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  Coronaviris Pandemic - an inflection point in human history?
Posted by: Peter Lemkin - 14-03-2020, 04:17 PM - Forum: Historical Events - Replies (32)

Actually, I plan to mostly present serious and scientific information and articles....but to start a bit of levity in a time devoid of it...this cartoon on the 'myth of American Exceptionalism'

Super-rich jet off to disaster bunkers amid coronavirus outbreak

‘Self isolate’ for some of world’s richest means Covid-19 tests abroad, personal medics and subterranean hideouts

Coronavirus – live updates
Follow our latest coronavirus blog for live news and updates
How to protect yourself against coronavirus

Rupert Neate wealth correspondent

Wed 11 Mar 2020 19.50 GMT
Last modified on Fri 13 Mar 2020 01.00 GMT

Closing the door: one of Vivos’ former army munitions bunkers, in South Dakota, US, repurposed for a ‘doomsday community’.
Closing the door: one of Vivos’ former army munitions bunkers, in South Dakota, US, repurposed for a ‘doomsday community’. Photograph: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA

Like hundreds of thousands of people across the world, the super-rich are preparing to self-isolate in the face of an escalation in the coronavirus crisis. But their plans extend far beyond stocking up on hand sanitiser and TV boxsets.

The world’s richest people are chartering private jets to set off for holiday homes or specially prepared disaster bunkers in countries that, so far, appear to have avoided the worst of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Many are understood to be taking personal doctors or nurses on their flights to treat them and their families in the event that they become infected. The wealthy are also besieging doctors in private clinics in Harley Street, London, and across the world, demanding private coronavirus tests.

To avoid overwhelming limited testing facilities, the NHS said it would test only people with a “high chance” of having the illness – meaning people who had had close contact with a confirmed case or who had recently gone to a high-risk country.
Guardian Today: the headlines, the analysis, the debate - sent direct to you
Read more

Mark Ali, chief executive and medical director of the Private Harley Street Clinic, said: “This has led to huge demand from very wealthy people asking if they can pay for private testing. Unfortunately, we are unable to offer testing, as the NHS has said all tests should be done centrally.” The Department of Health and Social Care has mandated that all tests must be carried out by the NHS and Public Health England (PHE).

However, an employee at another Harley Street practice, who declined to be named, said their clinic had arranged for concerned clients to be tested in other countries, or for samples to be sent abroad for testing.

Ali, a cardiovascular surgeon, said his clients had pleaded for Covid-19 vaccination, even though scientists said it would be at least a year until a vaccine was developed. “[The Covid-19 outbreak] certainly fired up people’s reactions,” Ali said. “We have given a lot general flu vaccines and consultations to people wanting to talk in detail about their health and lifestyle.”

Ali said his clinic was also offering the worried wealthy an intravenous infusion of vitamins and minerals to boost their immune systems. “We know that 90% of adults have a deficiency in vitamins – what better to improve that than an IV immune boost? An intravenous infusion ensures instant and optimal delivery of these nutrients to the body’s cells and the nutrients should include vitamins such as vitamin C, vitamin B12 complex, glutathione, zinc and essential amino acids such as arginine, taurine, lysine and citrulline.” The treatment costs £350.

Ken Langone, co-founder of the Home Depot chain, knew where to turn when seeking medical advice on the outbreak. The 84-year-old billionaire called an executive and top scientist at NYU Langone Health, the New York hospital named after him and which he chairs. “What I’ve been told by people who are smarter than me in disease is, ‘As of right now it’s a bad flu’,” he told Bloomberg.

Adam Twidell, chief executive of the private jet booking service PrivateFly, said his firm was continuing to see a jump in bookings as wealthy people arranged evacuation flights home from high-risk countries.

He said: “Many are from groups which include elderly passengers or those with health conditions that make them particularly concerned about exposure to crowds on airline flights. We’ve just flown a group back to London from the south of France, with an immunocompromised passenger on board.”

Twidell said other rich clients were arranging flights out of the UK and other European countries in advance of the possible introduction of nationwide quarantine measures following Italy’s lead.

