Friday, May 31, 2013

Timothy Leary is Dead

On this day in Los Angeles in 1996, Dr. Timothy Francis Leary peacefully passed from this world into the next energy state. In the words of his co-authored text, The Psychedelic Experience, he traveled to the clear light of reality.  

I came to know of him after a very unpleasant experience in 1969 when a friend had slipped a tab of 'orange sunshine' to me. Although I did not want to take LSD, what I had read described a very pleasurable experience. This was anything but pleasant. I had to know more, and visited the Hawthorne Library. 

Reading 'The Psychedelic Experience' and ' The Politics of Ecstasy  as well as other books, and conducting further experiments, I concluded along with Timothy Leary, Richard Alpert, and many others, that the experience produced by the drug, was determined by the set and setting.

Giant asteroid to sail past Earth today


Giant asteroid to sail past Earth today: watch it live here

  • asteroid 1998 QE2.jpg
    May 29, 2013: One of a sequence of radar images of asteroid 1998 QE2, which makes its closest pass by the Earth Friday evening. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/GSSR)
  • 1998qe2-asteroid-photo
    The Virtual Telescope Project in Italy captured this view of the huge asteroid 1998 QE2 on May 30, 2013. (Gianluca Masi/Virtual Telescope Project (
  • asteroid-1998-qe2
    First radar images of asteroid 1998 QE2 were obtained when the asteroid was about 3.75 million miles (6 million kilometers) from Earth. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/GSSR)
  • asteroid QE2.jpg
    On May 31, 2013, asteroid 1998 QE2 will sail serenely past Earth, getting no closer than about 3.6 million miles, or about 15 times the distance between Earth and the moon. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)
A huge asteroid is set to cruise by Earth Friday afternoon, making its closest approach to our planet for at least the next two centuries.
Asteroid 1998 QE2 will come within 3.6 million miles of Earth at 4:59 p.m. EDT (2059 GMT) Friday — about 15 times the distance from our planet to the moon.
There's no chance the 1.7-mile-wide 1998 QE2 will hit us, researchers say. That's a good thing, because a strike by such a big space rock would cause catastrophic damage, potentially wiping out our species. [Potentially Dangerous Asteroids (Images)]
'Asteroids of this size have changed the biosphere of our planet in the past.'
- Astronomy magazine columnist Bob Berman
In general, scientists think any asteroid bigger than 0.6 miles could end human civilization if it hit us. For comparison, the object that killed off the dinosaurs 65 million years ago is thought to have been about 6 miles wide.
Asteroid 1998 QE2 won't put on a show for skywatchers. At its closest pass, the space rock will still be 100 times fainter than the dimmest star visible to naked-eye observers under clear and dark skies, experts say.
But several different organizations, including the Slooh Space Telescope and the Virtual Telescope Project, will broadcast live views of the near-Earth asteroid's close approach from professional-quality observatories around the world. You can watch it live right here at, starting at 4:30 p.m. EDT (2030 GMT).
"It will be fun to actually watch it change position," Astronomy magazine columnist Bob Berman, who will participate in Slooh's show, said in a statement. "As Slooh's Space Cameras image it directly [Friday] afternoon, we will all be reminded that asteroids of this size have changed the biosphere of our planet in the past, and even set the stage for the present dominion of humans."
Scientists are already watching 1998 QE2 closely, in an attempt to learn more about the asteroid's characteristics and orbit. A team of radio astronomers using NASA's Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, Calif., for example, just learned that the asteroid is actually a binary system, with a 2,000-foot-wide moon circling the larger space rock.
Researchers plan to use the Goldstone facility as well as the huge Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico to watch 1998 QE2 through June 9, NASA officials said.
Asteroid 1998 QE2 was first spotted in August 1998 by astronomers working with MIT's Lincoln Near Earth Asteroid Research program in New Mexico. The space rock's name is not an homage to England's Queen Elizabeth II, or to the famous ocean liner. Rather, it's just the moniker assigned under the established alphanumeric scheme that lays out when asteroids are discovered.
The approaching 1998 QE2 is part of a near-Earth population that likely numbers in the millions. To date, just 10,000 of these relatively close-flying space rocks have been discovered.

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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Consciousness & the Brain: John Searle at TEDxCERN

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Bill Moyers and Gretchen Morgenson - Making sense of Wall Street and Banksters

One of the true hero's documenting, and making understandable, the complex and greedy behavior by Wall Street Banksters.  New York Times reporter and Pulitzer Prize winner Gretchen Morgenson. 

