Barbara Barry

21 Apr 19
DC Comics Comments

For many, DC Comics has always just been the comic company that rivals Marvel, and that has ownership over Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman.  Some fans argue that DC is much more than that, due to its plethora of unique characters,but what many don’t know, fans and non-fans alike, is that DC publishes their comics […]

21 Apr 19
Jill Hartmann

  (Disclaimer: please excuse the cliche in the title – those who follow my blog know that I do not like cliches and hesitate to use them, as most writers do. But sometimes, a title just fits too well…)   What makes them think that it does? What makes them think that because someone hurt […]

21 Apr 19
Instinct Magazine

Snatch Game has become the episode we can’t wait to watch on RuPaul’s Drag Race every single season. What started out as just another maxi-challenge for the queens almost ten years ago has turned into the gayest must-see TV out there. For those unfamiliar, the concept is simple. The remaining contestants dress up and act […]

21 Apr 19
MassUltra

The Trail Animals Running Club’s ninth annual TARC Spring Classic 50K, marathon, half marathon and 10K took place on Saturday, April 20, 2019, in Weston, Mass.

20 Apr 19
My smart blog 2184

The Sickest Display Room In The North East There was this very sloppy, incredibly shaggy, blonde-haired kid in my very first grade class named Kurt who spent the whole day drawing superheroes on yellow building and construction paper with brown and red crayons. Regardless of what our assignment was, he was all like, "F#$% this. […]

20 Apr 19
Murder and the Paranormal

Chicago is a city that has had it’s fair share of unusual tragedy and murder. From H.H. Holmes Murder Castle discovered in 1886, to the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre of 1929 and so on and so forth. However it wasn’t until the mid 50’s that Chicago truly lost it’s innocence. It was December 28th 1956. […]

20 Apr 19
What's New? Tell me more!

As you may or may not know, Earth Day is celebrated annually on April 22 around the globe. More than 193 countries celebrate Earth Day by holding events that support and bring awareness to environmental protection and aim to create a change in governmental policies and in human behavior. Earth Day was founded in 1970 […]

19 Apr 19
Nerd News Now

Remembering Rhodes Reason, born April 19, 1930 and passed away on December 26, 2014. Rhodes Reason appeared in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode “Bread and Circuses” as the 892-IV native gladiator Flavius Maximus. Before retiring to Oregon in 1977, he had held television and movie acting roles for nearly forty years. Some of […]

19 Apr 19
atchistory

If anyone in these photos would like their faces obscured and/or their names removed just ask, its easy to do. These course photographs are mainly reproduced in numerical order. At the end of this post are some anonymous course photos. If you recognise yourself please let us know which course it is. There are some older […]

