Friday, May 30, 2008

Bald? Not really.

You know, it's strange. I seem to have started shaving my head.

Now, let me be clear about one thing. I'm not going bald. (Wow. That really sounds like somebody going bald trying to justify their decision, doesn't it?)

But I'm not. I still have a full head of hair. If anything, it grows too well. You see, I normally don't pay attention to my hair. It's that stuff on top of my head that I ignore, for the most part. I wash it in the morning, I brush it, and then I leave it alone.

But now I'm shaving it. Plus, I got an earring. So either I'm not comfortable with my masculinity, or I'm going through a midlife crisis. Which means that next, I've got to buy a sports car and start picking up women in bars.

Christ, I don't want a sports car! Lousy mileage, and I can only imagine how much my insurance would go up.

See, I left the military right after John Kerry admitted defeat. Since then, I think I've gotten two haircuts. My wife, as it turns out, grew up on a college campus in the Sixties and Seventies, and prefers longer hair. So I, being the dutiful husband that I am, let my hair grow out. You might or might not know, but the Air Force insisted that I get it cut roughly every month or so, to keep it from looking shaggy. So I did. I never really thought about it. It was just something I did. Since I left the military and now work in a hospital, I didn't have to get my hair cut every eight weeks, like clockwork. In fact, maybe I let it grow a little too long.

And from what I can tell, I'm the only person who doesn't pay attention to my hair.

So, almost two months ago, one of my co-workers asked a question that would prove to be important. Ericka Acosta, one of our Human Resources ladies, asked "So what's the deal with the hair? Are you protesting something?"

I'd never thought about it like that. I mean, I saw Hair. I've heard the title song from that play (umm... for those of you who didn't work that one out on your own, that would be "Hair," which was a hit for the Cowsills in 1969). I remember at least two versions of the song "Signs," (the original, by the Five Man Electrical Band, and later by Tesla, for their Five Man Acoustical Jam) where the first verse goes:
And the sign said "Long-haired freaky people need not apply"
So I tucked my hair up under my hat and I went in to ask him why
He said "You look like a fine upstanding young man, I think you'll do"
So I took off my hat, I said "Imagine that. Me! Workin' for you!"
But I never thought of growing my hair as a protest to anything. (Except maybe the price of haircuts. That seems pretty obvious.)

But I filed my retirement papers in early 2004. And I've had a couple of haircuts since then, but in the last two years, I think I've only had one. Not because I didn't need one, but because I just don't think about it. At least, not my own: I'll admire a nice head of hair on somebody else, I'll make fun of a stupid hairstyle, but for the most part, I don't think about the unshorn shrubbery on top of my own skull. It just doesn't interest me that much.

But "are you protesting something?" was exactly the question asked by Ms. Acosta. I hadn't thought about it like that. And it seemed like a good opportunity. So I decided to make a fund-raiser out of it. I set up a quick flyer: the first attempt had a tie-dyed background and read:
Shave the hippie!
Let your inner 1960’s Young Republican run free!
You’ve seen him wandering the halls with his unshorn locks, and you know you want to teach him a lesson!

For every $1 donated, you get one chance to be the one to run the clippers over his patchouli-scented head!
If you don’t want to do it yourself, you can either volunteer another barber, or you can have our handy staff of Chief Administrators do it (and trust me, they’ve been waiting for this moment for far too long).
See ___people__ to buy a chance to run the clippers
The ceremonial shaving will be held at ___time__ on ___date__ in the cafeteria
That didn't go over too well. Basically, we have this doctor who's got fairly long hair, and some concern was expressed that people might think that we were talking about him. So that one went down in flames.

My next choice was more obviously not about Dr Dorf (yes, that's his name). I took pictures of myself, and went with a more self-deprecating attitude. (I won't even try to format the thing - it was a letter-sized poster with the pictures down one side, if you're seriously into layouts.)
No sense of style

No fashion sense

No peripheral vision

You’ve seen him wandering the halls.
You’ve asked "What’s the deal with the hair?"


For every $1 donated, you get one chance to be the one to run the clippers over his head!

If you don’t want to do it yourself, you can either volunteer another barber, or you can have the handy staff from administration do it (and trust me, they’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time).

