Saturday, May 23, 2015

Whatever Lola Wants -- Sarah Vaughn (1955)

Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets
And little man, little Lola wants you
Make up your mind to have (make up your mind to have)
No regrets (no regrets)
Recline yourself, resign yourself, you're through
I always get what I aim for
And your heart and soul is what I came for
Whatever Lola wants (Lola wants), Lola gets (Lola gets)
Take off your coat, don't you know you can't win
(Can't win, you'll never, never win)
You're no exception to the rule
I'm irresistible you fool
Give in (Give in, you'll never win)
Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets
I always get what I aim for
And your heart and soul is what I came for
Whatever Lola wants (Lola wants), Lola gets (Lola gets)
Take off your coat, don't you know you can't win
(Can't win, you'll never, never win)
You're no exception to the rule
I'm irresistible you fool
Give in (give in, you'll never win)
Give in (give in, you'll never win)
Give in.


Friday, May 22, 2015

Osama bin Laden's Bookshelf

You know what would have been weird? If he had Friedrich Hayek's Road to Serfdom, Barry Goldwater's The Conscience of a Conservative, Milton Friedman's Free to Choose, J.S. Mill's On Liberty, and William F. Buckley's Blackford Oakes series of spy novels.
So the books below are purported to be part of the "treasure trove" of intel collected during the 2011 Geronimo rubout in Abbottabad. The fact that OBL apparently owned a couple of 9/11 "Bush did it" conspiracy books, some Illuminati-type conspiracy books, and a lot of Noam Chomsky-type "the U.S. is an Evil Empire" books is unspeakably hilarious to me. I added some book descriptions from for a few selected titles. (Speaking of conspiracies, did you notice that this list was released just a couple of days after Sy Hersh poo-poohed the existence of a "treasure trove"?)

• “The 2030 Spike” by Colin Mason

"The clock is relentlessly ticking! Our world teeters on a knife-edge between a peaceful and prosperous future for all, and a dark winter of death and destruction that threatens to smother the light of civilization. Within 30 years, in the 2030 decade, six powerful 'drivers' will converge with unprecedented force in a statistical spike that could tear humanity apart and plunge the world into a new Dark Age. Depleted fuel supplies, massive population growth, poverty, global climate change, famine, growing water shortages and international lawlessness are on a crash course with potentially catastrophic consequences."

• “A Brief Guide to Understanding Islam” by I.A. Ibrahim
• “America’s Strategic Blunders” by Willard Matthias
• “America’s War on Terrorism” by Michel Chossudovsky

"In this new and expanded edition of Michel Chossudovsky's 2002 best seller, the author blows away the smokescreen put up by the mainstream media, that 9/11 was an attack on America by "Islamic terrorists". The expanded edition, which includes twelve new chapters focuses on the use of 9/11 as a pretext for the invasion and illegal occupation of Iraq, the militarisation of justice and law enforcement and the repeal of democracy. According to Chossudovsky, the "war on terrorism" is a complete fabrication based on the illusion that one man, Osama bin Laden, outwitted the $40 billion-a-year American intelligence apparatus. The "war on terrorism" is a war of conquest. Globalisation is the final march to the "New World Order", dominated by Wall Street and the U.S. military-industrial complex. September 11, 2001 provides a justification for waging a war without borders. Washington's agenda consists in extending the frontiers of the American Empire to facilitate complete U.S. corporate control, while installing within America the institutions of the Homeland Security State. Chossudovsky peels back layers of rhetoric to reveal a complex web of deceit aimed at luring the American people and the rest of the world into accepting a military solution which threatens the future of humanity."

• “Al-Qaeda’s Online Media Strategies: From Abu Reuter to Irhabi 007” by Hanna Rogan
• “The Best Democracy Money Can Buy” by Greg Palast
• “The Best Enemy Money Can Buy” by Anthony Sutton

"With mountains of documentation, mostly from government and corporate sources, Sutton shows that Soviet military technology is heavily dependent on U.S. and allied gifts, "peaceful trade" and exchange programs. We've built for, sold or traded, or given outright to the Communists everything from copper wiring and military trucks to tank technology, missile guidance technology, computers - even the Space Shuttle. Peaceful trade is a myth ... to the Soviets all trade is strategic. The paradox is that we spend $300 billion a year on a defense against an enemy we created and continue to keep in business. The deaf mute blindmen, as Lenin called them, are the multi-national businessmen who see no further than the next contract, who have their plants defended by Marxist troops (in Angola); who knowingly sell technology that comes back to kill and maim Americans."

