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STEVEN M. FINGER, PUBLISHER

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From the LA Free Press Archive – It’s a 50-year (!) Throwback Thursday!

Dialog With A Dope Maker… (P2of3)


…continued from Dialog With A Dope Maker… (P1of3) wherein I mentioned
* our Resident Beatnik was woke to a new #1 Priority: we can no longer poison our planet. He and the LA FP (50 years ago) were early supporters of the ‘Ecology Movement’. Had we all heeded Lawrence Lipton’s few principles, in this first of this week’s forward-looking articles, could we have averted our present Climate Change Crisis. Can they cure it now?
* As we said in Part 1, our second article here is not – at all – NORML and, yet, it was a clarion call (again, 50 years ago) for legalizing weed – for lots of the reasons it is, today, legalized so broadly. Strangely, tho, if you had been as old then as you are now – you would have said “pshaw” (IF you had been as old then as you are now.)

SO, here’s that first item… Lawrence Lipton’s column ‘Radio Free America’ on this date, exactly 50 years ago. Given that he was a Beatnik, and not just any Beatnik, but author of The Holy Barbarians (1959), the acclaimed historical account of that movement, breaking his bonds with it to advocate mass protest clearly showed how he, indeed, now felt that saving the planet was The #1 Priority.
In other words, in this case, independent self-expression wasn’t enough to accomplish the urgent solution of immediate and massive action to break through the Social Lie that would only continue the harm being done.
His and all the other statements that gave reason to support the newly initiated Ecology Movement did move it forward, but persistence was taken off track by commercial forces. Today, the same sage advice of “DON’T TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER” has another voice, one that has connected to the very same segment of our society that the LA Freep spoke to – young idealistic people, people who could – and have – spoken truth to power.
And now, there’s another powerful force – US! the ‘boomers’. Think about how different this is – a rising tide of youthful concern re-awaking an older generations’s fervent, but set-aside, dream. Herein is an opportunity for unification, and its synergy may save us all!

Here is our 2nd article – one that sounds very much like those we often read by NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. However, it wasn’t until the following year that that organization was formed. (Those of you who were ardently involved in that cause are, of course, forgiven for any lapse of memory on this point.) But here it is, a sane and sober rational for access and the use of pot without onerous restrictions based on misinformation. It’s last few paragraphs were right-on; even with the Federal Government waging a full-out war against it, spending billions per year in that fight, its – legalized -use is ubiquitous.
Simply put, just as they had predicted, laws fall to the governed’s demand. How did this up-hill battle go down? First came organizations with this as their purpose. Three were major players, two of which eventually folded into the first – yes, we’re back to NORML, est. 1970. (And here’s a fun fact – it was Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Foundation that initially funded it with a $5,000 grant, its donations rising to as much as $100,000/year.) In 1973, Oregon was the first state to begin decriminalizing cannabis. In 1996, California legalized medical cannabis, as did a majority of states by 2016. Among them, Colorado and Washington, in 2012, legalized cannabis for recreational use, as well. The continued liberalization of marijuana via recreational legislation is now sweeping the States.

While I wish to make the point that the resurgence of the concerns about about our environment should be ameliorated by this success, I, necessarily, must say that there can be little doubt that the cash it was likely to bring in was a large factor in its favor. In fact, it didn’t take large scale protests to move the goal of liberalization into legislation. So, though demonstrations make demands for change obvious, the history here should say to all new activists – as crass as it may sound – talk more about how coffers can fill up as temperatures come down. And that using these two strategies – of protest and passage of law – in tandem is the way to go. And not to forget our old beatnik, self expression certainly has its place in this new Movement. Best of luck to us all.

As to last of this week’s ‘prescient’ articles, the next one is of things that might come into being. The final article reveals ‘the secret the mainstream needed to keep, the thing that Boomers did that couldn’t be told’. You can find them both in Part 3 of Dialog With A Dope Maker…
… on this coming Monday 🙂

Dialog With A Dope Maker… (P1of3)


…or, as the inside page headline reads – An Evening With An Alchemist. Tho, more aptly, it would have noted that it was an “Interesting” evening, as well.
In fact, I’m sure you, too, will enjoy this clandestine meeting with a psychopharmacologist who had, at that point, synthesized more than 300 drugs. The end of his tale was a bit of a twist, especially nice.
This link will take you to it in our “A Unique Perspective” Section:
https://losangelesfreepress.com/an-evening-with-an-alchemist/

Tomorrow – now that our 50-Year Throwback Thursday is a Three-Day affair – we’ll return to head down our more customary path of pointing to the articles we published then that were OUT of the mainstream. And are now – remarkably – right IN the mainstream. Specifically:
* When our resident beatnik was woke to a new #1 Priority. It was back then and, and it is now, again.
* Well, the second article is not – at all – NORMAL and, yet, it was a clarion call (again, 50 years ago) for legalizing weed – for lots of the reasons it is, today, legalized so broadly. Strangely, tho, if you had been as old then as you are now – you would have said “pshaw” (IF you had been as old then as you are now.)
* Our next article continues this odd thread – us Boomers in our native state, not at all the old farts that some new generation thinks we are now – we were helping to make these things happen.

* And then there’s the 4th article – the secret the mainstream needed to keep, the thing that Boomers did that couldn’t be told. And, by the way, is being ‘celebrated’ this 50th year.

See ya tomorrow. 🙂

War Strangled by Long Hair – a Lesson for Those Who Want to Stop Climate Change



This was back in 1969. …when the mainstream headlines were all about winning a war of the very standard kind. And ours were on the flip side – organizing to grind it to a halt.

Likewise, today, our focus is still on what’s in the news, and still with a lens that settles on a better outcome.  Yes, there’s still a war, but it’s not all about people fighting people,  instead, it’s about people fighting for themselves.

