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 The Original Captain Trips
International Politics

by Todd Brendan Fahey
RealitySandwich.com
April 23, 2015

The following originally appeared in High Times, November 1991

Preface 

There was a time in my life, late Spring of 1990, when I found myself worrying about the little things: the car that had been in my rearview mirror for several miles and many odd street changes, or the sonar blip somewhere in the bowels of my phone line to which I could set my watch, or whether this turn of the ignition key would be the last move I would ever make.  My then-literary agent–William Stankey, whose representation I shared with Hunter S. Thompson–used to kid me about it: “God damn, your phone is fucking lousy!  They’ve got you bugged from here to gone!”  And according to persons I trust and who have intimate familiarity with such things, yes, “they” did and had, and is why I fled Los Angeles in the middle of the night late that year and have been discrete with mine address ever since.

In 1989 I had stumbled upon “Captain” Al Hubbard from having read the two seminal nonfiction works surrounding the origins of LSD: Acid Dreams andStorming Heaven.  Neither satisfied nor satiated with the thin chapters in each, I set out for myself the goal of knowing more about this mysterious force than anyone alive.  Through the aid of a professor at University of Southern California, the late Dr. Paul Gillette, who knew of my…interest in LSD, I would soon gain the phone number of Dr. Humphry Osmond, a Scottish psychiatrist who had turned Aldous Huxley onto mescaline and which inspired The Doors of Perception; Dr. Osmond would, for his own reasons, turn me onto the phone numbers of everyone who had ever been associated with Alfred M. Hubbard, and this article would complete itself in late-1991.

The journey went on and I would write a novel, Wisdom’s Maw, that was and still is considered untouchable by New York’s “literary mafia” (to cop a phrase from Timothy Leary, whom I interviewed several times by phone and finally in person in 1992).  According to Bill Stankey, every publisher in New York had read the manuscript and all deemed it “subversive and potentially libelous,” and so with middle finger upturned, I formed my own small press imprint, Far Gone Books, and published it myself in 1996.  This is a flashback that should make RealitySandwich readers smile.

*  *  *

You will not read about him in the history books. He left no diary, nor chatty relatives to memorialize him in print. And if a cadre of associates had not recently agreed to open its files, Captain Alfred M. Hubbard might exist in death as he did in life–a man of mirrors and shadows, revealing himself to even his closest friends only on a need-to-know basis.

They called him “the Johnny Appleseed of LSD.” He was to the psychedelic movement nothing less than the membrane through which all passed to enter into the Mysteries. Beverly Hills psychiatrist Oscar Janiger once said of Hubbard, “We waited for him like a little old lady for the Sears-Roebuck catalog.” Waited for him to unlock his ever-present leather satchel loaded with pharmaceutically-pure psilocybin, mescaline or his personal favorite, Sandoz LSD-25.

Those who will talk about Al Hubbard are few. Oscar Janiger told this writer that “nothing of substance has been written about Al Hubbard, and probably nothing ever should.”...

Posted by editor on Saturday, April 25 @ 05:40:35 PDT (235 reads)
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 Seeing Opportunity in Psychedelic Drugs
International Politics
New research into LSD and psilocybin makes a powerful argument against prohibition.

MATT SCHIAVENZA
MAR 8 2015, 5:37 PM ET

In a massive study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, scientists at the Norwegian University for Science and Technology at Trondheim concluded that there is no link between the use of LSD and psilocybin (the active ingredient in magic mushrooms) and mental-health problems. The study selected 135,000 participants at random—including 19,000 who had used psychedelic drugs—and found no evidence linking such drugs to the onset of mental disorders.

"Over 30 million U.S. adults have tried psychedelics and there just is not much evidence of health problems," the author and clinical psychologist Pål-Ørjan Johansen said.

Johanesen was careful to acknowledge that users of psychedelic drugs are not immune to bad trips, and are as susceptible as anyone else to mental-health issues. But his findings negate a common perception that drugs like LSD put users directly in danger—a justification used in criminalization.

"This study assures us that there were not widespread 'acid casualties' in the 1960s,” Charles Grob, a pediatric psychiatrist at UCLA, told Nature...

Posted by editor on Sunday, April 12 @ 14:30:08 PDT (1249 reads)
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 How the GOP Became the Israel Party
International Politics

by Scott McConnell
The American Conservative
April 8, 2015

When the unexpectedly detailed P5+1 framework agreement with Iran was announced last Thursday, Illinois Republican Mark Kirk made a bizarre comment. “We all know” said the senator, that this is going to end with “a mushroom cloud somewhere near Tehran”—a result of Israel having to go to war to “clean up the mess” made by American and European negotiators. A few days earlier John McCain had expressed the wish that Israel “go rogue” and attack Iran in order to upend the Iran negotiations.

It would have been one thing if such comments had come from backbench congressmen. But McCain is a former GOP presidential nominee, one of his party’s most prominent foreign policy spokesmen. Kirk is the co-sponsor of what was, until recently, the major Senate legislation intended to scuttle the Iran negotiations—a leader in GOP “pro-Israel” circles. Yet neither remark sparked a repudiation, or even any reaction at all. They were what one expects from the GOP these days, recklessness about war and peace fused with a passion for Israel. It was if all the diffuse sentiments which once fueled American nationalism and militarism were concentrated into a tight stream and displaced onto Israel, turning the country into the fantasy surrogate of American hawks. The conservative belief in American exceptionalism is like Zionism, Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol boasted. Kirk and McCain may know that Americans have little enthusiasm for another Mideast war; the U.S. Army understands perfectly well that no occupation of Iran could be sustained, and America would have zero international support if it tried. But no matter, they have Israel.