• “Black Box Voting, Ballot Tampering in the 21st Century” by Bev Harris

"Author Bev Harris...learned was that modern-day voting systems are run by private for-profit corporations, rely on a few cronies for oversight, using a certification system so fundamentally flawed that it allows machines to miscount and lose votes, with hidden back doors that enable "end runs" around the voting system. Find out why your vote might not count -- and what to do about it!"

• “Bloodlines of the Illuminati” by Fritz Springmeier

"You've seen pieces of the puzzle, but still you wonder... Bloodlines of the Illuminati is a unique historical genealogical who's-doing-it book, rich in detail, providing a devastating exposé of the people and families who are THE movers and shakers of the United States and the entire world. You will recognize some of the names instantly. Many names have been purposely hidden from mainstream view. From international finance to war, presidents and dictators alike pay heed to these people. "Influence" doesn't even come close to describing their power. They have plans for you. Who are they? Author, Fritz Springmeier provides a wealth of material and inside information based on eyewitnesses. His outstanding research provides facts that are not available elsewhere. When you finish reading this book, the pieces of the puzzle will fall into place and you'll see the fascinating big picture. You will know who actually runs the New World Order conspiracy, and who is in the Illuminati. ... * Hot new information exposing Wolf Head (a group similar to Skull & Bones). * New genealogy charts, one shows how 25 Presidents are related, another how Prince Charles is related to Count Dracula."

• “Bounding the Global War on Terror” by Jeffrey Record
• “Checking Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions” by Henry Sokolski and Patrick Clawson
• “Christianity and Islam in Spain 756-1031 A.D.” by C.R. Haines
• “Civil Democratic Islam: Partners, Resources, and Strategies” by Cheryl Benard
• “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man” by John Perkins
• “Conspirators’ Hierarchy: The Committee of 300” by John Coleman

300 people control the United States, arranged the Kennedy assassination, etc.

• “Crossing the Rubicon” by Michael Ruppert

"The attacks of September 11, 2001, were accomplished through an amazing orchestration of logistics and personnel. Crossing the Rubicon discovers and identifies key suspects—finding some of them in the highest echelons of American government—by showing how they acted in concert to guarantee that the attacks produced the desired result."

• “Fortifying Pakistan: The Role of U.S. Internal Security Assistance” (only the book’s introduction) by C. Christine Fair and Peter Chalk
• “Guerrilla Air Defense: Antiaircraft Weapons and Techniques for Guerilla Forces by James Crabtree
• “Handbook of International Law” by Anthony Aust
• “Hegemony or Survival: America’s Quest for Global Dominance” by Noam Chomsky
• “Imperial Hubris” by Michael Scheuer
• “In Pursuit of Allah’s Pleasure” by Asim Abdul Maajid, Esaam-ud-Deen and Dr. Naahah Ibrahim
• “International Relations Theory and the Asia-Pacific” by John Ikenberry and Michael Mastandano
• “Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions since World War II” by William Blum
• “Military Intelligence Blunders” by John Hughes-Wilson
• “Project MKULTRA, the CIA’s program of research in behavioral modification.” Joint hearing before the Select Committee on Intelligence and the Subcommittee on Health and Scientific Research of the Committee on Human Resources, United States Senate, 95th Congress, first session, August 3, 1977.
• “Necessary Illusions: Thought Control in Democratic Societies” by Noam Chomsky
• “New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions about the Bush Administration and 9/11” by David Ray Griffin

"Taking to heart the idea that those who benefit from a crime ought to be investigated, here the eminent theologian David Ray Griffin sifts through the evidence about the attacks of 9/11 - stories from the mainstream press, reports from abroad, the work of other researchers, and the contradictory words of members of the Bush administration themselves - and finds that, taken together, they cast serious doubt on the official story of that tragic day."

