Member since: Tue Oct 14, 2003, 04:09 AM
Number of posts: 7,853
Number of posts: 7,853
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Occasionally, my wife and I enjoy doing this. They're usually fascinating, especially if there is a history attached with the place.
Recently, we traveled to the Santa Susana Pass in southern California. While the area is infamous for the Spahn movie ranch where the Manson family resided in the late 1960s, there is another movie ranch that we visited: Corriganville. This ranch named after western actor/stuntman/Man in a Gorilla suit actor Ray Corrigan, was open to the public as an amusement park from May 1, 1949 until 1966 when Bob Hope closed the ranch.
We've written more about it on our blog and also shot a few videos of the area. Here's the first one:
Posted by robertpaulsen | Thu Sep 15, 2016, 04:23 PM (11 replies)
My wife and I recently traveled to Las Vegas (it was relatively cool, 95 degrees) and explored a number of different areas. We ended up editing five videos of all the places we saw there that I want to share with you over the next several weeks.
There was definitely a contrast in the places we visited between "old" Vegas and "new" Vegas. The oldest part of Las Vegas can actually be found in Henderson, Nevada at the Clark County Museum. This is where we shot our first video.
Let me know if there are any other "old" Vegas attractions you like visiting. Hope you enjoy watching our visit!
Posted by robertpaulsen | Fri Aug 12, 2016, 05:14 PM (4 replies)
My wife and I recently visited Seattle, Washington and had a lot of fun! It was very sunny while we were there, so we got great views from the Space Needle. We also enjoyed outdoor dining at Ivar's Acres of Clams for lunch.
Check out our videos:
Posted by robertpaulsen | Fri Aug 5, 2016, 03:44 PM (0 replies)
My wife and I took a recent trip to Oregon wine country to do some tastings. We visited three different wineries and they were all unique and fantastic!
We've started a travel blog where we wrote about it here:
Or if you just want to view the amazing scenery and watch us sip great wines, here is our video:
Posted by robertpaulsen | Fri Jul 22, 2016, 03:45 PM (2 replies)
The Poetry of Gary Snyder and Radical Revolution
Full Definition of radical
1 : of, relating to, or proceeding from a root: as
a (1) : of or growing from the root of a plant <radical tubers> (2) : growing from the base of a stem, from a rootlike stem, or from a stem that does not rise above the ground <radical leaves>
b : of, relating to, or constituting a linguistic root
c : of or relating to a mathematical root
d : designed to remove the root of a disease or all diseased and potentially diseased tissue <radical surgery> <radical mastectomy>
TOMORROW'S SONG by Gary Snyder
The USA slowly lost its mandate
in the middle and later twentieth century
it never gave the mountains and rivers,
trees and animals,
all the people turned away from it
myths die; even continents are impermanent
Turtle Island returned.
my friend broke open a dried coyote-scat
removed a ground squirrel tooth
pierced it, hung it
from the gold ring
in his ear.
We look to the future with pleasure
we need no fossil fuel
get power within
grow strong on less.
Grasp the tools and move in rhythm side by side
flash gleams of wit and silent knowledge
eye to eye
sit still like cats or snakes or stones
as whole and holding as
the blue black sky.
gentle and innocent as wolves
as tricky as a prince.
At work and in our place:
in the service
of the wilderness
of the Mother's breasts!
War, politics, economics, energy. These are all concepts intrinsic to human civilization. War is the continuation of politics by other means, politics is the continuation of economics by other means, economics is the continuation of energy by other means. While the concept of energy may not originate with human civilization, it is intrinsic and in contrast with the other three continuations of it, energy alone is separate from humanity as a part of nature. Try as we might to show how sophisticated we are with our ever expanding technological advances, we can't escape the fact that we are a part of nature and disregarding the significance of this not only has repercussions on the natural world around us, but also on the very civilization so many in vanity try to place above the natural world.
If there is one concept intrinsic to human civilization that connects energy to its most direct continuation, economics, it is money. As with technology in general, it is a concept that many of its most ardent advocates like to pretend is divorced from the natural world; that all the currency manipulation, derivatives and speculators rise above such terrestrial inconveniences as natural resources. But our monetary system is predicated on infinite growth. And you cannot have infinite growth on a finite planet. This is an important concept to grasp if you really care about a real revolution in human civilization that is truly radical, if you define radical as mentioned above, proceeding from a root.
more at the link...
Posted by robertpaulsen | Thu Jul 21, 2016, 01:46 PM (4 replies)
I recently visited the Columbia Icefield in Jasper National Park in Alberta, Canada. While my blog post is ostensibly on this recent vacation my wife and I took, I thought it would be of interest to people here as it shows just how bad global warming has been over the past 97 years.
