activated his fire-control radar, which achieved radar lock upon a Turkish Frigate.  
The image below is from the Mirage 2000 fighter jet cockpit:
As the jet approaches, the frigate can barely be seen, but the fire control radar is actively hunting:
Seconds later, the radar LOCKED-ON to the Turkish vessel:
The radar was linked and feeding target data to an Exocet anti-ship missile.
Had the Greek pilot fired, the Turkish vessel would likely have been sunk.
Both Greece and Turkey are members of NATO.  They know the rules about such actions:
In modern rules of engagement, locking a fire control radar onto a target is an act of war.  The rules permit the use of lethal force by those upon whom radar has locked.
Thankfully, neither the Greek pilot nor the Turkish ship Captain fired.  This time.
But tensions are skyrocketing between Greece and Turkey after last wees announcement that Turkey had signed a deal with Libya for oil drilling rights in the Aegean Sea.  The problem is that the Libyans gave away ocean which wasn't theirs to give.  The deal directly intrudes upon the Greek territorial waters around the Greek island of Crete.
Greece has made clear if Turkey sends oil drilling ships into its territory, the Greek Navy will take action.
Turkey has made clear that it will have Turkish navy ships escorting their oil drilling ships and if the Greeks take naval action, so will the Turks.
The Turk oil drilling ships are scheduled to head to the area THIS COMING WEEK.
Word from intel chatter is that an outbreak of actual hostilities now appears "imminent" between Greece and Turkey.
"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

  • Administrator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 16969
    • View Profile
    • Doomstead Diner
Russia "gaining sympathy'among US troops
« Reply #4038 on: December 09, 2019, 07:25:06 AM »
Russia "gaining sympathy'among US troops

An alarmist headline out of US state-funded media arm Voice of America: "Pentagon Concerned Russia Cultivating Sympathy Among US Troops". The story begins as follows:

Russian efforts to weaken the West through a relentless campaign of information warfare may be starting to pay off, cracking a key bastion of the U.S. line of defense: the military. While most Americans still see Moscow as a key U.S. adversary, new polling suggests that view is changing, most notably among the households of military members

Remember when NATO bombed Belgrade back to the middle ages, invaded and occupied Iraq, started an eighteen-year long quagmire in Afghanistan, created anarchy in Libya, funded and armed al-Qaeda in Syria, and expanded its bases right up to US borders? Neither do we. 

File image via EPA/NBC

Perhaps American soldiers are simply sick and tired of the US military and intelligence machine's legacy of ashes across the globe and recognize the inconvenient fact that Russia most often has been on the complete opposite side of Washington's disastrous regime change wars.

Nothing to see here...

The second annual Reagan National Defense Survey, completed in late October, found nearly half of armed services households questioned, 46%, said they viewed Russia as ally.

Overall, the survey found 28% of Americans identified Russia as an ally, up from 19% the previous year.

...While a majority, 71% of all Americans and 53% of military households, still views Russia as an enemy, the spike in pro-Russian sentiment has defense officials concernedVOA

Perhaps US military households are also smart enough to know the Cold War is long over, and only bad things can come from a direct confrontation with Russia, not to mention that involvement in proxy war in Ukraine has nothing to do with America's national defense or to "protect and defend the Constitution"

To be expected, the VOA's presentation of the new poll which finds more service members are 'sympathetic' to Russia is heavy on the supposed 'Trump-Russia nexus' narrative and emphasizes an uptick in Kremlin propaganda, while failing to acknowledge a failed legacy of 'endless wars' and destabilizing US influence across the globe. 

It's 2019, and US solders are still in Iraq. Image via Getty/NYT
The poll itself claimed the changing numbers were “predominantly driven by Republicans who have responded to positive cues from [U.S.] President [Donald] Trump about Russia.”

“There is an effort, on the part of Russia, to flood the media with disinformation to sow doubt and confusion,” DoD spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Carla Gleason was cited in the VOA report as saying. Ah yes, a few Kremlin-sponsored Facebook posts and Trump's expressed desire for better relations with Putin, and suddenly the military too is 'pro-Putin'! apparently.

Perhaps the "doubt and confusion" comes via trillion dollar endless wars of regime change and pointless occupations which cost American lives? In other words, this is not a 'Russia problem' at all, but lies too close to home for Washington pundits and pollsters to admit. 

* * *

Finally, we should ask, would US military members see in today's foreign policy adventurism anything remotely resembling John Quincy Adams' famous 1821 admonition? 

"But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will commend the general cause by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example. She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom. The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force.... She might become the dictatress of the world. She would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit..."

"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

  • Administrator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 16969
    • View Profile
    • Doomstead Diner
Walmart Store Holding Thanksgiving Charity Food Drive -- For Its Own Employees!
« Reply #4039 on: December 10, 2019, 04:20:52 AM »
Walmart Store Holding Thanksgiving Charity Food Drive -- For Its Own Employees!



Recently, Yahoo’s 24/7 Wall Street column sought to identify the nation’s 10 worst paying employers, based on the methodology ultizied by the National Employment Law Project in its 2012 report, “Big Business, Corporate Profits, and the Minimum Wage.”

