Monday, December 11, 2017

CIA MAN

The Sun City Girls' 1987 cover of The Fugs' classic 1965 song "CIA Man":


And here's the original version by The Fugs:


Monday, December 4, 2017

Donald Trump and the Lizard People

Courtesy of KOMONews.com comes this 11-30-17 article entitled "Armed with Assault Rifle, Pierce County Man Prepares to Battle 'Lizard People'":

"A 55-year-old Eatonville man armed himself with an AK-47 and a pistol over the weekend to battle 'the lizard people,' the Pierce County Sheriff's Office said.
"The man told law enforcement that President Trump had called to warn him.
"The man ended up being sent to a hospital for treatment and a mental health evaluation.
"Just after 8 p.m. Saturday, a witness called 911 to report a white Jeep Cherokee was stopped at 108th Street South and Pacific Avenue South in Parkland.
"A state trooper later reported that a man got out of the Cherokee was was waving around an AK-47 and a pistol.
"A number of troopers and deputies converged. The man put the guns back in the car. He was ordered to the ground, where he began to scream about 'sending in the news' and 'the lizard people,' the Sheriff's Department said.
"He resisted when officers tried to handcuff him. A trooper and a Sheriff's Department deputy both used a Taser on him, the Sheriff's Department said.
"The Sheriff's Department says the man told a deputy that he had 'snorted methamphetamine to lose weight' and that he was taking prescribed morphine.
"'The meth doesn't make me crazy, man,' the Sheriff's Department says the man told the deputy. 'The lizard people are real!'
"He said President Trump had called his house in Eatonville, warned about the lizard people and said the 'alpha dragon' had taken his family hostage."
To read the rest of the story, click HERE.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

The Cryptoscatology Top Ten: The Best Comic Books of 2017!

1.  MY FAVORITE THING IS MONSTERS VOL. 1 by Emil Ferris (published by Fantagraphics):


This compelling graphic novel was originally scheduled to be published in October of 2016, but bizarre shipping problems (as described in this Entertainment Weekly article) prevented its release until earlier this year, thus making it eligible for inclusion on this list.  Emil Ferris' debut graphic novel is a multilayered, psychologically complex narrative about an alienated ten-year-old girl named Karen Reyes whose life appears to be filled with nothing except emotionally damaged adults, one of whom draws her into an ill-advised (but irresistible) investigation into the mysterious circumstances surrounding the murder of a beautiful woman who once lived in Karen's dilapidated Chicago apartment building.  The woman's premature death leads Karen to learn far more about World War II and the Holocaust than any ten-year-old girl should ever know.  

The second (and final) volume of this graphic novel is scheduled to be released in February of 2018.

2.  BOY MAXIMORTAL #1 by Rick Veitch (published by King Hell Press/Sun Comics):



Upon finishing Part One of this ambitious limited series, one immediately recognizes that Rick Veitch is in the process of building a complex narrative that examines the true history and metaphysical nature of the comic book medium in a manner that will no doubt end up being far more illuminating than even the best nonfiction books on the subject such as Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics and Gerard Jones' Men of TomorrowThose previous efforts do indeed provide valuable facts about the social milieu that gave birth to the comic book industry in the 1930s; however, Veitch's epic story (the unfolding narrative of a Superman-like entity named Maximortal desperately trying to come to grips with his proper place in post-war America) explores the emotional truths underlying the frustrated lives of such visionary comic book creators as Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster, and Jack Kirby.  The scenes in which we witness a Jack-Kirby-like comic book artist holed up in his suburban basement, drawing outrageously violent monster comics while doing his best to deal with bouts of  Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome triggered by vivid memories of his near-fatal stint in the U.S. Army killing Nazis during World War II are so extremely intense that one can only conclude these snapshots of a post-war Kirby are probably far closer to reality than any straight-forward biography that could ever be written about the man.  These vivid scenes are worth the price of admission alone.  Throw in special guest appearances by psychologist Carl Jung and CIA Director Allen Dulles, and what more could you want?  So do yourself a favor and get in on the ground floor of what promises to be a post-postmodern superhero tale that could very well rival previous contributions to this ever-expanding subgenre such as Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' Watchmen, Pat Mills and Kevin O'Neill's Marshal Law, Jeff Lemire and Dean Ormston's Black Hammer, and Rick Veitch's own groundbreaking graphic novel, The One.

3.  THE BLOODY CARDINAL by Richard Sala (published by Fantagraphics):



Imagine Italo Calvino's If On a Winter's Night a Traveler (a playfully self-reflective novel in which a pair of obsessed readers explore the interdependence of art and reality) mixed with an Italian giallo slasher film directed by Mario Bava, throw in a man dressed like a big red bird and a cast of innocent young women in danger of being the homicidal fowl's next victims, and you won't even come close to the treasure trove of strangeness awaiting you in Richard Sala's perversely humorous graphic novel, The Bloody Cardinal.  

