Thursday, May 27, 2010

Editorial cartoon for every week ever

(The LA radio show that kick-started the '60's)
From an exclusive LA FREE PRESS interview with Bill McIntyre.
by Chili Mac
"Sure we got sponsors. Lots of companies want to sponsor Radio Free Oz. They're calling me! The problem is, can they take the comedy heat? Just because you're a sponsor doesn't mean that Peter Bergman won't make exquisite fun of you. That's what hip satire's all about. It's what got the Firesign Theatre fired off most of LA's finest rock stations – their integrity. When they see bullshit they destroy it with laughter. It's their thing. They can't help themselves. With Bergman and the Firesign nothing's sacred, not even themselves. I know. I was there. I saw the laugh-a-minute media carnage. And the good ole LAFreep was there every bazaar existential step of the way."
              Bill McIntyre was there. He produced the Firesign Theatre's two '70's national radio syndications DEAR FRIENDS and LET'S EAT. On one particular LA night, in March of 1972, he produced the National Surrealist Light People's Party convention to elect George Papoon for President. This staged put-on became the Firesign Theater album MARTIAN SPACE PARTY. AKA NOT INSANE!
McIntyre: This unknown guy who called himself George Papoon wore a brown paper bag over his head with two little round eye holes, campaigning for the presidency. The Firesign did a bit about him on a Dear Friends show and suddenly Papoon was popping up everywhere at once, all over the country, giving stump speeches for President with the brown bag over his head. The gag had caught on nationwide.  So, naturally, the Firesign had to host Papoon's national political convention at KPFK. Where else?"
              The convention and stage show was recorded live by Columbia Records for the album, filmed by Steve Gillmor, and networked live by McIntyre to Pacifica Stations from Portland to Houston. All this evolved out of Peter Bergman's Radio Free Oz broadcasts with the Firesign from KPFK six years before in 1966.

McIntyre: So, now, out of the blue, Pete calls me and asks if I want to produce Radio Free Oz. He's just moved up to an island on Puget Sound where Ossman and Austin are residing. And, he's found a pier with a funky FM radio station on it .  'It's time for Oz again Mac – it's time'. 

              On Radio Free Oz, Bergman gave voice to the closeted LA Beats and Hipsters and budding Sunset Strip Hippies turning on to Pot and LSD; while he turned them on to San Francisco Rock, Delta Blues, Jazz, Funk, Folk, Alan Watts, Aldus Huxley foreign films; all things Hip - and Phil Austin, David Ossman and Phil Proctor, who, along with Bergman, became the infamously renown FIRESIGN THEATRE. Bergman coined the phrase 'Love-In and, on Radio Free Oz, invited all of LA to the very first; a sunrise to sundown affair, in March 1967, which he hosted in Elysian Park. It was just over the hill from the Dodgers ball park. Twenty thousand amazed Angelinos rolled into the big grassy meadow, out of the morning mist, astonished to find so many kindred soul mates of the stoned and psychedelic secret society.

McIntyre: The LA Times, the radio and the TV stations lied about the crowd size trying to play it down to please the media zombies paying their checks. But, Art Kunkin published a big front page shot of the sea of freaky people, in the FREEP, and once again busted establishment media big time. Kunkin single-mindedly sparked the free press movement in this country.

The principles of that movement continue to this day - here at the LAFreep, now with Steven M. Finger as its Publisher, and at the hundreds of other 'alternative' newspapers that began from its inspiration.  In fact, via and because of the 'net, the movement grows daily, ever bigger as an even larger 'establishment' tries again and again to hide its true motives.

Bergman's speech from the make shift bandstand where Jefferson Airplane had just blown the crowd away, was a personal confession of the loneliness one feels in such emotionally dicey times. He, like all twenty thousand awed faces shining back, had shared the misgivings of living revolutionary visions with only the weapons of love to defy the darkness.

McIntyre: And I agreed with Pete. It is time. The shit's coming down all over the place and nobody with a brain can honestly say revolution's not in the air. Just like the sixties. If fun-house surreal satire is ever a necessity of life, it's in times like the ones were headed into.

