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Reading Between the Lines – Creatively

Relevance: 100%      Posted on: July 1, 2016

Jay, Bill, and I were at the Roasting Company - a pleasant first of July day. We had agreed to each review some stories in the local and national papers.   "You go first," I said to Bill. "My big news is, of course, the Dalai Lama in Salt Lake City." "You've known him for some time, haven't you?" "For some 20 years. He talked at the Huntsman Center on campus. You could have heard a pin drop," Bill said, smiling. "He promoted positivity, among other things." "And he's threatening to not appoint a successor?" Jay asked. "Yes and no," Bill answered. "He's dealing with the crazy Chinese government, who insist on 'approving' any new Dalai Lama. He also said some interesting things about reincarnation - or not."   "You go next, Jay," I said. "I'll do the Mike Lee - Donald Trump games." "You mean 'loathsome Lee', according to his new demo opponent, Misty Snow?" Bill asked. "Loathsome isn't a new descriptor for Mike," Jay countered. "Mike and wife Sharon are on the GOP Rules Committee and are going to the convention." "So?" I asked. "So, he's said he sees no need to change the rules - he'll be a good boy even though Trump insulted his 'best friend' Cruz." "So?" Bill asked. "Why so good?" "Hey, read between the lines," Jay smiled. "Trump's a bit too liberal for the base - for the Cruz, Lee tea party - Freedom Caucus crowd, right?" "Right!" Bill said. "So Lee could be VP - and bring all the hard right ideologues with him." "Bingo," Jay said. "Did you see the piece about Romney saying his family is encouraging him to run?" "Oh, yes. A sacrificial Independent run, so Trump-averse Utah Republicans don't have to vote for Hillary." "Another Rubio. I say 10,000 times I won't run. ..Oops, maybe I better - for the good of the state, the country, the party." "They're all hypocrites. Or is it the revelation syndrome? Anyway, your turn," Jay said, looking at me.   "I'll do local. The U carbon divestment campaign." "Yea - the President said no divestment, so they can get continuing support from ... the fossil fuel industry," Bill read from the Salt Lake Tribune. "At least they're honest about their motives," Jay added. "Nothing about leadership, education, morals, values." "Bingo," I said. "But he did say climate change is one of the…

Scalia Supreme Court Michael Lee Hayek Simplism

Relevance: 85%      Posted on: April 13, 2016

“Did you see the local papers in the last two days?” Jay asked. “There’s a move on to get Trump to commit to appointing Mike Lee as Scalia’s Supreme Court replacement.” “Crazy,” Bill said. “He’d be even worse than Scalia. It’s because Cruz did commit to appoint Lee. Cruz and Lee have been shouting Libertarianism fallacies into each other’s ears since they both ran for Senate.” “We said it earlier,” I said. “They’re afflicted with – and addicted to – their mental adolescence. They are infected with seductive Hayekian simplicity – what the psychologists might call simplism.” “Maybe we should get more chocolate to them,” Jay said, smiling. “In their case, change would require a brain transplant,” Bill said. “Or a more powerful chemical change agent,” I suggested.

Has Hatch Lost It?

Relevance: 72%      Posted on: May 13, 2016

We sat down at Coffee Noir, outside, enjoying the spring sun. "It's been a while," Bill said. "About three weeks, I think." "I've been rereading our patient write-ups, especially Chapters 7 to 10," Jay said.  "Although we've had all the president-wannabees dropout, except for Trump, the other 25 perspectives are fairly current." "And you really nailed Hatch," Bill said, looking at me. "What do you mean?" "About losing it," Bill answered. "He's obviously completely lost it. It's no longer just his ignorance and arrogance - his neurons must be short circuiting." "Details, please," Jay said, impatiently. "You both saw it. Hatch is now in bed with Trump, expecting to change Trump a bit by whispering in his ear." "Good luck," I said. "Trump is not a listener; I doubt he pays any attention to whispers in his ear." "All the more reason Hatch has clearly lost it." "Maybe there's a reason," Jay said. "Hatch always wanted to be nominated for the Supreme Court. Wouldn't he be the ideal new Scalia?" "Our discussion of Scalia losing it may have been prophetic. From one scrambled brain to another." "God! Hatch would be worse than Gowdy - or even Mike Lee," Bill said. "It just keeps getting worse and worse," I said. "Dumb and dumber," Bill concluded.  