4.  THE DIVIDED STATES OF HYSTERIA by Howard Chaykin (published by Image Comics):



Any comic book that manages to offend so many ignorant, irrational people without even trying deserves an extremely high position on any "Top Ten Reading List" of 2017.  If Kurt Vonnegut and Sam Peckinpah had accidentally wandered into the experimental teleportation device featured in Kurt Neumann's science fiction film The Fly and emerged as a single iconoclastic comic book artist, that artist might very well have produced the action/adventure-cum-social satire called The Divided States of Hysteria.  Despite the fact that writer/artist Howard Chaykin claims this book cannot be described as "satire," I would contend that there are indeed darkly humorous strains lurking throughout the narrative that could be seen as satirical by many readers; however, Chaykin's violent tale of near-future covert ops performed by a ragtag team of prison lifers more closely resembles the in-your-face satire employed by William Burroughs in his quasi-science-fictional novels of the 1960s and '70s such as Nova Express and The Wild Boys in which bald satire borders on pure, documentarian warnings regarding the authoritarian dangers waiting just around the corner to wipe out all vestiges of freedom from this planet.  As Marshall McLuhan once said of Burroughs' novels, "It is amusing to read reviews of Burroughs that try to classify his books as non-books or as failed science fiction.  It is a little like trying to criticize the sartorial and verbal manifestations of a man who is knocking on the door to explain that flames are leaping from the roof of our home."  This very same quote could apply to almost all of Chaykin's work in comic books, but it particularly applies to The Divided States of Hysteria.  If you have the ominous feeling that your house is about to burst into flame, I suggest bailing out the window and finding the latest issue of The Divided States of Hysteria.  You'll no doubt discover that you're right.

5.  SAX ROHMER'S DOPE by Trina Robbins (published by IDW):



Though Sax Rohmer's Dope was originally serialized in the anthology magazine Eclipse back in the early 1980s, this attractive hardcover represents the first time Trina Robbins' unique adaptation has been collected in a single edition.  Aside from a pair of nervous introductions by C. Spike Trotman and Trina Robbins herself (in which Trotman and Robbins bend over backwards to apologize for the racism inherent in this visual adaptation of Sax Rohmer's 1919 novel, Dope, something for which neither of them need apologize), this is an excellent graphic novel featuring what could very well be Trina Robbins' best artwork of her career--which, of course, is saying quite a lot indeed.  Robbins' clean line contrasts well with the luridness of Rohmer's plot, which revolves primarily around opium addiction, murder, and early twentieth century xenophobia directed against Chinese immigrants.  In a sober, decidedly non-apologetic afterword, artist Colleen Doran writes, "This entertaining, lurid tale by the author of The Mystery of Fu Manchu combines high society and low life, drama and drugs.  Trina Robbins, in her vintage style, with charmingly simple drawings that highlight her love of period fashion, presents the story with straightforward felicity [...].  Reading this comic has the same charm as watching a vintage film, a time machine of attitudes and social mores, both bizarre and compelling."  

6.  FANTE BUKOWSKI TWO by Noah Van Sciver (published by Fantagraphics):



Fante Bukowski Two continues the sad and hilarious adventures of misanthropic poet "Fante Bukowski" (not his real name).  I included Volume One of this ongoing series on a previous Top Ten list.  In 2015 I wrote, in part,  "Fante Bukowski is a hilarious and insightful satire about the vast gap between art and artifice, craftsmanship and pretentiousness, individuality and idolatry.  At first Sciver seems to set up his protagonist as little more than the butt of an ongoing joke, running the risk of presenting 'Bukowski' as the shallowest stereotype possible, but as the episodic tale progresses the reader begins to sympathize more and more with 'Bukowski’s' naive and confused arrogance."  Volume Two of this series continues Bukowski's odyssey by juxtaposing his extreme naivety with the world-weary trials of Bukowski's ex-lover, Audrey Catron, a talented writer who has managed to achieve all the success that seems so outside the range of Bukowski's limited abilities.  When examined in excruciating detail, Audrey's life as a writer who has actually "made it" seems far less exciting than Bukowski's never-ending struggle to attain even the slightest scrap of recognition or acknowledgement.  When one has nothing at all, perhaps the promise of success (no matter how unlikely it seems) is more satisfying than actually attaining it in reality.  

Recently, in a post on Facebook, Van Sciver mentioned offhandedly that a reviewer of Fante Bukowski Two commented that she couldn't quite get into this book because "no one like Fante Bukowski exists anymore."  I'd love to know the exact address of the moss-covered rock under which this reviewer has been living for so long; being a graduate of an MFA Program, and having taught numerous Creative Writing workshops, I can assure her and anyone else reading this that I've met so many people who act like Fante Bukowski that I could draw up a lengthy list as long as Milton Berle's penis (if you'd like to learn more about Mr. Berle's legendary penis, please click HERE).  The characterization of Fante Bukowski, as presented in these two books, is nothing if not believable.   

With Fante Bukowski Two, Noah Van Sciver has successfully improved upon the delicate tightrope act he began in Fante Bukowski One by combining a genuine character study with wide swaths of oddball humor worthy of Preston Sturges or the Cohen Brothers.  I'm very eager to see where the inimitable Mr. Bukowski ends up in Volume Three of this most fascinating series.