              Radio Free Oz is back, this time worldwide on the digital commons at The pier radio station turned out to be the Harbor Master's office with a non-stop ship to shore radio. A hunt for a quieter studio turned up Blue Ewe Studio, built and run by Islander David Malony.

McIntyre: Blue Ewe is impossible. It can't be there nestled in the forest, but it is. And, it's log-cabin, state-of-the-art recording heaven. It's putting out the best audio on the web. Bergman's on with a new show every day. Dave Ossman is co-hosting and Austin and Proctor are doing their typically hilarious guest shots. We've only done twenty-some shows and we're number ten on Pod-cast Alley, which I'd never even heard of, and, number eighteen, overall, out of eighty thousand Pod-casters. With those numbers, somewhere out there is a sponsor or two who has a sense of humor and wants to be part of the smartest comedy there is - if they can stop laughing long enough to make the deal.

              McIntyre is producing two of the Firesign Theatre's June concerts, along with Mo Weston who is producing the rest. They start in Portland June 11 & 12, then June 13 in Eugene Oregon. On June 25 they play Southern Oregon University in Ashland, and on the 26th Redding's historically-restored Cascade Theater.

McIntyre: It's still amazing to see how bright, and far flung the Oz Firesign audience is. They're in their fifties and sixties now for the most part, educated and affluent, though some are thirty and forty something's, like Richard Metzger's gang of Dangerous Minds. You can see the love and admiration and thanks on their faces for the laughter that got them through it back in the day. And now, just when you thought it was starting to get way too serious and scary again, you've got Peter Bergman and Oz in your ears. Pete's motto for the show is right on. 'We're all going to get through this together'... And we are.
This is the first in a series of articles on Radio Free Oz and The Firesign Theatre and their long association with The LA FREE PRESS.

Topanga Days

Country Fair "One Canyon One World"
May 29th, 30th & 31st 2010!
"Memorial Day Weekend"
10AM till 7PM Daily
Fine Arts & Crafts
Corral Stage
Canyon Underground

Kids Zone
Art Walk

Food & Drink
Healing Arts

Free Shuttle
Please, No Dogs or Animals!

Located at
1440 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd.
in Topanga Canyon
Telephone: 310-455-1980  

"Statism" and the Ayn Rand Cult

by Dave Johnson

Count how many times the word "statist" appears in this weird op-ed in the Washington Post: America's new culture war: Free enterprise vs. government control.

"Statism" has become a cult-word, used most frequently by people who are in the Ayn Rand cult. "Collectivist" is another. The Rand cult has been around quite a while now. Alan Greenspan actually lived with the Rand cult for a while. Randians are more and more becoming the core of the conservative movement, as this op-ed reflects. Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, members of Congress and others are more and more frequently using strange-sounding Randian cult-words like these.

I don't know if the author of the op-ed is a Randian, but he uses the word "statist" over and over and places free enterprise and government as an either-or. He thinks regulation of business is wrong. (Aside -- He writes that "government housing policy," not Wall Street, caused the economic crisis. (??) He's the head of the American Enterprise Institute.)

So now I am thinking about the Rand cult... Randians believe government is inherently bad -- evil actually -- and that helping others is wrong and immoral. "Collectivism" means democracy and this is also bad. They say it is the group imposing its will on individuals. From the Ayn Rand Lexicon,

"Democratic" in its original meaning [refers to] unlimited majority rule . . . a social system in which one's work, one's property, one's mind, and one's life are at the mercy of any gang that may muster the vote of a majority at any moment for any purpose.

[. . .] Democracy, in short, is a form of collectivism, which denies individual rights: the majority can do whatever it wants with no restrictions. In principle, the democratic government is all-powerful. Democracy is a totalitarian manifestation; it is not a form of freedom . . .

As for government,
The only proper functions of a government are: the police, to protect you from criminals; the army, to protect you from foreign invaders; and the courts, to protect your property and contracts from breach or fraud by others, to settle disputes by rational rules, according to objective law.

