March 30, 2013

March 30

I live in an elaborate fantasy world of my own creation. I am the Goddess and my One Love (my Soulmate through eternity) is the God.

Among the many ways I will know my Soulmate for sure is that he is the ONLY person who really knows me (besides myself). There are many other signs, too.

We both have to evolve more before we can actually live together in the physical world. My biggest regret is something from the movie, Schindler’s List: I could have done so much more (to help others/the world).

Just remember: I am loved and cherished.

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In addition to this basis (of SELF and Soulmate-and-Me), I see people as members of one of four (possibly five?) social groups: Diamonds, Clubs, Spades, and Cups. Yeah, like cards.

Diamonds have physical or material possessions (gifts). Clubs (my group) have the ability to create things (art, music, crafts, IT stuff, etc.) out of their visions. Clubs are the Dreamers: they have the ultimate mystical sight. Spades are the thinkers and warriors (as in soldiers, not as in “willing to fight for their cause”).

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Ojai morning walk: chaparral, orange groves, joggers. All along McAndrew Road and then Grand Avenue down to Carne Road. I hitch into town from that crossing.

Ojai, compared to much of the rest of the world, is (quoted from a song I heard this morning) “a place where it’s not bleeding.” Most people here seem to be preparing themselves for greatness; they are very precious about themselves and their personal well-being. This often spills over into the public arena, like when the wealthy folks buy up acres and acres of chaparral forest and put it in a preserve for the public.

Self-control is about trusting oneself. Control of others is an ego trip.

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I have sacrificed my sex appeal for wisdom. Given it up: trying to “catch” and seduce men. Silly! I still love men and sex, but I’m reeling in my line and hook.

Standards change when populations change. Like in the US now: our country is becoming so racially/ethnically mixed that by 2043, whites will no longer be numerically (and in other ways) dominant. Good.

Farmboys have great appeal for me and have since I was a kid up at the Erbhof during summers in Spofford, New Hampshire.

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I am a working woman. My 5-month trip just now (Oct. 2012-March 2013) was TONS of daily work. I find that’s very healthy for me, but then I need to relax for a while (as I’m doing now here in Ojai, California).

On the front door of a donut shop in San Antonio, Texas is the sign: “NO GUNS.” On the front door of the Meiner’s Oaks (little burg* next to Ojai) Alano club (meetings for Alcoholics Anonymous and other meetings for family members of alcoholics) is the sing: “NO BIKES.” You’d think the alcoholics would be the ones with the guns.

(*Note: Ojai’s population is around 7,5oo. Meiners Oaks’ population is about 4,000. Much of the population in both towns is outside the “city” areas and in rural or agricultural areas.)

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One person CAN (or and be an important part of the process of) change the future.

Trying to change (yourself or the world) results in actual change.

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March 31

I see all Sentient Beings like suits in a card deck. Here’s how it looks to me:

Fish and all water critters = metal (or ether) element; psychic/mystical world

Birds = element air; thinking/mental world; spades (suit)

Land animals (including “Muggles*,” lizards, snakes, etc.) = element fire;  creative/energetic world; inspiration and intuition; clubs (suit).

Insects = element earth; material/physical world; diamonds (suit)

Witches and wizards = water element; hearts (suit); magical, emotional world.

*Muggles: non-magical folk (from Harry Potter)

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I am having quite a different experience camping now. I not only am watching the life around me with a different intensity, focus and purpose (as an “Amateur Naturalist, (engaged in) Orthonological Field Studies” [as my new business card says]), but also when I do go out to camp, I sit and watch movies or shows like”Jeeves and Wooster” on my computer. And I smoke pot, too. It’s very exciting! I also have my little MP3 Player, and I can walk down Grand Avenue ion the morning listening to Blondie’s murderously good version of “Girlie Girlie” (my current favorite song). I am all connected–both to Nature and to Music and wonderful shows.

It’s quite a different life, and I find that I really have had enough of cities and living indoors for quite a while. Tomorrow, I will get the first “REALLY GOOD” tent of my young life (ha ha): a Big Agnes “Seedhouse 1.” The “1” means for one person (me). I have wanted a very light-weight, excellent quality tent forever, and this is the one. It weighs under 3 lbs. and costs under $300. Ha ha! Got to spend money for good causes sometimes; being too stingy–even with myself–is not always good.

Tomorrow’s April Fools’ Day, April 1, and I’ll spend a lot of money on good things. Already paid back $85 to Seth for my phone (purchase), my monthly cell bill ($25), and a $40 loan he made to me a few days ago.

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April 2

Got my new tent ($232) yesterday at Real Cheap Sports (not so real cheap, but small and light-weight). It’s a “Big Agnes,” and it’s for one person. Tiny, but made well. Good color, too: light green (blends in well).

I moved my camp down a few yards to another little section of the field off to the side of the Horn Canyon trail. This morning around 6 am, I thought I heard footsteps by my tent. I think someone knows I’m there (at start of Canyon); a truck went by up on the hill where the donkey and horses are. Anyone in the truck could have looked down and seen my tent (although this new one is very inconspicuous: small and green). I may move up into Horn Canyon tomorrow.

Packed up the old tent (I will never again get a tent that isn’t free-standing) and threw it behind a tree in case I need it again (like, if someone takes my nice, new tent).

Tents out in nature are much better for me than houses. Nature is much better than cities. I like warm, dry, sunny weather for camping, and I like to be able to have small fires at camp. I like winter (snow, cold), but I don’t like camping in winter. Also, winter has to be sunny or I get depressed; and, if I’m indoors, I like having a fire-place.

