Postcard from the San Juan’s

I write now and then about “portals,” or sea-changes in outlook. They happen to a few of us, but two elements must be present: First, doubt. We must learn to question everything we’ve been taught to believe. Nothing should be held sacred.

Then follows curiosity. Without curiosity, doubt merely produces cynicism.

There’s only a few of us capable if these Herculean mental feats. I witness all about me thought-controlled zombies. It’s creepy.

We’re traveling in the Pacific Northwest. I hope when I get the urge to write, that I look at the words above and decide there is nothing to add.

Peace be with you, brothers and sisters!

Posted in American wilderness | Leave a comment


The post below, About a Boy, was post number 2500 on this blog. I discovered that after writing it. It’s a milepost, and a good time to stop and reflect.

The photos below the fold in that post clearly show strong resemblance between Charles Harrelson and the Dealey Plaza tramp. St. John Hunt, E Howard’s son, looked at the photos and said that the third in line behind Charles Harrelson was his father. There was no mistaking him. That is my dad, said the son. The dad had the power of denial and it works on most everyone, but not on his son. St. John Hunt had a mental awakening when he saw that, and passed through a portal.

Make no mistake: Power keeps a lid on the JFK assassination because it is a transformative experience for any who venture there. The accumulated evidence of conspiracy and cover-up, of an American crime, is simply overwhelming. No one of sound mind can look at it and remain agnostic.

So what do people do? It’s simple. They refuse to look at it.

But your refusal to be curious is a tell. It means that you know what I know but are afraid to say so. You are not cowards, that’s not my point. You are set in your ways. If the murder of JFK was a high crime committed by Americans, and if the American justice system won’t investigate and prosecute (there has never been a trial), and if the American media is afraid to broach the subject, then you have got work to do. You have to change the way you view our country and its institutions, its leaders, history, and even our present. That is a giant undertaking. Few are up to it.

The first baby steps are so utterly baffling, unsettling! Security goes out the window, uncertainty and mistrust rule. But after all of the crying is done, the pain and anger of betrayal, you do grow up and learn to walk again, you do learn to live in the real world and coexist, even if uncomfortably, with ugly truth.

The two critical elements in propaganda and indoctrination in any country are what we call “news” and “education.” In the United States, power owns all of it. Power has always defined our reality from birth to death. It imposed an artificial reality on our young and impressionable minds, and reinforced it at every opportunity. We got our daily affirmation in school, on TV, in our newspapers, movies, books… if certain books are avoided.

Living in the real world astride the lies is hard, but essential to a clean life. We have to face ugly truth. We have to look at our leaders and realize they are lying liars, and perhaps forgive them as they cannot tell the truth and hang on to power. They are cowards, they live in the gutter of indignity and yet seem to like it. They are detestable human beings. But we learn to live with them.

Some even think we should vote for them, as some are worse than others. I don’t buy that myself.

Power demands homage to lies. The mind follows the body. That is all that Hans Christian Andersen was telling us in his fable about the naked emperor.

Most people, it appears 95%, want no part of this world I live in, and power has provided an easy escape. It has given you the power of ridicule (“Oh, he’s just some conspiracy nut.”) It has given you the power of avoidance. (Out of sight, out of mind.) It has given you the power to rely on authority figures. (No one in position of power ever breaches the subject, as immediate retribution awaits.) It has given you the power of distraction (our lives are filled with things that don’t matter, from Superbowls and other orgies to mindless entertainment in high-definition all day and night long.) It has give us the power to replace learning with the illusion of learning. (Our education system teaches our kids not to think and grades them on that inability, those best at regurgitation achieving the highest marks.)

But if you are reading this, you have a choice, and you know it. You can take that first step, and doubt. That’s all it takes – that first quiet act of betrayal, to decide not to believe, but rather learn for yourself. After that, the road is long and winding, and God only knows where your curious mind will take you. You are on your own. I can only give you one guarantee: It’s fun.

Posted in American wilderness, World views | 8 Comments

About a boy

This might qualify as a Paul Harvey “The Rest of the Story” piece. It is simply amazing how much evidence private researchers have accumulated over the past decades concerning the JFK assassination. They’ve identified the shooters, locations of the snipers’ nests, the probable command center, the role of officer Tippett, and some of the high-profile people who made it all happen.

Most players, of course, were involved only on a need-to-know basis. Once they realize what is going down, that they are part of a major crime, they know they are in deep trouble and so shut up. Ole Dammegård has spent the last 30 years investigating JFK and other crimes and has gotten some of these insiders to talk.

He noticed that the 1986 murder of Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme had many similarities to JFK, and so came to realize that the formula for murder of high-profile people is pretty much the same over time and no matter the place. Mechanics are brought in from many places, some fire blanks so that the real murderer is never certain and all are accountable. A patsy is selected and sheepdipped, the murder committed (and the patsy murdered too if he cannot otherwise be kept quiet). A cover-up ensues that goes on for decades thereafter.