Even 20 years ago some Republican senator would have signaled some collegial disagreement with Kirk and McCain. A Bob Dole or Dick Lugar or a Mark Hatfield would have let on that this sentiment wasn’t the only opinion in the party. Now if there are any who dissent, they dare not speak. Benjamin Netanyahu has become the symbolic leader of the GOP, and even he is probably not as aggressive as most in the party would like him to be.

How did this transformation occur? How did the party of Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan come to this? The New York Times published two recent pieces exploring this subject. The first, by Peter Baker, takes off from observing Jeb Bush very quickly disassociating himself from former Secretary of State James Baker’s moderate speech at J Street; the second, by Eric Lipton, explored the rapid growth in ties between hawkish pro-Israel donors and the Republican Party.

Baker’s piece fills out the basics: the top realist foreign policy voices of the 1980s and ‘90s GOP, Baker, and Colin Powell and Brent Scowcroft have no influence anymore. Jeb Bush threw James Baker under the bus at the first squawk from Sheldon Adelson; support for the Israeli right has become a Republican litmus test. To explain this, Baker mentions the new donors, the rise of right-wing evangelicals within the party, the vague sense emerging from 9/11 that Israel and the United States faced the same enemy in Islamic terrorism, and the pro-Israeli leadership of George W. Bush, who repudiated the foreign policy realism of his father...

Posted by editor on Sunday, April 12 @ 08:37:54 PDT (1271 reads)
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 Korean Air Heiress Pleads for Leniency in ‘Nut Rage’ Appeal
International Politics

By Reera Yoo
April 1, 2015

Heather Cho, the eldest daughter of Korean Air’s chairman, asked an appeal court on Wednesday to overturn her conviction for disrupting a flight in an angry outburst over cabin service.

Cho, the former vice president of Korean Air, was sentenced to one year in prison over an in-flight incident at New York’s John F. Kennedy airport. After she became angered by how she was served macadamia nuts, the executive forced a taxiing plane to return to its departure gate in order to eject the cabin crew chief off the plane, according to Reuters.

In February, a lower court found Cho guilty on multiple charges: forcing flight route deviation, obstructing aviation safety and assaulting two cabin crewmembers physically and verbally.

The incident sparked widespread ridicule and public anger towards chaebols, families that run South Korea’s largest conglomerates. Many critics questioned whether or not chaebol families had excessive influence on running the country.

In the first session of Cho’s appeal hearing on Wednesday, the heiress’ attorney sought to reduce her sentence by asserting that the plane’s movement of 20 meters on land is not enough for it to be considered to be in flight.

“Let me take this chance to ask the victims for forgiveness … I am repenting for what I have done. I am asking for leniency,” Cho said, wearing an olive-green prison uniform at her appeal hearing, according to the Wall Street Journal...

Posted by editor on Saturday, April 11 @ 23:15:00 PDT (1291 reads)
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 One Of Those Days
International Politics

by Todd Brendan Fahey
April 13, 2015

There is an idiot bird outside my window.  It makes the most incredibly stupid noises I have ever heard.  ...Like a loud and very retarded angry person.

I think it's a male pheasant, and it is mating season, so...

I have grown accustomed to his squawk.  I want to track the critter down and befriend it.  I could hide overnight, when it's warmer; sleep on a tarp on the earth and covered by camouflage clothing...and wait for it to gobble some corn that I spread on the soil.  Then I would catch it, hold it sternly and talk to it about its behavior.

It's that kind of day.  %----}
Posted by editor on Saturday, April 11 @ 23:00:23 PDT (1243 reads)
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 Edward Snowden Explains Why You Should Use Passphrases, Not Passwords
Privacy

by Eric Ravenscraft
Lifehacker.com
4/10/15

We’ve talked a lot about password security, and how you should be using longer, complex passphrases, rather than short passwords. In this video, Edward Snowden explains why you should use passphrases in a way all your friends and family can understand.

Posted by editor on Saturday, April 11 @ 17:21:14 PDT (1264 reads)
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 Timothy Leary: Twentieth-Century Neuronaut
International Politics

by Todd Brendan Fahey
March 28, 2015

The 1990s were not kind to the Sixties. It was nigh on impossible to see published an interview with or article surrounding a psychedelic icon in the age of "Bill-who-didn't-inhale."

In this, the 21st-century!, a Web 'zine called RealitySandwich.com has proven itself interested in matters of the mind--the neurosphere, that place where we all should learn to navigate more effectively and efficiently. Timothy Leary knew it way back when, and novelist Todd Brendan Fahey interviewed the good Doktor way back when and not a magazine on earth would pick up the gig.