See ___people__ to buy a chance to run the clippers (or to admire his fine head of hair for the last time)

The ceremonial shaving will be held in the cafeteria
at 2:30 p.m.
Friday, 16 May

All proceeds will be donated to the Barrett House, providing emergency and short-term shelter to homeless women and children.
At first, that had read "if we can raise $100 in a week" - then it read "less than a week." Finally, when I was starting to think that our CEO preferred the long-haired look, the approval came down. So I changed it to "in three days," and we went with it.

For the first two days, money rolled in relatively well. Along with a lot of people asking, "are you really going to do that?" I pulled in almost $90. And I had a lot of people who made snide little comments like "Hey, I'm going to make sure you're bald by tomorrow." The word "scalp" kept getting used - I'm not sure that everybody had my best interests at heart. But I even went out and bought a pair of clippers (here's one place where I cheated a little - I took $20 from the donations and paid for the clippers that way; hey, I may not be in a minimum-wage job, but I ain't rich, either).

On Friday morning, I sent out an email to all the department managers.
As I’ve been asked this question several times, I suppose an update is in order.

The challenge has been out for two days. At this point, we have not averaged fifty dollars per day. By all appearances, I will be going home tonight with the same amount of hair I came to work with.

Barrett House will still be getting the money. (Here’s a link to the Barrett House website.) And they may get the unopened clippers I bought last night, since I apparently won’t need them.

And perhaps in a month or two, somebody could teach me to braid my hair. That’s not a skill I ever needed before.
That worked moderately well in getting me some donations, but I thought I'd spend a little while drumming up business. I went to every person who'd made some kind of joke at my expense (OK, at the expense of my hair), and said "You know, you talked a lot of trash, but it's strange - there hasn't been a lot of money coming out of your department. I guess you like the long-haired look, don't you?"

This worked even better - I had a lot of people writing me checks on the spot. (OK, technically I had them write the checks to "Barrett House" - that seemed like the right way to deal with it.) And by a little after noon, I had over $300, all given by people hoping to see me go bald by the end of the day. And for every dollar donated, I had a roll of two-part tickets - one half went to the person as kind of a receipt that they couldn't use for their taxes (but we could do a manual recount later of anybody suspected wrongdoing - hey, we aren't Florida), and the other half went into a bowl, so we could draw the name of our lucky barber.

The stunning part happened around one o'clock. One of the anesthetists who works for the hospital (he actually commutes from his home in another state, so he's doing pretty well, I'm thinking) was waiting for me when I came back from lunch. He handed me a check, and said, "I just want to make sure that you get a haircut. I don't really want to cut it myself, though." And he walked away. Leaving me looking at a check for a thousand dollars.

I didn't know what to say. I was stunned. (I was also a little bit thankful that he didn't want tickets, because there weren't a thousand left on the roll.) I spent the next hour almost in shock, getting everything ready for end of the day.

At 2:15, I dialed the number to make an overhead announcement to the entire hospital. "Ladies and gentlemen, the barber will be in, in the smoking area, in fifteen minutes." (Technically, I was supposed to get permission from the boss before I used the overhead - I didn't. Feel free to arrest me. I have to admit, I still wasn't thinking clearly.)

All told, we raised $1,333 for the Barrett House.

Since then, I've had a surprisingly large number of women tell me I look good like this. Unfortunately for them, my wife doesn't like the shaved head look. And I have to admit, I don't think much of it either. I've had 2 weeks now, and still don't like the way it looks. Part of that might be psychological, of course: particularly in the military, most of the people who shaved their heads came in two categories:
1. Men who were going bald and weren't honest enough to admit it, and

2. Closet homosexuals who worked out way too much, flexed whenever they passed a mirror, and were generally setting themselves up to be dragged out of an airport restroom, loudly proclaiming how they just had a "wide stance."
So I'm most likely not going to be continuing to shave my head.

But my CEO, after she announced the final total, said to me, "So, you're going to let it grow back so we can do this again next year?"

Well, two things. First, I'm thinking that it might take two years to get to a length that people will pay to see cut off.

And second, I don't see how I'm ever going to be able to match one-and-a-third thousand dollars.

Update: (June 14, 2008) As it turns out, I left out an important detail - the "after" picture. And my daughter (who, it turns out, also has a blog - although one with significantly less politics, but a lot more pictures) has rectified this issue.