Quintessentially, the concierge company for millionaires, said members who could not quite afford private jets had requested access to private airport lounges to avoid the risk of interacting with large numbers of the travelling public.

“Members who are travelling commercially are choosing to book elite services at airports, not your typical first-class lounge,” a spokeswoman said. “For example, private terminals where guests are greeted and given their own suite. Check-in, customs and security are all done privately and guests are then taken to the doors of the aircraft. Members can request for the jetty to be cleared so they minimise the interactions with other passengers on their way to their seat.”

Quintessentially said one of its members had converted his home into a “military-style bunker” and was refusing any visitors unless they could provide detailed records of their movements and contacts.

Robert Vicino, founder and chief executive of Vivos Group, a California-based company constructing underground shelters designed to withstand a range of natural disasters and catastrophes, said his firm had seen a surge in inquiries and sales since the crisis took hold.

Vivos has converted a a cold war bunker in Indiana into accommodation for 80 people, and is offering space in 575 concrete bunkers in an abandoned second world war ordnance depot in South Dakota.

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  The Passing of Jerry Policoff
Posted by: Jim DiEugenio - 14-03-2020, 09:47 AM - Forum: JFK Assassination - Replies (1)

He was a valuable JFK researcher on the media especially.  But he was good all around also.

He reported on the HSCA for New Times and did a fine job.  

Jerry will be missed.


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  The Carbine on the Sixth Floor
Posted by: Jim DiEugenio - 09-03-2020, 09:13 AM - Forum: JFK Assassination - No Replies

This is an adapted version of David Joseph's PP presentation in Dallas last year on the mysteries of the so called Oswald rifle.

Powerful evidence that Oswald was framed.


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  Goodbye and good riddance to Chris Matthews
Posted by: Jim DiEugenio - 05-03-2020, 08:50 AM - Forum: JFK Assassination - No Replies

Long overdue.  Man what a sellout this guy became


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  HC40: Digging the Hidden History of Hardcore
Posted by: Cliff Varnell - 03-03-2020, 12:24 AM - Forum: Arts - No Replies

Hardcore 40 – March 2, 2020 to February 13/14, 2021.  Marking the 40th anniversary of Hardcore Punk Rock
HC40: Digging the Hidden History of Hardcore
“This is the West, sir. When legend becomes fact – print the legend.” Line from the John Ford film, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.

"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”   Line commonly attributed to George Orwell, but someone may have lied about that.
From the desk of Cliff Varnell -- co-founder of the Original 7 Seconds, Section 8 (both Reno) and DMR Productions (Berkeley).
This is the Reno bit, as close to objective fact as I can make possible.  Pardon the hyphenated c-u-s-s words.
September 1, 1977.  I moved into a pad across Hearst St. from the University of California Berkeley and across Euclid from Rather Ripped Records.  Set up my stereo then headed over to Rather Ripped and bought an import copy of THE CLASH – my first punk rock record -- hadn’t heard punk rock before!

Then I went up Euclid a few doors to the newsstand/paperback book store and bought THE YANKEE AND THE COWBOY WAR, by Carl Oglesby.

Politically active in 1971, I missed fully participating in the 60’s Counter-Culture Revolution.  On the day I turned 18 the last American ground forces left Vietnam.  March 31st, 1973.  My draft priority number was way low -- 336 out of 365.  In the midst of the political lull I vowed to get involved with any cool “beatnik” style youth protest movement that might come along next…Within the first few seconds of The Clash’s “Janie Jones”—“He’s in love with a rocknroll world” -- I went – “Now it’s our turn!

Opened up the Oglesby book and read:
This book proposes to show that Dallas and Watergate are intrinsically linked conspiracies in a hidden drama of coup and countercoup which represents the life of an inner oligarchic power sphere, an “invisible government,”capable of any act in the pursuit of its objectives, that sets itself above the law and beyond the moral rule: a  clandestine American state, perhaps an embryonic police state.

I spent days listening to the Clash and reading the Oglesby book twice.