To the surprise of nobody, Walmart came out on top, achieving the distinction of being the worst paying company in America.

Still, when it comes to Walmart, there are certain analysts and observers who can’t seem to remove the blinders. They continue to insist that Walmart pays its workers an average of over $18.00 per hour when even the company acknowledges that the average full time, hourly rate is $12.83—and that number includes the salaries of some of the highest paid employees in the averaging such as the CEO who earned $20.7 million last year.

Maybe, at long last, the blinders will come off when these deniers are forced to come to grips with the fact that Walmart associates are paid so poorly that a store in Canton, Ohio, located in the northeastern part of the state, now holds an annual, Thanksgiving drive to collect canned foods for fellow Walmart employees in need.

Walmart spokesperson, Kory Lundberg, thinks this is all just the most wonderful thing—bragging that the drive to collect holiday food for fellow employees shows just how much Walmart employees care about one another.

Do you imagine the spokesperson has yet to realize just how remarkable her statement is?

Surely, those in need at the Canton, Ohio store are benefitting from the good will of some fellow workers who care enough to drop off a can of cranberry sauce to help make their co-workers’ holiday meal a bit nicer, even though they too suffer from earning too little to take care of their own families.

However, what about the other employees at Walmart—say, for example, CEO Mike Duke who could make this in-house charitable effort unnecessary by simply paying his employees a livable wage so that they might afford a decent Thanksgiving dinner on their own?

While spokesperson Lundberg seems to be feeling all ‘Christmassy' as a result of the good works company employees are performing when it comes to their own modern day Tiny Tim story, other employees at the Walmart store in question are not quite so cheery.

One employee, who did not wish to divulge her name for fear of being fired, found the food drive containers in her locker a few weeks ago upon arriving at work. The employee, who found the campaign “demoralizing” and “kind of depressing”, snapped photos of the containers which are now making their way around social media outlets as proof positive of just how bad Walmart’s indifference to their employees' living circumstances has become.

If what is happening at the Canton, Ohio store is insufficient proof that this company’s wages are too low, then there is clearly no measure or metric that could possibly serve to make the point.

Says Kate Bronfenbrenner, director of labor education research at Cornell Univeristy’s school of labor, “That captures Wal-Mart right there. Wal-Mart is setting up bins because its employees don’t make enough to feed themselves and their families.”

Of course, the start of the holiday season will not be grim for everyone at Walmart as there will likely be ample goodies of bonus checks and stock options in the stockings of top employees at the company, as Walmart's net income rose to $17 billion last year.

If your idea of American capitalism is of the "bah humbug" variety, then I'm sure that this story will leave you saying, "They're damned lucky they have a job at all!" But for those Americans who still believe that free enterprise means that working hard at a job should be compensated with a livable wage, I hope you will let your feelings be known.

And if you happen to live in the Canton, Ohio area, drop by and make a contribution. The folks at Walmart who are helping you to pick out that nice turkey for your Thanksgiving family gathering will appreciate your helping to give them some happiness on that day as their own Ebenezer Scrooge of an employer won't be dropping by with a Christmas goose.

Contact Rick at thepolicypage@gmail.com and follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

"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

  • Administrator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 16969
    • View Profile
    • Doomstead Diner
Tulsi Gabbard Votes ‘Present’ in Impeachment Against Trump
« Reply #4040 on: December 19, 2019, 03:34:15 AM »
Prefatory to her "third party™" Presidential run on behalf of Fat Orange, I am sure.

Tulsi Gabbard Votes ‘Present’ in Impeachment Against Trump

The Democrat has missed nearly 90 percent of the votes held in the House of Representatives over the past two months. On Wednesday, she dodged the biggest vote of her career.



As the House of Representatives debated two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump on Wednesday, many members of Congress noted during their short speaking time that the impending vote would likely be one of the most important decisions of their legislative careers.

For Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, however, the question of whether to vote for the president to be tried on charges of obstruction of Congress and abuse of power was apparently not worth answering.

The Hawaii Democrat and presidential candidate, one of the last members of her party to come out in support of the impeachment inquiry, voted “present” for the two votes on the articles of impeachment against Trump and was nowhere to be found during four procedural votes on Wednesday morning or during the six hours of scheduled debate over the articles.

In a statement released after she voted “present” on both articles, Gabbard said that because she “could not in good conscience vote either yes or no... I am standing in the center and have decided to vote ‘Present.’”

Gabbard blamed both sides of the House for turning the impeachment inquiry into a “partisan endeavor,” blasting Trump’s defenders as having “abdicated their responsibility to exercise legitimate oversight,” and the president’s critics of using “extreme rhetoric.”

“My vote today is a vote for much needed reconciliation and hope that together we can heal our country,” Gabbard concluded.

Gabbard’s office did not respond to numerous requests for comment over the course of the day about her intentions on the articles of impeachment, or to an inquiry about the reasons behind her abstention following the final vote. Gabbard has missed nearly 90 percent of the votes held in the House of Representatives over the past two months to meet the demands of her increasingly quixotic quest for the Democratic nomination. In October, she announced that she would not be seeking re-election to her seat in Congress.