• “New Political Religions, or Analysis of Modern Terrorism” by Barry Cooper
• “Obama’s Wars” by Bob Woodward
• “Oxford History of Modern War” by Charles Townsend
• “The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers” by Paul Kennedy
• “Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower” by William Blum

"Ever meet a hit man? If not, then consider living in his political equivalent: The United States. In Rogue State: A Guide to the Worlds Only Superpower, find out how the U.S. sentences blasphemers to deaththat is, people and governments blaspheming the holy objectives of American foreign policy.
From incarcerating Nelson Mandela to dropping cluster bombs (which later turn to landmines) on Yugoslavia, from supporting Pol Pot to praising Noriega, the U.S. has been barbaric enough to do it. William Blum shows us how, even though Clinton calls America the worlds greatest force for peace, our Rogue State really needs to be leashed."     

• “The Secret Teachings of All Ages” by Manly Hall (1928)

"In 1928, a 20-something Renaissance man named Manly Hall self-published a vast encyclopedia of the occult, believing that "modern" ideas of progress and materialism were displacing more important and ancient modes of knowledge. Hall's text has become a classic reference, dizzying in its breadth: various chapters explore Rosicrucianism, Kabbalah, alchemy, cryptology, Tarot, pyramids, the Zodiac, Pythagorean philosophy, Masonry and gemology, among other topics."

• “Secrets of the Federal Reserve” by Eustace Mullins

"The original book, published under the title "Mullins on the Federal Reserve", was commissioned by the poet Ezra Pound in 1948. Ezra Pound was a political prisoner for thirteen and a half years at St. Elizabeth's Hospital, Washington, D.C. (a Federal institution for the insane). His release was accomplished largely through the efforts of Mr. Mullins."

• “The Taking of America 1-2-3” by Richard Sprague

JFK assassination conspiracy

• “Unfinished Business, U.S. Overseas Military Presence in the 21st Century” by Michael O’Hanlon
• “The U.S. and Vietnam 1787-1941” by Robert Hopkins Miller
• “Website Claims Steve Jackson Games Foretold 9/11,” article posted on article posted on (this file contained only a single saved Web page)

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Sebastian Junger's PTSD piece in Vanity Fair

Sebastian Junger, at right, with camera, in the Korengal Valley

"In the new piece on post-traumatic stress, [Sebastian] Junger [author of War and The Perfect Storm] suggests several ways of better reintegrating combat troops into American society, including a practice common among some Native American groups: the retelling of combat experiences by a warrior to his own community.
We could achieve that on Veterans Day by making every town and city hall in the country available to veterans who want to speak publicly about the war,” he wrote. “The vapid phrase ‘I support the troops’ would then mean actually showing up at your town hall every Veterans Day to hear these people out.”
Veterans would display a variety of emotions, including pride, anger and grief, he predicted.
It might also begin to re-assemble a society that has been spiritually cannibalizing itself for generations,” he wrote. “We keep wondering how to save the vets, but the real question is how to save ourselves. If we do that, the vets will be fine. If we don’t, it won’t matter anyway.”"

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Psychologist Sandy Bem's Death by Suicide

This is an excellent article on the death of psychologist Sandy Bem, who chose to die by suicide in May 2014, five years after first being diagnosed with the cognitive impairments that precede Alzheimer's dementia. By the time she died she could not recognize her own daughter. Most people with dementia don't try to kill themselves, because some of the first symptoms of the disease are loss of insight (they no longer realize that there is something wrong with them) and apathy (they no longer care to do anything about their situation).

Read the whole article, because it is a powerful piece on both cognitive decline and the Right to Die. I have excerpted the sections below because I never knew these gossipy bits about the Bems, the developers of the Bem Sex-Role Inventory.

