Tuesday, November 29, 2016

"What's At the End of Main Street?" Part Two in NEW DAWN #159

The most recent issue of New Dawn Magazine (No. 159, November/December 2016) includes Part Two of my sweeping three-part series entitled "What's At the End of Main Street?:  The Struggle Between the Artificial and the Real in Recent Gnostic Cinema."  In the previous installment we analyzed key examples of "Gnostic Cinema" (i.e., films that explore the illusory nature of reality within a fictional framework) ranging from Buster Keaton's Sherlock Jr. in 1924 to Gary Ross's Pleasantville in 1998.  Part Two covers key films from the years 1999 to 2002, everything from The Wachowskis's The Matrix to Mark Pennington's The Mothman Prophecies 

New Dawn Magazine, available from a well-stocked newsstand NEAR YOU, is also available from the New Dawn website HERE.  

This issue also includes fascinating articles by likes of Richard Smoley (author of How God Became God:  What Scholars Are Really Saying about God and the Bible), David Jay Brown (author of Dreaming Wide Awake:  Lucid Dreaming, Shamanic Healing & Psychedelics), and David Icke (author of Phantom Self).


Sunday, November 27, 2016

PS Publishing "Black Friday" Sale

Heads up:  PS Publishing (the publisher of my second book, SPIES AND SAUCERS) is now having a "Black Friday" sale.  Included in this sale are hardcover copies of both SPIES AND SAUCERS as well as POSTSCRIPTS #30/31:  MEMORYVILLE BLUES, which contains my rather bizarre short story "Selections from The Expectant Mother Disinformation Handbook."  Also discounted are hardcovers by fine writers such as Brian Aldiss, Ramsey Campbell, Paul Di Filippo, Harlan Ellison, Joe Hill, Richard Christian Matheson, and Paul Park.  The sale continues until Tuesday!  Click HERE for more info!




Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Nigel Turner's THE MEN WHO KILLED KENNEDY

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED:  Nigel Turner's THE MEN WHO KILLED KENNEDY (Episodes 1 through 9)....

Episode 1:  "The Coup d'Etat":



Episode 2:  "The Forces of Darkness":


Episode 3:  "The Cover-Up":


Episode 4:  "The Patsy":


Episode 5:  "The Witnesses":


Episode 6:   "The Truth Shall Make You Free":


Episode 7:  "The Smoking Guns": 


Episode 8:  "The Love Affair": 


Episode 9:  "The Guilty Men": 

Monday, November 21, 2016

The Strange but True Facts Regarding the Election of Donald J. Trump

Dear President Obama:

As you know, I’ve been teaching English at CSU Long Beach for well over ten years now.  I’d like to think I have some modicum of wisdom and experience.  Nonetheless, I made a very stupid mistake last week, the kind of mistake only an amateur makes.  On the morning of Monday, November 7th, a wide-eyed, eighteen-year-old student approached me after class and asked if I planned to vote for Hillary Clinton.  “My father’s a little on the conservative side and doesn’t support Hillary at all and… well… he demanded I ask you.”  She seemed a little embarrassed when she said this.

I nodded.  I tried to be as delicate as possible with the girl while still remaining truthful:  “Listen, if it was up to me, I’d be voting for Donald Trump tomorrow just to spread as much chaos in this country as possible.  That’s my thing.  But you know what would happen if I crossed the ideological line and cast a vote for that joker?  Do you know what would happen to me if my dirty little secret got out?  This is what would happen:  My communist comrades in the English Department would shank me with a sharpened toothbrush in the back nine times in a row in the communal showers on the ninth floor of the McIntosh Building.  Did you know that all the professors shower together up on the ninth floor of the McIntosh Building?  Well, now you know.  The communal bathing chamber looks dank and depressing, a horrible place, like something out of Orange Is the New Black.  What’m I supposed to do?  You work up such a sweat teaching English Composition every day—you gotta stay clean, right?  So I’ll be standing there in the communal showers scraping the Long Beach dirt off my flesh, singing old Woody Guthrie folk tunes, when some long-haired English professor wearing nothing but a black beret will yell out, “J’accuse!” and shank me right in the spine with a No. 2 Ticonderoga pencil, boom boom boom, real fast, just like that.  Shank, shank, shank, and it’s all over.  There I’ll be, lying in a pool of my own blood, my life essences swirling down the drain, the camera closing in on my unblinking eye as I try not to hear the sound of my bearded colleague yodeling ‘The Internationale’ song so prevalent on CSUcampuses these days.”  I performed an enthusiastic rendition of the stirring refrain, just in case the girl wasn’t familiar with it:  “‘C'est la lutte finale / Groupons-nous et demain / L'Internationale / Sera le genre humain!’”  I balled my fists at my side and said, “Now tell me:  Will I wish I hadn’t voted for Donald Trump at that point?  You bet your white ass I will!  That’s why I have to vote for Hillary, sister.  I have no choice.  My very life—and the life of my beloved family—hangs in the balance!” 
  
