DMT by Matt Sheehy

DMT Q&A with John Jr

DMT by Matt Sheehy

As those of you who follow EWWTY know, I published an article last month detailing my experience with DMT. If you haven’t read it you should do so now, it’s really good – and I’m rarely willing to say that about my work.

Anyway, the article attracted far more readers and positive feedback than I could have anticipated; I’ve spent roughly as much time responding to everyone as I did writing the piece (which is awesome).

One of my readers, John Jr, had a series of really thoughtful questions about my DMT experience. I realized soon after reading them that my answers would be substantive enough to call for a separate new post. So, without further adieu: Continue reading

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Understanding the Death of Trayvon Martin

I was going to write something about this story (VIDEO), in which a seventeen-year-old black boy named Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by a white man named George Zimmerman who judged him to be “up to no good.”

And then I found this fantastic blog post by Deborah Mello at her blog, I Ain’t Said Nothin’ But A Word.

Anyone aware of the story’s facts knows this is clearly manslaughter at least. So why, then, haven’t the police arrested George Zimmerman? I don’t know about all of that, but Trevon Martin’s family wants the FBI to get involved. I agree with them.

Please give Deborah’s post a read, it’s very well written and says a lot about modern race relations in the United States.

UPDATE: Jonathan Capehart of The Washington Post wrote a great opinion article about this tragedy. Please give it a read.

James Kalìwæ:

Just found this over at Eideard. I think it’s very important as many people are aware of this as possible.

Originally posted on Eideard:

Daylife/Getty Images used by permission
Yes – we stopped George W. Bush from doing this – but, you can trust us!

The Obama administration is moving to relax restrictions on how counterterrorism analysts may retrieve, store and search information about Americans gathered by government agencies for purposes other than national security threats.

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. on Thursday signed new guidelines for the National Counterterrorism Center, which was created in 2004 to foster intelligence sharing and serve as a terrorism threat clearinghouse.

The guidelines will lengthen to five years — from 180 days — the amount of time the center can retain private information about Americans when there is no suspicion that they are tied to terrorism, intelligence officials said. The guidelines are also expected to result in the center making more copies of entire databases and “data mining them” using complex algorithms to search for patterns…

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Yahoo Sues Facebook Over Patent

Photo by Sebastian Bergmann

In a lawsuit filed today in San Jose, California, Yahoo is claiming Facebook violated ten of its advertising-system patents. msnbc.com reports:

Yahoo sued Facebook on Monday over 10 patents that include methods and systems for advertising on the Web, according to a copy of the lawsuit.

The lawsuit, filed in a San Jose, Calif., federal court, marks the first major legal battle among technology giants in social media and a major escalation of patent litigation that has already swept up the smartphone and tablet sectors and high-tech stalwarts such as Apple, Microsoft and Motorola.

Pretty big deal considering Facebook’s upcoming IPO.

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Senility

I had one of those moments today where I though of something really good to write about.

And then life threw a minor distraction my way, diverging my train of thought for a matter of mere seconds. Next think I knew, I was thrust into that frustrating mental limbo where I could remember having had the idea, whilst possessing absolutely no immediate knowledge of what it actually was.

Defeated, I ventured to the porch for a cigarette. Whereupon I checked my phone for the time, inadvertently revealing a gift past James was thoughtful enough to leave for future James – an unsent text message articulating my super good idea. It read:

Senility as defense mechanism against fear of death

Though it worked to refresh my memory, it also made me realize it wasn’t really that good an idea in the first place.

To elaborate, it was a fleeting idea that crossed my mind. The simple hypothesis was that senility is just another human function, the purpose of which is to maintain happiness and contentment in the face of imminent death. Think about it, have you ever heard an old person say they fear death? I mean like, a really old person.

I hope the answer to that hypothetical question is no, because otherwise that must’ve been a pretty fucking awkward situation with granny. But I digress. My point is, having lived a fulfilled life can’t be the only thing that caused old dying people to not fear death. And that’s why old people become senile, so they can at least live out their final days doing something – anything – other than dwelling on their imminent death.

That was before I realized that science would suggest, as it indeed does, that senility is a symptom, and could in no way be a result of evolution – considering that reaching senility pretty much means you’ve already survived successfully, and ain’t gonna have much chance to spread your seed anymore.

That was before I recognized the irony of the previous thirty minutes of my life – that is, my senile efforts to remember this thought – which, in and of itself, is something worth writing about.

And thus is the twisted nature of my creative process.

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Reasons Mormons are Weird: Volume One

Surfing through the sewer that is American internet news publications, I came across the following story, which is an elaboration upon an issue msnbc.com has covered at least once prior:

Mormon Church Tries to Limit Baptism of Deceased Jews

Now, you may be wondering, “What the fuck?”

If that’s the case, clearly someone isn’t reading enough news.

Incase you’re unaware: Yes, the Mormon church engages in forced, post-mortem baptisms. Which means they “baptize” dead people who were never baptized whilst living. Like, regardless of anything the person ever said or stood for, or what the deceased’s kin say.

