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May 22, 2015

Philip K Dick, Jack Kerouac, and Pauline Kael

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 12:33 pm

Broke fense

Scribes for the Amalgamated Conspiracy Theory Factory are going all out with no restrictions on overtime over the confluence of the biker fracas in Waco, the potential for retaliation against the local gendarmes, and the fuss over the potential for Jude Helms to provide an opportunity to install martial law in the USA, they have been feverishly pumping out polysyllabic diatribes alerting the unsuspecting populace to the conclusion this ain’t just another conspiracy theory but is a genuine heads-up for a real approaching catastrophe for the inhabitants of the land of the free. As far as consternation is concerned when the Supreme Court of the United States announces its decision concerning gay marriage, the supporters for the losing contingent to overact and start the long hot summer early.

Writing and Berkeley go together like printing and “roll change!” so it is with great anticipation that we prepare for next weekend’s “Bay Area Book Festival” (to be held in Berkeley [Goodgle hint: BayBookFest dot org]) in partnership with the San Francisco Chronicle” to be held on June 6 and 7, and since, in the past, we have greatly enjoyed the Los Angeles Times’ Book Fair when it was held on the campus of UCLA, we expect to get some good photos and to gather material for a great column from the similar Nor Cal event.

The pioneering underground newspaper the Berkeley Barb started publication in August of 1965, and so we will try to cover any anniversary events commemorating that milestone in the pop culture milieu. For more on the subject of underground newspapers read “Smoking Typewriters” by John McMillian.

A comprehensive history of Berkeley’s literary heritage would take a massive amount of fact-checking to compile. Suffice it to say that some of the most prominent entries would be those for Philip K. Dick, Jack Kerouac, and Pauline Kael.

Due to some clever machinations Philip K. Dick used to feed his family, the Lucky Dog Pet store (formerly on San Pablo) provided the inspiration for starving artist type awards.

According to a story we saw in the Berkeley Daily Planet, some time ago, Jack Kerouac was living in Berkeley when he had his first bookstore encounter seeing “On the Road” for sale.

We have not yet fact-checked the assertion that the Berkeley home for film critic Pauline Kael may be declared a historic site.

Promoting book sales is getting increasingly difficult in the digital era, and that has led to a rather interesting development that illustrates the premise that having a sense of humor is becoming an extinct trait in the realm of pop culture in the USA. The world’s laziest journalist has approached several book stores (and one museum) with the idea that our effort would be aimed at promoting the autobiography we intend to write some day.

The response was near apoplectic because the book store managers want a speaker with a product to promote. Apparently the fact that we could promote various books which have influenced our attempt to travel the world, meet interesting personalities, and cross various experiences off out Bucket List, didn’t occur to them.

Craig, at Vagabond Books of Los Angeles, was asked to authenticate a signed hard cover edition of “On the Road,” and after he learned that on the night Jack Kerouac was on the Tonight Show to promote his new book, and since one of the other guests was Marilyn Monroe, reputed to be an avid reader, Craig authenticated the autographed book with an exotic history.

The World’s Laziest Journalist was very influenced by that book and was trying to emulate Kerouac when we walked out to the western edge of Chambersburg Pa. and stuck out a thumb and said: “San Francisco, here I come!”

To adequately promote our hypothetical autobiography, we would have to give credit to a vast array of books, but alas and alack, this elaborate ego-boost is not meant to be.

Our unsuccessful attempts to land a speaking gig has provided anecdotal evidence that the beatnik trait of pulling off elaborate pranks is now extinct.

In a similar vein (as the vampires say), when we heard the Getty and Armstrong radio show expressing their bafflement over the fact that John Hinckley may become the first person to be paroled after attempting to assassinate one of America’s Presidents.

We wanted to fwd the information that we have heard reports that Hinckley’s father was employed by Haliburton and was a close associate of Dick Cheney and that might explain the lenient treatment for the man who murdered Jim Brady. Our efforts to contact the radio show hosts was inconclusive and so (unless they stumble across this column) they will remain blissfully unaware of the need to fact check that possible explanation of the “kid glove treatment” that most Presidential assassins are denied.

“The Establishment” has various methods of filtering out information which might foster resentment or animosity towards the one percent, and so the World’s Laziest Journalist is forced to rely on intuition, hunches, and a massive amount of “show prep” to find material to use in our columns.

Occasionally we luck out and can relate personal experiences as a way of explaining our line of reasoning that has led to our hunches and expectations. For example, it may sound preposterous for an online political pundit in Berkeley to apply for press credentials to cover the next installment of the Oscar Awards Ceremony, but how many of the press corps who will have access to that event will be able to compare and contrast it to what happened backstage when “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” collected numerous gold statuettes? We hope that the unique qualification of being able assess how much the event has changed in the last forty years will be a trump card and get us the opportunity to take another look at the famous news event.

If we had not yet celebrated our 28th birthday, we would be lean and hungry as afar as achieving career boost scoops is concerned, but since we have no such long-term goals on our “to-do list,” we have no compelling need to even try to contact our grade school classmate, Joe Biden (first and second grade at St. Paul’s in Scranton) and ask him a “gottcha” question.

Recently the Isis forces held a victory parade and the precision of the drone strikes has been repeatedly reported in American media, but (to the best of our effort to ascertain it) no TV talking head has mused about why no drone strikes were used to decimate the victory parade.

If (subjunctive mood alert!) our claim that the World’s Laziest Journalist election desk’s decision to make the call that JEB has won the 2016 Presidential Election is prescient, we might be perceived as being clairvoyant, but no mainstream media writer has the leeway to make such a claim.

If JEB wins; and if the mainstream media will be required to report that it was (in retrospect) a referendum on Dubya’s war policies (just as Dubya said after it was completed, that the 2004 election also was), then Americans will be presented that conclusion on a “take it or leave it” basis. There would be no alternative assessment of the win available.

If that is a unique insight, we are entitled to say “Taaah-dah!” If not, we can just shrug it off. We don’t get much chance to see TV commentators, so we can shrug it off and say: “S’en loi, G. I.!”

When Berkeley resident/author Michael Parenti was told about the topic for this column, he responded that by saying that it would be a propitious opportunity for us to plug his newest book, “Profit Pathology and other indecencies.” We concurred.

[Note from the Photo Editor: we used art done by the Berkeley artist known as Broke as an illustration for this week’s column.]

The most famous quote to come out of Berkeley was: “Never trust anyone over thirty.”

Disk jockey will play Vera Lynn’s “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square,” Simon and Garfunkel’s “Mrs. Robinson,” and Alice Cooper’s School’s out!” We have to go and fact check the assertion that Jack London was (briefly) a student at UCB.   Have a sesquipedalian type week.

crop more beer notched neg

May 19, 2015

American Regime: 10 reasons why America is now a “Regime”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 10:44 am

We are constantly seeing and hearing our American media use the word “Regime” these days. So exactly what is a “Regime”? Apparently it is whatever you want it to be.

Whenever Wall Street and/or War Street want to vilify a country that disagrees with their policies of occupation and exploitation, they always begin their vilification program by calling that country’s form of government a “Regime”.

Here are some examples: Syria is a “Regime” — even though it has a constitution, holds elections and almost all Syrians support its president, Bashar Assad. Gaddafi in Libya also operated a “Regime” — even though his government offered the kind of free education and healthcare benefits to its citizens that most Americans can only dream about. Cuba was (and still is) considered a “Regime” in the eyes of Wall Street and War Street. Putin also runs a “Regime” — even though most Russians today support him totally.

In reverse, Saudi Arabia is not a “Regime” — even though the House of Saud uses torture, suppresses decent, beheads people, treats women badly, brutally invades other countries and supports Al Qaeda and ISIS. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article41834.htm

The House of Saud has spent over a trillion $$$$ of its enormous petro-dollar wealth over the last half-century on killing people and being despotic. Just imagine what the Middle East would look like right now if the Saudis had chosen butter instead of guns. What a waste. And yet Saudi Arabia is still not considered to be a “Regime” by American media. https://candobetter.net/node/4421

Israel never gets called a “Regime” either — even though it supplied Iran with weapons back when Khomeini was holding Americans hostage and it kills Palestinian children with impunity, foments wars whenever possible, runs secret torture prisons, is a neo-colonialist in the worst sort of way, appears to even be anti-Jewish, uses 9-11 to its advantage and has notoriously corrupt leaders. http://buchanan.org/blog/our-next-mideast-war-syria-15984

And now America seems to have become a “Regime” as well — even though nobody ever dares to call it by that name. But if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck….

Here are at least ten reasons that cause me to suspect that Wall Street and War Street are running a “Regime” here in America too:

Reason No. 1: Torture. Black sites. Rendition. Indefinite detention of Americans. Stuff like that. Our tax dollars at work.

Reason No. 2: No one is ever allowed to examine (let alone question) election results or voting machines here in the USA. Remember GWB, for instance? Never legally won an election in his life! Or take those new voter restrictions that have suddenly become so popular in the Ol’ South. You would expect something like that in the old Soviet Union or in the bad old days of Jim Crow — but not here, not now. And yet here it is.
http://evergreenedigest.org/bb-king-and-our-blatant-racial-revisionism-south-still-denies-roots-americas-music

Reason No. 3: Spying on its citizens. NSA. The Patriot Act. Snowden and Manning are being persecuted for spying — while FaceBook, Google and NSA get a free pass. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/may/06/were-citizens-not-subjects-we-have-the-right-to-criticize-government-without-fear

Reason No. 4: Ferguson. Baltimore. Zuccotti Park. Oakland. Military tactics used to violently suppress the American underclass if they dare to complain that their jobs are all disappearing, their children’s education sucks eggs and their tax dollars are being spent on military adventurism in foreign lands instead of on infrastructure here at home.