The evening is now open for viewing, smoking ordinances have not yet been imposed. Two minds in concert, and well worth the wait: http://realitysandwich.com/292990/timothy-leary-twentieth-century-neuronaut/

 

Posted by editor on Friday, March 27 @ 21:36:04 PST (2384 reads)
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 No visa? No entry
General News


by Todd Brendan Fahey
March 22, 2015

How many countries can you travel to and get an apartment and a job and start earning an actual wage for services rendered, and with it comes probable medical care in emergency situations; drivers’ licenses for non-citizens are being issued and discussed in the affected regions. We’ll let you sit in our classrooms and siphon off the knowledge of experts in their fields, whose wisdom costs much to those who pay into the system, whereas you don’t.

I see it as a kind of melanoma, which will creep in and then bore and burrow within the cellular structure and tissue and musculature, the blood vessels feeding the bone will create weakened skeletal framework. And it all comes crashing down.

Why are not Americans opposing illegal aliens in a manner which would bring them to notice of the law? If you see a human who is in your area and is not from your racial+cultural+linguistic acquaintance, and said human has no identification to prove residency in the USofA, snap a foto and call the police.

That is the minimum standard to which every American needs be performing on a daily basis while walking and traveling.

Posted by editor on Sunday, March 22 @ 13:08:29 PST (2822 reads)
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 New Hampshire Focus Groups Reveal Possible Problems for Bush, Clinton
International Politics

by Margaret Talev
Bloomberg Politics
March 19, 2015

Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush, the presumptive establishment frontrunners for the 2016 presidential nomination, may be facing real problems within their parties.

In Bloomberg Politics-Purple Strategies focus groups convened this week in New Hampshire, even likely Democratic primary voters who are ardent Clinton supporters said they are closely following and are turned off by her handling of a controversy over her use of private rather than government e-mail while she served as secretary of state. And several said she should turn over her private e-mail server to a neutral third party for review.

And some underpinnings of Bush’s general election appeal—his family’s legacy of political service, a perceived openness to liberalizing immigration policy and support of Common Core education standards—have led several likely Republican primary voters to conclude they can't support him, and that there’s probably nothing Bush can do to change their minds. None said they’d back Bush if they were voting today...

Posted by editor on Thursday, March 19 @ 17:12:06 PST (3088 reads)
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 The Greatest Band You've Never Heard Of: The Story of Happy The Man
General News

by Todd Brendan Fahey
RealitySandwich.com
February 26, 2015

center

Originally commissioned by a now-defunct music magazine called Launched in year-2002, this piece has never seen proper daylight.  One week after submission to Launched, the magazine was bought out by Yahoo.com, whose Editor-in-Chief disliked progressive rock, and the momentum passed.  Happy The Man regrouped a year later for a brief spell, to play dates at NearFest and around the East Coast, but again died to little but fanatics’ appeal.  Four of the original five members of the core of Happy The Man would respond daily via e-mail to this fanatic, perhaps amused that “a journalist” was still interested in what had been magic two decades prior.  Forged has been an enduring friendship with guitarist Stan Whitaker and, especially, keyboardist/sax-man Frank Wyatt, whose collection of poems, Oblivion Sun, was published by this writer’s Far Gone Books in 2002; Mr. Wyatt was kind enough to respond via dedication of a track, titled “A Dream of Amsterdam,” on his first solo CD, A Certain Whisper. — Todd Brendan Fahey

They are spoken of in terms reserved for classical composers, of religious music. Peter Gabriel is said to shake visibly and come near to weeping when their name is brought up backstage. They have not released a new recording since 1983, and failed utterly, commercially, even in their heyday, circa 1977; yet a stroll through their Guest Book, year 2002, reads like a wet dream:

“It’s like stepping back in time,” writes one admirer; “I feel like I’ve discovered the Holy Grail,” says another. A reviewer for New Gibralter Progressive Rock Encyclopedia writes: “HTM produced some of the most stirring, complex, melodic, and MUSICAL works I have ever heard.”

I came to know of Happy The Man in 1982, while as a high school senior. An oddball–never given to New Wave or Top 40–I was addicted to progressive rock and so were all my friends: early Genesis, Yes and Pink Floyd, Gentle Giant, and maestros as John McLaughlin and his Mahavishnu Orchestra, Steve Morse and the Dixie Dregs, and French electric violinist Jean-Luc Ponty. Thinking-man’s music. Call it a “cast of mind”: Why some enjoy watching Gilligan’s Island and others prefer a Discovery Channel documentary on life in a coral reef. Who knows?

But on the day that I stopped into Tower Records, a lifetime ago, and read in the then-latest in-house Tower music magazine that Peter Gabriel considered something called “Happy The Man” his “favorite band,” I endeavored to know everything there was to know about this mysterious confederation...

Posted by editor on Sunday, March 01 @ 00:13:49 PST (5481 reads)
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 The Future is Now: An Interview with Douglas Rushkoff
General News

by Todd Brendan Fahey
RealitySandwich.com
February 12, 2015

left

His nebbish visage seems to pop up everywhere–like a “Where’s Waldo?” life-feature.  I remember seeing him on CNN, whilst slugging off one last one in an airport lounge before a long plane ride to Asia in the previous century; a year later, Y2K, I would see that same earnest face in-person amidst a sea of notable folk at the DisinfoCon gathering, New York City.  The guy has been around forever, before the world had heard of PeeWee Herman, and yet he considers himself a late-bloomer–receiving his Ph.D at age 50.

Students love him; he is as mischievous as they would like to be…and gets paid for it.  Author of Present Shock, Douglas Rushkoff teaches us that “the future is now”; that we are in control, if we choose to be, and that a career can be made as a sort of kosher Dennis the Menace. 