7.  PROVIDENCE by Alan Moore and Jacen Burrows (published by Avatar Press):



Providence is one of my favorite Alan Moore graphic novels in a career filled with such milestones as V for Vendetta, The Saga of the Swamp Thing, From Hell, Lost Girls, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Promethea, Supreme, The Ballad of Halo Jones, Miracleman, and A Small Killing (just to name a few).  Upon completing the twelfth and final issue of Providence, a decades-spanning apocalyptic extravaganza that includes special guest appearances by such notable personages as H.P. Lovecraft biographer S.T. Joshi and the disembodied brain of Ambrose Bierce, I realized that this peculiar tale had become one of my favorite Lovecraft pastiches along with Fritz Leiber's World Fantasy Award-winning novel Our Lady of Darkness, Robert Bloch's Strange Eons, and Colin Wilson's The Mind Parasites and "The Return of the Lloigor" (a novella that can be found in August Derleth's 1969 anthology Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos).  

8.  CINEMA PURGATORIO by Alan Moore, Kevin O'Neill, et al. (published by Avatar Press):  



Although this black-and-white horror anthology includes entertaining tales by the likes of Garth Ennis and Max Brooks, the truly standout contributions are the cinematic prologues provided by the book's curator, Alan Moore, in collaboration with his League of Extraordinary Gentlemen cohort, Kevin O'Neill.  The episodic series that introduces each issue of this disturbing anthology shares the same umbrella title as the anthology itself, Cinema Purgatorio--a series of nightmarish vignettes set in a limbo-like world that evokes haunting memories of "Club Silencio" from David Lynch's surreal film noir, Mulholland Drive.  Each vignette explores the diseased underbelly of Hollywood from its very inception, including the mysterious death of comedienne Thelma Todd, the evocative connections between various Hollywood luminaries and the still unsolved murder of the Black Dahlia, the unfortunate downward spiral of Willis O'Brien (the visionary artist who created the breakthrough special effects for the original King Kong), etc.  For someone who despises Hollywood as much as Alan Moore (and, to be honest, who wouldn't after the unspeakable debacle that was the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen movie, arguably one of the most disappointing comic adaptations ever committed to film), Moore demonstrates a remarkable knowledge of Hollywood lore dating all the way back to the Golden Age of cinema.  All of this seemingly ephemeral knowledge is put to expert use in Cinema Purgatorio.  This is without a doubt the best horror anthology published in the world of comic books since the untimely demise of Stephen R. Bissette's Taboo (to which Moore contributed the earliest chapters of his aforementioned From Hell and Lost Girls graphic novels).

9.  SAUCER STATE by Paul Cornell and Ryan Kelly (published by IDW):



This limited series picks up where the previous volume, Saucer Country, left off when it was unceremoniously (and unwisely) cancelled by its previous publisher, DC/Vertigo, back in 2013.  Saucer Country is about the struggles of Arcadia Alvarado, the Governor of New Mexico, as she campaigns for the Presidency of the United States while also trying to get to the bottom of her carefully concealed, traumatic experiences as an alien abductee.  Recently resurrected by the folks at IDW, the sequel, Saucer State, begins with Alvarado's first term in the White House when the existence of extraterrestrials is at last made public in the most dramatic manner possible.  

Often described by writer Paul Cornell as a cross between The X-Files and West Wing, this series explores UFO mythology in such a balanced manner that it neither ridicules the subject matter (in the way that a hardcore skeptic might be tempted to do) nor glorifies it (in the way that a True Believer might be tempted to do).  Cornell demonstrates a genuine knowledge of this esoteric subject, hinting at such farflung influences as the earliest contactee books of the 1950s such as George Adamski and Desmond Leslie's Flying Saucers Have Landed and Orfeo Angelucci's The Secret of the Saucers, Dr. Carl Jung's psychological study A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Sky, Joseph Campbell's The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Jacques Vallee's Passport to Magonia, and Jeffrey Kripal's recent study, Mutants and Mystics:  Science Fiction, Superhero Comics, and the Paranormal.  Along with Brian K. Vaughn's Saga and Paper Girls, this is one of the best science fiction comic books being published today... and certainly one of the best flying saucers comic books to see print since the publication of Bob Powell's Vic Torry and His Flying Saucer (and if you know what that is, feel free to go to the head of the class).

10.  #26 by Steve Ditko (published by Robin Snyder & Steve Ditko): 


2017 marked the 90th birthday of comic book legend Steve Ditko, co-creator of Spider-man, creator of Dr. Strange, Mr. A, The Question, The Creeper, Shade the Changing Man, The Mocker, Static, The Missing Man, and so many other revolutionary characters.  2017 also marked the publication of the 26th issue of Steve Ditko's ongoing series, by far the longest running title on which Ditko has worked right behind his iconic, thirty-eight issue run on The Amazing Spider-man in the 1960s.  This anthology series has so far made its way onto this list every year, as it looks like no other comic book being produced today.  It is, like all great art should be, utterly unique.  Ditko's episodic tales about such bizarre characters as Miss Eerie, The Cape, The Hero, and The Outline continue to fascinate.  

