Who’s next to legalize cannabis? Are you ready to stand up?

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Americans don’t just choose a new President on November 3, 2020, they also vote to legalize cannabis

Will 5 more US states legalize cannabis soon? Currently, 33 US states have legalized medical cannabis and 11 states have legalized cannabis for adult recreational use. On the November ballot, 5 states will put cannabis legalization to the vote. Arizona, New Jersey and Montana will have recreational cannabis use up for legalization. South Dakota will have both medical and recreational use on the ballot, while Mississippi puts legalization of medical cannabis use to the people. These votes could push America to the tipping point, where federal legalization becomes unstoppable, ending the current potential for conflict between state and federal law.

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Why do we change clocks, are daylight savings for environmental benefits?

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Changing clocks, daylight savings, Franz Ferdinand

We’re so used to changing the clocks for daylight savings every spring and fall. But why do we do it? Enjoying these October evenings? As summer slowly dies (northern hemisphere), those endless evenings have been gradually ebbing away, and our bodies and brains adjusting to the new normal of dark and cold. Then. Bang. The clocks ‘fall back’ an hour, late on Saturday night. The fantasy of ‘an extra hour in bed’ is instead the shock of earlier darkness where once was light. The reason why the clocks change is lost in the bullshit of World War One, when the ‘glorious dead’ piled up pointlessly in filthy trenches, in defence of stupid treaties and something to do with the Austro-Hungarian empire (like, what even was that and who the hell was Franz Ferdinand, besides a Glaswegian band from the 2000s?). Allegedly, changing the clocks for winter gave the peasants an extra hour of hellish toil in the mornings, or it saved on candles, or something. The Germans brought it in, just before the British, in 1916. Take me out, kaiser!

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Why the world needs America to fire Trump

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Fire Trump: The US Presidential Election 2020 poses an existential threat to the planet

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A worsening climate crisis is one of the more visible legacies of Trump’s failures. If the US electorate doesn’t fire Trump, we are literally going to hell in a handbasket, brimming with anxiety and despair. We encourage all Americans to use their vote on or before Tuesday, November 3, 2020. Here are our top 5 reasons to fire President Trump…

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How to build Utopia: Goodbye nostalgia, hello future!

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Nationalism and nostalgia are evolutionary dead ends

One positive from the pandemic struck me today. We’ve changed. We are focused on the future, the promise of a vaccine, the chance to enjoy and appreciate the things we took for granted just months ago. Think back, think about Trump and his MAGA desire to return to the 1950s. Think Brexit and the Conservatives’ fantasy of a return to the 1930s. Think about all the deluded nationalists around the world. They all want to take us backwards, to some imagined older, ‘better’ time. These are all bankrupt ideologies. But there is a better way…

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The Age of Surveillance Capitalism – Book review, how to survive it

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What is ‘surveillance capitalism’? Your future behaviour is the product

Shoshana Zuboff’s book is essential reading for anyone who has a smartphone or uses the internet. So, pretty much everyone should read this. When the product is free, then you are the product. This truism is taken to a new level by surveillance capitalism. Now, your predictable future behaviour is the product.

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Urgent manifesto for human resistance to AI, algorithms and tech domination, #ResistAI

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Manifesto and call-to-arms to prevent a dystopia in which humans become unnecessary, or serve machines

This Manifesto is about defining a simple, clear and direct set of rules for the people and companies that construct artificial intelligence, algorithms and technology.

This Manifesto aims to prevent a dystopia where: humans are governed by AI and algorithms; where tech’s appetites for resources and power have destroyed the environment; and where surveillance capitalism knows no boundaries.

All humans are invited to contribute to this manifesto and to share its ideas, for the benefit of all humankind and nature.

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420 is a demand for change. Legalize hemp and cannabis worldwide now

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What 420 means, origin story

In 1971, five high school students in San Rafael, California, used the term in connection with a plan to search for an abandoned cannabis crop, based on a treasure map made by the grower (sounds like a movie waiting to happen). The group called themselves The Waldos, met after school at 4:20 PM, and were later popularised by High Times magazine. Now 420, 4/20 or 4:20 (pronounced four-twenty) is used as a general slang or codeword for smoking cannabis, and also represents April 20, an annual occasion for cannabis activities, including pro-legalization marches where it is still illegal.