19 Apr 19
Lake County Record-Bee
Ron Kiczenski is a resident of Lucerne. Are you the kind of person who takes it seriously when a Director of National Intelligence reports (in his February, 2016 report) to the Senate on possible national security threats, as in this April 25, 2016 article in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, by Daniel M. Gerstein, called “How genetic editing became a national security threat.” Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper sent shock waves through the national security and biotechnology communities with his assertion, in his Worldwide Threat Assessment testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee in February, that genome editing had become a global danger. He went so far as to include it in the report’s weapons of mass destruction section, alongside threats from North Korea, China’s nuclear modernization, and chemical weapons in Syria and Iraq. The new technology, he said, could open the door to “potentially harmful biological agents or products,” with “far-reaching economic and national security implications.”. If you’re concerned about consuming or the labeling of GMO products, or you’re a consumer of “legal cannabis” products, or maybe you’re just a citizen who cares about national security, it might be concerning to you that the wave of cannabis legalization laws, as in Washington, Colorado, Oregon, and more recently in California, do not require licensed cannabis cultivators to disclose information about genetically engineered cannabis (GEC, aka GMO cannabis, genetically edited cannabis, bio-engineered cannabis, genetically modified cannabis, and recombinant DNA cannabis, etc). Washington State spokesperson Brian Smith said the lack of federal regulations for genetically engineered cannabis (GEC) was the reason for Washington’s missing regulations. Colorado’s spokesperson Shannon Grey wrote that “Currently, there are no guidelines outlined in either the Medical Marijuana Code or the Retail Marijuana Code specific to genetically engineered marijuana.”, and that Colorado “aligned with federal guidelines wherever possible”, but gave no further reason for the missing GEC regulations. In California, then Lt. Gov Gavin Newsom formed the “Blue Ribbon Commission on Marijuana policy” which was “formed in light of the likelihood that a marijuana legalization initiative will be placed on the 2016 California ballot, and that serious and thoughtful analysis must be conducted in order to identify significant policy challenges and offer possible solutions.”, and according to it’s web site, “The Commission is comprised of leading policymakers, public health experts and academics from across the state and the nation that have done significant work and research related to marijuana.”. Yet, according to Rebecca Forée the Communications Manager for the CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing at the California Department of Food and Agriculture,”The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s cannabis cultivation regulations do not require licensed cannabis cultivators to disclose information about heirloom or genetically engineered varieties of cannabis.” The reason given for California’s lack of regulation was that “Proposition 64, the California Marijuana Legalization Initiative, was enacted by the voters of California in 2016 and did not include those identification requirements for licensed commercial cannabis cultivators.”. Many California cannabis growers and medical cannabis consumers claim to have expressed concerns of imminent danger of being permanently or irreversibly harmed in some way by the lack of regulations concerning genetically engineered cannabis to then Lt. Governor Newsom’s Blue Ribbon Commission, but insist they were “ignored and written off.” The newly elected Governor Gavin Newsom’s Office did not respond when asked for comment on why the Commission failed to include recommendations for GEC(genetically engineered cannabis) regulations. The reason for Oregon’s missing GEC regulations according to state spokesperson Mark Pettinger, was that along with the lack of federal regulations, they had “higher priorities.” The one apparent common thread to have had some influence in every states process to create cannabis legalization laws is an organization called the Drug Policy Alliance. The DPA came into being in 1993 at the behest and funding of billionaire George Soros who has also had a long history of investment holdings in the biotech industry. When attorney Dave Kopilak, lead author writing Oregon’s 2014, measure 91, was asked why no GEC regulations, he responded with reasons why they didn’t want to complicate the ballot, and that they needed DPA financial backing, and at one point he simply stated that “George Soros doesn’t just go handing out checks.” The DPA remained silent when given multiple opportunities to comment on the this article and the missing GEC regulations. In December of 2018, Canadian researchers at the University of Toronto announced they had completed mapping the cannabis