In the Darker Moments of a Coronavirus Conspiracy

by Preston Peet
April 12, 2020


Ok. I’m pretty sure this is going to get me labeled a crazy person, but I am becoming convinced we are living in the midst of some (further) takeover of the System now, some insidious plot to plunder and wreak havoc by convincing us all that to gather together, to touch one another, or even to just simply raise one’s voice while postulating on the causes of this pandemic (or about any conspiracy theory for that matter), is too dangerous, scary, even downright selfish and yes, crazy.

I believe that coronavirus-caused COVID-19 is a real thing, the result of a nefariously designed pathogen likely released intentionally, and whatever stands as the New World Order today, in whatever form(s) it takes, is taking over (some more), or at least looting what scraps might be left in the coffers before the whole shithouse goes up in flames, as the rest of us cower, hiding in our homes in fear of catching the deadly virus caused by their pet scientist-engineered coronavirus.

I’ve been called a dreamer, a fantasist, and a conspiracy theorist before, and lots worse than that. I’ve often deserved it. Still, I would hope that in this time of such drastic, paradigm shifting change happening, this slow-motion train wreck that we’re still in the beginning stages of, that the little people would be good to one another, and even perhaps treat one another as they themselves would like to be treated. I am no saint, though these days I try to be kind, and generous with what little I have. In these trying times, it seems to me that more people would be aware of how what they do might impact others, and that they might want to also be kind. Yet, while there have been some amazing and generous actions by friends and family since the onset of the current state of affairs that have lifted my spirits, I’ve also been sadly reminded that some human beings willfully remain greedy, capricious, sneaky and sadistic towards their fellow humans.

I Never Trust the Banks!

I’ve been trying to help a close friend (while practicing proper social-distancing of course) determine what has this week happened to her bank account. She discovered a fraudulent, out-of-state charge of $6.00 and change made using her banking card information a couple of days ago, which was then was re-credited to her account yesterday (April 11). She only discovered that small, odd activity in her account after she’d gone looking to see if her account was magically up some figure, perhaps by even $1,200, thanks to the announced and eagerly awaited government assistance checks. Not only was her account not up by $1,200, she discovered two charges (still pending, external transfers of funds) made for $599.00, to Venmo with no specific receiving account information attached. Today when she went looking again for that initial $6.00 and change transaction, she discovered that it has vanished. There’s no sign of that transaction, and she neglected to get a screenshot of it.

When she called the bank immediately yesterday (also April 11) upon discovering these mystery charges to demand they halt the still pending transactions of $599.00 each, the person she spoke to on the phone at the bank told her that even though the transfers were “still pending,” they could not simply stop the transactions. They can “reimburse” her the money, after the transfer is completed, and they commence an investigation.

I can’t help but be reminded of the fairly recent Wells Fargo fraud case, (which just cost Wells Fargo another $3 Billion this past February, 2020), where tellers and bankers were pushed by higher ups in the company to “cross sell” what they labeled “products” to customers, or as they like to call their banking customers, “consumers.” The “products” were actually fraudulently opened accounts and debit cards in the customers’ names, not to mention insurance policies, of which the customers were completely unaware. We are both wondering if some Chase bank personnel, or the upper management even, are acting in similar fashion to how Wells Fargo was behaving, pressuring their employees to do the most selling they can, or are offering their employees incentives of a financial nature for each transaction a teller might make on behalf of a “consumer,” and that this is what’s happening to my friend. At this stage there’s very little she can do to get to the bottom of it beyond doing what she has, canceling that debit card and having the bank send her a new one.

We obviously don’t know what happened. It’s all a big mystery. That said, tellers and other employees are human beings, and many human beings in the United States these days are rapidly growing desperate. Already afraid and stressed to near breaking point by the steady barrage of fear day in and day out, everywhere they turn, some will succumb to that fear and try out less honest, less scrupulous ways of making themselves money. Because they have to feed their kids, or pay the rent, or pay off their student loans, or pay for their parents’ nursing home incarcerations, or perhaps they have to feed a habit, or because they just want more!

“There’s a difference between the two choices we’re being offered!”

Instead of bringing us all together, instead of drawing us all closer to one another, the current terrifying coronavirus situation, with all the sewing of fear and distrust and paranoia being pushed by our media and our elected leaders, it seems designed to put up walls between us all.

Soon, mostly everyone (in the United States at any rate), will be focused on the Presidential election campaigns. Many people, already weakened by weeks and months of coronavirus news, not to mention wondering where their next meal or the money for rent might be coming from, will be then be whipped up emotionally by the media barrage, fighting and arguing about the meager, minor differences between two candidates who really have little do with the actual running of things, men (and someday women) that serve mainly as props for the common people to choose to side with and line up behind, as the Pentagon and the bankers and the Industrial and Silicon Valley types in all their creepy, oily, evil forms continue to do their dirty, bloody, awful business raping the planet, and us.

I personally see plot and malevolent purpose even simply in the running of Donald J. Trump for the office of President of the United States. So thoroughly ugly a person as Trump is to (at least) half the country, while simultaneously thought to be god’s instrument of justice and the American Way to the other half of the US populace, I imagine a better figure more likely to divide the country would have been extremely hard to find. Not to mention a man who could distract the general population as effectively as Donald Trump does. (There was another recent candidate, and quite a few presidents too, who were pretty damned effective at their divisive roles too, but they don’t need naming here.)

There Are A Lot of Pissed Off (Poor) People

Because heaven forbid the populace really focuses on what’s happening and gets angry about it. Again. Some more. About this latest brouhaha along with everything else everyone was already furiously angry about.

At this point, I suspect that whoever it was that planned this convoluted, all encompassing, overarching machination want the populace as distracted as possible. I’m also pretty sure that, at this point, they aren’t feeling a lot of fear of discovery, because they’ve so far managed to not only shut down and censor discussions about the roots of the coronavirus situation online, and about certain topics deemed “not up to the community standards, they’ve got us shut up inside our own homes, or in our rented rooms or apartments (which we little people still have to leave periodically and run the risk of infection as we need to eat and can’t afford to order deliveries), afraid we’re gonna catch the ‘Rona, or give it unknowingly to someone else, since many if not most of us are untested and have had (flu-like) symptoms at some point over the course of the last Winter and Spring.

On Friday the 13th a television show I was booked to work a couple of weeks on was shut down, and by the following Monday, the 16th, so too were all other TV and film productions in NYC, as were pretty much most of the restaurants, bars, cafes, clothing shops, schools (though classes continue online for most students to the best of my knowledge), and Gaia only knows how many other businesses. That was the culmination of a week of news stories steadily growing progressively more scary about this horrific virus that allegedly began in China, then moved on to Iran, and Italy, which had wreaked havoc and was coming our way, all at pretty much the same time the stock exchange crashed and burned, decimating or doing even worse to the world’s economy, but not before a few already rich US politicians on “both” sides of the political aisle and privy to behind-the-scenes, classified briefings, sold off their stocks and made themselves even more money.

Is there a shadowy, hidden cabal who decided to have something like this pathogen engineered and released or did some big think tank like the RAND Corporation say, or maybe DynCorp International perhaps gamed this situation out, or is it the result of an evil scheme on the part of some random faction(s) of upper crusty, EcoWarrior types, wanting to simply cull the herd a bit and be sure they don’t become part of the culled, I have no way of knowing, or proving, but I lean towards the first and/or second possibilities obviously. There are plenty of other theories out there if one take a little time to look around, and to think. In my darker moments this is where my mind goes when I think about what is happening outside concerning the economy, and how our political, military, and law enforcement establishments are reacting to the situation. I can’t help but think it though, because all my moments are getting close to being my darker moments, because again, I really do think this was something intentional, regardless of how big or small the chance of a plot seems to you, dear reader. The mobs of common humanity were getting unruly around the world. The citizenry in France, Indonesia, and Hong Kong were protesting in the streets for months in 2019 and the beginnings of 2020. There were flare ups and sustained efforts in many countries around the world, massive demonstrations on the part of dissatisfied, outraged poor and pissed-off people all over the world, which showed no signs of abating. Quite the opposite in fact – shit was getting real. The ruling class cannot, could not, will not meekly allow that to continue, not without taking some kinds of action eventually. It’s very survival is at stake.

So, voila, COVID-19! Early reports came out of China of a frightening disease dropping people dead in the streets, with lots terrifying scenes shown on the news. Lots of beloved and admired celebrities started getting sick and dying, or just self-isolating, like the rest of us little people, making and posting videos online, bemoaning their self-incarceration, to have to wait out the virus that’s killing other people in the thousands around the globe, in such squalor as, in at least one case in what $27 million buys in the United State of America. Wildly conflicting stories appear day after day, full of accusations that China is at fault, for either letting the virus escape or for not warning the world of the severity of the problem when they first began diagnosing the sick, or that it’s an American germ that the US military brought to Wuhan back in October, 2019, that there will be meat shortages in the US thanks to the virus forcing US slaughterhouses to close, that it’s 5G technology frying us all, and it’s definitely not artificially constructed in any way, shape, or form. All of this and more is trumpeted at one point or another by the media, herding the now terrified populace off the streets and back indoors, telling us we will not be safe but at least we might be a little less in danger hiding in our homes. We’ll definitely be in less danger if we don’t go back and begin protesting again! Now there is a there’s a global effort underway to bring everything and everybody under the benevolent protection of a one world government, to save the economies of the world.