Reason No. 5: Congress! Government for sale. Widespread corruption. The Koch brothers’ and K Street’s yard sale of our politicians — all bought on the cheap. A solder in Afghanistan once told me that, “The only difference between corrupt politicians in Afghanistan and corrupt politicians in America is that corrupt politicians in America pass laws to make their corruption legal and Afghan politicians do not.” (Also see Reason No. 9)

Reason No. 6: No daycare! I just threw that in because I’m now babysitting my wonderful three-month-old granddaughter so that my daughter can go back to work. Even Iraq under Saddam Hussein had free daycare! Even Cuba under Castro.

And when Sofia goes off to kindergarten in five years, then I’ll finally be able to go back to being a war correspondent again — knowing for certain that the American “Regime” will still be subsidizing despots and Endless War in the Middle East even five years from now. What a waste.

Reason No. 7: Media suppression. You think that you might have some good ideas about telling truth to power around here? Then don’t expect to get a job with the New York Times or the Washington Post any time soon. Shades of the old Pravda.

Reason No. 8: Cops and the military (again). Peaceful protests are suppressed here just like they are in Occupied Palestine. Rubber bullets and tear gas R Us! Our cops recently used tear gas on protesters even here in my own hometown. And then there are all those poor countries abroad that have been Blitzkriegged by our very own Luftwaffe and then invaded by our very own Storm Troopers. I could drone on and on about that!

Reason No. 9: Our Supreme Court. Scalia would feel right at home in Nigeria or Haiti. There’s not a single corrupt corporate take-over that he doesn’t like.

Reason No 10: Corporatism itself. Nazi Germany ran on “Corporatism”. Hitler just loved handing out corporate welfare. And so do our so-called leaders. Nazi Germany was a “Regime”. Perhaps America is too. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6p5pXqQEGM4

I rest my case.

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May 15, 2015

Going around the bend at 106 mph

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 12:30 pm

Jet island ntched neg

In World War I, members of the military were given a vague promise of a cash bonus that would be distributed in the future. When the Depression came along, many of the cash strapped vets thought that would be a good time to collect their money. They flocked to Washington D. C. to present their idea that the time had arrived to collect the I.O.U. They set up camp but were soon run off at gunpoint by troops led by a distinguished West Point graduate who was slated for greatness. Douglas McArthur, who was known by the nickname “dugout Dug,” seemed to show more valor when facing unarmed Americans than he did in France during WWI or later in his bunker in Australia during WWII.

According to local lore, soldiers from the North camped out in San Francisco after the Civil War. These days tourists flock to shop in the neighborhood and most remain blissfully unaware of how Union Square got its name.

In the late seventies, American Vets injured in Vietnam, congregated at the Westwood Military Hospital in Los Angeles and occupied the lobby for some time. Early one morning, they were hustled out by the police. There were numerous TV crews on hand, but only two still photographers. They were both working for the Santa Monica Independent Journal Newspapers and their story might be the subject for a future column, but for now this event provided a career boost for one college photojournalism student and a confirmation of a cynical point of view for the other.

Except for a small number of curmudgeonly skeptics, most Americans will believe the promises American politicians repeatedly make to the members of the military and remain unquestioning when the politicians explain their shoddy performances regarding their delivery on those solemn promises.

How many times would your disreputable brother-in-law sell you a decrepit automobile before you start to doubt his sales pitches?

America trusted George W. Bush and only a few ultra Liberal pundits question his judgment in retrospect.

Why haven’t American troops been sent to Libya, Yemen, and/or Syria?

American politicians seem to be having a difficult time selling the voters on the idea that social and medical services for America’s veterans are being forced to be reduced because of austerity budgets while simultaneously building them up for new military adventures in faraway countries.

Buying a shot and a beer at the local tavern for a young Marine who will soon be aboard an LCP approaching Tarawa is one thing, but cheating him out of the medical care he requires when he comes home without his legs, is something very different.

Recently when San Francisco mayor Ed Lee announced that he planned to have all local homeless military veterans in housing by the end of the year, local political activist Mike Zint, who posts political information on the “first they came for the homeless” page on Facebook, responded by saying that it was probably a gambit to provide cover for a program that would sweep the homeless out of sight before the tourists arrive in the Bay Area for Superbowl Fifty.

In an age when the numbers for wounded and homeless women warriors are becoming a major factor in the continuing effort to live up to the promises made to the members of the military, we have noticed one (potential) flaw in the political logic being expressed.

It seems that every effort to provide mass housing for young men are based on the concept of providing each and every one of the cases with a living space that includes space for a TV set, a refrigerator, and room to do some cooking.

If the World’s Laziest Journalist can offer up an opinion that might offend some puritsts: most young men don’t need or want that much space.

Since many young men are used to a military dorm, a ccllege dorm, and in some cases a hostel bunk, perhaps Mayor Ed Lee should consider the idea that one very large facility with a bunk and communal cooking and entertainment facilities would be an austerity budget era way to approach the problem.

What percentage of male homeless veterans require more than a bunk? What percent could exist on the basis of a hostel environment with a dormitory bunk and communal entertainment, bathroom, and cooking facilities?

Isn’t it obvious that a fellow who is sleeping on the ground in a sleeping bag in a hobo jungle environment and scrounging meals on the run would have a great improvement in his comfort level rating if he had access to a bunk and locker each night?

What percentage of homeless veterans are men and what percent are women?

Isn’t a small percent of the homeless claustrophobic people who prefer to sleep “under the stars”? If you provided them with a palatial mansion, they would remain uncomfortable.

During the week that this column was being written, the Huffington Post carried a story indicating that the politicians in Washington D. C., are hesitating on taking action which would protect members of the military from predatory conduct by financial institutions.

What percentage of the politician who vote for such ridiculous nonsense are veterans and how many are fat cats who have never served in the military?

Medical care for vets is a perpetual topic for politicians.

Are veterans being treated poorly?

This Saturday is Armed Forces Day but the weekend editions of the nation’s newspapers and the Sunday gabfests will be rife with calls for railroad safety, tributes to B. B. King, and snide remarks about JEB Bush’s family loyalty. It seems quite likely that there will be damn few pundits using the occasion of Armed Forces Day to call for improving the treatment of homeless veterans.

What’s not to love about corporate shills tricking young men with some all American bait and switch salesmanship chicanery to lure them into a lifetime of misery and pain?

What percentage of “our boys” who were killed in action during WWII, died before they were old enough to cast a vote to re-elect the politicians who had sent them off to the war?

There was a popular axiom during the Vietnam era that said; “Old soldiers never die . . . young ones do.”

The disk jockey will play the Pogues song “The band played ‘Waltzing Matida,” Johnny Cash’s version of “The Ballad of Ira Hayes,” and the song “Smile for me, my Dianne.” We have to go and re-watch “Coming Home.” Have a “Seventh Heaven” type week.

 

Vaccines: Why I no longer shoot up

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 11:48 am

Dontcha just hate it when some huge burly adult starts lecturing you about how wonderful and necessary it is to spank kids? “Yeah, well,” I always reply, “how about if you just wait to beat on them until they are adults your size too — and big enough to fight back.”

And this is the exact same reasoning that I apply to vaccines as well.

“Why don’t you just wait until your kids are adults and let them take the shots then — after they are old enough to study all the pros and cons and then decide for themselves.” And how do I have the chutzpah to say something like this? Because as an adult, I myself was forced to take a whole bunch of shots. And I hated them because they hurt. And I also hated them because they caused permanent damage as well.

When I was in the Peace Corps in South Africa back in 2009, I was told that in order to remain in the Peace Corps, I would have to take a whole bunch of shots. So in order to remain in the Peace Corps, I lined up. “Sir, yes, sir!” Hey, I liked my job. And was given no choice. And so I got a whole bunch of shots. And had all kinds of reactions, including permanent diminishment of actual physical strength and energy and an inability to think clearly for approximately six months after getting the shots — not quite the same as having mini-autism. But close.

Peace Corps or not, I would never do that again. Trust me, I will never never ever voluntarily shoot up again!

And yet here in America, even as we speak, almost every two-month-old baby in our entire nation is routinely forced to get eight (8) vaccines at one time — and then another two more rounds of these shots before they even reach their first birthday — before they are anywhere near being able to “Just say no”.

Tetanus, whooping cough, diphtheria, flu, hepatitis, rotavirus, polio and pneumonia vaccines. That’s eight batches times three rounds of each. That’s a hecka lot of vaccines — especially since at least some of them could easily wait (or not be given at all). And having actually suffered through this horrendous Needle Park myself as an adult, I can truly feel these poor sweet babies’ pain!

Plus the Peace Corps tells me that I am now immune to rabies, yellow fever, meningitis, measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, diphtheria, hepatitis, polio and typhoid fever — but I still wouldn’t want to test that theory out.

And according to a recent article in GreenMedInfo, “A remarkable study reveals that a vaccinated individual not only can become infected with measles, but can spread it to others who are also vaccinated against it — doubly disproving two doses of MMR vaccine is ’99% effective,’ as widely claimed. One of the fundamental errors in thinking about measles vaccine effectiveness is that receipt of measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine equates to bona fide immunity against these pathogens.” http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/measles-transmitted-vaccinated-gov-researchers-confirm

So apparently measles vaccines only make you immune for a while (if at all) — and then what happens if we end up like the American Indians did, with no immunity at all? And dead?

And then I got a really helpful e-mail from my friend Richard, giving me a whole bunch of 411 on vaccines, their effectiveness, their cumulative effects on children and even whether or not they can exacerbate the already-known environmental causes of such diseases as autism. Richard recently did an excellent analysis of the literature now available regarding the dangers (or lack of them) in vaccines — and was also willing to share his results with me.