Mia Love Learns about Climate Change

Relevance: 49%      Posted on: June 4, 2016

Back to Coffee Noir - this time only Bill and I. Jay was on a Southern Utah gig. "She really did listen to four guys all discuss climate change and the need for immediate action?" Bill asked. "Yes, she did," I said. "And all four strongly recommended a carbon tax - now." "Isn't she anti all taxes and fees?" "Yes. She did rattle off, in response to some questions, the standard tea party free market-creativity-innovation gospel she's so used to saying, but she did have to listen to four excellent speakers with a largely consistent message." "This was at a Town Hall meeting for her District 4 constituents, right?" Bill asked. "Yes - earlier this week. I'm in her District, even though I ran in 2 back in 2012." "You mentioned there was an electric car guy on the panel?" "Actually an electric truck guy - with Via Motors and Nikola Motors. Both companies are new - and were new news to me." "Nikola as in Tesla, I assume?" "Yep. One good surprise was a guy with conservative, Libertarian credentials. He'd been high up in the Cato Institute for over 20 years. But he'd had a recent revelation!" "Without Ananda's help?" Bill smiled. "But maybe Mia was somewhat receptive due to her earlier Ananda Chocolates experience?" "Possibly. She was at Mike Lee's Christmas Party at the State Capitol - I was pretty liberal with Ananda's goodies there. Mia got some for sure - and perhaps actually took one or more." "Cool. And what about this Libertarian with a revelation?" "His name is Jerry Taylor; he's for getting fossil fuels out of the economy quickly, but not via government regulation. He wants the free market unleashed, but empowered by a carbon tax." "Interesting angle," Bill said. "Yes, but USU's Davies held firm - he said we need it all. The situation is so urgent we need strong regulation, a strong carbon tax-empowered free market, and lots of Federal, State, and local leadership." "And he had incredible slides, didn't he?" Bill asked. "Yes, as usual. He gives a great talk. So Congresswoman Mia heard it all." "Did you thank her with some chocolates?" "No, but I did give Heinberg's Post Carbon Institute book:  ENERGY: Overdevelopment and the Delusion of Endless Growth, to her office manager. Hopefully she'll see it -it's a huge book." "I understand the District 4 Citizens' Climate Lobby folks…

Chapter 11: Delivery and Treatment

Relevance: 12%      Posted on: March 24, 2016

“Let’s talk about Centennial Valley,” I said. “It needs to happen by mid-September or it’ll be too late for harmless. September 23 is father Fred’s birthday, I think.”   “I read it’s the 26th,” Bill said. “I’ve talked with the Manager of the U’s facilities in Lakeview. They have space available in September, which is nearly ideal for early school year events.”   “Terrific. I’ve been doing the homework on Bill Koch’s Oxbridge Academy of the Palm Beaches in West Palm Beach, especially on the science and environmental studies teachers and courses. I’ve made contact with several who are very interested. I’m now working on getting the idea to Bill Koch, perhaps via his wife or son. School starts in early September. Once we book the school - and hopefully Bill - then we can work on his brothers.”     Koch Industries’ Matador Cattle Company operates three ranches: Beaverhead near Yellowstone National Park in Montana, Spring Creek in the Flint Hills of Kansas, and Matador Ranch in Texas.  Beaverhead Ranch is located on more than a quarter million acres in Southwest Montana. It stretches along a 90-mile road from Dillon to the Idaho border then east to Yellowstone Park. It was acquired between 1941 and 1952 by Fred C. Koch and today totals nearly a half million acres of owned or leased land.   The U’s Taft-Nicholson Environmental Humanities Education Center (T-N Center) is located in Montana’s Centennial Valley, a 6,000 foot high and 60 mile wide wetlands east of the Continental Divide on the North slope of the Centennial Mountains, an East-West range. The Center is named for John and Melody Taft and their friends the Nicholsons.   The Valley includes the Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, created in 1935 by Franklin D. Roosevelt, to provide habitat for the trumpeter swan, then facing extinction. The swans now thrive in the refuge.     “The Centennial Valley refuge is really beautiful,” Bill noted. “The majestic Centennial Mountains are on the South, forming part of the Idaho-Montana border.”   “Refuges have been in the news,” Jay said, “especially the Malheur one in SE Oregon, where God apparently sent Emmon Bundy to occupy it and throw out the Feds.”   “Did you see the cool Bagley cartoon on ‘I am doing God’s will’? Bill asked.   “Yes,” I said. “God not only sends Bundy, but also ISIS, Kony, Boka Haram,…