Todd Brendan Fahey: You have “arrived” in Academia (congratulations!). Over the years you’ve taught adjunct at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program and the New School University, and word is you’ve entertained offers from MIT and other Ivy League schools–but your first “real job” as a professor is at Queens College. What kind of “life hacks” are you able to perform on/with your students, now that you have a certain modicum of stability in your role as educator? (For example, I’d probably be focusing on interdisciplinary work involving the cultivation of mushrooms…”legal variety,” of course [and then show the students how to obtain also legal psylocibin spore prints, and then let their minds take off and with a requisite completed short story at the semester’s end]; or, for the more timid class member, how to take advantage of the new micro-distillery laws and freedoms, and with a generous historical readings of “the revenuers v. Appalachian hoots-and-hallows boys.”)

Douglas Rushkoff: I’m not at New School, nor NYU or MIT, because I didn’t want to be sitting in a seminar, staring at kids I’m putting into six figures of debt for a degree. Somehow, it seemed a little hypocritical to be doing teach-ins at Occupy about student debt but then going and creating more of it at an expensive private institution.

So I went to public school – CUNY/Queens. Not even the Graduate Center, but out in the provinces. The beauty of it is that it’s cheap – like Learning Annex prices – but super brilliant colleagues who all have the same approach to this stuff that I do: it’s not about creating some professorial reputation, but making a change in the world and our students’ lives. It’s also a hotbed for radicals and radical thought. It’s where Malcolm X spoke, and where the Mississippi three (the civil rights workers who got killed) came from.

That’s the main hack: stop worrying what people think, ditch brand names, stay out of debt (you can’t even get rid of this stuff by going bankrupt) and – like Timothy Leary said – find the others. That can be the trickiest part – finding your team. It’s like finding your table in the high school cafeteria...

Posted by editor on Saturday, February 28 @ 22:22:07 PST (5281 reads)
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 Amerika: Love It or Leave It
International Politics

by SARTRE
February 3, 2015

A half century ago the infamous and timeworn trope coming from the supporters of the Viet Nam War was all over the airwaves. “Love It or Leave It” was the standard retort from the gung-ho believers to the anti-war activists, who filled the streets with civil disobedience. An entire era of youth came under suspicion, from fathers of that “Greatest Generation” for questioning the purpose and wisdom of American leaders and the military policy that drafted dissenting objectors into coercive service.

Now with the undying “War on Terror” as the trumped up cornerstone of government survival, the same old party line of jingoism rises again to smear any opposition of the all mighty war machine.

The following is written by a student, Alex Bertsch, not back in the 1960’s but in this year. 

“I can’t question the actions of the military without being anti-American. I can’t question events like the My Lai Massacre, in which U.S. Army soldiers killed between 347 and 504 unarmed civilians in Vietnam, with virtually no punishment. I am barely allowed to question the Haditha Killings, in which U.S. Marines killed 24 civilians in 2006. Questioning these atrocities would be “un-American.”

As the public is being conditioned for the next round of conflicts, the mere idea of conducting an open and frank debate is too dangerous to allow. So when the hullabaloo over the Chris Kyle movie, “American Sniper” exploded, the NeoCons rushed in to prance out their ultranationalism for the NWO age. Just what kind of world has these super patriots of the internationalist imperium bestowed on humanity?

Start with a review of the violent history of our species and especially the involvements from our own country in its short existence.

In the lifetime of the eldest living Americans, the Major Military Operations Since World War II, gives a summary of the largest involvements.

For a more comprehensive analysis of American conflicts, “We’re at War!” — And We Have Been Since 1776: 214 Years of American War-Making, provides an exhausted list.

* Pick any year since 1776 and there is about a 91% chance that America was involved in some war during that calendar year.

* No U.S. president truly qualifies as a peacetime president.  Instead, all U.S. presidents can technically be considered “war presidents.”

* The U.S. has never gone a decade without war.

* The only time the U.S. went five years without war (1935-40) was during the isolationist period of the Great Depression.

If the goal is to build a global empire, all these campaigns fit a pattern of design and intention. But is this the true purpose of our founding as a nation?

When John Milton Hay Secretary of State coined the phrase, "A Splendid Little War" - Whose War Is It?, he must have known that expansion to form an intercontinental realm was put irrepressibly in motion.

“This NeoConservative philosophy is pure Internationalism in its most raw form. It is the antithesis of traditional American policy, and attempts to foster a new imperialism that is totally out of step and discredited by civilized societies. The portrait of the 'Ugly American' is one that needs to be relegated to the scrap heap of embarrassed memories.”

Regretfully, the entire last hundred years, billed as the American century, just continued an imperialism that kicked off with the Spanish American War. This foreign policy never made the world safe for some mythical “Democracy”, but actually set forth a domination culture of rhetoric and force that fostered the economic corporatist interests, protected by garrison outposts scattered around the world.

So what slight of hand or mental hypnoses keeps the gullible public from facing up to the indisputable facts that all these oversea adventures actually destroy our country’s real security?

Libertarian Jacob G. Hornberger makes a striking argument in THE TROOPS ARE DESTROYING OUR COUNTRY that help answers this question. This viewpoint goes directly to de-constructing the silly blind faith that the pudden-head flag waivers keep following with every additional failed overseas venture.