Many of the recent issues of Ditko's series have been funded through Kickstarter.  As a result, the complete list of contributors can be seen in every new issue.  I find it surprising how few comic book professionals appear on this list.  Stephen R. Bissette and Mark Verheiden have contributed to every Ditko campaign so far.  Mark Evanier and Neil Gaiman contributed to at least one of the campaigns, which is one more than over 90% of their peers.  These pros can't contribute ten or so bucks to a man whose work has been instrumental in building the very industry from which they benefit every day?  I find this disinterest on the part of the comic book industry absolutely baffling, but not unsurprising.  The dictum "Truth, Justice, and the American Way" certainly looks good in a microscopic comic book caption, but I suppose it's more difficult to follow in real life, eh?

If you want to plunge into one of the most unique reading experiences available in comics today, then consider donating to Ditko's current Kickstarter campaign, which ends on December 19th.  For more information, click HERE.  

Several important archival collections were published in 2017 as well, all of which are also highly recommended.  The first graphic novel mentioned below, CORTO MALTESE:  FABLE OF VENICE (the latest volume in IDW's ongoing, award-winning translations of Hugo Pratt's highly lauded Corto Maltese series), will be of particular interest to you conspiracy mavens out there, as this is a taut, dreamlike thriller set in early 1920s Venice, Italy focusing on a complex web of scheming Freemasons, Fascists, and occultists of all sorts....
 
CORTO MALTESE:  FABLE OF VENICE by Hugo Pratt (published by IDW):


ALACK SINNER:  THE AGE OF INNOCENCE by Carlos Sampayo and Jose Munoz (published by IDW):


MONSTERS VOL. 1:  THE MARVEL MONSTERBUS by Jack Kirby, Larry Leiber, et al. (published by Marvel):


MONSTERS VOL. 2:  THE MARVEL MONSTERBUS by Jack Kirby, Larry Leiber, et al. (published by Marvel): 


JACK KIRBY'S FOURTH WORLD OMNIBUS by Jack Kirby (published by DC Comics):   



THE DEMON by Jack Kirby (published by DC Comics): 


CHALLENGERS OF THE UNKNOWN by Jack Kirby and Dave Wood (published by DC Comics):



THE NEWSBOY LEGION VOL. 2 by Jack Kirby and Joe Simon (published by DC Comics):   



SWAMP THING:  THE BRONZE AGE OMNIBUS by Len Wein, Bernie Wrightson, et al. (published by DC Comics): 


TOMB OF DRACULA:  THE COMPLETE COLLECTION VOL. 1 by Marv Wolfman, Gene Colan, et al. (published by Marvel):   


NIGHT FORCE by Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan (published by DC Comics):


THE COMPLETE VOODOO VOL. 3 edited by Craig Yoe (published by IDW): 


MUMMIES edited by Steve Banes (published by IDW): 


PRE-CODE CLASSICS:  JET POWERS by Gardner Fox and Bob Powell (published by PS Art Books):  I've always been a tremendous admirer of Bob Powell's artwork, particularly his way-out horror and SF stories, so it's wonderful to see JET POWERS in print again in such a handsome hardcover edition....



RED RANGE by Joe R. Lansdale and Sam Glanzman (published by IDW):

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Homeland Advanced Recognition Technology

From Cory Doctorow's 11-2-17 Boing Boing post entitled "The DHS Is Buying a New Database to Store Biometrics for 500 Million People":

"The DHS's old 'IDENT' database is full, with 240,000,000 records in a system designed to hold 200,000,000; so they're paying arms-dealers and erstwhile comic-book superheroes Northrop Grumman $93,000,000 to develop a new system called Homeland Advanced Recognition Technology (HART), which will grow to encompass biometrics for 500,000,000 people, including hundreds of millions of Americans."

To read the rest of Doctorow's post, click HERE.

Monday, November 27, 2017

LOOK

A few days ago a regular correspondent sent me a link to a rather odd post on Reddit (dated October 27, 2017), so I thought it was worth passing along.  Click HERE to see the post in question.

China in 2020

From Rachel Botsman's 10-21-17 Wired article entitled "Big Data Meets Big Brother As China Moves To Rate Its Citizens":

"On June 14, 2014, the State Council of China published an ominous-sounding document called 'Planning Outline for the Construction of a Social Credit System'. In the way of Chinese policy documents, it was a lengthy and rather dry affair, but it contained a radical idea. What if there was a national trust score that rated the kind of citizen you were?

"Imagine a world where many of your daily activities were constantly monitored and evaluated: what you buy at the shops and online; where you are at any given time; who your friends are and how you interact with them; how many hours you spend watching content or playing video games; and what bills and taxes you pay (or not). It's not hard to picture, because most of that already happens, thanks to all those data-collecting behemoths like Google, Facebook and Instagram or health-tracking apps such as Fitbit. But now imagine a system where all these behaviours are rated as either positive or negative and distilled into a single number, according to rules set by the government. That would create your Citizen Score and it would tell everyone whether or not you were trustworthy. Plus, your rating would be publicly ranked against that of the entire population and used to determine your eligibility for a mortgage or a job, where your children can go to school - or even just your chances of getting a date [...].