My student just looked at me for a few moments, mouth agape, then replied, “You professors… you all shower together?”

“A horrid image, is it not?  I won’t invite you to see the showers in person, because it’s a sight you’ll never be able to unsee.”  Here my voice lowered in a whisper.  “But if you want, you can sneak up there after hours and check it out yourself.  It’s really wild.  The communal showers in the McIntosh Building resemble some nightmarish, black and white, expressionist set used in an unusually depressing Fritz Lang film shot in the 1930s.”

I thought the student was going to say, “Who the hell’s Fritz Lang?”  But instead she said, “What the hell’s ‘the 1930s’?”

I sighed and said, “Forget it, comrade.  It’s better if you don’t know.  Forget we ever had this conversation.  There are ears everywhere.  Loose lips sink ships and all that.”

She agreed to forget every seditious word my lips had so foolishly uttered.

Alas, little did I know that one of my Marxist colleagues in the Comparative Religion Department had overheard the conversation and would repeat everything I had said to my union rep, a gentleman-enforcer some refer to as “Boris the Hammer.”  (Personally, I never called him anything but “Friend.”  I swear, I speak nothing but the truth.  That is my curse.) 

Early the next morning, I was stabbed repeatedly by an unknown assailant while toasting a bagel decorated with an impressionist hammer-and-sickle symbol sold only at the campus commissary.  

Now here I lay in the hospital, surrounded by hostile eyes, on death’s door.  Needless to say, I wasn’t able to cast my vote on Tuesday the 8th, but apparently there weren’t enough “Boris the Hammers” in this country to prevent Donald Trump’s ignoble victory.  Please don’t worry, sir… California went solidly for Hillary, as you well know.  My non-vote didn’t affect the outcome in any appreciable way.  

Please, President Obama, I beg you:  Just leave my family alone.  They did nothing to you.  And please tell the General Secretary, “The chocolates are in the mail.”

I only wish I had lived long enough to see this editorial in print. 

Yours in Eternal Solidarity,
Robert Guffey


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

OR Books' Annual Sale!

OR Books’ annual sale is on NOW!  Print copies of my latest book, Chameleo, are 20% off and the e-book versions are only $1.  The sale lasts for one week.  If you want to take advantage of the sale and order a discounted copy of Chameleo, please click HERE.  



Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The NASA EmDrive

From Daniel Oberhaus' 11-14-16 Motherboard article entitled "The Fact and Fiction of the NASA EmDrive Paper Leak":
"If humanity ever wants to truly explore the outer reaches of our solar system or travel to other stars, we’re going to have to build a better engine for our spacecraft. In fact, this engine will have to be so good that it will be capable of generating thrust without consuming propellant. That’s right: If we ever want a four-hour trip to the moon or a two-month trip to Mars, we’re going to need a rocket engine that doesn’t need rocket fuel.
"This is the idea behind the radio frequency resonant cavity thruster—otherwise known as EmDrive—a theoretical reactionless engine powered by turning electricity into microwaves and bouncing them around a closed metal funnel.
"The EmDrive has been dismissed as 'impossible' on more than one occasion because it appears to violate Newton’s Third Law of Motion, which states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. But if a leaked NASA paper posted online last Saturday is to be believed, then not only are NASA scientists pursuing an EmDrive, but they actually made one that works.
"As detailed in the paper, a team of NASA physicists led by Harold 'Sonny' White and Paul March—both leading figures in exotic propulsion systems—was able to generate thrust in a 'tapered RF test article' (read: EmDrive prototype) during a series of tests at NASA’s Eagleworks Labs at Johnson Space Center in the fall of 2015.
"In essence, the NASA EmDrive in the paper consists of a closed copper cone, the inside of which is being bombarded with microwaves. To test the EmDrive, the researchers powered it with 40, 60, and 80 watts and found that it generated up to 58, 128, and 119 micronewtons of thrust, respectively. Given that this 'anomaly' was still observed by White and his colleagues after accounting for error, this suggests that the results of the experiment show an EmDrive is indeed possible.
"Based on these results, the researchers estimated that their contraption would be capable of generating approximately 1.2 millinewtons of thrust per kilowatt were they to scale up the power input. To put this in perspective, the Hall thruster—one of the most powerful in development and powered by ejecting plasma—generates about 60 millinewtons of thrust per kilowatt.
"'The issue involved here is whether the experiment is seeing something real or not,' Jim Woodward, a physicist at California State-Fullerton, told Motherboard. 'I know Paul [March] does clean work and to be honest, I suspect there may really be something there. But the result they're seeing can't actually be explained in terms of the theory they're proposing. So the question is: what is causing it?'
"Per Newton, if you want to propel a rocket through space, you’re going to have to eject some material in the opposite direction of the rocket’s travel. But an EmDrive appears to generate a reaction without any action—so what gives?
"A number of theories have been floated attempting to explain this ostensible violation of the bedrock of physics. White has been a proponent of the quantum vacuum explanation, which posits that the EmDrive is able to generate thrust by acting on virtual particle pairs that are generated by fluctuations in the quantum vacuum (in this theory, these vacuum fluctuations are created by the electromagnetic field generated by the EmDrive). In essence, the microwaves would be ‘pushing off’ of these virtual particles within the EmDrive cavity to generate the thrust that has been observed by White and his colleagues in EmDrive experiments.
"Another leading explanation is that the EmDrive’s thrust is generated by radiation pressure, a position held by its inventor Roger Shawyer. On this view, when the microwave radiation enters the copper cavity, the radiation pushes against the walls of the EmDrive and generates thrust.
"Yet, according to Woodward, both of these theories are unlikely to be correct for a simple reason: Physics doesn’t allow them."
To read the read of Oberhaus' article, click HERE.

Monday, November 14, 2016

On the Death of Max Spiers

From Jon Austin's 10-18-16 Express article entitled "Max Spiers Investigated 'US Military Paedophile Ring' Before 'Suspicious Death'":

"Max Spiers, 39, who is originally from Canterbury in Kent, travelled to Poland in July to give a talk on conspiracy theories, but was found dead on a sofa in the flat he was staying in.

"Friends claim he died in his Warsaw apartment after vomiting 'black liquid.'

"His family believe his death was suspicious after the father-of-two reportedly sent his mother, Vanessa Bates, 63, a text message two days before he died, which said: 'Your boy's in trouble. If anything happens to me, investigate.'

"In a rambling interview with Polish YouTube channel PorozmawiajmyTV, during which he appeared to slur and complained of being tired a number of times, Mr Spiers talked of his enquiries into the Presidio Child Development Center run by the US Army in San Francisco.

"A well-documented scandal broke in 1986, when allegations of suspected ritual abuse involving 60 children, including four children that had contracted an std, surfaced from the centre.

"But, despite so many victims, only one man, Gary Hambright, a civilian employee of the centre and baptist minister, was charged on 10 counts of child abuse.

"The San Jose Mercury News reported in 1988 on claims  Lt Col Michael Aquino, who was based at Presido, and the self-confessed founder of a Satanic church called The Temple of Set, was involved in the abuse, but despite a police inquiry, no charges were ever brought against him. 

"The case against Mr Hambright was also subsequently dropped after a judge ruled the allegations were too vague."

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

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Could It Happen Here?

More importantly... has it already happened here?  As a correspondent recently pointed out to me, the phrase "drug lords" in the third paragraph below could easily be replaced with "Targeted Individual" or "scientist" or "journalist" or "writer" or "artist," etc.  What follows is a brief excerpt from an 8-26-16 Guardian report entitled "Philippines Police Chief Echoes President's Call to Kill Drug Traffickers":

"The Philippines’ police chief has called on drug users to kill traffickers and burn their homes, escalating the president’s deeply controversial campaign against drugs, which has claimed about 2,000 lives.

"'Why don’t you give them a visit, pour gasoline on their homes and set these on fire to register your anger,' Ronald dela Rosa said in a speech aired on television on Friday.

"'They’re all enjoying your money, money that destroyed your brain. You know who the drug lords are. Would you like to kill them? Go ahead. Killing them is allowed because you are the victim.'

