Thursday, July 3, 2014

A Beginners Guide To Blotter Art Collecting

So, I posted to for the first time recently, on a whim, and got some really great questions from people there. In particular one person wanted to understand how to get into blotter art collecting. They asked me to answer some questions for them, and so I did, but I thought it appropriate to recreate the answers here, on account of there may be more than one person who is interested in seeing their list of high-quality questions answered. The permalink to their post is here:

Their question text is below:
I'm so lucky to have come across this because I have just decided that I wanted to start collecting myself. As a newcomer to the scene, do you mind if I ask you a few questions?
1) How would you suggest I start collecting? What artists, etc?
2) What should I be on the look out for?
3) What are some good shops/websites to buy from?
4) How do you store your blotters? Are they stored in sleeved portfolios? If so where can I get one?
5) And lastly, out of curiosity would you have any blotter sheets that I could buy off you to kick start my collection?
Thanks for showing us your awesome collection! Definitely going to follow your blog closely. 

ANSWERS: 1) ... If you care about investing, meaning, that you want your artwork to store your expenditure as a value, later redeemable be reselling your art for the same as you pay for it, or potentially even see an increase in value, then you need to get really lucky, or you need a lot of capital to start, because true vintage pieces that are very rare cost a lot already.

The only other investment quality pieces that are a sure thing, aside from true, old vintage overruns that were never intended to be art in the first place, are the vanity pieces, particularly those mass produced by Tom Lytle, that have signatures of the (often now deceased) psychedelic luminaries, as well as artists and actors and musicians integral to either the movement, the time period, or something that ties them to and makes them members of the family, so to speak. Luminaries such as Ann and Sasha Shulgin, Mark McCloud, Alex Grey, Timothy Leary, Ken Kesey, Albert Hofmann (<--Its very, very spendy to get a real Hofmann signature, as he tended to do a lot less of the mass signings), John Lilly, Robert Anton Wilson, Dr. David Nichols and undoubtedly, there are plenty more I'm not thinking of off the top of my head, though these are some of the very biggest names you are going to see on blotter art. Only Ann, Mark M, Alex G,  & David Nichols out of that group are still alive. Other rarer and valuable to moderately-valuable pop culture names that have appeared on blotter are artist HR Giger, musician Mark Mothersbaugh,  Actor Peter Fonda, and Porn Actress Annie Sprinkle.

However, while I don't  think that wanting your investment into something rather unique and rare to at least maintain its value or even increase is necessarily a bad thing, I do think that you should only get into blotter art collecting if LSD has meant something important to you, and changed your life in some positive way. That way, you have something meaningful to you to hunt for, and then, as you branch out into more pieces that may have no personal significance, but nonethless, carry artwork that strikes a chord with you, or depicts something of personal significance, you can describe to people why you buy the pieces you buy. In that light, if vintage blotter art holds no personal meaning for you because you are too young to have taken anything from about 1999 or earlier that was actually printed in an overrun, rather then printed for pure collections' sake, and particularly anything from before 1995 or so, as there was almost no vanity blotter at all at that time existent yet, then I won't say that you need to somehow find personal meaning in blotter art that holds no significance to you personally.  In that light, you may want to keep any vintage pieces you acquire essentially incidental purchases because they happen to have the signtaure you want on them. 

Really, the bottom line, is that nobody can tell you what to collect and why, because what floats your boat, turns you on, tunes you in, and strikes that nerve with you may be totally different from anybody else in the community. As such, I would say do your best to learn the ropes, and then  be confident in any purchase you make because you are buying pieces meaningful to your life.

2) Look out for reprints of vintage pieces. If it seems to good to be true compared to the pricing of other identical vintage pieces, on, say eBay, then it probably is. Same as with all walks of life. Also watch out for people that ask you what you are buying it for. I have many friends in the scene and before  I got to know a lot of them well, and I was just a customer in some cases, I was NEVER asked once what I was buying blotter art for. Even if the blotter art was cheap, with a very unique but unknown design, and I was buying it in bulk. Nobody worth their salt wants to know what you are going to do with your blotter art. They know a good sale when they smell one, and you should also recognize what is appropriate to share or not to share. A love of blotter art by you and another person who is a stranger to you on the internet, does NOT mean they want to discuss LSD usage or quality or memories, past, present or future with you. Just because I think you should collect the art only if its meaningful to you, does not mean everyone does, and your seller may be straight edge, no nonsense, profit minded, republican, so make no assumptions---And even if you make assumptions, keep in mind if you step over the line, which can be a different line for everybody, --And they happen to be someone who is a bit older and maybe a big player in the psychedelic scene in general and they happen to be a blotter collector, the last thing you want to do is make yourself look like a naive jackass with no common sense.

3) Zane Kesey's site:            --He is solid and will never do you wrong.
    Mark McCloud's site:  --He is solid and will never do you wrong. 

However, is better than both, IMO, only because they have made exhaustive effort to actually have real vintage art in stock, and plenty of it, as well as a lot of more famous vanity artwork....but you are going to pay through the nose for the very rare stuff...... 

I like their selection best, rather then the first two sites, which are heavy on self promotion. However, the first two websites proprietors, respectfully, with the first being Ken Kesey's son, and the second being the Godfather of Blotter Collecting himself, these two have a legitimate claim and history behind them to be doing what they do, whether or not their websites are heavily focused on their own artwork. 

All in all, these sites are best for seeing a lot of pictures in one place, and then going to eBay and knowing what you want, and remaining disciplined when you look for it. If its not there this week, check next week. Not there today, check tomorrow. 

4) Glass frames for the really rare and expensive ones, and a sleeved portfolio with all "acid-free" paper and plastic material .....Ironically, which is suitable for long term storage. And then, I have so much of certain prints or what have you, that boxes and boxes with stacks are all over my den as well. Can't frame every copy of everything!

5) Sure--- Not necessarily the pieces with the most meaning to you, but I do have duplicates of a few of the big names that I could probably part with, and definitely a bunch of certain prints that DON'T have sigs on them but are vintage nonetheless that I could part with as well. Get ahold of me on Reddit via the message system by first locating me at the start of the thread that the comment I linked above takes you too. Or, via Gmail at DockEllisDee(AT)Gmail(DOT)Com. Don't expect an immediate response at either place but I will get back to you. I'd rather not post what I would part with here for fear of coming off as a solicitation--which this is not--so if you want to buy any art from my personal collection of signatures or vintage or vanity overruns, just get ahold of me at one of these two places I have provided. 

The most important rule to blotter art collecting is that you get prints that you like/love, or are by or depicting artists or figures or pop culture that you love and find meaningful, which are on high quality paper with good inks, and that the person selling them can tell you about them. Your pieces do not need to cost a lot for you to enjoy them.

I hope this is a good start!! I wish you the best of luck!!