 “I’m So Bored With the USA”!!

Learned about the bi-polar nature of the American ruling class, the machinations of the Yankee Eastern Liberal Establishment (with an affinity for Europe) versus the Cowboy oil/arms men (with an affinity for Asia.)  Learned about the roots of the assassination of John F. Kennedy and Watergate, the backstories of which were intended to be kept hidden by the Yankee/Cowboy perps. 
“White Riot! I wanna riot! White Riot! A riot of my own!”

Hidden histories & punk rock 4 evah!… In a couple of years I set out to make punk rock hidden history of my own.

January 14, 1978:  The last I heard the Sex Pistols’ show at the California Hall was sold out.  KSAN scheduled to broadcast it live.  Not that any of that mattered as I sat  across the desk of my book boss, bare bones broke.  He laid 20 bucks down and said – “You have a fundamental life decision.  If you pick up that 20 dollars you’re going out in the field, you’re going to knock on doors, and you’re going to sell some books.” Or words to that effect. “If you wanna go home to listen to this silly ass Sex Pistols crap -- don’t come back.”

I made it down to Fremont on the BART trying to visualize myself knocking on someone’s door and selling them encyclopedias -- something I wasn’t all that good at during the best of times.  I caved.  Went over to the other side of the tracks for the BART back to Berkeley.  Quit my job to listen to punk rock. Lovely.

Turned on the radio a couple of hours before the Pistols went on and fell asleep.  I woke up with the radio lights in a dark room and heard – “I’m a lazy sod!!” –then went right back to sleep!

Didn’t find out ‘til later that the show had been moved to Winterland -- I coulda gone!

My book boss hired me back but by the end of February I was on my way to Reno to work in a casino.

THE ONLY TOWN THAT MATTERS – The Birth of Hardcore:

According to Wikipedia:
Hardcore punk (often abbreviated to hardcore) is a punk rock music genre and subculture that originated in the late 1970s. It is generally faster, harder, and more aggressive than other forms of punk rock.[10] Its roots can be traced to earlier punk scenes in San Francisco and Southern California which arose as a reaction against the still predominant hippie cultural climate of the time. It was also inspired by New York punk rock and early proto-punk. </q>

Callin' major BULLS-H-I-T!

The Origin History of the term "Hardcore Punk Rock" -- a timeline '79 to '81.

August 1979: 
I hadn’t listened to the Sex Pistols since forever so I fired up NEVER MIND THE BOLLOCKS one night and felt the ’77 revolution back in my veins!  With The Pistols ringing in my ears I went down to Recycled Records and struck up a conversation and instant friendship with an avid record collector named Tom.

Nowadays his friends call him “Tommy.” Tommy Borghino.

I couldn’t play punk rock for my casino friends. I barely got away with Dave Edmunds and Graham Parker. The first two records I bought in a Reno store were Edmunds' GET IT and Wire’s PINK FLAG.  Both great albums, but I only played one of them with anyone else around.

Fall of 1979:  Joey S-h-i-t-head (Joe Keithley, current Burnaby BC Councillor and future Canadian Prime Minister if there’s any justice in the world)), lead singer/guitarist for Vancouver BC punk rock band D.O.A., gave an interview to San Francisco fanzine CREEP: "D.O.A. is one of only a half-dozen hardcore punk rock bands in North America," he said.  When asked about it decades later Joey admits he never remembered saying "hardcore punk rock" in that interview.

Also, Joe could have been referring to a lot more than a half-dozen bands who fit the bill in the fall of 1979: Black Flag, Germs, Avengers, Dead Kennedys, Subhumans (Canada), Middle Class, Fear, The Bags, Flesh Eaters, Weirdos, Angry Samoans, UXA, No Alternative, The Teen Idles, Misfits and Bad Brains -- as well as D.O.A. -- were established bands with the hardest sounds.

