Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy Nooyear 2014

To live above with the Saints we love... Ah, that is the purest glory.
To live below with the Saints we know... Ah, that is another story!

May you have good food and spirit.., a soft pillow for your head.
May you be forty years in heaven... 'fore the devil knows you’re DEAD.

Welcome 2015... Year of the Ram.

Here's Five from the 2014 Archives...

Monday, December 22, 2014

Cyber-Warfare the Sony Hack the defining salvo?

Here at the close of the tumultuous 2014, it appears that the world has finally moved into the cyber espionage realm, in earnest. Strangely, it was the whole “Sony Hack” debacle that put us over the top, so to speak. President Obama, responding to allegations of the involvement of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, typified the Sony Hack as “Cyber-vandalism.” Cyber-crime, cyber-security, cyber-warfare… it’s all shaking out suspiciously close to how “Papa Gibson” described it in his Cyber-punk Sci Fi thrillers of the 1980’s.

Moving into 2015, Gibson’s vision of a gritty, dystopian, cyberpunk existence has indeed come to pass. All the players from Gibson’s novels seem to be in place. Powerful Corporate entities, Governmental Intelligence agencies (the expertise of which seem inferior to corporate interests) Rogue States, console cowboys such as the Anonymous Collective, Black /White/Grey Hat independent operators… all the actors are in place.

Given the extent of available cyber-services, both overt and those available via the so-called Dark-Net, you don’t even need much technical expertise to become an entry level player. One can now simply shop the dark-net and purchase a $250.00 pre-packaged malware kit… easy peasy! This Christmas shopping season, certain vendors on the dark-net were even offering cyber-Monday discounts… talk about (back) door buster deals.

Last week, Federal Bureau of Investigation officially accused the Democratic People's Republic of Korea of instigating the now-infamous hack on Sony Pictures. This from the FBI National Press Office…

Friday, December 19th, 2014:  “Today, the FBI would like to provide an update on the status of our investigation into the cyber attack targeting Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE). In late November, SPE confirmed that it was the victim of a cyber attack that destroyed systems and stole large quantities of personal and commercial data. A group calling itself the “Guardians of Peace” claimed responsibility for the attack and subsequently issued threats against SPE, its employees, and theaters that distribute its movies.

As a result of our investigation, and in close collaboration with other U.S. government departments and agencies, the FBI now has enough information to conclude that the North Korean government is responsible for these actions. While the need to protect sensitive sources and methods precludes us from sharing all of this information, our conclusion is based, in part, on:

Technical analysis of the data deletion malware used in this attack revealed links to other malware that the FBI knows North Korean actors previously developed. Separately, the tools used in the SPE attack have similarities to a cyber attack in March of last year against South Korean banks and media outlets, which was carried out by North Korea.”

Given the files that former NSA contractor Edward Snowden turned over to journalist Glenn Greenwald, we know how invasive and pervasive U.S. government surveillance has become. U.S. officials have said the American government will retaliate for the attacks and White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the response would be "proportional." Again, from the FBI:

"Working together, the FBI will identify, pursue, and impose costs and consequences on individuals, groups, or nation states who use cyber means to threaten the United States or U.S. interests" Characteristically,  Sen. John McCain said the cyberattack amounted to "an act of war" on Friday and said the U.S. should retaliate in kind with cyberwarfare.

Even in their official denial of such allegations, the North Korean Government warned that worse is coming. This type of rhetoric, coming from both the US and N Korea… is what we like to call: cyber-escalation… and will only make matters worse. And so it is that Earth’s info-sphere become less stable. News sources are reporting that the frequency of cyber attacks has dramatically increased in the last few weeks.

Check out the link below. It is from the San Mateo CA based cyber-security “live threat intelligence” firm: Norse. From their “About us” page… “Norse is the global leader in live attack intelligence. Norse delivers continuously updated and unique Internet and darknet intel that helps organizations detect and block attacks that other systems miss.” This is not an excerpt from Gibson’s “Neuromancer” …this is the real Dope.

Follow the link and preview this most-interesting live attack monitor… it will give you a glimpse into our brave-new-future.

Update: Sync Alert!

I’m curious what the conspiracy theorists, the synchro-mystic adepts and those who otherwise delve into high weirdness, think about the “Guardians of Peace” AKA: GOP sync? It is commonly postulated that the “Powers That Be” hide their nefarious exploits in plain sight. It is also common conspiratorial wisdom that the PTB (none DARE call them the illuminati!) like to signal their intent through cryptic means.

It is also commonly considered that Sony acts as the Industrial Military Complex’s mouthpiece, within the motion picture industry. Sony CEO, Michael Lynton is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations and is on the Board of The Rand Corporation. As such, the Guardians of Peace, AKA: GOP could refer to the “Grand Old Party” …otherwise known as the Republican Party.