"Dela Rosa was speaking on Thursday to several hundred drug users who had surrendered in the central Philippines. His comments followed those of the president, Rodrigo Duterte, which have sparked criticism from the United Nations and human rights groups.

"Duterte, 71, won May elections in a landslide on a vow to kill tens of thousands of suspected criminals in an unprecedented blitz that he claimed would eliminate illegal drugs in six months.

"He promised on the campaign trail that 100,000 people would be killed and so many bodies would be dumped in Manila Bay that fish would grow fat from feeding on them.

"Days after his election win, Duterte also offered security officials bounties for the bodies of drug dealers.

"When he took office on 30 June, Duterte told a crowd in Manila: 'If you know of any addicts, go ahead and kill them yourself as getting their parents to do it would be too painful.'

"The UN special rapporteur on summary executions, Agnes Callamard, said such directives 'amount to incitement to violence and killing, a crime under international law.'"

To read the rest of this article, click HERE.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Bloomberg on the Economic Effects of Trump's Victory

From Tracy Alloway and Lily Katz's 11-9-16 Bloomberg article entitled "Private Prison Stocks Are Surging After Trump's Win":

"Two companies that operate detention facilities in the U.S. are breaking out.

"Donald Trump's victory in the presidential elections helped shares of Corrections Corp. rise as much as 60 percent before paring their surge to 34 percent by 10:14 a.m. in New York, while GEO Group Inc. was trading 18 percent higher by the same time.

"Those moves mean the stocks have recouped some of the losses they've registered since August, when the Department of Justice said it would start phasing out privately run jails. Analysts say President Trump would be likely to reverse that policy, and see an added windfall to the companies stemming from the difficulty of implementing his deportation agenda.
 

"'Private prisons would likely be a clear winner under Trump, as his administration will likely rescind the DOJ's contract phase-out and ICE capacity to house detainees will come under further stress,' analysts at Height Securities LLC wrote in a note published this morning, referring to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement body by its acronym. Mass deportation of illegal immigrants would be likely to run into legal obstacles, 'further necessitating a sizable contract detention population,' the analysts said."

From Rita Nazareth, Anna-Louise Jackson and Eliza Ronalds-Hannon's 11-9-16 Bloomberg article entitled "U.S. Stocks Rise, Treasuries Fall as Trump Win Spurs Growth Bets":

"American stocks rebounded as traders shrugged off the jitters that followed Trump’s victory. The S&P 500 rose 1.1 percent to 2,163.26 at 4 p.m., after futures contracts tumbled as much as 5 percent overnight. The benchmark rallied to a one-month high.


"'We expect the equity market response to the election result will be limited,' said David Kostin, chief U.S. equity strategist at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. 'The U.S. economy has been expanding for seven years and continues to grow at a subdued pace. We expect the U.S. stock market will climb slowly during the next few years in line with earnings growth.'

"WINNERS:
  • BANKS: rallied as Trump has vowed to reduce regulation
  • DRUGMAKERS: surged as Democratic threats of price controls are no longer a concern with Republicans retaining both houses of Congress
  • DEFENSE & INFRASTRUCTURE: Lockheed Martin Corp. and Caterpillar Inc. climbed on Trump’s pledge to boost spending in both industries
  • PRISON OPERATORS: Corrections Corp. soared on speculation the new administration will rescind a government contract phase-out
"LOSERS:
  • INTERNATIONAL TRADE: Coca-Cola Co. and Procter & Gamble Co. retreated
  • GUNMAKERS: Sturm Ruger & Co. sank on speculation that fewer people would rush out to stock up on pistols and rifles with the threat of stronger gun control laws fading
  • HOSPITAL OPERATORS: Community Health Systems Inc. sank on speculation Trump will move to repeal Obamacare
  • CLEAN ENERGY: SunPower Corp. fell on concern Trump will weaken demand for renewable energy"

Whatever It Is, I'm Against It

Let's pause for a moment and listen to the very first punk rock song, courtesy of the Marx Brothers' 1932 film, Horse Feathers (one of the greatest films ever made, needless to say):



Friday, November 11, 2016

Post-Election Autopsy

Several people have asked me to write about my thoughts regarding the Presidential election.  Anything I might have said about the subject is best summed up in Trent Lapinski's piece, "Dear Democrats, Read This If You Do Not Understand Why Trump Won."  Here's how the article begins:

"Did you read Wikileaks?