In 2007, these two, Bill Moyers and Gretchen Morgenson, made my problems with Chase Manhattan and Ocwen Federal Bank FSB, understandable. 

Today, again, these two pierce the veil of confusion about Wall Street news and events.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Bankers go free while cops tase peaceful protesters and the Department of Justice targets journalists

from rollingstone

Activists put up tents during a protest outside the U.S. Justice Department in Washington, D.C.
Alex Wong/Getty Images


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May 22, 2013 3:00 PM ET

A two-day long housing protest outside the Department of Justice this week has resulted in nearly 30 arrests and several instances of law enforcement unnecessarily using tasers on activists, according to eye-witnesses. The action – which was organized by a coalition of housing advocacy groups, including the Home Defenders League and Occupy Our Homes – called for Attorney General Eric Holder to begin prosecutions against the bankers who created the foreclosure crisis.
"Everyone here is fed up with Holder acknowledging big banks did really bad stuff but [saying] they're too big to jail," says Greg Basta, deputy director of New York Communities for Change, who helped organize the event. Holder has previously suggested that prosecuting large banks would be difficult because it could destabilize the economy. The attorney general recently tried to walk those comments back – but the conspicuous lack of criminal prosecutions of bankers tells another story, one that Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi has written about extensively.
Alexis Goldstein, a former Wall Street employee and current Occupy Wall Street activist who was also at the event on Monday, agrees. "I want Eric Holder to uphold the rule of law, regardless of how much power the criminal has," says Goldstein. She says the lack of criminal prosecutions has created a "culture of immunity" that only gets further entrenched by the small settlements that banks now consider a cost of doing business. "There's no risk," she says, adding that the DOJ is effectively "incentivizing breaking the law."
Around 400 homeowners and 100 supporters took part in Monday's actions outside the DOJ, according to Basta. One of them was Vera Johnson, of Seattle. "I've been dealing with foreclosure issues for three years," says Johnson, just minutes after being released from the jail where she was held for over 24 hours for participating in this peaceful protest. Bank of America recently granted Johnson aloan modification after the media picked up on a petition that she started to save her home; this reprieve turned out to be a time bomb, as her rates were set to return to their original levels after four years. It's an all too common story, and Johnson went to Washington, D.C. to "join in solidarity" with others in similar situations.
Many of this week's protesters have been black and Latino homeownerswho were hit particularly hard by the foreclosure crisis. Mildred Garrison-Obi – a black woman from Stone Mountain, Georgia – was evicted from her home in 2012, though with the help of Occupy Our Homes she was able to return to it after four months of facing homelessness. "It was devastating," says Garrison-Obi, who was arrested today in a related action held outside of a law firm where Holder was once a partner. "But I'm not alone."
Activists note with dismay that the government has been significantly harder on people who stage nonviolent demonstrations against Wall Street than it has on the crooked bankers responsible for the housing crisis. Goldstein and Basta both say they witnessed law enforcement using tasers on multiple protesters this week. Johnson says that several hours before her arrest, as she and others sat on planter boxes outside the DOJ, a Department of Homeland Security officer asked, "Do you want to get arrested?" and then, "Do you want to get tased?" Later, when she refused to unlock her arms with another protester after three warnings – hardly a violent act or a threat to public safety – she says she was tased from behind on her left arm. She turned around to see the same officer, who she recalls telling her, "That's what you get."
Carmen Pittman, an activist with Occupy Our Homes in Atlanta, suffered similar treatment at this week's protests. In video footage of her arrest, Pittman appears to have her arms interlocked with another protester.
Lawyers familiar with police codes of conduct note that this kind of passive resistance generally does not meet the official standards for when an officer can use a taser. "In a study of regulations around tasers, the National Institute of Justice found that most police departments do not allow taser use against someone who 'nonviolently refuses' a police command," says NYU law professor Sarah Knuckey, who co-authored a report on the suppression of the rights of Occupy activists. "The incident needs to be thoroughly investigated, there must be a public accounting of what happened and why, and any wrong-doing must be punished." 
Zach Lerner, another activist with NYCC, displayed marks left on his torso after a taser had been used on him.
A spokesperson for the Washington, D.C. police department directed requests for comment to the Federal Protective Service, part of the Department of Homeland Security. Scott McConnell, an FPS spokesperson, said that "a number of individuals" had "breached a security barricade after repeated warnings to leave the area" and that there had been 27 arrests as of Tuesday morning; he declined to comment on the video of Pittman getting tased or on FPS's taser policy generally.
Monday and Tuesday's actions came as the DOJ falls under increasing criticism for its investigations of journalists – first seizing records that cover dozens of Associated Press reporters, and now targeting Fox News' James Rosen. Many media observers have found the Rosen case especially troubling, due to the fact that he was investigated under the theory that he engaged in a conspiracy with Stephen Kim – his source – to leak government information. This is the same theory that U.S. officials have used to go after Wikileaks, and if applied more widely, it would effectively criminalize the basic act of investigative reporting. Some see the Obama DOJ's war on whistleblowers and leakers – and now journalists – less as a means of protecting national security than a way to crack down on who controls information.
As journalists start to get the feeling that their profession is under attack by Obama's DOJ, that department is saying something entirely different – though just as clearly – to the nation's financial elite. "The message," says Goldstein, "is that you can get away with anything."

