What good is a Patriot Act if they can't stop the terrorists?

Screen Shot 2015-06-20 at 3.52.48 PMIf you’re cynical like me, you don’t swallow the myth Snowden and Wikileaks are anything other than intel ops in progress. The easiest way to direct social reform is capturing the center of gravity on the reform movement, something easily accomplished by creating fake whistleblowers. Of course, these ops always begin with the release of some exciting information that turns out real—done to establish bona fides before diving off into a designated rabbit hole. If Snowden and Wikileaks were real, they’d have released incriminating evidence on 9/11, and we’d be following that trail into Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, England and Israel, as well as our own Pentagon and CIA.
Trust me, if a whistleblower ends up on the cover of Time, they were an op from day one because very little in politics happens until it’s “made to happen.”
Unless you are using massive encryption, nothing posted online or sent via email is safe from the prying eyes of the Pentagon, no matter what they tell you. And they can probably read much of the encrypted stuff as well and climb into your computer and smart phone anytime they please. Keep in mind, radical pro-violent sects on both sides of the political divide are amongst the most heavily watched websites. The only thing attracting more attention may be the flow of money, arms and illegal drugs, which means there are more spooks on radical pro-violent websites than real, organic people. And most of the true believers have low IQ’s and low self esteem, which fuels their racism and manifests a desire to inflict discomfort on others who don’t have the same background. When the FBI wanted to create a myth of a jihad movement, they lured impoverished ghetto folk into get-rich-quick schemes involving bombing Jewish targets. None of these people were jihadists, just poor people being offered some crazy amount of money to drop off a package. And all these patsies are now serving long prison sentences with little hope of parole. Just watch the documentary on the Newburgh sting if you don’t believe me and realize it represents the tip of the iceberg on entrapment.
Which brings me around to this Charleston shooter who executed a prominent state senator and eight of his congregation. Neither his actions nor words fit into a plausible scenario, but seemed stretched over a propaganda screed. If he was despondent because some black youth captured the girl he loved, it’s far more likely he’d have executed that youth or the girl, or both, or someone in his hometown who pissed him off, and not driven hundreds of miles to kill strangers in a church.
Based on the selfies and the manifesto that appeared online only hours before he committed his massacre, it seems likely others may have been involved in directing this mission, because it seems to have been committed to achieve maximum psychological impact for polarizing blacks and whites. And if anyone was communicating to the shooter online and encouraging this mission, the Pentagon would have been well aware of the conversation early in the game. And buying a gun shortly before committing this act should have set off the appropriate alarm bells.
And even if the Pentagon had no prior knowledge and somehow fell asleep at their crucial job of protecting us from terrorists by monitoring terror suspects, they certainly have the ability to examine all contacts who could have been influencing the shooter. So I find it strange zero information along these lines is being pursued and the media is universally preoccupied with portraying this case as just another lone assassin, a la Oswald, Sirhan, Chapman, Hinckley.