Oh, yeah. By the way: Nix? I notice.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Another loving look at John McCain

I'm not sure if you've noticed, but the mainstream press seems unwilling to look at Mr. McCain with anything but long, loving soulful expressions on their faces. Their love affair with him seems to be helped by the fact that he's essentially running unopposed, since, for much of the time, Clinton and Obama only have eyes for each other.

But it's odd, because there's just so much to work with there.

In the last few months, John decided to prove that he really had no idea what was going on in the Middle East. For example, he kept repeating a fascinating viewpoint he’d developed about the ceasefire in Iraq. See, Maliki (the Prime Minister of Iraq) went to Muqtada al Sadr (leader of the primary opposition army), and brokered a ceasefire. Mostly because Maliki and his boys were getting their butts kicked and all, but, you know, the basic point is that Maliki went to Sadr.

So, what does our boy Johnny have to say about this?
It was al-Sadr that declared the ceasefire, not Maliki. … With respect, I don’t think Sadr would have declared the ceasefire if he thought he was winning. Most times in history, military engagements, the winning side doesn’t declare the ceasefire. The second point is, overall, the Iraqi military performed pretty well. … The military is functioning very effectively.
Yeah, John. Very effective. Unless you count the thousand Iraqi soldiers who deserted or refused to fight.

He also tried to use the Middle East to attack Obama, saying that Hamas is rooting for a win by Obama. Well, let's consider that.

Obama's position is that Hamas is a terrorist organization, and "we should not talk to them unless they recognize Israel, renounce violence and are willing to abide by previous accords” that Israel has negotiated with its neighbors and with the Palestine Liberation Organization.

Because this is the most reasonable thing Hamas has heard from Washington recently, one of their political advisors, Ahmed Yousef, said "We like Mr. Obama., and we hope that he will win the election... I do believe that Mr. Obama is like John Kennedy, a great man with great principles. He has a vision to change America, to make it in a position to lead the world community, but not with domination and arrogance."

The McCain camp immediately started screaming about a Hamas endorsement of Obama, and implying that Obama is "soft on terrorism."

Of course, since McCain, just two years ago, said that Hamas was a democratically-elected government and we should negotiate with them, doesn't that make McCain look a little hypocritical? Just a little?

And, you know, if we really wanted to look into this situation, consider Pinochet or Idi Amin. For that matter, consider America's attitude toward Saddam Hussain during the Iran-Iraq war, when we were selling him weapons (including those very "Weapons of Mass Destruction" that we made so much noise about five years ago). America has a long tradition of negotiating with thugs and terrorists, when the terrorists also happen to be the legitimate government of a country.

On second thought, let's not get into that. It makes your head hurt.

Domestically, Ol’ Grandpa Johnny has also been busy proving one of two things: either somebody on his staff just wasn’t doing their research, or McCain was trying to singlehandedly wipe the phrase “compassionate conservative” from the playbook. He stood in front of a factory in Youngstown, Ohio, and told people to reject the “siren song of protectionism,” and embrace free trade.

He’d met all of the factory workers shortly before he spoke. It didn’t take long: there were only five of them. A few years ago, there were hundreds. Seems like he could have considered that before starting his remarks.
The hardships are all too real in Youngstown. The city has lost more than 40,000 jobs since its signature steel industry collapsed in the 1970s and '80s. Its population is less than half its peak of 170,000 in the 1950s. About 25 percent of those who remain live below the poverty line.
Because there’s nothing that the unemployed like better than to hear about American jobs being shipped overseas.

McCain’s people also didn’t always consider their remarks very carefully, either. McCain went to a place called Gee’s Bend, Alabama , trying to appeal to black voters. Which is great, but sometimes history conflicts oddly with the past. Like with the unintentional irony from the local RNC spokeperson.
A federal grant allowed the ferry to reopen in 2006 — 44 years after county leaders closed it to keep the black residents of Gee's Bend from crossing the river to the county seat to push for civil rights. Without the ferry, Camden was an 80-mile round trip.

"The ferry he will be riding is very important to that community. It's both a good and terrible symbol. It's good that it now exists, but it's terrible it took so long to build it," said Katie Wright, regional spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee.
Did you catch that problem? It's kind of subtle – you see, the ferry was built with congressional earmarks (that would be the "federal grant" they mentioned). And McCain has said that we need to do away with earmarks.

