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Chapter 7: Supreme Court Justices

[…]the Court’s fall term.   The account that follows relates those deliberations and actions.   John Roberts has been Chief Justice for over ten years. He and Alito were appointed in 2005 by Bush #2. They, together with Scalia and Thomas – and to a slightly lesser extent – Kennedy, make up the Court’s conservative block. The others – Breyer, Sotomayor, Kagan – and to a slightly lesser extent Ginsburg – make up the liberal wing of the Court. Kennedy and even Roberts are occasionally swing votes. This makes for a significant number of 5-4 decisions. Four of the five Catholics tend to vote very conservatively. Five of the justices were appointed by Republican presidents, four by Democrats. Their ideologies and decisions generally reflect those of the Presidents who appointed them.   Conservatives tend to like a literal interpretation of rules, regulations, laws – especially the Constitution and the Bible. They try to determine what the signers of the Constitution meant – what the words meant back in the late 1700s. They are called originalists or literalists or textualists.   The liberals tend to focus on the Constitution as a living document – one designed to be interpreted and applied […]

Chapter 11: Delivery and Treatment

[…]other snacks available for their visitors – why not something from a visitor? Chief Justice John Roberts has chocolates, Ronald Reagan had M and M’s, I think. Speaker Paul Ryan has mini-Clif Bars.”   “And if the staffer still refuses,” I said,  “give him or her a sample and Ananda’s card. We can then attempt to follow up with a mailing and direct note, saying something like:   “We tried to thank you for your wonderful work – in words and in chocolate – at the Walla Walla office, but the staff said they couldn’t accept it for you. So here you are. Please enjoy a unique Ananda’s Chocolate. Thanks for all you do so well.”     When we had to sign a Visitors List, we used the addresses of a VRBO property we found in the districts represented by our various patients, and the names of people who had rented the property and provided ratings and evaluations. Lucien made up and printed a dozen or so fake business cards for Ananda’s Chocolates and for the VRBO-based names and addresses we used – for every one of our patients. We destroyed the extra cards after the contact was made. […]

Chapter 6: Patient Priorities

[…]Court Justices – five:   Scalia, Antonin   Thomas, Clarence   Alito, Samuel   Roberts, John   Kennedy, Anthony   Presidential Candidates – four   Rubio, Marco   Cruz, Ted   Bush, Jeb!   Paul, Rand   Plutocrats and others – five   Koch, Charles   Koch, David   Norquist, Grover – President, Americans for Tax Reform (ATF)   LaPierre, Wayne – Executive Director, National Rifle Association (NRA)   Donohue, Thomas – President, US Chamber of Commerce   Congress – fifteen   McConnell, Mitch – Senate Majority Leader. Ryan, Paul – Speaker of the House. McCarthy, Kevin – House Majority Leader.   Barrasso, John – Wyoming Senator. Capito, Shelley – West Virginia Senator. Chaffetz, Jason – Utah District 3. Ernst, Joni – Iowa Senator; Koch support. Gardner, Cory – Colorado Senator, Koch support Goudy, Trey – South Carolina District 4, Benghazi Committee. Inhofe, Jim – Oklahoma Senator. Issa, Darrell – California District 49. Labrador, Raul – Idaho District 1; Freedom Caucus co-founder. Lee, Mike – Utah Senator. Rodgers, Cathy – Washington District 5. Smith, Lamar – Texas District 21; Chair, House Committee on Science.   These 29 and the additional ‘convenience’ patients, effectively treated, may facilitate a tipping point and […]

Chapter 12: Outcomes and Tomorrow

[…]family came.”     New York City  – Joe:              Koch, David and Justice John Roberts   “I didn’t try to get to David Koch; we had considered trying to get our local U ballet friends to help via the American Ballet Company connection with him and Julia. But it would have meant another expensive trip and probably couldn’t be carried out. Since we got to him via the T-N Center gig, I felt that was sufficient.”   “I found only one John Roberts gig, although I’m sure there must have been others. He spoke at the NY Historical Society about Justice Charles Evan Hughes, a New Yorker who made it to the Supreme Court – twice – and ran for President. Interesting guy.”   “But you did get in?” Jay asked.   “Yes – it was at the NYU Law School, on Washington Square South. I used my U faculty credentials and mentioned several U Law School friends. They had called earlier to get my name on a visiting guest list. It worked.”   “Security was actually minimal,” I continued. “Again, no cell phones; this time no computers – I was able to leave my backpack with a lady […]

Chapter 8: Presidential Candidates

[…]in Mexico. They were married in 1974, in Austin. Their three children are George, Noelle, and John. George has a law degree from the University of Texas. He is the Texas Land Commissioner, an elected position. Noelle was born 1977 in Texas. John Ellis Bush, Jr., born 1983 in Miami, is in Florida commercial real estate. Jeb and Columba have four grandchildren, two via George, and two via John Ellis.   Columba’s interests appear to be family, domestic violence, addiction and substance abuse. Their daughter Noelle has struggled with drug abuse. Jeb said recently: I can look in people’s eyes and I know that they’ve gone through the same thing that Columba and I have – referring to his daughter Noelle’s drug issues.   “Colu is also interested in Latin art and Mariachi bands, according to an Atlantic piece,” Bill continued. “As a teen-age bride from Mexico, she gave Jeb a peace-symbol ring and is reported to have great instinctive insights into life.”   “We’ll need to know more before we can conclude if she might be helpful in facilitating a Jeb Bush revelation,” I said. “I understand she’s quite Catholic and is why Jeb converted. Maybe the Pope’s visit […]

