Archive | Op-Ed

Alchemy, Soma, and the Eschaton with Ananda Bosman – FRM Podcast

Also available via Itunes.

In this installment, cosmologist Ananda Bosman joins the Free Radical Media crew for a highly informative talk on Entheogens and the history of their use, alchemy, and the current state of humanity and the relationship between the human realm and our interdimensional brethren. Bosman is a prolific writer and public speaker on many topics, including shamanism, science, and cosmology. You can visit his website here.

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How US gun control compares to the rest of the world

211/365: beware of 9mm.
The Charleston murders have renewed the sporadic debates over whether gun control might have prevented this latest of tragedies.

To quote President Obama the day after the shooting in the AME Church,

“At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this kind of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries. It doesn’t happen in other places with this kind of frequency. It is in our power to do something about it.”

So far, however, the US has not done “something about it.”

The National Rifle Association (NRA), it seems, has so much power over politicians that even when 90% of Americans (including a majority of NRA members) wanted universal background checks to be adopted following the Newtown killings of 2012, no federal action ensued. Certainly, it’s unlikely that any useful legislation will emerge in South Carolina.

The NRA stranglehold on appropriate anti-crime measures is only part of the problem, though.… Read the rest

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Where Feminism Left Me

Nelly
From 2011, David Ker Thomson writing at CounterPunch:

I’ve been with feminism for two decades.  Where does it leave me?

Friends, employers, family, and so on, seem to have gathered enough information about me to have decided, to their satisfaction, that I am of a certain race, class, age, and gender.  Am I not, after all, white, middle, middle, and male?

Of course at the literal level I put no stock in any of this.  I’m pale this time of year, but every August my pelt is the same color as that of the “leader” my friends have chosen to conduct the latest wars in the wrack of the dune planet Arakkis.  I suppose for comparison purposes we would both need to unveil our torsos at the same time (mine rich in vitamin D, his in history).

“Middle,” for its part, does not seem to describe my most significant relationship to bankers and the world of men, since at eighty-two years of age I will be past any sort of middle when I will have finished paying off the mortgage that I and my wifeif she is my wifehave contracted in whatever fit of nesting exuberance governed our actions at the point of contract. 

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Aleister Crowley was a Total Hack Magickian (Part 2)

crowleymeme2Some of you might recall that earlier this year I was annoyed with Crowley-worshiping dickbags on the internet and wrote a piece about how much I personally detest the guy. After publicly writing about divine conversation with Holy Guardian Alien Intel on Facebook for nearly 2 years (like my new page for psychick communique), I kept wondering where the boring and rather primitive obsession with macabre subject matter and evil in general stemmed from within the modern Occult world. They’ve read Robert Anton Wilson, right? If you can’t realize that witch hunts are about a billion times darker and “more evil” than witchcraft will ever be, you probably shouldn’t be playing around with this shit in the first place. Seriously.

Then roughly the 5th or so Crowley fanboy started being a total contrarian prick to me and something clicked. Oh yeah, shit, these people idolize Crowley. Crowley was a total asshole to everyone around him.… Read the rest

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Militarism Run Amok: How Russians and Americans are Preparing Their Children for War

Military Police Practice Medical Evacuations [Image 2 of 3]
Lawrence Wittner writes at CounterPunch:

In 1915, a mother’s protest against funneling children into war became the theme of a new American song, “I Didn’t Raise My Boy to Be a Soldier.” Although the ballad attained great popularity, not everyone liked it. Theodore Roosevelt, a leading militarist of the era, retorted that the proper place for women who criticized war was “in a harem―and not in the United States.”

Roosevelt would be happy to learn that, a century later, preparing children for war continues unabated.

That’s certainly the case in today’s Russia, where thousands of government-funded clubs are producing what is called “military-patriotic education” for children. Accepting both boys and girls, these clubs teach them military exercises, some of which employ heavy military equipment. In a small town outside St. Petersburg, for example, children ranging from five to 17 years of age spend evenings learning how to fight and use military weapons.