genome. Canada does regulate for GEC, according to Christine at Media Relations, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Government of Canada, who wrote “The Government of Canada considers issues of safety to be of the utmost importance and maintains a regulatory system for products of agricultural biotechnology that provides appropriate risk-based oversight of plant products in Canada.” Christine also noted that “In Canada, all plants are eligible for protection under the Plant Breeders’ Rights Act, this includes genetically modified Cannabis plants.” “To date the PBR Office has received 8 applications for Cannabis varieties”, but so far “No genetically engineered cannabis has been authorized by CFIA.” The prevailing concerns of many growers seems to be that genetically engineered cannabis will cross pollinate and contaminate or “pollute the genetics of heirloom cannabis”. Medical cannabis consumers have expressed the same concerns as growers, along with the added concern of possible harmful side effects of consuming a genetically engineered product. Some growers exhibit enthusiasm about the potentials of GEC, while others following the non official “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy claim they are already gene editing to achieve “certain traits,” yet are not required to disclose genetic modifications to state government or to the public. While this apparent breech in US bio-security is seemingly overlooked, billions of dollars are being spent into the long chain of “legal” cannabis related commerce in the United States. Medical and recreational consumers, the industry and it’s workers, even stock market investors will all be impacted in some way when the of lack of GEC regulations and the apparent resulting national security threat to all Americans becomes more publicly understood. So at this point you might be asking, what are the feds doing about all this? Considering that according the US government “The FDA is responsible for ensuring the safety and proper labeling of all plant-derived food and feed, including those developed through genetic engineering.”, my first call was to the FDA. The public affairs person at the FDA did not want to be quoted, but did say that the FDA had no jurisdiction over cannabis whatsoever, and that the DEA was the authority with jurisdiction, and so began the quest for federal oversight. Contacting the DEA resulted in Barbara Carreno, Public Affairs Officer, DEA Headquarters, responding after a week in contemplation by the DEA legal team, to indicate that  “DEA does not have jurisdiction or authority to regulate the genetic engineering of cannabis.”, she also wrote back that “the USDA’s Animal and Plant Inspection Service is tasked with that.”, and offered this apparent observational comment that “no one at any level appears to be regulating this”. Rick Coker, Public Affairs Specialist, at the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services, responded that “If APHIS Determines that a organism is not a plant pest, then the GE organism is not subject to the regulatory requirements of 7 CFR part 340, however, other federal regulations may still apply.” Considering the national security implications it made sense to contact the NSA, here was the response from Greg Julian, Media Relations Chief, NSA/CSS Public Affairs, Strategic Communications, “Thanks for reaching out to the National Security Agency. However, you’ve got the wrong Agency as we have no oversight of this matter. I suggest you contact Health and Human Services,” in other words the FDA. Being right back where I started with the FDA, I tried again and sent multiple email requests for comment as well as leaving phone messages, but there was no response. At this point you might be asking how did we get to this point? It would be pointless to try and blame anyone quoted in this story, or any other Government employees who are for the most part simply trying to do their jobs according to the laws that elected representatives hand them. Going back to the origins of the how and why, it becomes clear that Congress created the CSA (Controlled Substances Act), which provided for the authority to schedule substances to be restricted to varying degrees from public use. The problem here is that the CSA allows for scheduling natural plants as “controlled substances.” This Congressional overreach in authority has resulted in numerous consequences aside from the current jurisdictional quagmire manifested into an apparent clear, present, and ongoing bio-threat to the national security of the United States as well as our continental neighbors, and possibly the world. The foremost consequence of scheduling natural plant life, is that it nullified an American’s self evident, naturally endowed, basic human right to access, grow, and use natural plants. At this point in America, to legally grow so much as a carrot you are exercising a “civil right,” not a human right. So in effect the Congress scheduled a basic human right into obscurity. Because the basic human right was disparaged by Congress, we lost