panaceachronicles

Pure, Natural Coca Leaf – A Healing Gift Of The Divine Plant


Leave a comment

“The pump don’t work ‘Cause the vandals took the handles”

When the British decided to use Opium as a stealth weapon to coerce China into making obscene trade concessions, their simple strategy was to distribute free Indian Opium and addict a vulnerable Chinese population that was ripe and ready. The British knew that by addicting the population with virtually free opium they could manipulate the entire society and dictate one-sided trade terms to the country’s leaders and merchant classes.

This strategy worked beautifully because it targeted tens of millions of Chinese people who had no hope, no work, no health, no energy, no future, no home, and no reason to live. Opium made all that misery go away, and even though the misery only went away inside the Opium smoker’s mind, and the world outside was still as mean and harsh as before, with a bit of Opium smoke that painful world could still be banished at least for a few blessed hours.

It didn’t matter to the Opium smoker that he had to lay his body down in filth, that he had no food, that he had no family or community, and that he was surely dying. It didn’t matter that there was no hope. Opium replaced all that emptiness with a dream world that was pleasant and desirable. It was as good as having hope, at least while it lasted.

That was the fate of tens of millions of people subjected to the first “Opioid Epidemic” in history, which was actually not a disease but a strategic weapon wielded by one of the most evil empires the world has known. Today this same hopelessness is the fate of millions of Americans, and the forces that degraded the lives of generations of Chinese are daily reality for millions of Americans.

If this hopelessness were not a fact of life for tens of millions of Americans we would not have an “Opioid Epidemic.” Talking heads want to place the blame for the Opioid Epidemic on doctors who over-prescribe, on predatory drug manufacturers, on criminal drug cartels – everywhere but where the real cause lies. Americans are addicted to Opioids by the tens of millions because life in America is hopeless for so many.

The “Opioid Epidemic” is tragically simple – it is millions of Americans expressing in their behavior what is rapidly becoming a very widespread, perhaps a majority conviction that life is simply not worth living in this country anymore.

The reasons why life is so horrible that people no longer care are not hard to find; what is hard to find is any discussion of how to address the Opioid Epidemic by somehow giving people a reason to want to live. The reason that is so hard is because it is impossible to “give” people a reason to want to live – they have to find it themselves, and if it is nowhere to be found, then it is game over.

We can all see why life is hopeless for so many people in America today.

Millions are “homeless”. The banks have tossed literally millions of families under the highway bridges. Many millions more who technically have a home are trapped in living conditions that can scarcely be called home. Then, at the end of our lives, the “homes” that we are condemned to would fit right into a Charles Dickens novel. Quite simply, there are very few people who have anything that could be called a home in the so-called “American Homeland”.

Tens of millions have only toxic “choices” for food, water, and living conditions. Much of what we eat does not nourish us, but makes us gradually, chronically sick instead. From the beginning of their lives to the end, people are never adequately nourished. This is a deliberate, industry-wide conspiracy fully abetted by government agencies and politicians. Healthy, energetic people with their full mental faculties are dangerous if you are running a vast conspiracy to exploit those same people. When they are chronically sick for unidentifiable reasons they are easy to manipulate.

Education is no longer a path to a better life. Schools are a sham – they don’t even do a good job of indoctrinating kids, much less teaching them to think. Many young people’s ability to spend a day in school learning anything of value, even if it were available, is compromised by widespread malnourishment, psychologically trauma, low self-esteem, mental deficiencies, sexual exploitation, and inability to form and hold even simple thoughts in their deliberately scrambled brains. Those young people who somehow grow up relatively unscathed and who buy into the idea of progress through education are, at the end, cruelly victimized. Many young people see the scam early, and realize that school is leading nowhere for them, and they drop out. The streets are waiting for them. So are the “movements”.

There is no “care” in health care, nor any health either. Tens of millions of Americans are so chronically sick that they can barely make it through the day, and when they do get to see a doctor they are “treated” in ways that make them sicker, increases their dependence on “medicines”, and makes their life even more unbearable. “Health Care” is run almost like a Nazi concentration camp – squeeze the victims for everything they have, experiment on them, prevent them from escaping until you have “done everything you can”, then simply replace them with another from the endless line of already prepped victims.

Wealth can be acquired only by cheating, stealing, betraying, lying and murdering – there are virtually no good honorable people with wealth. The idea of saving for the future is a complete con. Governments at all levels run the lottery scam knowing that people will spend their money on tickets because “winning” is the only way they will ever be anything but poor. Selling a poor person a lottery ticket is morally equivalent to addicting them to opioids.

Technology is only inventing new versions of old ways of separating people from what little they have. Technology is not making life better – it is sucking up what little money people have by giving them gadgets that distract them from the realization that they are living a hopeless life. How many people living in absolute squalor have a big-screen TV that is used exclusively to sell them stories and products that sustain the illusion that they too can partake in a world of glamour and comfort?

Almost all of us have lost any spiritual faith we once had, and millions have sink into delusional thinking about omnipotent beings that watch over them and offer them the comfort that faith once gave them. As millions seek these delusional saviors, human vampires in thousand dollar suits with testosterone voices and coiffed white hair appear promising that they have special access to the powers of the gods and that they will share in return for money (it is always money) and that will convey that power to their suffering “flocks”.

People are blind, steaming angry, and they are taking it out on those nearest to them – their spouses and children, people who look different, people who they are propagandized into hating, but never on the evil ones who profit from their misery. The rise of the neo-Nazi movement stems directly from this pool of anger. Everybody in these “movements” is hating and attacking anyone less vulnerable than themselves, and to justify their behavior they see themselves as being constantly attacked by those more powerful.

People go passively to their graves every day, cursing impotently. The survivors mutter about the dead now being in a “better place”. I have heard many say that they would welcome an earth-destroying asteroid, or global nuclear war, and I believe them.

Professions that were once honorable are eviscerated and corrupted. Doctors, police, teachers – people instinctively know that these professions are no longer worthy of respect.