Our Road Trip to the Columbia Icefield, Yellowstone and Beyond
Posted by robertpaulsen | Mon Jul 11, 2016, 02:55 PM (4 replies)
Posted by robertpaulsen | Mon Jun 20, 2016, 03:12 PM (0 replies)
Thursday, April 28, 2016
The Origins of Iran/Contra: From the Bay of Pigs to Lee Harvey, Osvaldo
In downtown Los Angeles, there is a place called the Civic Center Mall. It is known as containing the largest concentration of government employees in the United States outside of Washington, D.C. On a personal level, it is an area I spent a great deal of time hanging out with the LA branch of the #Occupy Wall Street movement in the fall of 2011. But it is also an area where a plot to assassinate President Jimmy Carter was foiled on May 5, 1979 that may have influenced future events that put in motion the sinister forces that conspired to perpetrate one of the grossest violations of the U.S. Constitution known as the Iran/Contra scandal.
Civic Center Mall Photo credit: www.paulrwilliamsproject.org
The Iran/Contra scandal was revealed on November 25, 1986 by Edwin Meese as a criminal enterprise where funds from the sales of US arms to Iran were diverted to the Contras fighting the Sandinista government in Nicaragua. There is the known scandal covered by the mainstream media that led to the histrionic hearings where Lt. Col. Oliver North displayed his crisp uniform and his not-so-crisp memory, the Tower Commission issued their report which like most government commissions uncovered minimal criminality and zero systemic accountability, and all outstanding indictments for six of the known perpetrators (former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, Elliott Abrams, Robert C. McFarlane, Alan Fiers, Clair George and Duane Clarridge) were pardoned by lame-duck President George H. W. Bush as he was about to leave office.
But there are also the more clandestine elements not as widely publicized that illustrate just severely our democratic processes have been subverted. Just to mention a few, there was the "readiness exercise" called Rex-84 in which Oliver North worked with FEMA to draw up plans to, among other things, detain hundreds of thousands of undocumented aliens, surveillance and detention of political dissidents, including US citizens, and identifying scenarios for suspending the US Constitution. There was the CIA-Contra-crack scandal that I've written multiple blog entries on that Gary Webb lost his career and his life over. There was the financial legerdemain perpetrated by these shadow networks through shady institutions like BCCI, another scandal I've written about previously.
Intersecting all of these elements were the "secret teams" of intelligence agents, military operatives and others working in the private world of covert operations detailed in the book The Iran Contra Connection by Jonathan Marshall, Jane Hunter and Peter Dale Scott. These covert teams probably existed on an ad hoc basis throughout US history (General Smedley Butler's War is a Racket gives a good summary of how this happened prior to WWI.) but really became institutionalized in 1947 with the creation of the CIA and the NSC. One of the first prime examples of this type of secret team was what Paul Helliwell did for Chaing Kai-Shek's Kuomintang Army (KMT) in Taiwan in the 1950s. A career OSS/CIA officer, (who also helped Walt Disney set up an unconstitutional form of government on his Florida land purchase for what would ultimately become Disney World) Helliwell tried to prepare Chaing's KMT for a future mainland China invasion by setting up a clandestine arrangement for CIA fronted companies Civil Air Transport (CAT) and the Sea Supply Corporation to ship opium for the benefit of the KMT. CIA involvement with the drug trade continued into the 1960s as focus shifted from a presumed offensive out of Taiwan to a defensive posture in Laos and Vietnam. CAT was renamed Air America and was extremely important in maintaining covert, often illegal operations. Helliwell was transferred to provide business cover for the CIA's Cuban operations in 1960.
Paul Helliwell Photo credit: www.spartacus-educational.com
more at link...
Posted by robertpaulsen | Fri Apr 29, 2016, 03:02 PM (0 replies)
ISIS, Peoples Temple, SLA and the Manson Secret: Mind Control, the CIA and Cult Manipulation
Every once in a while, I get a comment on this blog that inspires a new blog post. Last October, when I wrote ISIS is BS: It's Just the Latest Greatest Gladio Operation, I received a comment from Peter Chamberlin who posted a link that detailed the concentration of future ISIS leaders (Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Abu Ayman al-Iraqi, Abu Abdulrahman al-Bilawi and Haji Bakr, to name four) who were imprisoned together at Camp Bucca, an internment center in Iraq where the US Army ran a "behavioral modification program." From 2004 to 2009, these Islamists, along with many others, were in the midst of an "Al Qaeda school" where terrorists gave chalkboard lessons on explosives and suicide bombing techniques to younger prisoners. Camp Bucca has been portrayed in the media as a place where a "pressure cooker" of Islamic extremists just blew. I think this interpretation is just another example of "blowback" being bullshit. After asking at RI if anyone could find any corroborating links of what seemed to me to be evidence that ISIS was part of a mind control intelligence operation, seemslikeadream found a few different sources on the subject, and I discovered this one which not only corroborated my own suspicions that Camp Bucca was a CIA brainwashing facility for building radicalized leaders for ISIS, but brought up an example from the past to illustrate how mind control intelligence programs did not end with MK-ULTRA in the 1960s as the CIA has maintained.
But is such a thing really possible? Sadly, yes. CIA mind control technology has made tremendous strides since it began in the 1950s with the lavishly-funded MK Ultra program. MK Ultra was closed around 1960 because it had achieved its objective: Power over the human mind such that a brainwashed “Manchurian candidate” assassin could be created. That is, an ordinary human being, after CIA treatment, could be made to kill someone – anyone – without the slightest conscious awareness of his actions. The most notorious “Manchurian candidate” is Sirhan Sirhan, the mind-control slave who was set up as a patsy in the CIA’s murder of Robert F. Kennedy in 1968.