“Your research is pretty comprehensive,” I e-mailed him back, “but do you have a URL to it?” No, he did not. So I decided to include his analysis here — because I believe that every parent should have this information, whether you finally chose to vaccinate your bambino or not. Here’s the URL for it: http://jpstillwater.blogspot.com/2015/05/richard-tamms-report-on-vaccines.html

PS: Here is one thing that Richard left out — the effects that vaccines and other Big Pharma drugs have on our mitochondria. “On our what?”

Mitochondria is that stuff in our cells that is actually responsible for 90% of the energy that we need to sustain life. “Got mitochondria?” No? Then you just might be dead. Or else, according to a recent article by Dr. Gary Kohls, you just might have a bad case of schizophrenia, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, stroke, migraine, Alzheimer’s, epilepsy or non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (whatever that is). http://ppjg.me/2015/05/05/mitochondrial-collateral-damage-thanks-to-big-pharma-iatrogenic-drug-and-vaccine-induced-mitochondrial-disorders/

Oh crap. This is what I may have to look forward to just for joining the Peace Corps? Sucks to be me.

PPS: I really am totally in favor of administering vaccines that help prevent life-threatening diseases. But. There should be a choice of which vaccines to give to babies, how actually necessary they are to save lives and how often they are given — as well as having a pool of funds set aside for the percentage of children who have really bad (quality-of-life-altering) reactions instead of just a blanket denial by Big Pharma that administering so many vaccines never, ever have any serious side effects at all.

Mma Peter

May 10, 2015

The Middle East: Best soap-opera wannabe ev-ah!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 11:31 am

Several people have asked me recently why I always seem to be writing about the Middle East. “Why don’t you ever write about anything else?”

Of course I write about other stuff — but the Middle East is so much more interesting and entertaining than anything else! The Middle East is definitely more interesting, entertaining and even weirder than any soap opera, reality show or action flick that Hollywood could ever produce. Fascinating stuff.

I’m always amazed that so few other Americans aren’t just totally fascinated by the Middle East too. Or even that there isn’t at least one daytime soap opera devoted solely to the subject — if for no other reason than that the Middle East has some of the greatest villains of all time!

Take America, for instance. Our very own Wall Street and War Street are currently starring as top-billing major actors in the Middle East, playing in prime-time roles — as the biggest villains in the script so far too. America practically invented ISIS, for goodness sakes! You can’t get more villainous than that. http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2015/03/mainstream-media-calls-supporting-al-qaeda-isis.html

Or can you?

According to journalist Daniel Lazare, “After years of hemming and hawing, the Obama administration has finally come clean about its goals in Syria. In the battle to overthrow Bashar al-Assad, it is siding with Al Qaeda.” War Street, you’ve been busted as the Bad Guy — and on national television too! http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article41742.htm

Or take Saudi Arabia — another shining example of epic villain-a-lishious-ness at its best. That country has been playing the villain since way back in 1930 — when it invaded the Republic of Yemen for the first time after Yemen actually dared to become a democracy. Then the Saudi regime went on to help America create Osama bin Ladin, finance the Taliban and dirty their hands with 9-11. And now the Saudi regime is financing and training ISIS. Doesn’t get more juicy than that. http://www.veteranstoday.com/2015/04/27/saudi-security-forces-arrest-expel-over-174000-people-in-1-month/

No, wait, yes it does. The Saudi regime is now using American-supplied cluster bombs on Yemen. Juicy soap opera at its best, better even than TMZ — unless of course you are living in Yemen. http://www.wsj.com/articles/saudi-led-coalition-accused-of-using-u-s-supplied-cluster-munitions-in-yemen-1430637102?tesla=y

And then there is Syria. What is going on there right now is even better than “One Life to Live”. How many Americans even know who Bashar Assad is? The poor guy has a couple of corrupt, sleazy relatives that the Saudi, American, Turkish and Israeli regimes have spent the last four years trying to put into power. Why? Because power corrupts — so Assad’s relatives are already trained to be as corrupt as their sponsors. How “Dallas” can you get? https://consortiumnews.com/2015/04/27/syrias-nightmarish-narrative/

And of course Turkey is now in the mix too — just can’t keep its hands off of ISIS, the designated “fem fatale” in this reality show. But Turkey had better watch out. ISIS is a psychopath and Turkish citizens do not like President Erdoğan cheating on them and messing around with her instead. https://candobetter.net/node/4397

Or take Iraq — the ultimate reality show. Outwit, outlast and outplay. Plus all the principle soap opera characters are there in Iraq too. You got the lying bitch (mostly America), the BFF (mostly Britain and France), the scheming scoundrel who will stop at nothing to get rich (mostly Bibi Netanyahu) and the struggling anti-hero (mostly Syrians trying to chase ISIS out of Syria) trying to thwart the Bad Guys (mostly ISIS, but with ISIS’s secret suppliers Saudi Arabia, Israel, America and Turkey thrown in). http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/05/world/europe/fertilizer-also-suited-for-bombs-flows-to-isis-territory-from-turkey.html?_r=1

You just gotta love all that plotting, counter-plotting and backstabbing now taking place in the Middle East — such as when General Sisi in Egypt overthrew a democratically-elected government in order to be America’s date to the prom. Or when the Saudi Arabian regime, source of 9-11 and Osama bin Ladin, comes out smelling like a rose and being America’s BFF. Or not.

You want action and drama? No problem there either. The Middle East has it all! America, NATO, Britain and France get together and bomb the crap out of Libya (for her own good), put Al Qaeda in charge of Libya for even more raping and pillaging fun (she asked for it) — but then deserts fair Libya in her darkest hour of need. And even though Libya is not technically actually in the Middle East, you can still just sit back and watch the fun.

And ditto for Afghanistan. Lots of action, drama, lies and skullduggery there too — even though it also is not technically located in the Middle East.

And now apparently ISIS (that tramp!) is also off having a hot illicit affair with the American-sponsored neo-Nazi Ukraine regime, also not in the Middle East — but this new daytime drama may soon to be playing on European TV instead — as ISIS slips off to gay Paree after dumping her thug boyfriend in Kiev. http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-isil-is-in-ukraine-americas-agents-of-chaos-unleashed-in-eurasia/5446989

Plus who wouldn’t want to hear the exciting story about brave and heroic Palestinians fighting for their freedom — only to be called angry sluts by the American media. Or how the brave and heroic Yemenis, fighting for their freedom, get bombed back to the Stone Age by the despotic Saudis who still somehow manage to come out as the Good Guys — even after training and financing ISIS. How do they do that? How do they just keep getting away with that again and again? Will they ever get their comeuppance? Apparently not. But stay tuned.

And then there is the Israeli regime, staring as the “scheming patriarch” character, forcing America to do its dirty work so it can take over the Middle East. Bibi Netanyahu is like a Mafia don or the villain on “The Bold and the Beautiful” or “Dark Shadows” — always scheming behind the scenes. He’s like Angelique Bouchard or Sheila Carter. What’s not to love about him?

Why would anybody who loves soap operas and/or reality shows, action movies or even murder-mysteries and thrillers even think of ever not keeping up with events in the Middle East? Entertainment at its best!

Too bad, however, that more than a million lives have been lost so far in these productions — but, for Wall Street and War Street, that’s just one of the costs of being in show business.

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May 8, 2015

Voice over moment in B-town

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 12:36 pm

tight crop of bell with megaphone

A life-long tendency to pay attention to people’s voices had spawned a long dormant project for expanding into radio features by taking a tape recorder around and talking to the owners of some very interesting voices, but that idea had been languishing in the bullpen for years and was not on the day’s agenda when we walked into Top Dog on Center Street in downtown Berkeley, earlier this week. When the young lady, Tiffany Case, at the counter took our order, we suddenly wished that we were carrying our micro-cassette recorder because her kewpie doll voice made us look around expecting to see an animated Canadian Mountie proclaiming: “Don’t worry, Nel, I’ll save you!”

We acknowledged our intention of getting a hot dog to slather with mustard and sauerkraut by responding: “If I were doing a radio commercial, I’d hire you to do the voice” and she enthusiastically replied: “I’m in the process of applying for a chance to do voice-overs for Pixar (an animation movie studio located in near-by Emeryville)!”

Her enthusiasm level reminded us of the old Clint Eastwood line: “Go ahead; make my day.”

When we were young we had compiled a list of our favorite voices and if someone ever assembles a Hall of Fame for voices, we would insist on nominating these voices from the past: John Carradine, Edward R. Murrow, Orson Welles, Bill Boyd (better known as Hopalong Cassidy), Winston Hibler, Jack Webb, Rod Serling, Senator Everett Durkson, Tony Marvin, and Mel Allen.

Some voices can cause pandemonium just by saying the name of the source. Such as? “Hello, I’m Johnny Cash.”

“They say” that a baby girl will pay more attention to the voice of a male stranger than to that of her own mother.

The women’s voices that caught our attention back when our voice (and attitude about girls) was changing were Julie London, Mercedes McCambridge (she provided the voice for the demon in “The Exorcist”), Rosemary Clooney, and Annette Funicello.

Back in the day, we had heard a bit on radio for Mothers’ Day that was a poem that started out “M is for the morphine that you gave me. . . .” We thought that the source of that bizarre bit of entertainment had been Lenny Bruce, but after a futile search of the Internets, we had asked the librarian at the Berkeley Public Library’s main branch and even then we still hadn’t located the source for those words.” So much for the theory that you can find the answers online to all questions.

We couldn’t pin the rap on Lenny Bruce but somehow we were obsessed with the idea that our column for the Mothers’ Day weekend had to include Lenny Bruce. He did say the word “mother” a lot, didn’t he?

In the past, we have suggested that reality TV do a voice-over competition.

We have personal knowledge of an event that took place many moons ago on the campus of a large University in Southern California made famous by Coach John Wooden. A young lady who was being paid to do interviews for a study called a phone number in New York City. The guy was so intrigued by the voice he asked the caller if she wanted to go out with him on the weekend. She demurred by noting that he was in New York City and she was in Los Angeles county. He then restated his offer. She declined again but he wouldn’t have been disappointed if had taken her out for dinner.