I think the author and human rights activist Professor Francis Boyle is probably correct, that the coronavirus is most likely a designed biological warfare weapon, and as bad as it sounds, I believe it was released on purpose. It wouldn’t even require that large an operation. There was already an active production and testing of chemical and biological warfare agents going strong in both the US and China, not to mention all the other countries with active programs “researching” such deadly viruses as the SARS variety, one of which, the SARS-CoV-2 variety, is the cause of COVID-19. Yes, there are plenty of articles found online asserting that no way is it an engineered biological warfare agent, no way it’s artificial in any way, it’s straight up natural. Like so much else I’ve read from the mainstream over the years, I don’t trust these articles. One comment in a widely quoted report nay-saying the idea went so far as to assert that the SARS-CoV-2 virus works so effectively attacking the human cell that it could only be natural, not a talent designed by humans. Pure, unadulterated hokum is what that sounds like to me. Granted, I’m only a layman though. These are the experts. They must know what they’re talking about, right? Well, apparently “accidents,” do happen, and pathogens do “escape” on occasion.

“In August, the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases was shut down,” Nicholas G. Evans writes for Slate.com, in an article downplaying coronavirus-related conspiracy theories, “and it remains so as part of an ongoing review. Laboratory accidents in the United States, including the accidental shipping of H5N1 avian influenza to a U.S. Department of Agriculture lab and the exposure of approximately 75 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention workers to anthrax, led to a funding pause on certain kinds of ‘gain of function studies’ that result in the creation of new ‘potential pandemic pathogens’ with enhanced virulence and transmissibility.” I’m not as convinced as Evans seems to be that the coronavirus is just a natural occurrence, feeling there must be more to the story, but he has an answer for that- it’s racist to speculate about the possibility that China at least had a hand in the SARS-CoV-2 virus getting into the human population all over the Earth. I suppose there’s a Chinese journalist writing much the same somewhere in Chinese, that it’s just racist to even speculate that American military capitalists’ pet scientists were involved somehow in the production of biological warfare weaponry and pathogens and the occasional accidental (or not accidental) release of said pathogens.

The only other answer I can think of, that makes even a tiny bit of sense to me, is that if the coronavirus is not something released by the aforementioned shadowy cabal, is that it is Gaia herself, the planet we live on once again reminding the virus that is humanity that she doesn’t play around, that she’s sick and tired of how we treat her, and most other living creatures who share the planet with us. We suckle at her breast as we go about our day to day lives, producing more garbage, more pollution, more death and destruction. Yes, we humans can paint some pretty pictures, we can talk a mile a minute, we can give voice to music and build technologies to stir the heavens above us, but I’m afraid too many of us have little respect for actual Life. We are not that great a threat to the planet herself. When Gaia is finished with us, she will shake us off as she has done multiple times in the past then go on to the next experiment. Sadly, we humans could be the first life Gaia’s fostered that played a hand in its own demise.

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Doing the Coronavirus Shut-Down

by Preston Peet
March 22, 2020


The night before I was to begin the first day of work on a TV show filming here in Brooklyn, New York, this past Friday the 13th, the text messages I was getting on my phone from the casting directors who booked me were just letting me know that there “may be atmospheric smoke/haze on set,” and that despite the scary coronavirus-related news I was seeing and reading online, everything was still good to go. The show must go on, and so forth.

“Production has shut down shooting for today. You should not report to set…,” read the next text message I received early the next morning but didn’t see until I was already on my way back home from set. “You will still be paid for today’s work. We will be in touch regarding further shooting dates.” Since I’d been booked to work for just over two weeks, (and with the news I was getting paid for a day’s work I didn’t actually work in mind) I wasn’t yet too worried. By 4:30PM that afternoon though, the next text informed me that filming would not take place on Monday after all, that I was free to take any other job offers that day, and that they’d be “in touch with more information about Tuesday/the rest of the week.” I tried to relax, to treat the weekend as a surprise, somewhat tense mini-vacation. By Sunday evening however, the last text I received from the casting directors said that “filming is suspended, and we do not yet have the date they plan on starting up again.” I was still trying to convince myself this would all blow over soon, that I didn’t have anything to worry about, but it was getting harder.

By Thursday, March 19, 532,000 New Yorkers had visited the NY State Department of Labor website to file unemployment claims, and Friday over 475,000 called to try and claim benefits, but the huge increase in claimants repeatedly crashed the website, denying many people the ability to file their claims. With the thousands of layoffs around NYC and state, not to mention the country as a whole, the system will be hard-pressed to stay afloat. It’s hard not to imagine the most dire scenarios.

“I don’t know what is going to happen,” said my boss at the little sandwich pop-up I work for, and he is obviously not alone. As a freelance writer, actor, and musician, with only a part-time cooking job to help tie me over between gigs, the “stay at home” order, due to be implemented in NYC this Sunday for everyone but those working in essential jobs, is downright scary. I’m not going to be able to afford to pay my what already seems like way too high of a rent. I plan on filing taxes on what’s been up until now an off the books gig because, with current plans being discussed by Congress to “help” taxpaying US citizens (and the rest can stuff it or starve apparently, if news is to be believed) it’s essential that I file taxes so as to qualify for help. How much help will actually be forthcoming from the government is still unknown.

We all will have a lot of time in the upcoming weeks to dwell on where we are today as human beings. The old ways of doing things have brought us to to this point. It behooves us all to sincerely, honestly work out ways to help each other and ourselves, rather than point fingers at one another and try to assign blame. We’re all in this together, experiencing the coronavirus crisis in real time. It would be really nice if, while curing the COVID-19, we also figured out how to cure the rest of the bs that we all allow to drag us down rather than lifting us on high.





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Fundamentals of a Few Feral Felines’ Fortunes and Fortitude

by Preston Peet
February 19, 2019

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My roommate recently took a one-day class, to learn, and perhaps qualify for, Catch, Neuter and Return program benefits offered by many veterinarians if they see a card showing successful graduation from the class. That way, if she and I rescue another cat, she’s supposed to be able to get discounts on vet fees, by showing she’s responsible and educated in the way of rescuing homeless, often feral cats. Vets’ fees can be steep sometimes.

When she took the most recent cat we brought inside to a vet, the vet told her something along the lines of, “discounts aren’t just for people’s pet kitty cats, but for feral cats only, cats that are going to be put back out on the streets after being neutered or spayed to stop them from propagating and creating ever more kittens, kittens which will then turn into big feral cats.”

V reminded her that the really tiny cat, who we’ve named Wolverine, was a new rescue, regardless whether we planned on keeping her or not (which we do, but that’s beside the point). She didn’t have to get spayed even. We could tell that wasn’t necessary by the fact Wolverine has at some point in her life had both of her ears clipped.

Working together as a team, V and I have rescued many cats from street life at one time or another. Though we didn’t rescue our first cat, a big, tattered tabby named Sam, he was rescued from street life by someone who passed him on to us. Sammy had been living uptown on the west side of Central Park, around West 80th St. or thereabouts. A woman living in the neighborhood there had been feeding him. When she found he was soon allowing her to pet and even hold him, she decided it was time to bring him indoors and off the streets. I found a flier she’d placed in the front window of a pet food store on Third Ave., a couple blocks from our 18th St. apartment, with his photo on it and a short description of him. He was described as scarred, with just half an ear and that he loved to headbutt. Arthur, the very first cat I could remember having in my house as an adopted child growing up, was also a head-butter. That, and the facts Sam and I both had scars and we’d both had lived in and around Central Park, decided the matter for me in an instant. V and I had already been discussing the possibility of getting a cat, and here was a perfect candidate. We called the number on the flier, took a subway uptown to meet Sam, and ended up bringing him home right away.

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Sam and I sharing some love.

It wasn’t long before we heard of a second cat who was being housed in Enchantments, the witchcraft store on East 9th St. in the Lower East Side, a tuxedo cat named Bobby. I wasn’t sure he liked me at first, but we brought him home none-the-less, and neither of us regretted it in the least. Bobby was a sweetheart. There was only ever one fight between Sam and Bob, to assert dominance and decide which was king of the home. Sam won that very quick and relatively painless battle, though I did have to break it up by picking Sam up by the scruff of his neck and tossing him a few feet clear of Bobby. No damage was done to either cat and they got along fairly fine after that.

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Bobby and I reading “When the Sky Fell,” by Rose and Rand Flem-Ath.

We got a phone call from another cat rescuer, not long after we took in Bobby, asking if we could take in another cat, this one a small kitten. Initially I was very hesitant, thinking Sam and Bob were plenty for our small NYC apartment. But not much later that very same day, V was at our usual pet food store, the one where I’d found the flier about Sam, where she ran into the cat rescuer who’d just called us. The lady had the young kitten with her on the back of her bicycle. V couldn’t say “No.” Not when faced with such an adorable and tiny little girl making such huge eyes at us. It was the same for me. When V brought the other woman back to our apartment with the kitten, it was love at first sight.

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Wise old Bobby.

She won over both Sam and Bob immediately, and any left over tension there might have been between the two boys was completely eradicated. We named her Halley, after the comet, due to her endless racing around the apartment, bouncing off the two larger boy cats and we two humans alike.

We noticed one day, soon after we’d moved from 18th St. to Norfolk St. just south of Houston St., that Halley wasn’t eating, and it continued for a few days. We decided to take her to see a vet. The vet was friendly and helpful. After examining Halley, the vet told us Halley needed to have a number of teeth pulled, which turned out to be five teeth. This was a major operation for such a small cat as Halley was. Halley, like Bobby and Sam, had FIV, feline AIDS basically. Due to the operation, and in reaction to having been under strong anesthesia, three days after we brought her home, she was still not eating. I had said emphatically before going to sleep that last night that if she was still not showing any improvement in the morning we were taking her back to the vet.

