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Ecstasy-assisted psychotherapy shows promising results for PTSD | The Raw Story.

The latest research from the Journal of Psychopharmacologyshows that MDMA helps with post traumatic stress disorder when coupled with psychotherapy. This follow-up study by Dr. Michael C. Mithoefer shows that 17 of 19 study subjects showed long term improvement after 3 and a half years of the initial treatement.

George Allen says he won’t run for office again – The Hill’s Blog Briefing Room.

All I can say is good riddance. I hope he keeps his word on this one.

So hello again, it’s been a while, I know. Almost two years. Obama was just re-elected president, and this has upset a lot of people, like my father in law, who sent the following chain email to my wife today:

Only hope we find GOD again before it is too late ! !

The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary.

My confession:

I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish.  And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees, Christmas trees…  I don’t feel threatened..  I don’t feel discriminated against.. That’s what they are, Christmas trees.

It doesn’t bother me a bit when people say, ‘Merry Christmas’ to me.  I don’t think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto.  In fact, I kind of like it.  It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn’t bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu .  If people want a crèche, it’s just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.

I don’t like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don’t think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians.  I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period.  I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country.  I can’t find it in the Constitution and I don’t like it being shoved down my throat…

Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren’t allowed to worship God as we understand Him?  I guess that’s a sign that I’m getting old, too.  But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.

In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different:  This is not intended to be a joke; it’s not funny, it’s intended to get you thinking.

In light of recent events… terrorists attack, school shootings, etc..  I think it started when Madeleine Murray O’Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn’t want prayer in our schools, and we said OK.  Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school…  The Bible says thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself.  And we said OK.

Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn’t spank our children when they misbehave, because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock’s son committed suicide).  We said an expert should know what he’s talking about..  And we said okay..

Now we’re asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don’t know right from wrong, and why it doesn’t bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.

Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out.  I think it has a great deal to do with ‘WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.’

Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world’s going to hell.  Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says.  Funny how you can send ‘jokes’ through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing.  Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.

Are you laughing yet?

Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you’re not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it.

Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.

Pass it on if you think it has merit.

If not, then just discard it… no one will know you did.  But, if you discard this thought process, don’t sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is in.

My Best Regards,  Honestly and respectfully,

Ben Stein

This is the same sort of bullshit that he used to send me before I started pointing him back to Snopes or challenging him on. Now he doesn’t send me anything and I must say I really miss the energy I get from rebutting all of the misinformation. Now to keep things civil around here I’m not going to send it back to him, but will instead vent my feelings here and then pass the good word back on upstream to the person that sent it to him. Not that I have any illusions that it will convince him of anything, but rather that this kind of thing is bit of a hobby of mine.

So Snopes has a rather good page on Ben Stein’s Confession for the Holidays email, which shows that like most of these forwarded emails, they start with the truth and then veer off into the realm of the untrue. In this case, someone appended their own remarks onto the email that were then later forwarded on as Mr. Stein’s, so everything starting with “in light of the many jokes…” and continuing on with “in light of recent attacks” and so on to the end of the email, each person adding on their own little bit or removing things like the Jessica Simpson mention like some game of telephone, turning it into a chain-mail goulash of opinion and falsehoods like the fact that Dr. Spock’s schizophrenic grandson committed suicide, or that death and murder existed long before O’Hare took prayer out of school. This email demonstrates exactly what I find so fucked up and ignorant of so many people: that they will take anything that reinforces their worldview as gospel and preach it and forward it without any regard, or, dare I say, any care of whether it is true or not. It’s like the word of God, handed down unto man and misquoted, mis-attributed and forwarded on to the next sucker without a second thought.

By far the best thing about this whole thing that brings me the most joy in my heart of hearts is that Ben Stein actually did post on CBS News this yesterday, and this is what he had to say regarding the GOP coming back after last week’s election loss:

We still have great ideas […b]ut we have to make some changes in our hearts – big changes. This is not the white man’s country exclusively anymore, and it hasn’t been for a long time. The strategy of appealing to angry white men is not correct, either morally or practically.

This is a genuine multi-cultural, multi-racial democracy today. We must appeal to working women, to single women, to blacks. In particular, we can and must stop hurting the feelings of Hispanics and start inviting them into our party.

While I’m not sure entirely if these remarks spawned this latest round of the Christmas Tree chain mails, but it is a funny coincidence, almost like one is trying to drown out Stein’s acknowledgement of the changing face of America and his appeal to greater inclusion with this appeal to traditional right wing values, just in time for the War on Christmas.

I was perusing Metafilter this morning and found this post about two talented French Canadian musicians, Antoine Dufour and Tommy Gauthier.

Dufour is an accomplished fingerstyle guitarist, and has placed in several North American championships, and Gauthier is a respected fiddler. The two of them have a lot of videos up, which can be found on Mr. Gauthier’s MySpace.

Ray Kurzweil, who’s about the closest thing to a hero we’ve got these days, gets mentioned quite a lot in this New York Times writeup on The Singularity University, which was started by Google Founder Larry Page to introduce entrepreneurs to emerging technology in the areas of nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, energy, biotech, robotics and computing. The cost for the 10 week course that aims to prepare you for the future? $25,000. Looks like I won’t be going anytime soon.