On Tuesday, May 5, 2015, we splurged and had a French breakfast at Le Petit Cochon in Berkeley and the experience of having a great meal was enhanced by the fact that while there we heard two song tracks by Johnny Cast that we had never heard previously.

When the Internet was in its formative stage, optimists were gushing about the fact that it would provide a way for people to hear new voices in various national debates. Pessimists responded that corporate America would use their clout to monopolize the new means of communication and shut down any chance for fresh blood in punditry game to gain a following.

We make a point of tuning in to the Armstrong and Getty radio show every Friday at 6:20 a.m. just to hear their sound clips of the week segment.

In the Los Angeles area, sportscaster Jim Healey used to play bleep filled rants from Tommy Lasorda, the manager of the Dodgers baseball team. It was fun to listen to them and attempt to fill in the bleeps (so to speak – as it were).

At one point, radio disk jockey, Wolfman Jack, bragged that his program was heard in 38 states because the signal (coming out of Mexico) was “coast to coast, border to border, wall to wall and tree top tall.” As the Sixties drew to a close, if you lived in the Lake Tahoe basin, there were only three reliable radio signals. Two were local and the third was the Wolfman’s show. It was an unforgettable listening experience.

On Wednesday, May 6, 2015, just after 9:30 a.m., we heard a story on KCBS news radio that started with a Berkeley Farms commercial that featured the legendary voice of San Francisco born Mel Blanc. They then transitioned into a story about how Clover of Petaluma is conducting an online search for a voice for their cow. (Google hint: Cloverpetaluma dot com and then click on the “Be Herd” link.)

In Los Angeles, our friend who called himself Chef Teddy B. Owen used to brag that the voices in his head had their own variation of the call waiting feature.

Berkeley area political activist Mike Zint reports that when he was working in the Santa Monica area as a retail clerk, he received several offers to do work as a voice over.

Our fact finding for this column indicated that June Foray, the voice of Rocket J. Squirrel is still alive. Her work is featured on a site called “behind the voice actors” dot com.

Whatever happened to the San Francisco radio station KFOG and their signature use of a sound clip of a foghorn?

According to Hollywood legend, Allen Ladd was working as union projectionist and when he asked a director if he wanted to see the dailies again, he suddenly was offered a chance to change careers and become an actor. The rest of the story (as they say) is history.

Maybe after we post this column, we should do some fact checking about how to submit pitches or material to NPR. If they like the idea, maybe it could be just like Rickey Blain says at the end of the movie “Casablanca:” “This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship!”

Tune in again next week to see what happens to the columnist who seeks to become a distinctive voice in an overcrowded market.

The end quote for this particular column, just has to be the most famous movie line of all time. In “Gone with the Wind,” Rhett Butler (Clark Gable) said: “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn!”

The disk jockey will now play Rosemany Clooney’s “Manniana” (which is banned on radio and not available on Youtube), the Guess Who’s “Clap for the Wolfman” and “You’re nothing but a nothing” (which allegedly included the lowest note ever produced by a human voice).   We have to go listen to KCBS to hear Kiffany report the evening traffic conditions for the SF Bay Area. Have a “Boop Oop A Doo” type week.

 

May 3, 2015

My Apologia for the American 2016 presidential election

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 10:55 pm

After I had just finished writing an ode to Bernie Sanders as my candidate of choice for President in 2016 (based on his excellent domestic policy). it was suddenly drawn to my attention that while Senator Sanders has a domestic policy to die for, he also has a foreign policy to die for too — literally. http://jpstillwater.blogspot.com/2015/04/war-babies-why-we-gotta-vote-for-bernie.html

Apparently our Bernie has a tenancy to vote for supporting War Street a lot — even though he refuses to kiss Wall Street’s bottom. Not good.

We’ve already gotten suckered into voting for a War President when we elected Barack Obama. And Hillary Clinton talks a good talk about her proposed domestic policy — but she too has that “War President” gleam in her eyes.

And then my friend Rita said, “Sanders always votes for war and military spending. Look it up.” Oh crap. Not Bernie too. Hell, even Elizabeth Warren doesn’t seem to be very much against Endless War these days.

“Very few Presidential candidates take principled positions against Israeli neo-colonialists,” someone else told me too. “And, unfortunately, while Bernie is great on so many other fronts, he does stand with the Israeli neo-colonialists, even during that horrific blitzkrieg on Gaza.”
http://www.mediaite.com/online/excuse-me-shut-up-bernie-sanders-defends-israel-from-town-hall-hecklers/

If Americans are ever going to survive the Golden Age of Endless War (and the rest of the world is going to survive it too), then we need to elect a president in 2016 who will not bomb, kill, torture, blow up, blast, maim, blitzkrieg, drone-strike or otherwise do bad things to other human beings (or to us either).

America needs a new foreign policy — one that is not just a high-tech version of foreign policies currently deployed by ISIS and the Taliban.

And so I’m going to have to give up entirely on the RepubliDems and “Vote Green in Twenty-Sixteen”.

And in the meantime, I sorely do apologize to all the people of the world (and also to their corpses and ghosts) for all of the brutal, unconscionable and horrible things that our American political representatives (legally-elected or not) have done to the rest of the world in my name.

jane_103

War & Babies: Why we gotta vote for Sanders in 2016 (or not)

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 10:44 pm

Right now, it looks like the worst is going to happen in 2016 — that when we Americans go into the voting booths, we’re going to be forced to chose between the Bush Dynasty (which brought us all those disastrous and criminal wars on Afghanistan and Iraq plus various African wars including one that led to Blackhawk Down) and the Clinton Dynasty (which brought us all those disastrous and criminal wars on Haiti, Syria, Libya, Kosovo and Ukraine). http://www.ezilidanto.com/zili/2015/04/no-hillary-haiti-is-not-for-sale-to-your-family/

In 2016, we Americans are going to be forced to choose between “War” and “More War” — and when that happens, I’m just gonna barf.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/05/01/why-is-the-us-trying-to-replace-the-assad-government-with-al-qaeda-in-syria/

Or perhaps we might be allowed to vote for those king-making Koch brothers and their Ken-doll evil twin Scott Walker. “Vote for me and you’ll get genetic mutation, fracking and poverty! I’ve yet to meet an oligarch, War Street lobbyist or bankster that I didn’t like!” proclaims Walker. Gag me with a spoon.

Yes, the main election slogan for the RepubliDem party in 2016 is apparently going to be, “Just hold down your vomit and vote” — along with, of course, their perennial favorite, “It doesn’t matter who you vote for anyway because we control the voting machines and the propaganda machines too,” as well as their ever-popular “We always (heart) ISIS, al Qaeda, the UN, Zionists and neo-Nazis because they always (heart) our gun sales.” I think I’m gonna throw up. http://sputniknews.com/columnists/20150422/1021234376.html#ixzz3YFfZQcFJ

Moderate Democratic candidates like Elizabeth Warren and Dennis Kucinich don’t stand a chance of scoring their party’s nomination — and as for moderate Republican candidates? Bring in the clowns. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y69MGOprjzw

So this is why I am officially going to vote for Bernie Sanders in 2016 — and you should too. https://www.facebook.com/Sanders2016. Senator Sanders is definitely on our side — or to paraphrase the Pussycat Dolls, “Don’t cha just wish your president was hot like him!” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5rkgUkdlVg

But no matter which RepubliDem freak gets elected in 2016 — or even if by some amazing miracle an actual decent human being like Sanders does score America’s vote, my life is still going to change forever next week.

“Will you be going off to Yemen or Benghazi or Kiev?” you might ask. “Or even Washington DC, Ferguson, Baltimore, Juarez or Flora-duh?” Back to being a war correspondent? That would be so easy. I wish! http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/04/23/weaponizing-information/

No, next week I’m going to become a full-time caregiver for my daughter’s new baby.

And Senator Sanders is the candidates most likely to provide our nation (and me!) with affordable daycare instead of just drowning us all out in totally unaffordable and unsustainable “war”. Have you ever even priced full-time infink daycare lately? It can cost more than half of your yearly salary, thank you very much. You might as well go out and buy a few RPGs or a tank.

So, starting next week, me and baby Sofia are going to be spending major quality-time together until she starts kindergarten — unless Senator Sanders get elected (or I win the lottery) first.

But perhaps baby Sofia might want to become a war-correspondent-in-training? Because if either the Repubs or the Dems win the 2016 presidential election, there will always be plenty of wars. No college or jobs or healthcare for Sofia when she grows up — but there will still be a hecka lot of wars. By the time our Sofia turns 18, the entire USA is gonna look like Iraq, Libya or Kiev — unless we vote for Bernie. http://rt.com/news/251961-ukraine-maidan-snipers-poland/

But if (when) the RepubliDems do get elected in 2016 and Endless War becomes our new best friend for life, at least I won’t be alone. We Americans are all gonna to end up tossing our cookies, losing our lunch, saying hello to our new BFF “Ralph” and/or bowing down to the porcelain throne. https://consortiumnews.com/2015/04/27/syrias-nightmarish-narrative/

And who in their right mind would ever chose that kind of fate for our baby Sofia — or for any other sweet, cute, cuddly, lovable FaceBook-friendly new baby like her now being born, both here in America and all over the rest of the world too?

PS: My friend Rita just e-mailed me, “Just a note to say that Sanders always votes for war and military spending. Look it up. Even Nader is not too happy about that.” Oh crap. Not Bernie too. Hell, even Elizabeth Warren doesn’t seem to be very much against endless war these days. Poor baby Sofia is gonna have a hard row to hoe.

Is it too late to register with the Green party?

IMG_1971-1

April 30, 2015

The more things change . . .