America the Beautiful is poisoned and dying. People actually joke about the “Rust Belt”. In fact, there is no such single, definable place. Everything, everywhere is rusting and falling apart. America is a rust belt.

It’s conventional to end a diatribe like this with a “But……” statement of how things might be changed, get better, become more hopeful. I can’t do that. I just don’t see it. I think we are at the end of the dream. The “cause” of the opioid epidemic, the hateful racism, the rampant corruption, the pathetic sexual grasping, and the routine, legalized criminal exploitation is that millions of people now, finally, realize that there is no longer any reason to dream of better days.

For tens of millions of Americans, without hope, the Opium cloud is the only place of comfort.

 


Leave a comment

Your Grandparent’s Medical Cannabis

From “Marijuana Foods” illustrated by Pat Krug

Dear Reader: I wrote the following words as the introduction to my book “Marijuana Foods” in 1982. For several years my life companion Lisle and I had been experimenting with Marijuana as a medicine and saw clearly that many sick people simply couldn’t stand the physical stress of inhaling smoke, even through a water pipe, which was the only smoking alternative back then. Not only that, but older people and non-smokers were almost completely cut off from the health benefits of Cannabis. Vaporizing technology was still decades away, and there was no such thing as the Internet for people to use to inform themselves.

So we did a lot of experimenting with extraction methods and food & beverage recipes – my wife is one of the world’s best cooks, especially when it comes to subtle things like balancing flavors and aromas – and I am gratified to see many of the ideas from this book showing up in the market today. I thought that I would share this “Marijuana Foods” introduction with you to show that the benefits of non-smoking alternative uses of Medical Marijuana have been a topic of conversation for a long time.

When I see all the great new ideas and new Cannabis products created to address every kind of health, happiness and quality of life issue in ways that Pig Pharma can’t touch, I love it that new generations of  young people are finally making the Cannabis revolution so strong that it cannot be stopped. Rock On!

(from “Marijuana Foods”, Simon & Schuster, 1982: Chapter One)

Why Not?

Cannabis has been used for centuries as a medicine, and has held a central place as a natural healer and reliever in the pharmacy of societies around the world. America has yet to come to an appreciation of the medical usefulness of Marijuana large because of the successful maneuvers of the cigarette and alcohol industries to get a grip on both the political and the moral institutions of the country. It has been a classic maneuver, well executed and enormously successful, and it has taken over fifty years.

Frustrated in their attempt to impose a prohibition of alcohol on all of society, the forces of morality were quick to spot the far more productive target presented by Marijuana, used almost exclusively by the African-American people in the cities.

The powerful cigarette and alcohol industries saw this situation as an opportunity not to be missed. Knowing that it would be a mortal threat to their industries if Marijuana ever escaped into regular White society, because it would quickly supplant alcohol & cigarettes and couldn’t even become a profitable legal monopoly because it could be grown by anyone, they crafted a long-range strategy which after decades of work and the investment of billions of dollars has almost succeeded.

Moral outrage and self-righteous indignation at the distantly observed and perversely fantasized habits, behaviors and presumed moral degradation of poor people, especially minorities, has long been the habit of a certain breed of White people with withered souls. These people have historically tended to congregate in church-based prohibitionist movements. Recruiting and building this barely latent racism into a religiously sanctioned nationwide crusade against drugs was the strategy chosen by Marijuana’s adversaries.

In executing this simple strategy, the legal drug industries quietly aligned themselves with the forces of morality, feeding them with propaganda and funding, employing layers of sophisticated “foundations” to spare the moralists the pain of taking blood money, and together these evil sisters set out to rid America of (competitive) drugs.

Out of this strategy came the federal bureaucracy designed to “fight drugs” and deal criminally with the “drug problem” which the newspapers of the time defined in large headlines, displaying photographs of either Black people or Whites who were clearly low-life types, and stressing that even a moment’s lapse, a single puff, would lead to such as this.

That was scary stuff to the folks who had just suffered a decade of depression and now faced a worldwide threat of really dangerous aggressors… and it worked. The anti-drug laws of the late 1930’s marked the success of this tactic.

The cigarette and alcohol industries boomed during the War in every community of the world. It was cool to drink, cool to smoke, and everyone who wasn’t dead was alive so what the hell. After WWII there was no room for consciousness-expansion except via martinis in the U.S. because everybody was too busy pursuing the materialist dream of industrial expansion designed to keep the converted war production machinery humming.

The industrial empires left over from the last century, decimated by the crash and the depression, had recovered too well and made too much money producing machinery and other war materials for them to allow the factories to simply close down and people return to their peaceful way of life in the towns, villages and small cities.

Besides, farming and small town living was no longer very attractive to the millions of young men and women who had seen the world, survived a war, and come home as saviors and heroes.

In the late 40’s and throughout the 50’s, going to college and then out to work in rapidly growing companies making consumer goods for the exploding population of babies and families, these organization men and women never got high, couldn’t understand why anyone else would, and using the logic and “information” so carefully fed them by the prohibitionists through the increasingly pervasive media environment, judged those who used any drugs but alcohol and cigarettes as weak in character or racially inferior – probably both.

This is the environment we inherit today. Those at the top of our institutions, agencies and organizations are those who survived WWII, stayed straight, and either bought the anti-drug propaganda or cynically helped promote it, as part of a bargain with the devil in their rise to power.

They have inherited the mantles of power and influence created by the robber barons of the last century, along with the ethics and morality of those brutal humans, and are absolutely dedicated to reducing the people of this country to shackles. These people intuitively understand that the unrestricted use of psychoactive drugs would change society in ways which would make their feudal style of social and economic prerogatives and control too vulnerable to more desirable alternatives.

Marijuana And The Health Care System

All health care systems have a “delivery” component, a set of ways in which the benefits of the system are delivered to the people in need. When we look to the healing rituals of so-called primitive societies around the world we see that a consistent major difference from our own delivery system is the participation of family, friends and community in the “primitive” healing processes and their virtual exclusion from our own.