Friday, June 13, 2014

In response to a liberal commenter, who felt felons losing the right to vote was not disenfranchsing

This was my response to a guy who agreed with me politically, it seems, but took the attitude that the millions who have lost the right to vote knew what they were getting into when they committed their "Crimes" and as such, felt no sympathy for them. This was in a Huffington Post article about a certain female potential presidential candidate politician. I had this to say to him:

....So, since people should know better than to break the law, would you say women in Saudi Arabia who are stoned for speaking with a man without a brother or their father around, or men whose hands are cut off for simply being accused of stealing, or people of both sexes accused of blasphemy who are killed in a public execution...... "As getting what they deserve as a consequence of their crimes as well?"
......Would you say they are not disenfranchised at all, on account of they know what their punishment for committing such heinous crimes will be, and therefore have no valid complaints whatsoever when they are stoned, mutilated, or murdered?
I am fairly certain you and I are cut of the same political cloth. However, I am guessing its your age that has blinded you to the fact that many, many laws are patently unfair and should be abolished.
.....Drug use, prostitution, and less obviously, breaches in national security if they clearly make available any information TO the public that directly AFFECTS the public. AKA, Snowden and Manning.
.....These are all victimless crimes. Sure, sometimes victimless crimes ruin families and hurt political agendas, result in unwanted pregnancies, and spread disease....all of which are, at face value, "not good for society," As such, it could be fairly argued that as such, they are not victimless, but to this I say intentions are everything, and if collateral fallout from an act in which no victim is intended, happens to inadvertently affect someone else, its unfortunate. However, if we started outlawing every single thing that occasionally tore apart a family, hurt political agendas, or sometimes spread disease, we'd be......Saudi Arabia.
.....As such, its unfair that all of these things can and usually result in felony charges, which according to you, result in a perfectly acceptable legal removal of one's legal rights. Including the right to vote. You know, all they have to do is convict the entire country of a felony in a trial in absentia, and whammo--none of us can vote.
....Who else is going to vote in candidates to change the laws that are unfair and unjust to the perpetraitors of victimless crimes, if not the convicts themselves? Who else to have experienced the misery of a for-profit prison and as such is best equipped to cast a vote for candidates who vow to fight this corrupt, immoral and powerful business lobby. Who else to speak out against the continuous push to make petty offenses more serious, and subject to mandatory minimums that the prison lobby is relentlessly and endlessly pushing, in a self-interested and careless drive to get our country to imprison even more people for stupid, and paltry "crimes" in order to enrich their shareholders and executives further? There is no money, and no votes to be had in speaking out against this insidious behavior because felons cannot vote, and therefore don't feel like there is any reason they should donate money or time towards assisting the political process that is so clearly rigged against them. Until felons can vote, there is no downside to politically demonizing and persecuting those of us who have had the unfortunate luck to have been arrested, even when/if our crimes had no victims besides ourselves. And until more liberal people start recognizing this, there is no advocate to speak on our behalf.
.....Before you go writing people off because they are getting what they deserve/asked for/have coming, think about whether or not the simple act of something being illegal actually makes it objectively "WRONG." If something is not objectively, arguably, "WRONG" in the eyes of a halfway reasonable person, should it still be illegal?

I feel like a jerk for not saying something in Memory of Sasha Shulgin

.....But I also feel like everybody was falling all over themselves to prove their hero-worship was more intense then the next person, and I didn't want to fall prey to compromising the legacy and memory of a great man, by risking my own integrity in order to outdo the next guy sycophanitizing him. Suffice to say,

RIP Sasha Shulgin. You Will Be Truly Missed.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Consciousness is the 5th Fundamental Force Inherent In Our Universe

Nope, I do not mean in the vein of the movie with Bruce Willis "The 5th Element"====

I am pretty confident that we are currently "holding onto" a little sliver of the universal consciousness right now, and it, ironically is both what provides with the ability to be so completely detached from the ethereal, all pervasive consciousness that fills the universe--from whence we came from and to which we shall return when we die--And its also the very same feature that enables us to find momentary communion with that consciousness while here in life--- A glimpse of what we really are.

I think life evolving towards a more enlightened state in which we actually can realize what we are and who we are and what we should be doing here is the general rule, throughout the universe, and the main reason for that--indeed a reason for anything to happen at all---Is that the conscious universe cannot experience itself from any point of view, nor can it understand what it would be like to be a smaller, less omniscient consciousness living within the physical dimensions contained within itself---And so life essentially borrows from it, lives, experiences, loves, (or hates, unfortunately) and then dies. It is not a God, it did not create us, it is not expecting us to follow certain religious rules....

I believe how this all came to be is as much a mystery to the universal consciousness as it is to us--- And yet, it is constantly pulling us in the direction of a more enlightened species even though it may not necessarily be a goal that it has, to make us more enlightened. Its just the nature of consciousness that we are constantly moving closer to enlightenment.  I go so far as to suspect its due to consciuosness being  a 5th, unavoidable, inescapable force of the universe, along with the strong/weak nuclear forces, electromagnetism, and gravity. And all fundamental forces have certain properties that define them. I think consciousness shifting in a species of life towards the more enlightened is one of the properties that define this one.

 All of our life experience is equally as important as anyone elses, no more no less, because your life is novel, and the only time it will ever happen. Whatever experiences you essentially imprint as your own, are equally shared by the universe.

This is why our job is to make the most of our time that we have here, and everything else is just a distraction. When we die, we become, once again, a part of the consciousness pervasive in everything that surrounds us even this moment and we will have only whatever kinds of things a conscious universe wonders about that we will not know the answer too,  I do not truly have any idea, if my thinking is the way it is, with certainty. But if I had to place some sort of cosmic wager, this is where my money would be placed. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

The Ides of March: The Silk Road, Bitcoin, I got fired from my job, and other insanity....

OK, so really, none of these things happened in March, but I just love the concept of the Ides of March...... And these are all clearly Ides, just not of March..... Anyways.....

So its been a long god damned time since I posted on here. I guess my heart hasn't been into it ever since I got fired from my job as a database programmer. Yes, that is right. January 27th of 2014, I got let go from my job of 15 years, unceremoniously, over being gone too long at lunchtime,  and also a a false accusation of sleeping at my desk.

So, I readily admit, I had indeed slept other times at my desk as will happen to the father of a kindergartener who is up late as hell every night trying to fit some time in with his spouse after his kid finally goes to sleep.....But THIS PARTICULAR time, I was not sleeping at all, and for some reason the fact that I got fired over it anyway really pisses me off.

This has given me tons of extra time to pursue other interests such as family time, and getting high as a kite, but neither getting high as a kite, nor family time has helped me to find a new source of income. If any other psychonauts out there are looking for a decent assistant intermediate level SQL/Database guy, or an expert in MS Access and MS Excel, and I can work remotely, I'd definitely appreciate a heads up.

But enough about me.

Since the last time I posted, I believe, the Silk Road has disappeared, and the Silk Road 2.0 has ALSO gone up in smoke, after some shady insider made off with everybody's money. Bitcoin is still holding up despite the collapse and bankruptcy of Mt. Gox.

For all of you looking to Tor up some drugs for yourselves, Agora Markets is the new and best Silk Road knock-off, and appears to be legitimately interested in providing a secure and safe experience. You can only join by a referral link, and obviously, only via your Tor browser, but here is one you can use if you so choose:  http://agorabasakxmewww.onion/register/xhlZ0aBG7v

This is all I have it in me to write at the moment. I'm sorry I've been absent for so long from posting here, but things always seem to turn out OK for me in the end, so I am sure it won't be long before everything bad is behind me once again......

Thanks for reading, friends.

Dock Ellis (Blotterfelon)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Remember, remember, the 5th of November

Remember, remember, the 5th of November, 

The Gunpowder Treason & Plot;

I see no reason this Gunpowder Treason,

Should e'er be forgot


  If youve ever linked around a little from this blog, you've probably connected me to this picture before, as its my Twitter profile photo as well. Its as close as you're liable to come to getting a picture of lil' ol' me on this website, so take it or leave it people. This reminds a person of the one thing you should always take, and never dare leave up to others, is the fight for freedom from tyranny, the fight for social justice and closing the gap between rich and poor, and the fight to mainstream the use of psychedelics as vastly preferable tools to fighting psychological problems and creating better people in general, to anything we currently use (IE, antidepressants and religion, respectively.) The day will come where the people have been overstepped on one time to many, and thats the day that the installation of a new system of western governments will begin in earnest. 