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Feminism for Men

Happy Monday
Floyd Dell writing in 1914, via the Baffler:

Feminism is going to make it possible for the first time for men to be free.

At present the ordinary man has the choice between being a slave and a scoundrel. That’s about the way it stands.

For the ordinary man is prone to fall in love and marry and have children. Also the ordinary man frequently has a mother. He wants to see them all taken care of, since they are unable to take care of themselves. Only if he has them to think about, he is not free.

A free man is a man who is ready to throw up his job whenever he feels like it. Whether he is a bricklayer who wants to go out on a sympathetic strike, or a poet who wants to quit writing drivel for the magazines, if he doesn’t do what he wants to do, he is not free.

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Are trigger warnings encouraging pathological thinking?

Young girl reading a book, Central Circulating Library at College and St. George Streets, Toronto, Ontario / Une jeune fille lit un livre. Bibliothèque centrale de prêt à l'intersection des rues College et Saint-George, Toronto (Ontario)

“Emotional reasoning dominates many campus debates and discussions. A claim that someone’s words are ‘offensive’ is not just an expression of one’s own subjective feeling of offendedness. It is, rather, a public charge that the speaker has done something objectively wrong. It is a demand that the speaker apologize or be punished by some authority for committing an offense,” write Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt at The Atlantic:

The expansive use of trigger warnings may also foster unhealthy mental habits in the vastly larger group of students who do not suffer from PTSD or other anxiety disorders. People acquire their fears not just from their own past experiences, but from social learning as well. If everyone around you acts as though something is dangerous—elevators, certain neighborhoods, novels depicting racism—then you are at risk of acquiring that fear too. The psychiatrist Sarah Roff pointed this out last year in an online article for The Chronicle of Higher Education.

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Tin Foil Hats

Tin Foil

High noon:
I’m coming up on a red at 7th, heading west on Market. The Tenderloin.

There’s an empty Yellow just ahead of me at the light and an historic F line street car just letting off on the platform to our left. As the passengers pour out onto the island dividing the two westbound lanes here, I note one dude  – a bit frantic – check out Yellow, and then come running back to me. Dunno why dude would be getting off a train and then immediately try to hail a cab, or why he didn’t go for the empty Yellow in front, but I wave him in…

Although a bit edgy, a skinny 30-ish Pryor is wearing a clean white T nicely tucked-in that complements his chocolate skin, stylish jeans, and a large diamond earring in his left ear – presumably fake, he seems like he may be rational.… Read the rest

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Bernie Sanders, Democratic Socialism, and the New World Order

Democratic Socialists Occupy Wall Street 2011 Shankbone

The most influential socialist organization in the United States

Bernie Sanders

The crowd roars. Young activists jump on stage and steal the mic from the speaker’s hands to partake in civil disobedience and public disruption. This is the event in Seattle a few weeks ago, where Black Lives Matter activists stormed the stage of a Bernie Sanders speaking event and stole the microphone to proclaim—black lives matter.

To truly understand that incident, it has to be asked, what is Black Lives Matter? For that matter, who is Bernie Sanders? Most importantly, what is the difference between the two of them? They both have the same politics. They both support Community Policing. They want the creation of a global carbon tax. They press for an overturning of Citizen’s United, total government funding of higher education, single-payer healthcare, a $15 minimum wage and an international agenda. It appears that the main difference between the two is…their tactics.… Read the rest

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The Theater of Ultra-Violence

violence-headerOn Wednesday, a man approached a couple talking on a patio, a man and a woman. It became apparent that the two were News reporters. How they spoke, the put-together clothes, and makeup , gave it all away. We see the scene in the first person, as if we’re watching Half-life or Call of Duty. This sense is increased when the point of view pulls a guns and fires repeatedly into the bodies of three reporters.

So runs Bryce Williams’ video footage that was discovered on social media minutes after the shooting. Traumatic real world violence, performed for the camera both on live TV and social media. We discovered his account moments before CNN did, so I didn’t know what I would find when I clicked it.

When I saw it, for a moment, I couldn’t believe it was real. This is a common reaction even in the midst of real violence — somehow the surreal cuts in.… Read the rest

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