Welcome to the Los Angeles Free Press!
The Original, 1960s, Counter-Culture Icon, and
still the Best Alternative to the Corporate-Controlled Media.

The LA FreeP~ A Real Head Trip for Smart Minds.

ART KUNKIN, FOUNDER

STEVEN M. FINGER, PUBLISHER

To contribute articles and suggestions, apply for an internship, or create an alliance contact: StevenMFinger@LosAngelesFreePress.com

Tag: LA Free Press (page 1 of 16)

Phil Drucker Rants for 7-12-20: “You Not the King of Me!”


 One of the more obscure but none-the-less important parts of the US Constitution is found in Article IV, Section 4:

“The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature can-not be convened) against domestic Violence.”

Written in two parts, the first half, commonly referred to as the Guarantee Clause identifies the Federal Sovereign obligations to protect the rights of each state to a republican, or representative form of government, most likely based upon a democratic, one person one vote electoral process. The Clause also gives Congress the duty and obligation to protect the various states from foreign invasion and to quell domestic (homegrown) incidents and insurrections.

The question for today becomes, when the Federal Sovereign itself refuses to honor its obligations hereunder, and is the cause of strife and unrest in and among the many states, what do We the People do? Short answer is we vote the bums out of office. But what if we can’t?

What if the Presidential electoral process has become so corroded, perhaps through voter suppression, election fraud, disenfranchisement and plain old dirty tricks that the process is no longer even capable of producing an outcome representative of a representative, democratic, form of government? And, importantly, what do we do when our President considers himself above the law, above the Constitution and indeed, a monarch?

Here’s the conundrum. If we rise against King Trump, is he “obligated” to quell our rebellion as part of his domestic duties found in Article IV, Section 4? Should our Fascist in Chief be able to bring the full weight of the Federal government, including the military, to bear upon individual Americans who are engaged in a battle to protect those rights as guaranteed under Article IV and in several other parts of the Constitution, most notably, the Bill of Rights? Importantly, are We, the People required to accept the outcome of a blatantly rigged election process?

Last year, the Guarantee Clause received some renewed interest and attention. In Rucho v. Common Cause, the Roberts Court ruled the Guarantee Clause could not be used as a basis for challenging partisan, sometimes hyper, gerrymandering in the Federal court system. However, come November, we are dealing with an elephant of a different color. I think it’s more than fair to say we are faced with the specter of a monarchy with both a mad king and his line of succession in play.  For this, we have no less an authority than James Madison writing about Article IV, Section 4 in the Federalist Papers:

“In a confederacy founded on republican principles, and composed of republican members, the superintending government ought clearly to possess authority to defend the system against aristocratic or monarchical innovations.” – James Madison 23 Jan. 1788.

As a late 18th Century colonist and potential American, Madison was no doubt familiar and concerned about the intervention of, well, those who would be king in the newly minted democratic republic of America. His words are clear and unambiguous. No royalty allowed. Now let me ask you, how is our fearless, totalitarian, divine interventionist, tweet happy monarch of the free world any different than, well, King George III? The men and the madness. Need I say more?

It is only my opinion, but shouldn’t one reign of terror be met by another rain of terror brought down by the People upon those who would rule without kindness, compassion, care or justice? Is there any reason we in America, on what is the celebrated Bastille Day in France, have any less need for good, fair, equality under the law and honorable governance than those who brought down a prison and defeated a king? I’ll put it to you this way; Is there any reason we shouldn’t have our cake and eat it too?   

Further, if Article IV, Section 4 is not about preventing monarchies along with men and women of privilege and title, then what is it for? For as much as I’m sure the Roberts’ Court would love to further bury its collective conservative heads in the sand, it must be there for something. And, I humbly posit, this is it. Sad that we have come to this point, but it is what it is. Vive la guillotine! 

 

Re-Phil?

Druckerreport.com/communique

Twitter: @DruckerPhilip

Instagram: Philip_Drucker

 

The Illusion of Separateness


On July 10th, 2020 the Los Angeles Free Press reposted Marc Jacobs’ fifty-year-old review of Alan Watts’ book “Does It Matter?” I had read these essays fifty years ago when I seriously and earnestly wanted to find out how to bring about peace in the world, and within myself. The timing of the post is especially meaningful for me because it was three years ago this week that my brother John decided he had enough of his life. 

The ravages of diabetes had taken their toll on John to the point that he required dialysis every other day. For the previous five years, his quality of life had been steadily declining, he had to move to an assisted living facility, he was angry and depressed. As siblings, John and I had shared a profound childhood loss when our father unexpectedly passed away. I was eight years of age and John was fourteen. From then on our relationship was, by and large, antagonistic. That is how our grief was expressed. Given the family lore about our outwardly divided behavior, it came as a surprise to some when John and I announced he would be moving from the assisted living facility into my home. 