I don't understand how it is consistent for them to claim that protecting from criminals is legitimate. Doesn't society define what a criminal is?

Oh, and by the way, for any Christians who think they are conservatives, here is where they stand on religion:

Faith, as such, is extremely detrimental to human life: it is the negation of reason. ... They may have a good influence or proper principles to inculcate, but in a very contradictory context and, on a very—how should I say it?—dangerous or malevolent base: on the ground of faith.

[. . .] Christ ... according to the Christian mythology, he died on the cross not for his own sins but for the sins of the nonideal people. In other words, a man of perfect virtue was sacrificed for men who are vicious and who are expected or supposed to accept that sacrifice. If I were a Christian, nothing could make me more indignant than that: the notion of sacrificing the ideal to the nonideal, or virtue to vice. And it is in the name of that symbol that men are asked to sacrifice themselves for their inferiors. That is precisely how the symbolism is used.

And here you also find the roots of Glenn Beck's warning to run from any church that asks you to help others,
It's either-or. If capitalism's befuddled, guilt-ridden apologists do not know it, two fully consistent representatives of altruism do know it: Catholicism and communism.

Their rapprochement, therefore, is not astonishing. Their differences pertain only to the supernatural, but here, in reality, on earth, they have three cardinal elements in common: the same morality, altruism—the same goal, global rule by force—the same enemy, man's mind.

There is a precedent for their strategy. In the German election of 1933, the communists supported the Nazis, on the premise that they could fight each other for power later, but must first destroy their common enemy, capitalism. Today, Catholicism and communism may well cooperate, on the premise that they will fight each other for power later, but must first destroy their common enemy, the individual, by forcing mankind to unite to form one neck ready for one leash.

Go see what they think of charity, altruism, the environment, morality, society...

The great American book that refutes Rand Paul


A book published nearly 50 years ago utterly destroys any distinction between private and public discrimination

Shortly after the volcano in Iceland polluted the skies over Europe, and while the British Petroleum oil spill contaminated the Gulf of Mexico, Rand Paul dumped the intellectual equivalent of toxic pollution into the world of public discourse by claiming that it was wrong for the Civil Right Act of 1964 to outlaw segregation in private facilities.

Had this come from former KKK leader David Duke it would not have been news, but it made headlines, coming as it did from the winner of the Kentucky Republican Senate primary, the son of libertarian cult hero Rep. Ron Paul of Texas and a tribune of the Tea Party movement. According to the younger Paul, "the hard part about believing in freedom" is that while it was all right for the 1964 Civil Rights Act to outlaw racial discrimination by public entities, it was tyrannical for the federal government to require businesses like restaurants, hotels and stores to serve non-white customers.

As a native of Texas, where white-only businesses were legal until the Civil Rights Act passed, where interracial marriage was illegal until the Supreme Court issued its holding in Loving v. Virginia in 1967, and where private racial discrimination in housing was legal until President Johnson pushed through one of his personal obsessions, the Fair Housing Act of 1968, I can suggest a book that Rand Paul and like-minded libertarians really ought to read: John Howard Griffin's "Black Like Me."

Griffin, a native of Dallas, was at different stages in his polymathic career a decorated combat veteran in World War II, a music teacher, a philosopher, a novelist and a convert to Catholicism. In 1959, with the help of a dermatologist in New Orleans, this white Southerner had his skin darkened so that he could try to understand what black people experienced in the segregated South.  Published in 1961, "Black Like Me" was the book that emerged from his journal entries. It became a best-seller and made Griffin (who was portrayed by James Whitmore in a 1964 movie adaptation) an international celebrity.

Dems trim jobs bill to woo moderates

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) participate in a news conference on Capitol Hill on May 26, 2010. With time running out, Democrats made deep cuts from their $190 billion-plus jobs and economic relief bill Wednesday, hoping to win over nervous moderates and muster the votes for passage before Memorial Day.