I don't know about you, but I am plumb tired of watching my fellow humans devolve & devolve & devolve in a religiously inspired race to the bottom as far as our upward mobility as a species, and our accomplishments are all concerned. 

 Hopefully any revolution that occurs will be led by people with an understanding of what role psychedelics and general compassion are supposed to play as roles in human evolution. Maybe people like you and I. Maybe not. But at least hope lives on. In the mean time, try and at least tread water, evolutionarily speaking, of course.



Thursday, October 31, 2013

My Giger blotter art, signed by Sunshine Chemist Nick Sand raised over $300 for Sasha!

Hooray! See it here:

It went for $325 and had two bidders. Very nice. This brings my personally donated blotter art total to: 3 Pieces auctioned, total amount raised of  $750!! Hooray!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Sasha Shulgin Benefit Auction Round 7!!

...I countributed the Giger piece to this one. Its signed by Brotherhood of Eternal Love LSD Chemist Nick Sand, making it a one of a kind piece!!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Double Standard

I could not help but share this video when I found it. It is SUPERB. Kudos to the gentleman who made it.

Johnny is my guy:

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Welcome To Hell, AKA New Baltimore New York

So I pulled these pictures of of Google Street View, after receiving a tip from somebody else. Clearly, the google Street-cam was malfunctioning, but I still think it makes for some great Street View photography nonetheless. What do you think? Most of these are photos of a stretch of NY 144 and/or Old Hwy 61 in New Baltimore, NY, near where the two roads intersect. A GOOGLE MAPS Address which drops you dead center into the middle of Hell to explore this terrain for yourself is: 

Baltimore NY, Google Street View of Hell Itself. Or what hell might look like if it existed. 


Here are the photos I pulled using screen prints.



Thursday, September 12, 2013

I just subscribed to the home delivery print and web versions of the NEW SCIENTIST magazine. I then wrote a letter to customer service documenting my experience. Read that letter HERE:

Hello! I was in the middle of reading an article. I finally decided that I should subscribe, as I've been meaning to anyway, as I badly wanted to finish reading the article, and this was finally enough to tip the scales in favor. So I go through the process to subscribe, I whip out my credit card, I cover a quarter of a year's worth of print and web "subscriptionship" and then tried to go back and finish reading the article. I also wanted badly to comment on a different article that I had read, and this issue I'm having holds identically true for both situations: It is demanding my subscription number everywhere to link my online and paid accounts. Naturally after I wait 15 minutes, only to receive the cruddy, useless web-access subscription confirmation number which doesn't actually benefit a person to receive in any way, as it was made crystal clear that this useless number you send out is NOT the vaunted subscription ID number that I so desperately need. After discovering that this cruddy number was not going to work, I called your customer service department. Keeping in mind that I'm speaking with the PREMIER and number ONE OVERALL science magazine the entire world over, I expected you to already know what I wanted before my call was answered. I expected my number was already on the screen of every computer in your company, and that my first print issue may already be on my doorstep, despite it being less than half an hour after I subscribed. I must say, I was not in for the shock to the system that I got when reality came crushing down on me. I would never have dreamed that your technology behind the scenes is clearly as shoddy of an interface as your absolutely terrible website GUI is for readers and users--at least users of firefox. It regularly misremembers cookies, requires relogging in, seems to have certain frames on the screen aware that you are logged in while others are encouraging you to do so. All very quirky. Which I can forgive. Some scientists are quirky. So, its despite this crappy interface that I decide to subscribe because I just plain, flat out love the content of your magazine. So, anyway, back to my customer service call. I explain to her (the lady that answered) that I need my subscriber number so I can log back in and resume the reading of my article. She asks if I just signed up on the web, which I affirmed was indeed correct. She proceeds to tell me, as if this is still 1996 or something, that it will take 24-48 hours for her system to be populated with my account subscription information. I am in disbelief at this point, and sort of frustratingly ask in a tone to match my mood, after I'd made her repeat herself several times, because I was SURE I was not understanding what she was telling me..... "So you mean to tell me, in a world where I can make a Paypal transfer to China and have the money arrive in real time, and be made available for withdraw from a Chinese person's ATM Card, currency conversion per-market rates and all, 30 seconds after I hit "send" from a telephone while I'm driving down the freeway.....moving, no less!.....and in a world where my bank information is updated in front of my very eyes online if stay logged in to my online banking account by smartphone as I make a cash deposit at the brick and mortar bank....And in a world where stock buy and sell transactions are literally flawlessly executed between anonymous buyers and sellers via a centralized trading platform operated by a discount broker who charges $8 dollars for the service, and upon doing so, ticker symbol readouts the WORLD over will update in real time, and the stock sale execution will be finalized in a matter of 5 seconds, and that money is removed from my account, or placed into it also in real time....In a world where EVERYTHING is updated immediately, and waiting for anything is a thing of the past, I have just clicked on a link, on a website owned by the New Scientist, which had the MISLEADING TITLE of "SUBSCRIBE NOW TO FINISH READING ARTICLE", and this article and my subscription are now paid and I am supposed to have FULL web access, that I BOUGHT from your company.....Which, I remind you redundantly, publishes the periodical that is the industry's best, and the standard for quality science journalism, which is exclusively focused on the world's most ADVANCED SCIENCE and SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERIES and BREAKTRHOUGHS? And yet, the simple issue of providing me with the ability to comment on, or to finish reading the rest of the article that I just PAID for a quarter of a year's worth of your magazine in order to finish reading is simply not within the capacity of your company's ability or technology to be able to provide to me, in anything shorter then 1-2 entirely full days? Which, remember, puts us into the weekend, which means I then have another 2 days to wait? Am I understanding you correctly." She said, a bit uppity with me now, like I was being unreasonable to expect more than this--- "Yes sir. Thats correct" And so I replied that their customer service department must be DELUGED with people bitching about this very situation. What did she tell me? "No. Not ever can I remember somebody calling and having an issue with this" she said. I think my point was driven home quite effectively, but the customer service agent, while she remained reasonably polite, didn't seem to share in understanding what an absurdity this is in this day and age. Thus when I told her that as far as problems, this issue had enough problems to be diagnosed as clinically insane. Then she reminded me that your home office is in the UK, and THEN IT MADE PERFECT SENSE, BECAUSE INTERNET PACKET DATA TAKES DAYS AND DAYS TO REACH SERVERS WAY OVER THERE. THE DATA PACKETS DON'T ALL OWN THEIR OWN LEARJET YOU KNOW. Despite her technically keeping her cool, I didnt think it seemed as if she felt much sympathy to my frustration, because she just kept repeating "I'm sorry sir, but its not something I can POSSIBLY help with. Its just the way things are." So at this point, I can only assume she was sitting there with her piece of slate and chalk, and an abacus, along with a fully equipped stagecoach ready to head wherever it was asked to go, staffed by a team of sharp shooters to keep even the haughtiest of stage coach robbers subdued should they try to steal any New Scientist booty from the StageCoachs' lockbox, lest a person's customer number be delayed beyond the mere 48 hours it now takes to digitally deliver that single string of numbers to a fixed, internet connected workstation at this point.. I asked her to imagine a world where we could use a card to immediately and instantaneously make a payment anywhere in the globe to digitally order access to an online magazine, and how it would revolutionize the magazine industry and enhance the customer experience, because if they invented such a thing as an instant transaction, then it would open the door to real time account and subscription access. Then I realized, puzzled, that I had JUST DONE EXACTLY THAT, AND YOUR COMPANY HAD NO PROBLEMS EXTRACTING THE MONEY FROM MY ACCOUNT IN REAL TIME. That was immediate. In a nutshell, (despite the fact that there is clearly a whole pile of crushed up stomped on nuts already messing up the floor here, and thus the time for keeping things concise is long past) I would summarize my problem with Digital/Online access as the peculiar situation where we have to figure out which of the two root causes is the actual one creating these issues, out of the only two I can imagine that would have this effect. Here they are, as I'm hoping you can figure out which it is, and correct it for future customers lest they go through the same experience. 1) You either have a clueless, totally insane customer service person working who is in full belief that she will not know what Y2K is for another 6 or 7 more years.....That nothing happens in real time quite yet... and that an Internet is some sort of fishing apparatus. After all, Kurt Cobain is alive and well, and working on Nirvana's third studio album.... And no doubt, this customer service agent has spent all morning trying to figure out if Terminator 2 came out LAST SUMMER, or was that 2 SUMMERS AGO?------ And this would certainly explain how she made such an egregious mistake as to think it would take multiple DAYS before you guys might be able to get me that web access I was promised when I paid for a subscription. or else its 2) That the magazine that reports on the foremost scientific discovers the world over is running a horrific business model that includes never updating their website to be compatible NOR friendly to use with any browsers beyond IE5, still uses the carbon-copy credit card ink plates for keeping their books, and who naturally has only a cash register and a rotary dial phone at your care centers, because, despite probably reporting on all the technological advancements to come out for the last 20 years, you guys haven't upgraded ANY of your equpiment to any of the stuff you've been reporting on for at least that long. I'd love to know my subscription number, and which of the two issues up top is causing such a bizarre problem to have in the year 2013.(I noticed the Chat icon on the website, which says LIVE AGENTS ARE AVAILABLE but when you click it, it becomes apparent that the icon is just for looks, as there are in fact no agents available.)
Please feel free to contact me for any reason you'd like, or email me at my subscription email address, and also please CC me at as the [erased for my own privacy].com address my account is registered through is a work-provided email. Now, this is all Assuming you guys do have a machine that gets emails, and you are able to send them out, as well, of course. AFter the chat situation turned out to be window dressing, I am fairly convinced that your Windows 95 PC simply doesn't "Do email" but I can understand the need to appear like you can. Hell, everyone knows Windows 95 can be wonky..... and I get that, so I wouldn't hold it against you if calling was the only means to communicate with customers you guys have. Besides, its just good business sense to assume some dayu you will acquire a machine that CAN send, receive and even keep track of emails for you. I can only assume that your need for an email address is simply because some day you guys are confident that you'll stumble into a machine that can do this for you.....But who knows? AFter all, your business isn't rocket science. Its just reporting on it. Sincerely, Dock Ellis Dee