By then The Dils were already turning country; Negative Trend had broken up into Flipper and The Toiling Midgets; Crime softened their sound; The Controllers broke up; and the Avengers were on the brink of break-up. X, Mutants, Social Distortion, Alley Cats, Offs, Plugz, The Eyes, The Skulls, The Gears, Big Boys, and The Zeros had more straight-ahead punk rock sounds with all the attitude. (& The Lewd, Versus, the VKTMs, Vicious Circle, Vom, Rhino 39, The Klan...oh man!)

Oct. 31::  Tommy and I drove down to Zellerbach Hall on the Cal Berkeley campus for a Halloween punk bash featuring the VKTMS, the Zeros, the Alleycats, the Dils, the Dead Kennedys and the Mutants.  Probably the last show the DKs played without headlining. Tommy introduced me to DK lead singer, Jello Biafra.

"Come play Reno," I said.

"Find us a place to play," Biafra said.

Dec. 1979:  Tommy and I stood alone in front of the stage for Black Flag at the Mabuhay Gardens, opening for Madness and the Dead Kennedys. Black Flag – musically the   most radical band I'd ever seen.

On that trip I picked up a small pile of punk zines, and in one (not sure which) I read a variation of the J.G. Ballard line: "If it wasn't recorded, it didn't happen."

I knew instantly I wanted to "do something that didn't happen.” 

I loved the idea of creating and then revealing a hidden history decades down the road.  I’d turn 65 in 2020 and monetizing a hidden history became my retirement plan.  Bestselling book, movie – the American Dream.  I didn’t know at the time that a hidden history in the entertainment business was a stretch requiring measures of both success and failure – a little heavier on the failures, I found.  There’d have to be enough success to make it significant, but enough failure so that nobody would want to record it.  And even if I didn't monitize my career I had a Plan B -- prank the history books!  Prank those poor  journalists who may earnestly try to get to the bottom of whatever might happen, whatever that was.  Poor bastids wouldn't know what hit 'em!  A Breaker of Legends I'd be!  Just for the hell in it!

At the time I didn’t know what I was gonna do beyond spinning disks in clubs, but whatever I did I had to avoid getting recorded doing it. I planned to use pseudonyms and stay out of photographs.  All I knew was that I felt like a cultural guerrilla and redneck Reno Nevada felt like "the Belly of the Beast."

DJ 80/60 was my first persona.

I planned to keep quiet about my ambition, and the only person I ever shared it with was my sister, Cara.

“You don’t want to make a name for yourself,” she said.

“Not until I retire.”

“That might come back to bite you.”

From a strictly commercial stand point -- dead correct.  Hardcore resists monetizing, I found.

Early January 1980:  Tommy met brothers Kevin and Steve Marvelli at a record store in Sparks. Kevin (his friends call him “Kev”) sang and played guitar and Steve played bass. They had a band concept called “X-Banned” but no drummer.  Instant friendships.

January 13:  The debut of DJ 80/60.  Tommy and Kev helped me spin disks at a New Wave Night in a local disco, the CBS Dancefloor.

DJ 80/60 lasted about 5 or 6 months during which I first put out a bunch of lame flyers and lame "Alternative Top 10" lists.
During that time I radicalized Tommy and Kev politically while they radicalized me musically, culminating in DJ 80/60's best work -- 9-weeks of Reno Alternative Top Ten listings published on prints of the album cover of the Crass double lp STATIONS OF THE CRASS -- "90 in 80"

January 17: Two non-musicians -- Tommy Borghino and I -- formed a band with Kev and Steve which Kev would christen – 7Seconds.

More background info here: "The Subversive History of the Original 7Seconds"


January 18:  The plan was for Tommy and Kev to come over to the house and we’d all go down to Maytan’s Music to rent a drum kit.  The night before we left it off where Tommy and I were going to form a band with Kevin and Steve but we needed to sort out who’d drum and who’d manage.  The audition for drummer was on!

Kev came over at two.  Our spirits elevated and impatient, we stood out on the front lawn for an hour when Tommy rolled up with the bed of his white Toyota pickup full of drum cases.

He knew he was going to be the drummer so he went down to Maytan himself.  He and I both knew he was going to be the drummer the night before when I suggested we audition for it.