Sometime during the night Halley crept out of the back room where she’d been suffering and made it as far as one of the kitchen cabinets which she curled up inside. When I got up at my usual very early hour, I noticed right away a strange noise I’d not heard before. When I heard it a second time I began tracking it down, only to find Halley in a little ball in the bottom of the cabinet with mucus and phlegm coming out of her mouth and nose, more than I’d ever seen in my entire life. With a loud cry I woke Vanessa and we went running down Houston St. to Ave. B to take her to the nearest vet’s office, which turned out to be closed. So we jumped in a cab to 10th St. and Ave. C to yet another vet’s office, this time to find it open. We demanded the vet try anything and everything to save her. Her heart stopped at one point then restarted. The vet tried to tell us it was no use, but we continued to demand they do something to save her, so they hooked her up to tubes and needles and life support, but it was no good. Halley died at five years of age, way too young for a cat to go. We were devastated.

buddhafriedaBuddha and Freida.

Our next two cats, Buddha and Freida, were FIV positive when we took them in. Found cowering in the corner of a school playground in Manhattan, they eventually grew out of their FIV, and lived long and healthy lives. Though brother Buddha, who was a complete mushball of a cat, died at twelve, Freida made it to nineteen years of age before she died peacefully at home in our apartment in Bushwick, Brooklyn, just a little over a year ago, in 2017. She was a sweetheart who was queen cat in three different apartments.

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Buddha 

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Harry hanging out on the stove in his favorite pot.

Another pair of kitties someone else rescued and subsequently passed on to us, were Harry and Whisper. They were both loving and lovely. Harry would always have one ear slightly cockeyed, as he had a perpetual infection that would come and go, giving him a sort of goofy appearance, while his brother Whisper was a tiny, wiry cat, who was the narrowest cat I’ve ever seen with a really off-kilter balance issue. Both of the brothers gave more love than they accepted. Harry and Whisper were the last two cats we added to our family while still living on East 18 St.

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Whisper

There were Perry, Lola, and Darryl, all three rescued in the Lower East Side, after we’d moved into an apartment on Norfolk St. just south of Houston Street. The cat rescuer who introduced us to Halley, Buddha and Freida, told us we should just get Perry fixed then release him, “because he’ll never let you touch him,” due to his being very obviously feral. He had a very long nose and scary, big fangs. We released him in the bathroom and he went berserk, leaping around, up and over the shower curtain. We figured we’d just let him stay in there until we got up the nerve to cram him into a carrier for a trip to the vet, telling each other to remember to be careful not to let him out as we went in and out of the bathroom. That lasted less than a day, because I soon opened the door, completely forgetting Perry was in there, and he burst out past me, running directly into our back bedroom, where he spent the rest of that Winter living in style. I finally worked up the nerve one night just before Spring. put on head to toe leather and chased him around the bedroom until I maneuvered him into a carrier using my skill and wiles, though it did take me more than a few minutes. After he had the operation and was back home in our apartment, we left the bedroom door open. Once he got over his initial shyness, and any lingering pain from surgery, he came out to explore, quickly making friends with Bobby, who was at that time king of the household.

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Darryl and I, sitting and not quite working at my computer.

Darryl walked out of the trap V carried him inside in, wearing a light blue collar that was way too tight. It appeared someone put it on him when he was still a kitten. I don’t know how he’d been managing to get food down his throat, but he was so grateful when I gently removed it. He was a dreamboat with V and I and just about every other human he ever met, but when he first moved in, he bit Freida’s tail so hard the vet wound up installing a temporary shunt to drain fluid build up and keep any infection from spreading and save her tail. Although Darryl was neutered within days of us bringing him indoors, he didn’t lose his raging sexual energy for years. He would carry a small, cat-sized stuffed animal cat around with him, very carefully placing it in the perfect position for him to make love to, again and again and again.

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Darryl with his stuffed kitty girlfriend.

Lola was another one who lived a nice long life, or perhaps it was her ninth life she lived once she was with us, because we never had any trouble with her, she was healthy and seemingly happy, once her feral traits subsided and she got used to indoor life. She was really the only rescued kitty that seemed to want back out once inside. She would frantically rake her paws against the various windows of your LES apartment over and over for a few weeks until she finally settled in. She lived a long and happy life with us, then died quietly next to me in bed at the beginning of 2018, extremely old and skinny and at peace.

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Lola looking lovely.

Then there was Tigo, a gentle giant of cat we got in exchange for a pure white star-point Siamese we were fostering. We named the Siamese cat Lestat after he bit me and V. We’d been told he was a biter, that he’d bitten the landlord of a building in our neighborhood, which was why he needed fostering in the first place, but we assumed that the landlord had been a jerk towards Lestat, and that’s why he’d been bitten. This turned out to be not as matter of fact as we’d believed, because one day very soon after we’d taken Lestat into our home, while I was very calmly and gently petting him in our bathroom, I noticed his eyes growing very large as his ears began to go back. I slowly stood from my crouched position, speaking to the cat all the while in what I was hoping was a reassuring tone of voice as he zeroed in on my left arm, his eyes going all crazy-like. I could see him focusing on it with a laser beam-like intensity. I began to lift my arm higher in the air, to try and move it out of range, to no avail. Lestat leaped from the floor to my air in one fluid motion, a little over five feet up in the air seemingly without the slightest effort, to wrap himself around my forearm, into which he then sank his fangs, piercing deeply into the muscle of my arm. This bite would soon turn into case of “cat scratch fever,” which the doctor at the emergency room told me when I went there with an growing ever more painful swelling, for which I had to take strong antibiotics‒–I believe it was Cipro—–to heal. After he bit V just a day or two later, V took Lestat to another friend’s home, a person who rescues cats, and who had a lot more experience dealing with special cats like Lestat. In exchange, she said V had to take a cat home with her, but one with a more calm and level demeanor. That cat was a big tiger-striped boy, his full name Tigo-Boo, named after some anime character. Tigo lived to a ripe old age, eventually making the move with Daryl, Lola, Frieda and Buddha, and Perry to Bushwick, Brooklyn, with V. Tigo also had a raging libido all his neutered life, just as Darryl had had. V and I would often hear Tigo and Lola making loud love makings right up until just a few weeks before Tigo died of cancer.

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Lola and Tigo-Boo

After V and my relationship evolved to a new, not-living-together-or-being-in-a-boyfriend/girlfriend style relationship, I ended up moving to Santa Fe, and then Madrid, New Mexico. I lived the life of a degenerate mountain hellbilly, doing a small bit of writing, and lots and lots of drugs while I slowly recovered from the breakup back in NYC. I really loved the town of Madrid. The people there welcomed me with open arms, but it was like a rebound relationship. If I’d not been in such pain, both physical and psychological, I might have made more of a go of building a more permanent life there, and the culture shock I experienced by moving from NYC to a tiny New Mexican mountain town at six thousand feet above sea level, with somewhere between three hundred to five hundred people living there at any given time would have felt even more severe than what I was then conscious of.  But of course it was a small number of cats I got to know there that most helped me get my head and heart sorted and to begin the healing process.

I suddenly decided one day, after nearly a year in New Mexico, that I was craving walking on concrete, surrounded by lots of rude, scurrying people, and a much higher percentage of electromagnetic energy buffeting me all day and night more than I enjoyed the desert mountains, fresh clean air and endless star-scapes in the night sky.

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It’s not incestuous when cats, like Tarzet and Midlyn here, start licking each other.

I returned to the East Coast, driving cross-country with a human friend and two orange-furred kittens named Tarzet and Midlyn, sisters who’d been born in the Spring inside a cupboard in the living room of the house I was sharing with a friend in Madrid. Very soon after giving birth, their mother Hanna had carried them first to a closet in my room, then to my sofa-bed where they spent the first few weeks of their lives, imprinting on me as strongly as to their mother. The imprinting obviously went both ways, because there was no way I could leaving them behind when I returned East from West. I did have to leave their brother behind in Madrid. I tell myself he’s happier there, keeping his testicles, and running about eating desert wildlife instead of being cooped up in a small NYC apartment. My two girls are as happy with me as I am with them. They loved riding on my shoulders on the drive. They’ve remained incredibly close to me ever since, living with me and V in Bushwick these days.

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Tarzet and Midlyn, spying on a Bushwich squirrel. 

The other four cats I live with are all rescued cats either off the streets right out front of this apartment (Mickey and Wolverine), or from out back (Oscar and Smudge).

Oscar showed up one evening outside the back, second floor window at feeding time. Already a regular visitor to the garden and the downstairs neighbors’ door, he had climbed the plum tree behind the building, and across a branch to reach the fire escape, which he crossed to the edge, then leapt to the air-conditioner sticking out the next kitchen window, where he sat staring into the apartment until V saw him and served him a bowl. He would eat outside on the fire escape for the next two years, showing up at both breakfast and dinner, eat his fill, then go his merry way. A few months after I moved into V’s Bushwick apartment, we began opening the window and letting him come inside to eat due to how cold it was getting outside. Then one morning he showed up, came in the slightly opened window, and began to eat. Then I noticed there was something wrong with his tail. The last few inches of it were hanging off of the white and skinny bone like an empty mitten on a string, the bone sticking out like a skeletal finger. It was very weird and hard to look at for more than a few seconds without my stomach becoming fluttery and feeling full of swarming butterflies eager to escape.