Scientists studying the effects of group participation on individual human physiology have long noted that whether through church, through kin-centered social activities, or just plain having fun with friends, the health benefits of socializing are indisputable. Such activity is known to speed healing, lower stress, and maintain good health.

Medical technical specialists have developed tremendous analytical and therapeutic tools, but until the institutions they have created for those tools allow the participation of those with whom the person is emotionally and spiritually bonded, the healing potential of much of this wonderful technology will continue to be limited and subverted by the physiological, psychological and spiritual effects of the stressors like isolation, confusion, fear, dread, pain, and despair which so many people feel while “being cared for”.

The Technodoc attitude generally downgrade this as a minor problem, to be dealt with by further medication, and indeed they do have medications which “de-stress” you – for as long as you take them. These substances interfere with the biochemical media in the brain which carry stress messages from mind to brain, and chemically sever the nerves which carry the stress messages from your brain to the rest of your body. They render your nervous system incapable of transmitting the signals which the major stressors produce; they do not change the conditions which generate the fear, the sense of isolation.

You’re still alone, still afraid, in a world full of things you never bargained for, but now you can’t feel the stress, or even register its existence on your conscious mind, so your problems are considered managed.

A New Marijuana-based Therapy

With the ever-present exposure we all get to the “modern health care system” it’s easy to forget that all this is relatively new. Until a few years ago almost all Americans dealt with disease, illness, injury, impairment and old age in the context of a family and a community of friends and neighbors.

This isn’t a good old days fantasy. Sure there were lots of people without friends or family who suffered and died alone – that’s one of the origins of the centralized health care delivery system, the urgent social need to care for the millions of people, many of them immigrants, who lay sick and dying alone in the city streets of the last century. Centralized health care institutions grew out of this core failure of the industrializing American system, when the very closeness of family and community which enfolded those in need was not available to outsiders and strangers, and when there was no alternative but the brutal poorhouse.

But there were also tens of thousands of smaller cities, towns, villages and rural communities where few lay alone, whether sick or injured, where aging people were passed from family member to family member if need be, but were kept, and where the medical profession was an enormously useful adjunct to the family-based health care delivery system but was not the primary caregiver. These days are recalled as quaint by some modern docs who chuckle about the days of house calls, though many wish that they could make a decent living doing just that. Marijuana therapies offer that option.

We live now in an age when care has become interpreted as skilled technical intervention alone. When a person becomes seriously sick or gets badly injured they are removed from their family in a manner that brooks no interference. Medical emergencies convey license upon lifesavers who rush you to the central facility where you are handed over to technical specialists, who then take charge as you are transformed into a “case” or “patient”.

Your family or friends, if you have any, are reduced to huddling in a waiting room where they are visited from time to time and provided reassurance that you are in good hands and everything possible is being done.

If and when the emergency subsides you are then passed on to other specialists who apply whatever medical technologies they are familiar with and choose to use in the name of standard medical practice. Their choice of technology and strategy is determined by many considerations, and their motives are usually the highest, but their methods are not to be questioned, and there is literally no room for family or friends to function in the role of caregivers. They can come visiting hours, and that’s it, because the institution is in total charge of care-taking, and their version of care-taking is how its going to be.

If the institution and the specialists can’t fix the problem you will be designated incurable and sent somewhere called a home, but probably not a home with your family in it, for “long-term care”. You generally won’t go with your family because they “aren’t able to take care of you”, meaning that there is no system to provide the resources which would enable them to “take care of you” at home. The systems that exist to provide and allocate society’s health care resources choose to allocate those resources to “taking care of you” in institutions which they administer and from which they profit, not to home-based alternatives which, while better and more cost effective for you, do not benefit them. They’re not evil, just doing what comes naturally which is surviving at all cost.

If you recover you are “released” which means you are free to go, after dealing with the bill of course. You walk out to rejoin your family, and maybe on the ride home in the car someone will ask you – ” So, how do you feel?” Well of course you feel “fine”, and that’s about it. Everybody goes home and goes on with their lives until the next time they crash or drop or break or pass out and then it all begins all over again.

But are you “healed” by all this? Your disease certainly seems to have passed, your bones mended, your new organ functions perfectly, your heart beats. But what about how vulnerable, how violated, how isolated you feel even behind the pills?

Given the institutional cultures of the current health care system, the isolation and emotional and spiritual deprivation of the severely ill or merely very old person becomes almost inevitable.

Family-Centered Marijuana Therapy

Family centered Marijuana therapy can be a powerful way for the family to re-assert its legitimate role in the process of caring for and healing the sick or hurt family member. Through the therapeutic use of the Marijuana experience families can draw closer, open up to the feelings and words so necessary for healing, reach out to each other and resolve issues, build upon the loving relationships which may have lain fallow for many years while all were healthy.

Those medical and therapeutic professionals who personally understand and value being high have an invaluable contribution to make to the healing of their own profession by working to bring back the quality of caring and life which is the hallmark of successful family-centered health care and which can never be provided institutionally. What is needed is a bridge between the institutions and the extended family in the process of caring for and healing those who are ill, injured, or aged.

The therapeutic use of Marijuana, guided and facilitated by medical and therapeutic professionals, can contribute to the building of this bridge, but not without a small revolution in which enlightened professionals and fed-up families and individuals come to some sort of simultaneous realization of how badly we are all suffering from an outmoded, crumbling and illogical system of health care delivery. Compassionate, creative, therapeutic use of Marijuana in a psychological and spiritual healing process opens new professional opportunities for many health care professionals who are personally experienced with the Marijuana high.

Why should personally enlightened professionals continue to submit to the whips of the cynics and moralists, those evil sisters, thus depriving their patients, clients, loved ones, friends and colleagues of the benefits of a holistic approach to Marijuana therapy which uses the powerful healing high, with themselves acting as compassionate Companion-Guides as well as medical professionals.

