June 27, 2017

Urban Shield: Doing unto us what we did to Iraq, Syria, etc.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 9:30 pm

How many Americans even remember America’s brutal and unnecessary “war” on Vietnam? Even though 50,000 (fifty thousand) of our sons and daughters died in that conflict? And that said “war” went very badly for us when a bunch of determined farmers in black pajamas kicked our butts?

How many Americans even know that our military-industrial complex financed, encouraged and promoted Saddam Hussein’s “war” on Iran in the 1980s — even though that brutal and uncalled-for attack lasted ten long bloody years? And that Iraq, even though it was working hand-in-hand with both America and Israel and probably most of Europe too, couldn’t even manage to defeat puny Iran?

And journalist Steve Fournier also asks the same question about Russia. “Would you entrust a war to an army that couldn’t defeat some of the weakest nations on earth? The armed forces of the United States have been engaged for over a generation in warfare against governments in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Libya, Yemen and Syria. They have managed to destroy lives and property in abundance and have extinguished entire ancient cultures, but they have accomplished no discernible mission. Typically facing poorly-armed and undernourished enemies, they have been unable to record a victory since 1945. Should we trust them to take on Russia?”

And then there were all those bloody and unnecessary “wars” on Nicaragua, Guatemala, Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Palestine (by proxy), Syria, Yemen, Chile, Korea (twice so far) and so on — all of them now conveniently forgotten.

Hell, Americans can’t even remember any of the centuries of “wars” on poorly-armed American Indians or even the three or four centuries of brutal and cowardly attacks on defenseless Black people, conveniently referred to as either “slavery” or “Jim Crow”.

And now the same folks who brought us all those stupid and shameful “wars” abroad are now trying to bring these same stupid and shameful “wars” home here too. Does your local police department really need a tank? Seriously? Urban Shield sounds pretty much like Iraqi Shield or Afghan Shield or Syrian Shield, all of which ended badly for the civilians of those countries. Bad news for them — and now almost certainly bad news for us too.

But great news for the military-industrial complex!

And speaking of urban stuff, here’s the next chapter of my recent adventures in New York City:

Day Three, Part 1: One would think that I would have fallen asleep easily last night after taking the red-eye from SFO — but no. Maybe I got a few hours of primo sleep. But whether or not sleep was involved, my wake-up call still came at 6:15 am.

And then I discovered Hudson Street Park. 20 blocks of lovely waterfront walkways going directly from The Jane hotel to the Javits Center. Birds actually sang!

Then I got in free to the Book Expo’s authors’ breakfast on my press pass. Karmic reward! Sweet. But shoulda known that the breakfast was not going to be gluten-free. Not even oatmeal or fruit cups were involved. Just orange juice and cream cheese for me.

Damn, there’s a lot of people here — and at $70 a pop. Who’s going to speak? Stephen King. Anyway, here I am, sitting right next to the Random House/Penguin VIP table. There must be at least a thousand people here. 150 tables of ten, plus a bunch of seating for groundlings in the back.

Oliver King, Stephen’s son, spoke first. “Our family sat around and pitched one-line story lines to each other at the dinner table. One of those story lines was about a world without women. Our new book ‘Sleeping Beauty’ resulted.”

Stephen King said, “I used to be a latchkey kid back before there were even latchkey kids — back in the 1950s. And my mom used to say, ‘If there’s no ring around the toilet bowl, you know that a woman is around’. Men just don’t do things like that. Women are the cooling factor in society when men run too hot.” Surely Stephen King didn’t just say that, that all women are good for is cleaning the toilet. I’m sure he meant something else. Will have to read the book to find out.

Whitney Cummings spoke next. “I wanted to write something that will last forever. Books are permanent. I’m an unapologetic book nerd. They don’t bombard you with visual chaos like social media does.” She’s funny as hell, is a screenwriter for “Two Broke Girls”.