All the arrangements were carefully put in place and the move was made. I became intimately acquainted with the difficulties of John’s life as I turned into the project manager of a stream of in-home healthcare workers, most all of whom were people of color. In this new hands-on role, I was astonished to observe the virulent racism my brother openly showed toward his caregivers. I knew our parents would never have stood for this. Yet there it was, unmasked. Where did this come from? Eastern thinkers, such as Watts, would explain to my Western mind that both the high and lofty Declaration of Independence and the evils of slavery are part of our collective consciousness. That outer dissensions in a society are the dissensions within the individual. The world is me and I am the world. 

As the weeks passed, John spoke more and more of his awareness that there was no hope for his physical improvement, there would be only decline. He said he was worn out and considering that dialysis was prolonging his death rather than his life. He wanted to talk about stopping dialysis with his family and physicians. I watched his solemn vulnerability and courage as he did so.

In the beginning of July, John decided that July 4th would be his last day of dialysis. During the twelve days that followed, I cooked all of the favorite family meals he hadn’t been able to enjoy for so long. We loudly played his favorite songs from his favorite bands and heartily sang along. We openly shared our long-held childhood grief. While he slept, I cried ancient tears. We held hands and talked every day, neutrally observing our shared experiences and our differences. And in this timeless time of releasing the narratives we had built around our memories, there came the sweet perfume of “the entirely undefinable something which is everything.” as Watts put it.  

As the days passed and nature took its course, John slept more and more. He told me of his dreams in which clouds of people were gathering around him. In the quiet days and nights as his body functions began shutting down, the family kept a bedside vigil. It was, again, a time of neutral observation, when the process of the intellect comes to an end, and there is an opening to the unknown. Call it Love, absolute consciousness, God, a peace that passes understanding  — whatever one chooses – there was a sense of well-being, a transcendence. And as Watts suggested, that also is part of our collective consciousness, “the total energy system of the universe.”

When John’s body life came peacefully to an end, it was clear that while he and I had distinctly different perceptions and personalities we were, as the Human Genome Project proved, of the same source. Everything is interconnected. In moments such as these – the birth of a child, the passing of a loved one, psychedelics, meditation – we move from the known to the unknown and see beyond the veil. These moments of radical transformation of our consciousness are integrated with life, everyday life.

Fifty years ago Eastern philosophy awakened me to how Western culture constructs the world as a collection of disparate “things.” In ‘Does it Matter?’ Watts describes how we have been hallucinated into seeing the world in this way. It is this illusion of separateness that is at the root of the ineffective ways in which we relate to politics, business, and each other. As we observe the crisis of the day – social inequality, political polarization, the environment, all of it – we are observing a crisis in consciousness. 

I had a long career in nonprofits, working to bring change to transform the world for the better. Today I see all of society is myself in action. My consciousness is the consciousness of my neighbor. Do I then feel a responsibility for the salvation of our collective consciousness? Yes. As a great teacher once said, “If you want to make the world a better place, at least don’t contribute to its misery.” As the consciousness of the individual is transformed, social goodness follows.

 

[Ed.’s Note:  Carolyn L. Baker, M.Ed. grew up in a segregated (white) suburb in Southern California but came of age in the counterculture of the 1960s. And so she went on to a 30-year career in nonprofits that helped the ‘less-fortunate’ (the coded-container of, mostly, young blacks, older blacks, the in-between blacks, and fatherless black families). Wrapped in her mantle, helping them up, she had little reason to believe she had had a role in their lack of good fortune.

Her book, An Unintentional Accomplice: A Personal Perspective on White Responsibility follows Baker’s painful awakening to the realities of her own complicity in racism. It is a very personal narrative that explores the complexities of race in America, suggests ways to navigate the guilt that can arise in the face of these realities, and offers relevant methods to build a more humane society.

This book is more than timely, it is a revelation of today’s magical metamorphosis.  And, literally, you, me, all of us can follow her path to where our personal transformation can take place and, finally, become both creator and participant in a better society.

eBook and paperback editions @ https://bit.ly/2At1tee

More info about Carolyn, including her upcoming radio interviews @  www.anunintentionalaccomplice.com]

L.A. Cop CIA ‘Hit’ Man


This screaming Headline leads to our ‘inside’ scoop on  Page  3… it gives an explanation of why the  LAPD was brutal then, is it a clue as to why so many police departments are brutal now?

Once you’ve puzzled that out, here’s another question, one for which you already have the answer… with a hop back to our Front Page… “6 Chicano deaths… in jail?” “Yes”, sadly. But, quite probably, with a continuing toll for more than 50 years, the reason that the Black Lives Movement (the BLM) has found support from people of all colors. Here is the balance of that article.

