Saturday, October 06, 2007

Phoenix Airport: Was it Murder?

All the signs of a cover-up are there. Nothing about the cops' version of events holds up, and even if their version turns out to be one hundred percent true, this would still be a situation that was horribly mishandled. Shackling a distraught woman and leaving her alone in a room when they had just been told by her husband she was suicidal? This is good cop procedure? Also, witnesses say the woman was football-tackled by the cops. How difficult can it be for these gorillas to handle one 105-pound woman? And now, the suspicion is being raised that she might have been deliberately choked by a cop to teach her a lesson. Whatever the explanation for the woman's death, one thing is certain: We could remove every x-ray machine at every airport in every city in this country and sell them all for scrap metal, fire every sadistic, groping, thuggish TSA cretin and cop who works airport security and put them to work digging ditches, and dismantle every out-of-control Nazi agency from the TSA all the way up to the Department of Homeland Security itself, and air travel would immediately become far safer than it is now with the kind of "protection" these bastards are giving us …

Carol Anne Gotbaum: Victim of Death by Government

Gotbaum Murdered by Cop Choke Hold?

Gotbaum: Death by Police

Friday, October 05, 2007

Cell Phone Causes Panic

A passenger finds a cell phone on Alaska Airlines Flight 383. No one claims the cell phone. The pilot radios ahead to the Seattle airport: “Unclaimed cell phone on board.” The plane is evacuated upon landing. No flights are allowed to land or take off. Forty minutes tick by. Forty long minutes of fear, dread, and terror, while a bomb squad investigates. Finally, it is determined that the cell phone is … a cell phone.

Today it’s an airline. Tomorrow it could be a train, or a bus, or a bus stop, or a shopping mall, or the parking lot of a shopping mall, or Disneyland, or a football game, any place where someone might drop or forget a cell phone. In other words, it could happen anytime anywhere.

Are there enough bomb squads in the country to investigate all the lost cell phones that are found on any given day? What if there aren’t enough? What will we do? And what about shoes? A shoe can be a bomb too! Are there enough bomb squads to investigate all the lost cell phones and lost shoes that are found on an hourly basis? What if there aren't? What will we do? What will we do? Will we fill up our pants with poo? What if it’s not a shoe, but a pile of smelly goo? And what if the goo gives us the flu? Will there be anyone to sue? What oh what will we do? Or what if it’s not a pile of goo, but a bottle of cheap shampoo? What oh what will we do? And what if a cell phone’s inside the shampoo? What oh what will we do? Will we blame it on a Jew? Or blame it on Peru? And what if we find some goo in a shoe and the shoe inside of a zoo? Who should we evacuate first, the gnu or the caribou? I dont know—do you? Maybe the kangaroo? Maybe the cockatoo? Who would you evacuate? Who? Who? Who? Whatever will we do? There's goo in a shoe in the zoo and we don't know what to do! What oh what will we do? Whatever will we do? In the Sissy Pants Nation, Sissy Pants Nation, we don’t know what to do!

Hillary Clinton, the Butcher of Waco

Hillary Clinton is the only Democratic presidential candidate who has not signed the American Freedom Pledge, which calls for the renewal of the United States Constitution after the damage done by the Bush administration over the past several years. Should this surprise us?

Let us not forget that, as an unusually active First Lady during her husband’s presidency, it was she who ordered the mass murder of the Branch Davidians on April 19, 1993, not Bill and not Attorney General Janet Reno. Hillary Clinton, more than anyone else, deserves the title “Butcher of Waco.”

With such a fine thing to her credit, it probably does not matter much whether she signs the pledge or not. She has already demonstrated by deed, not words, how highly she regards the Constitution—or human life, for that matter.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

A Whirlwind Tour of My Studio

This is my computer. That's my blog (this blog!) on the screen. You can see the blog entry I posted just a few minutes ago, the one with the picture of my toys.

I've had this since I was a kid. I sent a letter to "Boris Karloff, Hollywood, California." No street address, no zip code. Then, two weeks later, this photo arrived in the mail.

This is my drawing board. I'm putting the finishing touches on an illustration for an album cover.

More toys.

Still more toys. Say, isn't that Ossama bin Laden hiding behind Fred Flintstone's car with a brain on the top? Hurray! We found Ossama! Grab him quick, El Santo! He's a slippery one!

Whirlwind tour over. Come back another day ...