We loaded in down in the basement. Tom set up the kit and killed it.  I sat down and demonstrated my lack of hand-eye coordination.
You’re the drummer, I’m the manager," I said to a grinning Tommy.

The next day Tommy's brother Jimmy ("Dim Menace") joined on lead vocals with "Kevin Seconds," "Steve Youth," and "Tom Munist".

End of January 1980:  I read Joey S-h-i-t-head's interview in CREEP and was struck with the phrase "hardcore punk rock."

Joey used the word “hardcore” as an adjective, as it turned out, but at the time I took it as a noun.
I thought hardcore punk was already a “thing.”
Louder-faster-shorter songs + DIY ethic + a subversive intent sharp and sincere.
I brought it up at the next band practice. "D.O.A. calls themselves 'hardcore punk', cool hunh?"

Kev: "Cool."
Steve: "Cool." 
Dim: “Cool.” 
Tommy: "Nah...I don't like 'hardcore'. I like 'punk rock', just as it is."

Tommy didn't lose many battles in the band as I recall, but this was one of them.
March 2:  7Seconds debuted at the Townhouse, a sorta-rocker-sorta-country bar in Reno. Kev and Steve booked the show during a sit down with the owner while Tommy and I were down in the Bay.

Half hour before the set Tommy said he couldn’t go thru with it.  He’d only been drumming 6 weeks and caught bad stage fright.  I turned to JD Almon, whom Tommy and I had met at Wherehouse Records a few days earlier, if he could sit in on drums. Tommy and JD looked at me like I was crazy.  Tommy sucked it up – he said do it.

Bessie O. (Reno High) and Jone Stebbins, (Sparks High). a couple of Rocky Horror Show regulars, showed up dressed up with a friend or two in tow, and stood in front of the stage cheering loud for 7Seconds.

Jim Diederichsen and his brother Mark stood in the back.  Jim played guitar and Mark played bass for Belvue, Reno's first punk band (formed 1977).  Jim filmed the first 7Seconds show, I found out much later.   A zen koan goes:  "If a tree falls in a forest make and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" This was a case of --“Is an event recorded if it never gets out of the Super 8 can?”

Hardcore punk scene born.

March 4:  Kev and I put out a joint "NWIN/Spunk #1" -- 2-page xerox sheet -- both of us referring to 7Seconds as "hardcore new wave." We thought "new wave" and "punk rock" were inter-changeable terms.  NWIN --  New Wave In Nevada!

March 9:  The Zeros were the first out of town band I brought up, at the Townhouse with 7Seconds. The Zeros were managed by the former Dils manager and active communist Peter Urban. They told us the term "new wave" was f-u-c-k-ed -- news to us. I immediately changed New Wave In Nevada to New What? In Nevada Enterprises. Before the end of the year I'd trade in that wimpy company name for -- Hard Corp Productions.  Then later in '81 I went to GE Productions – Gray Eminence.

April:  Ray Farrell at Rather Ripped Records suggested I write a Reno report for CREEP magazine.

May 4:  New What? replaced DJ 80/60 and put on a "Dance Party" at the local Pub 'N Sub with me, Tommy, Kev, Steve, and Greg "Bad Otis" Link taking turns spinning disks. Link did the artwork for the flyer.

After the show Tom's other brother Richie introduced me to guitarist Sean Greaves, who drank every beer I bought him while I took notes on his observations of the thriving Reno scene his band the Outpatients (formed 1978) had going with house parties. Acting blase about punk rock in Reno, Greaves said he was working on a new band concept (the soon to be christened Thrusting Squirters), and he glibly made up some other punk band that didn't exist (Johnny Zipper).

I intended to write the CREEP article about 7Seconds but I made it about the whole Reno scene, Johnny Zipper and all.

May 1980:  Finished the article for CREEP #4, entitled -- "Reno Breaking Out" -- under the by-line: N. Wine. Referred to 7Seconds as "hardcore punk rockers, thank you."