I like being in my tent in warm rain, but I hate camping in damp, cold weather. On Easter (Sunday, March 31) it rained quite a lot here; I got into my tent without getting too wet, and I hunkered down. The donkey in the corrals up the hill above my tent brayed after the rain stopped.

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Rejoined Bryant Street Gym yesterday and had my first shower in TWO WEEKS. My body was starting to itch, and I was beginning to have to hide my dirtiness. Ugh! The wonders of water. Of course, in some places (like African desert I read about), people “wash” with red dirt (it’s like clay). Amazing!

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April 3

I moved part of my camp yesterday afternoon and the rest (tent, sleeping bag) this morning. Yesterday I worked hard for an hour clearing out a little spot up by the first creek-crossing. I had scrambled about blindly to find this cherry little spot. When I finished clearing the branches and brush from the place, I realized it was almost right on the trail! And I had thought I was WAY off the trail. Ha ha. I had a good chuckle about that.

So, this morning I put my tent up the creek (also at the first crossing). It’s across the creek from the trail, but it’s still too close to the trail. People can see me if I’m standing up and they happen to look over to the side of the trail. I figure I’ll plead Ornithology (that I’m studying birds in the brush).

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On: Being a Jockey

70% of exercise takes place on a horse

Diet (strengthen, but don’t gain weight). Not too much red meat or carbs. Kiwi: cleansing.

Gym exercise (strengthen, but don’t gain weight; cardio): legs, forearms, shoulders, triceps, chest. Off-track fitness: two or three times a week.

Up at 4:45 am everyday: on a thoroughbred horse for morning workouts, which can last more than four hours. Then, home to eat and have a nap.

(Article on Hong Kong racetrace [or Shaghai…] in Wall Street Journal a few days ago. Jockey is young, Chinese guy who was adopted by Americans or Brits.)

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Los Angeles Times, March 27, 2013 (P. A15):

“Leave pot laws to states” by Erwin Chemerinsky and Allen Hopper

LEAVE POT LAWS TO STATES

by Erwin Chemerinsky, (Source:Los Angeles Times)

It may be surprising, but no state is required to have a law making possession of marijuana, or any drug, a crime.  Therefore, any state can legalize some or all marijuana possession if it chooses.  The federal government, if it chooses, can enforce the federal law against its possession and use, but it is up to each state to decide what to criminally prohibit, based on the 10th Amendment.

This basic insight has been lost in the public discussion about whether the initiatives legalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana passed by Colorado and Washington voters in November are preempted by federal law.  The two states will soon finalize regulations to implement those initiatives, including how to tax and regulate marijuana.  U.S.  Atty.  Gen.  Eric H.  Holder Jr.  told a recent meeting of state attorneys general that the Justice Department review of the initiatives was winding down, suggesting an imminent decision as to whether it intends to challenge the initiatives as being preempted by federal law.

This month, eight former heads of the Drug Enforcement Administration urged Holder to enjoin the new state laws.  Peter Bensinger, DEA chief from 1976 to 1981, told the Associated Press: “This is a no-brainer.  It is outrageous that a lawsuit hasn’t been filed.”

Is it outrageous? Or is it just an intelligent assessment of the legal landscape?

The preemption doctrine is based on the supremacy clause of Article VI of the Constitution, which makes federal law “the supreme law of the land” trumping conflicting state laws.  The question, then, is whether there is a conflict between the federal government prohibiting small amounts of marijuana and some states not doing so.

There is not a conflict when one level of government prohibits something but another level of government does not.  An easy illustration is that murder is a crime in every state, but, except for very specific circumstances, it is not a federal crime.  No one would say that there is a conflict.  Likewise, a state can decide that certain conduct does not violate state law even if it offends federal law.  It is then for the federal government to decide how, if at all, it wants to enforce the federal law.

Several other states, including California, have laws making possession of up to an ounce of marijuana an infraction punishable by a fine, even though under federal law, it’s a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in federal prison.  Similarly, 17 states and Washington, D.C., have laws that allow possession of marijuana for medical purposes; there is no such federal exception.  Although the federal government can enforce the stricter U.S.  law in states that have decriminalized possession or have medical marijuana laws, it has never acted to have those state laws invalidated based on the preemption doctrine.

Simply put, no state has to have a law prohibiting marijuana, even though federal law does.  And if a state does have such a ban but wants to repeal it in whole or in part, such as for possession for medical reasons or for small amounts, it may do so.

Because states could remove all criminal sanctions for marijuana, this more limited removal of some state sanctions cannot be preempted, claiming a conflict with federal law.  It is true that Colorado and Washington go further than allowing possession of small amounts of marijuana under state law; their new laws also regulate and tax the sale of marijuana.  But this actually helps achieve the federal objective of controlling marijuana compared to a state decriminalizing marijuana without regulating its distribution.

Beyond the legal arguments, there are policy reasons for the federal government to not interfere with the Colorado and Washington laws.  An important feature of federalism is that states are empowered to serve as laboratories for experimentation with social policies.  As the nation embarks on perhaps the most significant public debate about drug policy since President Nixon declared the war on drugs, Washington and Colorado’s experiment should be allowed to go forward.  The country can then assess whether it succeeded or failed.

Let’s hope Holder’s response will be more nuanced and respectful of the states than that urged by the retired drug warriors.

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Erwin Chemerinsky is dean of the UC Irvin School of Law. Allen Hopper is criminal justice and drug policy director of the ACLU of California.

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