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

If Drugs Were Legal....

Let me start out by saying that the initial purpose of this post was make people aware of this superb little doucmentary from, I think, 2006, made by the BBC as part of their If..... Series of op/editorial infused speculative documentaries that mix dramatic fiction and real world experts of differing opinions on controversial topics. Their goal with these If.... Films are to try and best discern the reality behind the endless political posturing around hot button topics to try and fairly represent how people should really be looking at the topic in question. 

A little bit of interesting backgound...I first discovered this right around the very nadir of my slow descent into madness brought on by drinking Gamma Butyrolactone (GBL) several times daily for an extended period that stretched a few years... Right when I first discovered it, everybody that came to my house was subjected to it. I have to say, its only like 10% cheesy, and 90% really damn well done, even now years later, and alone lays out a better argument in favor of legalizing all drugs, than any 100 hours spent watching anything else or listening or reading to anyone or anything else trying to convince the skeptically inclined, but legitimately open minded folks out there who would actually care to spend time thinking about it.Ironically, even as we used this movie to make the case that legalizing all drugs was a good idea,  a very good argument to the opposite side of things was busy playing itself out in real time.
 Anybody who was around, simply by observing my wife's and my own increasingly bizarre behavior and chaotic psychological descent that was a direct result of having a near limitless supply (at the time, we thought) of GBL, and really nothing stopping us from almost constantly being in a stupor from it. 

Anyways, you WILL be hooked within the first 5 minutes. Just give it a chance, and if you don't have the time to finish the whole thing now, just remember your place and come back later to finish it!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Shulgin Benefit Blotter Art Auction #6 (Some of my pieces that were donated have been included)

As promised, when the blotter art I donated goes up for auction, here is the link and the post!! Numbers 1 and 2, the Robert Anton Wilson, and the John Lilly signed pieces in this auction were both donated by me. Bid long, and bid often, and bid high! The cause is superb!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

The anecdotal proof that when you trip, everything living around you trips too.

I am specifically referring to a trip or a roll, as in, we're talking about empathogens and/or psychedelics. Its a fact of life amongst those who know from firsthand experience that if you are tripping hard, your cats and the wildlife around you end up tripping too, and sometimes it seems like they are wigged out even harder than you might be. My (now) wife and I, back when we first met in our raver days circa the mid 90's, were walking down a street back to my apartment one night tripping sack like crazy. As we approached our apartment building we froze in our tracks. There was a BIG city racooon about 12 feet up a trree directly in front of us. The tree was maybe 25 feet away. He was starting right at us like he knew we were coming already.

 I just whispered Sssshhhhh to the ol' lady, and we slowly appraoched the tree. In like super slow motion we crept, and the raccoon did the same thing, I could almost see it sensing...knowing even, that we presented no danger. As we got to withing 5 feet of the base of the tree, the raccoon was now at the foot of the tree at ground level.

We slowly began to crouch down as slowly as our legs would possibly allow us to do. It took what seemed to be 10 minutes for him to inch closer to us and for us you lower ourselves all the way down into a crouching position. Finally we were all the way down but our legs and ankles were starting to scream at us... The raccoon was staring, alternatingly right into my eyes, then my wife's.

  Eventually we were so close that we put out our hands and the raccoon smelled our hands. After he had done so, he crept back up a few steps and slowly, without any fear, walked back up the tree. We took the opportunity to stretch our legs, as our tendons and muscles were crying out in pain as this whole showdown had taken about 20 minutes of deliberate slow motion moving then crouching. We felt like the most amazing thing ever had just occirred to us, and we knew without a doubt that the raccoon became as high from the LSD we had taken as we have, and he sort of made this connection with us.

The best part? That this story is not yet over.

A bout a week later, we were out having sex in the parking lot, in my car. (A "lovely" 1986 Buick Somerset with the space-aged digital computer dash. I had adorned the vehicle, which backfired frequently, with all manner of stickers, including one of a mouse with a syrunge being pressed into him that was meant to cover a big patch on the center of a skateboard ramp, that covered my entire drivers side door. Quite the idiotic police magnet...) The car was off and all was quiet. We were on, I think, LSD and a light dose of MDMA, both.

At the time, I don't recall who was on bottom but we were in the front seat with the passengers side tilt tipped all the way down and back, and so one of us who was naturally facing upwards and out of the windshield at the large privacy fence that encircled our parking lot, (I think it was me that) gasped and pointed upwards at the top of the fence. Walking along the top of the fence, as if he had come from wherever knowing he was going to find us, was our raccoon buddy. He was carrying something in his mouth, and it was easier to see once he had stopped, DIRECTLY above my windshield in the spot with the best view of our activities.

He had decided to sit there and intently watch us fuck, and we could now see that he had brought a snack with him. He sat up on his haunches, like a little man, and began eating an ENTIRE bagel he had gotten from the garbage somewhere. I do not remember if we were able to finish or not, as it was very weird having this raccoon eating a bagel watching us fuck, but whether we did or not, is irrelevant. This story was not about us. Ive told it with the 100% truth, and looking back, its obvious this was a story *ABOUT* the raccoon.