On Monday, Gabbard—the only member of the Democratic presidential field eligible to cast a House vote on articles of impeachment—told an audience in South Carolina that she was “taking this time for myself to be able to review everything that's happened” before coming to a final decision on whether to vote for the articles of impeachment. “I think it’s really important that every member of Congress cast their vote based on what’s in the best interest of the country, rather than based on political implications.”

In the meantime, Gabbard said she would be putting forward a censure resolution, which would register the House’s deep disapproval of misconduct but would not endanger Trump’s presidency itself. As of Wednesday evening, however, no such legislation had been submitted.

Gabbard’s congressional staff did not immediately respond to a request for a copy of the censure resolution and reportedly told Civil Beat reporter Nick Grube that they didn’t have a copy, but her office released the language of the censure bill shortly after her vote on the articles of impeachment. In the measure, Gabbard calls for a censure of Trump for his actions involving Ukraine, accusing the president of “a willful abuse of power” and “putting his personal political interests before those of the American people.”

The decision to avoid taking a stand on either side of the impeachment question was not popular with some of Gabbard’s Democratic colleagues in the House of Representatives. First-term Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York told reporters after the vote that “to not take a stand one way or another in a day of such grave consequence to this country is quite difficult. We’re here to lead.”

The congresswoman became only the 20th member of the House in history not to vote on articles of impeachment against a sitting president and the first ever to vote “present.” In 1868, 17 members declined to participate in a vote on articles of impeachment against President Andrew Johnson.

More than a century later, two House members missed voting on the four articles of impeachment against President Bill Clinton in 1998. California Democrat George Miller was recovering from hip surgery; Maine Republican Tom Allen left halfway through the vote to walk his daughter down the aisle.

“I can’t tell you how bad this feels,” Allen said at the time, calling the question of impeachment “one of the most important votes that... [I would] ever cast.”
"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."

Online Eddie

  • Global Moderator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 17697
    • View Profile
Re: The Surlynewz Channel
« Reply #4041 on: December 19, 2019, 04:23:58 AM »
#WTF
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline RE

  • Administrator
  • Chief Cook & Bottlewasher
  • *****
  • Posts: 39781
    • View Profile
Re: Tulsi Gabbard Votes ‘Present’ in Impeachment Against Trump
« Reply #4042 on: December 19, 2019, 04:46:26 AM »
She's gonna get HAMMERED for that in the next debate, if she emakes it that far.

RE
Save As Many As You Can

Online Eddie

  • Global Moderator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 17697
    • View Profile
Re: The Surlynewz Channel
« Reply #4043 on: December 19, 2019, 05:14:42 AM »
I'd like to think it has to do with her sense of personal ethics, but I expect it's a move designed with cold political expediency in mind.

I would expect some blowback yes.
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline Surly1

  • Administrator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 16969
    • View Profile
    • Doomstead Diner
Re: The Surlynewz Channel
« Reply #4044 on: December 20, 2019, 04:43:54 AM »
I'd like to think it has to do with her sense of personal ethics, but I expect it's a move designed with cold political expediency in mind.

I would expect some blowback yes.

She has explained herself in print, which I feel no need to reproduce. I read it as a lot of "on the one hand, on the other hand" self-justification. Meh.
She didn't make the debate stage, so I suspect the next time we see her on the national stage, she'll be running as a Sherman Adelson-backed newly-minted "independent" so beloved of spoiler candidates.
"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

  • Administrator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 16969
    • View Profile
    • Doomstead Diner
How Trump Lost an Evangelical Stalwart
« Reply #4045 on: December 20, 2019, 04:47:33 AM »
This interview with the author of the opinion piece, Mark Galli, is surprisingly nuanced and thoughtful, a departure from the apocalyptic tone of the CT piece.

How Trump Lost an Evangelical Stalwart
The editor in chief of Christianity Today explains his scathing editorial about the president’s behavior—and the damage he argues his fellow Christians are doing to the Gospel.


Oliver Contreras / Getty

Evangelicals just received an ultimatum: Abandon President Donald Trump, or betray your brothers and sisters in Christ.

Christianity Today—the magazine founded by the famous preacher Billy Graham, and the longtime forum for mainstream evangelical thought—has published an editorial calling for Trump to be removed from the White House. The editor in chief, Mark Galli, acknowledged that “the typical CT approach is to stay above the fray and allow Christians with different political convictions to make their arguments in the public square.” But the facts are “unambiguous,” Galli wrote. “The president of the United States attempted to use his political power to coerce a foreign leader to harass and discredit one of the president’s political opponents. That is not only a violation of the Constitution; more importantly, it is profoundly immoral.”

Within hours of the article’s publication, the magazine’s website had crashed and Galli had been invited to speak on CNN and NPR, among other outlets. To be clear, Galli’s editorial in no way signals that evangelicals are about to defect, en masse, from Trump or the Republican Party. Christianity Today, also known as CT, mostly appeals to well-educated readers who are moderate in every way, including politically and theologically. Much of its readership is international, and many older print subscribers might not even register the small, seismic event that just happened on CT’s website. And polling over the past few months has consistently shown that white evangelicals remain among Trump’s staunchest supporters.