"For now, technically, participating in China's Citizen Scores is voluntary. But by 2020 it will be mandatory. The behaviour of every single citizen and legal person (which includes every company or other entity) in China will be rated and ranked, whether they like it or not."

To read the rest of Botsman's article, click HERE.

Alfred W. McCoy's "Exploring the Shadows of America's Security State"

From "Exploring the Shadows of America's Security State (or) How I Learned Not To Love Big Brother" by Alfred W. McCoy (author of THE POLITICS OF HEROIN:  CIA COMPLICITY IN THE GLOBAL DRUG TRADE and IN THE SHADOWS OF THE AMERICAN CENTURY:  THE RISE AND DECLINE OF U.S. GLOBAL POWER):

"In the wake of the 2001 terrorist attacks, Washington pursued its elusive enemies across the landscapes of Asia and Africa, thanks in part to a massive expansion of its intelligence infrastructure, particularly of the emerging technologies for digital surveillance, agile drones, and biometric identification. In 2010, almost a decade into this secret war with its voracious appetite for information, the Washington Post reported that the national security state had swelled into a 'fourth branch' of the federal government -- with 854,000 vetted officials, 263 security organizations, and over 3,000 intelligence units, issuing 50,000 special reports every year.

"Though stunning, these statistics only skimmed the visible surface of what had become history’s largest and most lethal clandestine apparatus. According to classified documents that Edward Snowden leaked in 2013, the nation’s 16 intelligence agencies alone had 107,035 employees and a combined 'black budget' of $52.6 billion, the equivalent of 10% percent of the vast defense budget.

"By sweeping the skies and probing the worldwide web’s undersea cables, the National Security Agency (NSA) could surgically penetrate the confidential communications of just about any leader on the planet, while simultaneously sweeping up billions of ordinary messages. For its classified missions, the CIA had access to the Pentagon’s Special Operations Command, with 69,000 elite troops (Rangers, SEALs, Air Commandos) and their agile arsenal. In addition to this formidable paramilitary capacity, the CIA operated 30 Predator and Reaper drones responsible for more than 3,000 deaths in Pakistan and Yemen.

"While Americans practiced a collective form of duck and cover as the Department of Homeland Security’s colored alerts pulsed nervously from yellow to red, few paused to ask the hard question: Was all this security really directed solely at enemies beyond our borders? After half a century of domestic security abuses -- from the 'red scare' of the 1920s through the FBI’s illegal harassment of antiwar protesters in the 1960s and 1970s -- could we really be confident that there wasn’t a hidden cost to all these secret measures right here at home? Maybe, just maybe, all this security wasn’t really  so benign when it came to us.

"From my own personal experience over the past half-century, and my family’s history over three generations, I’ve found out in the most personal way possible that there’s a real cost to entrusting our civil liberties to the discretion of secret agencies. Let me share just a few of my own 'war' stories to explain how I’ve been forced to keep learning and relearning this uncomfortable lesson the hard way."

To read the rest of McCoy's article, click HERE.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Project Pandora

From Sharon Weinberger's 8-25-17 Foreign Policy article entitled "The Secret History of Diplomats and Invisible Weapons":

"In 1965, medical workers began showing up at the American embassy in Moscow, drawing blood from the employees inside. The American diplomats were told that doctors were looking for possible exposure to a new type of virus, something not unexpected in a country known for its frigid winters.

"It was all a lie. The Moscow Viral Study, as it was called, was the cover story for the American government’s top secret investigation into the effects of microwave radiation on humans. The Soviets, it turned out, were bombarding the embassy in Moscow with low-level microwaves. The 'Moscow Signal,' as officials in Washington called the radiation, was too low to do any obvious harm to the people in the building. At five microwatts per square centimeter, the signal was well below the threshold needed to heat things, as a microwave oven does. Yet it was also a hundred times more powerful than the Soviets’ maximum exposure standards, which were much more stringent than those of the United States. That was cause for alarm.

"The intelligence community was worried that the Soviets knew something about non-ionizing radiation that the United States did not. With research into the effects of low-level radiation still in its infancy, one of the first theories forwarded by the CIA was that the Soviets were trying to influence the behavior or mental state of American diplomats, or even control their minds. The United States wanted to figure out what was going on without tipping off the Soviets that they knew about the irradiation, and so the diplomats working in the embassy—and being exposed daily to the radiation—were kept in the dark. The State Department was responsible for looking at biological changes associated with microwaves, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects, a division of the Pentagon, was assigned to look at the possible behavioral effects of microwaves.

"In October 1965, Richard Cesaro, the DARPA official in charge of the project, addressed a secret memo to the agency’s director, Charles Herzfeld, explaining the justification for this new research effort. The White House had charged the State Department, the CIA, and the Pentagon to investigate the microwave assault in secret. The State Department was the lead on the program, code-named TUMS, and DARPA’s responsibility, Cesaro explained, was 'to initiate a selective portion of the overall program concerned with one of the potential threats, that of radiation effects on man.'

"Thus was born DARPA Program Plan 562, better known by its code name, Project Pandora, an exploration of the behavioral effects of microwaves and one of the more bizarre episodes in the history of Cold War science."

