February 22, 2016

My winter reading list: Overthrow, Sapiens & Land Without Evil

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 4:05 pm

Winter is the perfect time to turn up the heater, hide under the covers and read a good book. Lady Gaga is right. “Baby, it’s cold outside.”

I am currently reading a whole bunch of murder mysteries in preparation for attending the annual “Left Coast Crime” readers’ and writers’ convention in Phoenix Arizona this month I’m also reading “Sapiens” by Yuval Noah Harari; “Land Without Evil” by Richard Gott; “Overthrow: America’s Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq” by Stephen Kinzer and a series of articles about the “youth bulge,” a phenomenon that happens when there are more young men in any particular society than there are jobs

According to Harari, Homo sapiens began to take over the world by using three major tools: Genocide, gossip and myth. Genocide got rid of most of those pesky Neanderthals. Gossip allowed sapiens to find out who was trustworthy and who was not. And myths, such as ones about totems, hierarchies and enemies, held a lot of people together in a common cause who would otherwise just be thinking for themselves.

This description of what happened 70,000 years ago sounds pretty much like what is still happening today, right? Only today these things are called nationalism, propaganda and religion. And apparently genocide is still in our DNA.

“Land Without Evil” tells the incredibly well-researched story of the tragic genocide of hundreds of thousands of South American Indians by post-Colombian Spaniards. It is a highly detailed book and I can only read it five pages a day without getting overwhelmed, but this is definitely stuff we should know and is well worth the effort to read about it.

The series of articles written by Gearóid Ó Colmáin about the “youth bulge” phenomenon is interesting because I can now see that the current refugee crises in Europe and America are a recurrence of the same historical population-pressure events that caused the genocide of Neanderthals, American Indians, Jews, Tibetans and Palestinians. Hitler called it “Lebenstraum”. Netanyahu called it “Greater Israel”. The Donner Party called it “Manifest Destiny”.

And does it look like today’s refugees to Europe and America are also trying to escape yet another Homo sapiens genocide organized around gossip and myth as well? Read Ó Colmáin’s articles and find out. And also read Stephen Kinzer’s “Overthrow,” about how American neo-colonialists have been putting pressure on various “youth bulge” kids throughout the world to leave home by simply destroying their countries’ democracies, ruining their economies and then shooting them if they stay put.

As for murder mysteries, I like them because justice is always served in the end — and because justice (hopefully) is also another important Homo sapiens trait. Just ask Janet Evanovich, Alexander McCall-Smith and Sherlock Holmes.

PS: I’m currently madly at work at editing my own book so that I will have something really good to read by next winter. Its latest working title is “Visions of a Lost and Future World”. Or you could just go ahead and read my already-published book this winter. It’s all the hot gossip you would ever want to know about the Middle East, including what it’s like to almost get blown up in Baghdad’s Green Zone, get kicked off the Temple Mount by both Israelis and Palestinians, explore pyramids, visit Kabul and go on Hajj in Saudi Arabia.

PPS: And speaking of genocide, the American military machine is happily generating even more “youth bulges” in Syria — even as we speak.

According to a friend of mine there, a US-backed “moderate rebel” (aka ISIS) suicide bomber just attacked the az-Zahra district in Homs city, at a time when the streets were full of students. A second attack took place in Sayyeda Zaynab town, close to Damascus, close to a hospital. The total loss of civilian lives in one day reached around 100 so far. The total injured are in hundreds.

“The terrorists and whomever behind them are losing to the Syrian army, Russian air strikes and Hezbollah. They are taking revenge by killing innocent civilians, women and kids. It’s a dirty war.”


February 16, 2016

Madam Jane predicts: Death in the year 2028

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 9:52 am

“You can’t eat guns,” Madam Jane is always fond of saying. She is a friend of mine who is a psychic and always comes up with really gloomy predictions.

“In the year 2028, after all the supermarkets have closed,” she told me today over tea leaves, “there will be nothing left to do but go hunting,” But what will there be left to hunt? The deer and buffalo are pretty much gone already — so then what will we do? Shoot cats and dogs? “Humans,” replied Madam Jane. Yikes!

I went to a party the other day and we ate hamburgers, tacos, cake and guacamole. “Those days of food abundance will be gone by 2028, trust me,” said Madam Jane. And, sadly, I do. She predicted that the invasions of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yugoslavia, Syria, Ukraine, Somalia and Yemen would all be failures. Hell, she even predicted that the invasion of Korea, Palestine and Vietnam would be disasters too. And they all were (unless of course you were a weapons manufacturer). “You just can’t eat guns.”