If you ever needed further proof that your trip effects the behavior of people and other living creatures around you, then look no further then this. I have never doubted it again since that approximately 1 week long period and our two encounters with what was CERTAINLY the same raccoon.  It goes without saying that cats are affected very intensely as well, by your trip aura. And there is no reason to think other mammals/living creatures are any different.

By the way: I was inspired to write this blog post when I saw the comment (not the story itself) posted by Cris E from one of the groups I'm a member of. See her post here:
Cris E's Post About Her Dog Sharing Her High

Friday, August 9, 2013

Enjoy MDMA? How about 2C-B? 2C-I, 2C-C or 2C-E? Enjoy the NBOMe series? Earn some good Karma. Help The Shulgins. (Post now includes vastly improved prose at no cost to you!!)

Enjoy MDMA? What about MDA? How about 2C-B? 2C-I,C or E? What about DOC, DOI, or DOB? 5-MEO-DMT? 5-MEO-DIPT? 4-ACO-DMT? DPT? 

Please know that one person created many of the world's foremost psychedelic and entheogenic chemicals. In addition to what he created, many more that he didn't create he nevertheless dragged back into the sunlight of popular consciousness by making the easiest route to synthesis public knowledge, as well as provided (trustworthy, professional) personal experience reports RE: Which chemicals at what doses reacted in what way, and how intensely each dose acted. And finally as if all this were not enough, he wrote several enormously valuable compendiums of the knowledge he used to make his discoveries, the specific chemistry needed to recreate them, and the qualitative information about each chemical, one book for the tryptamines, Tihkal, and one for the phenethlyamines Pihkal, (and much more at a later time, to boot, in "The Shulgin Index"!)  and then he had them published, ensuring they were widely available to the public for all time. 

His out and out creation of an insanely genius methodology, which he then employed for use in the discovery of hundreds of psychedelic and empathogenic chemicals that did not exist before his discovery, and just as important, the RE-discovery of many hundreds of others that fit the same profiles, but simply may have been synthed or patented or extracted elsewhere at one point in human history... And just as important, his RE-introduction of these chemicals to any/all who are interested enough to come looking, complete with a how-to manual covering the step by step chemistry, and the thought process behind it all for everything created....These are the reasons, exclusively, why the vast majority of "Alternative" or "Nontraditional" psychedelic chemicals that exist today, exist at all, and that you are able to find them at reasonable cost. 

So whether you are into 2-CB which Shulgin discovered/created, or whether you are into MDMA which he simply resurrected from obscurity, or whether you are into 25i-NBOMe, which he did not create, but without his 2C-i to build off would not exist anyway..... Odds are good you have some reason to pay a hearty thank-you to Sasha and Ann Shulgin. Without them, for one reason or another, things would be extremely different today, in the psychedelic scene, and subsequently, the world around us, if not for their immense personal risks taken, and their  selfless contribution made solely curiosity, science, and overall, for the greater good . And now they need YOUR help.


Other than MDMA ......Other than those two I just mentioned, many of these relatively well known chemicals listed up top, and also MANY hundreds and hundreds more would not even exist if they had not been discovered/invented/rediscovered/reintroduced by Sasha, and trialed by Sasha and Ann a cadre of close friends, and then chronicled for the world to read about in Pihkal and Tihkal. Also, its worth mentioning that while a different man (technically, while two different unaffiliated men) are responsible for creating the NBOMe series, without the 2C-B, I, E, and C structure there to be added to, this series would not exist either. So really, a whole lot of the counterculture owes the Shulgins an enormous amount of gratitude. Being that Sasha has had failing health after suffering a stroke some years back and their medical bills cost a fortune, and they are not at all wealthy people, there is a way to SHOW that gratitude by giving something back to the Shulgins. I am attempting to lead by example.
I donated a good cache of blotter art to help out Sasha & Ann Shulgin. Big thx to Mark & Kelly @ Elysium Foundation for making it possible for me TO help. Read on to learn what you can do, too!
Sasha & Ann Shulgin are truly lucky to have folks like you working to provide them with even a small fraction of the immense amount of comfort and care they deserve.   
For being a pair of people whom so many of us are MOST indebted too, its quite sad how few people are aware of it, and even sadder how few are aware of the fact that they actually DO need our help right now. 

If you, too, owe Sasha a favor, its time to repay that favor right now.

You can visit the Elysium Foundation's Facebook page, and get in contact with them in order to ask about what sort of stuff you might be able to donate to the cause to be auctioned. You can also contact them and simply ask how best to make a cash donation for Sasha's medical bills, and/or check up on Sasha's progress. Find them here:

If you prefer to make a direct donation by paypal, then see below. You can choose a recurring or a one time donation via the buttons below. Please give generously. Sasha and Ann need all the help they can get at this point.

For non-tax-deductible contributions that will help cover recent medical costs for Sasha, and pay for the home-based caregiving help that is required during his time of healing, please use PayPal to make donations via the buttons below. Please choose a monthly amount from the “Subscription options” drop-down menu and then click the ”Subscribe” button to make a recurring monthly donation. Alternatively, you may choose to click the “Donate” button to make a one-time donation.
Subscription amount options:

Alternatively, donate via snail mail to:
Sasha Shulgin, c/o Transform Press
PO Box 13675 . Berkeley, CA . 94712
For tax-deductible online donations to support the completion of Shulgin publishing projects that are underway,
Alternatively, donate via snail mail to:
Sasha Shulgin, c/o Transform Press
PO Box 13675 . Berkeley, CA . 94712
For tax-deductible online donations to support the completion of Shulgin publishing projects that are underway,

 If these buttons/code seen below are not working, you can also visit the page that I initially co--opted the code from and read up yourself on how things are going as of last update, and then utilize the working donation buttons found on that page:

I will also be sure to post links when any more blotter artwork, or any type of artwork or otherwise goes up for sale or auction where the proceeds are slated to go 100% to help cover Sasha's medical bills, and I will certainly post any links to auctions that contain blotter that I donated to the cause in case you want to bid on any of that specifically. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The 3rd Psychedelic Renaissance---What it is & Why its important--and possibly PERMANENT.....Also, unqualified praise for David Jay Brown

The Part Where I explain WTF To Expect From This Posting

So the inspiration to compound on a thought I've been having for a while came today in reading a GREAT piece by none other than Mr. David Jay Brown..That inspiration is the 3rd Renaissance, but before we get to it, I have to direct you to read DJB's post...... Unfortunately, its 2 years old, give or take, so I am a little late to the party reading it. I was ALSO having enormous problems posting a comment there, so this entire blogpost is literally both my comment to David Jay Brown on this old blogpost of his, as WELL as my new commentary expanding on  the 3rd Renaissance.

First, the article I read that blew me away with how similar to my own ideas it is:

The Comment I Couldn't Leave Under DJB's Wordpress Blog No Matter What I Tried.
If you ARE DJB: This was supposed to be directly posted for you to read under your own article on Wordpress.