Now I'm Home

Now I'm home. These are some of my toys.

Playing With My Digital Camera

Hard day at the office. Now I'm walking to the car. Up ahead, you can see they're building more condos.

Look out, it's falling!

On the freeway. Slow and go traffic. Yawn ...

Self Portrait While Driving.

Traffic picking up speed. Look, there's a train in the middle of the freeway!

We bought this miniature digital camera to take pictures at the chuckwagon cook-off for my Bison Bill site. Now I carry it with me everywhere I go. Fits right in the palm of my hand. It has a video function, too. Cops, beware! Little Brother is Watching ...

"I feel your pain"

Former president Bill Clinton once famously said, "I feel your pain."

If only it were true:

Bill Clinton: Torture is OK

The Only Terrorist You Will Ever Encounter

On Tuesday night’s edition of PsiOp Radio, SMiles Lewis and I discussed police brutality at great length (go to to download show). Week by week, day by day, reports of unjustified handcuffings, beatings, Taserings, and killings at the hands of police proliferate. It is a pandemic that has spread across the country. As Paul Craig Roberts, in his article “America’s Police Brutality Pandemic,” writes, “The only terrorist most Americans will ever encounter is a policeman with a badge, nightstick, mace and Taser.”

Clearly, we are in far greater danger from our own police than we will ever be from some mad dirty bomber or shoe bomber or toothpaste bomber. At best, these dangers are exaggerated; at worst, they have been fabricated. Either way, they are being used by the government to justify more police state laws, which among other things places more and more life-or-death power in the hands of the bullies with badges who patrol our streets.

Yes, there are good cops, and to those cops we say, “Do your job. Protect and serve. Serve us by protecting us from the bullies in your midst. Banish them from your ranks before one of them manhandles, and possibly murders, your daughter.”

And we can do something about police brutality—we, as in "We the People." We can speak out against the erosion of our freedoms and the brutality of our government both here and abroad.

A few weeks ago, we saw video of a college student Tasered for asking questions at a speech by Sen. John Kerry. The lesson from that video might be that we should be afraid to ask questions or speak out. But that would be the wrong lesson.

Here in Austin, over the past week, we have seen video of a man who was stopped by a cop for going five miles over the speed limit, then Tasered 45 seconds after obeying an order to get out of the car. Tasered for obeying an order.

That is how it is here in Police State America. You can be Tasered for obeying an order. Why, you can even be arrested for reading the Constitution. You don't have to break a law, or do anything at all, to be brutalized and placed under arrest by some swine in uniform. Therefore, you might as well speak out. You have got nothing to lose.

And it may be your only hope. For, if we are silent, we have no chance of defeating this menace. On the other hand, if we speak out, and do so loudly, and in larger numbers, we just might win this war against the only terrorist most of us will ever encounter, the bully with a badge.

Oh, and here's something else you can do: Carry a video camera everywhere you go ...

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

The Times They Are A-Changing

I no longer drive to my day job five days a week. Now I telecommute two of those days.

On mornings that I drive to work, it is darker than it was a few weeks ago. Also, when I drive to work, I’m no longer able to listen to Radio Free Austin during the drive. The FCC shut it down. Now I don't listen to anything, because all the stations are lousy.

The sun starts coming up when I park in the west campus area. When I first came to campus in 1977, I could park a lot closer. Now I have to walk considerably farther and if I arrived any later than 6:50 I wouldn’t be able to find a parking place at all. I still refuse to buy a sticker for one of the UT parking garages.

The street I walk to campus looks much the same as it always did. Most of the houses and student apartment complexes are the same. And the moonlight tower still stands 103 years after it was first erected. But one stretch of street is completely different. Here, everything has been leveled to make way for three large condo buildings.

On the retail side of Drag (Guadalupe Street), the businesses have changed many times over the decades. There used to be several locally-owned bookstores, for instance. They all bit the dust a long time ago. The Texas Theatre, which showed porn movies in the 70s and 80s, is now a pharmacy. Chipotle’s used to be a Whataburger, and before that something else, and before that, etc. The Scientology Building used to house several businesses in addition to the Scientology offices—a copy shop, Gourmet Hamburgers, various other things that came and went, and on the upper level a bookstore, an arcade, and a typing service. Now, except for the copy shop, the rest of the building is devoted to Scientology. And down the street on the corner of 22nd was the Varsity Theater. Later it became Tower Records, now it’s a Follet’s bookstore. And down the street in the other direction, is Dobie Residential Tower. In the 70s it was all brown brick, now it's covered in blue glass. Dobie Mall on the lower two levels has changed too. There used to be a McDonalds, a head shop called the Magic Mushroom, a sandwich shop called the Sam Witch, and other businesses long gone and replaced many times over.