Then someone at the party started chatting on and on about how America needed to support the moderate rebels in Syria. So I gave him my usual ISIS-trashing speech yet again. “There are no moderate rebels in Syria now and there never have been any moderate rebels in Syria since Day One. They are all ISIS, paid for by the Saudis, coddled by the Israelis, encouraged by NATO, armed by the Americans and trained by the Turks.” And like all the rest of America, the guy at the party didn’t believe me either. Sucks to be me. It must be even harder to be Madam Jane.

“So by the year 2028, most Americans will be armed and dangerous too, just like ISIS is now,” continued Madam Jane. “American in 2028 will be like Libya today, a failed state. And in the end, all of us who are left will be munching on people-jerky for breakfast. If we last that long that is.”

Madam Jane, please cheer up! Smile more. Smiles release more endorphins into our brains. That’s why we love to spend time with happy people and babies. They make us smile automatically. But even when you are alone by yourself, you can still smile. But spending time with happy people really does make you smile more.

“Or you can shoot them or eat them,” replied Madam Jane.

PS: Madam Jane might be wrong about the year 2028 after all. From what I just read on the Moon of Alabama blog, we may all be dead much sooner than 2028. Hell, we could even be dead tomorrow if those idiots who run America’s War Street don’t wise up.

According to MofA, who is never wrong (how does he do that!), “Turkey [on February 14, 2016] used 155mm artillery to fire from Turkey against Syrian Democratic Forces’ positions on Minnagh airbase and around Azaz [Syria]. There will be Turkish special forces observers in Syria to direct the fire. The NATO member Turkey is shelling the YPG, which is backed by Russia and the U.S., and the SDF which is backed by the U.S. for attacking the FSA and Islamists who are backed by the U.S., Turkey and Saudi Arabia.” Good grief.

But wait. It gets worse. “The Russian and Syrian air force will likely respond to the Turkish attack with an intensified bombing of positions held by Turkish proxy forces in Syria. Those forces just received new artillery ammunition and new TOW anti-tank missiles.”

And then there’s this: “Twenty Saudi F-15 jets arrived today in Incirlik airbase in Turkey to, allegedly, join the U.S. coalition force against the Islamic State. The Saudis also promised to send ground forces if those would fight under some allied command.”

And this: “At least 1,600 British troops with heavy weapons and equipment are currently arriving in Jordan. The Brits claim that this is just for some normal training maneuver but we can expect the British government to be paid off enough by the Gulf Arabs to take part in the fight. The British units would likely lead a Saudi/UAE/ (maybe also Egyptian?) combined force from east Jordan up through the Syrian desert towards Raqqa and Deir Ezzor.”

And even this: “An additional brigade from the U.S. 101st Airborne is deploying to Iraq without much public announcement. Its task is an invasion of Syria from the south-east along the Euphrates to first capture Deir Ezzor and to then move on to Raqqa.” Bet you didn’t hear about that on the 10 o’clock news.

Thought it couldn’t get any worse? Ha! “Iran is ready to send as many men from its Revolutionary Guard and Quds brigades to Syria as are needed to sustain the governments fight. These folks salivate over the prospect of having some regular Saudi forces for breakfast. There are also active attempts to draw all NATO nations into the phony ‘fight against ISIS’”.

And then Moon of Alabama leaves us with this cheery thought: “Meanwhile the Islamic State, confused by this US-created cluster-fu*ck in Iraq and Syria, decides to relocate its headquarters from Iraq and Syria to Libya, the other failed state that…the U.S., France and the UK recently created.”

Madam Jane could very easily be off about 12 or 13 years regarding her prediction. It could be any day now instead. Plus this current disaster of bad judgment on the part of America, Turkey, the Saudis, NATO and Israel sounds very similar to the disaster of bad judgment on the part of Britain, France and Germany that resulted in World War I. February 14, 2016 may be a day to go down in infamy too.

“You can’t eat guns.”


February 14, 2016

US vs Hippies

Filed under: Uncategorized — Bob Patterson @ 2:43 pm

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Several events have occurred in rapid succession recently indicating that it is time for the World’s Laziest Journalist  to HIP others on the trend-spotting beat to the fact that the Hippie Movement is in Revival mode.

While viewing “The US vs. John Lennon”, we (the WLJ and former summer intern) noticed that several ESTABLISHMENT SPOKESPERSONS (MEN) were making the assertion (or at least conceding ) that the fact is that the Bush Dynasty is more warmongering than the Nixon administration was at the height of the Viet Nam war.  It was strongly implied that the time is ripe for a revival of the John Lennon style of philosophy that people should make love not war and give peace a chance.