Here’s a demo in progress of one of the tracks I’m working on my upcoming album Opposite of Love. It’s called Crazy (For Your Love). Like all the songs on this album, it’s another one of my older songs that I’ve been playing for a while that I want to get recorded and done.

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This one goes back to about 2002.

Total time on the track this far has been about 25-30 hours recording, editing and mixing. So far there’s 2 acoustic guitars, 2 main vocals + one background vox, 2 electrics + 1 solo track.

Lyrics:
I would do anything for you.
All you have to do is ask.
Why are we playing these games again?
I thought we’d left them in the past.
I need to know if there’s something on your mind.
I need to know if you want me to go or if you need more time.
I don’t know if you want me around.
I’m trying to listen, but you don’t talk now.

But I’m crazy for your love.
And I’m guilty of not showing you enough.
And I need your body like a drug.
And I’ll be right here waiting.

And you say there’s someone new.
He won’t last they never do.
And now this time I’ve got someone too,
but everyday I think of you.

I’ve been spending way too much time this morning playing this awesome free side shooter called Hydorah. It’s in the style of Gradius or R-Type, has one difficulty level and is pretty damn hard. Check it out.

Hydorah Official Trailer from Locomalito on Vimeo.

Vice Magazine has an interview with Ray Kurzweil, inventor, futurist, and prophet of the Singularity. For those of you who don’t know, Ray believes that we are nearing the a new age when robotics, genetics, and nanotechnology and superhuman machine intelligence will usher in a new age where the line between biological and machine, real and virtual will be no more. A lot of people think Kurzweil is a kook, but I eat this shit up. A lot of people derisively call this the Rapture of the Nerds because of all the talk of brain uploading, nanoswarms and other far out sci-fi sounding concepts, but Ray is a man of great reputation and  has built his books around a lot of sound science, and I remain convinced that it’s not a question of if but of when.

The truth is computer continue to increase at an accelerated pace, and it doesn’t look like Moore’s law is slowing down yet. Projects to simulate a full scale human mind are in the works and should be successful in the next 20 years or so. Once we manage to simulate the mind on a scale faster than real time, things are going to change quickly. It will be the last invention we need make, as computers begin redesigning themselves and living the equivalent of a few days in mere hours. There’s no telling where things will go from there.

It may sound scary to some of you, but to me it sounds very exciting.

Sometimes before I go to sleep I’ll write out some stream of consciousness in a notebook where I keep my song lyrics. Here’s one I did two weeks ago.

Balanced precariously on the point of contention
attrition mangling the bodies fair
Westminster beggars with toothless companions
Decreasing compliance with vacant stares
What is this which you have brung?
Steely defiance electronic vice
Where is the savior they promised us?
Towering infernos, concrete & ice
Metal master lenses enveloping eyes
Black rubber batons buried in bone
Streetlights are fading a new sun will rise
Red rivets running, a man stands alone
Unlearn the program, the conductor is missing
No one and no thing and there is no you
Discover the meaning of their misdirection
The new diagnosis: Nothing is true
Mad medications & chemical cures
A gross demonstration of what was once pure
One sideways push, potential fall
Teetering topless across the walls
gross amputation the gangrenous limb
encoded the signal thus sent unto them
Rapture reset, howling to the wind
Magnetic meltdown catastrophe sent
Stakes tied to the ropes which went
flying with the tent
Interstellar insult, silence of the world
Discord of the Heavens
the signal never heard
Interstate Prometheus laughing while it burns
The horizon line receding
as the world it always turns

It’s been too long. It feels like 2 years have gone by since daHIFI was back under our control, not held some cybersquatting domain thieves. We can understand the business plan: Snatch up recently lapsed domains, wait for their owners to come back looking for them and then charge exorbitant rates to release them back. Sorry fuckers, but we don’t play that game. We did learn our lesson however. Never deal with Network Solutions or Register.com. We’re letting our web host handle the details from here on out and hopefully this won’t happen again.

Anyways, here we are again. It’s been too long since I’ve had a proper home on the web. I’ve been doing my thing with epicHoney.net for the past year and change to pass the time, but that site is more for the Hampton Roads music, not my own personal ramblings. It’s good to be home. I’m not going to bother with the archives, they seemed so dated last time I browsed through them, half of the links broken and half of the political venom long since dissipated due to the passage of time. No, we’ll just start anew, fresh from scratch. Just a post when we feel like it, hopefully stretch those creative muscles that have seen better days.

It’s fitting that today’s the first of June, Memorial Day a dozen minutes behind me. My birthday is less than a week away, my 31st. I’ve got a lot to do this next week, hopefully I’ll be starting a new job, and there’s plenty to get done between school, house projects and music. I just hope I can squeeze some more time out of the day to attend to this site. I think I can manage.

That’s enough for now, there’s some things I need to do before I sleep and I think it best if I let my subconscious take control for a few hours before I do anything else here. Ta-ta for now,

welcome back.