I felt confident at the time that I was the first journalist to use the term "hardcore." I figured Joey S-h-i-t-head was the musician who coined it; I figured I was the first journalist/promoter of hardcore punk as a distinct musical sub-genre. This struck me as a perfectly adequate event I could make sure "didn't happen." I consistently avoided any specific references to self-identified activities in Reno, a line of anonymity eventually held for 3 decades with a couple of notable exceptions.

If the management of a "hidden history" -- Anonymity-As-Art-Project -- is ones’ foremost ambition then there is no better tonic for deliberate obscurity than serial incompetance.

June 2:  7Seconds played a biker bar north of Reno, Cindy's. Belvue (Jim & Mark Diederichsen, Jon Bell) played their last show.  They had an alt-pop look and edge years ahead of their time. At the Cindy's show we met the whole Sean Greaves-Lou Chavez-Bix Bigler crew -- the Thrusting Squirters -- a Dictators-style punk band tearing up the rocknroller parties over by the high school.

7Seconds tapped into this house party scene and played them almost weekly going forward.

Summer of 1980:  Cocky punker graffiti-type slogan: RENO. THE ONLY TOWN THAT MATTERS.

7Seconds performs -- "Hardcore Rules" (song #5 below)


Bessie Wrex and Jone Jetson formed The Wrecks with Lynn Lust and Helen Keller, fellow Reno High students.


[img=0x0]data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAPABAP///wAAACH5BAEKAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAICRAEAOw==[/img] September 4:  The Battle of China Wagon.
Tom, Dim and I went down to Sacramento to see DOA, Black Flag, and Reagan Youth at the China Wagon, a new club in Sacramento.  Before we went in Dim bought a bottle of Jack Daniels, a gift for Joey.  Dim wrapped the bottle in his jacket and kept it at his feet during DOA’s set.  When the set was over Dim found the bottle missing.  He followed a guy out into the parking lot and yelled accusations. A brawl broke out. Tommy and Dim were ready to fight everyone there.  The fight moved into the club lobby.  Black Flag played before an empty room --everyone was watching the fight in the lobby.

I took a punch in the face in order to stop the fight.

Flash forward 7-8 years later: 
As I kicked back at The Plaza (notorious Vancouver punk rock house) having a few brews with a couple of guys, the subject of the Battle of China Wagon came up. Turns out both these guys were there.  An argument broke out  
 “Cliff was a pussy!”
“No he wasn’t!  He stopped the fight.”
“Cliff was a pussy!”
“No he wasn’t!  He stopped the fight!”
I got the impression my performance at the China Wagon had been debated before.  I felt a bit flattered, overall.
“Hey you guys, I’m sittin’ right here.  C’mon…”
We went back to 3 guys drinking regular, as if the subject hadn’t come up.
Late Summer 1980:  Sean Greaves' friend Tony Toxic open the Rad House in a black neighborhood on the north side of town. The Rad House stayed open until late March   1981, hosting D.O.A. (twice), Black Flag, the Subhumans (Can.), Social Unrest, Impatient Youth, Young Canadians, The Lewd, as well as local bands 7Seconds, Section 8, Thrusting Squirters, the Wrecks, the Outpatients, G.I. Jane, Mike Niemi's Fair Warning, and any number of 'f-u-c-k bands' like the Hotel Apes.

30 years later Bessie Oakley wrote it up in the book The Wrong Side of Reno: Three Decades of Punk and Hardcore in the Biggest Little City:
 “Back then gigs were organized by an older guy named Cliff and were held, for the most part, at a new place called The Rad House…

An older guy? For f-u-c-k sakes Bessie I was 24 when I met you!

Early Fall:  Steve Youth and I agree to start writing scene reports for the top San Francisco punk rock publications -- DAMAGE and CREEP.  Steve picked DAMAGE, I picked CREEP, since I'd already written for them.

DAMAGE was a magazine with commercial aspirations; CREEP was a fanzine without big ambitions..

Nothing came of it -- neither Steve or I wrote any more scene reports. CREEP only put out 5 issues. 

Several weeks later I got into a conversation with Brad Lapin, the publisher of DAMAGE, at a Target Video after-hours party in San Francisco.