So was Sony hacked by the Republicans, as a means to stir up Cyber-war-mongering sentiment?

Please leave your thoughts, theories and wild accusations on the comments section of this post… 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

BigTime TV's Operation MindF#@k.

The newest Video from BigTime TV is a Doozy. Taken from today's headlines, and in the spirit of the truth is far stranger than fiction, BTV-23 has launched a new campaign entitled: "Operation MindF#@k" In the words of BTV-23's channel description... Stay tuned, for... some crazy shit is about to go down!

Big Time Television, Network 23 is a YouTube channel of high weirdness and low brow, created by none other than our own Jack Heart. BTV-23 provides commentary on modern socio-political inequities… especially in the context of the new American Plutocracy… AKA: the 1% …and the rise of the NSA State. BTV-23 uses media appropriation, simple animation and a variety of mash-up techniques to present current events in a (hopefully) entertaining way. It’s political snarkyness and humor aspires to the fine tradition of the likes of Monty Python and The Onion.

The curious may check out the BTV-23 Youtube Channel @ BigTime TV 23

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

LSD-25 and the Therapeutic Psychedelic Underground

After thirty years in the deep freeze, research into the medicinal use of psychedelic drugs, ranging from psilocybin to Ketamine, and from MDMA to LSD, has begun to accelerate. FDA-approved pilot studies and clinical trials using the drugs under controlled conditions and in combination with talk therapy have shown they could be used safely, delivering promising results in a wide range of tough-to-treat maladies, including opiate and tobacco addiction, alcoholism, autism, anxiety, depression and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

These developments are not surprising to some who remember the first wave of research and even widespread clinical use of psychedelics in the quarter century after the accidental discovery of LSD in 1943. A global review of psychedelic studies and clinical results in 1963 concluded:  “Some spectacular, and almost unbelievable, results have been achieved by using one dose [of the drugs].”

But the powerful drug that was proving surprisingly safe to use in the clinic was creating a panic (in the eyes of the Media & the PTB) when used on the streets. The mushrooming (no pun intended) popular use of psychedelics in the late ’60s, particularly by young people taking it in uncontrolled environments, struck such a sensitive cultural and political nerve that it left the drugs, and the scientists who worked with them, severely stigmatized for more than a generation.

Ironically, the criminalization of the possession of psychedelic drugs in 1970 and the attendant passion of the PTB’ anti-drug crusade did little to slow the spread of recreational use, but effectively shut all research into possible beneficial uses down cold.

In the three decades that followed, an underground network of therapists continued to use the now illegal compounds in treatment of psychological maladies. In the late 1970s, with the rediscovery of the psychoactive effects of the synthetic psychedelic 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine, or MDMA, these underground therapists found a compound many felt was even more useful in combination with therapy than the classic psychedelics –– avoiding the unpredictable effects and anxiety-provoking visions that sometimes arose, as well as creating an almost instant bond with the therapist. MDMA also had the advantage of not yet being illegal.

As the government (in its pomposity) prepared to rectify that in 1985, a coalition of credentialed doctors and scientists allied with those in the psychedelic underground to take the attempt to rehabilitate the drugs and bring back the hope of the ’50s and ’60s that they could become a powerful tool in psychotherapy. They sued the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to prevent them from placing MDMA on Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, the most restrictive category reserved for highly dangerous drugs with no medical benefit.

After months of hearings and volumes of testimony, the presiding judge ruled dramatically in the plaintiffs’ favor –– MDMA he declared, was neither particularly dangerous when used in a clinical setting nor without medical value. The DEA simply ignored the ruling, which was not legally binding, and MDMA therapy went back underground.

But some of those behind the challenge refused to surrender. If they couldn’t prove their case in court, they would do it in the lab. It took more than a decade and a slowly changing culture, but as the 20th Century came to a close, the Food and Drug Administration began to once again approve clinical trials of psychedelics on humans. At a time when half a million veterans have returned from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with PTSD, contributing tragically to the average of 22 veterans each day who commit suicide, the clinical use of such agents couldn’t come too soon.

The cost to the American taxpayer of giving these vets the medical care they’ve earned will be in the range of a trillion dollars over the next 30 or 40 years. If PTSD could be reliably cured with a short-term treatment using an inexpensive drug like MDMA, those costs could be slashed dramatically. And yet, though the Department of Defense is spending lavishly on speculative development all sorts of untested therapies –– including planting microchips in veterans’ brains –– it has yet to budget a dime for MDMA research, in part, clearly, because the cultural wars of 1970 continue to hold the image of psychedelics hostage.

- The above excerpts are from an article written by Tom Shroder based on his new book: Acid Test: LSD, Ecstasy, and the Power to Heal