Considered, directed use of Marijuana is one of the most effective paths to healing for many people, and there is no question that it one of the gentlest, most illuminating natural agents put on this earth by the creator. To knowingly deny such a whole healing experience to the sick and dying is both sacrilegious and professionally corrupt.

Imagine the impact on the quality of the relationship and the healing potential if all parties to the process- physician, caretaker, family, spouse, and patient could use the Marijuana high to get past the kinds of barriers that typically isolate those in need from those giving care.

Wholistic therapies involving Marijuana would not seek to separate a biochemical “effect” useful in treating the disease or symptom involved. In place of trying and failing to control the psychoactive and CNS “side effects” pharmacologically or biologically in order to extract an elusive magic bullet, why not include the Marijuana high in a psychotherapeutically designed “happiness therapy”. Why not stop trying to manipulate people bio-chemically at these deeply invasive micro-levels and deal with the simple fact that whole Marijuana flowers whether smoked or eaten would, if freely available, be very useful for many of the medical needs of most people in a lot of serious situations.

There simply is no real need to make Marijuana into a pharmacological nightmare and charge people huge fees for institutionally controlled inferior variations of molecules found in every marijuana flower on earth. And even if scientists were to succeed in this absurd search for “the molecule” and “the pathway” which is the Marijuana high, the biochemical industry and the government would then be able to synthesize the chemicals and find the neurological pathways to biochemically manipulate other mysteries like love, happiness, patriotism and consumer behavior, and the arrival of 1984 will have been only slightly delayed.

I don’t expect this to be a problem , because the Marijuana high is not an effect produced by a chemical as much as it is an experience released by a chemical. The experience occurs within, with the impetus given by the chemical but moderated by the mind/body interaction, which is why it is so difficult for technicians to isolate individual Marijuana chemicals from the high and achieve clinically measurable “effectiveness”.

The experience which is partially mirrored in measurable effects like brainwaves and behaviors is embodied in the mind, not the brain, and the chemical acting on the body/brain does not produce the experience, it opens the doors of perception to the experience which occurs on a plane where complex activity leaves only slight physical or electrical tracings on even sophisticated detection machines.

As far as the machines are concerned the Marijuana experience has as much measurable substance as a ghost, and only those who have actually seen ghosts in the other realms would know when one showed up on their screens in this reality.

Archaeological evidence shows that non-western societies have known about the healing and therapeutic properties of Marijuana for thousands of years. Village and tribal societies throughout Asia and the Middle East have used preparations from the Marijuana flower for health, for relaxation, for stimulation, for worship, and for magic since ancient times.

Ritually potent high energy social interaction is a key to healing in these societies, contrasted with routine isolation and treatment exclusively by technical specialists in ours. Marijuana plays an important role in stimulating both interaction and receptivity in ritual participants, and therefore in the healing outcome. In addition, it is clear that these societies have long since discovered the pure medical properties of Marijuana in treating and curing both routine and serious diseases.

Through the use of the Marijuana plant in both ritual and medicinal context these more natural societies have found ways to put the sufferer in touch with those healing forces of the universe which are everywhere around us but which must be summoned and focussed before physical body problems can be relieved. This natural wisdom formed over thousands of years has a place in our approach to the severe health issues confronted today by millions of Americans.


Leave a comment

The Rat Race In The Swamp

Virtually everyone who speaks English has used the phrase “rat race” to describe the pace of modern life, but few people understand how the term came into being. Many people inside and outside of the swampy bottoms of the DC Beltway would agree that, indeed, Washington is even more of a rat race these days than usual.

As with many phrases in the English language, once you understand the origins, the meaning becomes even more delightful.

Back in the epoch of Medieval plagues, one of the many epidemics that swept Europe was not only carried by rats, but it also infected them. The rodents were first affected by extreme thirst, then hunger, then disorientation, then extreme fatigue. As a rat reached the final stage it would fall down, helpless, just lying wherever it had fallen.

Pretty soon another rat, perhaps just in the first stages of the disease, would happen by and, seeing its fellow furry compadre totally helpless and looking delicious, would settle down to dine.

Rats being rats, the morsel of choice was the anus of the poor creature lying helpless, and so as brother (or sister) rat began gnawing at its tender parts, the first rat would begin to inch along, trying to escape the teeth burrowing from behind.

But soon, since rat #2 was also sick and disoriented even while dining, rat #3 would happen by and – voila – the feast would begin anew at the hind end of rat #2.

So now we would have three rats, each concentrating on eating the juicy anus of the one in front while trying to escape being eaten from behind.

While the spectacle would most often grow to resemble a bloody little Conga line, occasionally a full circle would form. Needless to say, this sight would attract human spectators and, people being the creatures that they are, bets would be placed on which rat would be the ultimate survivor. Or, rather, which rat would die last, since there were never any actual survivors.  So, while there was no announcer to cry “And they’re off”, this everyday sporting event in the streets of London quickly came to be called a “Rat Race”.

Charming, no? And how appropriate that this is the phrase of choice to describe the activities of the creatures of the Beltway swamp.

Gentlemen (and ladies) – place your bets. My bet is on the rodent with the orange fur.


Leave a comment

In Praise Of Short Words

Hi. I wrote this for fun, to see if I could write a coherent essay using only one-syllable words. You be the judge.

When we try to deal with big thoughts there is no rule that says we must use big words. In fact, short words are just as good as long ones for most of our needs. Still, most of us find that it’s hard to say what we mean with plain words, so we tend to use a lot of big words when a few small ones would do just as well. We miss the key point that to say the least may be the best way to say the most.

Most of us have learned not to trust big words and those who use them. Of course, not all big words are meant to hide the truth, nor do all those who use them mean to lie – at least some of the time. Big words can be used to make fools of all of us, and though we all know this is so, when it comes to some big words, and some of those who use them, we do not act on what we know to be true till too late, and by then we are ‘had’, as they say.