My Guide to Raising House Plants

IMG_0537When I went to the Netherlands for the first time, I was struck by the number of apartment windows filled with plants and it inspired me to bring plants into my own apartment. That was over 25 years ago.
There were a ton of early failures, and some thrived during the summer but shriveled and died during the long winter. It took me a while to realize not every plant works in every location. Some desire direct sun, while others prefer no direct sun at all.
My favorites are ferns and palms because they create a tropical vibe, but they are also among the more difficult to cultivate indoors as both are extremely sensitive to drought. Always keep in mind, however, that over-watering is by far the most common form of plant death, and it is something that can always be avoided if people would just lift the pot to judge its weight before watering. If it’s heavy, it means the plant still has plenty of water left to drink. Another favorite of mine is the Purple Passion Vine, the leaves of which are coated in purple velvet fur. And if you make Purple Passion really happy, she’ll sprout gorgeous orange flowers in the late summer. Many plants today are engineered not to produce viable seed, but Purple Passion is the easiest plant in the world to clone, Just take any cutting of a few inches or more, plant it in moist soil and she will root in a few days.
IMG_0538Around nine years ago I moved to Woodstock for a year, and lost most of my plants in the process, so the ones I have now are about seven years old. I did take one plant upstate with me, however, and brought her back when I returned, a Japanese Prayer Tree that I discovered as a tiny seedling 25 years ago for a few dollars. Here is how she looks today in my bedroom window (left).
The best time to buy a houseplant is in the spring. Plants love stability and despise shocks of any kind, so they prefer to stay in one place and not move around. After a year, they get comfortable and know what to expect. So the best time to re-pot your new plant, is when you first get home. Always water the plant before re-potting.
The new container should be two inches or more larger than the one the plant came in. Fill the bottom third with sphagnum moss, which will absorb amazing amounts of water. A little charcoal helps remove any toxic build-up. I pack the sides with worm castings, which is the best plant food because it doesn’t create fertilizer burn. You can also add some regular plant soil along with the worm casting. I include several tablespoons of Zeba, or similar polymer, which absorbs even more water than sphagnum moss. The roots of the plants will attach themselves to the Zeba granules as they grow and it will help prevent shock from over or under-watering.IMG_0539 I’m trying something new this year and putting water globes into all my house plants. They advertise these as a way to leave your plants on auto-pilot for a week or two, and that might work if your plant is a cactus, but in reality, during the summer, any plant in the sun will require monitoring every few days. I love these globes, however, because they are beautiful, and also give a very clear picture of how much water your plant is drinking on a daily basis. The globes are a wonderful supplement to hand watering, but will not replace it entirely for most plants.
You’ll need to protect the stem from filling up with dirt. You can accomplish this by rubber-banding a piece of filter paper over the tip or by inserting a fabric wick into the stem. I tie a double knot in the fabric as a stopper, and leave a tail inside and outside the globe. You won’t need to water the plant again until the globe is empty, and when that happens, you should fully drench the plant again before re-inserting a full globe. I use a large screwdriver to make a hole for the globe to insert into. The tips are fragile and easily broken.
My plants are on the same scale as my art collection and my pets. Something I would never sell. But I do provide my friends with free cuttings of my Purple Passion Vine anytime they ask for one. Don’t be afraid to raise some house plants on your own, and if you follow my advice and use moss, polymers and watering globes, you can avoid the most common problems.

My New Jerusalem Project

newethemeparkIn an effort to promote peace on earth, I’m creating a theme-park called New Jerusalem as an alternative to the Disney-style experience I so abhor. The only rides at this park are bikes, go-carts, golf carts, water craft, (anything electric, low speed, and non-toxic). I envision horses and carriages with guides as another option for exploring the site. I’m looking for a mountain valley anywhere where cannabis is legal. This is not a “cannabis resort” but the Pot Illuminati will have a temple there, so they are insisting on a cannabis-friendly zone, so I require a country where cannabis is legal. Colorado, Spain, Jamaica are at the top of my list, but it would be somewhat appropriate to pitch the flagship in Israel as it appears pot may be legal there soon.
A big part of the magic of cannabis is not broadcasting the plant and shielding children from early attachment. We are not worshiping cannabis. But we recognize it’s role in the history of religion and cannot exclude it entirely. New Jerusalem contains ceremonial spaces for all religious cultures, and the structures are made of hempcrete or a hemp-based styrofoam or plastic.
In the center of the park is Tipi Circle, and the tipis are made of hemp. The Greek-like temple on the nearby hilltop is known as The Temple of Fun and has the world’s largest set of magic chakra candles. All the avatars, icons and sigils are represented on the altar of the Temple of Fun because no one is excluded from the Fun Vibe.
There’s a replica of Stonehenge. And we’ll have to eventually re-create a pyramid complex somewhere. Of course a Christian chapel and Synagogue would be built early on. Even before the structures go up, we can put a yurt or tipi on site with pictures of what will manifest eventually. That’s part of the magic of making things happen.
I’d like to find some cannabis companies to invest in the project by sponsoring pavilions, like at a World’s  Fair. I envision a Hemp Pavilion, Medical Marijuana Pavilion, and a Cultivation Pavilion at a minimum.
My vision is to allow pilgrims to camp near any temple for free for as long as they remain peaceful. There would even be a public barter square where anyone could vend anything legal to barter or sell. But only sponsors would have the right to sell goods and services at pavilions and they could build condos to rent out as long as they passed our standards and enhanced the environment, while causing no harm.
My concept park is to mix all classes and cultures, so there must be a 5-star option that will rival the greatest resorts in the world. But then again, you could just pitch your own tent as the other option.