What’s significant about Galli’s statement is how directly he makes the case that his fellow Christians have a responsibility to call out Trump’s immoral behavior. Otherwise, he writes, they risk damaging their ability to share the Gospel with the world. Christians have been divided over Trump since he became a serious presidential candidate in 2016. Now, less than a month away from retirement, Galli wants them to unite against the president.

I spoke with Galli shortly after his editorial was published this evening. Our conversation has been condensed and edited for clarity.


Emma Green: Why did you feel called to publish this editorial?

Mark Galli: One of my main goals for the last three or four years is to have evangelicals on the left and the right, pro-Trump and anti-Trump, learn to listen to each other, to be caring to one another, to understand one another. I think our unity in Christ is much more important than our fusion in politics.

I have friends who voted for Trump for strong, prudential reasons. They’re very much pro-life, very much pro–religious freedom. They said, “Well, we can put up with his moral problems, because he’s delivering on things that are really important to us.” So, you know, I grant that.

I don’t think it was until the impeachment hearings that there was some sort of smoking gun that was just unambiguously clear. The Mueller investigation was so confusing. It was hard to tell what was legal or illegal, moral or immoral. I just don’t know how that world works. But with the impeachment hearings, it became absolutely clear that he tried to use his power as the president to manipulate a foreign leader into getting dirt on his political enemies. That’s unconstitutional, and it’s immoral. So it was kind of a clear moment.

I’ve been thinking, in the last week, whether we should address that. I recalled that in the Clinton era and the Nixon era, when it became absolutely clear about the immoral improprieties of the president, we said that this person is no longer fit for office. That was weighing on me, and I thought maybe it was time for us to do this.

I started with the notion: Okay, we’re going to do this like CT: “On the one hand. On the other hand ... Let’s try to understand each other.” But then I thought, I’m not going to do that. I’m just going to say what I think the reality is that we have to open our eyes to.

And it was done in an hour.

Green: I was struck by how directly you called on your fellow evangelicals to be honest about what you see as Trump’s misconduct. You wrote, “Consider what an unbelieving world will say if you continue to brush off Mr. Trump’s immoral words and behavior in the cause of political expediency.” That’s very, very direct. Were you at all worried about how other Christians may hear or read those words?

Galli: Not too much. I know some will read it very negatively. They’ll consider me partisan, that I’m a closet Democrat—which I’m not. I’m independent. They’re going to say that Trump appoints pro-life justices; he’s working for religious freedom. And it occurred to me today, as I was writing the editorial, that the “on the one hand, on the other hand” logic of whether you’re going to support Trump or not—that falls apart at some point.

Imagine, for example, that a woman is being verbally abused by her husband. He’s a great father—he gets along with the kids, and he’s a great supporter. So you think, All right, he’s verbally abusive to me; he has kind of a hot temper. But he’s got these other things going for him, so I’m not going to rock the boat too much. I might try to get him to calm down, but I can live with it.

Then he starts to become violent, and dangerously violent. He’s still a good provider. He still loves the kids. But nobody would say, “You need to weigh this!” They would say, “Get the man out of the house immediately.” The moral balancing no longer applies.

And the same seems to be true of the Trump presidency. Yes, he’s done some good that I am grateful for. But the moral scales no longer balance. It’s time for him to get out of the house, so to speak.

Green: One of the things that you seem most concerned about in the editorial is the reputation of evangelicalism—of Christianity—and the damage that this association with Trump might do to Christian witness.

I wonder how much that motivates you—your belief that the association with Trump is going to do long-term damage to the ability of Christians to share the Gospel.

Galli: Oh my God. It’s going to be horrific.

We’ve been a movement that has said the moral character of our leaders is really important. And if they fail in that department, they can’t be a good influence. That’s what CT said when Nixon’s immoralities were discovered. That’s what we said when Clinton’s immoralities were discovered. And one of the reasons I thought we should say it now is because it’s pretty clear that this is the case with Donald Trump.

Unfortunately, a number of my brothers and sisters will just defend him to the end. They somehow think that’s going to be a good witness to the Gospel. It’s unimaginable to me how they think that, but they do. And I just think it’s a big mistake.

Green: Right after the impeachment vote, two prominent evangelical leaders—Samuel Rodriguez and Johnnie Moore—sent out a statement saying that Democrats have pursued an exclusively partisan impeachment effort. They were not actually impeaching the president of the United States, but the voters who put him in office. They were repeating, basically, the spin from the White House.

Do you feel like you’ve completely lost your connection to the leaders who have made this choice to come out and forcefully defend Trump no matter what, when you see the facts of the case so differently?

Galli: I have a good personal relationship with Johnnie Moore. He and I know we disagree about stuff, politically. He might be surprised about the passion with which I wrote this piece, but I don’t think he’s going to be surprised at the content. I assume he’s going to be amicable towards me when we meet next time, as I will be towards him. Other people who have not met me will have preconceptions about me and what I stand for. That’s fine.

I will acknowledge, and I did acknowledge, that the Democrats are riding on a partisan horse here. They just vehemently hate Donald Trump. And they’ve been trying from day one to get him out of office. There’s no question about that.