"What's the difference between punk and hardcore punk?" Lapin asked.

"The difference between punk and hardcore punk is the difference between DAMAGE and CREEP."

Cocky.  I was probably a bit of an asshole.  Nevertheless, DAMAGE wrote up the hardcore punk rock phenomenon in the next issue.

Oct. 17:  D.O.A and the Young Canadians played the Rad House, with most of the local bands except Belvue, who had unfortunately broken up by then.  A smashing success.  Everyone had a great time. 

Oct. 24:  7Seconds plays out of town for the first time, at the Western Front Festival at the FAB MAB in San Francisco with D.O.A., the Minutemen, the Feederz, and Tank.  A smashing success.  Everyone had a great time.

Oct. 26ish:  7Seconds were on their way over to practice.  I was going thru my record collection and came across my copy of DOA’s Triumph of the Ignoroids.  Joey S-h-i-thead and Randy Rampage had signed it.  Randy wrote “Reno Rox!”  Joey wrote: “Cliff if it wasn’t for you we wouldn’t have come here.”  I took that as a reference to the Battle of China Wagon when the going got weird and I turned pro and stopped the fight.

That was the inflection point of my life, standing in the living room holding that copy of Triumph Of The Ignoroids looking at Margret Trudeau’s darkened cootch (this was the less infamous second edition) and Joey’s signed acknowledgement.

A moment of truth.  At that instant I’d forgotten about my hidden history plan, and the chances of making that happen approached nil.  Success had gone to my head.  Swelled heads don’t seek anonymity.  I left the record out so everyone could see it.

Kev reacted with dismay at what Joey inscribed.  I didn’t realize it at the time it was Strike One.

Oct. 31:  7Seconds survives a drunken Halloween brawl between Dim, Tom and me.  Started out with me squaring off with Tommy and Dim out in the street.  Tommy just   walked up and jumped on top of me.  We got up and went back into the house.  Dim and I exchanged blows.  When Tommy tried to stop it Dim took offense.  They both went home where Dim ended the fight with an end table up side Tommy’s head.

Nov. 1: Dim leaves the band, Jim Diederichsen joins.  Dim’s wife was 9 months pregnant, looked like he had other things to take care of.

December:  D.O.A. invites 7 Seconds to play a Valentine's weekend festival in Vancouver.  DOA’s manager Ken Lester read about "hardcore" in DAMAGE and pitched Joey with the idea of calling the festival “Hardcore ‘81”.  Joey didn’t find out until I told him in 2013 that he had originally inspired it all.

I booked Bay Area band Impatient Youth to play with 7Seconds one night at the Rad House and one night at CBS Dancefloor.  Tommy told Jim D. and I that he didn’t want to play the disco.  He insisted on standing up for our underground principles -- it was hypocritical for us to play at a place we hated.  When I told Kev of decision not to play the disco he protested that he wasn’t involved in the discussion.  It was his band creatively but I treated him with a high hand.  Strike Two.

Early January ’81:  Up to that point 7Seconds was funded by me and Tommy’s mom, Noni.  Kev and Steve needed new amps.  One night at the Rad House I talked to Kev’s mom Bobbi about going in half-half buying fresh gear.  I didn’t include Kev in the discussion.
  Strike Three.

January 14:  During the Subhumans Unrest/Social show at the Rad House -- Kev fired me, Tom and Jim D. 
If the idea was to practice successful music business, the break-up of the Original 7Seconds was a disaster.  On a personal level, as a human being, it was disastrous.  But if the ambition was to create hidden history, to perpetually live in the down low, what better than to leave the other principals with little inclination to give me credit for anything?  (That last bit didn’t occur to me until 2020.)

My best guess now is that Kev got tired of me acting like I was bigger than the band.

A few days later I called Ken Lester with the bad news.

“Can you send another band?”  Ken was pissed.  “If we’d only booked 7Seconds for one night no big deal – but we booked them for both nights.”

“I’ll see what we can do.”