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Is Europe a country? How the EU can thrive after coronavirus

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Is Europe a country?

No, Europe is not a country, and that’s the problem. Europe is landmass and some islands to the left of Asia, plus some far-flung colonial leftovers. The European Union is made up of 27 countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden. To complicate matters, not all EU member states are part of the Euro, which is a distinct currency. 19 EU countries use the Euro, in what is known as the Eurozone: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain.

The European Union loves existential crises

The EU seems to stumble from existential crisis to existential crisis, while failing to create and communicate Big Ideas. COVID-19 is just the latest, but this time real lives are at stake, not just banks’ balance sheets or trade with Britain.

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Beautiful news: Some cool stuff for you

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The world can and will be better soon. To deal with the coronavirus we need to minimise infections by social distancing, until the vaccine is produced and widely available. And the news is good, with curve-flattening measures working, and a vaccine formula innovated, just this week. Longer-term, people should be discouraged from eating wild animals, or animals from unhygienic markets. This is to ensure that Covid-19’s cousin doesn’t come along next. We’d need a new vaccine for that.

So let’s rethink how we do things, while recognising that the future is ours to build. Check out some of these three amazing things that will help shape your fabulous future. Ways to grow, cash to be won, and some beautiful news. Share the love and share your own great tips! Check back here often for more good news, or sign up for post alerts!

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Coronavirus forces us to replace chaos and fear with clarity and purpose

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Chaos, as a brand, is dead

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Trump’s brand is chaos. And we are easily distracted. As a species, we’re hard-wired to always look out for threats. We now seem to be at peak threat level, with existential crises ubiquitous. Climate change may yet cause the extinction of humanity. Terrorists and dictators threaten massacres and even nuclear war. Economies and stock markets are stalled or collapsing. And now a viral pandemic has the entire world on edge, on pause, or on the front lines against an invisible enemy that sweeps through cities like the angel of death.

So those are 4 significant threats hanging over pretty much everybody right now, kind of like the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. We are at risk of a malaise falling upon the world. But the good news is that all these problems are made by us, and can be fixed by us. We just need to recognise the origin of chaos and who benefits from it. Then we need to get up, stand up, do something different.

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Coronavirus tips: Stand up, wash your hands, be the hero

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The best Covid-19 coronavirus health advice: 1. Wash hands regularly. 2. Stay home if possible. 3. Cover sneezes and coughs. 4. Seek medical help if sick, calling your GP in the first instance.

We’re all about making it easier for everyone to become a hero

Heroism comes in many forms, such as providing leadership in work, at home, and in your community, challenging your own perceptions and ways of thinking, and looking after family and community. We need you to join us as we save the world from climate change. But we need to survive this virus first! So, here are our Covid-19 coronavirus tips…

Coronavirus top tips, Covid-19

While there may be little we can do to stop the Covid-19 coronavirus, we can help to reduce its impact until a vaccine is developed. This is called ‘flattening the curve’.

  1. Wash your hands with soap frequently. Always wash your hands when you enter your home or any other building. Use hand sanitizer. You there! Don’t touch your face!
  2. If your community has been advised to minimize social engagement, obey. Many countries are seeing complete lockdowns, while others are closing schools and cancelling large events. The coronavirus can be spread in the air and on surfaces, so clean door handles etc. regularly.
  3. Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue. Then dispose of the tissue properly and wash your hands. No tissue? Cough or sneeze into your elbow.
  4. If you feel unwell, stay at home! Contact your GP/doctor by phone or through their digital channels.
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Adam and Eve: The greatest lie prevents true equality

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“Adam and Eve is the greatest lie ever told. We were all female in the womb. So the male is made from the female, not the other way round. Always. Systemic inequality in law, religion and society is not just morally wrong, it’s Bronze Age, batshit crazy, and science disproves its basis. We must accept that our foundation stories are mostly lies. Or misogyny, the deluded punishment of all women for what Eve did in a story, will remain acceptable in most human societies.”