It appears that the cover-up takes more planning than the crime itself. There are still people in Langley and other places tasked with minding the details of the JFK murder, along with other high-profile crimes.

This is just a small detail but caught my eye. It was a piece of information from Dammegård coupled with something else a I had read. Dammegård says that a CIA agent based in LA in 1963, Chauncy Holt, was tasked with producing fake ID’s for all of the bogus Secret Service agents that were running around Dealey Plaza after the murder, confiscating film and tracking and interviewing (and intimidating) potential problem witnesses. Holt was not a witting participant in the crime. He was told to take the fake ID’s to Dallas and give them to a man named Charles Harrelson for handling.

Charles Harrelson was born in Midland, Texas, and married Diane Lou Oswald, just a coincidental name. He was a professional hitman, and was arrested in 1979 for killing a federal judge. He died in prison. Charles and Diane had three sons, Jordan, Brett, and Woodrow.

That last one, Woodrow Tracy Harrelson, is better known today as Woody Harrelson, the actor. I’ve long liked the guy and notice that he takes part in activist causes, plays edgy characters, and was in an insider’s delight of a truth-smuggling movie called Wag the Dog. He is also skeptical of the official story about 9/11. I wonder how much he knows about JFK, and if his Dad ever told him anything about the events of that day from his prison cell.
Continue reading

Posted in American terror, American wilderness | 1 Comment

News as a cross-marketing tool

Quebec rail disaster was both timely and convenient

Quebec rail disaster was both timely and convenient

“Cross-marketing” refers to the ability to advertisers to annoy us with commercial messages from several venues at once. A child might see an ad for a new toy (based on a movie character) on TV, get a tickle about it with lunch at school, and see it on the cereal box in the morning. Marketers cherish their ability to capture our attention with the same message from multiple platforms.

With adults we might get the same commercial message via computer screens, TV, movies and magazines, billboards, and planted news.

“Planted news?” Of course. Do you really think ad men can resist such a lucrative marketing platform? News is often used for cross-marketing. General Electric owns NBC. GE makes weapons, and so when its news department promotes our wars, it is merely moving product. Disney owns ABC. I don’t watch its news product, but there surely is a generous helping of cross-promotion going on there too.

This may be hyper-sensitivity on my part, but I grew up next to a railroad track, and for my first eighteen years was desensitized to train noise. Part of that racket was oil cars. We are now getting messages from news media about the danger of using rolling stock to move oil.

This is a new problem? Not hardly. But it is being called to our attention now. Why? (Click this link to see the extensive reporting on the newly discovered danger of moving oil on rails in the Billings Gazette.)

There was a train derailment in Quebec last July, and oil was spilled into the beautiful Chaudiere River. People died, fires were started. It was a big, big mess. My first suspicion was domestic terrorism, with CIA or some other rogue agency acting behind the scenes to cause the event. Americans do not think like that, having been taught that all terrorism is done the enemy de jure, currently Muslims. It could as easily have been a true accident, with the continued hyping of the event mere opportunity marketing. The purpose: To create urgency in the public mind about building oil pipelines.

The most obvious motivator here would be Keystone. Perhaps we’ll soon be getting marketing messages on our cereal boxes and beer cans too. Maybe the next James Bond or Man of Steel movie will have our superheroes thwarting plots to blow up rail cars.

I noticed yesterday that some people think that the Keystone decision has not yet been made, that the pipeline might not be built, and that public opinion might cause the backers to change their minds. Such fantasies are common in our fake two-party system. Note in this comment thread, about how the Montana Democrat party undercut its own primary, how the Keystone Pipeline seems to be the central driving force. Getting the same message from “both” political parties is also an example of cross-marketing.

The Quebec incident is highly suspicious in this regard. It was too timely, too careless, to be genuine. I suspect sabotage for the purpose of creating urgency in building the Keystone Pipeline. That is how cross-marketing works, with terrorism merely another ad platform to sell a product. It works for airport scanners. Why not pipelines?
*Not to litter this post with dual messages, but this Billings Gazette story (unintentionally) offers some insight into another odd-duck item also filtered out of our news: The Bakken oil development play in Montana, North Dakota and southern Alberta ought to easily justify its own pipeline, but has not. They have run the numbers, it does not work. As one friend, an oil man in Billings told me, the money made on Bakken is mostly above ground in promotion of the deals. The wells quickly go into steep decline, and few will ever pay out. Continued production levels can only be maintained by intense ongoing drilling. The boom-bust mentality to prevalent in oil has driven common sense down the tracks in a tanker car, as usual.