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 5:49 pm

crop of Lolita glasses notched neg

Playing sound bytes that promote opposing points of view and then making the assertion that presenting facts and letting the audience form an opinion might be manipulation via flattery but it seems to be too esoteric and limiting for journalists to ask a long time Irish Catholic Democrat how might a Supreme Court Justice with a similar history vote on the issue of gay marriage. If the object is to let an announcement just before the Forth of July holiday catch many Americans by surprise and achieve maximum dissatisfaction and precipitate another chance to build a contentious atmosphere that will end with the (temporary) establishment of martial law, then feigning an inability to accurately assess the most likely ruling that will end the debate seems like a smart gambit.

If a writer can do research that produces an overwhelming picture of mismanagement and inappropriate conduct by Hillary Clinton that involved the Clinton Foundation while she was serving as Secretary of State few reporters will use that curious new development to ask why then couldn’t investigators find out who profited from the 9-11 events by short sales of airline stocks?

Presenting facts and letting the audience decide sounds like an admirable mission statement so John Stewart would be the only well know personality who could casually mention that the civil unrest in Baltimore was caused by a death while the Watts riots of fifty years ago, which led to many deaths and extensive property damage, was precipitated by a single traffic ticket.

Did the recent photos from Baltimore of a phalanx of soldiers remind older folks of a similar photo (cover of LIFE magazine?) taken in L. A. in June of 1965?

Is it prejudicial to note that after many thousands of lives have been terminated by collateral damage caused by drone strikes the loss of one American life has caused the journalists to seriously question the need for drone strikes? Does that disparity constitute prejudiced reporting or is it just subtle racism in action?

Remember Agent Orange? Isn’t a large protest against Monsanto scheduled to take place in May?

Do the anarchist protesters from Berkeley stand out by wearing tie-dye handkerchiefs over their faces?

American media seems to relish showing forty year old footage of the evacuation of Saigon in 1975 while ignoring the poignant scenes surrounding the commencement speeches given in May of 1965. How would the optimistic words from those speeches play in today’s world when politicians enthusiastically suggest sending American troops all over the world, and riots are plentiful? Would those speeches sound nostalgic today or would they sound very relevant?

What’s happening to the ship that Iran intercepted?

If you liked the video of the mom slapping her kid around that went viral this week, then you will get your jollies from a vintage video on Youtube. Search for “women self-defense 1947.” The actress, who has a passing resemblance to Alice Kramden (on the Honeymooners TV series), knocks around a thug just as easily as she would toss around a rag doll.

The college class of 1965 entered a world that was just about to witness the Watts riots and the start of military action in Vietnam that wasn’t sanctioned by Congress. We wonder if members of the class of ’65 would get a feeling of déjà vu from this week’s events in Baltimore and recent military actions in various countries in the Middle East.

There is one thing certain in today’s world: If people are still debating the same old topics fifty years from now, the World’s Laziest Journalist won’t be writing columns that recycle the same old facts in a new order of presenation.

If you think voter fraud is a new topic, please make an effort to see “The Great McGinty,” from 1940.

If Hillary Clinton sees Bernie Sanders get the Democratic Party’s Presidential nomination, will she feel like a jilted bride (for the second time)?

The flap over a prisoner’s death in Baltimore seems to be a moot topic now after the authorities have found that a second prisoner is saying that theFreddie Gray fellow died of self-inflicted injuries. Will the Amalgamated Conspiracy Theory Factory public information officer issue a press release Friday hints/suggests/asks about the possibility that a quid pro quo agreement involved an immunity deal in return for the “walk off” revelation?

The mainstream media will immediately issue a “game over” assessment of the debate over the incident that incited civil unrest.

Has the mainstream media become extinct in the land of free speech? For folks in Berkeley who read the New York Times, it may seem that “the Great Gray Lady” has become the modern day substitute for the Berkeley Barb. If you aren’t reading that daily paper, then you don’t have a clue as to what’s happening to the country.

On Sunday, April 26, 2015, we put on our Aussie hat, mirror sunglasses, and activated the required cigarette holder (with the same unlit cigarette that we have used for the last three years) and plunged into some fact finding and photography efforts at the How Weird Street Faire held on (pun alert!) Howard Street in San Francisco. It was worth the effort.

Roaming around the San Francisco Bay area with a Nikon Coolpix may not be making America safe for Democracy but it is an effective (temporary) cure for boredom.

If gay marriage is ruled to be un-Constitutional, will dissention in San Francisco be more newsworthy than it has been in Baltimore?

Making snide remarks about national politics may not sway one single vote, but it sure is therapeutic for a perennial malcontent.

This week’s column is being posted earlier than usual because on Friday May 1, we intend on going to San Francisco to cover various May Day activities such as the tip that a member of the Merry Pranksters will announcean attempt to become Frisco’s mayor.

For the class of 1965, they could relish the feelings liberals experienced when, on Nov. 7, 1962, Richard Milhous Nixon said: “You won’t have Nixon to kick around anymore, because, gentlemen, this is my last press conference.”

Now, for members of the class of ’65, the disk jockey will play Iggy Pop’s “I’m (the Chairman of the) bored,” Frank Sinatra’s “That’s Life,” and Lynn Anderson’s “I beg your pardon (I never promised you a Rose Garden).” We have to hustle back to the Fortress of Solitude and resume our binge watching of “Rocky and Bullwinkle and friends.” Have a “self inflicted injuries” type of week.

 

April 24, 2015

Ye Olde Scribe Presents: FTHO!

Filed under: Opinion — Ye Olde Scribe @ 2:22 pm

YOS’s Talking Point Push Back Central!

TPs…

“Sharia law.”

“All Muslims are supposed to kill non-Muslims.”

“The Koran demands non-believers be killed, beheading, women subjugated…”

Answers…

“Of course NO ONE who called themselves “Christian” ever got any of this wrong, said no one with BRAINS.”

Of course NO ONE, NO GROUP, who labelled themselves as “Christian” EVER took the Bible out of context, interpreted it to mean violence should be done to others, or disrespect them, marginalize them, turn them into a slave class… just like not one doubts The Tooth Fairy really exists.

Sharia law certainly can be horrible, as interpreted, applied, JUST LIKE CHRISTIANITY.

HOWEVER, if you’re referring to some aging star legally spent her early life pissing all over her ex while dating boy toys, that’s different. That’s called…

cher

“Cher-Rea-law”

FTHO!

Ye Olde Scribe’s guide for those who simply have had ENOUGH.

OK buoys and seagulls! Let’s say it together!
“‘T!’ What does that stand for? Well, duh, ‘the!’”
“‘H!’ What does that stand for? Where Satan resides, that’s what it stands for!”
“‘O!’ What’s that stand for? ‘OFF!’”
“F!’ What’s that stand for? You KNOW what the… ‘F’ stands for!”

(more…)

Fear and Loathing in Golden Gate Park

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 12:27 pm

crop of Brrrito at Haight and Ashbury

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One week ago, we were sitting at the Faculty Lounge at the University of California Berkeley – in the outdoor dining area of course – and were discussing the potential strategy for a story about one of the original Merry Pranksters bringing fun back to American Politics by running for Mayor of San Francisco. The brainstorming quickly morphed into an evaluation of covering this year’s installment of the storming of Hippie Hill in Golden Gate Park on April 20 by pot smoking youngsters who are advocating making the annual excuse for shenanigans into a national holiday.

My dining companion was Belle Starr, a San Francisco legend (and outlawyer) who should write an autobiography about the good old days in Frisco when the most famous hippies’ antics were being reported daily in Herb Caen’s columns and not in some wild-ass wannabe’s novel that was being constructed by a focus group of tourism promoters.

Belle stressed that many famous writers had covered San Francisco in the Sixties and then abandoned the locals to pursue a course of self-promotion and career advancement in New York City leaving the subjects, such as the Merry Pranksters, the Hippies, and Sgt. Sunshine, behind, forgotten, and abandoned. The literary luminaries have changed but much of Frisco from the Sixties is left for a new generation of writers to discover and exploit just as Tom Wolfe and the staff of Rolling Stone magazine had done.

We could, it seemed possible, cover this year’s installment of the hippie version of a holy pilgrimage by going to the Haight Ashbury Section and chronicling the frolics of the new generation of the flower children.

It would be a dangerous mission so we contacted the local political activist called “Trigger,” who sometimes acts as our bodyguard, and prepared to proceed to the festivities post haste. We had to dig through our closet to find the Aussie hat, mirror sunglasses, and cigarette holder that would telegraph our intention to unearth the story in true Gonzo style.

We had just gotten our enthusiasm mojo started when some cretin cynic pointed out that it might be a skosh disingenuous for a fellow who hasn’t had an alcoholic drink in several decades and who distains a hookah smoking caterpillar’s attitude towards cannabis sativa to feign a “me too” attitude of being simpatico with the grassers. We dismissed this objection with a flick of the wrist and asserted our right to go and watch the antics of the stoners with a true journalist’s attitude of unbiased morbid fascination. Moi hypocritical? Could it be that we are slowly morphing into a Republican?

The biggest political organization in Berkeley is a Republican group, according to a knowledgeable local source, but there are more Democratic organizations with a larger number of members, they just can’t get their act together and form one massive political entity.

If a lifelong self proclaimed Irish/Catholic/Democrat shows up at the Berkeley College Republican club meeting, it should be obvious why we would choose to be accompanied by a bodyguard.

People are always adamantly asserting to the World’s Laziest Journalist that stories, facts, and anecdotes from the Sixties are passé and déclassé, but when we noticed the religious fanatical intensity that many of the participating high schoolers brought to Hippie Hill on 4-20, we became fully convinced that Marshall McLuhen was correct when he said that America was hurtling into the future with their eyes fixated on the rearview mirror.