Surviving members of Berkeley’s feed War Resisters league have dwindled down to a precious few. Ominous indication in Syria hint that the time may be right for a War Resisters League resurgence.

Is it appropriate to call the people urging peace in the Middle East Peaceniks or Hippies?

Secondly, on Monday February 8th, at 3:15 PM, KCBS was reporting that the temperature in Oakland was 81 degrees.  The news coverage of the New Hampshire primaries reported it was snowing (feel the Burn?).

Will the small business operator in the Bay Area forget the costs of hosting the Super Bowl when the propaganda value of the climate that accompanied the Bowl activities becomes obvious to decision makers back east?

When a tsunami of emmigrants begins arriving in Baghdad by the Bay in the next few weeks, with the concomitant surge in small business profits, is it to be expected they will change their minds? Will the small businesses change their minds about the minor inconveniences of The Big Game?

Did the game broadcast use Scott MacKenzie’s song for background music?

Will the tech industry descend upon “Frisco like it was summer of ’68?

Thirdly, Belle Starr has finally been goaded into starting to write her autobiographic novel and is attempting to subsidize this chronicle of the Hippie Era  through a fundraising effort at Kickstart under “Crash and Burn, then Shrug it off”.

We strongly urge our readers to help with this altruistic endeavor.

The WLJ will closely monitor the results of this fundraising effort and if it is successful, we almost certainly will revert to the Santa Monica Independent modus operandi of “Monkey see, Monkey do”.

We don’t expect the Media Mavens of Manhattan to endorse the concept that the cultural center of hipness in the USA is once again being transferred to the County of San Francisco. If however, a journalist in the Big Apple has powerful means of oratory and persuasion available they might want to pitch their managing editor on the advantages of an assignment to travel all expenses paid to San Francisco and cover the re-emergence of the Hippie Movement. Who doesn’t want to re-live the magical era of Hedges and Donna (they rated a duet appearance on the Smother’s Brothers Comedy Hour).

So break out and on through to the other side and let your inner hippie out – bellbottoms and army jackets are required so start buying your patches now and hitch hike everywhere!

The DJ will play  The Best of Moby Grape, Jefferson Airplane and Grateful Dead (remember Pigpen?). We have to go to the nude parade on Castro for Valentine’s Day.

Have a GROOVY week!  and stay Clean for Gene!

February 12, 2016

Crash, Burn and Shrug it Off

Filed under: Uncategorized — Bob Patterson @ 12:41 pm



In 1980, just after passing the California Bar, I hit the newspapers in San Francisco and was approached by the William Morris Agency to write my story.  I received a pile of paper several inches thick and a hefty number of pounds to sign.  It was my first entertainment contract and I was delighted in going through it. I made changes and  along the way I discovered that this contract could really harm me while making me their property for quite a length of time.  It was there that i first learned how advertising and promotion costs could make any return to the author small or non-existent.

I was assigned a Los Angeles reporter Tia Gindick to help me along and it would have made for a reasonably stuffed bank account and a busy schedule on the talk show and guest circuit.

I turned it down. I turned William Morris Agency down!  I did not want to be known only as a  a transsexual freak but for what I hoped to do in law as I was a new lawyer.

After all this time and continued encouragement by many to write my story, even up to today, has given me the impetus to try a Kickstarter campaign and get the equivalent of an advance (which seems to only be available to celebrities these days).

With an advance that involves the kind donors and supporters in the writing and development of my interesting, unusual and fascinating story of growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area and being a pioneer hippie on Haight Street, with all the excitement of the famous Sixties that San Francisco is credited with, which started here and changed the world.

The trips, literal and psychedelic, student days at Berkeley in the late sixties to service in the Peace Corps and other adventures mark this autobiography as another, perhaps more poignant and idealistic, view of the turbulent times by a witness (and sometime participant).

Having been the only  Legal Counsel for OccupySF by consensus  and dedicated to activism, helping the poor and paying it forward, I find myself with neither time that is free or funding to comfortably write. I can still do all this as a public service but if I can be able to be unconcerned about making my next coffee money or meal money, I believe I can devote all my time in calm surroundings to actually concentrate on this task which may touch many hearts with my path and its results in the future.

I will be grateful to you donors as this will be a personal and group catharsis, especially to write it 50 years after the seminal events I lived through as a young teenage boy.  Your philanthropy will allow me to challenge the bull of the white screen before me and write with the flourish and confidence of the great matadors I once witnessed in Alicante, Spain : El Cordobes, Linhares and El Manzanares- all three receiving the applause with the tail and two ears at the end of their meetings with “El Toro”.