V and I decided that Oscar had to go to a vet, that we couldn’t just let him back out the window. Putting some kitty cookies inside a carrier, V stood back, and Oscar waltzed right in, seemingly without a care in the world. She quickly shut the door behind him and took him right away. By the time they arrived in the examining room at the vet’s, Oscar had somehow gotten the tail mitten back over the bone. V had to point out the wound to the disbelieving vet it was so well hidden. The vet put a couple stitches in the the wound, which eventually healed up nicely.

 

Oscar is now reigning king of the household.

One night the following Summer, about three and a half years ago, while I was at home alone, I began hearing what sounded like a little bird outside in the back garden, sounding as though it had fallen from its nest, lost and alone. But as soon as I opened the back door, the sound ceased. I looked around in the gathering gloom behind our three story building, but did not find anything. So I took a seat with my computer at a small table we have set up out there, and quietly began reading, and making no sound. Soon the plaintive, high-pitched squeaking sound started up again. I quickly stood and looked for the sound. There, in the back corner under a bush I spotted a tiny, jet black, long furred little kitten with the hugest ears imaginable on such a tiny head. If he’d not turned his incredibly bright and shining yellow headlight eyeballs in my direction, even with him making the noise he was it would have taken me even longer to finally find him.

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One of Smudge’s first nights in his new home, with his new family.

Such a squeeze I felt in my chest when I first picked him up and he leaned his face up and back and gave my cheek a lick. Bam! I was completely in love and there was no way I was letting him out of my sight. When V got home later that evening with a visiting friend who was staying over, I greeted them at the door.

Smudge, making like he’s a bat, just hanging out.

“Hey, we have a new room-mate.” Smudge wriggled his furry way over to them, looking impossibly small and defenseless. It was no contest. V fell in love with him as quickly as I had.

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Smudge

The name Smudge came naturally when looking at his little black-furred body. Three and a half years later, Smudge is a large, playful, conscientious housemate, loving everyone and everyone without hesitation or reservation. One thing V and I have noticed him doing repeatedly and often is finding and sleeping next to whichever room-mate might be feeling especially low or under the weather at the time. He spent lots of time with four different cats as they died here of either old age or some age-related illness. Smudge does it with me and V as well, coming over when he thinks we might not be feeling well, or are sad. He’s a great comforter.

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Smudge chilling out with Freida days before she died.

We suspect that the two most recent additions to our household, Mickey and Wolverine, are brother and sister. It’s partly because they look so much alike, not just in color scheme and fur type, but also body shape. Mostly it’s because of the always exasperated expression on both their faces, just much smaller in size with Wolverine than with Mickey. Mickey is the pugilist of the house, extremely jealous of any time we spend with any other cat, especially me, and willing to tear into another cat at the slightest provocation or threat to what he considers his, be it me or V, or one of the cat toys, or just be getting too close to him too fast.

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Mickey Mikhail.

Wolverine refused to enter a carrier after we tried the put-treats-inside trick, extremely suspicious of us and of the dark and shadowed interior of the carrier. She would wait, hiding under cars out front of our building, huddled up quietly next to the curb watching for us. She would approach the food we put out in bowls by the garbage cans within a small fenced-in area next to our building’s front door only once we’d backed away from the plate. Mickey on the other hand, he got friendly with me very quickly, allowing me to pet him after just a couple of days. After about a week of us feeding the two of them, Mickey began standing at the front door of the building, staring inside through the bottom pane of glass, patiently waiting for me to show up. Then he’d do the same after I’d fed him, and gone back inside. When I’d next go downstairs, there he’d be, moving his head side to side, trying to catch a glimpse of me and super excited as I’ve ever seen a cat get when he did.

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Mickey attempting to lay claim to me.

I admit I do not have a lot of resistance to animals in need. I want to bring home every single cat I pass who even glances in my direction and looks lost. I’m a total and complete sucker, and have to steel myself to keep from doing just that, and turning into a cat hoarder. That would be no good for me, and certainly no good for the cats, who find themselves sometimes sharing apartments with scores of other cats and one old lady or man who is completely outmaneuvered and overwhelmed by all the cats and fur and dirty litter boxes, etc. But I picked that stocky short-legged tabby and carried his up the stairs in my arms. He clung to me immediately, and once inside, he tried to take over.

It was V who named him Mickey Mikhail, after the Russian ballet dancer, and he has the power to bowl you over just the same. The very first night inside our apartment, he began his now regular routine of laying claim to every spot in the apartment where any of our other cats like to sit, or sleep. Oscar is a very healthy and somewhat large former street fighter too, so he doesn’t give way, leading to some epic and really very scary looking and even more scary sounding fights between he and Mickey, fights I’ve waded into the middle of. I know it’s not necessarily the most healthy choice, physically breaking up cat fights with my bare hands, but that seems like a less painful choice than watching and listening to what appears to be two cats fighting to the death in front of us in our small, Brooklyn apartment. As a result, I’ve spent more than a few days nursing some long, bloody and dramatic-looking cuts and slices on my hands, my arms, my legs and my feet.

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Oscar and Mickey.

After a year inside and neutered, which he was not when he moved in, Mickey has calmed down somewhat, but is still a little firecracker set to explode. Midlyn and Tarzet sleep at night next to me on the right side of my bed, and Mickey has lain claim to the left side of my chest and left arm pit each and every night at bedtime.

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The first day we found Wolverine in the back garden.

Wolverine, unlike Mickey, stayed outside last Winter. She’s not the first cat to sleep outdoors while we fed her, there have been and currently are other outdoor cats we regularly put food out for. One of the others, Edgar, a large tabby with huge jowls, not to mention huge balls, spent nearly three years living in the garden out back of our apartment, becoming so familiar with me that he would allow me to pick him up with little complaint or sit next to me in my chair as I’d work on my laptop. After just a few weeks of feeding Wolverine out front, I found her sleeping next to the building in the back garden one sunny afternoon. It was only a week after that that Edgar decided he’d had enough and moved on, never returning to live in the garden. We still feed him one or two meals a day, each and every day, but it’s him that has begun eating out front, and Wolverine who’s made the garden her own.

The very feral Edgar, who befriended me a few years ago and spent nearly three years living in our garden, until Wolverine moved in. Edgar is the Cat Who Walks Alone.

One year she spent outside, all winter she would come sneezing and snorting up to me, every day twice a day, ready to eat what I’d set out in a bowl for her up on the wooden table V has placed there, so she wouldn’t have to stand on either the ice and snow, or on the frozen earth, as she would eat. After she’d eat, she would begin pacing back and forth under in front or behind my legs and feet, practically begging me to pet and rub her, to show her some affection and love. I would scratch her back and knead the muscles along her spine and tail, while she would purr and snort because of all the snot she was dealing with being out in the cold without respite, and she would purr. She would also make muffins as V and I like to say, that thing that all cats do, as I understand it, as a kind of reflex muscle memory action of how they would work their mothers’ breasts to get to the nipples for sustenance and warmth. But Wolverine was not in the slightest bit ready to allow me, or V either, to touch her stomach, much less to pick her up or get her into a carrier. Nor did we have access to a rescue trap by that time.

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However, thanks to a contact V made when surfing online one night, we managed to get ahold of a couple of shelters designed and created for cats living outdoors, to give them warm and dry refuge from the often unkind and uncaring elements. Rectangular Styrofoam boxes about meter or so long and maybe half a meter in height, they are covered in plastic, and filled with fresh hay into which the cats can burrow deep. People, or some people anyway, take these shelters and place them in various spots around the city, as we have done out back of our place. We so far put out three, but this Winter I have yet to actually see anyone using them. Edgar loved them as did Wolverine after she’d kicked him out of garden. I think it was more his decision than hers, but she didn’t take any guff, so it’s really just as likely that he tried to tell her what was what and she made clear that wasn’t the case at all.

Wolverine is well named, tiny with both ears clipped for some reason the vet couldn’t explain when we, at the start of this past November, 2018, got her into a carrier finally and to the vet’s office, because usually when a feral cat is brought in to be neutered or spayed, a vet will clip only one ear. There’s no reason to cut both, but someone in her past did exactly that. Wolverine has no tips on her ears, which both V and I think would be the sure giveaway as to whether she’s related to Mickey or not.

 

Mickey on the left, Wolverine on the right.

As previously mentioned, we regularly put food out front of our building for a few different cats we know come by, and for others we have only spotted once or twice, or those only might arrive by chance. We don’t currently having any cat living out back where the warm, dry shelters sit. Unless whatever cat (or cats) which might be living out there is careful not to let untrustworthy human-types know its business, like where they are sleeping.

Edgar defending his mealtime from Dirty Boy, another semi-regular visitor to the food we put out of our building a few times a night. 

We kept Wolverine in quarantine in V’s room for about a month because of all the snot Wolverine was producing, the vet giving her two different courses of antibiotics treatments to combat whatever it was causing that. We gave her three courses of antibiotics, which barely seemed to do all that much for more than a couple of days, as she’s still a bit sniffley, and sneezes sometimes, but she is obviously happy to finally be inside.

I’m sure this is not the end of our cat adventures for either V or me. There will be many more furry feline friends coming my way in however long I have left on this big spinning ball in space. I hope I have the time and the health to be able to help as many of them as I can, either by feeding, or simply by having a friendly hand ready with a scratch behind the ears or along their back. If they’ll let me approach them at all of course. The important thing to note is that all these cats did so much more for me than I ever did for them, simply by allowing me to get close and share in their lives. I hope more people take any opportunity that may present itself to share the same pleasures by helping out a cat in need, or who just wants a nice pat on the head or a can of food, or a pinch or two of good, fresh catnip.