Chapter 1: Concerns and Beginnings

[…]means, in the hope that they will be replaced by more reasonable men and, preferably, women.     John F. Burns, after 40 years with the New York Times, said: I carried back…an abiding revulsion for ideology, in all its guises. … there is no limit to the lunacy, malice and suffering that can plague any society with a ruling ideology.   Ideologues don’t listen, thus they rarely learn – and they almost never change. Most men, particularly ideologues, live in mental ‘caves’ or ‘tunnels’. William Blake said ‘…man has closed himself up, till he sees all things through narrow chinks of his caverns’.   The philosopher Thomas Metzinger says we exist in an Ego-Tunnel, constrained in part by our own mental development. Some of us have windows or semi-transparent walls in our tunnels – so we can perceive a bit beyond our constrained ideologies. But even those windows are generally barred by society, custom, laws, and expectations. Most of those bars are virtual – self-imposed. Revelations, epiphanies, Eureka! moments remove some of the bars on some of the windows – or even open doors.     Most Congressional ideologues are elected from now heavily gerrymandered GOP districts, guaranteeing them […]

Chapter 2: From Eleusis to Revelation

[…]LSD apostle who advocated using LSD for political and societal enhancement. He was called the ‘Johnny Appleseed of LSD’. “I think so,” I said. “We want to, secretly, ‘engineer’ an internal revelation which leads our ‘initiates’ to be more compassionate, caring – more interested in humanity as a whole rather than solely in the individual – and more caring for the planet. We want all to feel an empathy for the planet.” “You want to make Buddhists out of them!” Bill said. “Buddhists say the three major components of Wisdom are Interdependence, Mindfulness, and Compassion.” “Sounds more and more like MDMA – Ecstasy,” Peter continued. “If they’d only called it Empathy, rather than Ecstasy, it might be legal today.” “If you’re buying stuff on the street, would you buy Ecstasy or Empathy?” Lucien asked; he knows about ads and messaging. “The terms empathogen, entactogen, and entheogen are used more or less interchangeably – but they are different,” I explained. “Entheogens relate to spirituality, visions – even religions – to seeing or experiencing God – to awakening the God within. The 2012 book edited by Thomas Roberts, The Psychedelic Future of the Mind, covers the field. LSD, mescaline, ayahuasca – the […]

Chapter 9: Congress

[…]sure is better than Trump’s hair,” Bill noted.     Paul Ryan replaced John Boehner as Speaker of the House when the tea party – in the House now known as the Freedom Caucus – acted to precipitate Boehner’s resignation. A House Divided, a New Yorker story by Ryan Lizza, says   Ryan represents a bridge between Boehner’s generation and the members elected since 2010 …  some in the older guard … don’t know if Ryan can control [the Freedom Caucus] any better than Boehner could.   Tom Cole, a Republican congressman from Oklahoma and a close ally of Boehner’s said,             John Boehner was … I think … an excellent teacher. I just don’t think he had the brightest students in the world.   Lizza notes that Charlie Dent, the head of the Tuesday Group, a caucus of fifty-six center-right Republicans, says that the rejectionist wing, dominated by the Freedom Caucus, votes against everything and considers government shutdowns a routine part of negotiating with Obama.   Ryan is extremely conservative, basically a Libertarian. In response to Obama’s executive actions on guns after the San Bernardino massacre, Ryan said: From Day 1 the President has never respected the right to […]

Chapter 10: Plutocrats – and Others

[…]their Institute for Political Economy,” Bill noted.   “No big surprise,” I said. “Maybe John Huntsman, Sr. will ask to get his name taken off their Business School.”     Charles started thinking about – and studying – society, philosophy, economics after he returned to Kansas, about 1961. He frequented a John Bircher bookstore in Wichita. A philosopher named Gus diZerega credits Charles with giving him books by von Mises and Hayek. David and Charles had absorbed their father’s conservative politics, but they did not share all his views, according to diZerega. Charles eventually invited Gus to the Kochs’ mansion, to participate in an informal political-discussion group. ‘It was pretty clear that Charles thought some of the Birch Society was bullshit,’ diZerega recalled.   In 1984 Charles and David established Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE). Richard Fink was its first president. CSE was an exercise in community organizing. It rallied grassroots voters in support of reduced spending and lower taxes.   Charles is not an Obama fan: ‘He’s a dedicated egalitarian,’ Charles has said about Obama.             I’m not saying he’s a Marxist, but he’s internalized some Marxist models—that is, that business tends to be successful by exploiting its […]

Chapter 3: Harmless – The Team

[…]death in the future also evil?   One of the better treatments I found on the subject is John Kekes’ The Roots of Evil, 2007:   Forces of barbarism continually break through the superficial layer of order and threaten the security of a substantial segment of humanity…. evil is a moral problem … an attack on the fundamental conditions of human well-being…. Social conditions can encourage or discourage evil acts, but they cannot be sufficient to explain them…. Attributing evil to injustice, poverty, or a noxious ideology is thus to misunderstand it…. the causes of evil are in us, not outside us…in doing evil we express a deep part of our nature…. Evil has an ominous connotation that goes beyond badness… evil has primarily to do with serious harm caused by human beings to other human beings… Evildoers … show contempt for and flaunt fundamental moral prohibitions…. the evil of an action … consists in … three components: …malevolent motivation…; serious, excessive harm …; lack of morally acceptable excuse… evil has many causes; the scheme of things is nonmoral; we have basic propensities for both good and evil…; evil actions may be reasonable; evildoers may be held responsible… faith, ideology, […]

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