access to critically invaluable resources, and incalculable trillions to the economy over the many decades of malfeasance. The 1938 Popular Mechanics article “New Billion Dollar Crop,” described a coming boom to agriculture at the promise of new technology to process an age old crop, and transforming its economic potential into unimaginable numbers for 1938. Congress extinguished any chance at fulfilling the predictions of the Popular Mechanics article by enacting the Marijuana Tax Act, which was the first reach at disparaging this basic human right to access, grow, and use natural plants. There’s no shortage of folks to blame for all this because we are all to blame. Lawmakers and their constituents have used the “stoner” vs. “refer madness” mentality to simply kick the issue back and forth in a diversion to maintain the status quo for decades, leaving the mess for future generations. I think the founders of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution would agree that we as citizens have also been sorely to blame in our lack of due diligence to maintain our naturally endowed rights. Instead of howling for civil rights and legalization, folks should have been rereading the Declaration and engaging the Constitution in federal court in effort to restore and protect their basic human rights through case law, but they haven’t. In America, if you have no basic human right to access, grow, and use natural plants, then there is no basis in law by which to protect natural plants or the broader natural heritage from cross pollination contamination from plants that have been bio-engineered, privately patented, and enjoy the full scope of protection under intellectual property laws. The most relevant question remains, how do we fix this mess? At some point Congress will step in and remedy the issue of unregulated GEC through some federal legislation that legalizes cannabis to some degree by removing it from the CSA, but even that would be a further misstep and would continue to divert from the root cause and the problem will continue. For example Oregon attorney Dave Kopilak relayed that some people in Oregon intend on floating a measure to legalize psilocybin mushrooms, also a schedule 1 controlled substance. If “magic” mushrooms were legalized in Oregon, then we are right back in the same circumstances of no federal oversight or regulations for bio-engineering “shrooms.” In other words, DEA has exclusive jurisdictional authority over all schedule 1 “substances.” Any natural life form listed as a schedule 1 controlled substance is outside the jurisdictional oversight authority of federal agencies that regulate for gene editing or GMO’s. Therefore, as long as natural life forms are considered to be schedulable under the CSA, we will continue to have this gap in the law and this bio-threat problem will likely be reoccurring. It is unlikely Congress will correct their own mistake of scheduling away our human right to access, grow, and use natural plants, and so it seems just as unlikely that Congress will move on behalf of present or future generations to protect the genetic integrity of our natural heritage from cross pollination contamination with privately patented and protected bio-engineered life. So it looks like the only way to get America back on track is through relentless civil litigation that begins with challenging governments assumed authority to schedule natural plant life or any natural life forms whatsoever, and moving forward on the basis that such overreach has disparaged a self evident fundamental natural human right. Once the basic human right to access, grow, and use natural plants is restored and protected, it thereby would establish the basis for litigating to protect the genetic integrity of natural heirloom plants and all of our natural heritage from this present and ongoing bio-threat of cross pollination contamination forever polluting the natural gene pool we all swim in. I guess we should round everything off by circling back to a last stop at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. When asked who’s doing what about the apparent breech in national security, Barry Borie, Media Spokesperson, ODNI/Office of Strategic Communications wrote back “I believe you will find what you’re looking for in the 2019 Worldwide Threat Assessment, page 16.” Here’s what page 16 of the 2019 Worldwide Threat Assessment had on the topic: “Rapid advances in biotechnology, including gene editing, synthetic biology, and neuroscience, are likely to present new economic, military, ethical, and regulatory challenges worldwide as governments struggle to keep pace. These technologies hold great promise for advances in precision medicine, agriculture, and manufacturing, but they also introduce risks, such as the potential for adversaries to develop novel biological warfare agents, threaten food security, and enhance or degrade human performance.” Mr. Borie wrote one more sentence: “As we strived for maximum transparency in the report, we won’t be able to offer more than this.”
19 Apr 19
Site Title