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Edgar giving me some time of his day.   
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A strange white cat wearing a collar sleekly wends its way through the garden, which currently has no permanent feline inhabitants. 

Posted in Animals, Particularly Cats | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

It’s Already Happened Here- A Review of “The CIA as Organized Crime: How Illegal Operations Corrupt America and the World.”

by Preston Peet

“The CIA is in charge of doing the things that are illegal and anti-democratic.” – Douglas Valentine

Douglas Valentine pulls no punches in his latest book, The CIA as Organized Crime: How Illegal Operations Corrupt America and the World. This is a book full of extremely hard truths. There is no dissembling, or beating around the bush here. It’s no wonder this book is published by the independent publisher Clarity Press Inc., out of Atlanta, Georgia, because it is chock full of information that will definitely never, ever be printed by any mainstream media outlet in the United States. For that matter, it’s going to upset most people who think the US government, military, and especially the CIA, are all good guys in it for the best of reasons and the betterment of humankind.

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In 24 chapters, with titles such as “Propaganda as Terrorism,” “Creating a Crime: How the CIA Commandeered the DEA,” The Vietnam War’s Silver Lining: A Bureaucratic Model for Population Control Emerges,” “War Crimes and Policy,” “The Spook Who Became a Congressman: Why CIA Officers Cannot Be Allowed to Hold Public Office,” and “How the Government Tries to Mess with Your Mind,” Valentine illustrates quite clearly that the CIA operates not for the greater good of the American people, but rather acts solely for the benefit of those in the top one percent of our society who want to keep all that money they’ve hoarded and all the power they’ve accrued, not to mention for their own enrichment and empowerment too.

“How can people adapt themselves, and adjust their assumptions about reality, in order to be able to discern, within a media spectacle that produced Donald Trump as a viable presidential candidate, what is really happening and where messages are coming from? It’s an incredible challenge. People are so overwhelmed and alienated, they tend to withdraw – which is how Trump could create and control a social and political movement through Tweets and symbolic messages. How can anyone begin to sort this out by reading a few books, if you see what I’m trying to say.” -Douglas Valentine

It shouldn’t take a degree in rocket science to realize that society at large is not being informed of the complete story in so many instances by most of the press, in particular the mainstream outlets. The public in the United States is sold distortions and outright lies daily for many reasons, to justify the endless War on Some Drugs or the perpetual War on Terror, to prop up the hugely profitable private prison industry, to sell products that cause ill health, to enable banks and other large, corporate institutions and the top One Percent of society to continue to hoard all the money and power and privilege at the expense of the other 99 percent- or as has been the case for almost two centuries of newsprint, to simply sell copy. All the talk of “fake news” currently being bandied about is not wrong- we are inundated with fake news all day, every day, often as a part of official policy called Perception Management. It bears repeating- the pubic is fed fake news planted in the media (or with the media acting as willing participants) as an official policy for years, by a variety of sources, such as the military, corporations, politicians, and to a huge extent, the CIA.

“The CIA established a strategic intelligence network of magazines and publishing houses, as well as student and cultural organizations, and used them as front organizations for covert operations, including political and psychological warfare operations directed against American citizens. In other nations, the program was aimed [at] what Cord Meyer  called the Compatible Left, which in America translates into liberals and pseudo-intellectual status seekers who are easily influenced.

All of that is ongoing, despite being exposed in the late 1960s. Various technological advances, including the internet, have spread the network around the world, and many people don’t even realize they are part of it, that they’re promoting the CIA line. “Assad’s a butcher,” they say, or “Putin kills journalists,” or “China is repressive.” They have no idea what they’re talking about, but they spout all this propaganda.

Nowadays it goes way beyond the CIA. Several government agencies are propagandizing not only the American people but the world. This includes the State Department and the military. The military is the nation’s biggest advertiser, I believe, and the media depends on its revenue. Television, especially, isn’t dependent on viewers, but on advertisers. So the media is probably more financially dependent on the military and the State Department than it is on the CIA. But the CIA laid the groundwork.” -Douglas Valentine.

It’s Valentine’s premise that we are today living under an expanded Phoenix Program. First formulated by the CIA, along with US military lackeys, in the hills and jungles of Vietnam, then finely honed during the US’ years in Latin America, then Iraq and Afghanistan, this system of mass surveillance, with its network of informants and outright intimidation, has been brought home to the US citizen. Not so much to protect the citizenry from dangerous terrorists, but rather to prop up the Business Party, the real rulers of the United States.

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Phoenix Program patch, found at Wikispooks.com

 

A major component of this, one that cannot and should not be ignored, is how the CIA has subverted the DEA and other so-called “anti” drug agencies in the US, not to mention in other countries too, such as Mexico and Guatemala. In the chapter “Beyond Dirty Wars: The CIA/DEA Connection,” Valentine makes clear how the CIA has worked steadily to destabilize the government of Mexico (and elsewhere South of the border), to keep the central government there weak so “Mexico can never develop into a strong economic or political adversary.” The US does this in a variety of ways, such as training foreign nationals in military schools like the infamous School of the Americas, renamed in 2001 as The Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation. They return to their home country highly trained in how to kill and basically be awful people, to fill death squads like the Kaibels in Guatemala, or to defect from their military and launch their own cartels, such as Los Zetas in Mexico. The CIA then manipulates the arms and drugs trades (think Fast and Furious operation), keeping the cartels fighting the government, not to mention at one another’s throats too, keeping the country in a constant state of violence.

Lest you think this is mainly happening South of the border, or across some vast ocean and far away, Valentine makes clear it is happening right here at home too. “At the other end of the pipeline, as Gary Webb revealed, they monitor the delivery of drugs to disenfranchised minorities in America, whom the police pit against each other and use as commodities to pack the prisons, where they are then exploited as slave labor,” writes Valentine.

“Here the social engineering is based on institutional racism. Again, you’re not allowed to talk about it, but people see it. Very sophisticated methods of social engineering are behind this, and the Black Lives Matter people have a hard time articulating it. And even if they do find the language, the media shuts them down, because you’re not allowed to talk about systematic repression. We’re a free country and that isn’t supposed to be possible.”

“These things were planned 70 years ago,” Valentine continues. “After World War Two, the big brains in industry and government prepared to rule the world. So this is not something that a magician pulled out of a hat. If you read the news, Americans are surprised every day by institutionalized racism and its attendant cycle of violence: the cops kill a black man, and then a black man kills some cops. We’ve been seeing it every day of our lives, but it’s always “news” that’s characterized as an aberration. But all these things, and the way they’re happening, were plotted decades ago. It was known back then that social engineering would be a more potent weapon than the atomic bomb.

“The CIA and the military hire the smartest anthropologists, sociologists and psychologists to figure out how to do this stuff. They have it down to a science called Human Factors. The way they have perfected things like Phoenix is beyond my knowledge. I don’t get to drive the latest Lamborghini. I have a Toyota. I was able to figure out some of these things 30 years ago, but the methods of preventing people from finding out have also improved and it’s harder than ever to know exactly what’s going on.

“That’s why you need a broad historical view. If you focus just on what’s happening now, you’re shocked every day by what you see. We need to develop a collective historical consciousness to understand the predicament and to be able to do something about it, to stop being manipulated by the press on a daily basis. The media have us trained like sex-texting teenagers to focus on things that have nothing to do with how our perceptions of events are being controlled. It is important for people to take a broader view and to try to put these things in perspective to understand what is happening now, but to see where things are going in the future and to plot a way to deal with it.”

“The media needs its crisis du jour,” Valentine continues. “The news can’t last more than 24 hours without being refreshed; you need a new headline to get people’s attention so you can sell them something. Of course partisan political politics is poison and does nothing to help. The endless bickering creates the political gridlock within the government we see; meanwhile the bureaucracies grow more powerful.

“When I first started studying the DEA, I looked at its predecessor organization, the Bureau of Narcotics, which was created in 1930. It had a $3 million budget and 300 agents up until 1968. Now there are 600 agents in New York City alone, and the industry is so profitable that Congress gives the DEA around $20 billion annually. It has something called the Special Operations Division which was featured by Reuters a couple days ago [August 5, 2013].

“The DEA’s Special Operations Division was created in 1994 to go after Colombian head of the Medellín cartel Pablo Escobar. It was a unit of about 12 people from the CIA, FBI, and NSA organized on the Phoenix model. It used the latest surveillance technology to find Escobar. Over the last 20 years, the SOD has become a giant Phoenix-type center in the DEA with hundreds of agents. Through the NSA, they listen in on everyone’s conversations on the pretext that someone might have something to do with drug trafficking. This information is used for political and economic purposes by the bureaucrats who have run these operations for ten years. After they get out of the NSA or DEA or CIA the bosses go to work for corporations that benefit from the knowledge they’ve acquired through these secret surveillance operations, because, despite what they say publicly, they are not throwing away the extraneous information. They’re using it for their personal benefit. It really pays nowadays to get involved in the domestic spy business as a DEA or CIA agent, because you’re set for life. It’s another way the CIA has corrupted our society.”

“The facts are all there; but one needs to dig deeper than network news.” – Douglas Valentine.

When White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer recently told reporters at a White House press conference that he expects “greater enforcement” of federal marijuana prohibition by the US Justice Department (Feb.23), he said, “I think that when you see something like the opioid addiction crisis blossoming in so many states around this country, the last thing we should be doing is encouraging people. There is still a federal law that we need to abide by.” This is a classic case of misdirection.