But that doesn’t take away from the fact that what they discovered is actually true. That’s the thing that’s disappointing about my evangelical and conservative friends. They just won’t admit it. They just won’t say it. They just say, “It’s partisan.” Well, yeah. It’s partisan. But this partisan effort happened to uncover something that was really bad.

The fact that not a single Republican, and none of my evangelical, conservative friends, has been able to admit that strikes me as a deep and serious problem.

I’m sorry, Emma. I’m going to start preaching—I used to be a pastor. I don’t think the Republican Party or the Democratic Party are exemplars of moral virtue. As most commentators have noted, our country is in a really deeply troubling state when it comes to ethical and moral leadership. I’m certainly not going to say, “Oh, all the politicians are really ethical and Donald Trump isn’t.” No. But he happens to be the president of the United States. He deserves a certain amount of focus.

Green: Do you feel that you’re out of step with the body of evangelicals in the United States—and particularly white evangelicals—who are mostly supportive of Trump?

Galli: Yeah. That’s just a fact of life. At least as long as I’ve been editor in chief, I’ve never imagined that we at Christianity Today speak for all evangelicals. We speak for moderate, center-right, and center-left evangelicals. The far right—they don’t read us. They don’t care what we think. They think we’ve been co-opted by liberalism. So I understand that we do not represent the entire movement. And anyone who thinks that CT does, that’s just not the case.

I look at my brothers and sisters who are supportive of Trump, and I see the other things they’re doing: the life of their churches, the type of causes they support overseas. I can praise and honor them for those things. So I still see them as brothers and sisters. But we’re not in the same world when it comes to this sort of thing, right now.

Green: Are you worried about losing readers because of this editorial?

Galli: Not really. I recognize that that’s a possibility. But to be honest—and I’m sorry if I sound like a person of great moral virtue—those are the types of things I’ve never given a whole lot of thought to. I never weigh what I’m going to say or not say based on whether people will start subscribing or stop subscribing. That just strikes me as a very small-minded way of deciding what you’re going to write about.

I think we’ll gain some readers, too. When we’ve written something controversial in the past and I thought we would end up losing subscribers, we actually ended up gaining. In this case, I’m happy to let the cards fall where they may, and see what happens.

Green: Were there people at CT who knew you were going to write this editorial who cautioned you away from it?

Galli: No, because really only three people saw it before it went up. Ted Olsen is a longtime companion at CT. Anything important, I make sure he goes over with a fine-tooth comb. And then, of course, my president—anything of such a sensitive nature that might affect the entire ministry, I let him look at and comment on. I’m about to retire, on January 3. So I did not want to do something that would explode in such a way that would make his life and the life of the incoming editor in chief unnecessarily hard. So I showed it to him and said, “If you have concerns, let’s talk.” And his only concerns were to add some additional paragraphs that made it a stronger editorial.

Green: Right, your retirement does seem relevant here. You’ve been a writer, thinker, and public figure in the evangelical world for a long time. I wonder how, as you prepare to leave your post, you’re thinking about the divisive, negative environments of both evangelicalism and American politics. Does it anguish you that this is where evangelicalism is today—or, I should say, where Christianity is today?

Galli: One cannot be but unhappy about that. But I don’t have any illusions that if I stuck around a little longer, or tried a little harder, I could somehow solve it. I became editor in chief in 2012, and I can certainly say I haven’t made a dent in that problem.

It isn’t the first time in church history that the church has been divided. It’s been divided over very important things. So I am a great believer in the providence of God, and that he will, in his grace, mercy, and mysterious judgment, help us through this period. It’s not my responsibility to heal the breach among evangelicals. It’s not my responsibility to bring peace to the world. My responsibility, given the position I have, whatever it might be, is to speak the truth. If it makes a difference, I am thankful to God. And if it doesn’t make a difference, that’s kind of up to him.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.

"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

  • Administrator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 16969
    • View Profile
    • Doomstead Diner
New Anti-Aging Clinical Trial Begins. For $1 Million, You Can Be a Participant.
« Reply #4046 on: December 23, 2019, 03:18:05 AM »
"The pricey trial is being run by Libella Gene Therapeutics, a Kansas-based company whose website proclaims that 'the future is here.' "

Indeed. the  implications are obvious. Gloriously extended lifespans for those who can pay, and toxic death for you and me. Happy holidays!

New Anti-Aging Clinical Trial Begins. For $1 Million, You Can Be a Participant.



An American biotech company has launched clinical trials in Colombia to test a new therapy designed to reverse the aging process, and in turn, treat age-related diseases, according to news reports. 

But to steal a sip from this purported fountain of youth, participants in the trial must first fork over $1 million — a fee that seems even more astronomical when you consider that most clinical trials are either free or provide participants with financial compensation, according to a report by OneZero, a Medium publication about tech and science. 

The pricey trial is being run by Libella Gene Therapeutics, a Kansas-based company whose website proclaims that "the future is here." The company announced its intention to test its anti-aging remedies in Cartagena, Colombia, in 2018, and began recruiting for the trials in October of this year. Using a single-gene therapy, Libella aims to "prevent, delay, or even reverse" the general effects of aging, as well as treat diseases that emerge in old age, such as Alzheimer's, according to ClinicalTrials.gov.