Chapter 6: Patient Priorities

Relevance: 10%      Posted on: March 24, 2016

harmless is now meeting in parks, on the U campus, or at Westminster College. We’re too far along in the project to risk too much general public awareness or curiosity. We don’t want coffee shop - ‘regulars’ listening in. Today we’re on the U campus at one of the picnic tables outside the cafeteria.       “I’ve been thinking about the challenge ahead - the logistics,” I confided. “It would be most effective if we could treat all of our highest priority patients at once, thereby helping initiate an empathy tipping point.”   “You mean like over a very short period of time, so their individual experiences are roughly coherent?” Jay asked.   “And in a supportive, non-threatening environment - during a comfortable time,” Bill added. “We know that set and setting are critical to a good experience - to effective therapy.”   “It should be during a time of good press access,” Jay continued. “Perhaps when they’re giving speeches, being questioned, being interviewed.”   “What about college and high school graduations?” asked Bill. “They’d be accessible on campuses and in their local districts. Many would be giving graduation speeches - talking about futures, opportunities, careers - perhaps in a more open, compassionate mental state than normally.”   “It seems more doable - and less threatening - than at Congressional committee meetings in DC,” Jay said.   “And those speeches, receptions, interviews are covered by the press - especially in local papers and via social media,” I added. “That should work.”   “Do they get press!” Jay said. “Michelle Obama was blasted by the ideologue media for her Tuskegee University commencement speech, for saying to the largely black audience ... people might make assumptions about who they think you are based on their limited notion of the world. The racist-leaning press didn’t like that.”   “A limited notion of the world is exactly the pathology we want to treat,” I said.   “Think we could get her to be an advisor - even an active participant?” Bill asked.   “We will need ongoing action after the initial application of harmless’ therapy,” I agreed. “And she’ll be unemployed in a less than a year,” continued Bill.   “Barack spoke at the Coast Guard Academy graduation and really focused on climate change, oceans, and coasts - and took on the deniers.” Jay said. “And while we’re on the news - why…

Chapter 9: Congress

Relevance: 9%      Posted on: March 24, 2016

We had decided to allocate 15 of our patient ‘openings’ to current members of Congress. Who are our ‘winners’?   Homework.     “There are 435 members of Congress,” I said. “So many potential patients.”   “Time to decide on our full list of high priority patients,” Jay reminded us.   “I’ve been working with Kay on the various Congressional committees and subcommittees,” I responded, “trying to identify which might provide access without serious security or related issues.”   “Yes,” Bill said. “If we can get access to a subcommittee hearing or meeting, we may be able to access several members during one session.”   “And if that doesn’t work, we can still work to treat them on their own turf, during local events, town meetings, Congressional recesses, etc.”   “And parties, “ Jay suggested.     Committee and subcommittee meetings are generally open to the general public. They are scheduled at least a week in advance, although the specific agenda may not be fully available. The schedule is readily available. Audio and/or video records of meetings are available within three weeks after the meeting. Many are covered via C-Span. The site includes information on the Chair and Members and often on the specific agenda, legislation, or issues being addressed, as well as direct links to the Committee’s own site where there is far more information, including video records of hearings and meetings. The videos are a good way to ‘get to know’ the specific patient serving on the committee. harmless will review previous meetings and hearings using the available audio or video recordings.   There are major problems with the Committees and indeed with Congress itself, going back to Gingrich and the Bush-Cheney era.   “You mean Congress is broken?” Bill asked.   “Very much so. In fact The Broken Branch was published already in 2006 - and it’s gotten worse from then on,” I said.   “I read it, too,” Jay said. “And Mann and Ornstein’s more recent It’s Even Worse than it Looks.”   “And even more recently, mid-2014, we have The Big Lobotomy, a summary of everything Congress has done to make itself - and its members - even more stupid and uninformed,” Bill said. “It even covers the shutdown of the Office of Technology Assessment in 1995.”   “You worked for the OTA, didn’t you?”   “I did. They did the greatest fact-finding reports for…