“It’s totally hard to write a book. I thought it would be fun and sexy like when Cary Bradshaw did it on TV. But it was actually pretty frustrating. And then there’s fact-checkers. They should go over to Fox News. Fox News needs fact-checkers. Leave me alone!”

She used to be crazy. “You can’t just magically stop being crazy. I went into therapy. I was co-dependent, couldn’t say no. Busy but unfulfilled. Needing the approval of others.” She gave a really humorous presentation. Made all this terrible stuff sound laugh-out-loud funny. “Ambian and wine is not a sustainable combination.”

Her book is a manual about how to change your brain. “People only show their good sides on social media but a lot of people really are in pain. But people do want to change and grow. This book will hopefully provide healing laughs.”

Claire Messud spoke next. “My novel, The Burning Girl, is about two young girls and their close friendship as they pass through the storm of adolescence. We all remember middle school. When something doesn’t make sense just think, ‘Picture this as happening in middle school,’ and then it will make perfect sense. A week can contain a year’s worth of emotions.”

We all put together stories to make sense of our lives, Messud told us. “We fill in the blanks. Many elements are familiar, universal — what we give up to become adults, from only pieces of what actually goes on. But a state of uncertainty between knowing and unknowing is what makes us human.”

Scott Kelly spoke next. 520 days in space, 340 of them consecutively. He wrote a book called “Endurance”. When he was a kid, he read a book called “The Right Stuff” and immediately decided to become an astronaut. “It surprised even me that I did this, and my book is the story of how I got there. Today is a critical day in our nation’s future. I have looked at the earth from space. You don’t see a lot of rain forests down there anymore. You can actually see the pollution. Plus all the cooperation between people and countries regarding space programs shows that we can do anything if we have dreams.”

Then Jessmyn Ward spoke about her new book, “Sing, Unburied, Sing”. “Faulkner once said, ‘To understand the world you must first understand Mississippi’. My mother was a domestic and my father was a factory worker. I never thought I would become a writer. Mississippi will hug you before it smothers you.” Mississippi also has some of the best bookstores there is. Jackson, Tupelo, Oxford. “The past bears down especially hard on the present in Mississippi. Why? It was heavily invested in slavery and then later in Jim Crow and Parchman Farm. How does the past live in the present? That’s the question I constantly ask myself. Writing is my attempt to answer this question.”

She tells us that, “Mississippi is the foundation and walls. America is the roof. Your home fails you, murders you. There is terror — and there is hope.”

Pete Souza then spoke about his new book, “Obama”. He was the White House photographer during Obama’s presidency. “So. I miss this guy. I took two million photos in eight years.” A nice selection of his photos were projected onto a big screen, and that was the end of the authors’ breakfast.

Then it was off to the main exhibit hall to see who was giving away free pens. Nobody was! I only scored three or four pens. Bummer.

But at the Soho Press booth I scored the new Colin Cotterill book! And a pre-publication copy at that! Not to mention a new Timothy Hallinan book, “The Widows of Malabar Hill” and a few others as well.

I also got a copy of the new Joe Ide book, “Righteous,” and some free macadamia nuts — but paid three whole dollars for a tiny bag of potato chips. Had to. By that time I was starving.

Bought a deli salad after leaving Javits Center and then took the 9th Avenue bus back home to The Jane. Am going back tonight to attend the Hillary Clinton School of Lies but that will be about it for the BEA for today. I think.

To be continued…


June 23, 2017

Are Americans even good people any more?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 4:59 pm

Today’s proverb from my Franklin Planner says, “A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.” Dwight D. Eisenhower said that.

America is spozed to be a Christian nation and yet its military has murdered hundreds of thousands of women and children randomly in almost half the countries of the world — and done it for fun but mostly for profit. American “wars” on Vietnam, Iraq, Syria, Libya, the former Yugoslavia, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Yemen, Palestine, Honduras, Panama, the Philippines, Cuba (the list goes on and on) have been criminally-shameful and illegal rapes and slaughters of much weaker countries, based solely on American cruelty and greed. What would Jesus do? Certainly not this!