"Well, you should have.

"The 'conspiracies' were true, and the mainstream media lied to you to about everything.

"Wikileaks was not Russian propaganda, it was the news.


"Wikileaks has a 10-year record of never releasing a single falsified document, and is not connected to Russia. Everything they released were the actual e-mails of Hillary Clinton and her campaign staff. You had the opportunity to look through a window into the Hillary Clinton campaign, but you didn’t.
"By ignoring the leaks, you ignored reality.
"By not listening to your fellow Americans, and accusing them of being 'conspiracy theorists' and trusting the corporate media, you ignored reality. By only following other liberals on social media, and only reading liberal or corporate news, once again ignoring reality. When Hillary Clinton was caught rigging the primary against Bernie Sanders, and Democrats nominated her anyway they ignored reality.
"Everyone was simply insulating themselves within their own echo chamber ignoring anything outside their bubble."

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

In related news, Steven Hager (author of The Octopus Conspiracy and former editor of High Times Magazine) posted the following thoughts on Facebook:  

"'The Portland protest was peaceful until demonstrators met with an anarchist group, after which protesters vandalized buildings, kicked cars and knocked out power...' Gee, wonder who really runs this group of anarchist thugs? This is exactly what Cointelpro looked like in the 1960s. When protesters are confronted by a gang like this they should surround them and try to prevent them from doing violence. These people should be turned over so the police can ID them and start tracking their connections into the FBI. Right now they want an even deeper wedge between the Trumpists and the rest of the country, and if they can get us fighting in the streets, they'll jump for joy."

I also recommend reading Jon Rappoport's 11-11-16 piece entitled "Will Donald Trump Keep His Promises?"  Throughout the campaign, Rappoport was one of the few journalists who clearly understood the true nature of the hidden ground always lurking just behind the bread and circuses offered by the spectacle of the Great Big Show and demonstrated this insight in one illuminating piece after another.  This latest article might be the apex of his 2016 campaign coverage.  Here are just the first few paragraphs:


All right. Hillary and Bill are gone. They’re back in their coffins and their supplies of blood are running low. That’s a good thing. That is a major outcome of the election.

But will Donald Trump now keep his promises?

I’ve framed this piece as a letter David Rockefeller, arch-Globalist-in-charge, might write to President-elect Trump. The updated “payoff” is in the last paragraph.

If Rockefeller were being honest, this is what he would write:

Donald:

I won’t waste time congratulating you. We both know you and America are in for a rough ride. That plucky little demon, George Soros, is already funding and orchestrating thuggish riots in American cities. They do induce a bit of chaos, and I take a certain delight in chaos.

The machinery of Washington DC is ready to chew you up, Donald. There are spies everywhere, and at least a few of them will infiltrate your Presidency at influential levels—if you yourself don’t bring them in because you believe you need them.

I represent and lead an international order, as you know. Our basic plan is to eliminate sovereign nations and erase borders. We must do this, so we can usher in our own global system. We are winning. Surely, you see this.

On the issue of borders and immigration, we want none in the first case and no limit on immigrants in the second case. We want to overwhelm infra-structure and communities with the greatest possible number of people who refuse to assimilate and yet demand special treatment and consideration. We want people who utterly reject America and yet insist on taking whatever they can get from America. Do you really think you or anyone else can stop this wave?

I bring this up, because it represents just one, out of a whole host of strategies, by which we aim to undermine and reduce the country and bring it into our system, absent the precious freedom so many people talk about endlessly.

In other words, Donald, if you are more than a self-serving narcissist who has found a way to stir up the masses in your favor—if you really intend to “restore American values”—you are going to have to give something in order to take something. You’re going to have to make deals. You, of all people, should understand this....
   
To read the rest of Rappoport's article, please click HERE.

If, after having read the previous pieces, you're still confused about the current state of affairs, I suggest watching the following bonus clip (courtesy of political satirist Tom Walker, AKA Jonathan Pie):



Bill Hicks on Becoming President

Courtesy of the late, great Bill Hicks (1961-1994), here's a cogent explanation of what occurs on Inauguration Day....