To read the rest of Weinberger's article, click HERE.

Ronald Reagan's Psyops

From Robert Parry's 10-13-17 Consortiumnews article entitled "The Legacy of Reagan's Civilian 'Psyops'":

"Declassified records from the Reagan presidential library show how the U.S. government enlisted civilian agencies in psychological operations designed to exploit information as a way to manipulate the behavior of targeted foreign audiences and, at least indirectly, American citizens.

"A just-declassified sign-in sheet for a meeting of an inter-agency 'psyops' committee on Oct. 24, 1986, shows representatives from the Agency for International Development (USAID), the State Department, and the U.S. Information Agency (USIA) joining officials from the Central Intelligence Agency and the Defense Department.

"Some of the names of officials from the CIA and Pentagon remain classified more than three decades later. But the significance of the document is that it reveals how agencies that were traditionally assigned to global development (USAID) or international information (USIA) were incorporated into the U.S. government’s strategies for peacetime psyops, a military technique for breaking the will of a wartime enemy by spreading lies, confusion and terror.

"Essentially, psyops play on the cultural weaknesses of a target population so they could be more easily controlled or defeated, but the Reagan administration was taking the concept outside the traditional bounds of warfare and applying psyops to any time when the U.S. government could claim some threat to America.

"This disclosure – bolstered by other documents released earlier this year by archivists at the Reagan library in Simi Valley, California – is relevant to today’s frenzy over alleged 'fake news' and accusations of 'Russian disinformation' by reminding everyone that the U.S. government was active in those same areas."

To read Parry's entire article, click HERE.

Thought Identification

What follow are relevant excerpts from Wikipedia's entry on "Thought Identification," a term coined in 2009 by neuroscientist Marcel Just:

"Thought identification refers to the empirically verified use of technology to, in some sense, read people's minds. Advances in research have made this possible by using human neuroimaging to decode a person's conscious experience based on non-invasive measurements of an individual's brain activity.

"Professor of neuropsychology Barbara Sahakian qualifies, 'A lot of neuroscientists in the field are very cautious and say we can't talk about reading individuals' minds, and right now that is very true, but we're moving ahead so rapidly, it's not going to be that long before we will be able to tell whether someone's making up a story, or whether someone intended to do a crime with a certain degree of certainty' [...].

"With brain scanning technology becoming increasingly accurate, experts predict important debates over how and when it should be used. One potential area of application is criminal law. Haynes states that simply refusing to use brain scans on suspects also prevents the wrongly accused from proving their innocence. It has been argued that allowing brain scans in the United States would violate the 5th Amendment's right to not self incriminate. One of thousands of important questions is whether brain imaging is like testimony, or instead like DNA, blood, or semen. Paul Root Wolpe, director of the Center for Ethics at Emory University in Atlanta predicts that this question will be decided by a Supreme Court case.

"In other countries outside the United States, thought Identification has already been used in criminal law. In 2008 an Indian woman was convicted of murder after an EEG of her brain allegedly revealed that she was familiar with the circumstances surrounding the poisoning of her ex-fiancé. Some neuroscientists and legal scholars doubt the validity of using thought identification as a whole for anything past research on the nature of deception and the brain."

To read the entire entry, click HERE.



Doug Poppa on the Las Vegas Massacre

What follow are relevant excerpts from a 10-3-17 Baltimore Post-Examiner article entitled "Horrific Night of Terrorism in Las Vegas" by Doug Poppa (a U.S. Army Military Police veteran):

"Fifty-nine dead and 527 wounded after the Sunday night massacre of innocent people who were attending a country music festival on the south end of the Las Vegas Strip.

"The concerts were going on for three days. I wonder if the shooter attended the concert at any time during that three-day period.

"Many questions are being asked to determine a motive for the shootings [...].

"The shooter planned his attack. He knew exactly who he was targeting and why. Somewhere out there are the answers and somebody has them.

"Sunday night as police responded to the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino where the shots were originating from a room on the 32nd floor, other calls went out over police radios.

"Calls that made me shudder. My worst fear. A terrorist attack in Las Vegas, like what occurred in Mumbai, India.

"As I listened to the police radio traffic the situation was escalating.

"Possible shots fired inside the New York New York Hotel, shooter at the front desk, many people down. Two shots fired on the casino floor.

"Possible car bomb at the Luxor Hotel valet area, vehicle with wires protruding.

"SWAT units were telling the dispatcher they were in the hallway near the suspect’s room on the 32nd floor at Mandalay Bay.

"The active shooter at New York New York possibly coming down the escalator headed to the Excalibur Hotel.

"Several subjects down at Club Zumanity at New York New York. No answer at New York New York Security. SWAT commander asking for officers to get to the surveillance cameras at New York New York to verify if it is a diversion.

"Dispatcher advises she is now getting information that there is an active shooter at the Tropicana Hotel.

"Have the bomb squad handle the device at the Luxor, another officer said.

"SWAT commander advises FBI SWAT, Henderson City Police SWAT and North Las Vegas Police SWAT enroute to staging area.

"Dispatcher advises they are getting multiple calls of active shooters at multiple locations, may be a diversion.

