Sunday, May 25, 2014

Isla Vista Massacre

Click HERE to read Jon Rappoport's latest article entitled "Elliot Rodger, Santa Barbara Killer:  Parallels and Numbers," which report Rappoport's initial thoughts about the 5/23/14 mass shooting in Isla Vista, California.  

As political researcher Dave Emory is fond of saying, "Food for thought and grounds for further research...."

Sunday, May 18, 2014

"We Kill People Based on Metadata"

From David Cole's 5-10-14 New York Review of Books article entitled "We Kill People Based on Metadata":

"Supporters of the National Security Agency inevitably defend its sweeping collection of phone and Internet records on the ground that it is only collecting so-called 'metadata'—who you call, when you call, how long you talk. Since this does not include the actual content of the communications, the threat to privacy is said to be negligible. That argument is profoundly misleading.
"Of course knowing the content of a call can be crucial to establishing a particular threat. But metadata alone can provide an extremely detailed picture of a person’s most intimate associations and interests, and it’s actually much easier as a technological matter to search huge amounts of metadata than to listen to millions of phone calls. As NSA General Counsel Stewart Baker has said, 'metadata absolutely tells you everything about somebody’s life. If you have enough metadata, you don’t really need content.' When I quoted Baker at a recent debate at Johns Hopkins University, my opponent, General Michael Hayden, former director of the NSA and the CIA, called Baker’s comment 'absolutely correct,' and raised him one, asserting, 'We kill people based on metadata.'"
To read the entire article, click HERE.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Al Feldstein R.I.P. (1925-2014)

According to the 5-3-14 edition of the L.A. Times, writer/artist/editor Al Feldstein passed away on the 29th of April.  I once heard novelist James P. Blaylock say that the 1960s revolution was brought about by two main cultural influences:  Bob Dylan and Mad Magazine.  If this is so, then much of the credit (or blame, depending on your point of view) for the blossoming of the 1960s counterculture can be laid at the feet of Feldstein, who was the editor of Mad Magazine from 1956 to 1985.

Perhaps even more significantly, however, Feldstein was the writer and artist of the most infamous EC horror comics of the 1950s, such as those that appeared in the pages of Tales from the Crypt, The Vault of Horror, Shock SuspenStories and Weird Science.  The impact of these comics on American pop culture cannot be overstated.  I recently finished writing an article ("Attack of the Poisonous Mushroom Growth!:  Horror Comics of the 1940s and '50s, Political Propaganda, and the Simple Art of Distraction"), forthcoming in the pages of Fortean Times, that examines the enduring effect of these comic books on American society.  Not only did Feldstein's stories outrage conservative parents, psychiatrists, government bureaucrats, U.S. Congressmen and the like, but they also influenced such future writers, artists, filmmakers and musicians as Stephen King, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, John Carpenter, Art Spiegelman, Lou Reed, The Ramones, etc.

Only a few months after William S. Burroughs published his groundbreaking novel, Junkie:  Confessions of an Unredeemed Drug Addict (Ace Books, 1953), a book that few children would have had the opportunity to even see much less read, Feldstein was exposing outrageous images like this to innocent, prepubescent moppets searching the local drugstore comic book spin racks for the latest issue of Superman or Little Lulu:

Not unlike William Burroughs, Al Feldstein played a huge role in blowing the lid off the toilet of the terminally uptight 1950s.

In September of 2013, Fantagraphics published a collection of Feldstein's EC comics entitled CHILDREN OF TOMORROW AND OTHER STORIES.  You can purchase a copy HERE.

To read the complete L.A. Times obituary for Al Feldstein, click HERE.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Manly P. Hall & Ronald Reagan

I highly recommend reading "Ronald Reagan and the Occultist:  The Amazing Story of the Thinker Behind His Sunny Optimism," an illuminating article by Mitch Horowitz, author of the book OCCULT AMERICA (Bantam, 2009).  What follows are the first two paragraphs of this 1-5-14 article:
"Ronald Reagan often spoke of America’s divine purpose and of a mysterious plan behind the nation’s founding.  'You can call it mysticism if you want to,' he told the Conservative Political Action Conference in 1974, 'but I have always believed that there was some divine plan that placed this great continent between two oceans to be sought out by those who were possessed of an abiding love of freedom and a special kind of courage.'  These were remarks to which Reagan often returned.  He repeated them almost verbatim as president before a television audience of millions for the Statue of Liberty centenary on July 4, 1986.
"When touching on such themes, Reagan echoed the work, and sometimes the phrasing, of occult scholar Manly P. Hall…."
To read this entire article (which delineates the many connections between Reagan and Manly P. Hall, arguably the most knowledgeable occult scholar of the 20th century), simply click HERE.