Perhaps, we noted, it is time for Rolling Stone magazine to return to the site of their halcyon days and to recapture the vitality and dynamic connection with their audience that they had achieved back when the Jefferson Airplane played in Golden Gate Park just for the pure joy of it.

It is, Belle noted, just as if the flower child generation is eligible for AARP membership, but chose, instead, to plunge recklessly into the “second childhood” phase of maturity.

As we ambled towards the day’s event on 4-20, we noticed a cop motioning a hippie over, the SFPD officer confiscated an open bottle of beer, emptied it into the gutter, and stood aside as the would-be modern pilgrim proceeded, without either one of them saying a word – not even “Have a nice day!”

The police were relaxed and tolerant. The local merchants were making a bonanza on the day’s influx of hippies of all ages, and the participants were living out their Don Quixote quest to walk a mile in Jack Kerouac’s moccasins.  Second-hand information asserted that things got more “rough house” after we left the festival.

Then we suddenly realized that our attempt to write up a whimsical and quixotic report on the day’s event was overshadowed by a very serious column topic.

On a day when the news informed Americans that an aircraft carrier had been reassigned to the Arabian Sea and the prospect that George W. Bush’s “Forever War” could escalate dramatically in the next few days, we wondered why the Republicans are so adamant about denying military veterans suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) access to the very same substance that was delivering such joy and frivolous, carefree bliss to the people on or near Hippie Hill that day? Did you notice how quickly the aircraft carrier in the Arabian Sea story completely vanished from American media?

Are the Republicans, who sent the military off to Afghanistan and Iraq with such studied nonchalance, hypocrites? Do they really not know that pot is one of the most effective treatments for PTSD or do they know it and vote to restrict it because they are sadistic curmudgeons who relish prolonging the pain and anguish of the veterans?

While we were on Hippie Hill we were informed that an even better PTSD treatment is LSD. We had never heard this before and made a note in our reporter’s notebook, to do some fact checking on that assertion. Perhaps we will use our fact finding on that possibility as the launching pad for a future column.

On 4-20, the Ben and Jerry’s ice cream franchises were unveiling a new ice cream burrito and so when it was time for the bodyguard to take a break, we went to the franchise located on San Francisco’s world famous intersection of Haight and Ashury and proceeded to give the new item the old taste test. Trigger said it was “OK.”

Meanwhile, the much vaunted mainstream media seems to be an egregious example of mission fail with regard to their bragging about providing voters with pertinent and perceptive news analysis and criticism. One moment an aircraft carrier is steaming into the Arabian Sea and comparisons to the Cuban Missile Crisis are ubiquitous in TVland and then suddenly the journalists start obsessing on Dr. Oz, Barry Bonds and Bruce Jenner.

We could deliver a top level evaluation of the situation but then we’d have to quote a line that Tom Cruse delivered in the film “Top Gun.”

Because of “interline courtesy,” we refrain from providing our readers with material that the journalists should be delivering but don’t; so there will be no long rant about the mess in the Middle East. We will endeavor to provide only interesting and irrelevant facts that are as sensational as any judicial decision about an eight year old perjury case can be.

We will not explore the possibility that the deaths that have sparked the “black lives” matter protests are just a remarkable series events that fall into the ”coincident” classification nor will we be inspired to go to the Amalgamated Conspiracy Theory Factory campus to investigate the possibility that all those tragedies are part of a remarkable and unreported coordinated government program (i.e. a conspiracy)

Willie Nelson, who has just expanded into the medical herb business, has reassured his fans about the quality of his new product by saying: “I will make sure it’s good or it won’t be on sale.”

Now the disk jockey will play Peter Tosh’s “Legalize it,” Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show’s “I got stoned and I missed it,” and the Kottonmouth Kings song “Proud to be a Stoner.” We have to go see if we can buy a Willie’s Reserve T-shirt via snail mail. Have a “stoned munchies” type week.

King of the HIll

Hitting the BRICS: Be careful of what you wish for…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 11:55 am

Despite appearing to have a few slightly-differing opinions on just a handful of petty foreign-policy details such as how many meaningless negotiation-bones they should throw at Iran, or how many meaningless knock-off hand-slappings they should throw at Zionist neo-colonialists, the routinely cooperative, agreeable and in-sync actual actions of President Obama, Congress, Wall Street and War Street clearly speak for themselves.

Judging by their actions alone, we can immediately tell that Obama, Congress, Wall Street and War Street are clearly in strong, almost-total agreement regarding their basic foreign-policy vision for America. Hey, goodie for them.

However, unfortunately for the rest of us Americans who are actually having to pay for these actions, Obama & Company’s strong vision for America also includes doing everything that they possibly can to start World War III. Ouch!

When it comes to his domestic policy, President Obama has occasionally actually tried to be helpful to his fellow Americans — as compared to John McCain’s domestic policy, for instance. Had McCain been elected in 2008 instead of Obama, he would have tried to financially eviscerate almost every single American in our middle class — if said evisceration would have given even just one more penny of our tax dollars to Wall Street and War Street instead of to us.

However, compared to Obama & Company’s current (both overt and covert) foreign policies, McCain’s 2008 foreign-policy platform appears to have been almost a walk in the park.

Right now, Obama & Company’s actual, action-based foreign policies seem to include:

1. Supporting anyone and everyone who can create chaos in the Middle East — including but not limited to Israel, the Saudis and even ISIS and Al Qaeda https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2015/04/14/canadians-for-world-peace-syria/

2. Hitting the BRICS (especially Russia and China) every chance they can get — including spinning outright lies, spreading false propaganda, using false flags, supplying massive amounts of weaponry to the neo-Nazis in Ukraine and even shooting down civilian aircraft http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2015/04/17/america-weaponising-of-ignorance.html

3. Supporting almost every single despot in the world today and alienating almost every single non-despotic government and/or democratically-elected leader in the Middle East, South America, Africa and the EU too. http://evergreenedigest.org/us-carried-out-674-military-operations-africa-last-year-did-you-hear-about-any-them

4. Preemptive nuclear strikes? Those don’t seem to be off the table at all. Those boys in DC and NATO have been reading far too much Herman Kahn! http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2005/06/27/fat-man

But none of these things are cool things to do and all of them can rapidly lead to circumstances far beyond Obama & Company’s (and our) control — up to and including World War III, to be fought both abroad and at home! http://www.globalresearch.ca/towards-a-world-war-iii-scenario-breaking-the-big-lie/5348384

Not since 1864 has America known war on its shores. Except for 9-11, the occasional violent suppression of civil rights marches and a few gun battles here and there involving bad guys and/or police, it’s been pretty calm around here for the last one hundred years.

However.

If Obama & Company keeps on pushing their current foreign-policy agendas as hard in the future as they are doing right now in Syria, Ukraine, Yemen, Palestine, Afghanistan, Mexico, Honduras, Africa, Iraq, etc., and rattling their sabres like they were McCain, GWB and Dick Cheney combined, then we may start to know war on our own native soil a whole lot better than we would ever want to.

But perhaps at this point you might be asking yourself, “What is the problem with you, Jane? First, there’s never going to be another war here in America. And, second, even if the denizens of War Street do make a huge profit and even if 50% of America’s children do go without schools or shoes as a result, won’t it all still be worth it — to see America continue to be the world’s top dog?”

You just keep on telling yourself that — but only if you don’t really mind butchering a few million (or billion) innocent women and children (and subsequently end up rotting in Hell) to get to the top.

Plus not only do we now have to worry about military wars coming to our shores, apparently we also have to worry about economic wars arriving here too! My friend Judy just e-mailed me a whole laundry-list of stuff that is also wrong with Obama & Company’s foreign-policy vision — from a financial perspective. Here is just one small item on that list:

“I myself believe,” wrote Judy, “that the new multinational corporations don’t care about the US any more than they care about any other country. They have proved again and again to us that, for them, it is always and only about making money. And, bearing that reality in mind, consider that on the one hand China’s new banking initiatives could shut down the US empire if or when — and I would say when — the balance of resources shifts away from the dollar. That is what a lot of these military attacks on Russia and China have been about. But on the other hand, however, most likely it will be no problem at all for the multinationals to pivot their markets and financial bases to Asia — leaving America financially high and dry.”

So perhaps it might be a good idea (for us) for Obama & Company to stop hitting the BRICS — and especially stop hitting Russia and China. Or else they need to not act surprised when they (and we) actually get what they seem to be wishing for: World War III. Fought both economically and militarily. Fought both abroad — and here.
http://journal-neo.org/2015/04/06/a-turning-point-in-brazil-which-way-forward-for-dilma-rousseff/

PS: America’s current domestic and foreign policies clearly suck eggs for yet another reason — because these policies also far-too-closely resemble my own definition of fascism/corporatism/ despotism, which is: “Instead of a country spending its government’s money to better the lives of all of its citizens equally, said government’s money is only poured into the coffers of an ‘elite’ few.”

PPS: And speaking of false flags, here are the five major signs to look for in order to detect one:

1. Horrific images are over-used to shock the public

2. Drills for a similar attack appear on the same day in the same area

3. Eyewitness accounts do not match the official story

4. Conflicting evidence is not repeated by the media

5. Used as an excuse to curtail rights or to start a war http://www.zengardner.com/wp-content/uploads/falseflaglist1e.jpg

And while we’re still on the subject of false flags, please excuse me for stating the obvious here — but with so very many false flags in the American spy-craft industry having come to light over and over again recently, how come 9-11 alone has become the sacrosanct hands-off Lady Madonna that can never ever be properly investigated or even mentioned in the same breath as the words “false” and “flag”? https://consortiumnews.com/2015/04/16/syrian-rebels-caught-in-false-flag-kidnapping/

With regard to false flags, let us paraphrase philosopher Harry G. Frankfurt. “How can we ever truly gauge what dangers we are in — if we are lied to about their existence, their causes and their effects?”

