I Grew Up A Child Of The Holocaust

I was born in 1959, 14 years after the Nazi concentration camps were liberated. 

You might think such an awful memory — so close in our rear view mirror — would have made my community so horrified that they couldn’t bear to discuss it. We went completely in the opposite direction. I wouldn’t say we “embraced” the Holocaust so much as we “owned it”. As my community tends to do, we made it a teachable moment.

There’s a famous photo of a group of Jews being rounded up in the Warsaw Ghetto by the occupying Nazis –

From the first time I saw the photo, I became that boy in the lower right. I bet a lot of Jews my age did.  We saw and felt that boy’s terror, his helplessness.  His confusion: how can they be doing this to you just because you were born Jewish?  You’ve done nothing wrong to anyone on the planet – yet the planet wants you dead. 

“Never Again” became as integral a part of my “religious education” as chanting the ‘Shema’.  The past hurt.  That was not going to be our future. 

In our guts, my community has always known this was lurking somewhere in the American Character. You can’t cram peoples’ heads with that much bullshit and expect the bullshit not to screw them up. Bullshit always screws people up – cos it’s bullshit. When you cram a nonsense, hateful mythology into peoples’ heads that actually runs counter to your religion’s core message (and its core messenger) — don’t be surprised when the nonsense becomes the message.

It sucks being despised because of a total fiction. It sucks worse being killed over it.

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Most Marijuana Research Is BULLSHIT

durban-poison-strain-1

Durban Poison is our Friend.

I am biased as hell.  Yessirree.  I am an out-and-out advocate for MARIJUANA.  More transparency — I now write a weekly column (for $) at marijuana.com — and I urge you to check them out — they’re now THE site to go-to for real news about marijuana.

More transparency — I’ve always wanted to write the story of how marijuana was made illegal in this country — and the world — in the first place (and most importantly WHY).

It’s a subject I care about.  Cause I use it — and, yes, yes, it’s not for everyone and children should NOT use it (are we all done being stupid?) but — for most adults, it is a good product with good, solid, reliable benefits.  It does vastly more good than harm to and for the people who use it and, as we’re learning state by state, when you legalize it and tax it and people go buy it & use it… nothing bad happens.  And tax dollars come in.

Marijuana is not a perfect product.  NO PRODUCT IS PERFECT (are we done being stupid now?)   For argument’s sake — cos it’s ‘related’ — your average pharmaceutical product (to judge by the litany of horrible side effects) has a far better chance of harming you or, just as bad, addicting you.  Marijuana — in a world of choices — is a good choice for many medical conditions — and a better choice than alcohol for recreational use.

You’ll have to point to the news coverage of a bunch of stoners leaving a soccer game and tearing up a town.  It doesn’t happen.  Because marijuana doesn’t inspire you in that direction.

Still – we get to hear the opponents (and ‘soft friends’) of marijuana warn us about the drug’s inherent dangers.  Psychosis comes up a lot.  Schizophrenia too.  Cannabis ‘can’ make those conditions worse.  ‘CAN’.  But ‘can’ HOW?

The same argument gets made about marijuana’s impact on young users.  I’m not saying — at all — that marijuana is ‘good’ for young users.  Hell no.  I’m just asking can we get some actual data that says it’s bad and show us how and why it’s bad.  But the published data really can’t do that because it never bothered to keep track of the marijuana being used.  In some cases, the teens whose experience researchers were talking to simply reported they were high all day.  But we don’t know on what.  We don’t know how much.  We don’t know where it came from or even if the test subjects are even reliable in their reporting.

I want to know the Truth about marijuana as much as anyone.  More.  Cause I use so damned much of it.  If it IS killing me — I may not stop using it because it does so many other good things for me (and the truth is, at some point, I’m going to die anyway).  But at least I’ll be able to make an informed, adult decision.  Like a Free Person should be able to.

Until marijuana research starts approaching the product it’s researching like a ‘real thing’ and not the ludicrous abstraction that bad, racist law enforcement and cultural prejudice convinced us it was, we will live in  darkness.  I can’t think of another product that was so demonized for such terrible reasons.

Good thing we’re all here to fix it…

 

 

 

Why Decency Effin’ Matters

We live in Indecent Times.  Decency is as dead as irony is alive.

In American Politics, Decency died the day Lee Atwater went to work.

Paul Manafort, Roger Stone and Lee Atwate
WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 21: Paul Manafort, Roger Stone and Lee Atwater, young Republicans political operatives who have set up lobbying firms. (Photo by Harry Naltchayan/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Lee Atwater’s the dude on the right — keeping company with Paul Manafort & Roger Stone.  During the 1980’s & 1990’s, Atwater ran campaigns for Ronald Reagan & George Bush before running the RNC.  Atwater didn’t invent dirty, malicious politics in America but he turned them from gamesmanship into brinkmanship.  He had no interest in compromise.  None.