Every year since the 2002 US invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, CIA protected and funded drug producers and traffickers have increased poppy crop production there to record levels, nearly if not every year. Afghanistan is producing up to 90 percent of the world’s opium. Marijuana has exactly nothing to do with increased use of opiates anywhere in the world, including here in the US, but CIA assets and drug traffickers such as Ahmed Wali Karzai (assassinated in 2011 by a bodyguard), the brother of CIA-installed Afghanistan president Hamid Karzai, and CIA-favored warlords like Gul Agha Sherzai controlling the opium trade certainly do have a lot to do with increased use. As Valentine points out when writing about the “politics of corruption” (in the chapter “What We Really Learned from Vietnam”), “The CIA felt it was necessary to enlist Sherzai in order to consolidate the power of its drug smuggling, money-laundering, land-stealing clique of warlords. In my opinion, the National Security Establishment was always after control of the drugs and money.”

I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading about the ins and outs of the CIA and the National Security State, in this case certainly the darker, seamier, threatening side. A warning though- it is not exactly a cheering read, about those who are supposed to be protecting the nation from Bad Guys. because once you’ve read this book, you’ll know for a fact that the bad guys we really need to be concerned about are most likely not the pesky foreign “terrorists,” looking to get us all, but are rather those already entrenched in our CIA, DEA, and other national security operations. They are the Secret Team, the Shadow Government, and the “Illuminati” of fiction has nothing on them. These men and women have their fingers in every pie and pocket. If they play their cards right and toe the company line, they are taken care of for life, as Valentine relates in the chapter “Top Secret America Reward System,” the story of a now retired deep cover agent recruited out of the US marines in South Vietnam.

As Valentine puts it in the final chapter (“The War on Terror as the Greatest Covert Op Ever”), “Emanating from the super-secret CIA, which informs every other government bureaucracy, this criminal enterprise corrupts every social and political movement in America, forming consumers of myths and commodities into a moat of true believers that surrounds the Establishment elite that oppresses them. It’s a perfect system, stabilized by manufactured crises du jour, and ineluctably heading in a predictable direction.

“In the next national emergency- the next financial meltdown or environmental catastrophe- cadres will be mobilized, shout slogans, and appeal to our traditional values or diversity. Their managers will review reports about suspicious activities of terrorist surrogates. The definition of a terrorist will be expanded to include people deemed dangerous to the Public Order, at which point the non-believers will be arrested on criminal charges for political offenses, like protesting climate change.

“It’s not hard to imagine a few of the most highly motivated cadres grabbing ropes and forming lynch mobs, and going after those who refused to stand for the National Anthem.
Only five percent of the people need to be organized in this fashion to install a fascist dictator in the United States. That is the ultimate objective of the greatest covert operation ever, the one in which the oligarchs steal everything you own.”

Posted in CIA, ending prohibition, massive fascist surveillance, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Legacy of Alexander Shulgin, Hero of the Psychedelic Movement, or Agent of the Blue Meanies?

The Legacy of Alexander Shulgin, Hero of the Psychedelic Movement, or Agent of the Blue Meanies?

By Preston Peet
June 19, 2014

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The passing of 88 year old Alexander Shulgin on June 2 2014, in his home in Lafayette, California did not come as a surprise to me or most anyone up on the news, sad as it was. It had been known since he suffered a serious stroke in 2010 that Shulgin was growing ever more ill, primarily due to a liver cancer prognosis on top of the results of his stroke. With the help of his wife of 35 years, Ann Shulgin, he had been actively seeking help financially to help cover the growing medical costs. He finally lost his battle with the illnesses, leaving fans grieving the world over.

Shulgin was famous, or infamous depending upon ones view, for writing two book length love letters to two sets of hallucinogenic molecules, “PHIKAL, or Phenethylamines I Have Known And Loved,” and “THIKAL, the Continuation” (Tryptamines I Have Known and Loved) , as well as even more famously popularizing the use of MDMA in psychiatric medical settings, thus bringing it to the partying world’s attention.

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As grateful as I’ve always been for Shulgin’s having not only been inadvertently (or was it really inadvertent?) instrumental in the spread and use of MDMA by so many thousands upon thousands of regular citizens, opening up minds to whole new, more (seemingly) compassionate ways of looking at the world and those living upon it, as well as so I could go through my own phase of relatively regular use of that magical drug – not to mention his genuine bravery in always testing out each and every new tweak to this or that (quite possibly extremely) powerful hallucinogenic molecule on himself and a small cadre of friends before releasing the compound upon the world – one thing that’s always left me feeling somewhat unsettled is his close working relationship with the DEA for a number of years, analyzing street drugs for them, as well as testifying in court on occasion as an expert witness, which allowed him, along with long-time DOW Chemical connections, to not only have his own private laboratory right next to his private home, but to fiddle about with, and ingest all sorts of incredibly effective molecules (when indeed they were effective. There were times the results of his experiments did not lead to wonderful trips, or much of any trip at all, or left Shulgin or another of his experimenters to experience harrowing and hellish psychedelic trips) without any interference from law enforcement for years.

Yes, granted, the DEA did eventually raid Shulgin’s lab on October 27, 1994, but for someone, like me, with somewhat more finely developed senses of curiosity and suspicion both, it’s easy to see the possibility that the spread of MDMA, first coming out of Shulgin’s lab in the late 1970s to a group of psychotherapists, then within a few short years exploding onto the clubbing, partying scene where it was sold and taken openly, legally, by adventurous youngsters who found the feelings of empathy and a happy, speedy affection for anything and everything into which they came into contact, that there was more going on behind the scene, involving covert, black operations and the deliberate creation of yet another criminal class, as well as a segment of society made up of bright, promising youth who instead of working to change a system growing more draconian and even fascistic, began to focus more and more on scoring enough drugs, in this case MDMA (or whatever was being passed off as ecstasy to a trusting clientele who thanks to prohibition had no way of knowing what was really in the drugs they were buying, what poisons may have been mixed in to make the drug go further, making more money for the dealers and leaving more dead bodies of unsuspecting partiers who died years before their time- giving the authorities their excuse to crack down on what they perceived as a new generation of trouble making new agey hippy and raver type . The result of the birth of Rave culture was a generation of kids who could turn on some serious feelings of love by simply eating one or three little pills, then forget about the grime of Iran-Contra, and the CIA trafficking tons upon tons of cocaine into the US (creating fodder for the rapidly expanding private prison industry), that whole corrupt Reagan-Bush thing all these eaters of ecstasy spent twelve years allowing to run roughshod over government regulation of corporate greed and their overseeing of a steadily mutating armed forces’ and law enforcement militarism.

Could the spread of ecstasy have helped divert attention from growing signs of corporate, government and military disregard for the civilian populace, an intentional form of psychological warfare aimed at any possibility of a citizenry aware and proactive enough to put the brakes to the rape of our planet’s resources and the rapidly expanding powers of frighteningly militaristic domestic police forces? The idea is not unheard of, as authors Martin A. Lee and Bruce Shlain made abundantly clear in “Acid Dreams: the Complete Social History of LSD, the CIA, the 60s, and Beyond,” their landmark 1985 expose of CIA and other official connections to the development, popularizing and world-wide spread of LSD a decade or two before MDMA appeared on the world stage.

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Shulgin, who had in the late 1950s developed a series of biodegradable insect killing chemicals for DOW Chemical Corporation, subsequently also producing synthesized mescaline in 1960, the active ingredient that causes human beings to trip after eating certain cactus, such as peyote. Shulgin was allowed to pretty much run his own show after this for a number of years, until in 1966 he left DOW and moved onto what he and his wife named The Farm, where in a lab near the house, he labored for years bringing out one new molecule after another, until the DEA carried out their somewhat petty and veritably useless 1994 raid, which ended their official ties.

The mid-1980s, “Just Say No” shenanigans of Nancy Reagan and government and police friends, along with a publicly panicking DEA, had already managed to convince the US government to enact the Federal Analogue Act in 1986, making it illegal to create any new form of hallucinogenic molecule that even resembled any already in existence and therefore already banned. But this had little effect on Shulgin, who continued his tinkering with molecular structures, churning out hundreds of new forms of chemical agents of chaos both before and after said raid.

Where my own disheartening and unsettling feelings begin to really jangle and jig is when I discovered out that even while Shulgin was being “harassed” by the evil federal DEA, which was claiming he was producing a horrible “menace” by his producing and spreading to the world MDMA, ( actually first patented by Merck in 1912 until the US Military used it in its MK-ULTRA experiments in the later 1950s, seeking truth serums and more dastardly uses for a variety of strong, mind-bending chemical concoctions) he was still cooperating with the DEA, all the time.

In 1965, while still working at DOW Chemical, Shulgin found references to MDMA. So, while not inventing the love drug himself, he was the one who came up with an extremely simple manner of producing large quantities of the drug, and tried it for the first time on himself in 1967. Shulgin soon gave a small vial to his friend, psychotherapist Leo Zeff, who in turn allegedly passed it on to thousands of compatriot therapist types and the genie was out of the bottle for good, despite every apparent (and ultimately a wasted) effort by the DEA and other arms of the prohibitionists’ armed forces to stop its spread.