This is not the first time I have read the allegation that Jim Jones was involved with the CIA and that his Peoples Temple cult was a mind control experiment. Peter Levenda wrote a brilliant trilogy of books titled Sinister Forces and in Book Two: A Warm Gun, he devotes all of Chapter Thirteen to the subject. The first association Jones had with the intelligence community began when he was a fifteen year old sidewalk preacher in Richmond, Indiana and met Richmond police officer Dan Mitrione. Giving liberal credit to author Jim Hougan for his piece Jonestown, The Secret Life of Jim Jones: A Parapolitical Fugue (Hougan's three part series on the subject on his website is a valuable update), Levenda maps out the known details of their relationship. After his sidewalk preaching teenage years, Jones became assistant minister for the Somerset Methodist Church in Indianapolis in 1952. It was there that he refined the approach for which he became known: preaching a gospel of racial tolerance that attracted black followers and performing "miracles" in which he fraudulently removed cancerous tumors through mesmeric passes, shouting Biblical phrases, and concealing chicken livers to be conveniently revealed as "tumors." What was different during the 1950s as opposed to his later career is that his political outlook was decidedly anti-Communist.
Posted by robertpaulsen | Thu Mar 3, 2016, 04:23 PM (4 replies)
I wanted to post my latest blog entry on climate news but wasn't sure which forum would be best. Hope this works here.
Thursday, January 28, 2016
Climate Denialism, Climate Fatalism and Porter Ranch: Confronting the Inevitability of the Carbon Crisis
Peak Oil happened 10 years ago according to the International Energy Agency. I no longer mention Peak Oil (that's a peak in global conventional crude production, to be precise) in my description of this site because the technological advancements in fracking have punted the full ramifications downfield by at least a decade or two. This in spite of President Obama's attempts to emphasize renewable energy use; proving that when you employ an "All-of-the-Above Energy Strategy" - dirty beats clean in the marketplace for liquid fuel consumption. This will continue to be the case even after the shale bubble pops, which looks like what's happening now, and after US shale oil production peaks, which may occur as soon as 2020, according to the US Energy Department. Look for coal to make a comeback (along with the Fischer-Tropsch coal-to-oil liquefaction process popularized by the Nazis) sometime in the 2030s or 40s at the latest. That's regardless of whether it's a Democratic administration insisting that the coal is "clean" or a Republican insisting coal production should skyrocket regardless of environmental ramifications because of China, the Middle East, or whatever "other" is timely for a reactionary to demonize.
Bottom line: this means a peak in total liquid fuel production probably won't occur until sometime close to the mid-21st century. This is not good news. Delaying the inevitable peak through an increased reliance on non-conventional fossil fuels only intensifies the overall consequences, both economically in terms of demand permanently outstripping an irreversibly declining supply, and environmentally in terms of carbon (oil, shale, coal) consumption increasing greenhouse gas emissions to the point global warming becomes severe enough to diminish food production, among other disasters. They are flip sides of the same coin that should be simultaneously referenced as the Carbon Crisis in referring to the predicament human civilization finds itself in. I've been saying that for over two years now; I even did an annual update in 2013 and 2014.
I decided to stop doing an annual update - partially because of my terrible history in maintaining any kind of annual update on this blog (like UNDER THE RUG or Krampus of the Year), but also because I think it's better to report news as it occurs, rather than compile it for reporting en masse near the end of the year. It's not as though there was a shortage of developments in the worsening of the Carbon Crisis in 2015. But at some point, the enormity of climatological abnormalities happening either necessitates a universal awakening within civilization or a universal shutdown of civilization. True existential threats trump denial every time.
So why am I writing this blog entry, since we clearly haven't reached that point yet? Because I want to explore the sociological phenomenon of climate denial through a prism I've grown extremely comfortable looking through: conspiracy theory. Interestingly, there are two diametrically opposed theories positing a cover-up of the truth about global warming:
1) The truth about global warming is being covered up because the United Nations, through the backing of such pro-eugenic wealthy elitists as David Rockefeller, Henry Kissinger and Bill Gates, is using this phony story, propagated by paid scientists and a compliant mainstream media, as an excuse to cull the world's population and institute totalitarian control by removing property rights via Agenda 21 and instituting a technocracy economy where carbon consumption is rationed through global policing.
2) The truth about global warming is being covered up because human industrial civilization has already burned enough greenhouse gasses to drive humanity to extinction, so to avoid spreading panic the mainstream media sells the worst effects as possibly happening, but in decades or hundreds of years, and mainstream scientists are soft-pedalling the immediacy of self-reinforcing feedback loops from clathrates and permafrost melt sending massive amounts of methane into the atmosphere, which could happen within the next decade or two.
more at link...
I realize most of you probably feel the way I do and reject climate denial, but I'm curious what people think of Guy McPherson and his take on how bad global warming is.
Posted by robertpaulsen | Mon Feb 1, 2016, 04:37 PM (11 replies)