Newt Gingrich picked up the mantle when cancer took a bite out of Atwater (though I bet cancer wished almost immediately it could spit Atwater out).

newt-gingrich

Newt turned Atwater’s political war against the Left into an all out Culture War.  We have not been the same since.

When you choose not to compromise with someone, you cease having to communicate with them  — except to tell them what you expect to DO to them.  It’s an aggressive act — cutting off effective communication with someone.  It’s a not-so-subtle declaration of War.  Culture War.  Political War.

It flows:  When you see yourself in a perpetual state of war, the people opposing you are your enemy — even if they’re your countrymen and they simply see a different way of solving the Nation’s many problems.  Decent people don’t see people they disagree with as their enemy deserving of cultural death.

But Newt did.  As did Lee.

Paul Manafort and Roger Stone — friends of Lee’s — went to work for Donald J Trump.  We all know where he stands vis a vis ‘decency’.

Another of Donald Trump’s mentors of course was Roy Cohn — another member of this despicable club.

And Roy Cohn famously worked for Joe McCarthy.  And Joe McCarthy famously got asked the very same question Donald Trump and the whole Republican Party need to be peppered with repeatedly:  “At last, sir, have you no DECENCY?”

If You Hate Donald J Trump, You Hate White, Christian Male Culture; There’s Hope For You…

Trump cos more trump

Let’s define our terms first: The reason we’re in this damned mess is that the republican party (uncapitalized because undeserving), seeing a great demographic Black Hole and Extinction in its future, deliberately and knowingly conspired with RUSSIA to seize power from the American Electorate in a soft Coup D’Etat.

Election 2016 was Illegitimate probably from Top to Bottom.

When I say ‘republican party’, of course, what I mean is ‘WHITE, CHRISTIAN MALE CULTURE’ — a ‘culture’ built almost entirely ON BULLSHIT.

White, Christian Male Culture (WCMC) believes that White People are superior to all other people on the planet, that White People are smarter, better looking, better suited to succeed, better athletes, better everything.  They believe White Music is better (ever hear a racist rail against jazz?).  White Literature (hilarious cos White People don’t read).  White Religion.

Especially White Religion.  White Religion sits at the core of White Male Culture — the belief not that ‘god’ is White but that each and every White Person is ‘GOD’ themselves and therefore omnipotent.  What they say goes.

Problem is, it doesn’t.  Because when White People enter an environment that isn’t just ‘Other White People’, they bump into something that disconcerts the hell out of them:  DIVERSITY.  They find they have to COMPETE with people who haven’t had to compete practically EVER.  At least not with people who weren’t White.

America is diverse and has always been diverse.  DIVERSITY is what makes America ‘EXCEPTIONAL’.  Diversity IS ‘American Exceptionalism’.  All other countries evolved over long periods of time with scattered tribes slowly coalescing into a National Tribe with distinct National ‘characteristics’.  The French ‘evolved’ into being French, the Germans into being Germans, the Swiss the Swiss, the English the English and so on.  In the 1500’s, if you were to step into any of what became those countries, the national character we now think of as those countries was already well-formed enough to be reflected in the historical record.

And, then, all those DIFFERENT national characters started arriving in a ‘Neutral Environment’ — America (made a whole lot more ‘neutral’ via ‘Guns, Germs & Steel’ (to borrow the title of Jared Diamond’s excellent book).  None of those peoples who arrived on these shores were ‘American’.  They became American by being here — while their Culture met (perhaps for the first time) and mingled with other Cultures and began to ‘cross-breed’ with them.

The result of all that cross-breeding is us — America — and all the dynamism and actual Greatness that flows from us.  We are The World mixed together.  We’re the lab for what happens genius from one culture meshes with genius from another culture to produce genius from a third (our) culture.

And it works.  God-damn, it WORKS!

That, apparently, gives WCMC a sad.  It makes it feel scared.  Threatened.  Unqualified.  It isn’t of course — WCMC is no better or worse than any other culture; it, too, has produced great things.  It just has the wrong idea of itself — it thinks it’s better than everyone; good thing that’s fixable.  Ask Germany.Cult

Donald Trump is the literal FACE of WCMC.  It is White-White-White-WHITE.  It is Christian — it does not believe a word of the faith it professes (having never read the actual texts their faith is based on) but claims to be among its most ardent followers.  It is Male — oh boy, is it Male; nothing makes it happier than waving its dick in your face or, worse, sticking it in you against your will because IT feels ENTITLED to.

