The Ayahuasca Dialogues

If you’re concerned about the future of psychedelic medicines and ethical/sustainable sources, then please support this project by the Ethnobotanical Stewardship Council. They are making big strides and can use all our help.

From The Nexian:

With the continued rise in popularity of psychedelic plant medicines, concerns surrounding sustainable harvesting methods and safe administration by practitioners are growing. The Ethnobotanical Stewardship Council is a nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring the sustainable and safe use of traditional plants and enriching the communities who work with them.

As we have seen in recent articles, unsustainable harvesting is a growing issue with ayahuasca, mimosa and acacia trees, iboga, peyote, and even sassafras in SE Asia. Quite antithetical to the earth-centered teachings of these plants, these harvesting methods have a devastating impact on the environment.

In order to truly heal with the planet we must not only have these experiences of higher awareness of the biosphere, but put our thoughts into action and become the stewards of nature, not its disease.… Read the rest

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Obama’s Support of Torture

Norman Pollack writes at CounterPunch:

And we thought the cold-blooded planning and execution of armed drone assassination vitiated any claim to moral character, a POTUS swaggering around on Air Force One methodically using drones and air power to destroy civilian targets and, as in the recent attacks on UN schools/shelters in Gaza, countenance—if not encourage-the same among friends and allies (Israel), now it is revealed by Charlie Savage of the New York Times, in an article, “Obama Could Reaffirm a Bush-Era Reading of a Treaty on Torture,” (Oct. 19), that our Nobelist Warrior is exquisitely parsing international treaties to allow for US TORTURE abroad, so long as not on the Homeland. Whether the program of torture or the rationale for its authorization is the greater Evil I leave to the professional philosophers to determine. But from here, America’s vanguard role, already the purveyor of global counterrevolution by all means possible, in this latest chapter of structural-political sadism, smells to high heavens.

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Suit Demands EPA Show Documents Related to Big Oil Influence over Fuel Standards

"The renewable fuel standards are one of EPA's most important tools for promoting clean air," Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) says. (Photo: Mike Mozart/flickr/cc)

“The renewable fuel standards are one of EPA’s most important tools for promoting clean air,” Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) says. (Photo: Mike Mozart/flickr/cc)

Deirdre Fulton writes at Common Dreams:

A leading Washington, D.C. ethics organization filed suit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Wednesday for failing to provide documents regarding oil industry efforts to influence the 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

Each year, the EPA sets the RFS for how much renewable fuel must be blended into transportation fuel supplies. “The renewable fuel standards are one of EPA’s most important tools for promoting clean air,” Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) states in its lawsuit (pdf).

CREW claims the EPA has yet to hand over all relevant communications—requested in May 2014 under the Freedom of Information Act—related to the EPA’s most recent RFS proposal, put forth in November 2013. At that point, for the first time since the standards were established, the EPA proposed reducing the amount of renewable fuel required to be blended into transportation fuel.

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How Hard Is It To Steal An Atom Bomb?

In 2012, an 82-year-old Nun easily broke into one of America’s most secure weapons facilities. In 1982, inspectors discovered that a massive hyper-secure vault used to store nuclear weapons had an unlocked back door next to a public road. In 1997, one of Russia’s top generals claimed that almost a hundred bombs were missing and unaccounted for.

This week, Science Faction takes a look at the jaw-dropping history of Nuclear Security blunders in ‘How Hard Is It To Steal An Atom Bomb?’

(Information is drawn primarily from released Oversight reports and Congressional hearings – Full list of sources at the end)’

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The Eye of the Luddite: Ruminations on Anti-Technological Themes in the Rocky Series

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There is a tendency among many in our culture to conflate the idea of “progress” with technological advance. The advent of the iPhone 6 is the next step “forward” in mankind’s (and gyno-kind’s, I suppose) evolution towards becoming an enlightened, intelligent species. The message has been drilled into us for the past 150 years or so by the priestly scientist caste, who have promised us absolution, atonement and the alleviation of all of life’s supposed ills, if only we pledge ourselves and our faith in the seemingly unending and supposedly unerring path of technological advance. War, famine, disease, boredom–as technology advanced, there was to be a corresponding decrease in the suffering and discomfort inherent in daily life.

Obviously, none of this has come to pass. Technology has advanced to the point that it’s almost superfluous to distinguish between it and magic, and yet people are still fucking miserable–perhaps in many more and varied ways than they had been in the past.… Read the rest

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Egyptian security forces raid universities with aim of suppressing campus dissent

"Al-Azhar University students walk past riot police during a protest conducted by a pro-Muslim Brotherhood student movement in Nasr City district on 12 October 2014." Photo cred: REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

“Al-Azhar University students walk past riot police during a protest conducted by a pro-Muslim Brotherhood student movement in Nasr City district on 12 October 2014.” Photo cred: REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

via IFEX.org:

Egyptian authorities should release more than 110 university students arrested since the start of the school year on October 11, 2014. The arrests were apparently aimed at preventing a revival of campus protests that have erupted repeatedly since the overthrow of the former president, Mohamed Morsy, in July 2013. The arrests and subsequent activities appear to be solely directed at the students’ peaceful exercise of the right to free assembly.

Security forces arrested at least 71 students in 15 governorates on October 11, according to the Students for Freedom Observatory, an activist group formed this year to track worsening restrictions on campus political activities. The group said many students were seized from their homes in pre-dawn raids that involved uniformed police, plainclothes officers, and heavily-armed special forces units.

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Electronic Frontier Foundation: Know Your Rights

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via EFF:

Your computer, phone, and other digital devices hold vast amounts of personal information about you and your family. This sensitive data is worth protecting from prying eyes, including those of the government.

EFF has designed this guide to help you understand your rights if officers try to search the data stored on your computer or portable electronic device, or seize it for further examination somewhere else. Keep in mind that the Fourth Amendment is the minimum standard, and your specific state may have stronger protections.

Read More.

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A Sick Society

Abby Zimet writes at Common Dreams:

In a stunning indictment of the Gaza assault as the act of a savage nation, even its president has proclaimed Israel a “sick society” incapable of dialogue with those around them and in need of treatment. In a speech at the opening of a conference aptly titled, “From Hatred of the Stranger to Acceptance of the Other,” Israeli President Reuven Rivlin – who as head of state has little real power compared to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with far too much – suggested Israel has become a nation without humanity or empathy that has “forgotten how to be decent human beings.” If you need further evidence of the justice of his claim, here’s video of Israeli soldiers arresting an 11-year-old, mute, developmentally disabled boy near Hebron for the possible crime of throwing a stone as neighboring Israeli settlers cheer. This makes us sick.

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Groening VS Kubrick

Simpsons Kubrick

Casting about for another spooky October post, this one didn’t take long.

The Simpsons annual “Treehouse of Horror” episodes have become an American Halloween television tradition given the show’s ridiculously long run and the intense creativity highlighted in these seasonal creep-fests. Often, the “Treehouse” episodes are among the best of a given season and if you’re wondering why the show is still on the air, a glance at their most recent tribute to Stanley Kubrick proves that the show continues to have relevance — and references — to spare.

Here’s the episode’s big scene courtesy of Vulture— it incorporates nearly the entirety of Kubrick’s weighty oeuvre. How many references can you catch?

I wonder what Rob Ager will have to say about this?

Stay Awake!

Please subscribe to my YouTube channel where I archive all of the videos I curate at Insomnia. Click here to check out more Cinema posts.… Read the rest

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