And here at home, we Americans fight hard for our right to have guns so that we can protect ourselves against robbers and The Government, but only end up mostly killing our children by accident and committing hate crimes on purpose. How Christian is that?

Americans are spozed to love liberty yet we have Urban Shield and the NSA and the Patriot Act at home and the CIA and “Special Forces” assassination teams abroad, ones that support the worse kind of dictators such as the Saudi un-Muslim mafia, the Ukraine un-Christian neo-Nazis, the Israeli un-Jewish apartheid neo-colonalists and those brutal butchers in ISIS and al Qaeda.

America is spozed to be the Robin Hood of the free world and yet we constantly take from the Poor and give to the Rich. Counting the jobless, the homeless, those without healthcare, soldiers sacrificed to defend corporate profits, victims of yucky drinking water, victims of infrastructure failure, your aging parents, your friends and mine, etc., it looks like many more than a million Americans will die far before their time in this coming year because of the Koch brothers, the Deep State, Citizens United, the Wall Street casino where the House always wins, media “war” propaganda lies in order to sell WMDs, and the souls of the corrupt legislators that have been have been bought and paid for by these ill-gotten gains. To say nothing of shameful Jim-Crow-style election fraud by the GOP and also gross interference in our elections by, wait for it, Israel and Saudi Arabia — of which both Republicans and Democrats are blatant receivers of whole boxcars full of untraceable cash.

“Among a people generally corrupt, liberty does not exist,” my Planner goes on to tell me. Edmund Burke said that. And he was right too.

Are Americans only getting the corrupt and cruel leaders that they deserve? It certainly does look that way. And are Americans even good people any more — to have let all this evil corruption go on for so long? I don’t even want to think about the answer to that question. Let’s think about something more pleasant instead. Here’s a report on my first two days in NYC:

“Everything’s like a dream in New York City” — especially its book-publishing industry, its celebrity personalities, its amazing museums, its outstanding people-watching opportunities and its vibrant street life.

Day One: I leave for New York in six short hours and guess what? Just finished going through my usual heavy-duty pre-travel panic attacks — including the usual “I could just stay home and lose my airfare money and I would be okay with that” phase, followed closely by the “OMG, I’m so hungry and there is nothing to eat!” phase, and then followed by the “I’m gonna hide under the bed in denial” phase. And yet here I am aboard a BART train that goes to the San Francisco airport and I’m actually okay with that — and even excited.

Heading off to New York City? Who would not be excited about that? Museums and books. Museums and books. Museums and books. And hopefully not bedbugs.

And now I’m on the JetBlue red-eye flight with no problems. The service is great but the free inflight movies all seem to be at least five years old. Mrs. Doubtfire? Really? Moneyball? I played a game-watching extra in that one at least five years ago. The Sound of Music? Huh? Finally settled on 27 Dresses which was entertaining and cute.

Day Two: Well, apparently I must have slept on the plane because there are clearly two hours unaccounted for on that flight. But can’t remember falling asleep. But so what. I got to JFK airport, took the subway (the E train) to 8th Avenue and 14th Street, dragged my suitcase for seven blocks and voila. Here I am at The Jane hotel — in the world’s smallest hotel room. Even the one I had at the Tokyo airport was bigger. We shall see.

They don’t call these rooms “cabins” for nothing. Built in 1907, The Jane used to be a seaman’s hotel for when sailors were ashore. But, hey, the rate is really cheap, the staff is really nice and they don’t have bedbugs. That’s what counts. Plus I’m right near the shared bathroom. Good to know in the middle of the night. Plus the bathroom is really clean. And the cabins are wood-lined and cute.