How can we Americans possibly use good judgment in order to keep ourselves safe when we are constantly bombarded with lies about Iraq, Syria, Ebola, voting-machine data, Ukraine, weapons lobbies, our post offices, Big Pharma, GMO crops, net neutrality, nuclear safety, what really happened in Palestine, that banks are too big to fail, that Jesus hated poor people — and goodness knows what all else! We can’t even get a clear story about whether or not there is still gold in Fort Knox. And the New York Times, our most vital “newspaper of record,” is constantly getting caught out for their lies.

According to Frankfurt, unless we can reinvent ourselves as a more truthful society ASAP, then we are doomed.

jane_135

April 17, 2015

Shut up and Obey!

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 12:30 pm

crop of hate man

Regimentation, conformity, and obedience have become not just commendable traits, but in the era of the Republican Reich can be considered as virtues for every citizen to cultivate. Hence the voices of anyone who dares to disagree is labeled as emanating from “a conspiracy theory lunatic” and considered anathema. A nation born out of rebellion has morphed into a stogy old country where innovation and creativity are considered worthy of (metaphorical alert) an abortion procedure.

The National Society of Newspaper Columnists have selected April 18 as “National Columnists’ Day,” because it was on that day, in the year 1945, when Ernie Pyle died in combat during WWII. Since America’s much vaunted “Free Press” isn’t reporting that the situation in the Middle East is alarmingly grim and the pundits are not heralding the fact that for the first time in American political History, there is Presidential Candidate who can (opinions are covered by the First Amendment) be described as “frumpy,” this year’s column noting the arrival of National Columnists’ Day will not be on a columnist per se, but will celebrate the nearly extinct species of “unique voice in America.”

Sometimes, even a fascist dictatorship can be tolerant of voices of dissent.

Ernst Junger won an Iron Cross from Germany during WWI and wrote a very jingoistic book about combat (Storm of Steel) and became a popular author in his home country. As WWII approached he produced a new novel that some alarmists thought was critical of the Third Reich. The would-be advocates of extreme censorship brought it to the attention of the Chancellor for life. Hitler reportedly shrugged it off and said to let the writer alone because he was, after all, the Iron Cross winner. Junger, whose biography was (the last time we checked) available in only a German language version, became the only German to win an Iron Cross in both World Wars and was named the cultural ambassador to Occupied Paris.

In America, it seems, Conservatives have become über-enthusiastic about censoring all political opinion that is not enthusiastically very patriotic and since they control the media, the Congress, and have a majority in the United States Supreme Court, mouthing-off in a critical mode is not very healthy for any aspiring political pundits.

It wasn’t always like that, boys and girls. When the non-Christian heathen Warren era Supreme Court opened the flood gate for pornographers (in the early Seventies) Al Goldstein started a newspaper with reviews and news about the burgeoning Industry and became a star in the Pop Culture area of the American media.

Lenny Bruce said naughty words (that everyone used in private conversations) on stage in his comedy routines, became very famous, and died.

Recently we heard (or at least thought we heard) a woman CBS radio news reporter described a harsh boss with the colorful descriptive term “prick.”

What could Lenny Bruce, if he were still alive and grossing and grumbling in the media today that could possibly get him into hot water? How about: “Those f*****g electronic voting machines that have no means for verifying the results are rendering elections to the category of irrelevant!”? He’d be labeled a conspiracy theory lunatic and banished from the spotlight just like he was in the Sixties.

The conservative owners of media would banish him from any and all publicity and ignore his attempts to point out that in an era when no computer seems to be invulnerable to hacking, it is silly (insane perhaps?) to think that a security system that features a des key that is readily available on the Internets can do what the state of the art programs can not.

In Berkeley, a homeless fellow (according to a local legend) used to use the free speech explanation to deliver rants on Sproul Plaza which sanctioned hatred. He became a local legend that merits the term “Berkeley’s beloved hateman.” Go figure.

Hypothetically speaking, there maybe a voice out there on the Internets that is an extreme example of free speech in action, but without a publicity agent to make him (or her) a media fad, the position of “America’s best known voice of dissention” must remain vacant.

There are (as of today) 570 days left until the USA votes for the 45th President. It seems to be a strong likelihood that the contest will be a dual between two candidates who want to revitalize the concept of American Dynasty.

Yes, the Jon Stewart Show will feature some witty one-liners about JEB and Hillary and Saturday Night Live will do some acerbic skits at their expense, but will it be anything more relevant that seeing Richard M. Nixon go on “Laugh In” and asking: “Sock it to me?”?

Ernie Pyle and his associates produced a string of anecdotes about the ordinary G. I.’s that portrayed an image of Boy Scouts with guns hunting down mad dogs from other countries. They didn’t cover such interesting anomalies as the medal winning soldier in France who went AWOL and shacked up with a French chick.

Apparently the only thing the MP’s did was to round-up inebriated combatants on leave and put them in the slammer for a night so that they could sleep it off.

It’s not like the stifling of voices of dissent doesn’t serve a useful purpose. In the book “the Late, Great State of California,” the author examines how a California governor successfully used the issue of student dissent as a stepping stone for his bid to become the President. Apparently the sentiment that colleges spread communism has always been popular with patriotic voters.

In the hectic high pressure world of deadline journalism at its nerve wracking best, why bother to present both side when any imbecile can tell you that only one is correct?

Ironically, the need for a voice of dissent may never have been greater. The situation in the Middle East is shrouded in secrecy. Insightful commentary on the cauldron is MIA in the American media. An opposing point of view might qualify to be classified as treason so anyone foolish enough to mouth off might want to think twice before actually expressing a controversial point of view.

The prospect of dueling dynasties is too pathetic to merit serious commentary.

If, however, the United States Supreme Court, with a majority of conservative, compassionate, Christian Republicans declares that gay marriage is unconstitutional, it might be a very good thing if there are no voices of dissent which could be misconstrued as urging rebellion or fomenting and or inciting a riot in response to an unpopular decision.

If the Supreme Court declares that gay marriage is unconstitutional, it will be a case of “Game over” for the liberal advocates of that cause. At that point the liberals should be expected to display the good sportsmanship mode of conduct and be ready to shake hands with the opposing team and saying: “Good game!”

Sidebar story: Pauline Kael’s home in Berkeley is (reportedly) up for sale and some locals want it preserved as a historic site.

What makes a better news story: the NBA playoffs or a civil war between rival religions in a country you can’t find on a world map?

Mark Twain (reportedly) said: “God invented War so that Americans could learn Geography.”

Now the disk jockey will play the Rolling Stones’ “contractual obligation” album, Jimmy Buffet’s song “Let’s get drunk and screw,” and Pussy Riot’s Osvobodi Bruschatku (Release the Cobblestones [it’s on youtube]). We have to go see if we can find copy of the Berkeley Barb for this week. (Did they ever make a student protester doll?) Have an “abomination against nature” type week.

April 13, 2015

Zombie grandmas: How to make the most of getting old

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 3:04 pm

About three years ago, I made the big mistake of looking too closely into my bathroom mirror. Yuck! All I could see was wrinkles and gray hair. But wait — I was never supposed to have actually gotten this old. This was never supposed to have happened! But it did — at least to my body if not my mind.

“So,” I said to myself, “what the freak can I do with OLD?” I know! I’ll become an actor! And so I did.

Fortunately, there are several film schools in my city where student directors are always looking for talent to use in their films — especially talent that will work for free just to have an excuse to get out of the house. And so suddenly I found myself in big demand. I mean really. How many little old ladies do you know who are willing to throw themselves into an acting career? Not all that many. So I seemed to have pretty much cornered the market — because there’s really not all that much competition.

At auditions even for non-paying student-film roles, believe it or not, there are usually scores of child actors, ingenues and even beautiful leading ladies, all dying to try out for a part. But there just aren’t that many little old ladies out there to compete with, thank you very much.

And so now I have found one very successful way of taking advantage of the age factor that is currently barreling down on all of us like a steam-roller with no way to avoid. And there are also bound to be other ways to make the most of our “senior” years too (such as finally realizing that “war” is a racket, an obscenity and a con-game, something that most people apparently have not reached the age of having finally acquired enough wisdom to realize at all — and then working our suddenly-senior hearts out to stop all “war” from ever happening again).

In the past three years, I have been in over one hundred student films, playing all kinds of grandma roles — sweet loving grandmas, for instance. And society grandmas, dying cancer patient grandmas, cowgirl grandmas, evil grandmas, war-correspondent grandmas, psychotic grandmas, ghostly grandmas, college-professor grandmas and corpse grandmas, as well as grandmas who are doctors, lawyers and judges.

But my favorite grandma role of all time is playing a grandma zombie!

PS: Let’s face it. Getting old sucks eggs. Nothing fun at all about having creaky joints, being mostly ignored for not being sexy enough, having trouble sleeping, facing possible dementia, living on cat food, facing multiple surgeries, having one’s teeth fall out, etc. So we gotta always be constantly looking for ways to make growing older more fun on some level or another.

Turning into a grumpy frump, believing the lies and hatred being constantly broadcast on Fox News, and/or just plain giving up on life are definitely three ways not to have fun!

PPS: “Some will rob you with a shotgun, some with a fountain pen.” Elders these days are being targeted as victims by bad guys in several different ways. Street thugs may mug elders for their pocket money — but probate thugs can mug our elders for their life savings as well. http://marygsykes.com/2015/03/27/in-chicago-what-does-a-nursing-home-do-when-its-understaffed-break-out-the-chemical-restraints/

In Chicago, for instance, probate sharks seek out rich widows, get them declared incompetent, throw them into stark “assisted care” institutions where they are medicated into submission, clean out their safe deposit boxes and then throw them out into the streets to die when there is no money left. “Target, isolate, medicate, drain and eliminate” is their mantra. http://marygsykes.com/about/

Or else your sleazy relatives rob your rightful heirs of their rightful share of your estate after you’re gone: http://jpstillwater.blogspot.com/2015/04/probating-family-feud-authors-note-this.html

But nobody messes with zombie grandmas!

