Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Mail Brane Blog: Readers Seeking Answers to Questions
I was very interested in your blog post on Josh Fox's Gasland II and how your wife found it too intense to keep watching (on to Part 2). But I still find it incredible that these fracking interests and state security folks would put citizens onto terrorist rolls. Do you really believe that, or is Fox exaggerating for effect? - Alicia, Louisville, KY
A. I don't think Fox is exaggerating at all. As a person involved in deep politics I am well aware of the extent of the existing spy-surveillance state and how it networks (through fusion centers) throughout the country. I also noted (June 19th) on the COG or 'continuity of government' program, and the recent discovery that a representative for the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation told a group of concerned citizens that "complaining about water quality could be considered an act of terrorism,”. (See: http://www.alternet.org/environment/tennessee-official-says-complaining-about-water-quality-could-be-considered-act)
Make no mistake the same rubric was adopted to harass and persecute Occupy protestors two years ago. Idealistic kids merely trying to exercise their supposed 1st amendment rights, but actually put in the sights of sniper rifles, e.g. in Houston. So no, it's not a stretch to accept that now all domestic protests are to be considered "terror", ever since the Bushies' expanded such adaptations to COG which haven't been altered. And to reinforce that, you might also wish to read William Rivers Pitt's recent blog:
I am interested if you ever found out for sure if you contracted the corona virus in Europe? Were any tests ever done to confirm it? - Ramone, Pacifica, CA
A. No tests were ever done, because as I noted in the blog post I had no intention of seeing a doc. However, about two weeks after the post went up the symptoms vanished entirely and I was back to my usual jogging-walking exercise routine 3-4 times a week. So what I suspect is that I'd actually caught a bad (cold) virus that might have been exacerbated because of a depressed immune system (this brought on by the long, sleepless plane flight home). If it was the worst (MERS) form of the corona virus I doubt the symptoms would have ended with no other effects. Of course, I could be wrong and you are right that only a test would confirm it, or negate it.
I enjoyed your posts about Germany, especially the one about Garmisch-Partenkirchen and the one on how the Germans you met dissed Tom Hanks' upcoming HBO series. I have two questions here: 1) Is Hanks really considering still going through with it, after all the buzz? and 2) Why do you suppose the National Archives refuses to release the records on George Joannides the CIA guy who tried to set up Oswald? - Murray, in Enid, OK
A. Hanks definitely plans to go ahead, from all accounts I've heard. But he's also wise to try and stay under the radar until the immediate premier because he likely knows how it will be skewered by those in the serious research community. This is why there really isn't that much "buzz" - except on a few blogs like mine, which let's face it - don't have the audience of Politico, Daily Kos or Buzzfeed. Maybe very soon they will catch wind of what Hanks is up to and scrutinize him and his self-professed reasons for doing it. (Which I still believe make for sophisticated brainwashing)
As to why the National Archives refuses to release the Joannides' files, it's fairly obvious: if the government was involved at any level in the assassination - and it's pretty clear it was - then they'd surely want to suppress anything that would impugn guilt or association. This also serves another purpose: keeping the process of ambiguation ongoing. That is, by not releasing anything definitive most people (not in the research loop) are kept guessing and their doubts keep growing: 'Hmmmm....maybe I'm wrong and Oswald is guilty after all!'. Indeed, recent polls now show only 59% reject the Warren Report compared to 73% a few years earlier. Ambiguation works because most people, average citizens, aren't confident enough of their sources or their own research to stand with a position and so flow or blow whichever way the last pundit heard or seen on the tube blows.
Look for the 'Oswald did it' reactionaries (including embedded CIA and NSA assets) to pump up the volume of their PR- disinfo cant as we approach Nov. 2nd this year, since it's the 50 th anniversary. The astute reader, however, can obtain a number of excellent antidotes for his brain, mental health by obtaining books such as James Douglass' 'JFK and the Unspeakable' and the new book, Dallas 1963 (available by Oct.) which shows what a nasty, reactionary place Dallas was ca. 1963 and why it wasn't Oswald that put up those ten thousand or more "Wanted for Treason" posters. I am also planning to have my scifi novel, The Lancer Expedition, out at least by early October, and will keep readers informed.