"Officer advises entering New York New York with strike team.

"Another officer advises he is outside the Tropicana Hotel and does not here any shots, may be a diversion.

"Dispatcher advises she is getting calls from people who are sheltering in place. Injured now calling in. Multiple locations are now sheltering in place.

"Person with a rifle entering the employee entrance of the Bellagio Resort.

"All the incidents other than the shooter at the Mandalay Bay were false thank God.

"Questions that remain to be answered are who was calling in all those false reports and why? The New York New York Hotel is north of the Mandalay Bay across Tropicana Blvd. Who was it that called police and stated an active shooter with people down was occurring inside the casino.

"When it was all over the shooter would be dead. He was acting alone according to the police."

To read Doug Poppa's entire article, click HERE.

Friday, November 24, 2017

BLACK FRIDAY

Manly P. Hall and Bela Lugosi, together again for the first time....




The Last Words of Lee Harvey Oswald

Fifty-four years ago today Lee Harvey Oswald was assassinated in the basement of Dallas Police Headquarters in Dallas, Texas.  

What follows is an excerpt from the introduction to Mae Brussell's "The Last Words of Lee Harvey Oswald" (courtesy of David Ratcliffe's Ratical.org):

Did Lee Harvey Oswald act alone in shooting Pres. John F. Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963, or did he conspire with others? Was he serving as an agent of Cuba's Fidel Castro, himself the target of American assassins? Or in squeezing the trigger of his carbine was he undertaking some super "dirty trick" for a CIA anxious to rid itself of a president whose faith in the "company" had evaporated in the wake of the Bay of Pigs fiasco? Or was he representing a group of Cuban exiles, the Teamsters Union, the Mafia? Indeed, was it Lee Harvey Oswald at all who killed JFK? Or was there a double impersonating Oswald? These questions continue to nag many people more than a decade and a half after that dreadful day in Dallas, in spite of the 26 volumes of hearings and exhibits served up by the Warren Commission, the congressional investigations, the release of heretofore classified FBI documents. 


Almost everyone, it seems, has been heard from on the Kennedy assassination and on Lee Harvey Oswald's guilt or innocence, except one person—Lee Harvey Oswald himself. From the time of Oswald's arrest to his own assassination at the hands of Jack Ruby, no formal transcript or record was kept of statements made by the alleged killer. It was said that no tape recordings were made of Oswald's remarks, and many notes taken of his statements were destroyed. 


Determined to learn Oswald's last words, his only testimony, The People's Almanac assigned one of the leading authorities on the Kennedy assassination, Mae Brussell, to compile every known statement or remark made by Oswald between his arrest and death. The quotes, edited for space and clarity, are based on the recollections of a variety of witnesses present at different times and are not verbatim transcripts. "After 14 years of research on the JFK assassination," Mae Brussell concludes, "I am of the opinion that Lee Harvey Oswald was telling the truth about his role in the assassination during these interrogations." 

Click HERE to read Mae Brussell's "The Last Words of Lee Harvey Oswald."

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Dave Emory Interviews Edward T. Haslam


Recommended Listening:  On the August 18th, 1996 episode of his radio show For the Record, political researcher Dave Emory interviews Edward Haslam, author of DR. MARY'S MONKEY, regarding the link between the JFK assassination and the bizarre 1964 murder of cancer researcher Dr. Mary Sherman....


Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Mae Brussell on Charles Manson

In Chapter One of my first book, Cryptoscatology:  Conspiracy Theory as Art Form, I wrote the following about the late Mae Brussell (1922-1988), sometimes referred to as "the Queen of Conspiracies":

Brussell’s skills as a political researcher were beyond reproach.  Brussell wrote about Watergate before The Washington Post.[1]  I refer interested researchers to the compilation The Mae Brussell Reader, released by Prevailing Winds in 1991, if you wish to judge Brussell’s reportage for yourself.  As famed investigative journalist Seymour Hersh once said of Brussell, “She’s crazy, but she’s right.”  Alas, mainstream publications are very often neither crazy nor right.



[1] Indeed, she did so in the pages of Paul Krassner’s underground magazine The Realist.

If you would like to know more about Brussell and her groundbreaking work, I recommend listening to her 10-13-71 radio broadcast about Charles Manson and his followers:


Monday, November 20, 2017

Quote of the Day

"Ah, I begin to understand," said the Wizard, nodding his head.  "But I have another question to ask:  How does it happen that the Thists have no King to rule over them?"

"Hush!" whispered the High Coco-Lorum, looking uneasily around to make sure they were not overheard.  "In reality, I am the King, but the people don't know it.  They think they rule themselves, but the fact is I have everything my own way.  No one else knows anything about our laws, and so I make the laws to suit myself.  If any oppose me, or question my acts, I tell them it's the law, and that settles it.  If I called myself King, however, and wore a crown and lived in royal state, the people would not like me, and might do me harm.  As the High Coco-Lorum of Thi, I'm considered a very agreeable person."

"It seems a very clever arrangement," said the Wizard.