DJB: I read your articles in the SC Paper pretty regularly, and while I do tend to think that sometimes your complete childlike honesty about how you feel on something and/or what your specific opinion of something that is a little out-there for most of the mainstream ignorant, may kind of do more harm than good in the ultimate fight on with both you and I are on the same side, because if its non-accessible at all to people then you are only preaching to the choir.
But with those criticisms out of the way, and they are truly the only legitimate criticisms I have of you, which is saying something--I can now feel I'm not hiding anything when I hit you with this unqualified, adoring praise: Never before, has somebody else so acutely, and accurately summed up the entirety of my beliefs on the very topic of the current goings-on in the psychedelic community--both above and below the board--- in such a uniform way. Each paragraph, as it started, seemed sure to introduce something that I could not have SWORE was taken directly from my head and past debates I've had with people...It also seemed inevitable, that by the time I was done reading it, there'd be a substantial quantity of things I normally would want to include when trying to paint a comprehensive picture of why I so revere psychedelics that you'd have left out.

None of these assumptions, which were made by default because, really, nobody has ever so completely lined up with me as completely, with how I feel things ARE, with why I am not concerned about the rampant and heavy use of the 100s of psychedelics now permanently endeared to the Akashic Records of 21st century humanism, and why I have more hope than EVER that things are going in the right direction.

You covered all the points I'd make in the same debate, and I simply wanted to bow with respect on seriously having comprehensively come to all the same conclusions I have, with the same logic and same understanding of the inevitable, and what is RIGHT and GOOD.

From mentioing the fact that if not for so many people continuing to use them after they were banned decades ago, they wouldn't be sanctioned in studies now, and positively embracing the expanded menagerie of quality molecules now available, rather then pooh-pooh it with an elitist traditionalist attitude like so many people do...... You have nailed it. Mad respect.

In fact, I am going to be blogging with a link and attribution to you and this today, and expanding on a specific segment of these ideas in a piece I like to call "The 3rd Renaissance"----Come visit me (and stay to view my blotter art collection, while you're there! Its one of the best!)--- When the new blog piece is done, it will be the first one you see on the page:


The Part Where the Title to My Blog Post and the Content Converge:
The 3rd Renaissance
Its this research chemical fueled eruption that continues to fuel what I refer to as the 3rd Renaissance, which is really an extension of the second, but with a definitive break from the 2nd occurring the day they arrested Leonard Pickard and Clyde Apperson. The first two human rebirths and expansions of consciousness fueled by the expanding use of psychedelics were characterized by a couple things that are entirely different from the 3rd one---And the first two were not for the better--- The big key pieces that were MISSING in Renaissance 1 (the 60s) and 2 (the 90s) but is now present during this the third one we are now in, are as follows:

1) Public Recognition of the fact that they ARE mostly safe when used correctly, that they DO have medical uses, and that the government has essentially been lying to everyone forever about this stuff simply did not exist in the first two. In fact the lying began as a result of 1, and continued to keep 2 under wraps pretty well as the War on Drugs accelerated. That is all different now.

2) Respect--(Directly correlates to #1, and brought about mainly by the work of MAPS, Hefter and a few other organizations, and the positive medical contributions already made in recent years._

3) Key Players in the global supply chain, all told, would fill a stadium, at least: This is key, but often goes unnoticed.
In the 60s, there was legitimate Sandoz crystal for a time, plus Owsley crystal, and probably a few others. In the 90s, it was basically just Mr. Pickard supplying the planet. Until the mid oughts, only a very small handful  of us were familiar with Tihkal, Pihkal, Shulgin, and the cornucopia of good things that came from his efforts. Similarly, the same can be said of the substituted cathinone analogues, like methylone, mephedrone, etc. Around the time when Dave Nichols' creations made their way into the public consciousness, things changed. The silver lining that came from the global exploitation of these chemicals for profit by bath salts manufacturers and which led to their outright ban in many places, is that for every 100 kids happy to get high and not ask too many questions, you have 1 who, (like myself back when I was just growing up in the early 90s Rave scene)--not content to only ingest, but are actually driven by a need to UNDERSTAND everything about what they are taking, what it does, why its legal or illegal, where is the current supply sourced, what benzene ring structural identifiers/what class of chemical is the active ingredient, etc etc

So, before, there were maybe 1 of us in ten thousand or in a hundred thousand who had this erowid-like compendium of knowledge that we were driven to seek out because of our own enlightenment experiences, and our own peek behind the curtain, so to speak, you now have one kid in 500 or 1 in 1000 who became driven by the same thirst for this kind of knowledge, and THAT is the silver lining to the supply fragmentation, and may ultimately actually outweigh the horrific negatives that were perpetuated for personal profit, which directly resulted in the Feds, and many state level officials systematically banning SO MANY great substances that were easy to get ahold of for many years until the bath salt epidemic came down the barrel.

Of course, along with the drive to learn, came the entrepreneurs who realized--if the bath salts people could do it, so can I, and learned the ropes on supply side black market gray-legal-area economics.The final result? The 3rd renaissance is shaping up to be quite the lasting juggernaut, since its nearly impossible to imagine what might lead to its demise, with so many smart youngsters out there, and with  the hydra having grown too many heads, IMO, for the government to kill it this time.

No more single bust-destroys-human-civilization for decades type scenarios. Thousands of people have taken it upon themselves to operate their own supply chain utilizing their own resources and creating another, essentially, another youth driven drug boutique, where they aren't big enough to warrant special attention, and the whole cast-of-thousands thing means that there are more psychedelics, purer, cheaper, stronger, then ever before, with no single place to pinch off the spigot. The cheapness, and the wide acceptance fuels more experimentation, and availability, and its hard not to wonder if we are just going to go parabolic in consciousness and evolutionary progress while this one is still snowballing, or is some gigantic unseen hand like the elimination of cash and permanent move to digital currency only....OR possibly the 24/7 Big Brother Monitors 100%  Of Your Communications bill about to be introduced...OR even something more drastic, like a complete and full ban on all packages from China...... just waiting to be dropped on us, ready to snuff out again this flame of progress, and some of the manic feeling of inevitability that has seemed to accompany civilization's increasing expansion of consciousness on this latest run...... Barring insanely drastic measures, I do feel that the third time is truly going to be the human evolutionary breakthrough charm, that may lead to a lasting and better starting point for all of us if things get done correctly, and we are able to reverse some of the harm we have done to our planet and our fellow man by denying the positives and inflating the negatives to the point of telling blatant lies to keep people ignorant, rather then allow enlightenment to come cheap, and en-masse.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Not a joke: I was best friends with the grandson of the Nazi SS Commander found in Minneapolis for 15 years.

So I definitely didn't expect to be writing a blog entry like this, even 48 hours ago. That was, of course, until I got that fateful text message from an equally gleeful mutual friend, that says "Nazi Commander found in Mpls is T's GRANDPA!!"

The long story short, she was right. I had eaten dinner with Nazi SS Commander Michael Karkoc before. I've been drunk with the de-facto family spokesperson and raving, delusional, public spotlight magnet, Andriy too many times to count. Done coke with his other son, my friend's father. Attended weddings with him. Been present for family gatherings of all kinds. Its funny, but it kind of makes a perfect sense if you know the family. Each male generation is sort of socipathic and  completely out of touch with humanity in a slightly different way then the former, and often in ways that could literally leave a person, even one with normally good insight into people's baseline character, as I'd like to think I have, totally fooled. 

My friend, we'll just call him T so that his name isn't out there, was totally a manipulative, charming snake, but it took me well more then a decade to realize it. I really didn't see it. T's dad was a completely selfish, heartless a-hole. You may have seen him on ABC Nightly News as the man yelling"Get out of here! No! Get out of here!" at the camera man as he kicked them off the property at his father's residence in Mpls, 24 scant hours after the news broke.....

But we didn't know jack about the family Patriarch. Well, now we do, and it all makes perfect sense. Its surreal, being so close to a family at the center of international news and attention, and yet, because of a falling out a few years back where I finally told him what I thought and what I'd realized but hadn't seen before, instead of being there to share in their pain and misery under scrutiny, I am able to laugh. 