After all your posts on fracking, I am really REALLY worried about it! I've seen Gasland II but is there any book you can recommend that is worth reading?- Cary B., Tampa, FL
A. I would say it's Robert Heinberg's Snake Oil: How Fracking's False Promise of Plenty Endangers Our Future. Recall Heinberg is the author of The Party's Over, which warned of the imminent approach of Peak Oil (and the consequences - which we're seeing all over now) years before it happened. Thus, I'd actually advise getting both books because to me, they represent a continuity of argument. Peak Oil transpired when the easiest available, high EROEI (energy returned on energy invested) oil bottomed out, now we're forced to put up millions of natural gas and shale oil frack wells to make up for it. Most people don't even know that the natural gas taken from all the wells marring the countryside isn't even for American use, it's dispatched overseas to places like China where the market price for natural gas is much higher than in the U.S.
You've written a lot on the NSA mass spying stuff. What is your opinion of the Bradley Manning verdict and what do you think will become of Snowden?- Albert H., Detroit
A. Personally, I believe the Manning verdict (20 odd "espionage" charges) was nonsense, but the judge did get one thing right: tossing out that idiotic "aiding the enemy" charge. As Chris Hayes' explained last night ('All In With Chris Hayes'), had THAT stood, we'd all(using the internet) be in a bad situation, because anything we ever wrote, say in a blog, complaining about the country, how it does things, its aggressive military empire, the killing of JFK in a coup d'etat, the inequality, the Wall Street vultures, and infrastructure decline - found later on an al Qaeda laptop- could have us condemned for "aiding the enemy". It is total horse manure and based on the egregious use of the 1917 Espionage Act, in the era where the U.S. first began to get neurotic about "Reds". This was after the Russian Revolution, and the resident capitalists in the U.S. had just begun to get paranoid about "Reds" or anarchists, especially making complaints about U.S. entry into WWI.
It is incredible that Obama, a constitutional scholar and former prof, would even remotely consider resorting to this draconian measure to try to stifle speech and let's admit it - letting the people know what their gov't is doing in their name in these misbegotten "wars". I have to believe, as I wrote earlier e.g. http://brane-space.blogspot.com/2013/06/one-blog-every-citizen-needs-to-see.html, that Obama is so fearful of the shadow players who really run things, that he feels he has no alternative. After all, what happened to JFK 50 years ago still conveys a terrifying message to any sitting president not to rock the boat. JFK did, in multiple ways, and he paid dearly.
My other problem with the "justice" thrown at Manning is that it ignores the true traitors (Cheney, Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Gee Dumbya etc) who got us into an illegal war in Iraq, killing hundreds of thousands, as well as condoning the practice of torture on dozens of people - violating the Geneva conventions. WHY let those bastards go while you pile on to Manning, who merely exposed war crimes? Hell, the man did us all a favor showing how low the militarists will go to preserve their war -spy state. But such is the nature of "law" and "justice" now in this nation that the traitors escape it and the patriots get prosecuted. It's nuts! NO wonder 44% of the American population is certifiably mentally ill!
As for Edward Snowden, another TRUE patriot, as opposed to the state terrorists who try to claim the label, I believe he will ultimately get asylum in Russia and live there. I certainly don't believe he'd be dumb enough to turn himself in despite those ridiculous promises not to torture or kill him. And the Russians will make no deals unless they can get something out of it, like some of their own (e.g. Viktor Bont) returned. Quid pro quo.
I just read a book, How We Survived Prostate Cancer, by Victoria Hallerman, which was depressing as she related the horrible after effects of the brachytherapy radiation treatment her husband received and how he totally lost his sex drive. Is this book really serious? How does it compare to your experience? - Abby W., Des Moines, IA
A. Hallerman's book was written before high dose rate brachy (using the "IPSA" contouring procedures) became available. Hence, the method she described was still based on the actual implantation of radioactive iodine seeds into the prostate which of course, wrought havoc on the poor guy having it done - ok, many of them. Such was the case with her husband, for whom the burning at urination was so bad he apparently screamed aloud in agony - even when using urinals in restaurants. Well, when you place 100 odd seeds into the prostate this is what can happen.
In my own case, I received one high dose (1920 CGy) which was geared to a specific region and which targeting could be done superbly because of the IPSA (inverse planning) contouring program (that avoided bladder, rectum) which had been perfected at the Univ. of California at San Francisco Helen Diller Cancer Center, see e.g.
The bottom line is that the method her husband received and that I received is like comparing chalk and cheese. My total treatment (administered by the hDR afterloader) lasted barely 20 minutes, though granted the prostate implantation surgery lasted about an hour. But the worst effects I had - burning urination, frequent bowel movements- were gone within 2 weeks. His lasted months. Bear in mind Hallerman's husband also had to go on a regimen of hormone therapy to try to reduce the size of his prostate from 95 grams to about half - so the seed implantation could be done properly. The hormone treatment itself is what apparently stole his sex drive, as it would any male's.