“The mindset that is common to U.S. troops serving overseas is that they are all doing it for America, for us, for our rights and  freedoms, for our safety and security. They’ll all tell you that they are doing it because they love their country.

There’s one big problem with that mindset, however. The truth is that the troops, through what they’re doing over there, are indirectly destroying our country, our rights and freedoms, our safety and security, and our economic well-being.

Once again, the justification is to “keep us safe.” Safe from what? From the people over there who are angry over what the troops are doing over there. The more people the troops kill and maim, the angrier people get, the greater the threat of terrorist retaliation, the greater the need to keep us safe, and the greater the infringements on our freedom and well-being.

The troops have convinced themselves that they’re over there killing the people who would otherwise be coming over here to kill us. That’s ridiculous. If people wanted to come over here to kill us, they could easily circumvent the troops and come over here and kill us.”

With the open border approach in effect, the long forgotten Monroe Doctrine exempts the refugees from our hemisphere from colonizing our own land. Such acts of aggression go unpunished, while deploying foreign legions around the rest of the globe is defended as necessary.

Wake up America! Where is the common sense to ignore the pontifications of government authorities and trained seal newspeak propagandists?

Celebrating the gallantry of a Navy Seal psychopath assassin like Chris Kyle defies the most rudimentary sense of moral scrutiny, even if one wants to argue the “just war” theorem. However, if you candidly research the covert connections in the creation, funding and training of the mythical terrorism threats, the conclusion will adopt the undeniable linkage to Western government’s hidden hand behind the scenes.

Ken O’Keefe, a former US Marine discusses Washington's major role in either generating or aggravating most of the current crises across the world and allowing groups like the ISIL Takfiri terrorists to foster and grow in the video US can no longer deny its support for ISIL.

Much has been written about how the world has changed after 9-11. The three videos on 911 a saga of deceit and lies goes unanswered because the facts presented has no legitimate counter by the establishment warmongers.

Chicken hawks, like Senator Lindsay Graham that routinely spread their dribble on Faux News are reprehensible. When his patron oracle Senator John McCain spills his vile indignation, the pompous faithful of the permanent warfare society rally round his banner.

The Zero Hedge article asks important questions, 59% Of Americans Support Post-9/11 Torture – Propaganda, Cultural Sickness, Or Both? The way you answer directly reflects your attitude about the supposed “War on Terror”. Whatever it takes to keep the homeland safe never includes questioning the factual circumstances that reveal the false flag nature, used for the phony justification to build a domestic police state.

There is no place for the “Truth Movement” in the realm of the NeoCon right-thinking camp. One such Kool-Aid dispenser in the deadly disease of disinformation is Cliff Kincaid. His article, Lies of the 9/11 “Truth” Movement, published in Accuracy in Media is a classic in denial.

“The “inside job” theory of 9/11 is appealing to those holding a Marxist or anti-Semitic view that American foreign policy is secretly manipulated by “imperialist” or “Zionist” agents. On other occasions, the puppet-masters are “global elites” or members of secret clubs. These theories preclude serious thinking about why America is under attack and by whom. Facts and evidence don’t matter when a theory about sinister secret agents with no names makes more sense.”

Paleo-conservatives are the genuine voice of authentic conservatism. The Love It or Leave It crowds of paper mache sword waving jingoists, who purport to be patriots are committed internationalists in the advancement of an American Empire. Their bellicose and warmongering mindset is no formula for genuine patriotism.

More Liberty Now concludes and asks a question that few dare to confront.  

“Love it or leave it” admits that the government is a monopoly that claims ownership of us all. This ultimatum is not compatible with free market beliefs. It advocates settling for mediocrity and a monopoly. Worst of all, it’s a false choice since the very government we are urged to love will not allow anyone to leave its jurisdiction. That doesn’t fit within any definition of ‘patriotic’ I’m aware of. Does it fit yours?”

People are so dumb down about true national security since 911 and gleefully boast and demonstrate their pride in stupidity. Hypocrites who refuse to face reality about their government and foreign policy wickedness, while pretending to be champions of American principles are mentally ill betrayers.

Amerika is in a death spiral because denial is the new national anthem, sung to the tune of THE BATTLE HYMN OF THE REPUBLIC, for an American nation that no longer exists.

- See more at: http://www.batr.org/stupid/020315.html#sthash.vtUb9JXL.dpuf

Posted by editor on Wednesday, February 04 @ 16:55:13 PST (8147 reads)
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 Snowden: Apple iPhone with Secret iFeature Allows Government to Spy on You
Privacy

By Aaron Mamiit, Tech Times
January 24, 2015

Edward Snowden, the infamous former contractor for the National Security Agency who leaked thousands of pages of previously classified NSA intelligence documents, reportedly thinks that Apple's iPhone has "special software" that authorities can activate remotely to be able to gather information about the user.

"Edward never uses an iPhone; he's got a simple phone," said the lawyer of Snowden, Anatoly Kucherena, in an interview with the Russian media company RIA Novosti.

"The iPhone has special software that can activate itself without the owner having to press a button and gather information about him; that's why on security grounds he refused to have this phone," Kucherena added.

It is not clear if the "special software" being referred to in the interview is made up of standard diagnostic tools, or if the NSA whistleblower thinks intelligence agencies from the United States have found a way to compromise the mobile operating system developed by Apple.