Posted in Advertising, American "journalism", Keystone | 1 Comment

A proud moment for us!

This photo of grandson Seamus will be on display at Chicago’s Addison Station as part of a Montana tourism campaign. We are very proud and happy about this!


Posted in American wilderness | 3 Comments

Wild Montana


I thought I’d pretend I am on Facebook and put up a mediocre photo for all my friends and acquaintances so you can see where we are at. This is the view out our front window, looking southwest at the Montana Beartooths. Red Lodge is maybe twenty miles off behind those mountains. We are nearest Fishtail, Montana, a bend in the road and one of my favorite spots growing up. It’s on the road to the West Rosebud drainage.

We are on what was once a working ranch and perhaps will be again. I suspect the owner has read Omnivore’s Dilemma, as he is trying to make the place go using some of the animal husbandry that Michael Pollan espoused in that book.

So leaving Fishtail was a rush of pleasant memories of childhood and days of no responsibility. This place, these Beartooths were right in our backyard. Billings, my home town, has changed so much. It is just like all American towns and cities. Maybe ten percent of its population is doing well. The rest have little wealth and even fewer prospects for a better life. So the town is littered with high-end restaurants next to casinos, luxuriant new homes on its west end and miles of small and older homes in need of some upkeep.

But the Beartooths are the unchanged. They are now as they were when I hiked through them a a ten-year old kid.

Posted in American wilderness | 2 Comments

A moral coward speaks in code

“The work doesn’t get done on the far left and it doesn’t get done on the far right. It gets done in the middle. If you look at the folks opposing this bill, they’re the extremes. Quite frankly, extremists are extremists and I don’t really care. If they’re willing to become less ideologues and more realists, then come on board.” (Senator Jon Tester, D-MT, to Missoulian editorial board)

In the real world, compromise is the last step in reaching an agreement. People fight to get everything they can get, push as far as they can go, and the other side does as well. Then comes the term “at loggerheads,” and a compromise is made. Everyone somewhat unhappy, somewhat pleased.

The Democrat Party has cheapened the term, however. They enter a room on bended knee, giving up in advance, seeking a deal before fighting.

They are not weak or stupid, however. They are merely dishonest, sold out. They behave that way because they do not believe in the things that they say they do in public, so that “compromising” before fighting effectively undermines their own base. That’s why I mentioned to Swede yesterday that Republicans do not have to lie to their base like Democrats do, and consequently appear more honest.

Posted in American wilderness, Democrats | 2 Comments

Spare change, anyone?


Continue reading

Posted in Montana Politics | Leave a comment


I was realizing this morning that my 26-year ongoing goal, understanding the world, has gone as far as it can go, and that I need to work on other stuff now. I’ve known this for some time.

I understand American politics well enough to keep my distance. It’s a goofy pastime meant to distract us, nothing more.

I understand people as well as I can. As Napoleon observed, with a few noble exceptions they are desirous of being kept in chains for sake of security. They talk about freedom, but do not live it.

I understand the international scene as well as one isolated person can. One word: Machiavelli. There are no morals, no ethics. There is only power, and power despises weakness. Power has no use for ordinary people, would just as soon kill us as tolerate us.

There is a class of people out there, we call them psychopaths these days, who are always present among us. We need to get better at identifying them and putting them in tasks that challenge their abilities but do not give them power. Sweatshops would be a good way to go – Dick Cheney or Hillary Clinton could spend their long days stitching fabric to rubber instead of plotting misery for millions of people. The United States has a larger share of them in its population than other places due to colonial seeding. Australia, I would imagine, has a similarly large a percentage since it started out as a prison colony.

Psychopaths have always been with us. It is too bad our history is so corrupted that we don’t know anything of importance about our past. Otherwise we’d have a better idea of their activities over time. I see instances like the Battleship Maine blowing up, McKinley shot, Lincoln lionized, serial killer John Brown anointed a saint, and I see their handiwork. I’ve no doubt that when good people with influence are assassinated, die in small plane crashes, are caught in scandals … psychopaths got to them. The Bush’s and Clinton’s of this world live long lives of wealth and splendor even as they belong in stockades. John Lennon was shot by his doorman (who also happened to be present when RFK was shot! Imagine that!).

The key seems to be this: Keep them at bay. They are always plotting and scheming – nothing else pleases them. But we need to try to maintain some semblance of democratic government, laws and justice in spite of them. When they get complete hold of a place as they did in Germany, Poland, Stalinist Russia, Franco’s Spain and currently in Saudi Arabia and other such despotic hellholes, they cannot easily be dislodged. It usually takes conflict and bloodshed*. (“The tree of liberty …”) Power never gives up power without a fight.