You can vicariously attend Janis’ concert in the Panhandle, Altamont and most of the major events and meet the people you have heard of with my personal recollections. Perhaps you will think I was a minor participant.  William Morris thought I was more than minor and I suspect you will not be disappointed. I know The Brotherhood of Love will not be disappointed.

I thank you all from the bottom of my heart. My life has it’s “ups and downs but never counted out” flavor as the title of this column is also the title of the book. It might bring tears and laughter but most of all the same hope that we had in the Sixties!

Please go to Kickstarter and support my campaign to spin you a few good yarns!

Ready, Set, ……GO!   I AM LIVE!

February 11, 2016

Playing grocery bingo at the senior citizen center

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 9:15 pm

Holy cow! The average age of a prime-time Fox News viewer is 68 years old! Don’t senior citizens have anything better to do with their lives than to sit around watching all those hateful lies being broadcast at them day in and day out? Maybe they don’t — but I do!

Every Monday and Tuesday, our local Trader Joe’s store sponsors grocery bingo at my nearby senior citizens center. So much fun! And I usually get to haul home enough groceries to supplement my Social Security benefits for the week. Plus my 11-month-old granddaughter Sofia always manages to win a banana, much to her delight. Not only that but, besides Sofia, I am usually the youngest person in the room — a total change from the usual demographic I hang out with. Refreshing.

Thank you Thank you Thank you, Trader Joe’s.

And here’s another fun thing you can do if you’ve been “chronologically gifted” — you can also break into Hollywood. There are a thousand young women applying for every single ingenue part, but there are hardly any crones out there auditioning for the grandma role (except for me of course). I just played a steerage passenger on a documentary about the Titanic. So much fun!

And there are hecka lot of other things that senior citizens can do that are so much more fun than watching lies on Fox News. For instance, I’m trying to put together a trip to go visit the Jenin Freedom Theatre in the Occupied West Bank. How cool would that be!

Stuck in a wheelchair? No problem. You can still make it down to the senior citizen center to play grocery bingo. They’ll pick you up.

PS: For many decades now, the elderly in America have been shamelessly taken advantage of by scam artists, courts, legal guardians, adult children, nursing homes, the use of pharmaceutical handcuffs and who knows all else.

However, as the Baby Boom generation reaches the age of AARP, all these con artists are having trouble getting away with all the dirty tricks they used to pull off on the elderly with such ease because there are so many more of us who protest being lied to and cheated. This is a good thing.

And here’s another con to watch out for. If you are a senior who is taking three or more Big Pharma medications, they could cause symptoms similar to Altzheimers. And if this happens, they will try to cure this by putting you on even more medication (that costs even more money). Sucks to be you.

PPS: One of the biggest fears of the Black grandmothers in my neighborhood is that their Black grandsons, no matter how well-mannered and gifted they are, may leave for school alive one morning and then come back home in a box.

PPPS: And speaking of lies, the American public is currently being overwhelmed by a whole pack of lies about “Syrian moderate rebels” who are actually ISIS thugs.

There never were any “Syrian moderate rebels” — and there certainly aren’t any now! It’s just the same old WMD crap that we got fed about Iraq — only bigger and more sophisticated and even more untrue. ISIS is being soundly defeated and the American military machine that sponsors them is pissed!


February 2, 2016

Obama born in Kenya, Cruz in Canada? I’m confused!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 12:12 pm

Good grief, talk about your hypocrites. For the past eight years, America has been forced to listen to Birthers, the GOP, Fox News and various Tea Party crazies go on and on about how Barack Obama shouldn’t be our President because he was born in Kenya, right? Eight years that we can never get back again.

Enter Ted Cruz. “I was born in Canada but I have an American mother,” he tells us, “and therefore I am qualified to be President.” But wait. Obama had an American mum too.

Obama was born in Hawaii. Cruz was born in Calgary, Canada. So why does the Tea Party have its knickers all in a twist over Obama’s having possibly been born in Kenya — but doesn’t give a flying freak that Cruz was actually born offshore? Hypocrisy, right?

But Obama and Cruz have something even more important in common as well, besides just their places of birth. For the past eight years Obama has been perfectly okay with Americans like you and me going into deep and endless debt so that the Pentagon could afford to manufacture dead babies in the Middle East. And Cruz is okay with that policy too.

So why should the Tea Party and GOP even care where Obama was born as long as he keeps them and the Pentagon happy by continuing to create dead babies in the Middle East? Because isn’t that the main reason why the Tea Party and the GOP like Ted Cruz?


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