More than $50 billion in multi-year spending appears to have been trimmed from the package, chiefly at the expense of physicians serving Medicare patients. Oil fees will grow even higher, playing off the political anger over the BP spill in the Gulf. And extended jobless and health benefits for the unemployed would sunset Nov. 30, a month earlier than previously planned. 

The House Rules Committee was called back into session Wednesday night to clear the way for floor votes Thursday. Having twice delayed action, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D—Cal.) knows she must move quickly if the Senate is to have time to act as well before the holiday recess. 

With labor weighing in more, the behind-the-scenes maneuvering took on the character of an old-fashioned brawl, matching union leaders against a fierce business-backed lobbying campaign to derail the bill and its tax reforms affecting multinational corporations. And more than ever this year, the debate captures the budget challenges facing Democrats, whipsawed by shaky markets, the European debt crisis and fears of a double-dip recession just months before November's elections. 

"Right now, jobs matter more than deficits," growled American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees President Gerald McEntee, taking a poke at "corporate CEOs who ship our jobs overseas and stick American taxpayers with the bill." 

"With the entire world focused on sovereign debt, it is not moving in the right direction," countered Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.). "I am highly skeptical." 

Republicans' new Web site not exactly what they hoped it would be


Republicans want to take over the House in the fall, but there's a problem: They don't have an agenda.

So on Tuesday, they set out to resolve that shortcoming. They announced that they would solicit suggestions on the Internet, then have members of the public give the ideas a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down. Call it the "Dancing With the Stars" model of public policy.

Republicans were very pleased with their technological sophistication as they introduced the Web site, America Speaking Out a ceremony at the Newseum. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who created the program, said that to get software for the site, "I personally traveled to Washington state and discovered a Microsoft program that helped NASA map the moon."

Using lunar software is appropriate, because the early responses to the Republicans' request for ideas are pretty far out:

"End Child Labor Laws," suggests one helpful participant. "We coddle children too much. They need to spend their youth in the factories."

"How about if Congress actually do their job and VET or Usurper in Chief, Obama is NOT a Natural Born Citizen in any way," recommends another. "That fake so called birth certificate is useless."

"A 'teacher' told my child in class that dolphins were mammals and not fish!" a third complains. "And the same thing about whales! We need TRADITIONAL VALUES in all areas of education. If it swims in the water, it is a FISH. Period! End of Story."

House Republicans, meet the World Wide Web.

Cannabinoids Kill Cancer and Our Government Has Known for 36 Years

Below is a repost of an article published on Americans for Safe Access website: in November of 2003. The article describes how cannabinoids, the active components of marijuana, inhibit tumor growth in laboratory animals and also kill cancer cells. Then it finishes off by saying that the US government has known for more than 35 years and that the media which would normally go crazy about a cancer cure story like this, doesn't at all and in fact seem to be burying the story rather than promote it in any way. I for one am amazed at the government's stance on marijuana and their failed war on drugs, which is more like a war on it's own country. I guess too many people get rich off of the war on drugs.

by Steve Kubby, Sierra Times
November 10th, 2003

A new study published in Nature Reviews-Cancer provides an historic and detailed explanation about how THC and natural cannabinoids counteract cancer, but preserve normal cells.

The study by Manuel Guzm├ín of Madrid Spain found that cannabinoids, the active components of marijuana, inhibit tumor growth in laboratory animals. They do so by modulating key cell-signaling pathways, thereby inducing direct growth arrest and death of tumor cells, as well as by inhibiting the growth of blood vessels that supply the tumor.

The Guzman study is very important according to Dr. Ethan Russo , a neurologist and world authority on medical cannabis: "Cancer occurs because cells become immortalized; they fail to heed normal signals to turn off growth. A normal function of remodeling in the body requires that cells die on cue. This is called apoptosis, or programmed cell death. That process fails to work in tumors. THC promotes its reappearance so that gliomas, leukemias, melanomas and other cell types will in fact heed the signals, stop dividing, and die."

"But, that is not all," explains Dr. Russo: "The other way that tumors grow is by ensuring that they are nourished: they send out signals to promote angiogenesis, the growth of new blood vessels. Cannabinoids turn off these signals as well. It is truly incredible, and elegant."