By the time of the 1985 DEA raid on his home and lab, severing the official contract he held with DEA to analyze confiscated street drugs in his private lab, as well as that practice by the DEA to pretty much turn a blind eye to all his other activities, most of which were for a long time not in any way, shape or form illegal but still seem on the face of it to be somewhat suspicious that they did not attract more official attention than they did for so many years, Shulgin was well known to federal anti-drug agents. Yet he never was arrested, never served any time behind bars, and Shulgin even continued testifying as an expert in court cases for the DEA. Just how much of a menace did the feds really feel he was? Was this more a case of a pet scientist of shady government, military and intelligent agencies, working to su pply one chemical after the next that would insure that more and more potentially politically aware youth would simply drop out of the system, carried up and away by the very genuine but still artificially created feelings of camaraderie and affection for their fellow human beings and other life forms on the planet, chemical compounds which would keep many from participating in the political process? The fact that Shulgin was also a member of the secretive Bohemian Grove, or as he called it in passing, The Owl Club, is also fodder for the conspiracy-minded crowd. What was a psychedelic researcher of the most fringe, radical chemical compounds designed to alter the brain and perception doing hanging out with a collection of society’s elite ruling types, including such scary individuals as Henry Kissinger? There really does seem to be more to the story of Shulgin than meets the eye.

Now, despite my somewhat pessimistic assessment so far in this blog, there is no denying there are real, genuine benefits from the use of MDMA, for myriad reasons, including the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome of all levels, from the most mild to debilitating examples. The Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies, founded by Rick Doblin in 1986, who started the organization to promote the study and use of MDMA (as well as other substances, such as LSD, psilocybin, ayahuasca, ibogaine, and marijuana), working to get them all approved for various medical treatments and uses.

While I may have allowed my suspicious nature to shine forth for the beginning of this article, it’s true, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that MDMA (and all the other substances I list just above), all have their very real, helpful benefits for veterans, trauma patients, the depressed, and probably for many other illnesses and problems these victims suffer. Now, if only the US and other prohibitionist government could move past the control freakiness and greedheaded “gotta make a profit” mode, perhaps, just perhaps, we could see in a few short years the use of substances illegal to use, or even experiment with today, in common use. Let’s all hope we see this day arrive so much sooner than later. It’s way past time.

 

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Italy joins the ranks of the newly sane, repeals anti-pot laws

Italy Strikes Down Insane Anti-Pot Laws
By Preston Peet
February 14, 2014

 

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On Wednesday, February 12, 2014, Italy’s Constitutional Court dropped their anti-pot laws, potentially freeing up to 10000 prisoners, asserting that the laws as they’ve stood since 2006 were “illegitimate.”

In 2006, pot sentences were tripled, making the repercussions for being caught with marijuana as bad as being found with cocaine or heroin, and the penalties for all on par with one another. The new rules could potentially free up to 10,000 currently incarcerated prisoners. Up to 40% of prisoners currently locked up in Italy were for marijuana infractions, a number that simply boggles the mind.

Penalties for possession, cultivation and sales, once set at 2 to 6 years had shot up to an insane 6 to 20 years. Now that the law has been repealed, things go back to where they stood in 1993, when marijuana was still considered a “soft drug.” While neither law made consumption of pot illegal, both made the possession of pot very illegal.

 

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“The so-called drug war as conceived in North America has been lost and it’s time to return to rational rules that distinguish between substances,” said Franco Corleone, of the human rights group Society of Reason, to Reuters.
Senator Carlo Giovanardi, one of the designers of the draconian law, is not at all happy with the ruling, asserting that it’s a “devastating choice from a scientific viewpoint and in the message it sends to young people that some drugs are less dangerous than others,” proving that it’s not just US anti-drug zealots who have seemingly lost their minds.

The world is moving forward, and one day sooner than later, people will be looking back on the past few decades with wonder and awe, amazed that human beings could have been so ignorant and mean to their fellow citizens. Sociologists will be teaching courses comparing alcohol prohibition to our current wacky anti-pot laws. The day can’t come soon enough.

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Screw the Handicapped, Especially the Ones Getting Stoned! They Don’t Need to Work Anyway, Right?

Screw the Handicapped, Especially the Ones Getting Stoned!
They Don’t Need to Work Anyway, Right?

By Preston Peet
Nov. 22, 2013

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Unfortunately, some human beings seem to think that federal anti-pot statutes should trump Colorado medical marijuana laws, thereby taking the opportunity to royally screw a paralyzed, wheelchair bound young man obeying Colorado State laws to the letter.

This story is about the inspiring and determined Colorado resident Brandon Coats, a 34 year old Customer Service representative for the satellite television provider Dish Network Corp. (DISH). The higher ups at his job decided to administer Coats a drug test. Paralyzed in a car accident at 16, Coats explained to the company even before the test that he used prescribed medical marijuana, to ease muscle spasms, but would be happy to comply with a request by the company to undergo a saliva drug test. Coats was a customer service representative for the DISH company until he failed that drug test. He has remained unemployed ever since that test was administered three years ago, in 2010. Remember, this is Colorado, where the prescription Coats has for marijuana was legally obtained from his doctor.

“I had a doctor’s permission to do something I need to help me get on with my life,” said Coats. This has not stopped DISH from handing Coats his walking papers, firing him over the THC found in this saliva, because the company feels Coats’ use is against Federal law. Therefore, despite it being legal in Coats’ home state of Colorado it doesn’t matter, federal law trumps state law.

The Colorado Court of Appeals upheld his firing, ruling that even though Coats’ marijuana use was lawful under state law, it was prohibited by federal statute. The State Supreme court has yet to rule on Coats’ appeal.

“As a national company, DISH is committed to its drug-free workplace policy and compliance with federal law, which does not permit the use of marijuana, even for medicinal purposes,” wrote DISH spokesperson Bob Toevs in an email, explaining why it was necessary to put the paralyzed Coats out of work three years ago, and why the decision by the state court that his company having fired that dangerously paralyzed, probably subversive Coats was a good one, thanks to the antiquarian federal anti-pot laws still dirtying up the books.

According to the story about Coats at Bloomberg.com, there is a House bill from California Republican Dana Rohrabacher, which should give state marijuana laws priority over the U.S. Controlled Substances Act. Rohrabacher’s bill has 20 co-sponsors, “from Arizona Democrat Raul Grijalva, among the most liberal members of Congress, to Justin Amash of Michigan and Steve Stockman of Texas, both Republicans.”

So for now, Coats remains unemployed and the status of his appeal remains in limbo.

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Never to Late to Change a Mind

Never to Late to Change a Mind

by Preston Peet
August 8, 2013

National media doctor and anti-pot proponent Dr. Sanjay Goupta has changed his views about the use of medical marijuana. Once a stalwart proponent for the War, he is now apologizing for his previous stance, and is calling for change.

Over the years I’ve been reporting on the War on Marijuana in all its guises, I’ve been treated more than once as though I were harboring some unreal expectations. Grow up, I’d be told, because only stoners expect real change in this world. I’d laugh, shake my head, then continue reporting on, and advocating an end to the War. Dr. Goupta’s drastic 180 degree shift in opinion, since his penning an anti-medical marijuana screed for Time Magazine in 2007, should give heart to all the hard working activists across the United States.

“I apologize because I didn’t look hard enough, until now. I didn’t look far enough. I didn’t review papers from smaller labs in other countries doing some remarkable research, and I was too dismissive of the loud chorus of legitimate patients whose symptoms improved on cannabis,” writes Dr. Gupta in an essay published August 8 for CNN.com.

“Instead, I lumped them with the high-visibility malingerers, just looking to get high. I mistakenly believed the Drug Enforcement Agency listed marijuana as a schedule 1 substance because of sound scientific proof. Surely, they must have quality reasoning as to why marijuana is in the category of the most dangerous drugs that have ‘no accepted medicinal use and a high potential for abuse.’” He writes. “They didn’t have the science to support that claim, and I now know that when it comes to marijuana neither of those things are true. It doesn’t have a high potential for abuse, and there are very legitimate medical applications. In fact, sometimes marijuana is the only thing that works…. ”

Never give up hope that you too can change a prohibitionist’s mind about marijuana, medical or non alike. There is always hope, and it really is never too late.

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Disinformation Guide to Ancient Aliens, Lost Civilizations, Astonishing Archaeology and Hidden History- an excerpt

Disinformation Guide to Ancient Aliens, Lost Civilizations, Astonishing Archaeology and Hidden History– an excerpt

(copyright 2005/2013)

By Preston Peet

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“The goal of this anthology is not to present definitive answers to all, or even to any of the myriad mysteries and puzzling questions. Rather, the goal is to inspire you, the readers, to think and question archaeological and historical orthodoxy on any number of levels by offering alternative possibilities what are now the “acceptable” theories….”

….

The “Real” Past

“In recent years, archaeology has turned a great deal of its attention to theoretical musings, to examining its most basic assumptions. Are there any ‘facts’?” asks Paul G. Bahn in the forward to his 1995 collection 100 Great Archaeological Discoveries, (Barnes and Nobel Books), which, writes Bahn, details 100 of the most exciting discoveries made by archaeology in the last couple of centuries. “Can one say anything meaningful and objective about the past when studying (highly incomplete) evidence in the present?” But just a page later, after noting we cannot possibly really “know” human pre-history, Bahn then goes on to illustrate the way in which the mainstream often ostracizes and ridicules what Barbara Ann Clow, in her 2001 book Catastrophobia describes as the “new paradigm researchers,” (and who is herself definitely a “new paradigm researcher,”) by writing:

“A further motivation for producing a book of this kind is to be found in the recent re-emergence of the Von Danikenesque (Chariots of the God?) ‘God is a Spaceman’ message. We had hoped that books promoting the theory that anything impressive or bizarre in the archaeological record must be attributable to extraterrestrial visitors were a freak phenomenon of the 1970s, and that, having sold in tens of millions, they had faded away. Now, however, the success of the film Stargate (a science-fiction fantasy suggesting that ancient Egyptian civilization was produced by an extraterrestrial) and the unexpected appearance in the 1995 bestseller lists of Fingerprints of the Gods (a book arguing that the monuments of the ancient world were built 15,000 years ago by a race of super-beings whose lost civilization now lies in ruins beneath Antarctica) shows that the monster was merely dormant; it can easily awake and devour an army of gullible readers. So we hope a book that sets out the ‘real past,’ the astonishing variety of human achievements, the end-products of our ancestors’ sweat and ingenuity, will not only help explain what archaeologists do and why (albeit in a very incomplete fashion at that) but also go a little way towards counteracting this resurrected obsession without ascribing our heritage to fantasy super-humans.”