Even so, there are some similarities. Specifically, the main objective is, once again, regime change – this time, tho, it’s from Corporate to considerate – all in a battle for Climate Change.  Climate Change, where the results of winning are wonderful, while the consequences of losing are terrible. In fact, very likely more terrible than they’ve ever been from the kind of wars we’ve, it seems, have always had on this planet.

The dead-body count of the Vietnam War,  from the forces of each side and the innocent caught in-between, before protests finally convinced politicians that they might gain ground but, literally, lose their constituency, was more than three and a half million. Yet that was only a fraction of the dead-body count of the War to End All Wars in which more than 60 million people lost their lives.

Certainly, the cemetery pictured has no room for that number; the one that would hold all the dead-bodies – head to foot, and side by side – from a Climate Change foisted on us (for profit!) before we could possibly adapt – would not be in any single state’s domain.  It might very well take up the entirety of our Country… or any other, or maybe even an-other comparable stretch of burnt out or barren land.  Yes, dire consequences, indeed… as, once more, we’ve a Silent Majority.

What did the LA Free Press do to keep this from happening?  Well, just ‘last week’ (11/7/1969) – actually 50 years and 1 week ago today –  we published our own Ron Cobb’s ‘Ecology Symbol’.   Right there, on our Front Page, it was put into ‘the Public Domain’ for the good of all (without an ‘ask’ for a single cent). Then Look Magazine incorporated it into a green and white field, and it was estimated that nearly a billion people saw the flag fly at parades and protests the world over! Here’s one of those:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2017_People%27s_Climate_March

Now here’s that lesson promised in our headline:  All those years ago, the Ecology Movement launched via the knowledge of – how the war (to stop the war) was won:  Look at that Moratorium Schedule – it’s jammed packed with constant and consistent activities. And those were only in California – events just like them were happening across the entire Country!

Participation and persistence mattered – and that’s where we  – the generation that was there – faltered… Never should we have given the bureaucracy even a bit of latitude once it had passed its promised delivery date; we should have proceeded as we had said we would… if only and solely because we didn’ have the time nor, likely, could we afford the further consequences of being crafted by lobbyists for their own self-serving interests.

But now,  in a return to yesteryear, there is an abundance of educated, socially-conscious, community-oriented minds that, with their unparalleled panoramic view, have recognized a pressing environmental danger, global warming.   Hopefully, this concern will re-open the door to the more basic and broader Ecology Movement of old rather than a replacement Movement arise constricted only to the single symptom (and then be fully re-branded as) Climate Change.

In other words, it is crucial for a solution to all the issues that the difference between ecological – with its cultural components – and environmental problems be understood so that the solutions rendered do not simply address the physical symptoms of a changing climate but, instead, include and address the societal change wrought by its restoration.

So, let’s step up, let’s clean-up, let’s step out, and -this time – let’s not stop until products are really recycling, fossil fuels are completely replaced with naturally self-sustaining energy sources, what grows is fully respected, and what can be shared is.  Let ‘persistence’ be our new watchword, the lesson from the past, let ‘persistence without compromise’ be our new standard – so that we not only meet our past goals, but exceed them.

As a final note,  my thoughts here stem from an article written a few years earlier by Ivy Bader, a visiting Correspondent.  Even today, it’s title – MONEY:  The Root of All Pollution –  and text – ring true.  And so, let’s balance the scales for those on the other side of this fight – those who reduce pollution – let’s encourage profitable projects, agreeing profits should be reasonable… and hoping that they are, eventually re-invested.  Surely it would good if people could earn a livelihood by helping to sustain us all.  Especially if, in the aggregate, they do more good than those who do us harm.

.

IS PAUL DEAD? OR ARE YOU?


Well, let’s dispense that first question as quickly as we can: on the very same day we published this Issue another up and coming publication, LIFE Magazine, published its headline – Paul is still with us.
Of course, our writer hadn’t speculated that Paul was, indeed, gone. Surely, that would have been an embarrassing announcement in light of that happy news that he had, indeed, been found – alive and well on his farm in Scotland.
What our writer wrote about was not just the clues that preceded Paul’s disappearance, but the creativity that kept them together. And it was that discussion the begat his second question.. phrased another way, Are you alive to what they were singing about?
While you ponder that, as you might have done back then, I’ll add this sad note from that day’s lucky find. It was Paul’s quote, he had gone to Scotland to get away from the stress of the group’s recent in-fighting about their management, and realized that “The Beatle thing is over.” Maybe he, too, should have pondered what they were singing about.
But let me leave you here – before moving onto to what turned out to truly be the prescient news of the day – with a first link for fun, while the second a bit of a spoiler. Hope you enjoy them both! (AND… don’t you dare ‘read the black box first’ 🙂 )
Link 1 – https://www.beatle.net/paul-mccartney-admits-beatles-planned-death-hoax/
and Link 2 – https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-features/paul-mccartney-is-dead-conspiracy-897189/

That ‘prescient news’ (mentioned above) will be here for you tomorrow (see you, then!) It’s truly a light shone onto our future. One more time that the LA FP was the harbinger of important issues – many of them, like this one, that are still with us 50 years hence!

And here are a few additions to today’s post:
*The Rolling Stones Roll into Town! – Poster is already up (on 11/7) at https://www.facebook.com/LAFPmusic/ Look now, as that event happens on ‘the 8th’. Then,
*Some lucky lady’s 76th Birthday is today, and she’s got a gig ‘coming up’! It, too – and some vids – will be posted on the FB LAFPMusic Page. (At 6 CA time.)
Again, we’ll be here tomorrow – come join us – for ‘yesterday’s’ news that is as relevant now as it was then 🙂

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