Chapter 1: Concerns and Beginnings

Relevance: 9%      Posted on: March 20, 2016

“Did he really say that?” he asked, looking at me. We just happened to be sitting next to each other, very interested in the speaker and his words.   “Yes, I think so.”   “Is that really what’s needed, risking arrest to simply be heard?”   The speaker reaffirmed his statement. “Not just arrest, but possibly physical danger.”   Tim and I self-introduced each other after the discussion. He was an economics undergraduate at the University of Utah (the U). I said I am a professor of engineering, soon to be retired, concerned about the planet. That was all.   Mike, a rural Utah legislator, is 20 years younger than me. We argued several times - at hearings related to the Legislature’s efforts to ‘outlaw’ CO2. “CO2 is a plant nutrient,” he said. “How can it possibly be harmful?” I was surprised to learn of his BA in botany or zoology - from UC-Berkeley.   Hans, a now emeritus professor of economics, organized a session on climate change at a national meeting at the U. Hans asked me to speak briefly at the session.   The issue is NOT Science. ... the issue is BELIEF. If you choose to Believe in something very strongly and you choose to adopt a position very strongly – no amount of science will change your Belief. It takes a private revelation … to really change .… We must understand that rationality is quite rare … We must identify those totally irrational legislators…and get rid of them.   That was the real beginning of my interest in ‘politics’ - and the evolution of State Change.     Tim went on to become bidder number 70, the man who protested George Bush’s last minute energy lease auction in late 2008. He ended up serving nearly two years in prison for ‘disrupting’ an auction which was later declared illegal by Obama’s new Secretary of the Interior. Tim served his time - and continues to be an exemplary and effective environmental and climate change activist. The film Bidder 70 documents some of the actions, events, and repercussions of that time.     I ran for U.S. Congress in 2012 - unaffiliated, no party, no hidden agendas, no dollars. A progressive idealist in the most conservative state in the country. I learned about campaigning, messaging, debates, discussions, and the lack of public and media interest - all summarized in…

Chapter 7: Supreme Court Justices

Relevance: 9%      Posted on: March 24, 2016

The Supreme Court is the final juror and arbiter of national policies and of the nations’ culture and behavior. harmless feels that a number of current Justices would benefit from a more empathetic and socially considerate perspective to their deliberations and decisions. Harmless wants to advise and ‘treat’ those needy Supreme Court Justices.   Homework.   The Supreme Court consists of nine justices, appointed for life:   Ginsburg, Ruth Bader:   appointed 1993 by Clinton;        now 83 years old; Jewish Scalia, Antonin:             appointed 1986 by Reagan;       recently deceased at age 79; Catholic Kennedy, Anthony:        appointed 1987 by Reagan;       now 79 years old; Catholic Breyer, Stephen:           appointed 1994 by Clinton;        now 77 years old; Jewish Thomas, Clarence:       appointed 1991 by Bush #1;       now 67 years old; Catholic Alito, Samuel:               appointed 2005 by Bush #2;       now 66 years old; Catholic Roberts, John Jr.:         appointed 2005 by Bush #2;       now 61 years old; Episcopalian Sotomayor, Sonia:        appointed 2009 by Obama;        now 61 years old; Catholic Kagan, Elena:               appointed 2010 by Obama;        now 56 years old; Jewish   harmless’ homework on and discussion of the Supreme Court occurred prior to Justice Scalia’s death in early 2016. As the harmless team and project progressed, the five conservative justices were actually ‘treated’ in late 2015, to perhaps affect 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…

Chapter 12: Outcomes and Tomorrow

Relevance: 8%      Posted on: March 24, 2016

Jay, Bill, and I traveled and worked during the holiday season and in January to make our many assigned deliveries. Peter completed his trips by early January and filled me in via phone. About six weeks later, the delivery phase of harmless finished with a meeting and discussion - at a new coffee shop near Bill’s home - in the Avenues. It was an unusually warm early spring day, so we sat outside, away from the other patrons. The Salt Lake Valley had had another terrible winter inversion season. We were pleased that today the air was clean and relatively warm.     “I’m very happy to be here,” Jay said. “There were times I thought they’d get me.”   “Me, too,” Bill agreed. “Some of those local Congressional office staffers are scary. It was hard to fake it without really taking them on.”   “You can thank the Kochs and their libertarian study fellowships and professorships for providing such well trained staffers,” I smiled.   “Brain-washed staffers,” Bill corrected.   “Reminds me of a quote in Dark Money,” I said. “Back in 2009, Mayer writes, Charles Koch gave nearly $150,000 to Brown University’s Political Theory Project - a freshman seminar taught by a John Tomasi. She quotes Tomasi: After a whole semester of Hayek, it’s hard to shake them off that perspective over the next four years.”   “Very effective brain-washing,” Bill added.   “I’m ready to take some notes - I need to hear your stories - for the book, of course. But for now, just a brief overview - brief summary.”   “Before they catch us, you mean, right?” Jay asked.   “I think we’re ok now. The riskiest time was during the delivery of Ananda’s potion. If they didn’t get us then, it’s unlikely they’ll get us now.”   “That’s not how I understand the statutes of limitations,” Jay said.   “By the way, Lucien tells me the traffic to anandaschocolates.com rose quickly as we hit the road and has continued to climb slowly.”   “I’ll bet they’re disappointed they can’t order some,” Bill said.   “So am I,” I said. “I wish we could continue to produce and give away our unique moksha.”   “Let’s do the numbers,” Jay said.   “Let’s hear about all of it .... this may take some time.”     We each reported on our state assignments, starting with Bill…