Ye Shall Know Them By Their Trinkets

From Lisa Hix's 10-3-12 Collectors Weekly article entitled "Decoding Secret Societies:  What Are All Those Old Boys' Clubs Hiding?":



"Their members use secret handshakes and coded language. In temples, they don ancient regalia, helmets, or masks. Thanks to their veils of secrecy and archaic symbols like the All-Seeing Eye, outsiders find fraternal orders endlessly fascinating. But what does it all mean?
"By the early 20th century, nearly all of America’s white wealthy elite belonged to one secret society or another. That fueled suspicions—still rampant today—that Freemasons, Odd Fellows, and other fraternal members have employed occult rituals to gain or maintain their power. But a collector named AR8Jason, who has posted on Collector Weekly’s Show & Tell, thinks the appeal of such clubs was much more simple than that.
"'Some of these groups are simply the big-boy versions of the little boy clubs,' he says. 'As a little boy, I lived in a small town in Oklahoma. There, my friends and I started a club. We had the secret handshake, the passwords. Then, I grew up and I found out that grown men were doing the same thing. They just had better uniforms.'
"Recently, the fancy trappings of dwindling fraternal orders have caught the attention of Hollywood, pop stars, and interior designers alike. In 2004, the film 'National Treasure' posited that the Founding Fathers—many of whom were, in fact, Masons—sprinkled currency and documents such as the Declaration of Independence with clues to the location of an unimaginably vast treasure.

"Masonic symbols also pop up in music videos by Nicki Minaj, Jay-Z, and Lady Gaga—these appearances are viewed by conspiracy theorists as evidence of a plot by the secret elite to brainwash the public into submission. And now, Masonic and Odd Fellows folk art, like hand-painted silk flags, are popping up in trendy Brooklyn restaurants as quirky decorative pieces.
"For some, Masonic and other fraternal items, particularly those from the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, are simply sexy collectibles. For others, these groups are linked to devil-worship and sinister plots to install a New World Order, ideas fed by fictional films like 2006’s 'DaVinci Code' [...].
"Still, given all the forms of entertainment available today, fraternal orders per se have waned in popularity with Americans under the age of 40. But Lettelier says Masonic teachings continue to reach new audiences through other formats. Ever heard of a little movie called Star Wars? Lettelier recognizes Masonic ideas in the Jedi philosophy about mastering the Force. Perhaps the Masons have succeeded in taking over the world, after all."
To read Hix's entire article, click HERE.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Gangstalker: The T-shirt!

Is the phenomenon of gangstalking now being merchandised? 

Apparently, someone decided that would be an excellent idea.

Yes, indeed, for all your gangstalking needs....



For further info, click HERE.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Monday, November 7, 2016

State of the Police State

From Glenn Smith and Andrew Knapp's 9-13-16 Post and Courier report entitled "Watched":

"Police forces across the United States are stockpiling massive databases with personal information from millions of Americans who crossed paths with officers but were not charged with a crime.

"A person can end up in one of these databases by doing nothing more than sitting on a public park bench or chatting with an officer on the street. Once there, these records can linger forever and be used by police agencies to track movements, habits, acquaintances and associations – even a person’s marital and job status, The Post and Courier found in an investigation of police practices around the nation.

"What began as a method for linking suspicious behavior to crime has morphed into a practice that threatens to turn local police departments into miniature versions of the National Security Agency. In the process, critics contend, police risk trampling constitutional rights, tarnishing innocent people and further eroding public trust.

"Law enforcement agencies have for decades used what’s known as field interview or contact cards to document everything from sketchy activity to random encounters with people on the street. But the digital age has greatly expanded the power and reach of this tool, allowing police to store indefinitely reams of data on those who draw their interest — long after any potential link to a crime has evaporated.

"'They pose a different threat than the NSA. ... But they can reveal a much more invasive picture of a person’s life,' attorney Stephanie Lacambra of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a California-based digital-rights advocacy group, said in response to the newspaper’s findings. 'The public should be concerned.'

"Some 35,000 people — roughly equal to a quarter of the city’s population – show up in the Charleston Police Department’sdatabase for field contacts, which includes everyone from suspected killers to toddlers and 99-year-olds. One man alone has more than 1,000 entries to his name."

To read Smith and Knapp's entire article, click HERE.

