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Did Koch eat Ananda’s Chocolates?

Relevance: 100%      Posted on: April 25, 2016

"Did you see today's NY Times piece by Barbaro - on Charles and Hillary?" Bill asked. "Not yet, I thought Charles was fond of Sanders," I answered. "He's certainly anti-Trump, and probably not pro-Cruz," Jay said. "The Brothers must be very disappointed, even despondent." "Yea, so much money spent refocusing the GOP - mainly to result in a stable of loser candidates for President." "The Times story, very briefly, suggested Koch was willing to at least consider Hillary," Bill said. "Maybe you did get to him," Jay said, smiling and looking at me. "The chocolates went to his Wichita receptionist - she said she'd give them to him." "Well, she apparently did," Jay said. "He does seem to be more open than before." "Yes, his Sanders comment and now this Hillary one." "Another dose could have an even greater effect," Bill said, " - that and his growing awareness of impending mortality." "Aging does cause some of us to be more philosophical - and open-minded," I said. "And Charles is five years ahead of me. It's easy to get to Wichita. I'll make another visit."  

Midwest Book Review, Diane Donovan, Aug., 2016

Relevance: 12%      Posted on: July 13, 2016

Reviewed by D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer Midwest Book Review (Aug., 2016)   State Change - A Chemical Fantasy Joe Andrade Andrade Self-Publishing 978-1-4951-9851-9 Price: $0.00 (Free) - only available online. Bound book copies available from author, for free, to qualified reviewers and libraries. Website: www.statechange.us   Novels typically do not contain manifestos - but State Change incorporates both. In a future world gone mad (a world akin to our own), the very boundaries of social and political process are tested as humanity's trials and errors demand that traditional leadership be rebuilt and replaced.   But how do rulers and leaders evolve beyond preset assumptions which are contributing to the fall of mankind? Replacements take time and are likely to arrive contaminated by the same perceptions as their predecessors. There's only one quick solution: change the mindsets of existing world leaders through chemistry. This approach is not only in the public interest. It's in the interest of humanity's survival.   This is the basic concept of this quasi-novel, in a nutshell. It's time to sit back and enjoy the ride through the process (and ultimately, the call to action) that blends the forms of a novel and a social statement in State Change.   In the opening act, the state of the nation is deteriorating, the planet is falling apart, and change must happen if humanity is to survive. "The Challenge" opens with the narrator's introduction to political interests and the basic foundations of the concept of "State Change", which are built and explored throughout the events that transpire.   How can revolutions be engineered? How do belief systems evolve, and how do social and political circles support them? What are the failings of education and awareness when faced with entrenched dogma and blind ideologies?   Even though the word 'fantasy' is in this book's subtitle, readers shouldn't expect work of traditional fantasy or entertainment here. State Change is about how real change occurs at its most fundamental levels, the barriers to realization and effective evolution, and the efforts of individuals to transcend the juggernaut of political ineffectiveness. As such, it's a serious work that blends ideology with a dose of fiction that revolves around Utah protagonists and their daring attempts to not just change, but transform the world into something better.   State Change is no light production. It demands a higher level of thought, political and social interest from…