More and more these days our heads are filled with big new words meant to sell us on false dreams. These big words and the false dreams that come with them may seem real to us at first, but in the end, most of these big words lead to traps that hold us in their grip and do not let go. The odd thing is that most of the time, though most of us know such dreams are false, and are bound to fail, we don’t trust what our own hearts and minds tell us, and we do not seem to learn.

That’s why I say that small words are, for the most part, the best way to find our true voice when we want to speak of things we feel deep in our heart like our love, our pain, our joy, our dreams, fears, and hopes. The use of plain words makes us work hard to seek core thoughts and truths, and bright clean small words leave no dark place for lies, half truths, or vague thoughts to hide. To write or speak this way gives us a kind of strength which we lose if we choose big words that just sound good, and don’t bear their share of the load as we try to give voice to what we see, or to let the world hear what is in our heart. When we speak or write from our true heart and mind then we will find that it is the small words that best help us to say what is true and real in our lives.

The Rule Of One is our best guide to a style that will keep us true to what we mean to say. This rule says that when you have a thing to say that you want to be clear to each one who hears, you must try to say what you mean in words that have just one beat, one clear, plain pulse. When you tune your ear and tongue to this Rule of One, you will find that your mind, tongue and pen flow with streams of crisp, clear words.

There will be times when you need a big word to say what you mean, and of course that’s the way it should be. Big words are there for us when we have to deal with things that are so wide and deep that small words just won’t do. But I find that if I use plain words when I can, more of my thoughts seem to get through to more of those who I want to reach.

We all know how hard it is to be clear and to the point when we try to deal with big thoughts. We are prone to think that plain thoughts are not worth as much as those with more twists and turns. While it is clear that we can’t use short words in all of what we say and write, we can each do more than we now do to make our thoughts clear with the use of short, plain words.

Small words are the breath of our heart and the seeds of our mind, and the skill to use them with grace and art is a true gift. Each of us knows what words like love, hope, joy, fear, and pain mean with no one to tell us. What such words mean is just there, in our shared minds, like bright stars that glow in the night sky where we all can see them and know them for what they are and what they mean. They guide us in our search for a way to speak so that all who hear us will know just what we mean.

So my friends, let’s try to use small, old words when we want to make what we mean clear to all. If a big word is our best choice, then we should not fear to use it, but our tongues are so rich with crisp, brisk, clear, short words that we should try to make them the crux of what we say and write.

Short words are like old friends; they will not let you down.

Would you like to learn to speak and write with style?

 


Leave a comment

Why Bolivia & Peru Should Sue Merck & Coca Cola

Pizarro Kneels Before Mama Coca Just Before The Slaughter Of The Incas Begins

People of conscience rightfully condemn the Nazi looting of art and cultural artifacts from Jewish victims of the Holocaust, and from homes and museums around Europe. People also rightfully condemn the berserk destruction of cultural and historical treasures in Iraq and Afghanistan by ISIS and the Taliban.

There is a growing body of international law that condemns and demands reparations on the part of former colonial powers like Britain, France, Belgium and The Netherlands whose military and “explorers” looted cultural and historical treasures of Greece, Egypt, Iraq, India, Indonesia, Africa and elsewhere in their Empires. The Spanish are certainly near the top of any list of looters of cultural and historical artifacts with their centuries-long conquest and domination of the Indian civilizations of Latin America.

And of course it can hardly be disputed that the Americans top the list of looters with their genocide against Native Americans and blatant theft of their ancient homelands, along with widespread looting of their cultural and historical artifacts, desecration of their graves, and theft of their cultural heritage. When this history is combined with the destruction and enslavement of entire African civilizations, and the forced obliteration of not only whole families and tribes but whole histories, Americans are definitely at the top of any list of historical and cultural criminals.

All of the victims of these various exercises of colonial avarice, hatred and slaughter are at some stage in seeking reparations. The Greeks want their temples back from the British. The Egyptians want the bones and treasures of their ancient Kings returned. Native Americans are demanding the return of their sacred objects and the bones of their ancestors from the Smithsonian. The Iraqis who have seen their Mesopotamian heritage scattered to the winds for centuries are currently being victimized by a blow-dried reincarnation of Jim & Tammy Faye in the person of the “Christian” owners of the tacky little “Hobby Lobby” chain in the US that is charged with large-scale looting on ancient artifacts in the Middle East. These elaborately coiffed smiley-face Oklahomans of course deny everything, pleading that they had no idea that these little ole’ tiles were invaluable cultural artifacts.

Cultures worldwide are demanding the same of museums in France, Belgium and The Netherlands. The Chinese are demanding the return of cultural and historical treasures looted by the American-backed Chiang Kai Shek. American Black people are demanding reparations for the theft and brutalization of their families, cultures and history. Latin American cultures are demanding that Spain , Portugal and the Catholic Church return the wealth in gold, silver, culture and history stolen from them over the centuries of Colonial domination.

However, in the midst of all this worldwide outcry against theft of cultural and historical heritage by force and stealth, at least one enormous crime against Native People has been completely overlooked, and I am proposing that the people of Bolivia and Peru, who are the victims of this particular crime, organize and pursue legal remedy under the same body of international law that has begun to recognize the rights of other Native People worldwide.

The crime I am referring to is the theft of the Coca Plant by the European pharmaceutical industry that, since the 1840’s, has made hundreds of billions of dollars from the theft of this Sacred Plant of the Incas and has not paid one penny in reparation or shared any of the huge profits that this industry has enjoyed for over 150 years. Specifically, I am suggesting that Bolivia and Peru jointly sue the German Pharmaceutical company Merck, which was responsible for first looting Coca Plants from Bolivia and Peru and then extracting the alkaloid Cocaine from those plants, and then making Cocaine the core of the company’s fortunes as it grew into the globally dominant pharmaceutical giant of today.