Apple was among the first companies accused of participating in the PRISM data mining project of the NSA, following the release by Snowden of the agency's classified documents. The project reportedly involved extracting video, audio, pictures, documents, emails and connection logs from devices, allowing analysts to track the movement of the device's user and the communications that they are receiving or sending out.

At the time, the accusations were immediately denied by Apple, stating that the company is not involved in the supposed PRISM project and that it does not grant government agencies direct access to the company's servers...

Posted by editor on Sunday, January 25 @ 00:20:01 PST (9020 reads)
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 China Deploys Nuclear Missiles at Mt. Baekdu, North Korea
International Politics
englishnews@chosun.com / Jan. 19, 2015 13:26 KST

China has deployed Dongfeng-21 medium-range ballistic missiles at Mt. Baekdu that target Japan, the official International Herald Leader reported on Sunday.

The newspaper claimed it "analyzed" China Central Television footage of a nuclear arms and missiles corps in training in northeastern China to arrive at the conclusion. But since it is an official publication, the news is more likely to be a government plant than an investigative scoop.

The DF-21 series were originally ground-to-ground ballistic missiles with a range of 1,700-2,100 km, but the latest version in the series is modified into anti-ship ballistic missiles with a range of 3,000 km, which can threaten the U.S. aircraft carrier fleet.

The original version can hit any target in Korea and Japan, including U.S. Forces Japan bases in Okinawa. It can carry a 200-500 kiloton nuclear warhead. It is 10.7 m long and can fly at a speed of Mach 10. Its accuracy has improved from a 300-400 m radius to 1/10 of that.

The latest anti-ship version can hit the U.S. aircraft carrier fleet near Guam, the U.S. strategic bridgehead in the Asia-Pacific region as well as any target in the East Seas.  It is very difficult to intercept because it is so fast and can change path in the final stage of flight.

China also reportedly deployed DF-21 missiles on the coast of Shandong Province in preparation for clashes with Japan over the Diaoyutai/Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea. Shandong is close to the East China Sea but vulnerable to an attack by the Japanese air force.

China is believed to have some 50 to 100 missiles in the DF-21 series.

Prof. Cho Yang-hyun of the Korea National Diplomatic Academy said, "If China has deployed DF-21 missiles at Mt. Baekdu, it's a warning to the military alliance among Seoul, Washington and Tokyo."

Posted by editor on Sunday, January 18 @ 23:59:23 PST (9143 reads)
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 Transcendence
General News

 

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Transcendence is a mind-stretching and entertaining look at the international movement that advocates the use of science and technology to overcome the “natural” limitations experienced by humanity. In nearly ninety A-Z entries, Transcendence provides a multilayered and often witty look at the accelerating advances in artificial intelligence, cognitive science, genomics, information technology, nanotechnology, synthetic biology, neuroscience, robotics, virtual worlds, and much more, that are making transhumanism a reality.
Posted by editor on Friday, January 16 @ 14:30:44 PST (9096 reads)
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 [Tea Rage!]: Boehner takes revenge
International Politics

Politico.com
1/6/15 5:35 PM EST

John Boehner is getting revenge.

After he secured his third term as speaker Tuesday afternoon, losing 25 votes on the House floor to some relative-unknown members of the Republican Conference, Boehner moved swiftly to boot two of the insurgents from the influential Rules Committee. That could be just the start of payback for the speaker’s betrayers, who might see subcommittee chairmanships and other perks fall away in the coming months.

Boehner’s allies have thirsted for this kind of action from the speaker, saying he’s let people walk all over him for too long and is too nice to people who are eager to stab him in the back. The removal of Florida Reps. Daniel Webster and Rich Nugent from Rules was meant as a clear demonstration that what Boehner and other party leaders accepted during the last Congress is no longer acceptable, not with the House’s biggest GOP majority in decades.

The reason for dethroning the two Florida Republicans was simple: Webster ran against Boehner for speaker, distributing fliers outlining his candidacy and talking about how he would better adhere to the House rules than the Ohio Republican. Nugent supported his fellow Floridian in the quixotic endeavor, which garnered the support of 12 lawmakers. Webster didn’t even give Boehner a heads-up that he was running, although leadership was aware early Tuesday morning that it could happen...

Posted by editor on Wednesday, January 07 @ 04:34:12 PST (9224 reads)
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 SiaNews.com/FriendsOfLiberty.com Shatters Yearly Page-View Records
General News

Friends of Liberty Access Statistics

We received 57865153 page views since July 2002
Today is: 01/02/2015

Busiest Month: May 2014 (3947859 Hits)
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Busiest Hour: 13:00 - 13:59 on May 3, 2014 (9356 Hits)

Year Page Views
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Posted by editor on Friday, January 02 @ 14:42:05 PST (8238 reads)
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 Slavery Still Thrives On South Korean Islands
International Politics

Inquisitr.com
January 2, 2015

If you thought slavery has been wiped out, you would be sorely mistaken. The barbaric act of exploiting and abusing people still takes place in South Korea.

Described as a “living hell,” the chain of rural islands off South Korea’s rugged southwest coast have shallow sea-fed fields where slaves are forced to work 18 hour shifts without pay. Slaves are made to mine salt that collects after sea water evaporates from the fields.