In fact, in its own press release, the company boasted, without evidence, that its gene therapy "may be the world's first cure for Alzheimer's disease." The bold claim raises an obvious question: Will the treatment actually work?

Short answer: No one really knows, but the fact that Libella shipped its operation beyond the reach of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn't inspire confidence, experts told OneZero. 

Related: 5 Reasons Not to Fear Getting Older

A cure for aging?

Unlike anti-aging face creams that soften the superficial signs of aging, the Libella therapy aims to reverse aging from the ground up, so to speak, starting at the level of our genes. Specifically, the gene therapy is intended to lengthen patients' telomeres — structures that cap the tips of chromosomes and prevent the genetic material inside from fraying. Telomeres grow shorter each time a cell divides, and when the structures reach a critical length, cells either stop dividing or perish, according to Stanford Medicine.

The theory goes, if you rebuild the body's shortened telomeres, the process of aging might be thrown in reverse. This is not a new idea. Severalstudies in mice suggest that using gene therapy to lengthen telomeres can reverse certain signs of aging in the animals. A 2015 study from Stanford prompted similar effects in isolated human cells; the treatment lengthened cells' telomeres by fiddling with a close cousin of DNA, called RNA, which helps cells build proteins. 

The Libella therapy aims to help cells rebuild telomeres by activating a gene in their DNA that would normally be switched "off." The gene, called TERT, contains instructions to build a protein called "telomerase," an enzyme that adds molecules to the end of telomeres and prevents the structures from shortening during cell replication, according to a 2010 report in the journal Biochemistry.

Libella's lead scientific officer, molecular biologist William Andrews, originally helped identify the human telomerase enzyme at the biotech firm Geron. Later, he licensed a gene therapy based on the finding to Libella, according to OneZero. "I can't say [telomere shortening is] the only cause of aging, but it plays a role in humans," Andrews told the publication.

Related: 8 Tips for Healthy Aging

Andrews' therapies will soon be put to the test in Colombia, where one 79-year-old will receive the anti-aging treatment in next month, according to OneZero. The anti-aging trial will include four more participants over age 45 and focus on verifying that the treatment is "safe and tolerable," meaning it does not harm patients or cause unacceptable side effects. 

Two more trials will use the same therapy but aim to "prevent, delay, or even reverse the development" of Alzheimer's disease and critical limb ischemia, an age-related condition in which a person's arteries become severely obstructed. Participants in these trials must already be diagnosed with the disorders. 

After treatment, participants in all three trials will remain in the clinic for 10 days for further monitoring, and then return at regular intervals for checkups over the following year.

Experts are concerned

Libella's gene therapy involves a one-time injection delivered through an IV; the Alzheimer's therapy uses the same formula but doctors inject the product into the patient's spinal fluid. Within the product, a modified virus carries the TERT gene into cells and injects the genetic material into their DNA. The modified viruses cannot transmit diseases to people, but in high enough doses, the germs could provoke a harmful immune response in the patient, according to a 2018 animal study. Libella representatives declined to say how high a dose their clinical trial participants will receive.

"All I can say is, it's a lot," Andrews told OneZero.

Potential side effects aside, the fact that the Libella treatment will be administered beyond the purview of the FDA is telling, according to one expert. Leigh Turner, a bioethicist at the University of Minnesota, told OneZero that "even though the company is based in the United States, they've managed to find a way to evade U.S. federal law by going to a jurisdiction where it's easier to engage in this activity."

The $1 million entry fee is also alarming, Turner said, given that most clinical trials don't charge patients anything to enter. Andrews told OneZero that the fee is justified because it costs the company hundreds of thousands of dollars to make enough product to treat just one person.

The appearance of the trials on ClinicalTrials.gov, an official registry maintained by the National Institutes of Health, does not boost their credibility, she added. The automated database can be easily manipulated and "can basically be used as a marketing platform," she said.

Other stakeholders in the telomere-lengthening business are concerned, too. Michael Fossel, founder and president of the biotech startup Telocyte, told OneZero that his company's own therapy is similar to the Libella treatment — the difference is that Telocyte is seeking approval through the FDA. "We're afraid that something will go wrong [with the Libella trials], whether it's from a safety or efficacy standpoint," he said.

Related: Extending Life: 7 Ways to Live Past 100 

But even in a best case scenario, wherein no patients come to harm, the Libella therapy still might not deliver any notable health benefits. Some research suggests that no link exists between telomere length and aging.

For instance, a study published this year examined more than 261,000 people between age 60 and 70, and found no correlation between participants' telomere lengths and their age-related health outcomes, including their overall cognitive function, muscular integrity and the age of their parents. Long telomeres were associated with a lowered risk of coronary heart disease as compared with short telomeres, but longer telomere length was also linked to a heightened risk of cancer.

"Telomere lengthening may offer little gain in later‐life health status" and lead to an increased risk of cancer, the authors noted.

It remains to be seen whether Libella has truly tapped the fountain of youth, but given the dubious nature of their clinical trials, potential participants may want to exercise caution before relocating to Colombia and shelling out $1 million for a chance to live longer.