Today was a day for walking my legs off. 30 blocks up to the Javits Center, and another 30 or 40 blocks wandering around what used to be Hell’s Kitchen and now appears to be Yuppies’ Kitchen instead. And the highlight of the day? Stopping by Soho Crime publishing house on lower Broadway and meeting one of its editors again. Seeing all those excellent books. Wow and double-wow! Plus Soho is located right around the corner from a Whole Foods market. Two birds with one stone. Mental stimulation and dinner.

“Got any recommendations for a good Chinese restaurant?” I asked the editor — the question that Henry Chang’s main character in his latest Soho murder-mystery, “Lucky,” hates to be asked.

“Sure,” answered the editor. “Anything on Doyer Street is great. Nam Wah, Tasty Hint, all of it’s good.” Maybe I’ll go there on Friday because tomorrow is going to be jammed — starting with getting up at 6:15 am in order to go see Stephen King and Owen King talk about their new book “Sleeping Beauties”. Apparently its a story about the consequences of having a world without women. Then I’m meeting a friend at 3:00 pm for rice pudding at B&H Dairy on Second Avenue, and then going to a talk by Killary Clinton at 6:00 pm. So much fun.

Bottom line: Walking around the streets of New York is a whole tourist treat all in itself and boy did I do that today!

To be continued….


June 15, 2017

Whatever happened to Freedom of Speech ?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Bob Patterson @ 9:22 pm


While fact checking the marijuana renaissance we found a cannabis oriented magazine featuring a pot advocate described as a transgender woman and featured on the cover.


Transgender is not the same as transsexual and a friend who has had the medical procedures has proclaimed, “If you haven’t gone through it you shouldn’t speak about what you don’t know”.


If the cover subject hasn’t had the operation then that person is just a cross dresser and should celebrate Father’s Day this Sunday.


Missing information about transsexuals is rampant in the mainstream media. Media urban legend stories imply that the sex-change procedure is reversible.


Completely untrue according to the transsexual pioneer we asked.


Are kids being accurately informed on this topic or are they being duped?


Even this columnist confuses the two terms. A transgender is just a cross dresser who may or may not be taking hormones.


If they are misinformed shouldn’t people who want a chance to offer the truth to youngsters be given a way to express their particular point of view?


If a concerted effort is made to stifle criticism is it accurate to proclaim that freedom of speech still exists in the USA?


When harsh criticism is eliminated from the debate, isn’t a one-sided argument too prejudicial?


Since transgenders are getting so much coverage, shouldn’t an opposing opinion be sought out by the mainstream media that allegedly wants to present both sides of the issue?


If a M-F can’t bear children and if F-M people can’t father a child, won’t the medias’ fascination with sex-changes eventually mean that the proponents will die out?


If a man in his late 60’s has a sex-change operation will the patient expect to attract a virile young man for a lifelong relationship or is it just a blatant example of self-deception?


In a world full of fake news isn’t the abundance of sex-change journalism stories proof that sensationalism is out of control in most of the mainstream media?


For this year’s Father’s Day, on behalf of our friend, we call on all of America’s managing editors to make an effort to learn the ghastly truth about this trend before publishing any related fake news.


As much as we would like to see quality journalism about this trending topic, we won’t hold our breath nor will we ever believe the “it’s a reversible”change” propaganda.


Have a Happy Father’s Day to all who passed the paternity test.

June 11, 2017

The real estate boom in NYC: Money-laundering’s finest hour

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 11:53 am

What! You say that you’ve already been to New York City dozens of times and yet you’ve never eaten rice pudding at B&H Dairy on Second Avenue? Well. That is a fatal lapse in your education. Fix it immediately or else.

Back in 1965 when I was a poverty-stricken idealist living in an apartment on the Lower East Side that rented for $28 a month and when LSD was still legal, I used to save up my pennies and treat myself to a bowl of B&H’s fabulous rice pudding every few months. So when I went back to NYC for the Book Expo recently, I met up with an old friend at B&H and we talked.