Oh, and they do it to dead Jews. And not just any dead Jews. Dead holocaust victims.

Because if you’re gonna do some weird freaky Mormon shit, why not just say, “fuck it,” and make it as distasteful and inconsiderate of everyone else as possible. That’s how Mormons roll, I guess.

This spurred me to start a theme of posts dissecting the issue of Mormons’ weirdness.

So, to be clear, reason number one Mormons are weird is that they perform post-mortem baptisms on Jews who died during the holocaust.

Holy Gonads: A Year of Blogging

Whilst browsing this blog today in order to ensure nothing is askew, I noticed a little detail. Both the first and last month listed under my “Archive” section are March. Which would support the thesis that EWWTY is officially one year old.

When I first started EWWTY, I had hoped to challenge myself by writing for it every day. While I didn’t end up meeting that challenge, I did manage to write daily for a few months. And I did, at least, manage to write often enough to maintain the blog.

Though I never managed to make WordPress.com’s Freshly Pressed, I’d say it’s been a successful experience. The fact that anyone found my writing thus far to be interesting is good enough for me. My philosophy is that if I keep on keepin’ on, one of my pieces will eventually end up being recognized. Probably when I least expect it.

A big thanks to all the readers and followers I’ve accumulated throughout the course of this year!

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Misconduct review imminent for Anti-Obama judge

LA Times reports:

The Judicial Council of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals opened a misconduct review of Montana’s chief federal District Court judge for forwarding a racially charged email about President Obama from his courthouse computer.

Judge Richard F. Cebull asked for the review as calls mounted Thursday for his immediate resignation. Legal ethics experts predicted the incident would result in a public admonishment.

The judge, appointed byPresident George W. Bush12 years ago, maintained after the email became public that it was meant to be seen as anti-Obama and not racist, but added, “I can obviously understand why people would be offended.”

What is all this over, you might be asking. This is all over the following email, which this federal judge obviously couldn’t help but propagate.

Subject: A MOM’S MEMORY

“Normally I don’t send or forward a lot of these, but even by my standards, it was a bit touching. I want all of my friends to feel what I felt when I read this. Hope it touches your heart like it did mine.

“A little boy said to his mother; ‘Mommy, how come I’m black and you’re white?’ His mother replied, ‘Don’t even go there Barack! From what I can remember about that party, you’re lucky you don’t bark!’ “

Now, it does seem this guy is at least more apologetic than most conservative Republicans have ever been toward Obama, but I’ll let you decide how sincere they are; especially in the face of this misconduct review:

“I sincerely and profusely apologize to you and your family for the email I forwarded,” Cebull wrote. “I have no one to blame but myself.” Before adding, “Please forgive me.”

I don’t even know what to think of this type of shit anymore.

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Bank of America Still Scheming to get Your Money

Bottom Line – Bank of America reportedly considering new checking fees

msnbc.com

Bank of America, the nation’s second-largest bank in terms of assets, is planning to make changes to its basic checking accounts that would introduce a monthly fee for customers unless they agree to bank online, buy more products or maintain certain balances, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

Pilot programs in Arizona, Georgia and Massachusetts are experimenting with charging $6 to $9 a month for what’s called an “Essentials” account. Other account options being tested in those states carry monthly charges of $9, $12, $15 and $25, but give customers opportunities to avoid the payments by maintaining minimum balances, using a credit card or taking a mortgage with Bank of America, according to an internal memo cited by the Journal.

So, in other words, no matter what anyone does, the banks are going to make a certain amount of money from their customers one way or another. If you make one banking practice illegal, they’re not just gonna take the hit to their profit; they’re going to make that profit back some other way.

What do we do about this? Personally, I think it’s all about ensuring there’s enough competition between the banks. It’s all about anti-trust. As long as there are [enough] alternatives to Bank of America, these fees will never become absurdly exorbitant. I think legislating the individual banking practices is anti-capitalist and ineffective. If the banks have to compete between one another, there will be no need to legislate the individual banking practices.

James Kalìwæ:

Ed Darrell posted this interesting graphic from grist.com, along with his own insightful analysis of it, over at Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub. The graphic makes apparent the nonsense; Darrell makes sense of the nonsense.

Originally posted on Millard Fillmore's Bathtub:

Found this on the Grist site today:

Grist infographic:  Idea of climate change hoax makes no sense
Grist infographic: Idea of climate change hoax makes no sense

The problem?  Far too many people not only don’t weigh ideas to see if they make sense, but instead they actively seek out ideas, no matter how crazy, just because they like the concept.

In short, the fact that such a chart is necessary at all suggests that it may not be useful.  Anyone who had the common sense to figure out that the globe is warming, and the scientists who say so are mostly honest as the day is long (and warm), won’t accept the judgment of Grist, either.

I mean, Peter Gleick exposed the immoral and perhaps illegal acts of the so-called Heartland Institute, virtually walking through the front door of the group’s offices and asking, “Will you show me all your dirty work?”  John Mashey’s painstaking work confirms Gleick’s blowing the whistle on Heartland, and Heartland’s fellow travelers.

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