No it’s not the Sex Pistols, just a maundering old grandad lost his way and trying to catch up with himself and the blogs he’s created. Basically trying to recall how this works in order to contribute a bit…only later…
Can psychedelics heal the world? — Nonprofit Chronicles
This is a remarkable moment for psychedelics. Elite universities, including Johns Hopkins and Imperial College in London, have opened centers to research the medical benefits of such drugs as psilocybin, a hallucinogen found in certain mushrooms. The nonprofit Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Research (MAPS) is recruiting people suffering from PTSD to participate in FDA-approved clinical trials using MDMA, better known as […]Can psychedelics heal the world? — Nonprofit Chronicles
Why does Trump’s Ukraine dealing matter to us?
My unpublished letter to The Guardian and our local paper.
Why does it matter to us here what President Trump has been up to in Ukraine?
The $400 million aid that he is alleged to have made conditional on their publicising spurious investigative attention on a political rival was not cash but anti-tank weaponry. The country has its back to the wall due to Russian military invasion taking a third of its territory. When those massive tanks come at you and your loved ones you yell to a supposed friend and ally for help and do not expect sudden arbitrary delay and imposed conditions.
As “The National Interest” website tells it:
“When Russia provided military support to separatists in Ukraine, columns of Russian tanks were instrumental in turning back Ukrainian Army offensives and seizing government strongpoints, notably the Donetsk International Airport in January 2015. For hawks like Senator John McCain pushing for the United States to provide direct military aid to Ukraine, Javelin missiles were cited as a key weapon system that might have reversed the Ukrainian Army’s fortunes on the battlefield—and one far more practical to put into action than a main battle tank or jet fighter.
The U.S.-made FGM-148 Javelin is one of the premier portable anti-tank missile systems in the world. It’s also an expensive piece of kit, with each missile typically costing more than the targets it eliminates.”
At $80,000 a throw it ain’t cheap, but by shooting up in the air to come down vertically on targets it sure works.
Can we really trust this man with trade deals invading our NHS?
It’s The Sanctions, Stupid
That is a deliberate conversion from the old Clinton motto about the economy. Underlying and motivating the Russian side is bitter anger and resentment that Hilary’s pressure on the oligarchs close to Putin really work.
They have real limits on their freedom to travel, for fear of arrest in third countries; they are unable to travel to the billionaire’s party in Davos Switzerland among other demeaning infringements of their grandiose pomposity as masters of the universe.
Putin wanted and wants to remove the personal embarrassment to himself and re-ingratiate himself with his personal and political friends by his underhand dealings with Trump to get sanctions dropped.
The Magnitsky Act is his prime target, a bipartisan bill passed by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama in December 2012, intending to punish Russian officials responsible for the death of Russian tax accountant Sergei Magnitsky in a Moscow prison in 2009.
Since 2016 the bill,which applies globally, authorises government to sanction human rights offenders, freeze their assets, and ban them from entering the U.S. Names are added to the list regularly.
Michael Cohen is attempting to straighten out!
For a wily writhing twisting personal fixer and lawyer to Trump, for over ten years, this is a noteworthy effort and fine entertainment. Of course he is trying to save his arse from some jail time, despite pleading guilty, but turning away from the skills and posture developed over a lifetime shows he knows he has reached the end of the road.
The new revelations this last week (more from Corsi, Stone, Manafort too) show the Russians had ‘kompromat’, compromising material that gave leverage over POTUS, quite astonishing. They knew many times when Trump was lying because they already had knowledge of the truth.
As it spills out this week it is astonishing, in our time a western democratic leader of the first rank is acting as an agent of an adversarial power. Trying to lift sanctions in their interests is just part of it. Pulling on these strings as Mueller intends to continue doing will doubtless extract further shocking revelations.
More schadenfreude please.
Def= “malicious or smug pleasure taken in somebody else’s misfortune”.
Maybe I am an unpleasant person but I am enjoying the pleasure I feel when watching someone get caught out in their lying/cheating/fraudulent dealings and so on. And the moreso when they have made millionaire lifestyles by defrauding the citizens of Ukraine (Manafort), US voters (Manafort, Stone and Michael Cohen and now it seems Assange) plus about a dozen others recently interviewed/interrogated by Mueller’s expert lawyers.
I wish they used the Brit legal expression many yanks enjoy “they are helping us with our inquiries”.
So I say “raise your glasses” when another one bites the dust, have a glass of schadenfreude, drink deep, it is a fine flavour and god save my dark soul but I enjoy the taste of karmic justice.
Slinging out strings of lies risks them tangling around your own neck or feet and hanging you… eventually.
By lying to the Mueller Investigation, after a plea deal to co-operate, Paul Manafort has committed a Federal crime. Prosecutors like to ask questions they already know the answers to. This is probably how they know Manafort has been lying. He may well be hoping still for a presidential pardon, otherwise it looks quite likely he is staring at the rest of his 69 year old life in jail.
There is a great deal of expectation Mueller is preparing some big reveal and one of the most senior academic lawyers in the USA says the result will be “devastating” for Trump and also his family. Alan Dershowitz is now a professor at Harvard and has been a former major Trump defender.
He bases this prediction partly on the current fulminating by Trump on twitter against the “witch hunt” of a one sided investigation and how the judiciary are biased. So the “victim” is getting his retaliation in first to soften up the public view or at least his base support.
Talking about Brexit
New Metaphors for Brexit
OK, metaphors are linguistic devices used to describe by means of vivid comparison. To grasp the entire Brexit debate we need to represent it in imagery that also illuminates what has gone on and points to the future.
Using the parallel of a travelling car, Brexit can be portrayed as a journey on which our nation is being transported. Presently driven by Theresa May the destination is hazy because it is a dream. The false prospectus portrayed to us by ‘Leave’ Leaders assumes our neighbours in Europe will be agreeable to granting us advantages in unrestricted world trading while preserving close ties with their economies. This disadvantages them, so they simply will not do it. This truth is the brick wall the car is on collision course with, whoever might be driving.
All deals are bad roads full of potholes, sheer drops each side, with no lighting, and inferior to the road we have been cruising for 45 years.
You cannot take the egg out of the omelette either, my old favourite metaphor. We are inextricably swirled together since our ancestors’ land bridge across the North Sea, the Roman, Viking, and Norman invasions, Waterloo, the World Wars I and II and so on. A glance at the last century bears testimony to our location mixed in the omelette, so historically, geographically, culturally and economically we will continue to be part of our local regional mass.
Brexit ho ho
Our MP will take the egg from the omelette?
Now our NE Cambs MP Stephen Barclay is charged with the ridiculous task of removing the egg of Britain from the omelette that is Europe. This is my favourite metaphor, and an apt one, as our destinies are inextricably bound together; geographically, historically, culturally and economically swirled into combination as we move from the last war-torn nationalistic century into our interconnected globalised modern times.
This reality is now evident to all. We all also know how we have to reach accommodations and arrangements with our neighbours, always, even if we fall out they are still next door. If we trade together and share enterprises like climate agreements and car industries and want to keep our jobs and living standards then compromises are inevitable and vital.
‘Leave’ leaders sold us a false and over simple prospectus. Too many of us bought into a romantic dream of sovereignty trailing clouds of past imperial glory.
Mr Barclay, now newly installed in his office must negotiate, not dictate; and no ‘deal’ is agreeable to the other 27 that is better than the ‘deal’ we already have. The task of converting a dream into a reality is as impossible for him as his predecessors, so let us constituents wish him good luck with magical thinking.