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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Occupy Wall Street Challenges DOJ On Foreclosure Crisis - Peter Reilly

from forbes

The occupation is still going strong. Here's what the front of the Department of Justice looks like right now! I don’t know if Occupy Wall Street has been quiet lately or if I have just not been paying attention.  Nonetheless, they have something going on right now.  TheOWS Bring Justice to Justice rally was scheduled to begin at 1:oo PM with a march on the Department of Justice.
Five years after Wall Street crashed the economy, not one banker has been prosecuted for the reckless and fraudulent practices that cost millions of Americans their jobs, threw our cities and schools into crisis, and left families and communities ravaged by a foreclosure crisis and epidemic of underwater mortgages.
They cite Attorney General Holder’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which gave us the catchy “Too Big to Jail

Monday, May 20, 2013

Ray Manzarek, 74, Keyboardist and a Founder of the Doors, Is Dead

from nytimes

Ray Manzarek, 74, Keyboardist and a Founder of the Doors, Is Dead

Michael Ochs Archives, via Getty Images
The Doors around 1970. From left: Robbie Krieger, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore and Jim Morrison.
Ray Manzarek, who as the keyboardist and a songwriter for the Doors helped shape one of the indelible bands of the psychedelic era, died on Monday at a clinic in Rosenheim, Germany. He was 74.
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Mr. Manzarek in performance in Manhattan in 2004.
The cause was bile duct cancer, according to his manager, Tom Vitorino. Mr. Manzarek lived in Napa, California.
Mr. Manzarek founded the Doors in 1965 with the singer and lyricist Jim Morrison, whom he would describe decades later as “the personification of the Dionysian impulse each of us has inside.” They would go on to recruit the drummer John Densmore and the guitarist Robby Krieger.
Mr. Manzarek played a crucial role in creating music that was hugely popular and widely imitated, selling tens of millions of albums. It was a lean, transparent sound that could be swinging, haunted, meditative, suspenseful or circuslike. The Doors’ songs were generally credited to the entire group. Long after the death of Mr. Morrison in 1971, the music of the Doors remained synonymous with the darker, more primal impulses unleashed by psychedelia. In his 1998 autobiography, “Light My Fire,” Mr. Manzarek wrote: “We knew what the people wanted: the same thing the Doors wanted. Freedom.”
The quasi-Baroque introduction Mr. Manzarek brought to the Doors’ 1967 single “Light My Fire“ — a song primarily written by Mr. Krieger — helped make it a million-seller. Along with classical music, Mr. Manzarek also drew on jazz, R&B, cabaret and ragtime. His main instrument was the Vox Continental electric organ, which he claimed to have chosen, Mr. Vitorino said, because it was “easy to carry.“
The Doors’ four-man lineup did not include a bass player; onstage, Mr. Manzarek supplied the bass lines with his left hand, using a Fender Rhodes piano bass, though the band’s studio recordings often added a bassist.
Mr. Densmore said, via e-mail: “There was no keyboard player on the planet more appropriate to support Jim Morrison’s words. Ray, I felt totally in sync with you musically. It was like we were of one mind, holding down the foundation for Robby and Jim to float on top of. I will miss my musical brother.“
After Mr. Morrison’s death, Mr. Manzarek strove to keep the Doors together, led his own bands and continued to influence the Los Angeles underground. He produced “Los Angeles,” the 1980 debut album by the leading Southern California punk band X. But he also kept returning to the music of the Doors, rejoining Mr. Krieger in 2002 in a band whose name became the subject of a long legal wrangle with Mr. Densmore over use of the Doors’ name. Manzarek-Krieger, as the band was finally named, had more dates booked this year, Mr. Vitorino said.
“I was deeply saddened to hear about the passing of my friend and bandmate Ray Manzarek today,“ Mr. Krieger said in a statement. “I’m just glad to have been able to have played Doors songs with him for the last decade. Ray was a huge part of my life and I will always miss him.“
Mr. Densmore had also hinted publicly that the surviving Doors might reunite. “The Doors are back on their hinges,“ he told the talk-show host Tavis Smiley earlier this month.
Mr. Manzarek was born Raymond Daniel Manczarek Jr. on Feb. 12, 1939, in Chicago and grew up there on the South Side, taking classical piano lessons. In 1962-65, he attended film school at the University of California in Los Angeles, where he met Mr. Morrison, a fellow film student who was writing poetry.
In a chance encounter on Venice Beach, Mr. Morrison mentioned that he had some possible song lyrics; they included “Moonlight Drive,” prompting Mr. Manzarek to suggest that they start a band. “Ray was the catalyst, he was the galvanizer,” said Jeff Jampol, who manages the Doors’ estate. “He was the one that took Jim by the hand and took the band by the hand and always kept pushing. Without that guiding force, I don’t know if the Doors would have been.”
Mr. Manzarek had joined his two younger brothers, Rick and Jim Manczarek, in a surf-rock band, Rick and the Ravens, that initially worked with Mr. Morrison. (Rick and Jim Manczarek survive him along with Mr. Manzarek’s wife, Dorothy; his son, Pablo; his daughter-in-law, Sharmin; and three grandchildren.) But two musicians Mr. Manzarek met in a transcendental meditation class, Mr. Densmore and Mr. Krieger, ended up becoming the Doors, named after the Aldous Huxley book on the psychedelic experience, “The Doors of Perception” (quoting William Blake).