The Coca Plant is indigenous to only one place in the world – the southern Andes – so Merck cannot claim that they took a plant that was readily available worldwide and simply exercised their scientific genius in producing Cocaine. The plants that Merck used to create mountains of gold from a few green leaves came from only one place, and were the cultural and historical heritage of only one People – the Native peoples who today live in poverty in Andes, remote from even a handful of the wealth so jealously guarded by the German pharmaceutical industry and others worldwide who profit from the cultural heritage of the Incas – companies like Coca Cola, who should also be named in any lawsuit for reparations brought by representatives of the Native People of Bolivia and Peru.

The art looted by the Nazis is being returned to the rightful owners under the law, and the families and descendants of those owners are rightfully being compensated. The stolen art, artifacts and bones of ancient civilizations in Greece, Egypt and elsewhere are gradually being pried loose from the talons of the museums erected by Colonial powers to display their loot. Even the American Smithsonian is finally, reluctantly recognizing that it has no right to make the corpses of Native Americans part of their “display”, and are, while doing a lot of foot-dragging, gradually returning the bones and cultural and historical loot stolen from the Native American people. And although there is enormous opposition among the elite and their toadies toward paying reparations to American Black people, at least there is some movement among American Black people themselves to reclaim parts of their stolen cultural and historical heritage.

So why shouldn’t Merck, Coca Cola and others that have profited from the theft of the heritage of the Incas be taken before the bar of international justice and stripped of at least a major portion of the profits that they have made from the theft of the cultural/historical heritage of the descendants of the Incas? The court of jurisdiction would also be responsible for assuring that the money recovered in the name of the descendants of the Incas was not re-looted by politicians in those countries, and instead went into a closely supervised non-profit international organization that was severely limited in the salaries it could pay and the administrative overhead it could charge.

I think that this is the right thing to do, and I think it should be done beginning now. Are you listening, President Morales? You have an historic opportunity to force the greedy capitalists of Merck, Coca Cola and other evil corporations to crawl on their knees dragging wagonloads of stolen wealth back to the people who are its rightful owners.

Just do it. Por favor.

 


Leave a comment

Who Cares?

by Pat Krug (from) Marijuana Foods, 1981

Every one of us needs tender, loving care more than anything else when we’re badly hurt, or severely sick, or grieving deeply, or very old, or caught in any of life’s other painful, terrifying traps. While we all need loving care at some time in our lives, unfortunately caring for others seems to be a rare natural resource, a quality of the heart, mind and soul possessed by relatively few people. And yet tens of millions of us are growing older and will inevitably need care. Whether that “care” is institutional, custodial care that is little more than prison, or it is loving, attentive care from a Caregiver who is giving freely, is really a matter of economic opportunity as much as it is motivation. Our society desperately needs to invent ways for Caregivers to be able to stay home and care for those who need their constant care. I believe that the natural Cannabis medicine revolution and the accompanying regulatory structures may finally offer Caregivers such an economic opportunity.

Not Our Job!

The problem with getting love and care when you need them most is they aren’t actually a part of the job description of the so-called caring professions – medicine, nursing, rehabilitation etc. For the most past we are only truly cared for when an individual chooses to give it to us out of their heart’s kindness, not because it’s part of their job.

Of course there are professionals with large personal reserves of caring in the medical industry, but most people who have dealt with hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and the like would probably agree that caring is generally absent at most levels in these places most of the time. This is critically unfortunate, because without caring all the medical skills and technology in the world give small, cold comfort at best to people living their days in pain, fear and sickness, or who are confused and feeble, or those who have been broken and disabled.

It’s All Yours! Long Hours, No Pay.

Throughout history in all cultures giving love and care has been the role of women and slaves, which all societies have considered a domestic duty with little economic value, rather than being treated as a valuable resource. This deliberate pretense has robbed those with immense stores of love and care of their economic birthright, because the truth is that they possess what is ultimately most valuable, and most needed by almost every person on earth no matter how rich and powerful or poor and impotent.

Interestingly enough, a quick look at any group of health care industry messages reveals that most of them compete on the basis of caring about you personally – yet who actually delivers that caring if it gets delivered at all? The objective answer is that when caring is given in medical settings it is given disproportionately by women. It’s a tragic continuation of history’s irony that the people who own and control this most critical factor in competitiveness in the health care industry tend to be the lowest paid and most exploited workers in that industry.

Who You Gonna Call?

Increasing numbers of people have to face the rest of their life with severe illness and disability, dependent only upon whatever insurance and social services payments may provide and whatever network of family, friends and social services they may have available. There are 43 million homes in America where someone, usually an older person, is being cared for by someone who loves them and has taken on the responsibility – usually a daughter but increasingly, a loving son. People in this situation often have no other financial income resources than insurance and social security payments, and normally can’t work in any way to supplement their income. If the person is institutionalized the institution typically gathers in all available income and other assets in return for the care and treatment being provided – too often a cruel joke. If the person lives independently the health care services provided at home typically eat up all available cash flow leaving little left for quality of life support.

Any one of us not in need of loving care at this moment could, before the sun rises again, find our entire life changed with our independence and abilities gone forever. It happens every day to thousands of people worldwide. It comes as a diagnosis like cancer or AIDS, or it comes as an event like a stroke or an accident, or it comes on gradually as we simply age until one day we’re on our back or our backside forever. Yet when such a terrible thing happens most of us behave like animals struck dumb with terror by a nameless shadow dropping from the sky. We are paralyzed with fear, praying that the dark shadow isn’t heading straight for us but we know that it is. When it strikes, we are helpless, and for far too many people that moment is only the beginning of helplessness.

A Tale Of Two Worlds

During Wiley Johnson’s final life experience the only other people he saw regularly, other than his family and a few friends, were two hospital staff people named Ernest and Betty. Ernest was an orderly and Betty was a nurse’s assistant, and both were in their fifties. Betty was an African-American woman from Oak Cliff, and Ernest was a Latin American man originally from Sonora, now from East Dallas. They became Wiley’s friends, saw him every day, fussed over him, joked with him, and listened to him. They cared for Wiley physically and personally, cleaning and grooming him, doing small kindnesses for him, and most of all, treating him like a person.