What’s even more horrendous is that the slavery involves mostly disabled men and women who are too feeble or simply incapable of planning and executing their escape from these islands.

Appallingly, slavery has been so ubiquitous here that regional judges have shown leniency toward several of the perpetrators of the heinous crime. In suspending the prison sentences of two farmers, a court noted that “such criminal activities were tolerated as common practice by a large number of salt farms nearby.”

Five times during the last decade, revelations of slavery involving the disabled have surfaced, each time generating national shame and outrage. Based on the accounts of escapees, officials searched more than 38,000 salt, fish and agricultural farms and disabled facilities, but found no more than 100 workers who had received no — or only scant — pay. Moreover, only about 100 people had been reported missing by their families. Surprisingly, though 50 island farm owners and regional job brokers were indicted, no local police or officials have ever faced punishment, and according to the national police, no one involved with slavery will ever see a day in court or face incarceration...


Read more at http://www.inquisitr.com/1722306/slavery-still-thrives-on-south-korean-islands-organized-exploitation-of-disabled-shockingly-common/#KBk7FOxA0pUZ3QH5.99

Posted by editor on Friday, January 02 @ 14:34:31 PST (8077 reads)
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 China 'deletes' Gmail, shuts Google out of mainland
International Politics

Yahoo Finance
By Nicole Goodkind
December 30, 2014

Google’s (GOOGL) email service, Gmail, is currently unavailable in China. The outage is widely believed to be a result of the Chinese government attempting to curb the company’s growing presence.

Reports of Gmail not working in China began on Friday and data from Google’s real-time traffic report shows a steep drop that coincides. Google spokesman Taj Meadows has said “there’s nothing wrong on our end,” and China’s State Internet Information Office has yet to respond.

“Gmail has never been openly permitted in China but there’s been this workaround. People in China have been able to use these third-party providers to access Gmail while in the country,” explains Yahoo Finance senior columnist Michael Santoli.

Chinese Gmail users would access the site through protocols like IMAP and SMTP but found that they no longer worked on Friday. “All of a sudden Gmail traffic goes to zero so presumably everyone who looks at these things says that China obviously put up a new wall that’s actually working.” Call it the great firewall.

This wouldn’t be the first case of an unexplained internet blockage by the Chinese government—YouTube, Facebook (FB), Twitter (TWTR) and The New York Times are just some of the websites that have experienced bans of their own.

The Gmail ban, however, is hurting companies in China that rely on the mail service. “A lot of companies that do business in China that are multinationals do use the Gmail platform and so it’s obviously another headache and hurdle to doing business in China,” says Santoli...

Posted by editor on Monday, December 29 @ 12:57:52 PST (7637 reads)
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  Sony to release 'The Interview' on YouTube, other digital platforms
International Politics

Published December 24, 2014
FoxNews.com

  • SONY WILL RELEASE the film 'The Interview' on YouTube and other streaming services in an about-face following the studio's widely criticized move to cancel the movie after receiving threats from hackers who crippled the company's infrastructure and published private info of employees...

Posted by editor on Wednesday, December 24 @ 10:11:05 PST (5433 reads)
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 Airline Heiress' Sister Blunders into 'Nut Rage' Fray
International Politics

englishnews@chosun.com / Dec. 23, 2014 10:38 KST

Cho Hyun-min Cho Hyun-min

The younger sister of disgraced Korean Air heiress Cho Hyun-ah sent an e-mail to employees of the carrier on Monday urging them to share the blame for the "nut rage" scandal.

The message from Cho Hyun-min, who is the airline's head of marketing, appears to suggest that other staff should also be held accountable for the incident that has made the carrier a laughing stock around the world.

Cho Hyun-ah faces charges of violating aviation regulations after she bawled out a flight attendant for serving her nuts incorrectly and then ordered the purser off the plane, forcing the pilot to return to the gate and delaying the flight.

According to Korean Air, Cho Hyun-min sent the e-mail titled "apology" to around 50 other staff in the marketing division last week and said the scandal is "not the result of one person" but "mistakes committed by all employees."

The e-mail went viral on the Internet and dealt a further blow to the airline's already heavily damaged reputation. One Korean Air staffer said, "The owners still don’t seem to understand what's at the heart of the problem."

A Korean Air spokesman said the message had been "misunderstood."

Posted by editor on Monday, December 22 @ 20:29:39 PST (5525 reads)
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 Singer Joe Cocker dies aged 70 after cancer battle
General News

BBC.com
22 December 2014 Last updated at 21:30

Joe Cocker & Friends at the Fillmore

Singer Joe Cocker, best known for his cover of The Beatles' With A Little Help From My Friends, has died aged 70.

The Sheffield-born singer had a career lasting more than 40 years, with hits including You Are So Beautiful and Up Where We Belong.

His agent Barrie Marshall said Cocker, who died after battling lung cancer, was "simply unique".

Sir Paul McCartney said he was a lovely guy who "brought so much to the world".

Cocker's friend Rick Wakeman, keyboard player for the rock band Yes, called his rendition of With a Little Help From My Friends "sensational" and said: "He had a voice that was just unique."

Wakeman told BBC Radio 2: "The great thing is with someone like Joe is what they leave behind, and that will be with us for years and years."...