“There is new construction going on in Manhattan everywhere you look these days,” she said. “Everyone wants to invest in real estate in New York City.”

“And in Berkeley too,” I replied. “There are currently 10,000 new high-rise apartment units going up in my home town as well.”–Becky-O-Malley

“Actually, it’s happening all over the world,” said my friend. “Even in the Middle East, construction is going on like crazy.” Humph. That’s just so not fair. Look at me and look at you. Can any of us average Americans afford to run out and build high-rise condos worth billions of bucks? Hardly. It’s all we can do to keep from being homeless.

So where are all these billions — trillions — of construction dollars coming from? “War profits, drug money, oil barons and sheiks. Hedge funds. Shadow banks.” Shadow banks? Now there’s a scary thought. Aren’t our regular banks shadowy enough as it is?

PS: From my vantage point up on the High Line Park the other day, I counted 24 different new high-rises going up. And from the top floor of the Whitney Museum I counted five more.

Ah, the Whitney. Its Biannual Exhibit was amazing. And one whole section was devoted to works by artists who were deeply in debt. That’s scary too. No condo-high-rise ownership for them. Seems like you either gotta murder babies in the Middle East, pollute the world with oil emissions and/or sell drugs to school children in order to play at being Bob the Builder in New York. Being creative in America will only smash you headlong into debt.

PPS: Here’s a quote from Larry Fink that I stole off the artists’ wall at the Whitney: “The two greatest stores of wealth internationally today are contemporary art and apartments in Manhattan.” Fink is the head of Black Rock. Black Rock is the world’s largest shadow bank, is worth 5.1 trillion dollars and is almost personally responsible for the 2008 financial crisis with its mortgage-backed security scam. But, hey, at least Fink is supporting the arts.

PPPS:  The media is always talking about RussiaGate. But what about SaudiGate, IsraeliGate and GlobalCorporationGate — the guys who launder money by buying property in Washington DC, primarily on Capital Hill and Pennsylvania Avenue.


June 4, 2017

Hillary Clinton’s BEA speech: Gettin’ jiggy wit’ it

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 1:35 pm

I recently saw HRC speak to a sold-out audience of over 1,000 at the BEA Book Expo at the Javits Center in NYC — and she looked downright jiggy. Jiggy? “What the freak does it mean to look jiggy?” you might ask.

There are several definitions of the word. “Well-dressed. Sexy. Nervous.” First, let’s eliminate “sexy”. Even I gotta admit that Clinton was looking good but she’s a US Senator for Chrissakes. “Sexy” is out. So that just leaves “well-dressed” and “nervous”. But she was actually sort of well-dressed — and thankfully not in a pants-suit. Jiggy outfit? Check.

But was Clinton nervous? That depends. She actually came across as being casual, comfortable, well-spoken, in control and actually even nice — not bad for someone who was personally responsible for murdering approximately a million people in Libya and Syria — people who would be alive today if it wasn’t for her.

But was HRC nervous about being personally responsible for giving us Donald J. Trump? Not so that you’d notice. So was Hillary nervous about anything at all? Yeah. She as jiggy about Russia. “I find it outrageous that a foreign country could actually interfere with American elections!” And she actually said that with a straight face! She must have been hecka nervous to say something like that.

Here’s the truth. Israeli neocolonialists have been interfering with American elections for the past 25 years — and no one in America except me has ever given a flying freak about that. No one in Washington has ever been elected during this time without explicit permission from AIPAC, the neo-colonialists’ right arm. And Clinton is right in their pocket. No wonder she’s jiggy about Russia. Russia didn’t do it. Hillary did.

Or perhaps Clinton is jiggy about Saudi Arabia and all the big bucks she received from them. But HRC didn’t mention the House of Saud either. Only Russia. That seems hecka jiggy there too.

All and all, it was a sweet friendly intimate evening with Hillary Clinton — and she was definitely jiggy wit’ it. Me too.


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