"The Bems were both psychology professors, at Stanford and then Cornell, and they traveled around the country giving tandem talks about society’s creation of sex-­role stereotypes. They were a slightly odd couple. Sandy was petite and not the least interested in fashion. Daryl was bigger, dapper, six years older and already a bit stooped, with a scholar’s pallor, a kind face and a courtly manner cultivated over his years of performing as a magician. (He would also come to be known, later in his career, for some controversial experiments involving ESP.)
They turned their politics into a way of life, raising their two children, Emily, born in 1974, and Jeremy, born two years later, in what they described as a gender-­neutral way. “Many other feminist couples have experimented with egalitarian relationships and feminist child-rearing,” Sandy wrote in “An Unconventional Family.” But few “have shared the details of their daily lives as exuberantly as Daryl and I.” She talked about everything, in print and on the lecture circuit: letting Jeremy wear pink barrettes to kindergarten; driving Emily past the same construction site every day because a woman was on the crew; hanging a chart on a kitchen cabinet to let the children know which parent was “on duty” that week.
Despite their good intentions, though, the marriage grew strained. As their children went through adolescence, Sandy complained that she felt like a single parent, with Daryl not fully engaging with the family’s needs. They both saw the paradox in their supposedly egalitarian marriage floundering in such a gender-­stereotypical way. In 1994, when the children were 19 and 17, the Bems separated.
After the split, Daryl acted on his attraction to men, a part of his sexuality that he never hid from Sandy. He liked to joke that on their first date, he told her there were three things she should know about him — “I’m a stage magician, I’m from Colorado and I’m primarily homoerotic” — and that she calmly replied that she had never met anyone from Colorado.
About a year after the separation, Daryl began a long-­term relationship with a communications professor at Ithaca College. Yet he and Sandy never divorced, and he remained a frequent visitor to the big house in Cornell Heights where they raised their children. He ate dinner there a few times a week and stayed involved in the lives of Emily and Jeremy — even more involved, in a way, than when he lived with them. He also remained one of Sandy’s best friends and one of her few close confidants. (She had a short-­lived relationship with a woman soon after Daryl moved out and remained single after that.)"

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Germans weren't the only ones Not Taking Prisoners during the Battle of the Bulge

Telegraph (UK)
"At this point, Beevor begins to tell me some of the savage details of American revenge. Their first targets, he says, were SS soldiers, who were often shot out of hand. He also talks of at least one platoon that vowed never to take any prisoners at all: whenever the Germans raised a white flag, a sergeant would stand up and beckon them closer before giving his men the command to fire. At Chenogne the 11th Armoured Division shot 60 German prisoners: “There was no secret about it – Patton even mentions it in his diaries.”
Perhaps the most shocking thing about this culture of revenge is that the American commanders were not only complicit but actively encouraged it.
“There was anger among the commanders that they had been taken by surprise. There was a large element of embarrassment. When something like that happens, you get very angry, and you refuse to accept responsibility for what you’ve done.” Several of the American generals openly approved of the killing of prisoners, and gloried in the gruesome nicknames the Germans were beginning to know their troops by, such as “Roosevelt’s butchers”.
As we talk, it is clear that Beevor struggles with these issues. Outside academia, there are few people who are prepared to look unflinchingly at the less flattering parts of our behaviour – and certainly no one with Beevor’s large readership has. What’s more, it is one thing to state that such events happened – an admission that many historians have shied away from – but quite another to know how to react to them. The whole subject runs counter to our most cherished communal myths about British and American heroism and gallantry.
Beevor knows instinctively that he must tread carefully, neither condoning the revenge nor reaching for outright condemnation.
“I think what one should try to do is to leave the moral judgments up to the reader. There’s no use in being judgmental. Far from it; we can only speculate as to how we would react in the circumstances ourselves,” he says.
For the first time in our conversation, he displays a flicker of discomfort.
“Why do we do this to ourselves?” I ask. Surely there are less disturbing ways for a historian to make a living – ways that do not involve the study of violence, atrocity and inhumanity? He answers with a single word: “Fascination.” He says it casually, in the same way that he spoke about his sleepless nights, but after everything we have spoken about the word is impregnated with layers of meaning. There is his fascination with the war period, which, he says, defined the world that he grew up in. There is his fascination with man’s ability to endure the most incomprehensible violence, and his fascination with what makes some men break while others are able to rise above their most primitive instincts. And beneath it all, there is that compulsion to lean over the abyss and gaze into the heart of darkness. “I’m afraid the whole nature of evil is something we are all fascinated by.”