– Gary J Byrnes, March 2020.
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How to save the planet – Top 5 things you can do in 2020

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The world is sliding to hell in a handbasket and it can often seem overwhelming. Well, fear not. The time to start taking action to save the planet is now. Learn to take the spectre of imminent catastrophe in your stride by making a decisive difference. Arm yourself with these actions and be the hero…

1. Be aware of your carbon footprint, cut your emissions, save the planet

What is your carbon footprint? It is a measure of the amount of CO2 you help generate, mostly through your everyday choices. The average for industrialised countries is 11 tons of CO2 per person per year. The world average is 4 tons. The target for all of us? 2 tons. If you want to accurately measure your carbon footprint, this calculator from the WWF is a good start. If you fund the planting of just one acre of hemp with Readathriller, you pretty much offset your CO2 for a year, so watch out for our CO2 offset packages, coming soon. Meanwhile, use our CO2 offset calculator tools and buy some hemp seeds and away you go into an instantly more sustainable future.

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Facebook says no

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Facebook’s double standards: It bans our ‘Trump is the Antichrist’ ads but runs Trump’s re-election campaign lies

Can you believe these guys? “I had a look at your ad account and unfortunately we won’t be able to re-enable it.” Meanwhile, Facebook peddles Trump lies and disinformation with impunity. Maybe they thought our article on Trump being the Antichrist was serious. Well, it isn’t. It’s much bigger than that.

Read our article about Trump, Nostradamus, the Bible and the Antichrist, and how old stories can be twisted any way you want.

Facebook wants to ban this story

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What is climate change?

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Are the gods angry with us?

Nobody likes hurricanes or floods, fires or droughts. We offer up prayers to those affected, whether traumatised or killed. Sadly, prayers are completely useless in the face of nature. Nature doesn’t care about gods. It’s chemistry, biology and physics. Nature is what we constructed our god myths around. You could say that nature is our gods. So, are our gods angry?

What is climate change and what does global warming have to do with it?

If the climate is a god, we’ve made it angry by adding heat. Hotter oceans have more energy, so release more water vapour into the air. Hotter air holds more water. Hotter air melts ice caps, leading to higher ocean levels and more devastating storm surges. The melted ice cap water heats up and so the water cycle on steroids continues. This is very basic science, something that most 10 year-olds can grasp. But many older men in positions of power are unwilling or unable to grasp this inescapable, scientific truth. This is bad.

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Is Trump the Antichrist from Nostradamus and Bible predictions?

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Nostradamus, what can you tell us about the 21st century in your plaguey, medieval French dialect?

Was Nostradamus right? Our investigation will startle you

Is Donald Trump the Antichrist that Nostradamus predicted, and are we now in the ‘End Times’? You could be forgiven for thinking that the end of the world was upon us, with R.E.M.’s song sounding apt on the radio, some American Christians calling President Trump The Second Coming, and new Bible-scale catastrophes every day. Including actual plagues of locusts in East Africa. It would be hilarious if it wasn’t all so tragic. So what we’ve done is bring together some parts of the Book of Revelation from the Bible and some Nostradamus verses to see if these really are apocalyptic times. What can we learn from the stories of the past? Read on…

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Black and Tans, Ireland’s colonial history, Britain’s war crimes

Varadkar and Flanagan bow to Irish backlash over plan to commemorate British war crimes in Ireland

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Ireland’s prime minister, Leo Varadkar (pictured above, at right), and law and order minister, Charlie Flanagan, both from the Fine Gael political party, have been shamed into dropping a contentious commemoration of the Black and Tans and the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC). Blaming the Irish people – who pay his salary – for being immature, Varadkar has refused to stop digging himself deeper into a hole. Varadkar, who has never faced the electorate as prime minister*, and Flanagan planned to commemorate the RIC and the Black and Tans at a ceremony in Dublin Castle, former HQ of the British colonial forces in Ireland, on January 17, 2019.

*Update, 23/01/2020: A general election has been called in Ireland, to take place on 08/02/2020. Come back to Readathriller.com for news and updates.

Update, 14/05/2020: At time of writing, over 3 months after the election, Fine Gael is still in power, with Leo Varadkar still Prime Minister. No party won a majority and the vote went: 1. Sinn Fein 25%; 2. Fianna Fail 22%; 3. Fine Gael 21%. The parties have been unable to form a Government.

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The 2010s reviewed: 9/11; digital mind control; a global awakening on climate change

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2010s events. What happened?

Jesus wept. What a decade. While a ton of nasty shit went down in the 2010s, we must resist the temptation to wrap our minds up in binge-watched box sets. We can work harder to understand why things are the way they are, and actively embrace the ideas and actions that can make the world better at scale.

