Lady and the Scamp

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I have been asked to reflect on my experiences dealing with a young lady named Julia Rose, who first caught my attention on Facebook a couple years ago. She has a Facebook tribute page dedicated to preserving and distributing the works, and highlighting the memories, of Peter McWilliams.

The Lady

Here is Julia speaking about Peter in a public YouTube video taken at one of the many rallies, conventions or speaking (and singing!) venues she attends.

The Scamp

The many uplifting stories of Peter, as well as his accompanying trials and tribulations, are too broad to relate here. I know I would feel blessed to have my own wikipedia page, let alone a youthful cheerleader like Julia, so long after my ashes are scattered. FWIW, I have chosen to honor my personal memories of Peter by ending all my correspondences with Enjoy. But I digress. Let us move on to my personal account of this energetic young lady.

Getting to Know Her

The first time I spoke with Juila was when she contacted me thru Facebook after seeing my New Year’s tribute to Peter here in this blog. She indicated that she was in contact with Peter’s mother who had inherited a great deal of Peter’s literary memorabilia, some of which she was letting Julia share on the web.

We chatted on Skype a couple times times after that. We communed over the ghost of Peter, his legacy and his works. She probed my calcifying neurons for first person recollections and stories from my calls and correspondence with Peter, the majority of which (sadly) came during the hectic months of his arrest and deprivations under the thumb of America’s fascist drug warriors.

Julia shared with me that Peter’s mom was reluctant to publicize the more risqué or controversial aspects of Peter’s political life. Julia’s main interest in honoring Peter was his poetry and self-help writings.

All that touchy-feely emotional hoodoo is just fine by me (and the 32.4% of me that is gay), but the rest of me negotiated stridently with Julia for a much more prominent emphasis on the politics of the subject that cost Peter his life. She agreed and promised to discuss the issue with Peter’s mom.

She seemed a rather shy and reluctant spokesperson at first, but as the last couple years have shown, her message and music have bounced to one event or the other all over the planet (or at least a tri-country area).

She’s some kind of a hippie-chick rock goddess guru within the medical marijuana community these days now that she’s embraced my early mentoring. I’m too old to even keep up with her frenetic pace on Facebook, but I proudly point her out as a protege and someone I knew before they got famous.

Enjoy.

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Sucker Bets

Today’s blog entry inspired by the following video from Ricard Wiseman

Judging by the Youtube comments on this video, not everybody is “in” on the joke.  This has me pondering the political implications of applying the “special forces” that Richard is displaying here to work in the field of presidential polling. Googling….

Turns out that application of Richard Wiseman’s magic new technology is already patented for politics by some dude named Nate Silver.  Dam you Nate Silver, you and your fancy devil-inspired numerology.  The American populace was TOTALLY IN THE DARK over Nate’s reliance on ARABIC numbers!  Holy shit people.  And you were worried about a mosque at Ground Zero?  I’ve actually heard rumors that this Nate Silver is suspiciously effeminate and if that doesn’t scare you out of your complacent fog of universal non-comformity then there is no hope for any of you.  Noting such complacence has me considering calling the Saint Bernards off their search for survivors in the recent avalanche on Bullshit Mountain.  Free round of smelling salts to all my wing-nut friends!!

I just found the next-best-thing to the “sure thing”  sucker bet to replace the one Richard is teaching me. ruining for me.

I am predicting the Petraeus affair will make it’s way beyond SNL and into cartoon or sitcom form before my birthday on the 24th of Nov.

Two and a Half Men is gasping for new material like Charlie Sheen snorting up coke at a hooker party, so that’s my sitcom pick.  Bart Simpson’s blackboard seems a likely choice for first animated take-down. Leave your guesses in the comments if you want to play along.   Let me know if  there are any Petraeus joke sightings I have missed.

In return I toss you this brief tidbit.  Funniest one yet, and comes directly off “non comedy” nightly news in Colorado.  They “snatched” the wrong book cover photo off Google for their nightly news.

The REAL sucker bet is getting an internet newb to bet against there already being 10,000 tweets linking this Colorado graphic “mishap” with the recently passed marijuana legislation there.  Talk about low hanging fruit!!

Enjoy.

Pseudo Differentialism in Religious Debate

Heaven help the confused gay Catholic guy over at The Daily Beast!  Poor Andrew Sullivan.  He will probably never overcome the cult of Catholicism that infected his mind.  Took him way too long to set a proper moral compass on the Bush war (he was head gay cheerleader for war back then) to be taken seriously on matters of any deep philosophy.  He was at his best when he was dogging Sarah Palin for Trig’s birth certificate.  Now he is trying to figure out what the differences are between a religious cult (Mormonism) and a “regular”  normal religion (his Catholicism).  Probably ought to be filed under category of Unintentionally Hilarious.

Where’s The Line Between A Religion And A Cult? Ctd – The Dish | By Andrew Sullivan – The Daily Beast.

The lede;

D.T. Bell and Ryan Bell, authors of MormonAmerican.com, were offended by my exploration of Mormonism’s cultish qualities. They argue that “calling a religion a cult is a cowardly act, because the vagueness of the word provides plausible deniability to any who use it”:

Andrew Sullivan explains that while his Catholic religion does have some aspects that resemble his definition of religious cultism, it is a kinder gentler form of religious cultism than Mormonism.  Outraged Mormons claim;

Sullivan’s argument is illustrative, as it follows the approach of so many others who have pushed the “cult” line of attack. These attacks inevitably abandon any definitional rigor and load the dice to reach the desired result.