The Bee Gees left a lasting impression on the charts, across a variety of musical genres. Yet it might never had happened were it not for a happy accident which set them on the course for superstardom. Barry, Maurice, and Robin Gibb were young children living in the suburbs of Chorlton-cum-Hardy in Manchester, England. According […]

20 Apr 19
Lewes FC progcast

Bostik Premier League, 20th April 2019

19 Apr 19
Viral Topic Zone

President Donald Trump stands near a portrait of George Washington at a Wounded Warrior Project Soldier Ride event on Thursday, April 18. | Andrew Harnik/AP Photo THE POST-MUELLER STATE OF PLAY … — THE MOST DONALD TRUMP thing ever: The president probably would have obstructed justice had he been willing to fire ROBERT MUELLER himself. […]

19 Apr 19
O'Connell the Music

Wednesday May 1 MEDITERRANEAN FEAST Songmakers Australia Melbourne Recital Centre at 6 pm Of the seven elements in this sometimes-Mediterranean recital, three are by Rossini, that superlatively cosmopolitan European composer who was never content to be a homebody.   We are also to hear a Massenet piece, a scrap from Turina, and two true oddities:  Habanera […]

17 Apr 19
The Santa Barbara Independent
Whether this meant crossing thresholds between worlds, understandings, desires, beliefs, or narrators, the 43rd annual Humana festival of New American Plays asked its audiences to traverse boundaries with care, presence and daring. This provocation was thrilling, and the response it brought forth was formidable. Pieces from the likes of Lily Padilla, Dave Harris, and Lucas Hnath lead the charge in a season of important new work.   In Everybody Black, directed with brilliance and wit by Awoye Timpo, playwright Dave Harris probes how “the difference between recording history and writing theatre is so, so flimsy.” J. Cameron Barnett dazzles as Black Historian with energy and de-stabilizing gravitas. Setting the scene, Black Historian shares the request he has made to white funders to help him create a complete and comprehensive understanding of “The Black Experience ™” to be launched into space for an intended audiences of aliens. The funders pay…well. Amidst a pastiche of caricature-amalgamations, the actors stage a coup to adjust the journey towards a comprehensive “Black Experience™” to little avail. After a moment of intimate reflection (or refraction) we blast off into space. “All we are looking at when we read a play is the manipulation of words for a specific effect, and when we read a historical text it’s the same thing.” The challenge of black history – or any history, according to Harris, is that “it erases nuance.” This play hits that nail on the head. His challenging and formally unique piece marks the beginning of what will undoubtedly be a long life in the American theatre. Following the life of Iraqi protagonist Jawad Kasim (Arash Mokhtar), The Corpse Washer jolts the audience between internal and external conflicts as Jawad deals with the myriad legacies of an impossible inheritance. Must he continue to follow his father’s Muslim profession of washing corpses, or can he lead his own life and make his own choices? Speaking of the current situation in Iraq, co-writer Naomi Wallace said that, “when we allow these brutal wars to continue, we are damaging our capacity to be human.” Whether it was the language or the direction, at times the piece felt rhythmically stilted and didactic. However, Abraham Makany’s performances as Basim was a breath of fresh air, and scenes like a sensual triste in complete darkness and the washing of an actor’s body onstage held profound resonance. As with Dave Harris, who in Everybody Black asks the audience to imagine the impossibility of truth in history, writers Wallace, Antoon, and Khalidi weave an interrogation around the impossibility of inheriting history as a legacy. As Jawad’s present, past and future continue to be ripped and blasted to shards, he begins a trek to honor, remember, and rebuild, wash by wash. As Harris decimates the impossible in a collection, so Wallace, Antoonnand and Khalidi attempt to collect what may be impossible. Lily Padilla’s How To Defend Yourself is a story with such formidable charge, humor and potency, it has the potential to forever rock the American theatrical landscape. Defend Yourself is a call to arms – a call to makers and audiences for radical intimacy and action. Centering on a self-defense class offered by collegiate senior and sorority sister Brandi after her friend’s brutal rape, the piece shows a new tapestry of connections being formed as sexuality, change, vulnerability and freedom pulse through the bodies of the class participants. Anna Crivelli tunes her performance as Brandi perfectly to hit Padilla’s notes, ranging from sharp ferocity to sisterly warmth to Napoleon-like drive. From a monologue on assault to a free form dance, each member of the ensemble – which includes Ariana Mahallati, Gabriela Ortega, Abby Leigh Huffstetler, David Ball, Jonathan Moises Olivares, and Molly Adea – has moments of incredible softness and tenacity. A cameo from Phoenix Gilmore also, proverbially, takes the cake. “What does it mean to carry around a lifetime of feeling like you need to defend yourself?” asks Padilla, who developed the piece in workshop at Ojai Playwrights conference right here on the central coast. “As artists, we’re often channeling painful feelings in order to learn that we can stand them. And when people come to the theatre, they see that they can stand them too. “ Padilla is spot on as she gracefully tackles issues of sexuality, consent, and power in the microcosm of a college gymnasium. The play is fierce and a must see. You can catch it next at at Victory Gardens in Chicago. In Lucas Hnath’s The Thin Place, Hilda (Emily Cass McDonnell) spends the entire 90 minutes in one chair, a move which, thanks in part to the sublime Les Waters, proves haunting and tense enough to scare her audience into submission. Hilda lures us into the possibility that yes, there is a thin place between worlds, and we should be extremely cautious about traversing it. Under Waters’ direction, and with an extraordinary cast, Hnath’s words sneak into our chests to do their dangerous and unsettling work. As Hilda, McDonnell is unreal; surely one of the most remarkable performances of the entire festival. Loud tiffs and departures punctuate the quiet, rhythmic build of the ensemble, catching the audience off guard in tantalizing ways. The theatre balances us on the precipice of the thin place seductively and menacingly. Who is tricking who? What is it to open a part of ourselves up in a liminal space? Words like “feeding” and “mother” and “trick” are heard anew as storytelling is stripped to its powerful underbelly and coaxed into its ability to conjure. Hnath has an incredible ability to curate words onstage. He’s like a fine gallerist who has turned from art to alchemy – his combinations pop, float, and frighten while maintaining a sense of modern architecture in their theatricality. The piece soars in its focus and simplicity. I cannot wait to see where and when audiences will get to visit this thin place again. In a late night and mid-morning offering, the incredible Will Davis directed the apprentice company a dreamlike march into Kara Lee Corthron, Emily Feldman and Matthew Paul Olmos’ strong and unique interrogations of what “We’ve Come to Believe.” The piece breathed life, literally, into inquiry with moments of lovely dark comedy and surprise encased in tight ensemble work. Whether it’s the draw of a celebration with the country’s most incredible new voices, the chance to see excellent new work first, or the opportunity to engage with provocative panels like Share the Spark, Humana sets the bar for what a new play festival can offer to its local and national community. I can’t wait to see where Actors Theatre’s incoming artistic director – the amazing Robert Barry – takes the festival next.
17 Apr 19

The following is taken from an article by David Boaz, E.V.P. of the Cato Institute, the country’s leading libertarian organization, followed by some comments by your humble blogger. David said, “When I graduated from college in 1975, my first job was as the first employee of Young America’s Foundation. Forty years later, I had the […]