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Scalia Supreme Court Michael Lee Hayek Simplism

Relevance: 100%      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.

Reading Between the Lines – Creatively

Relevance: 56%      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…

Did Koch eat Ananda’s Chocolates?

Relevance: 54%      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."  

Manzanita, Neahkahnee, and Arthur Koestler

Relevance: 26%      Posted on: August 4, 2016

July 21, Manzanita - during and after Neahkahnee hike - and Arthur Koestler Peter, Lucien, and I were in Manzanita for the annual family gathering. The weather was perfect - sunny, low 70’s, very light wind. This place and time is not conducive to thinking about global warming and planetary perils! While in Portland I experienced one of the better cannabis medicinal shops - Farma on Hawthorne. I bought an oil salve for my bruised toe - the victim of a dropped wine bottle a week earlier. Peter and Lucien did their vap experiments. I did, too - and this time did feel a bit giddy.   “What’s that large black book you’ve been reading?” Peter asked. “One I should have read and used a long time ago. I should have referred to it in State Change,” I said. “It’s Janus - A Summing Up, a sort of final autobiography by Arthur Koestler, from 1978.” “So,” Lucien asked. “Who’s he?” “Very interesting thinker - in the Aldous Huxley mold. He became a sort of neuro-biologist and was very interested in the evolution of the brain - in why we have a phenomenal neocortex that’s often over-ruled by our primitive reptilian…

Chapter 6: Patient Priorities

Relevance: 13%      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…

Chapter 8: Presidential Candidates

Relevance: 12%      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.”  …

Chapter 11: Delivery and Treatment

Relevance: 8%      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.…

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…

Chapter 12: Outcomes and Tomorrow

Relevance: 7%      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…

Chapter 2: From Eleusis to Revelation

Relevance: 5%      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…

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…

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,…

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