The best stuff that McCain gives us, like with most politicians, is when he contradicts himself. Like last month.
John McCain, on Tuesday:
"I propose that the federal government suspend all taxes on gasoline now paid by the American people -- from Memorial Day to Labor Day of this year. The effect will be an immediate economic stimulus.... [B]ecause the cost of gas affects the price of food, packaging, and just about everything else, these immediate steps will help to spread relief across the American economy."
John McCain, on Thursday:
"I think psychologically, a lot of our problems today are psychological -- confidence, trust, uncertainty about our economic future, ability to keep our own home. [A gas-tax holiday] might give 'em a little psychological boost. Let's have some straight talk: it's not a huge amount of money.... A little psychological boost. That's what I think [a gas-tax holiday] would help."
So, which is it, a seasonal tax cut that will serve as "an immediate economic stimulus," or a gimmick to alleviate our "psychological" problems?
Of course, McCain also says that the best way to keep Americans from getting their homes foreclosed on is by “working a second job, skipping a vacation, and managing their budgets.” (Easy to say when your outstanding bills are all paid by your millionaire beer-heiress wife. Not that I’m saying he’s elitist or anything…)

Weirdly enough, Hillary jumped on the gas-tax bandwagon, despite the fairly obvious long-term problems: less money to maintain an already-crumbling national infrastructure of roads and bridges; increased use of gas, leading to (guess what?) higher gas prices; you know, the simple stuff that any economist could point out in seconds. But I haven't been impressed with Hillary's behavior lately, anyway.

He also gets all cranky about Obama’s old pastor, the Reverend Wright. Of course, that doesn’t mean that McCain isn’t going to actively seek endorsement by catholic-hating gay bashers like John Hagee.

Of course, Hagee recently wrote a letter apologizing for his many decades of calling the Catholic Church "the Great Whore" and a "false cult system." So I guess that's all right now, right? On the other hand, as ThinkProgress points out,
But anti-Catholic comments are not the only reason Hagee has sparked controversy. Just last month, he reiterated his prior claim that Hurricane Katrina was punishment to New Orleans for hosting a gay pride parade. Though he appeared to back away from the claim after McCain called it "nonsense," he re-embraced it last week on a conference call with religious supporters.

Will Hagee issue a similar letter to the gay community pledging "a greater level of compassion and respect for my gay brothers and sisters in Christ?"

Update: Josh Marshall asks: "Can we now get him to explain the part about God using Muslim terrorists to create bloodbaths in our streets because the US supports a two-state solution in Israel-Palestine?"
Yeah, so an intelligent person might suggest that McCain should probably repudiate Hagee, much like Obama did when Wright proved unstable. But McCain doesn't seem to show any interest in that. Go figure.

Oh, and one more thing. I keep seeing things referring to John McCain as a "war hero." Well, you know something? It's weird, but let's look at the record.
Every two hours, one guard would hold McCain while two others beat him. They kept it up for four days.

Finally, McCain lay on the floor at "The Plantation," a bloody mess, unable to move. His right leg, injured when he was shot down, was horribly swollen. A guard yanked him to his feet and threw him down. His left arm smashed against a bucket and broke again.

"I reached the lowest point of my 5½ years in North Vietnam," McCain would write later. "I was at the point of suicide."

What happened next, in that August of 1968, nearly a year after he was captured, is chronicled in The Nightingale's Song by Robert Timberg:

"(McCain) looked at the louvered cell window high above his head, then at the small stool in the room. He took off his dark blue prison shirt, rolled it like a rope, draped one end over his shoulder near his neck, began feeding the other end through the louvers."

A guard burst into the cell and pulled McCain away from the window. For the next few days, he was on suicide watch.

McCain's will had finally wilted under the beatings. Unable to endure any more, he agreed to sign a confession.

McCain slowly wrote, "I am a black criminal and I have performed the deeds of an air pirate. I almost died and the Vietnamese people saved my life, thanks to the doctors."
Well, yeah, it's a horrible story. It's horrendous. It also shows two very important points.

First, it shows, very clearly, that a confession taken under torture should not be accepted as fact. With this one anecdote, John McCain has proven why George Bush's policies toward the terrorists should be resisted with every fiber in our being.

And it shows one other thing. One that nobody in the mainstream media seems to be willing to point out. (A few fringe fanatics have noticed it, but they're rarely taken seriously.) In making his statement, John McCain broke the military Code of Conduct. See, that's something that was established in 1955 by Dwight D. Eisenhower, and it states, in part, that "When questioned, should I become a prisoner of war, I am required to give only name, rank, service number, and date of birth. I will evade answering further questions to the utmost of my ability. I will make no oral or written statements disloyal to my country and its allies or harmful to their cause."