9/11 and the Long War

The Saudi regime has benefited most from the September 11, 2001 attacks on the USA. That nearly all the 9/11 hijackers were Saudi is pure coincidence. From Iraq to Syria to Libya, all its regional rivals are now in tatters. Only Iran remains, so expect that rivalry to keep getting hotter. The Arab Spring kicked off the decade, a groundswell of hope leading to only one successful transition to democracy: Tunisia. The Syrian War began in 2011, leading to the Islamic State (IS or ISIS) declaring a ‘worldwide caliphate’ in 2014. The caliphate lost its last pocket of territory in Syria in 2019, and its leader al-Baghdadi was also killed. Who funded and inspired IS? The finger has been pointed at Qatar, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. As is usual in these cases, follow the money, look at who has benefited most from Islamic State’s despicable, hardline Sunni Islam philosophy and the current disarray in the Middle East.

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Guernica by Picasso and climate change

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Can art save us from catastrophe?

I was in Madrid for the first time in November 2019, just before COP25, and was blown away by the food and the art. Picasso’s Guernica, in the Museo Reina Sofia, was the main event, a stunning depiction of man’s stupidity stripped bare. When the COP25 UN Climate Change Conference was moved to Madrid, the art’s symbolism was even more pronounced. So we must ask, can art save us from catastrophe? Or is it too late?

Guernica by Picasso

If you’ve been disappointed by little Mona Lisa in the Louvre, fear not. Guernica really does live up to the hype. It’s enormous, in a room on its own in the fabulous Museo Reina Sofia, and without hordes of annoying tourists elbowing their way to the front. You can really take the time to enjoy the work, which was painted by Picasso in his Cubist style, with multiple meanings and impressions to be drawn from its monochrome fabulousness. Painted in 1937, Picasso created what is the greatest anti-war work of art and possibly the great work of art of the 20th century. Sadly, the Spanish Civil War ended in a fascist victory. Picasso stated that Guernica would not return to Spain until his homeland was once again a republic. Picasso died in 1973, and the Spanish dictator Franco died in 1975, when Spain became a constitutional monarchy. MOMA in New York was in possession of Guernica at that time and argued that a monarchy was not truly a republic, so the painting should not return to Spain. This was a very fair point. But MOMA relented, and Guernica returned to Spain in 1981.

What can Guernica tell us?

Guernica was a doomed attempt to draw the world’s attention to the horrors of the Spanish War. The painting depicts the 1937 bombing of the Basque town of Guernica by Nazi and Italian fascist bombers. The work has a huge, brooding presence and is full of horrors, both seen and unseen. This was Spain saying to the world: “Our democratically-elected Government is being overthrown by fascists and the Germans have no hesitation in wading in, visiting death from our skies. Think where this could end up!”

It ended up in World War Two, the greatest conflict in human history. Yet many could see it coming. We are now at our Guernica moment on the climate. COP25 aims to put a robust carbon-trading system in place so that we can pull back from the brink of a 2C degree temperature rise. We welcome this policy, as our goal is to make trading in hemp CO2 offsets as easy as ordering a pizza. We look forward to working with the UN, and partners all over the world, to make our vision a reality: We will end the climate crisis by using plants to absorb CO2.

And that’s a vision we believe is worth fighting for.


Update, 20 December 2019

Cancel the ‘burning twenties’

COP25, the Madrid climate conference was a failure. Because of a lot of misunderstandings, selfishness and confusion, we’re headed for a temperature increase of 3C by 2030. Our mission here is to prevent a 2 degrees C increase in global temperature by planting hemp on 5% of land. A 2C increase is considering the tipping point. So a projected 3C rise would be disastrous. We must redouble our efforts. Let’s make sure that the new decade isn’t referred to by future historians as the ‘burning twenties’.

If we don’t do something more, our world will literally and metaphorically go up in smoke.


Learn more

COP25 website: https://unfccc.int/cop25

#COP25 on Twitter: https://twitter.com/hashtag/cop25?lang=en

Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guernica_(Picasso)

Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Museo_Nacional_Centro_de_Arte_Reina_Sof%C3%ADa

Our vision


Credits

Guernica by PICASSO, la exposición del Reina-Prado. Guernica is in the collection of Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid. Source page: http://www.picassotradicionyvanguardia.com/08R.php (archive.org), Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1683114