My first two years in Austin I worked at a typing service in Dobie Mall. It was a good student job. It was part time and the hours flexible. We were paid by the number of pages. I was fast and accurate, so did well. I had a key to the office and would sometimes work on weekends, often by myself. The typewriters, IBM Selectrics, were all lined up on a long table against a wall. So you sat there typing with your back facing a big window that looked out onto the Dobie parking garage across the street. One day, while I was in the office by myself, typing, a man dressed in full drag went on top of the garage to kill himself by jumping off. A crowd gathered, the cops were called, there was a big dramatic scene, and he was eventually pulled to safety. I missed the entire thing, because my back was to the window.

The typing service closed in 1979. After that, I went to work at the typing service in the Scientology Building. I worked there till 1982 when I graduated and got a job at the university. That was the same year I turned 30. Now I'm 54 and still working there—but not for long. I retire in a few months.

The campus mostly looks as it did when I first came here. The UT Sniper Tower still stands, but there is fencing on the observation deck to keep people from jumping off. That happened a few times in the first few years after the Whitman shootings. What with the suicides and the ever-present fear of a copycat sniper, university officials decided to close the observation deck. It was reopened a few years ago, but only at certain times and by reservation. You know, in all the time I've been I’ve never been on the observation deck. Maybe I should make a reservation and check it out before I retire. I always wondered about the view. Whitman's view, when he shot all those people.

The Texas Union hasn’t changed on the outside, but inside it's been remodeled a few times since I came here. Also, the food court is completely different. It used to be all locally-owned concessions, now it’s Wendys, Taco Bell, Starbucks, and other franchise operations. Also, there used to be a full bar in the Union. A lot of classes—my creative writing class, for instance—never met in a classroom, but always at the Union over pitchers of beer. Later, in the 80s, alcohol was banned from the Union. End of an era.

Many memories of the Union. My first semester at UT I attended a poetry reading by Allen Ginsburg in the Union ballroom. Also, I used to spend a lot of time on the couches in the study lounges, reading, sometimes sleeping. One time, I went to the bathroom in the Union, and, while I was sitting in one of the stalls, looked up from my newspaper and saw a guy peeking through the crack in the door at me. I yelled at him and he ran off. I haven't been back there since.

It’s not just the Union, every place on campus holds memories, some good, some not so good, some with interesting stories, some not so interesting. A lot happens in thirty years.

You would think that every day I'm on campus I would be flooded with memories, but actually, when live with a place for so long, day in and day out, you mostly stay in the present. As a general rule, I have to consciously make an effort to bring up a memory, unless I’m in a reflective mood like today, nearing retirement.

For years, I would take walks all over campus during my lunch hour. But I stopped some time in the 90s. Not sure why. I guess I just got tired of it. Nowadays, I have to have a specific reason to walk across campus. Usually it’s to go to the library on my lunch hour.

There are buildings on this campus I haven’t been inside in years, entire areas of campus I haven't seen, even though they’re only minutes away. Maybe I should take one last walk before I retire and revisit those buildings, relive a few memories, say goodbye to UT.

No, I probably won’t. If I ever take such a walk, it will be years later after I've been away awhile. On my last day working at UT, I’ll probably leave the way I’ve left every other place in my life. Put in a normal workday, say goodbye to my co-workers, walk out the door, walk to my car, drive away to my new life, and not look back.

The times they are a-changing …

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

LIVE TONIGHT: PsiOp Radio 10/2/07 Edition

SMiles Lewis and I are going LIVE in one hour with another PsiOp Radio. We've got a big list of topics we will be discussing tonight, which you can see in advance (with relevant links) on our PsiOp Radio website. The show is now carried on two networks, Revere Radio and Anomaly Radio. To listen on Revere, CLICK HERE. To listen on Anomaly, CLICK HERE. The show starts at 8 pm EDT / 7 pm CDT / 0100 UTC and lasts for one hour. Don't you dare miss it ...