It's pretty simple. John McCain broke the Code of Conduct. And as soon as somebody can convince me that the Swiftboat Veterans for "Truth" would not eviscerate a Democrat who behaved in this manner, I'll be willing to give John McCain a break on this issue. Until then, I'm quite willing to say that, according to the standards set up by his very own Republican Party, John McCain is a coward and a traitor, and not suitable to be the President of the United States.

Personally, I don't believe this to be the truth. I think that it shows that John McCain is a flawed human being, just like the rest of us. But let me emphasize one important phrase in that last paragraph: "according to the standards set up by his very own Republican Party, John McCain is a coward and a traitor, and not suitable to be the President of the United States."

Can someone please explain to me why I might be wrong in this?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Keeping It Real # 7 by Levy Lee Simon

Levy Lee Simon is a playwright in LA (and occasionally New York), who does not blog himself. Instead, he sends out emails which could essentially be blog entries, like the following.

He'd probably like me to mention that his workshop for screenwriters, playwrights and actors will begin in early June and run through August - contact him at jazzlion05 -AT-

(for those of you that don't know me, I am a Black man from Harlem USA)

OK, it's been a while since I wrote my last commentary and many people have wondered why. Besides being extremely busy in the early part of the year with Same Train and The Guest at Central Park West productions in NYC, I have been in a bit of awe at the history happening right before our eyes in the form of the democratic primary.

However, with the recent developments surrounding Rev. Jeremiah Wright, it's time I speak out. I for one am appalled by Rev. Wright's actions. Yes, he is a very dynamic person in his own right. He pastored a thriving church in a vital Black community for over thirty years and that is not an easy plight. He has been out-spoken about the condition of the Black community in white America and has not held back on what some have cited as ridiculous claims, but claims none of us can ignore. The possibilities are real in everything he says no matter how outlandish some of his accusations may sound. He is articulate, courageous, fearless, militant, and highly intelligent. He is everything white America fears in a Black person. So why am I appalled?

Why would a man of the cloth, a man with a deep understanding of Black America, a deep understanding of America's attempts to ruin the chances of the first legitimate Black candidate in the tumultuous history of this country? Barack Obama's campaign is beyond historic, it's evolutionary. Barack's candidacy and potential presidency can change the world at a time when the world's perception of its very own identity is in a quagmire. After four hundred years of American slavery and another hundred years of fighting for civil and human rights, we have reached a point where a Black man is winning primaries in places like Idaho, Utah, Iowa and South Carolina. I don't know about any of you, but Barack's candidacy speaks volumes regarding the present state of mind of our country. By no means does his candidacy proclaim that issues of racism and hatred no longer exist, but you have to admit it's a far cry from the days of Rosa Parks, ML King, and Malcolm.

So why would a man of Rev. Wright's understanding take the chance to ruin what promises to be one of the most historic moments in American history? And please, I don't want to hear the bull about how he had to stand up for himself and that his legacy was relegated to a sound bite which he needed to clarify; that is not nearly enough of a reason. That reasoning only points to a self-serving egomaniac.

Rev. Wright has been preaching the same diatribe that most Blacks have heard before. It may have been a shock for certain white conservatives to hear it publicly, but I am sure that the majority of white liberals have heard the claims about the government creation of AIDS, of government responsibility, guilt and influence in the Middle-East situation, and planned genocide of the Black community through educational and judicial means. In today's world many whites and Blacks have developed strong relationships as friends, lovers, and spouses; so no one can make me believe that whites have not heard the claims that Rev. Wright aired in his demonstrative speeches that were deemed so shocking by both conservatives and Hillary Clinton.

Rev. Wright's comments were not that shocking. I know I speak freely among my white friends about my feelings and concerns about the world that definitely includes racism.