A good friend of mine thinks the message  that I sent T yesterday might be one of the best of all time. I haven't spoke with T in any capacity in around a year, and after the news exploded, he got a text from me that just read: "Slow News Day...."

So that is kind of where I am at with all of this. MAYBE More to come on the Nazi War Criminal SS Commander who I have had dinner with and drank wine with, and sat next to......

Friday, May 10, 2013

Esoteric Chemicals, Greedy Drug Dealers, Bath Salts, Bastards, Bass

Let me tell you a little about my timeline. Being a convicted felon sucks balls, and it makes you very leary, if you have a half of a brain in your head, about doing anything that might land a person back in prison in the first place. So, in my timeline of existence, I have always been very fortunate to either be myself, or be close friends with a few people whom are very plugged in to the cutting edge of chemical technology, and therefore were using (in my non-human research, of course) many, many of these things that the whole nation suddenly was introduced to in the last few years.

Methylone, in particular, which was great for making sand castle glue in my research, but was apparently ALSO a potent agonist/analogue that substituted for MDMA, was often one of the main ingredients in bath salts. Regardless, though, as it would happen, a random stranger told me, (and I checked it out, he is right!) that Methylenedioxy N Methacathinone, along with MBDB, and several other substituted cathinones were around for a long, long time.We were first introduced to them, and importing them from out of the country for personal sandcastle preservation use back around Y2K. For years & years it was a wonderful secret that we introduced to all sorts of great and responsibly deserving people. We knew from previous experience that the moment somebody thought they could get away with marketing these substances was going to be the beginning of the end. It also, to me, violated the cardinal sin: DO NOT TAKE ADVANTAGE OF COMMUNITY SECRETS FOR PERSONAL GAIN. Which is precisely what the bath salt bastards did.

The previous experience we were familiar with dates way back to the 90s and early 2000s....

We were bringing 5-MEO-DIPT and 5-MEO-DMT to raves (to use as glowstick effects enhancer) such as Minneapolis'  "Stairway to Headphones" and Milwaukee's NYE Drop Bass Network shows as far back as 1996. When I got out of the Gulag in 1998, after serving time for possession of LSD, I had two UA tests a week for a year, and another 1 every week for the NEXT year.... Thats a lot of pissing in cups. As a result, I turned to some things which didn't turn up in your urine. Ironically, LSD was one of them, and the other was GHB. So enamored with GHB were we (as an ingredient in candlemaking) that it became a huge thing that we turned all sorts of people onto back then as well--And at this time, it wasn't even a known issue, and was perfectly legal. Then, shortly after we started making our own, recipes began popping up on this primitive thing called the internet, and a few places even started selling kits to make GHB with the two main ingredients, so all people had to do was order, follow instructions, and voila! ---- And wouldn't you know it, it couldn't have been SIX MONTHS later that date rapes and irresponsble use of this interesting inebriant (for some people! I used it to make candles.) was all over the news, and congress passed an emergency scheduling to outlaw it almost AT ONCE it seemed like, and added the extra harsh punishments that go with the label "DATE RAPE DRUG" additionally tacked on. We heard about Congress having scheduled a date a few weeks out to have a hearing on emegency scheduling GHB. So, naturally, what we did (a friend and fellow candlemaking enthusiast) and I ordered (2) 5-Gallon drums of Gamma-ButyroLactone from ACROS chemical in order to ensure that if they cut of the supply chains, we'd be good for years and years to come. However, this was our first taste of suspicion being proven right: That when people try to use advantageous legal loopholes for personal profit, it nearly ALWAYS will ENSURE that you're ultimately going to alert Congress to something that they wouldn't have otherwise been aware of. 2C-B was one of the earliest victims to this...The "Herbal Nexus" that was sold in the triangle shaped boxes back in the rave shops in the 90's....There was nothing herbal about it. Those pills were real 2C-B, but the problem was that they were only 5mg each..... and so you had to eat a whole box to wig balls.

Of course, some people probably ate 5 whole boxes, and brought the house down going apeshit loon-style, because it was 1999 when Congress did their emergency 2C-B scheduling, and took from us one of the VERY best and most special entheogen allies ever discovered.... 2C-I and 2C-E do not hold a candle to 2C-B (in using it in molding religious-use incense sticks together of course).

Basically, congress has been burning up the best and brightest chemicals around at a breakneck pace. Up next? I can almost guarantee before the year is out that there will be an nBOME ban for all the nBOME series substances that David Nichols geniusly added to the compendium of knowledge.... But too much irresponsible use has certainly ensured that it will not last either. Possibly the same tale with Methoxetamine. Its a Ketamine analog that I understand is just TOO unique not to have somebody ruin it for everyone else.

Its a sad state of affairs when EVERYthing you once relied on as your secret arsenal is just burnt up item by item because some people got greedy and ruined it for the rest of us. This is why, if you're out there Bath Salts Producers, and conceivers of the idea: a big, hearty FUCK YOU, from the rest of us who went years, decades even, without shitting where we eat (to quote the luminous Ween, of course), and who relied on the things you got taken away in no time flat for all of us, for good. Please have some foresight and anybody planning to release some new "bath salts with the few remaining good empathogen analogues: FUCKING STOP IT!

(And, for posterity, in my age, a hearty "Get of my fuckin' lawn too, you sons of bitches!")

Friday, May 3, 2013

Conservative Economics 101: Compare EVERYTHING, including US Fiscal policy, to the way your household finances work.

For all the people who claim we, as a country, shouldn't be borrowing more money right now at basically 0% interest rates, in order to kickstart the economy, update our highways, put in a national fiber optic high speed internet network backbone, and other huge, shovel ready type projects to put the whole nation back to work.... And who make this determination that can't afford the debt we have already, by making comparisons between the USA's "dire" fiscal situation to somebody's household finances who have similar levels of debt, obligations, and revenue only shows people that DO understand the big picture better how far off-base and ignorant to reality you really are.

People who make this, and similar arguments completely ignore several important factors. I will stick with the home-finance analogy to put it in perspective. How is that a household still couldn't afford to manage their debt, even with as high as it would be compared to the household's income, when the following are still true, nonetheless:
A) This household holds the keys to its own income. In a pinch, Congress can vote to give the US a pay raise. Sure, its through higher taxes, which give most of you heart attacks, because you completely ignore the much, much higher tax brackets that were the norm for the vast majority of our nation's history. --But whether its through tax increases or not, the fact remains that for the analogy to hold, you have to grant that the person who takes care of this "household's finances" can decide how much income they make. This alone makes the typical household analogy moot. But lets go on anyway.

B) The fiscal head of this household is ALSO allowed to decided what bills they will have. Besides the servicing of the debt, and entitlements, ALL other spending is technically voluntary. So a huge chunk of the budget can be altered as needed if push came to shove. Sure it would hurt a lot of people, industries and businesses--particularly the republican war machine and defense spending, which is 100% voluntary and mostly unnecessary--but the fact is, we can decide that we don't need a lot of these bills if, once again, push came to shove.

C) ...And Finally--this is the elephant in the room. What person who has the legally sanctioned, and totally law abiding right to print as much money as they want, *out of thin air* still CAN'T AFFORD a mortgage payment and can't afford their household debt?

I understand the dynamics involved with fears of inflation that make these points a little more complex and sticky then I've maintained in just a few paragraphs.... But everyone who tries to pretend that its as matter-of-fact simplistic so as to be able to think of the US budget in terms of their own household budget, as a means of determining whether they are qualified to assess our fiscal policy, is rally just showing their amateurish grasp of economics. Whats worse, is to further try to instill the same conceptual ignorance in others by using folksy, down-home analogies that put things in terms of mortgages, and bill-paying, and credit card bill affordability! This is the CONSTANT problem in the conservative/tea party argument about how the USA can't afford ANYTHING, and we need to SLASH SPENDING so much it further harms the economy, and so on and so forth.