--L. Frank Baum, THE LOST PRINCESS OF OZ, 1917


Sunday, November 19, 2017

Dr. Ewen Cameron and MK-Ultra

From Joe O'Connor's 11-13-17 National Post article entitled "'What They Did To My Mother Was Torture':  The Daughter of a CIA Brainwashing Victim Looks For Justice":

"On October 9, 1957, Dr. Ewen Cameron, a Scottish-born psychiatrist and director of the Allan Memorial Institute at McGill University in Montreal noted that his 33-year-old patient, Jean Steel, was on her 23rd day of drug-induced sleep.

"Steel had undergone four electroconvulsive shock-therapy treatments. Several more were planned. In previous days, while awake, she had shown some aggressiveness toward staff, behaviour Cameron felt needed to be 'broken up.'

"He wondered whether it might be useful for her to watch a 'movie where hostility was well expressed,' as a way of working out her own 'hostilities.' A librarian was tasked with finding something suitable. She had not been weighed in several weeks. Temperature recordings were taken of her 'earlobes and feet.'

"'Once the patient is de-patterned we will start psychic driving,' Cameron wrote. 'She is rather restive and antagonistic when awake, but not nearly as difficult as she was when she started.'

"Garnet Steel met Jean Watts in Montreal in the 1940s. He was in the army. She liked to dance. He called her 'Jeanie.' They fell in love, married, honeymooned in New York City and settled in the Eastern Townships south of Montreal. They played bridge, curled and had loads of friends.

"The couple had a child who died a few months after birth, but in 1952 they had another, a daughter named Alison. She was healthy and gorgeous, but Jeanie found she couldn’t cope. She sank into a sadness that wouldn’t lift. Her parents back in Montreal began asking around. They heard about this Dr. Cameron at the Allan, a past-president of the American Psychiatric Association. They heard he was the best.  Jeanie Steel was admitted to the AMI for treatment on May 1, 1957.

"'What they did to my mother was torture,' Alison Steel, now 65, says from Knowlton, Que. 'It is horrific. It is unbelievable.'"

"What wasn’t publicly known in 1957, and what would not be revealed until decades later, was that Cameron’s work at AMI was funded in part by the Central Intelligence Agency as part of Project MK-Ultra, a covert program in human mind control — brainwashing."

To read the rest of O'Connor's article, click HERE.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

DEEP STATE BLUES REDUX

On Monday, November 13th, I returned to the DEEP STATE BLUES radio show hosted by Badbaby and Steve Olson to discuss the genesis of my latest book UNTIL THE LAST DOG DIES, a darkly satirical novel about a young stand-up comedian who must adapt as best he can to an apocalyptic virus that affects only the humor centers of the brain.  We explore the real world inspirations for this novel which include such delightful cryptoscatological topics as mass government surveillance run amok, covert CIA mind control programs that can be traced at least as far back as WWII, the ongoing War Against the Imagination, brainwashing in the American educational system, the historical connection between psychological warfare and science fiction, the questionable suicide of an FBI agent investigating the Democratic National Committee's fundraising scandal, the mysterious suppression of Hunter S. Thompson's final book of letters, and the misadventures of an underage male prostitution ring in the White House.  This interview is about eighty minutes long.  If you want to hear it, simply click on the link below....


Monday, November 13, 2017

A Box of Dead Dogs!

A package overbrimming with copies of my latest book, UNTIL THE LAST DOG DIES, has just arrived in the mail.  I'm told that those of you who pre-ordered the book are already receiving their copies.  Since the novel is not officially released until November 21st, that means there's still time for you stragglers out there to pre-order this beast.  (The world is veritably TREMBLING in anticipation!)

Click HERE to pre-order your copy of UNTIL THE LAST DOG DIES!


Here's the back cover copy ballyhoo:

A young stand-up comedian must adapt to an apocalyptic virus affecting people’s sense of humor in this darkly satirical debut novel.

What happens when all humor is wiped off the face of the Earth?

Around the world, an unusual viral plague is striking the population. The virus attacks only one particular section of the brain. It isn’t fatal, but it results in the victim’s sense of humor being obliterated. No one is immune.

Elliot Greeley, a young stand-up comedian starving his way through alternative comedy clubs in Los Angeles, isn’t even certain the virus is real at first. But as the pandemic begins to eat away at the very heart of civilization itself, the virus affects Elliot and his close knit group of comedian friends in increasingly personal ways. What would you consider the end of the world?

Until the Last Dog Dies is a sharp, cutting satire, both a clever twist on apocalyptic fiction and a poignant look at the things that make us human.

“Taps into the cultural zeitgeist . . . A nihilistic satire that takes the idea that death is easy and comedy is hard to a whole new level.”—Kirkus Reviews 

“Guffey’s sardonic, cleverly written comedic debut relies heavily on absurd synchronicity, bold characterization, and heavy irony to make its points about the apocalyptic nature of American humorlessness.”—Publishers Weekly 

“A playful amalgam of Andy Kaufman and Philip K. Dick by way of Shaun of the Dead.” —Damien Lincoln Ober, author of Doctor Benjamin Franklin's Dream America 

“This satirical tale explores the role of comedy in maintaining a healthy democracy. . . . A clever concept.”—Kirkus Reviews