In other words, this article explains several ways in which cannabinoids might be used to fight cancer, and, as the article says, "Cannabinoids are usually well tolerated, and do not produce the generalized toxic effects of conventional chemotherapies.

Usually, any story that even suggests the possibility of a new treatment for cancer is greeted with headlines about a "cancer cure" – however remote in the future and improbable in fact it might be. But if marijuana is involved, don't expect any coverage from mainstream media, especially since mainstream editors have been quietly killing this story for the past thirty years…

That's right, news about the abilility of pot to shrink tumors first surfaced, way back in 1974. Researchers at the Medical College of Virginia, who had been funded by the National Institutes of Health to find evidence that marijuana damages the immune system, found instead that THC slowed the growth of three kinds of cancer in mice — lung and breast cancer, and a virus-induced leukemia.

The Washington Post reported on the 1974 study — in the "Local" section — on Aug. 18, 1974. Under the headline, "Cancer Curb Is Studied," it read in part: "The active chemical agent in marijuana curbs the growth of three kinds of cancer in mice and may also suppress the immunity reaction that causes rejection of organ transplants, a Medical College of Virginia team has discovered." The researchers "found that THC slowed the growth of lung cancers, breast cancers, and a virus-induced leukemia in laboratory mice, and prolonged their lives by as much as 36 percent."

"News coverage of the Madrid discovery has been virtually nonexistent in this country. The news broke quietly on Feb. 29, 2000 with a story that ran once on the UPI wire about the Nature Medicine article," complained editor Richard Cowan , who said he was only able to find the article through a link that appeared briefly on the Drudge Report Web page. "The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times all ignored the story, even though its newsworthiness is indisputable: a benign substance occurring in nature destroys deadly brain tumors," added Cowan.

On March 29, 2001, the San Antonio Current printed a carefully researched, bombshell of a story by Raymond Cushing titled, "POT SHRINKS TUMORS; GOVERNMENT KNEW IN '74." Media coverage since then has been nonexistent, except for a copy of the story on Alternet.

It is hard to believe that the knowledge that cannabis can be used to fight cancer has been suppressed for almost thirty years , yet it seems likely that it will continue to be suppressed. Why?

According to Cowan, the answer is because it is a threat to cannabis prohibition . "If this article and its predecessors from 2000 and 1974 were the only evidence of the suppression of medical cannabis, then one might perhaps be able to rationalize it in some herniated way. However, there really is massive proof that the suppression of medical cannabis represents the greatest failure of the institutions of a free society, medicine, journalism, science, and our fundamental values," Cowan notes.

Millions of people have died horrible deaths and in many cases, families exhausted their savings on dangerous, toxic and expensive drugs. Now we are just beginning to realize that while marijuana has never killed anyone, marijuana prohibition has killed millions.

Push to protect banks on legal pot businesses


Fifteen U.S. representatives, including seven from California, are urging the Treasury Department to say it won't "target or pursue" national banks that do business with medical marijuana distributors operating legally under state laws.

In a letter to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, the lawmakers said, "dispensary operators are finding it increasingly difficult to maintain accounts with financial institutions."

That may be true of national banks, but many state-chartered banks are happy to do business with medical marijuana dispensaries, as long as they are operating legally.

Medical marijuana is legal in 14 states, including California, and many more states - out of compassion or the need for new tax revenues - are considering legalizing it. California voters will decide in November whether to make it legal for recreational use as well.

But growing and distributing marijuana is still illegal under federal law and for that reason, many national banks won't do business with medical marijuana distributors. Bank of America, Chase and U.S. Bank all confirmed that they won't do business with medical marijuana distributors, even in states where it is legal.

Wells Fargo said it stopped opening new accounts with medical marijuana dispensaries this month and is reviewing its existing accounts with them. "In general, we follow federal, not state, law," says Wells spokesman Chris Hammond. "The decision was made to have a consistent standard."

Love-in in Elysian Park