IMG_1374 - Copy

April 10, 2015

More of the same in Berkeley

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — Bob Patterson @ 12:32 pm

good crop of NK clipped neg

During the Great Depression there were so many writers and photographers chronicling the trials and tribulations of the poor and oppressed workers that a book could be written about their vast and varied efforts. “Documentary Expression and Thirties America,” by William Stott did, in fact, attempt to provide a definitive guide book for the literary avalanche inspired by the bad times. It seems that the Great Recession has failed to spark the imagination of modern journalists enough to inspire a modern equivalent effort.

Some cynics might say that the conservative capitalists who run the various media involved in communicating information and ideas don’t want to bankroll any such work because they believe that if the Great Recession isn’t recorded on tape, filmed, and/or written about, maybe the public won’t notice that not everybody is singing “Happy Days are Here Again.”

There was an anecdote we encountered in the past that described the time a very wealthy woman was told about hunger in America. She responded with the question “Why don’t they just ring the bell?” Since she could ring a bell and have the servants bring sustenance at any time of the day or night when hunger pangs annoyed her enjoyment of life, she just couldn’t conceive of anyone else not having the same remedy available. Apparently the concept that the servants couldn’t do that and the poor couldn’t either (not even Jean Valjean? [Wasn’t a great and joyous musical written about that thief?]) was just too vexing a task to attempt.

Berkeley spawned the Free Speech Movement in the Sixties and in the late Sixties became a major source of news stories about opposition to the American military aid to

South Vietnam. These days it seems as if Berkeley is fast becoming ground zero for the homeless issue.

The local, regional, and area news media may soon have to send a desperate call to the media in NYC to send backup. (Just as they did in the Sixties.)

A citizen journalist (moi?) may pick up some amusing tidbits of information in the interim but most people understand that a blogger can not be in two places at one time.

The World’s Laziest Journalist can not go gallivanting off to the latest city council meeting, the meetings of the Berkeley Police Review Commission, various protests, and be sitting in a well lighted room banging out a report on the laptop at the same time.

A disjointed and convoluted report on the plight of the panhandlers in Berkeley, even from a columnist who attempts to exemplify and perpetuate the three dot journalism style, might, written under similar hectic circumstances, be a bit more fragmented than usual for the regular readers.

We did learn that the traditional “Spare change” challenge in Berkeley has lately been countered by a claim that the citizen has no cash and has only plastic but, in a preemptive strategy move, Ninja Kitty is spearheading an effort to make it possible for the panhandlers to take donations via various major credit cards. How long will it be until some company can claim: “There’s an app for that!”?

Our columns have made frequent suggestions that the audience should make an effort to read Albert Camus’ “The Rebel.” You could read the book or get the general idea by listening to the song “We’re not gonna take it any more.”

We strongly recommend that assignment editors in NYC make an effort to obtain and read the aforementioned “Documentary Expression and Thirties America.”

Is it a “scoop” if an audacious assignment editor doles out a directive to cover a story that the owners of the competing mainstream media consider too verboten and too anathema to let their wage slaves expend precious time scribbling out “soap opera” news articles? Aren’t such attempts to evoke sympathy in the audience called “sob sister” stories?

Doesn’t the word scoop apply only to a story that the other guys have missed and not be applicable if they are just ignoring it?

Some new tactics in protesting seem to be developing in Berkeley. When was the last time you saw some news coverage about a quiet, peaceful demonstration at 3 a.m. on a workday? If protesters want news coverage and if nothing else is happening at that hour, will such an unorthodox protest strategy get massive response from the various assignment desks and would that not spawn a reason/inspiration for the innovation to “go viral”?

This just in: An overnight vigil promoting an “inter faith solidarity with the homeless people” was being staged on the night of April 9/10. It drew the attention of a KPIX Channel 5 news crew (just a cameraman) and the effect of the effort was not known as this week’s column was in the “on deadline” mode of being prepared for posting. Perhaps it will be summarized in a future installment of our weekly reports.

The assertion that at any hour of any day, in Berkeley, a protest against something is being conducted may be an example bit of hyperbole but soon that may become just a chance to add the old “and that’s a fact” declaration to the trend spotting updates that may soon be filed.

Will the homeless issue debate provide the local political activist known as Ninja Kitty with a foundation for building an image as the new Mario Savio?

Due to the heavy workload at the World’s Laziest Journalist New Organization headquarters we will have to postpone reading and reviewing “A Renegade History of the United States,” by Thaddeus Russell and get back to it later in the year.

In an effort to keep up with technological advances, the World’s Laziest Journalist intends to go to the Berkeley Community Media studios and get the training (an introductory course is starting next week) needed to expand the activities of the WLJ news operations to include a cable access TV show.

Ignoring the renewed uproar over medical care for America’s military veterans while concentrating on Berkeley’s treatment of vagabonds may seem to be an example of poor judgment of news value, but if the mission statement for the World’s Laziest Journalist New Organization should be compared to the job Indian scouts did for the U. S. Cavalry back in the day, it may then make sense to do brief trend spotting items rather than ones that resemble the concept of a trench warfare soldier in WWI. (Was the expression “doughboy” meant to convey the concept of the unquestioning conformity subtly provided by the image a cookie cutter in action?)

Should we try to start an online topic that goes viral by suggesting that the potential of televising the (possible) execution of whatzizface in Boston as a way of discouraging youngsters in the future from avoiding responsibility for their choices in life? Where are Getty and Armstrong when we really need them?

Is a backlash against political correctness brewing in the land of Free Speech? That does seem to be happening in the Frisco area.   Will some “shock jock” grab headlines by spouting some terms that are “politically insensitive and incorrect”?

In an era when a faulty tail light can get (some) drivers killed, it may be time to use this closing quote by Hermann Goering (from page 825 of Bartlett’s): “Shoot first and inquire afterwards, and if you make mistakes, I will protect you.”

Now the disk jockey will play Bob Segar’s “Still the Same,” “Brother, can you spare a dime,” and the new song, by Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson, “It all goes to Pot.” We have to fact check the fact that some folks in Berkeley who protested the execution of Caryl Chessman, will be back in action to urge that Joker Sir Nieff’s life be spared. Have a “the governor just issued a stay of execution order” type week.

 

April 7, 2015

Survivors, serial killers & our pre-September-11 brains

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 8:37 pm

I’ve been spending a lot of time reading books lately — and learning a lot from them too.

First I read a book by David J. Morris entitled “The Evil Hours: A Bibliography of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder” — and my main takeaway from it was this: People are more susceptible to PTSD if the way that they were traumatized involved an act of injustice.

Knowing this, it came as no surprise to me the other day when I was wandering around the buildings and grounds of that massive VA hospital complex in San Francisco and got yelled at by a young Iraq vet who obviously had PTSD. “Injustice!” he screamed. “The Iraq war was unjust? The whole freaking world is unjust!” And that’s the way this vet saw the world, post 9-11.

However, this guy looked hauntingly like he might have been a young post-Vietnam-era vet, just stepped out of a time machine from the 1960s. And there was certainly lots of injustice back in Vietnam too — wherein only the poor jerks in the Mai Lai massacre got caught while all the higher-ups such as Henry Kissinger and various weapons manufacturers just made money on that Tonkin Gulf scam.

Next I read Nicholas Carr’s book, “The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains,” all about how human beings think and how our brains’ working structures are constantly being influenced by stuff in our environment. Even learning to read has changed our brains. Even clocks did that too. And from this information, I concluded that hate changes our brains too. Jesus was right. Hate is a slippery slope.

After that, I read Steven Gore’s new murder-mystery, “Night is the Hunter”. Steven Gore’s books always keep us on the edge of our seats — and also teach us stuff about power and its ability to corrupt those who hold it as well. http://www.amazon.com/Night-Is-Hunter-Harlan-Donnally/dp/0062025090

Then I read a book by murder-mystery author Chelsea Cain, who I had heard speak in her home town of Portland last week. “Even as a child I was always on the look-out for dead bodies.” Boy, she should go off to Yemen right now — where the U.S. and the Saudis are bombing women and children there like there was no tomorrow and charred corpses of babies are just lying around like driftwood on a beach. http://chelseacain.com/

Cain mostly writes about serial killers. And apparently, according to Carr’s POV, serial killers’ brains can get stuck in a groove where, “If you are a hammer, all the world looks like a nail.”

“I’m also always looking for good places to dump bodies,” said Cain. And apparently the American war machine is too! She should try checking out Afghanistan or Libya or Gaza. Lots of places for mass graves there for sure.

Then I decided to take a break from books and watch some old seasons of “Survivor” on Roku. And while watching a season that had been taped in June of 2001, I noticed that all the contestants were really friendly and sweet to each other. Is that really what life was like before 9-11? Season 23 of Survivor is far more merciless and cut-throat. Or is it just that they cast more villains in the power roles?

Have Americans become so much more immune to violence these days? Have our brains simply stopped caring that over a million people in the Middle East have died directly or indirectly by our hands since 9-11? Or that for every American killed in the 9-11 tragedy, approximately 40 innocent women and children have had their bodies burned, their heads blown off or their intestines spread out all over the sidewalk by American weapons, bullets, bombs and brains? http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2015/03/24/us-government-us-military-became-murder-inc-paul-craig-roberts/

The internet may have changed the way that our brains now physically function, but our so-called leaders’ post-9-11 thinking has certainly changed our hearts into cold inhuman stone.

In any case, please remember just this one thing during the 2015 Easter season: Our American brains clearly have changed since September 11, 2001 — and even though Christ has risen, Americans have sunk.

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