Why We Age: A Genetic Clue

Accelerated aging in lab mice is induced by changing only two "letters" in their genetic sequencing.

Originally published on Live Science. 


"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

  • Administrator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 16969
    • View Profile
    • Doomstead Diner
More than 50 people injured in 69-vehicle pileup on Virginia Interstate
« Reply #4047 on: December 23, 2019, 03:35:06 AM »
Another reason I'm grateful to not be traveling this holiday.

More than 50 people injured in 69-vehicle pileup on Virginia Interstate

More than 50 people injured in 69-vehicle pileup on Virginia Interstate originally appeared on abcnews.go.com

Heavy fog and an ice-slickened highway contributed to a massive pre-Christmas 69-vehicle pileup in eastern Virginia on Sunday that left more than 50 people injured, two in critical condition, authorities said.

The chain-reaction crash happened just before 8 a.m. in the westbound lanes of Interstate 64 near Williamsburg, Virginia, Virginia State Police Sgt. Michelle Anaya said during a news conference Sunday afternoon.

"We do not know the cause of the initial accident, but we do know that fog and the icy road conditions were causative factors in this multi-vehicle crash," Anaya said.

PHOTO: Damaged vehicles are seen after a chain reaction crash on I-64 in York County, Va., Dec. 22, 2019. (Bray Hollowell via Reuters)
PHOTO: Damaged vehicles are seen after a chain reaction crash on I-64 in York County, Va., Dec. 22, 2019. (Bray Hollowell via Reuters)

She said that shortly after the pileup occurred on westbound I-64, another eight-vehicle crash happened in the eastbound lanes, prompting state police to close the entire freeway for three hours. The westbound lanes of the interstates were not reopened until around 4:30 p.m.

Photographs and aerial footage from the scene showed a long line of crumpled vehicles, some on top of each other, near the Queens Creek Bridge, northeast of downtown Williamsburg.

Anaya said 51 people were treated at the scene or taken by ambulance to one of four area hospitals.

York County, Virginia, Fire Chief Stephen Kopczynski said two people suffered critical injuries, but were expected to survive. He said another 11 victims were being treated for serious injuries.

"It could have been far worse and luckily there are no confirmed fatalities," Anaya said.

Anaya said the crash occurred near a construction zone.

Ivan Levy told the Associated Press that he and his wife, Alena Levy, were in separate cars driving to Williamsburg when the massive wreck occurred.

(MORE: 170 Vehicle Pile-Up Triggers Fireworks and Evacuation)

Ivan Levy said he had slowed down and turned his hazard lights on when he found himself in thick fog.

“Next thing I know I see cars just start piling up on top of each other,” Ivan Levy said.

PHOTO: Crews work to clear vehicles from the Queens Creek overpass on I-64 in York County, Va., Dec. 22, 2019 after a chain-reaction crash involving multiple vehicles cars. (The Daily Press via AP)
PHOTO: Crews work to clear vehicles from the Queens Creek overpass on I-64 in York County, Va., Dec. 22, 2019 after a chain-reaction crash involving multiple vehicles cars. (The Daily Press via AP)

(MORE: About 50 Cars Involved in Deadly Pile-Up on Snow-Covered Interstate in Pennsylvania)

He said he was able to stop and avoid getting involved in the crash, but his wife was not as fortunate.

“It was just so scary,” Alena Levy told the AP as she was being treated for minor injuries at a hospital.

Ivan Levy said the car his wife crashed was a Christmas gift.

(MORE: 1 dead, 1 seriously injured in multi-car pileup in Buffalo amid blizzard conditions)

"She was all upset about the vehicle, and I was like, 'Look, honey, it’s just metal,'" he said.

Anaya said 27 state troopers were on scene investigating the pileup and said it could take several days to determine the initial cause.

With millions of people expected to travel this week for the Christmas holiday, Anaya said the crash is a wake-up call to drivers.

"We always ask people to give yourselves plenty of time when you're traveling, always wear your seatbelt, always pay attention, do not drive distracted as well," Anaya said.

"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

  • Administrator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 16969
    • View Profile
    • Doomstead Diner
Psychedelic Drug Pioneer And Spiritual Leader Ram Dass Dead At 88
« Reply #4048 on: December 23, 2019, 04:09:16 AM »
Psychedelic Drug Pioneer And Spiritual Leader Ram Dass Dead At 88
“He was a guide for thousands seeking to discover or reclaim their spiritual identity beyond or within institutional religion.”



Dec 22 (Reuters) - Ram Dass, who in the 1960s joined Timothy Leary in promoting psychedelic drugs as the path to inner enlightenment before undergoing a spiritual rebirth he spelled out in the influential book “Be Here Now,” died at home on Sunday. He was 88 years old.

“With tender hearts we share that Ram Dass (born Richard Alpert) died peacefully at home in Maui on December 22, 2019 surrounded by loved ones,” according to his official Instagram account.

“He was a guide for thousands seeking to discover or reclaim their spiritual identity beyond or within institutional religion.”

The man who would become a serene, smiling forerunner of the New Age movement and play a leading role in bringing Eastern spirituality to the West grew up as Richard Alpert in a Jewish family in Newton, Massachusetts.