That class is currently in power in the United States. We are in pathocracy. Every day they bring us more grief with out-of-control war spending, corruption in every corner including science (and even soft sciences like economics), our runway banksters, assaults on the commons, and a laughable system of justice. News is barely stitched together of lies, and most decent people in positions of responsibility cower in fear. Thousands of people know more truth about things like JFK, 9/11, Boston, Ukraine, Cuba, Iraq and our many wars of aggression and cannot speak for fear of retribution. Journalists may know stuff (it is hard to tell with them) but cannot write what they know. The only enemy our government fears is domestic – an awakened population, and I do not see any signs of life.

So for me the goal is to continue to lead my charmed life in spite of it all. The encounters that I have on the blogs lately are mostly unpleasant. I don’t like it when that happens. But if there is one type of personality that troubles me more than any other on this planet, it is the arrogant fool, the person so full of hubris that he is unapproachable and cannot be reasoned with. He will always presume himself more knowledgeable and wise while in truth knowing nothing. That personality sets me afire. I used to think the exchanges were fun, but now to see these same people years later unaffected by anything that has passed before their eyes, ignorant of all and yet assured of their own high intelligence and rightness … it gets really old. This is, as one of my kids’ teachers termed it years ago, “supreme stupidity.”

So I want to write about other stuff. I just keep getting pulled back in, that’s all. I love to set these people on their ears, rattle their cages in the hope that the shaking allows some light to break through. Never happens.

But there is Lizard and JC and SK and SW and ST and JR (Abe?) and Feral cat and so many others. I dwell on the negative when there is no much positive. I want to do better. I’ll keep working on it.
*Can someone please explain how the USSR and its satellites were brought down without bloodshed? That could never happen here or in Saudi Arabia or against the bloody British aristocracy … to dislodge a corrupt leadership class by sheer power of public will. What’s wrong with the picture?

Posted in World views | 24 Comments

Why Democrats hate progressives

Back in 2000 Ralph Nader and Green Party supporters sported t-shirts that had a list of ten progressive objectives from women’s rights to preservation of the environment to better regulation of the corporate sector.

Had Al Gore decided to take ownership of any one of those issues, his Nader problem would have gone away. But Gore was an arrogant man, narcissistic, even spurning help from the smooth-talking Bill Clinton. He refused to even nod our way. Too bad for him.

That’s just an anecdote. But there is something interesting in the makeup of the Democratic party post-Powell Memo, post-DLC. I had to step back and look at the phenomenon last night as I underwent intense deflection from Pogie. He is attacking Dirk Adams, Democratic candidate for senate in Montana. Adams is advocating progressive views on some issues. Pogie is incensed.

Here are two comments from his blog, not his (which had no substance). The first is from Mary McCulley:

Home Savings Of America is wholly owned by Home Savings Bancorp, Dirk Adams is the CEO.’ The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) which closed down Home Savings noted that the Bank “had experienced substantial dissipation of assets and earnings due to unsafe or unsound practices.” and ‘The FDIC was unable to find a buyer willing to purchase Home Savings. Typically, the FDIC is able to attract a purchaser for a failed bank with generous guarantees to cover losses on failed banks through the use of loss-share agreements. The FDIC estimated the loss to the Deposit Insurance Fund at $38.8 million. This amount seems to be unusually, almost suspiciously low, compared to previous banking failures and after considering the fact that Home Savings had such poor asset quality that the FDIC could not attract a buyer. ‘ OUCH.

This from Helena Insider:

Finally. A blog post that lays it all out there. It makes me very sad that so many “progressives” are blindly following Dirk — they have been thoroughly tricked by the man.

Is there a problem here? No! The Democrats are actually, for once, incredulous about a candidate. They are vigilant and skeptical.

The psychology is interesting. Barack Obama has moved them from center right to far right, uncloaking as a NeoCon these past six years. Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester immediately dropped any progressive pretenses and went to work for timber and health insurance, among many other corporate sponsors, once elected. Tester was a recipient of a huge sum of dark money in 2012 that saved him from electoral defeat, and Democrats are not even curious where it came from. John Walsh has not gained much traction, but was anointed to fill the senate seat of Max Baucus in a back room deal that sent Max to China to continue his corporate … advocacy. Walsh is an unknown quantity, which in Montana means right-winger. (No one ever uncloaks as a progressive after election.) They don’t seem to care.

But let a candidate spout some progressive values, even if only for campaign purposes, and they get angry and suspicious and actually become informed voters. This is the phenomenon we encountered with Al Gore in 2000 – not dismissiveness so much as spite. Democrats simply hate progressives.

As I told Pogie last night, the psychology is easy to understand: So long as there are real progressives, Democrats can’t pretend to be that. We cause them to look at themselves in the mirror, see what they really are, weak-kneed followers of a right-wing party. Rather than do that, they project their internal turmoil on us.

Sucks to be them.

Posted in Democrats | 2 Comments