What would you expect the Mormons to say?  They can’t respond with, “Well, yeah we do all this really crazy crap you accuse us of and it obviously makes us look like a cult”.   The Mormon critics (like Scientology cultists) attack Andrew head-on, all without even mentioning the most contemporary horrors of modern Catholicism;

Here is another reasonable-sounding list of cultish characteristics: belief in the infallibility of a supreme leader, a system prohibiting clergy from normal family life, and a network of the especially devout who vow to totally remove themselves from society.

Sullivan’s Mormon critics,  then make the following tack;

No one believes Sullivan’s own Catholic Church—a global faith that has inspired some of the world’s greatest art, thought, and philanthropy — is a cult. But using Sullivan’s tactics, it isn’t hard to cast it in a dark, suspicious light.

Hello!  I am someone.  I BELIEVE THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IS A CULT!   Much as I am dogging on Andrew today, I also agree that some cults are more dangerous than others, and right now the Mormon cult is a more clear and present danger to the US than the Catholics.  But that is mere quibbling.  All religions are cults.  CULTS – Self selected groups of people who believe in things which can only be rationalized by reference materials of dubious origin and are most often started by men claiming divine inspiration.  As a general rule, a cult is just a religion that hasn’t yet achieved tax free status.

Enjoy.

Anti-Gay Marriage State Rep. Accused Of Offering Young Male Money ‘For A Really Good Time’ | TPMMuckraker

Anti-Gay Marriage State Rep. Accused Of Offering Young Male Money ‘For A Really Good Time’ | TPMMuckraker.

Good Idea Gone Horribly Awry

First a little background. I first struck up an email friendship with Peter McWilliams after reading his book “Ain’t Nobody’s Business – The Absurdity of Consensual Crimes in America” many years ago. It was at a time in Peter’s life when he was very active in the medical marijuana movement, having stumbled onto the relief the drug gave him in combating the nausea brought on by his AID’s medicines. He was eventually jailed and charged for conspiracy to grow medical marijuana. This was clearly a retaliatory measure from the DEA to silence him and his inspirational message on the subject.

As part of his plea deal to avoid continued incarceration, he was forced to stop using cannabis to control his nausea or face a long prison sentence and forfeiture of bond (his mom’s house!)

His compliance with the orders of the court saved his mom’s house, but cost Peter his life. Shortly after sentencing, Peter ended up choking to death on his own vomit from the uncontrolled nausea the marijuana had previously abated. While you may never have heard of Peter, he was high profile enough to have attracted the attention of a John Stossel (on 20/20), who did a segment on his death at the hands of the police state. Peter died in 2000.

Fast forward to 2010. A person I’ve never met, a seemingly gently soul with a desire to honor Peter’s memory, sets up a Facebook tribute page on behalf of the memory of Peter. She’s been amazing in her efforts to honor Peter, going so far as to write a tribute song which has received a fair bit of radio play. She’s also working on a video to honor Peter as well. She saw one of my pro-Peter posts and invited me to join the Facebook group which I promptly did.

At the time, I was totally unaware that there were ulterior motives behind the effort. Perhaps ulterior is too dark a word. Maybe “competing interpretations of Peter’s life” would be more accurate. Peter was many things to many people. That’s not up for debate. The problem with the tribute page on Facebook is that it’s being run, not as a PUBLIC tribute (why Facebook then?), but as a repository of goodwill specifically tailored to make his mother feel better about her son. Therefore, some aspects of Peter’s politics and passion are NOT WELCOME on the page, lest it ‘upset’ the remaining members of his family. I have been chastised in private messages from the group for mentioning aspects of Peter’s work, simply because of family politics.

I can understand the desire to shield the family, but I do not agree with the idea one bit. I’ve mentioned topics that Peter wrote and spoke of loudly and proudly when he was alive. Subjects he took the time to commit to his writings and public speaking venues. Subjects that not only was he was passionate about, but that I am passionate about as well. The latest smack-down from the group aimed at me comes as a result of my mention of Peter’s stance towards legalizing prostitution.

In the bizzaro world of Peter’s Page, such topics are considered taboo because of the aforementioned family sensitivities. I might feel more compassion for their position if Peter himself hadn’t been so forthright on these very same issues when he was alive. Peter never shied away from confrontation about issues he felt strongly about and neither do I.

Why the family should feel shamed by discussions surrounding the subjects so near and dear to Peter is puzzling. I can’t help but wonder how far Peter’s Page wants to take this newly found protectionist attitude? For chrissakes folks, we’re talking about a fellow who confronted not only the medical/prison industrial complex, but also the issue of his own homosexuality in a society openly hostile towards same.

His family should feel no shame at all. They should be angry about the way he was treated by authorities and proud that he stood up for what he believed in. The work that Peter did in advancing the cause of medical marijuana has advanced greatly since his death. That said, even the Obama administration, despite public statements to the contrary, is still raiding medical cannabis dispensaries in states that have legalized it’s use in that regard. The war is far from over. I will not let the memory of a fallen comrade, nor the advancement of the goals he believed in, be glossed over for the sole purpose of defending the delicate sensibilities of family members he himself apparently discounted when he was still alive.

Enjoy.