In the month he spent in the hospital Wiley was attended to by a steady stream of high priced specialists. Although many of them were professionally pleasant and “caring”, they were each very busy, and they never listened very well as Wiley kept complaining of a pain in his stomach. Both Ernest and Betty took Wiley seriously enough to express concern to the family, and we made inquiries to the doctors as they zipped in and out. Finally, to deal with Wiley’s complaints and the family’s concerns a “heart man” was brought in and, sure enough, he announced that Wiley had a heart problem. But he’s never had a heart problem, we protested, and received the standard “doctor knows best” routine. Despite our objections Wiley was started on an intravenous blood thinner drip. Within 24 hours a massive undiagnosed clotted ulcer deep in his bowel let go, and after nearly six weeks of suffering and loss of dignity and nearly a hundred thousand dollars worth of professional medical “care”, Wiley quickly died of his stomach pains.

As my wife, her mother and I left the hospital garage after Wiley’s death, we noticed the expensive foreign car ahead of us being driven by Wiley’s heart specialist and remarked on the irony of his life-style and our situation at this moment. Then as we pulled out into the early evening streets, we saw another person, standing at the bus stop, holding a lunchbox. It was Betty, waiting for the bus to Oak Cliff, which pulled up just as we came around the corner so she never saw us. So one small family went home without its husband and father, the heart man went home in his expensive foreign car, and Betty and, no doubt Ernest, took the bus home to whatever home they could afford on their meager salaries.

Value In Use & Value In Exchange

This story may seem to be about hospitals, and doctors who sometimes heal and who sometimes kill – but it isn’t, it’s about a system of care-giving turned upside-down, where people who give the thing of greatest value, who give care, attention, friendship and sometimes love to lonely, frightened people in pain, rarely benefit in economic terms from their personal expenditure of this precious human capital, although it is exploited to their enormous benefit by institutional employers. Those who because of character, nature and culture possess the two principal forms of human capital – care and love – are rarely in a position to benefit from the exploitation of those rich sources of economic benefit.

Adam Smith wrote in “Wealth Of Nations”:

“The word value, it is to be observed, has two different meanings, and sometimes expresses the utility of some particular object, and sometimes the power of purchasing other goods which the possession of that object conveys. The one may be called “value in use”; the other, “value in exchange”. The things which have the greatest value in use have frequently little or no value in exchange; and, on the contrary, those which have the greatest value in exchange have frequently little or no value in use.”

He goes on to point out that salt is essential for health, and water is essential for survival, but that they have little value in exchange – except, of course, in arid regions of places like the American west where water rights are a distinct separate form of property rights.

Ladies! Get To Work!

For many generations, love and caring have been little valued and poorly rewarded, and at the same time they have been both demanded and coerced from those who possess these resources in greatest concentration. There has been no “value in exchange” for love and care, and instead there has been a vast pretension that these two resources are worthless. There has been very little “value in use” because love and caring were treated largely as domestic, wifely, or household tasks rather than core economic activities in the public domain.

For endless generations what little love and care there was in the world was delivered primarily by women in their roles as mother, wife, big sister, nursemaid, nanny, teacher, nurse, laborer, prostitute, and slave to their children, men, and family, and to their exploiters, owners, and employers. In return for this love and caring women have historically been paid little or nothing, and for most of history it has simply been expected of women by males and their institutions, and women have had no choice but to go along with this elaborate, degrading, and ultimately destructive pretense.

It’s About Time

However, the wheels of history turn, and circumstances are now right for millions of naturally gifted caregivers, primarily women but increasing also caring men, to take advantage of a revolution in need that is coming rapidly and predictably. Quite simply, the revolution is coming because there is a rapidly growing acute demand for the human capital resources of love and care in our society.

The medical Cannabis laws in increasing numbers of states offer independent Caregivers not only the opportunity to grow a small crop of medical Cannabis for the person who they are caring for, and for themselves if they also have the right paperwork, but in many states a Caregiver can grow medical Cannabis for a limited number of other patients who qualify for medical Cannabis. This offers a tremendous opportunity for Caregivers to generate welcome additional income from legal sale of medical Cannabis to patients in addition to the person they are caring for.

This is also an area where the huge numbers of Caregivers & Patients can have a dramatic impact on Cannabis laws. Caregivers who are sacrificing their ability to earn an income in order to take care of a loved one should be able to have a license to cultivate as much Medical Cannabis as they can grow, and the freedom to give or sell that Cannabis to any other legal patient and also to medical Cannabis dispensaries. With over 40 million Caregivers in the US caring for over 40 million patients, none of whom have the ability to earn an income because of the 24/7 nature of Caregiving, legalized home cultivation of Cannabis could be a powerful source of economic liberation for a huge number of Americans who have no other possibility of earning a decent income.

Hey! What About The Guys?

It’s not news to anyone that it is almost exclusively men, and male-dominated institutions in every culture which make war, exploit people, create suffering and pain, rape, desecrate, pollute and destroy, and promote anger, vengeance, hatred and cruelty. While there is little room in this tough, mean male world for men who express love and caring, it is expected, demanded, and coerced with little or no compensation from all women. In every major world culture deeply ingrained male institutions assure that the benefits of love and caring are available essentially for free to men from childhood onwards – on demand, so to speak.

It’s All Changing

I believe that we are entering a period in the early 21st Century when this can change in ways that can also revolutionize the harsh, male-dominated society that now rules, and Cannabis consciousness can be a key breakthrough factor in this revolution. And I believe that women and their enlightened male counterparts who are caregivers to the sick and elderly can lead the way forward.

I believe that for the first time in history it is possible to design workable ways for people who have an abundance of the human capital resources of love and caring to organize and put these resources to work for their own economic and social benefit. Medical Cannabis can be the center of a new home-based economic revolution.