There is no easy analogy for understanding world economics by comparing it to your household finances, or your kid's lemonade stand, or anything else. Economics as they pertain to a country with a budget of our size is a subject that resides in a class all its own. It cannot be simplified to simple, 3rd grade level comparisons.

Friday, April 26, 2013

UNSENT MAIL To Ma & Pa: Liberalism = A World View Founded in Love and Curiosity and supported by science, Conservatism Founded in Fear and Purposeful Ignorance

So, I haven't done an UNSENT MAIL in a while. I had an ongoing discussion with my folks a while back, about Universal Healthcare, and socialist policies in general. Needless to say, I was of a vastly different idea then they do, and I got so sick of this ongoing argument where they were treating me like they are incapable of understanding how I turned out so different from them. So I decided to try and explain to them what I had discovered about the ideology upon which I was raised, and how my own beliefs now contrasted theirs.

As polite and intellectually honest as I try to be in this email, it remained UNSENT precisely because I knew, when it was done, that my folks would have taken huge exception and found a way to be personally insulted by it, whether that would have been right or not. So here it is for the world to read, instead. This is at least a year old or more, BTW....I  have also edited out personal epithets like references to Mom and Dad, as well as any themes that were pertinent to news-item specifics from when I wrote it that seemed out of place now.

I know that there is some comfort in feeling that there is a side who is “right” and a side who is “wrong” on all things political and ideological. Everyone is guilty of aligning their thoughts on something that they haven’t personally done adequate research on, with the “Default” for most people being the same viewpoint held by others of similar ideology who may have had more time to research an issue…Meaning if you’re anti-tax, anti-abortion, and religious, and haven’t thought much about immigration, you’ll probably instinctively take on the same views on immigration as others who share your views on other things---at least until a point comes where you have done your own research and come to your own conclusions. The problem is when not enough people have done the research, and too many are just rattling around the same, empty, ignorant opinion because that’s the viewpoint of most other people in your corner.   

It turns out that for me personally, the reason I have not been able to help myself in sort of being the political black sheep of the family, (if I may call it like it is for a moment!,) is that I have always been very insistent on UNDERSTANDING all sides too a viewpoint, when I am trying to understand an issue in order to be better suited to debate my thoughts on it. I also came to realize that you don't grow as a person when your ideology determines what you can and can't learn and read and know and think about something, but rather you grow when the things you think and read and know and learn about something determines what your ideology relative to that topic is. When an opinion I end up forming is based in a sound grasp of the actual appropriate details one would need to feel justified in having an opinion, that opinion very, very frequently ended up being a different one then I had when all I knew were the right wing echo chamber soundbites I picked up to justify opinions, while very young.

This realization dawned on me once I was out of high school, (and prison,) and I started working with other people who were part of the larger world out there; It was clear that I hadn’t really been able to subject anything that I’d absorbed growing up in a (very) conservative household to the sort of scrutiny that would allow me to truly understand both sides any issue I thought I understood, and thought I held a validly created opinion on.
I was starting to be the clear loser in a lot of discussions about politi-centric topics. I was a very effective debater, even very young, but in my ability to think on my feet, and use intuition and an innate ability to out-debate most people even given very little substance to work with (at least whey they were all my age, and equally devoid of substance, as in school), but given a debate where somebody also has the benefit of having relevant, confident facts and a practiced argument and data to support it, who could calmly and effectively use those facts in a way that rendered my (planted, non-factually based Fox News-esque) overly simplified opinions seem pretty limp-wristed… 

Speaking as a former conservative, I can tell you that if you start with a blank slate, open mind, and do research on what side of an argument, you, as a citizen who is morally and ethically inclined towards fairness should come to on any of the topics that sort of define the antiquated stances people associate with tea party, focus on the family conservatism, you will almost invariably come to the opposite conclusion, assuming your heart is hate-free, that you have no corporatist agenda, and that you feel normal compassion for others when they are not as fortunate as you may be. Things that I used to be, per the default conservative mindset, and being indoctrinated to think this way, which it turns out that the exact opposite is how I actually feel about that topic (with the exception being the religions one. I don't feel the exact opposite. I feel anti-ALL organized religions, now):
Beliefs which were:
Anti-homosexuality, anti-environmentalist, anti-government, anti-abortion, anti-welfare, anti-tax, anti-department of education, anti-science, anti-gun-control (of any kind), anti-other-religions-(besides Christianity and Judaism), anti-universal-healthcare, anti-European, anti-intellectual, anti-immigration, anti-climate-change, anti-wikileaks,anti-occupy-wall-street, anti-union…..
……..and frequently also with viewpoints that are:
Pro-war-in-general (though I'd never been pro-war-on-drugs, like many neo-cons were, even when younger), pro-military spending, in favor of granting more and more rights to corporations, pro-Ayn Randian, pro-death-penalty, pro-integration-of-church-and-state, pro-Israel, pro-abstinence-only-sex-ed (this pretty much ended earlier then the rest, when I started having sex), highly nationalistic, pro-wealthy/1-percenter even when poor on my own (Lord knows why), as well as initial agreement with the almost universally conservative idea they tend to believe we are in the midst of a decades long, severe moral decaying as a species in general. 

Good riddance, now, 15 years and counting. But you need to understand, that I cannot HELP but believe what I do now, because I've become informed on these things. Information leads to progress, not regressive status-quo maintenance.

I found, in having made a transition from not knowing anything but these ways of thinking, to a person who thinks for himself, and had to thusly come to conclusions on all these and many more political topics for myself, because the one thing I seemed to continually notice as a theme when I actually delved into the research of any given topic: The stance I previously held, once balanced with the known facts was morally or logically UNTENABLE, or both. I learned that all too often, it was almost like the people around me growing up had all willfully and collectively agreed to simply maintain as ignorant a position as possible regarding the facts, science, writing, or modern viewpoints on things because even they were prone to switch their beliefs when they had learned too much on their own, by accident, to continue ignoring other people’s frustrated arguments and sticking with the side of an argument they now recognize as futile or wrong.

Therein lies the rub, though. The reason people say conservatism is close minded is because it IS. By nature it’s a static set of immutable, immovable, unalterable attempts to maintain beliefs held the past, which qualify now as regressive because enough people have moved past seeing these views as conservatives now do, by default. To maintain antiquated, often bigoted, religiously based beliefs in the information age, one must exist almost exclusively in an echo-chamber that simply does not allow new ideas inside, for fear they affect to many people in the echo chamber in a way that reduces the effectiveness of the single ideology rattling around in there.

This is how I discovered something else out, that I am finding, as I age, to be a universal truth. Contrary to the old adages that people are liberal while young, and conservative as they age, I am the opposite, and so are many people I know. Certainly the following is true: I almost NEVER find people who were once liberal just “turning” all super conservative at some point in their lives. Many, many, people are the opposite, though, like myself, who were conservative from the get-go, end up being very liberal later in life. These people, myself included, are the ones who are not so beholden to ideology-maintenance that don’t any longer have that desire to REALLY get at the core truth, or as close to what works for them as a core truth, by understanding a topic inside and out. When people are willing to become informed, educated, and well versed in factual information and/or science, it doesn’t matter what they started out as. They almost always end up as liberal. It’s the national intellectual home for curious minds who would prefer to rule the world with love, rather than fear.