Besides his telling readers first that there’s no way to “know the real past,” then decreeing what should be considered “real” when studying the past, Bahn is blatantly misrepresenting Hancock’s theories put forth in Fingerprints of the Gods, in which Hancock never wrote anything about “super-humans,” but rather examined the possibility that humanity had progressed into a fairly advanced maritime civilization or even more than one civilization during those thousands upon thousands of years between the appearance of apparently “modern” humans and what appears to have been cataclysmic changes on the Earth at the end of the last ice age about 12,000 or so years ago. Insulting too is Bahn’s assertion that Von Daniken’s idea (and Von Daniken is certainly not alone in his suspicions or he wouldn’t have sold those tens of millions of book Bahn almost jealously mentions) that extraterrestrials might have visited and interacted with people in some way on Earth at some point in the mists of prehistory as being beyond consideration is merely condescending—with the vast number of stars and possibilities for different cultures having developed throughout the cosmos, who’s to say one way or the other whether such radical theories are wrong or crazy merely because they’re so “controversial” or “strange” or unacceptable to the status quo.

In the Disinformation Guide to Ancient Aliens, Lost Civilizations, Astonishing Archaeology and Hidden History, my goal is to illustrate that the “monster”—of questioning the established paradigm, and positing radical new ideas and theories—is not dormant nor dying, that it is alive and well, and that mainstream guardians of the status quo resorting to haughty statements of assuredness and sincerity and scorn of the outsider cannot hide the fact that there are unanswered questions and mysteries that abound about our pre-history, questions that haven’t come close to being answered by mainstream archaeology. The goal of this anthology is not to present definitive answers to all, or even to any of the myriad mysteries and puzzling questions. Rather, the goal is to inspire you, the readers, to think and question archaeological and historical orthodoxy on any number of levels by offering alternative possibilities to what are now the “acceptable” theories. Countless are the interpretations of the “extremely limited” evidence at hand, and many the mysteries and anomalies, (too many even for a collection as wide and varied as this book is to include within one cover), so that any theory or postulation is as valid as the next, since we cannot, as Bahn noted, “really know” our pre-history, that span of 100,000 to 200,000 years (and quite possibly even much longer) when modern human were walking the Earth supposedly waiting for that magic moment when civilization’s trappings suddenly took root and sprang up across the globe in scattered and supposedly disconnected locations amongst people totally independent of contact between one another on their separate continents. But we can take a look at these mysteries and wonder, and postulate and theorize and suggest conclusions from the evidence without having to worry about not being Politically Correct enough for those academics who insist that pre-history is a cut and dried story just missing a few minor details. 

Contributors such as Graham Hancock (Underworld, Talisman: Sacred Cities, Secret Faith, and Sign and the Seal), Colin Wilson (The Occult, From Atlantis to the Sphinx, and The Atlantis Blueprint, with Rand Flem-Ath), Frank Joseph (Survivors of Atlantis, and the Destruction of Atlantis), William R. Corliss (The Sourcebook Project, Ancient Man—A Handbook of Puzzling Artifacts, and Archeological Anomalies: Small Artifacts— Bone, Stone, Metal Artifacts, Footprints, High Technology), George Erikson (Atlantis in America), Christopher Dunn (the Giza Power Plant—Technologies of Ancient Egypt) and many more all examine an incredible number of alternative views to those promoted by the current defenders of mainstream paradigm, who insist only they can tell us what was happening during our “real” pre-historical stages. The contributors within these pages might not all agree with one another’s theories and ideas, but they do prove again and again that we human beings have not necessarily “evolved” from most primitive to most advanced, but have risen and fallen in fits and starts, rising to great heights only to be wiped out by some disaster, like a cometary strike or a massive flood or simply human stupidity, or any number of other great disasters that could have befallen the more advanced and primitive civilizations alike.

Catastrophe

“Biblical stories, apocalyptic visions, ancient art and scientific data all seem to intersect at around 2350 B.C., when one or more catastrophic events wiped out several advanced societies in Europe, Asia and Africa,” reports Robert Roy Britt at Space.com, (November 13, 1001). While some sort of strike by a large object from space has long been a theory to explain the sudden decline of many of the great early civilizations of the Ancient World, there was no “smoking gun” until the find by satellite imagery of a gargantuan, two mile wide crater left by a the impact of an extra-planetary object, either a comet or a comet’s “associated meteors storms” which slammed into what is now Iraq. “The Akkadian culture of Iraq, thought to be the world’s first empire, collapsed,” writes Britt. “The settlements of ancient Israel, gone. Mesopotamia, Earth’s original breadbasket, dust. Around the same time — a period called the Early Bronze Age—apocalyptic writings appeared, fueling religious beliefs that persist today.” The Epic of Gilgamesh, written at about this time, describes “the fire, brimstone and flood of possibly mythical events.” Britt reports, “Omens predicting the Akkadian collapse preserve a record that ‘many stars were falling from the sky.’ The ‘Curse of Akkad,’ dated to about 2200 B.C., speaks of ‘flaming potsherds raining from the sky.’ Roughly 2000 years later, the Jewish astronomer Rabbi bar Nachmani created what could be considered the first impact theory: That Noah’s Flood was triggered by two ‘stars’ that fell from the sky. ‘When God decided to bring about the Flood, He took two stars from Khima, threw them on Earth, and brought about the Flood.’”

If a worldwide calamity took place today, possibly leaving behind a few scattered remnants of more technologically advanced people to rebuild small communities and devices to try and forecast another disaster should it come, like perhaps ancient survivors of ancient advanced civilizations did when building the now enigmatic and mysterious megalithic temples and observatories around the globe, but mainly left those primitive peoples who, as is still the case today in late March, 2005, live in stone-age conditions in the remotest parts of the world, to tell the tale of what came before, to describe for their children and grandchildren the vast modern cities and technologies that were utterly destroyed in fiery cataclysm or sunk beneath the waves, how would future scientists interpret their stories, which would eventually become their myths? Would they do any better a job then we have? 

….

To read more, please buy the Disinformation Guide to Ancient Aliens, Lost Civilizations, Astonishing Archaeology and Hidden History here.

http://www.amazon.com/Disinformation-Ancient-Civilizations-Astonishing-Archaeology/dp/1938875036/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1375384837&sr=1-1&keywords=the+disinformation+guide+to+ancient+aliens

 

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Things Found

Things Found

By Preston Peet
July 31, 2013

Sometimes life puts hurdles in the path, obstacles which we human beings must claw and bite and climb over or through to continue moving forward. Other times though, it literally lays down gold.

Living in the city, my contact to the actual Earth is minimal, so buried treasures and lost civilizations I have not yet come across. Still, I have then and again found real lost treasures simply lying out in the open, from books to drugs to even gold.

One early evening, while living the life of a street bound junkie in the Lower East Side of New York City in the mid-90s, I spotted what I initially took to be one of those gold foil wrapped chocolate coins thrown to crowds during some parades I attended as a child. Rather than chocolate, upon stooping to pick up said coin from the gutter outside the mosque on 10th Street and First Avenue, it turned out to be a half-ounce gold Chinese Panda coin. I ended up selling it in a 24 hour pawn shop on Avenue B just before the break of dawn the next morning, after carrying it around in my pocket all night, in withdrawals of the very worst sort while thinking there was no way it was real, but still interesting enough a find to hold on to. Once I showed it to another street punk, who nearly leapt out of his skin when I pulled it out and asked his opinion, my interest in keeping the coin disappeared as I could only think about how well I could get him and me both. I allowed myself to get seriously ripped off on the price (embarrassingly enough, a mere $80), but since it was found treasure, I cannot complain, as sorry as I still feel at times at my putting myself in such straights where I’d not hesitate to let go of something so unique to me for such a pathetic pittance.

I’ve found cash, from mere quarters to envelopes containing up to a bit over a hundred bucks. I’ve found a single diamond earring, gold bracelets, and necklaces and rings too. Bags of marijuana both good and bad, not to mention heroin and cocaine, I have found at one time or another. I found an old, leather bound bible once that was a good 150 years old, in remarkably good condition, that I carried around with me on the streets for a couple days, hefting that huge, heavy load with me trying to sell it to no avail, eventually leaving it on some stoop for the next entrepreneur and/or lover of books to find.

Greatly enjoying stories of lost treasures found by individuals, often not looking for said treasures but stumbling over them anyway, I’ve long wanted to dive for pirate ships, or dig up some ancient burial ground. Better, I’d dearly love discovering a completely anomalous, out of place oopart or two, or discovering some long lost temple or religious artifacts, or most exciting for me, some legendary lost buried or sunken city, or a totally unknown civilization even.

More a sometimes armchair, sometimes city crawling explorer than an active globetrotting archaeologist, I shall continue to keep my eyes peeled as I make my way along the spiral of life, knowing full well that at any moment, any time and in nearly every place, the possibility of some new discovery either good for my finances or to satisfy my itch for knowledge is there, waiting for my next step to fall.

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