What follows is from Sadie Gurman and Eric Tucker's 9-29-16 The Big Story (Associated Press) report entitled "AP:  Across US, Police Officers Abuse Confidential Databases":

"Police officers across the country misuse confidential law enforcement databases to get information on romantic partners, business associates, neighbors, journalists and others for reasons that have nothing to do with daily police work, an Associated Press investigation has found.
"Criminal-history and driver databases give officers critical information about people they encounter on the job. But the AP's review shows how those systems also can be exploited by officers who, motivated by romantic quarrels, personal conflicts or voyeuristic curiosity, sidestep policies and sometimes the law by snooping. In the most egregious cases, officers have used information to stalk or harass, or have tampered with or sold records they obtained.
"No single agency tracks how often the abuse happens nationwide, and record-keeping inconsistencies make it impossible to know how many violations occur.
"But the AP, through records requests to state agencies and big-city police departments, found law enforcement officers and employees who misused databases were fired, suspended or resigned more than 325 times between 2013 and 2015. They received reprimands, counseling or lesser discipline in more than 250 instances, the review found.
"Unspecified discipline was imposed in more than 90 instances reviewed by AP. In many other cases, it wasn't clear from the records if punishment was given at all. The number of violations was surely far higher since records provided were spotty at best, and many cases go unnoticed."

To read Gurman and Tucker's entire article, click HERE.


Thursday, November 3, 2016

The MEDUSA Weapon

From David Hambling's 7-6-08 Wired article entitled "The Microwave Scream Inside Your Skull":

"The U.S. military bankrolled early development of a non-lethal microwave weapon that creates sound inside your head. But in the end, the gadget may be just as likely to wind up in shopping malls as on battlefields, as I report in New Scientist.
"The project is known as MEDUSA – a contrived acronym for Mob Excess Deterrent Using Silent Audio. And it should not be confused with the Long Range Acoustic Device and similar gadgets which simply project sound. This one uses the so-called 'microwave auditory effect': a beam of microwaves is turned into sound by the interaction with your head. Nobody else can hear it unless they are in the beam as well.
"The effect has long been a laboratory curiosity, with no application. But, over the years, the military has been intrigued. The idea (dubbed 'the telepathic ray gun') was mentioned in a 1998 US Army study, which turned up in a recent Freedom of Information Act document dump. Five years later, the Navy decided to put some R&D dollars into the project. Now, as I note on the New Scientist website, Dr. Lev Sadovnik of the Sierra Nevada Corporation has provided more details.
"There are health risks, he notes. But the biggest issue from the microwave weapon is not the radiation. It’s the risk of brain damage from the high-intensity shockwave created by the microwave pulse.
"Clearly, much more research is needed on this effect at the sort of power levels that Dr. Sadovnik is proposing. But if it does prove hazardous, that does not mean an end to weapons research in this area: a device that delivered a lethal shockwave inside the target’s skull might make an effective death ray.
"Dr. Sadovnik also makes the intriguing suggestion that, instead of being used at high power to create an intolerable noise, it might be used at low power to produce a whisper that was too quiet to perceive consciously but might be able to subconsciously influence someone. The directional beam could be used for targeted messages, such as in-store promotions. Sadovnik even suggests subliminal advertising, beaming information that is not consciously heard (a notion also spotted on the US Army’s voice-to-skull page)."

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Scientists Watch Thoughts Form in the Brain


From Sara Chodosh's 8-24-16 Scientific American article entitled "Mind Aglow:  Scientists Watch Thoughts Form in the Brain":
"When a single neuron fires, it is an isolated chemical blip. When many fire together, they form a thought. How the brain bridges the gap between these two tiers of neural activity remains a great mystery, but a new kind of technology is edging us closer to solving it.
"The glowing splash of cyan in the photo above comes from a type of biosensor that can detect the release of very small amounts of neurotransmitters, the signaling molecules that brain cells use to communicate. These sensors, called CNiFERs (pronounced 'sniffers'), for cell-based neurotransmitter fluorescent engineered reporters, are enabling scientists to examine the brain in action and up close.
"This newfound ability, developed as part of the White House BRAIN Initiative, could further our understanding of how brain function arises from the complex interplay of individual neurons, including how complex behaviors like addiction develop. Neuroscientist Paul Slesinger at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, one of the senior researchers who spearheaded this research, presented the sensors Monday at the American Chemical Society’s 252nd National Meeting & Exposition."
To read Chodosh's entire article, click HERE.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Words of Unwisdom from the Mad Hatter



"Really, now you ask me," said Alice, very much confused, "I don't think--"

"Then you shouldn't talk," said the Hatter.

--Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland, Chapter VII:  "A Mad Tea-Party," 1865