So, yeah — Donald Trump IS White, Christian Male ‘Culture’.  If you voted for it?  You WILL deserve everything that befalls you.

Think of it as ‘getting cultured’.

My New MANTRA: “Back It Up — Or It’s BULLSHIT”

Bald-faced LYING has become a National Disease.  How could it not — we have a ‘president’ for whom lying is as natural as breathing.

But then, the party that backed and backs him has a long, ‘illustrious’ history themselves of setting the Truth aside in the interest of keeping Power and Making A Buck.

Our MSM shrugs and throws up its hands.  They KNOW that Donald Trump — and most of the Republican Party lie to them every time they open their mouths but what can they do?

It’s simple really.  You say, ‘No’.  You say, “Stop”.  You say ‘I refuse to accept your nonsense — STOP lying to me”.

Or you can go upside their lying heads with the 2X4 they deserve:  “BACK IT UP OR IT’S BULLSHIT”.

Nothing else.  “Back it up or it’s BULLSHIT”.  If people said that and only that back to republicans every time they even opened their mouths to speak (never mind lie) — they would quickly learn either to 1) BACK IT UP or 2) SHUT THE HELL UP.

I think we could get used to hearing silence from them.  Especially while we prosecute their asses for TREASON…

 

“I Alone Can Fix It” Is BULLSHIT Top To Bottom. Any Woman Could Tell You THAT…

Trump cos more trump

Among the statements Donald Trump has made that most reflect a personal ‘philosophy’ is that one:  “I alone can fix it”.

And it epitomizes not only NARCISSISTIC ‘thinking’ but MALE thinking, too.  In fact, it IS how males tend to think and problem-solve — unilaterally.

If you look at the mythological heroes we Americans have created for ourselves (real, quasi-real & flat-out fictional) —  Daniel Boone, Davy Crockett, Paul Bunyan, Uncle Sam (just for starters) — they’re all ‘rugged individuals’ — solitary males taking the ‘burdens of the world’ onto their strong, sure shoulders.  They don’t run for a ‘second opinion’ when things get tough, they step up, man up, and ‘do it’ (whatever ‘it’ is).

And we, as a Nation, have celebrated that ideal — regardless of how bullshitty it actually is.  Dictatorships rely on unilateral decision-making.  Successful countries however do not.  If we measure ‘success’ by happiness of a population, America doesn’t score too terribly well.  Places like Denmark & Sweden are far, far happier.

We may be ‘wealthier’ in that ‘we’ have ‘more money’ in our pockets, but that ‘we’ is actually a very small club (and getting smaller).  Most of the actual ‘WE’ (as in We The American People’) have LESS money now — and a lot less certainty about our future.

It is entirely male to focus so exclusively on the rights of the individual over the rights of the group.  The individuals those males are so worried about — they’re all male, too.  And their idea of ‘freedom’ is to do whatever they goddamn well please — regardless of who it hurts, inconveniences, disadvantages or impregnates.

As much as we like to flatter ourselves that we’re here for some ‘higher purpose’, our biology says we’re here for ONE purpose: To survive long enough to reproduce — to spread our genetics — before we die.  That’s what we’re really ‘designed’ to do.  For men, that reproductive role involves sticking our penises into a vagina and squirting out our DNA.  Once we finish and withdraw — our real purpose in life having been accomplished — males are free to walk away.

And they almost always do.

Women, on the other hand, must deal with the consequences of that male DNA furiously swimming upstream inside them.  Should a sperm survive and make it inside the egg that (could be) waiting there?  That starts a process that — if it comes to completion and produces a human child (one that can survive OUTSIDE A UTERUS) — cannot be handled alone.

Female biology demands group involvement just to survive.  And that informs everything women do.  Survival depends upon the group — and therefore what helps & benefits THE GROUP must take precedence over the needs of any one person.  Because if THE GROUP dies, they all die.

When your attachment to The Group dictates your thinking & decision-making, you don’t see yourself as an individual (rugged or otherwise) but as a member of The Group — and your success as a member of the group will depend entirely on your ability to WORK WITH & WITHIN the Group.  Consequently, you think differently than someone (a man) who ‘alone can fix it’.

Unilateral male decision-making has brought us to this terrible place:  “I alone can screw this up’.

The surge of women into American politics is long, long overdue.  They will change the entire political culture — because they think differently than the men who drove American Political Culture into the ground.

Gentlemen — hand over the keys.  The Women are driving now — and you don’t want to piss them off any more than they already are.