He considered himself an atheist, and after graduating from Tufts University and earning a Ph.D. from Stanford University, was an up-and-coming psychology professor and researcher at Harvard University in the early ’60s.

Ram Dass would later describe himself at the time as a driven “anxiety-neurotic” who had an abundance of knowledge but lacked wisdom. Things began to change when Leary joined the Harvard faculty and the two became close friends.

He had been introduced to marijuana in 1955 by his first patient while working as a health services counselor at Stanford University but Leary took him farther with psilocybin, the compound that gives certain mushrooms hallucinogenic qualities. In his first psychedelic experience, “the rug crawled and the picture smiled, all of which delighted me,” Ram Dass wrote in “Be Here Now.”

Ram Dass and Leary wanted to open the mind to a deeper consciousness and conducted experiments that included giving the drug to “jazz musicians and physicists and philosophers and ministers and junkies and graduate students and social scientists.” Afterward, they had them fill out questionnaires about their experiences.

Ram Dass said the subjects found bliss, heightened physical senses, accelerated thought processes, a relaxing of biases and hallucinatory experiences, such as seeing God.

Ram Dass and Leary began including the hallucinogenic drug LSD, which like psilocybin was legal at the time, in their experiments but Harvard was upset that they were using students as subjects and fired them in 1963.

The two former professors later moved to a mansion in Millbrook, New York, made available to them by heirs to the fortune of industrialist Andrew Mellon, and continued their experimentation there. Anti-war protest leader Abbie Hoffman and Beat Generation writers Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac were among those who dropped in.

In an effort to avoid the disappointment of “coming down” from a drug experience, Ram Dass said he and five others locked themselves in a building at the estate for three weeks and took LSD every four hours.

“What happened in those three weeks in that house no one would ever believe, including us,” he wrote in “Be Here Now,” but they were not able to avoid the inevitable return to reality.

As the hippie movement grew, Ram Dass and Leary were among the counterculture luminaries at the Human Be-in, a 1967 gathering of some 25,000 people in San Francisco where Leary spread his “turn on, tune in, drop out” credo. Poets such as Ginsberg and Michael McClure, anti-war activists Dick Gregory and Jerry Rubin and rock acts Janis Joplin, the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane also took part.


American spiritual teacher Baba Ram Dass meditates in this 1970 file photo.
Robert Altman via Getty Images

In search for a more permanent enlightenment, later that year Ram Dass went to India, as members of the Beatles would in 1968. He found what he was looking for in the form of Hindu mystic Neem Karoli Baba, also known as Maharaj-ji. Alpert said that through Maharaj-ji he found a spiritual love deeper than anything he had experienced.

Ram Dass had taken a batch of LSD with him to India to share with holy men in order to get their opinion of it. At Maharaj-ji’s request, Ram Dass gave him a super-sized dose of LSD but said there was no discernable effect on him, nor was there three years later when they repeated the experiment.

The guru gave him the name Ram Dass, which means servant of God, and he returned to the United States with long hair, a beard and instructions from Maharaj-ji to “love everyone and tell the truth.” Drugs would no longer be a major factor in Ram Dass’ life.

He wrote about his conversion in “Be Here Now,” which became popular in the 1960s and provided a road map for the burgeoning New Age movement of spirituality.

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who used LSD in his younger years, said the book “transformed me and many of my friends” and George Harrison used the title and general philosophy for one of his post-Beatles songs.

“I was a sort of spiritual uncle to a movement - to a consciousness movement bringing the East and West together,” Ram Dass told the San Francisco Chronicle in 2004.

Ram Dass spread his interpretation of Eastern philosophy as an author and lecturer, advising acolytes to be loving (“we’re all just walking each other home”) and to sublimate the ego for the sake of the soul (“the quieter you become, the more you can hear”).

In 1978 Ram Dass co-founded the Seva Foundation, a charity to fight blindness and other health problems around the world.

Ram Dass suffered a near-fatal stroke in 1997 that partially paralyzed him and hampered his speaking ability but left him feeling more compassionate and humble. In 2007 he moved to Hawaii and used the internet to deliver lectures.

In his later years he focused on aging and dying without fear. ”(I’m) an uncle to the Baby Boomers, teaching them about illness and aging,” he told the San Francisco Chronicle in 2004. “Not to be frightened of aging. That it’s OK.”
"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 RE

  • Administrator
  • Chief Cook & Bottlewasher
  • *****
  • Posts: 39781
    • View Profile
Re: Psychedelic Drug Pioneer And Spiritual Leader Ram Dass Dead At 88
« Reply #4049 on: December 23, 2019, 04:25:19 AM »
He joins Timothy Leary in the Great Beyond.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/6EXCIWlm1fs" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/6EXCIWlm1fs</a>

RE
Save As Many As You Can

 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
73 Replies
27533 Views
Last post March 02, 2019, 12:54:20 PM
by azozeo
0 Replies
824 Views
Last post July 01, 2018, 08:07:18 PM
by Palloy2
0 Replies
518 Views
Last post August 05, 2019, 03:51:00 AM
by RE