Amelia Earhart 1943 Movie on You Tube

A fictionalized, and hard to find, 1943 movie about Amelia Earhart. 

Flight for Freedom 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

'Waiting To Be Heard' No More, Amanda Knox Speaks Out

from npr

Listen to the Story  Click Again at NPR Site 

8 min 11 sec

Amanda Knox enters an Italian court on Oct. 3, 2011, just before being acquitted of murdering her British roommate, Meredith Kercher.
Oli Scarff/AP
When 20-year-old Amanda Knox left for Italy in August 2007, it was supposed to be a carefree year studying abroad.
No one could have foreseen it ending in her being accused, tried and convicted in the murder of her roommate, Meredith Kercher.
The case, and Knox, became an international media sensation.
"I think that there was a lot of fantasy projected onto me," she tells weekends on All Things Considered host Jacki Lyden. "And that resulted in a re-appropriation and re-characterization of who I am."
Following a controversial trial led by a prosecutor accused of misdoings, Knox and her onetime boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, spent four years in prison before an Italian appeals court overturned the ruling.
Also convicted in Kercher's murder was a man named Rudy Guede. In his case, extensive DNA evidence linked him to the crime.
Knox returned home to Seattle, but in March 2013, the Italian Supreme Court annulled her acquittal and ordered a new review of the case.
It is uncertain what that will mean for Knox.
Now 25, Knox tells her story in a new memoir, Waiting to Be Heard.

Interview Highlights

On why she didn't leave Perugia, Italy, or call the American Embassy in the days after Kercher's murder
"It never occurred to me to worry that I would be a suspect; I didn't do it. And I was very much making myself available to the police so that I could help. But what's important is I thought my innocence was obvious. And even when they were screaming at me in my interrogation and calling me a liar, like, I could not believe what was happening to me was happening. I very much did not understand the kind of danger that I was in."
On her conviction
"After my conviction, I was devastated. I had never believed that I would be convicted. And so all of that time after my conviction, leading up to my acquittal, I was afraid to hope. Not even my innocence had saved me, and so I was afraid that my innocence would never save me."
On whether she has reached out to the Kercher family
"No, I haven't reached out to them personally. It's been a very complicated question for me about what is the right way to approach them. What I did do is I read John Kercher's book and it definitely confirmed to me that they are grieving intensely from this incredibly horrible thing that happened to their daughter. And I can tell that they are unconvinced of my innocence and that is this huge wall that I'm not sure how to confront."
On the Italian Supreme Court ordering a retrial
"It's looming over me — this horrendous thing that just never ends. I do not think that I will be convicted because there just simply is not that evidence. I just simply did not do it. I feel like I'm having to prove my innocence as opposed to have the prosecution prove my guilt."