I believe that groups of Caregivers working within religious and non-profit institutions, will be able to leverage the medical Cannabis laws to enable them to compete effectively with the so-called health care industry for the Trillion-dollar residential long term care market about to be created by the aging baby boomers and their parents.

And I believe that the economic opportunities offered by legal medical Cannabis are going to be the foundation of a new, home-centered, patient-centered, natural medicine revolution in how old, sick and damaged people can be cared for by those who love them.


Leave a comment

Terrorists? Homeland? Militants? Freedom Fighters? WTF?

Kathe Kollwitz – Death Takes The Children

Way too many people now accept the concepts of Terrorists and Terrorism without question, so maybe it’s time to think about how and why certain words are imposed on our minds. I think it’s called “managing perceptions”.

For example – did anyone in America think of our country as “The Homeland” before government propagandists coerced the mainstream media into using the term endlessly, and re-named every possible government agency and function as Homeland this and that? The Nazi propagandists would be proud that their legacy lives on.

And then there’s all those wars and military operations with catchy names designed to hide their true nature. “Operation Enduring Freedom” and pathetic shit like that.

So, to the subject of this post. Can anyone enlighten me on exactly when a particular group is to be called “militants”, “terrorists”, or “freedom-fighters”? I would really like to know who I should be hating on. Hate needs a target, doesn’t it?

Most people, whether informed or not, reasonably accept the idea that people who deliberately target, maim and kill vulnerable men, women and children, and who intentionally inflict fear, pain, suffering and death, are properly called “Terrorists”, and their actions are properly termed “Terrorism”.

We all hate and fear Terrorists, don’t we, and of course we all support the idea that “all options are on the table” to deal with them, right? We all want to do the right thing. Naturally. What “true patriot” wouldn’t feel that way?

But whoa there little patriot podners – let’s back up for a moment. I have a few questions here.

Don’t governments routinely inflict fear, pain, suffering and death upon vulnerable people in their own and other countries? Sure, they use organizations called “the military” and “law enforcement” to legitimatize their actions, but so what? We should, but don’t generally ask – what is the motive? What is the proper term for the people who commit these acts under cloak of being a “government”?

Don’t corporations routinely inflict fear, pain, suffering and death upon vulnerable people in their own and other countries? Sure, they use a metaphor called “business” to legitimatize their actions, but so what? We should, but don’t generally ask – what is the motive? What is the proper term for the people who commit these acts under cloak of “business”?

Don’t powerful and wealthy people routinely inflict fear, pain, suffering and death upon vulnerable people in their own society and worldwide? Sure, they use legal fictions like “politics” to disguise and hide their actions, but so what? We should, but don’t generally ask – what is the motive? What is the proper term for the people who commit these acts under cloak of being “the ruling classes”?

Don’t financial institutions routinely inflict fear, pain, suffering and death upon vulnerable people in their own countries and worldwide? Sure, they use a metaphor called “the economy” to legitimatize their actions, but so what? We should, but don’t generally ask – what is the motive? What is the proper term for the people who commit these acts under cloak of “managing the economy”?

Don’t religious institutions routinely inflict fear, pain, suffering and death upon vulnerable people in their own countries and worldwide? Sure, they use a metaphor called “God” to legitimatize their actions, but so what? We should, but don’t generally ask – what is the motive? What is the proper term for the people who commit these acts under cloak of “the will of God”?

All of these institutions, groups, institutions and organizations deliberately inflict fear, pain, suffering and death in service of their own agenda. Every one of them. They justify what they do in the name of something that they have carefully arranged to be perceived as socially acceptable – even beneficial. After all, government, business, money, and God are all good, right?

Somebody, I forget just who, said “By their deeds ye shall know them.” Seems to me that if it acts like a Terrorist, creating fear, pain, suffering and death, then it’s a Terrorist.

So, if the actual deeds of all these self-proclaimed good guys are terrorism, even if they try to hide their true nature under another name, then aren’t they revealed as Terrorists simply by their deeds?

All of these closet terrorist organizations that want to be seen as legitimate work tirelessly to distract the public mind by creating a special category composed of “Islamic radicals”, whose images and actions can easily be manipulated using the “Big Lie” technique.

The Big Lie has to be simple, because it is the simple-minded who are the targets. Government, business, wealth, military, church, and God – good. Terrorists – bad. Radical Islam – really, really bad. (Wrong God)

But – what if enough people stopped buying into the underlying agenda of the institutional use of words “Terrorist” and “Homeland” and started calling these people designated as radical Islamic terrorists – whose acts are truly despicable – something like “Revolutionaries”? 

That word has a whole different set of connotations, and none of these meanings can be co-opted by governments, corporations, the wealthy, banks, or churches – because all of them try hard to portray themselves as “good guy” revolutionaries. Clearly there’s no such thing as a good-guy “Radical Islamic Terrorist”.

Revolutionaries, on the other hand, can be good. Revolutionary deodorants. Revolutionary erectile dysfunction drugs. Revolutionary Coca Cola. 

No question about it – revolutionaries can be bad, especially political and economic revolutionaries. These revolutionaries engage in all the evil that those who they are fighting also engage in, and even though they may claim superior motives and morality, history has shown that most political/economic revolutionaries are simply thugs, like those they fight against. But even that kind of Revolutionary is different from a Terrorist, and so from time to time it suits even the ruling classes to portray themselves as revolutionaries, but never as terrorists.

Words matter, and the words “Terrorism” and “Terrorists” are an outstanding example of “The Big Lie” technique at work. We here in America – not the “Homeland”, but America – should be smart enough to not fall for the Big Lie technique – again. But, evidently, we are collectively not that smart.

That too is deliberate strategy.

Dumb them down, drug them up, keep them poor, make them hate each other, scare the shit out of them, control what they think, grab all the money and power and rule forever.

Works for the closet terrorists. Always has. Always will.