Posted by editor on Monday, December 22 @ 12:43:25 PST (2456 reads)
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 Korean Air gives yellow card if employees don't bow properly
General News

The Korea Times
December 13, 2014

Yellow card / Courtesy of Korean AirLine FlightCrewUnion


The Korean Air union has recently posted a picture of a yellow card on their online community, revealing that the company has been giving out warnings to those who do not bow to executives. Accumulated yellow cards affect an employee's performance assessment, according to the union.

A union member with the ID "macadamia," posted "A sign of ‘Nutrage' posted in 2013" on the website Korean AirLine FlightCrewUnion, Saturday. The card specifies how disrespectfully a person bowed to seniors including their name, date, and place.

The periodical published by the flight crew union first disclosed the story in their 96th edition last year. The story, however, went viral after the company's heiress Heather Cho, stood at the center of criticism for the "nut rage" happening.

Cho ordered a flight back to the gate at New York's JFK International Airport last week, because a flight attendant gave her a packet of macadamia nuts instead of serving them on a plate.

Posted by editor on Sunday, December 14 @ 23:32:16 PST (1099 reads)
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 Airline Heiress Resigns Vice Presidency Over 'Nut Rage'
International Politics

englishnews@chosun.com / Dec. 11, 2014 12:16 KST

The daughter of the Korean Air boss, who exposed the carrier to global ridicule with an attack of "nut rage," resigned her vice presidency on Wednesday.

Cho Hyun-ah Cho Hyun-ah

On Tuesday, Cho Hyun-ah quit her duties as head of in-flight service and hotel operations, but remained a vice president and board member, sparking suspicions that Korean Air was simply giving her time off until the scandal blew over.

An airline spokesman said she will remain a board member until the carrier's annual shareholder's meeting in February.

Cho reportedly told Korean Air executives she wants to "take responsibility" for the incident and no longer be a burden for the company.

Her resignation followed a storm of criticism and global media reports of the incident at JFK airport in New York, where Cho bawled out a flight attendant for serving her nuts incorrectly and then had the purser removed from the plane for failing to find the relevant regulation quickly enough.

It is unclear whether Cho will also step down as head of three other Korean Air affiliates, including a chain of hotels.

Meanwhile, the civic group People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy filed a complaint against Cho at a Seoul district prosecutors' office on Wednesday, accusing her of violating aviation regulations. A civic group spokesman said, "According to internal accounts, Cho shouted and hurled insults at the flight attendant."

A Korean Air spokesman, however, claimed Cho "raised her voice" but did not insult the flight attendant. Korean Air also denied rumors that the purser in question has been suspended from work. "He has gone on sick leave, and allegations that he was initially denied sick leave are not true."

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transportation plans to question Cho this week. A ministry official said, "We've wrapped up interviews with around a dozen employees, including the purser, and asked JFK airport for transcripts of the conversation between the pilot and flight control when the aircraft returned to the boarding gate" to drop off the purser.

The ministry has also asked Korean Air for the contact numbers of passengers who were aboard the flight during Cho's hissy fit.

Posted by editor on Thursday, December 11 @ 02:06:13 PST (1236 reads)
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 Airline Heiress Stops Flight to Kick Steward off Plane
International Politics

The daughter of the Korean Air boss has embroiled the carrier in a social media scandal with her boorish behavior after she delayed a flight to kick a crewmember off the plane.

Cho Hyun-ah Cho Hyun-ah

Airline executive vice president Cho Hyun-ah, the eldest daughter of Hanjin Group chairman Cho Yang-ho, boarded the first-class compartment on a flight from New York to Incheon on Friday.

A flight attendant offered Cho a bag of nuts, causing her to erupt into a tirade about service regulations, which require cabin crew to ask passengers first if they would like the snack and then bring it to them on a plate.

Cho was quoted at shouting at the flight attendant, "What kind of service is this? Are you following proper procedure?" When the flight attendant said she was following procedure, Cho summoned the purser and asked him to check the service manual.

When the startled purser fumbled to find the relevant regulation on his company-issued tablet PC, Cho ordered him off the plane.

The airplane, which had already begun taxiing to the air strip, had to return to the boarding gate to drop off the hapless crewmember.

The incident delayed the flight by around 10 minutes, and saddled 250 passengers with the consequences of Cho's hissy fit.

According to airline industry insiders, the so-called "ramp return" maneuver is only executed when the wrong cargo has been loaded or in an emergency.

News of Cho's outburst spread quickly on social media, causing the carrier major embarrassment and confirming every suspicion Koreans entertain about the spoiled brats from big conglomerate families.

Korean Air claimed that the incident was merely a case of disciplining a staff member for failing to abide by regulations, but the excuse did not wash with the public.

Critics pointed out that more vital regulations than those involving bagged nuts require the purser, who is responsible for passenger safety, to be present to supervise cabin crew members, and that shouting in the aircraft is prohibited.

A preliminary investigation by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transportation found no laws had been broken. The purser reported to the pilot that he had to get off the plane due to a "problem involving service" and the pilot went through proper procedures with flight control.

But a ministry official said, "Even if there was a problem involving in-flight service, it would have been proper for Cho to take disciplinary measures after arrival at Incheon."

englishnews@chosun.com / Dec. 09, 2014 12:16 KST
Posted by editor on Monday, December 08 @ 21:49:49 PST (1332 reads)
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