Monday, May 18, 2015

Aokigahara -- Japan's Suicide Forest

Atlas Obscura
"Called "the perfect place to die," the Aokigahara forest has the unfortunate distinction of the world's second most popular place to take one's life. (The first is the Golden Gate Bridge.) Since the 1950s, Japanese businessmen have wandered in, and at least 500 of them haven't wandered out, at an increasing rate of between 10 and 30 per year. Recently these numbers have increased even more, with a record 78 suicides in 2002.
Japanese spiritualists believe that the suicides committed in the forest have permeated Aokigahara's trees, generating paranormal activity and preventing many who enter from escaping the forest's depths. Complicating matters further is the common experience of compasses being rendered useless by the rich deposits of magnetic iron in the area's volcanic soil.
Due to the vastness of the forest, desperate visitors are unlikely to encounter anyone once inside the so-called "Sea of Trees," so the police have mounted signs reading "Your life is a precious gift from your parents," and "Please consult the police before you decide to die!" on trees throughout.
This does not deter determined people to commit suicide in this dense forest. Annually about 70 corpses are found by volunteers who clean the woods but many are forever lost in the very thick woods. Japanese authorities discounted publishing exact suicide numbers in order to not make the place even more popular."

Warning: The film is really depressing.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

From Dr. Faustus -- Christopher Marlowe

FAUSTUS: Ah, Faustus,
Now hast thou but one bare hour to live,
And then thou must be damn’d perpetually!
Stand still, you ever-moving spheres of heaven,
That time may cease, and midnight never come;
Fair Nature’s eye, rise, rise again, and make
Perpetual day; or let this hour be but
A year, a month, a week, a natural day,
That Faustus may repent and save his soul!
O lente, lente currite, noctis equi!
The stars move still, time runs, the clock will strike,
The devil will come, and Faustus must be damn’d.
O, I’ll leap up to my God! – Who pulls me down? –
See, see, where Christ’s blood streams in the firmament!
One drop would save my soul, half a drop: ah, my Christ! –
Ah, rend not my heart for naming of my Christ!
Yet will I call on him: O, spare me, Lucifer! –
Where is it now? ’tis gone: and see, where God
Stretcheth out his arm, and bends his ireful brows!
Mountains and hills, come, come, and fall on me,
And hide me from the heavy wrath of God!
No, no!
Then will I headlong run into the earth:
Earth, gape! O, no, it will not harbour me!
You stars that reign’d at my nativity,
Whose influence hath allotted death and hell,
Now draw up Faustus, like a foggy mist.
Into the entrails of yon labouring cloud[s],
That, when you vomit forth into the air,
My limbs may issue from your smoky mouths,
So that my soul may but ascend to heaven!
[The clock strikes the half-hour.]
Ah, half the hour is past! ’twill all be past anon
O God,
If thou wilt not have mercy on my soul,
Yet for Christ’s sake, whose blood hath ransom’d me,
Impose some end to my incessant pain;
Let Faustus live in hell a thousand years,
A hundred thousand, and at last be sav’d!
O, no end is limited to damned souls!
Why wert thou not a creature wanting soul?
Or why is this immortal that thou hast?
Ah, Pythagoras’ metempsychosis, were that true,
This soul should fly from me, and I be chang’d
Unto some brutish beast! all beasts are happy,
For, when they die,
Their souls are soon dissolv’d in elements;
But mine must live still to be plagu’d in hell.
Curs’d be the parents that engender’d me!
No, Faustus, curse thyself, curse Lucifer
That hath depriv’d thee of the joys of heaven.
[The clock strikes twelve.]
O, it strikes, it strikes! Now, body, turn to air,
Or Lucifer will bear thee quick to hell!
[Thunder and lightning.]
O soul, be chang’d into little water-drops,
And fall into the ocean, ne’er be found!
[Enter DEVILS.]
My God, my god, look not so fierce on me!
Adders and serpents, let me breathe a while!
Ugly hell, gape not! come not, Lucifer!
I’ll burn my books! – Ah, Mephistopheles!
(Exeunt DEVILS with FAUSTUS)