Chapter 4: The Therapy

Relevance: 6%      Posted on: March 24, 2016

Sassafras is fascinating. Bill and I compared notes.  We had each looked at the web sites of botanical gardens and arboretums, finding specimens, listings, and descriptions.   There’s a good YouTube video on harvesting sapling roots for root beer (sure!). Some herb and spice places sell the dried root; it’s even available via Amazon.com. A cool fact is that Atlanta volunteers planted 200 sassafras trees along a section of the Beltline trail system. It was Georgia’s Plant of the Year some years ago.   Sassafras trees produce safrole, a root beer - smelling oil with a fascinating, and complex,  chemical structure. From pure safrole it’s only a few chemical steps to MDMA. There are some trees and shrubs with very high safrole contents, especially in certain areas of the tropics.   The rain forests in the Cardamom Mountains of Cambodia were being destroyed by the harvesting of Cinnamomum parthenoxylon trees for sassafras oil, which is shipped to Europe and Asia for MDMA synthesis. The issue is covered in Drugs Unlimited, by Mike Power, and documented in a 20 minute film titled Forest of Ecstasy.   We learned there’s an herb and tea supplier in Watsonville, California that sells sassafras root bark for $35 per pound. I bought some online.     Tom and I discussed synthesis routes and final chemical needs. He was preparing to return to Oregon in a few days and spend two weeks setting up and testing the lab between his chemo treatments. Peter and Lucien were cleaning up and furnishing the place in preparation for his return.       “Are we staying focused on MDMA?” Tom asked.   “Yes,” I answered.   “I thought there was some other agents, more effective for revelation purposes than LSD or MDMA,” Tom said.   “Nothing as good as MDMA. Power discusses, in Drugs Unlimited, an interesting variant called 6-APB - it’s essentially MDMA with one of the dioxygen ring’s hydrogens missing. He quoted an English major Jeffrey Jenkins as saying MDMA intrigued me .. with its strangely universal experience, its ability to make even the hardest soul empathic....   “An English major!” Tom said. “He didn’t make the stuff, did he?”   “Sorry to bust your expertise bubble,” I smiled, “but Jenkins apparently taught himself organic chemistry so he could make his own MDMA - and then legal variants - and he put it all online. Although 6-APB…

Chapter 2: From Eleusis to Revelation

Relevance: 4%      Posted on: March 20, 2016

“So how are you going to drug Stewart - in his Mormon coffee?” That’s Jay talking about Utah’s then new District 2 Congressman, Republican Chris Stewart. “Ryan couldn’t even begin to get him to think during his protest at a Stewart town meeting. The guy’s hopeless.” Ryan is young, gutsy, passionate. On his first day as a public school bus driver in Salt Lake City, he altered his route slightly so the students on board could see the large protest near the Federal Courthouse - a protest against the sentencing of Tim DeChristopher for ‘disrupting’ a Federal fossil fuel lease auction (see Bidder 70 for details). Ryan was fired from his new job the next day. “Stewart has been deprived of any intellectual puberty. He’s an anti-science ideologue, a far-right Republican - an arrogant denialist - and a Mitt Romney wannabe,” Jay said. Jay helped during my campaign against Stewart in 2012. Jay’s tall, thin, bearded - and emotional and even impulsive, like Ryan but some 40 years older. He has a deep, resonant voice - and is impatient for change. “But he is Mormon, meaning he believes in ‘agency’,” I said. “Maybe he can accept a ‘revelation’.” “The Revelation won’t come from his Church,” said Bill. “That is truly hopeless.” Bill (William) is a PhD plant ecologist - a good friend. We meet about weekly to talk and commiserate. He loves to read, ponder, discuss, but rarely acts. He almost never writes a letter or asks a question in public. We sometimes call him William - the Connector because he loves to bring different people together. Bill continued: “The Mormons just had their General Conference. Three of their Big Twelve died recently - they had three big slots to fill.” He was referring to Mormonism’s twice a year General Conference and to their ruling body, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. The Quorum advises and reports to the First Presidency, a three man group reporting directly to Jesus Christ. “Yes,” Jay said. “And they filled them with old, Utah born, white guys. So much for recognizing diversity.” “Well, we didn’t expect a woman - but someone at least off-white would have been interesting,” Bill added. “Someone with some hope of receiving a revelation or two would have been helpful,” I said. “A little LSD might work - better, Ecstasy.” That was Peter - he’s been there, he knows. Peter’s…