Now, please let me treat you to just one more Page. This one, though, does not ask a question, instead, it provides you with answers. And, remarkably, as is often the case with these decades-old LA FP Issues, the answers it provides are to questions that we find asked by our present situation.
Interesting, too,  is that before there was the BLM of today, there was the BLM of our day…the Black Liberation Movement. A Movement that, ironically, due to today’s turn of the times has gone from segregation to integration to realization.

This update… virtually ‘breaking news’… is that a group that sought to increase its standing – and did so – by drawing focus to the positivity of its own identity has made its greatest stride toward its goal in an entirely different fashion. Of course, and as always, we welcome the discussion of our opinion. We’ll add that we think it would be particularly interesting if the gentleman who provided the Review would take us up on this offer as he, himself, has gone through quite a remarkable evolution. (From one of our own to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earl_Ofari_Hutchinson.)

The Results of an Open Mind


An open mind is said by some to be a virtue that corrects errors in judgment. Others find an open mind a signal of indecisiveness, being wishy-washy, or an inability to think for oneself.  Either way, it’s likely very few, if any, of us would want to admit to having a closed mind. In truth, it is likely we all are, at any given time, somewhere on the continuum between having an open and a closed mind and it varies by day and challenge.  

By and large, identity groups tend to consume media that reifies their position. It was Alan Watts who, in The Way of Zen, wrote, “Men who have dehumanized themselves by becoming the blind worshipers of an idea or an ideal are fanatics whose devotion to abstractions makes them the enemies of life.” So not wanting to be an enemy of life, I looked into what leads to an open mind. Turns out, it is a characteristic known as intellectual humility, which is to say, understanding the limits of one’s knowledge. And within that, allowing the admission of being wrong.

Cultivating intellectual humility begins with acknowledging that my mind is not perfect, that I have blind spots. We all do.  Given this universal condition, there is permission to safely admit, “I was wrong.” Sounds simple, but there was a time when admitting I was wrong was difficult, as my self-worth was tied up in being right. Today I see it more as freeing my intellect from its limited perspective. But it takes practice. And it was with practice in mind that I listened to our President’s 4th of July address.

While standing on Black Hills land, stolen against treaty agreements, our President spoke of equal opportunity, equal justice, and equal treatment for citizens of every race, background, religion, and creed. He stated how we embrace tolerance, not prejudice while speaking from the foot of the desecration that is Mount Rushmore. It’s intellectual humility that enables one to absorb this jarring cognitive dissonance, hold two opposing ideas in their mind, and still function. Cultivating this ability is powerful, it enables frustration, anger, and helplessness to be side-stepped. 

What if we were to do this, not merely as individuals, but as an entire nation? Can we both love America while at the same time admit that slavery, white supremacy, and Manifest Destiny were wrong? And if we have an open mind that corrects our errors in judgment, are we ready to make reparations now? As the Black Lives Matter Movement propels one of the largest societal changes ever in the 200+ years of our collective history, laws of our land will be reshaped to ensure diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

The good news is intellectual humility and an open mind can be cultivated. Some practices include regularly interacting with a wide circle of diverse friends, being open to new ideas and experiences, and adopting an attitude of ‘live and let live’ and goodwill toward others. Why do this? Well, it’s not a new concept – living in relation to others with compassion and understanding has been embraced by myriad cultures and religions – to their great benefit. And, too, because, in this increasingly interconnected and complicated world, curiosity and intellectual humility have become more crucial to our success than ever before. This is why I explore the illusion of separateness in my book. 

Cultivating intellectual humility and an open mind unleashes creativity and brings us hope. “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us and the world will live as one.” Imagine. By John Lennon.

 

[Ed.’s Note:  Carolyn L. Baker, M.Ed. grew up in a segregated (white) suburb in Southern California but came of age in the counterculture of the 1960s. And so she went on to a 30-year career in nonprofits that helped the ‘less-fortunate’ (the coded-container of, mostly, young blacks, older blacks, the in-between blacks, and fatherless black families). Wrapped in her mantle, helping them up, she had little reason to believe she had had a role in their lack of good fortune.

Her book, An Unintentional Accomplice: A Personal Perspective on White Responsibility follows Baker’s painful awakening to the realities of her own complicity in racism. It is a very personal narrative that explores the complexities of race in America, suggests ways to navigate the guilt that can arise in the face of these realities, and offers relevant methods to build a more humane society.

This book is more than timely, it is a revelation of today’s magical metamorphosis.  And, literally, you, me, all of us can follow her path to where our personal transformation can take place and, finally, become both creator and participant in a better society.

eBook and paperback editions @ https://bit.ly/2At1tee

More info about Carolyn, including her upcoming radio interviews @  www.anunintentionalaccomplice.com]

   

 

 

 

Older posts

Would you support bringing back the Old News (the LA Free Press!) to help the New News get a better perspective of what's really happening?

(...and get a whole bunch of personal freebies :) in the process??)