It seems that there's certain percentage of the population that will stop at nothing to stop Obama. Hillary Clinton's campaign is that of a desperate person that will stop at nothing to derail Barack. Her accusations that Barack is elitist are laughable. However, her strategy was and is clever. The poor and working class whites in Pennsylvania were not going to vote for Obama anyway. So she used a ploy that people bought into as to why they didn't vote for him by reversing something he said that was very real. People are bitter. And during tough times, people do resort to the Bible or the gun. It's as clear as American history. During slavery when we Blacks had nowhere else to look, we looked to God; and when whites had no where else to look when trying to maintain the system of slavery, they looked to the gun; resulting in a civil war. You can't get more plain than that. It's historical. Yet Hillary cleverly turned it around. The thing is, I feel Obama is holding back. I am not smarter than he is but it's easier for me to point to these realities that it is from him because people are waiting for more stuff to use against him.

Back to Rev. Wright: what did the world gain by Rev. Wright's performances, as Barack so aptly coined them? Barack gained nothing. The only person that may have gained anything from Rev. Wright 's speeches was Rev. Wright. And who cares, other than Rev. Wright? I thought a man of the cloth was supposed to be blessed with insight, knowledge, perseverance, and resiliency. You mean to tell me that he couldn't have waited to make his statements, knowing that his statements would hurt Barack, a man who refused to throw him under the bus initially, and is now being criticized because he didn't? Rev. Wright suffers from a huge ego and what's worse, jealousy and envy. He is the epitome of the crab in the barrel. It's a damn shame but African and African American history is littered with similar cases. Toussaint L'Overture was met with treason from his own backers in 1802, so was Dessalines and Henri Christophe during the Haitian Revolution and Independence. Nat Turner, Gabriel Prossor and Denmark Vessey were all turned in by their own. And let us not forget Malcolm! What is it about us that is to ominously spiteful?

I know there will be many that will disagree with me but look at the facts. Some white liberal wrote "at least Rev. Wright stood up for himself" but where does that get us? He put himself before his congregation, his community and his people. He is a small man who will come to see how small in the very near future. I just hope that Barack's candidacy is not the price we have to pay for him to see how small he is. But then again, people like Rev. Wright really don't care. He could care less than a flying you know what. For all of his parishioners, I sincerely hope you can see the light because if he doesn't care about Barack what in the hell does he care about you getting into heaven? Did you tithe this month? But then again, with the proceeds from his book sales and speaking engagements tithes will get you nowhere with Rev. Wright (who, by the way, is so WRONG).

All of us need to denounce Rev. Jeremiah White. When I say "all," that is what I mean: Blacks, Whites, Latinos, and Asians who do not want to see the evolutionary process dismantled by a crab in a barrel.

~~ Levy Lee Simon

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Bummer, man. The Acid Doc checked out.

Albert Hofman, developer of LSD, died Tuesday at his hilltop home near Basel, Switzerland. Unlike what most of his critics would prefer to think, his death was not drug-related. He had a heart attack at the age of 102.

So, apparently, drugs can't always kill you. Take that, Partnership for a Drug-Free America.
Dr. Hofmann first synthesized the compound lysergic acid diethylamide in 1938 but did not discover its psychopharmacological effects until five years later, when he accidentally ingested the substance that became known to the 1960s counterculture as acid.

He then took LSD hundreds of times, but regarded it as a powerful and potentially dangerous psychotropic drug that demanded respect. More important to him than the pleasures of the psychedelic experience was the drug’s value as a revelatory aid for contemplating and understanding what he saw as humanity’s oneness with nature. That perception, of union, which came to Dr. Hofmann as almost a religious epiphany while still a child, directed much of his personal and professional life.
More accurately, while working for Sandoz Laboratories (now Novartis) as a chemical scientist, he began studying the medicinal plant squill and the fungus ergot in order to purify and synthesize active components for use in drugs. Hofmann first synthesized LSD-25 in 1938, and set it aside until April 16, 1943. While re-synthesizing the LSD, he accidentally "ingested" a dose through his fingertips and took the first acid trip. Three days later, Hofmann dropped 250 micrograms of LSD before his bicycle ride home. This was followed by a series of self-experiments conducted by Hofmann and his colleagues. (One can speculate about the scientific validity of these "experiments," but why bother?)

However, despite the passing of its inventor, LSD is set to make a comeback. And legally, this time.
Swiss medical authorities have given a doctor approval to carry out LSD-assisted psychotherapy trials on patients suffering from advanced-stage cancer and other terminal illnesses.

This will be the first government-approved study looking into LSD's therapeutic benefits on humans in over 35 years.
Dr. Hofman (no relation, incidentally, to Abbie Hoffman, the notorious sixties radical) also wrote a book on the subject, LSD, My Problem Child (available in digital form here).