Chapter 10: Plutocrats – and Others

Relevance: 4%      Posted on: March 24, 2016

The United States is the most plutocratic ‘democracy’ on the planet. We’re not even close to being second ranked. Some say that’s not so bad - that we were founded and organized as a plutocracy, of sorts. In order to vote, you had to own land and had to be a white male, and you were allowed to own African slaves. It was only much later that black men were allowed to vote, and even later women. We were founded as a republic - a representative ‘democracy’. Voters voted for representatives who would in turn write, pass, and implement laws and policy.   The founding fathers, by and large, were semi-wealthy, white men who owned significant land and other property, and were naturally inclined to favor a system of government that protected the financial interests of their own class. But they were also, generally, well educated, well read, and fairly intelligent. The historical musical Hamilton is helping to inform Americans of that intellectual heritage.   The word "democracy" does not appear in the US Constitution. The founding fathers were afraid of true democracy; they warned of the dangers of the tyranny of the majority if America adopted a truly democratic government. Hamilton claimed that ‘The people should have as little to do as may be about the Government.’   As the nation developed and evolved, our ‘democracy’ slowly became more inclusive. Blacks were finally allowed to vote, then women, then the 18 - 20 year olds, although the black vote was - and still is - thwarted and controlled by voter registration restrictions and barriers.   Although we are much more of an inclusive democracy today than at previous times in our history, we are also more financially unequal and distorted today than at any other time in our history - including the so-called ‘Gilded Age’. Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States provides a good background up to about ten years ago.  And since then, the situation keeps getting worse.   Jane Mayer’s Dark Money is one of the more recent treatments of plutocracy in America. The book is subtitled: The Hidden History of the Billionaires behind the rise of the Radical Right. The book was apparently stimulated by her 2010 New Yorker piece titled Covert Operations. The Kochs took issue with much of what she wrote. So she’s spent much of the last five years fleshing out…

Chapter 3: Harmless – The Team

Relevance: 3%      Posted on: March 20, 2016

Six harmless participants: Me, Peter, Jay, Tom, Lucien, and Bill. And a group of advisors who don’t know about the project - who aren’t directly involved. They will help us think. It reminds me of Shulgin’s approach, described in PIHKAL, the first of his trilogy on psychedelic chemistry. He had a ‘tester’ group and a more extended ‘advisory’ group.   I’m the initial instigator and organizer - and the oldest of the group. I assume primary responsibility and legal liability. I’m the key connector, facilitator, and funder. My wife, Diana, knows my political interests and concerns, but knows nothing about harmless. Like Snowden’s girlfriend in Hawaii, she’ll only learn about it after it all happens, after I’m arrested, or after I tell her.   I know enough chemistry to be able to work closely with Tom. I have enough background and experience in pharmaceutics and biochemistry to work on the delivery and dosage needs. I still have an active (albeit Emeritus) faculty appointment and can purchase materials through my U account for use in my ‘lab’ (my Emeritus office, which doubles as a ‘shop’).   Jay is a tall, lean retired ‘facilities’ person. He knows buildings, spaces, ventilation systems, basements, remodeling, etc. He says he’s finally escaped his ‘learned helplessness’ by learning to trust and by using his imagination. He wants to make up for lost time.   Peter is a medical caregiver with considerable hospice experience. He’s also our most experienced chemical tester. He knows the health care delivery community and industry, can work with and around quite old people (like some Senators and Supreme Court Justices!), and is our direct link to the action and experience of the sixties and seventies. He travels to Amsterdam annually for drug-related enhancement, primarily via cannabis.   Lucien’s the youngest of the harmless. He’s experienced with natural, botanical materials, meditation, and related aids. He knows about environments, music, set, and settings. He will serve as our botanical collector, perhaps grower, as well as tester - and apprentice chemist.   Tom is our chemist - a very effective and experienced organic chemist. He can make the materials needed from precursors we will acquire, including botanically derived materials. The ‘safest’ precursors are likely to be those derived from natural sources. Tom’s time is very limited due to his newly diagnosed pancreas and now liver cancer. Although he’s in intense chemotherapy for the next four…