Author Fake Interview – Book Review

Relevance: 12%      Posted on: June 16, 2016

Book Review Press Release (for immediate release) State Change - A Chemical Fantasy By Joe Andrade 491 pp. Andrade Self-Publishing Free at www.statechange.us An ‘interview’ with the author:   Academic Activist Advocates Illegal Politics   'We cannot elect mental adolescents to public office,' says Joe Andrade, author of a provocative new novel State Change - A Chemical Fantasy. He corrects me: “It’s a semi-novel. Two thirds of it is fact.” Andrade is a University of Utah retired engineering professor - now involved in local and national politics. I ask - What do you mean by mental adolescents? “I don’t want to disparage adolescents - they’re great, exciting kids. But they’re too young to be elected to political office.” I’m confused: If they’re too young to run, how can they be elected? Andrade looked annoyed. “They’re adults, so they ran, and we elected them. But they have the brain development of pre-adolescents. They need mental enhancement - treatment - to do their job.” You mean education, I asked. “That would help, but most never got a decent education. Most were brain-washed early by simple-minded, often highly religious, parents. So they became simple-minded adults - and we elected some of them, many of them, to high office.” And, what is mental enhancement? “Well, they won’t voluntarily submit to serious education - they can’t listen to anything except their own ideologies. They exist in echo chambers. So they have to be treated.” I ask: And what is this ‘treatment’? “You have to read the book,” Andrade said, smiling. “They need to have a revelation to break free of their ideological moorings - and begin to evolve to mental adulthood.” Is that possible? Is it legitimate? I ask. “It is possible - good chocolate helps. But it’s not ‘legitimate’. That’s why you titled this interview ‘... advocates illegal politics’.” And who are these elected adults who are functioning as mental adolescents? “There are hundreds, but we selected 29 special ones to treat - all politically powerful, mentally constrained adults. They are simplists.” Wikipedia came to my rescue, saying simplism is the trait of oversimplifying things by ignoring complexity and complications. Didn’t Einstein say something about simplism? “Einstein said ‘Science should be as simple as possible - but not simpler’ - but that applies to everything, not just to science.” I was getting it. I asked: it’s looking at the world from the mental perspective…

Chapter 11: Delivery and Treatment

Relevance: 9%      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 10: Plutocrats – and Others

Relevance: 9%      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 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 6: Patient Priorities

Relevance: 8%      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: 8%      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 8: Presidential Candidates

Relevance: 6%      Posted on: March 24, 2016

Leading Presidential Candidates get an enormous amount of press. Major U.S. elections are a media spectacle, where hundreds of millions of dollars are spent on advertising. harmless feels that all the Republican candidates would benefit from a more empathetic and socially considerate perspective in their campaigns. Harmless wants to advise and ‘treat’ those needy candidates.   Homework.       “Let’s start with Bush, Rubio, and Cruz,” Bill offered. “They are likely to be in the news at least until the 2016 GOP Convention.”   “And one of them is likely to be the Republican nominee,” Jay said. “And each has an interesting wife and lives in a climate-impacted state.”   “And two of the three are not total nuts,” Bill noted.   “Two? You left Cruz out - the total nut?”   “Yep - together with Donald Trump and a dozen or so others.”   “Scott Walker is now out - so I don’t have to read his Unintimidated,” I said.   “The lack of money must have intimidated him,” Bill smiled. “The Kochs must have read the writing on the wall.”   “And let’s look at Rand Paul, too,” Jay said. “At least he’s consistent and interesting.”   “Business darlings Trump and Carly were in the lead - or was it Carson?”   “Business failings, you mean.”   “At least Carly is a woman. She’s struggled with breast cancer, and she lost a stepdaughter to drug addiction. Some of this is in her memoir Best Choices. There may be a hint of empathy there.”   “Hillary’s memoir is called Hard Choices,” Bill said.   “Carly may have trouble with the truth,” I said. “The Times’ Charles Blow quoted Josh Marshall as saying: ‘Fiorina has a habit of simply making things up’.”   “Which makes her a typical, main-stream GOP candidate,” Jay added.   “Sometimes you have to do that - make things up - to make sense of philosophy and medieval history,” I smiled.   “What?” Jay asked, annoyingly.   “Those are Carly’s undergraduate degrees from Stanford,” I said. “I was sort of joking.”   “Sort of,” Bill noted.   “Here’s a Carly quote,” Jay said: I feel empathy with every woman who is working really hard and giving it all they've got - and Hillary is.   “Fiorina claims to have empathy for Hillary - and perhaps vice versa. Some Fiorina empathy enhancement could prove helpful.”  …

Chapter 3: Harmless – The Team

Relevance: 4%      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…

Chapter 1: Concerns and Beginnings

Relevance: 3%      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: 2%      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 2: From Eleusis to Revelation

Relevance: 2%      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…