Late January:Tommy and I form a band with Dim Menace on vocals, Jim Diederichsen on guitar, Lou Chavez on bass, Tom on drums, me as manager with double duty writing   lyrics. ("USSR Gone Too Far" and "Killer Stuff", co-write with Dim on "Nevada's Had it").


Dim picked the name by randomly opening a dictionary and with eyes closed pointed to an entry – Section 8.
We put together a nine-song set with five originals (the above plus “Fat, Drunk & Stupid,”  “Mental Discharge”), two Belvue songs “Piece of Your Action” and “Horrible Herbie” one 7Seconds tune, “Wartime,” and Rose Tattoo’s “Nice Boys Don’t Play Rock And Roll.”

Feb 13 & 14:  Section 8 played both nights of the "Hardcore '81" Festival.  Close friends JD Almon and Kevin Gray joined the crew.  A smashing success.  Great time had by all.

D.O.A.'s HARDCORE 81 album and tour in bruised his arm trying tothe Fall of '81 helped fuel a movement Joey had unknowingly set off 2 years earlier in his CREEP mag interview.

March:  After trying out a rocker drummer for 6 weeks or so, Kev reformed 7Seconds with Steve and Tommy -- the killer three-piece.

March 23:  Dead Kennedys, D.O.A. play the VFW Hall. I was unemployed and broke at the time so I borrowed $300 from my parents to put on the show, about the same amount of money that was in a briefcase stolen out of my car that night. The Santa Cruz kids kept going all Orange County on everyone in the pit. Bessie and G.I Jane got into what appeared to be a hell of a cat fight.  A casino friend wrenched his arm trying to break it up.  Turned out they were only playing (nice to know some people had fun.) . In the middle of the Dead Kennedys set some local rocker jagoff started twisting knobs at the sound board, killing the show.

The next day one of the scene regulars, a 15 year old girl, jumped off the roof of the MGM Grand Casino.  That night Reno cops raided the Rad House on a noise complaint. Disappointed they found no drugs, the cops settled for jacking up the under-age Steve Youth.

Couple of days later the Rad House was ransacked and trashed, reputedly by relatives of the deceased.

April:  I drove 7Seconds down to KPFA radio in Berkeley for an interview with Tim Yohannon on the Maximum Rocknroll radio show on KPFA.  A smashing success.  Everyone had a great time.

On the drive home Tommy said – “I almost said something about this guy Cliff doing stuff in Reno.”
“Yeah, I almost said something, too,” said Kev.

I didn’t respond to that at all.  I just kept driving and let the subject drift.  I was a flattered, but relieved that nothing was said.  That would have blown my deal – my long range plans to operate entirely below the radar, to “not happen.”  A close call!

Spring of 1981:  Kev, Steve, Bessie and Jone started communicating with Ian MacKaye of Minor Threat and Tesco Vee of the Meatmen.  Perhaps as much as the HARDCORE '81 lp, these communications laid the ground for "Hardcore Punk" to become a national phenomenon in the summer/fall of 1981.

The Reno kids carried a lot of street cred with Lansing and DC.

"Tesco's really into the Reno scene," Steve Youth told me. And not above spreading Reno-scene s-h-i-t--talk in the intro to "Tooling for Anus"??



[img=0x0]data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAPABAP///wAAACH5BAEKAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAICRAEAOw==[/img] May 9, 1981:  Black Flag at Alvin Johnson’s garage at the Paiute Reservation at Pyramid Lake.

When Lou Chavez and I drove out to Alvin’s I didn’t have a dime in my pocket.  When I left the show early I didn’t have a dime.  And Black Flag didn’t get paid.  Kev invited Warzone up and they didn’t get paid.  Any explanation I give will sound like excuses.  The only two other people who know what happened are dead.  It was the worst night of my life, an abject failure.  I found out later that some of the local bruisers went all Orange County on everyone in the pit.

Flash-forward to the summer of 2013 – Black Flag at The Metro in Oakland.  Ron Reyes on vocals.  Guitarist Greg Ginn played a theramin as well.  Psychedelic Black Flag!  After the show a bunch of us were hanging out in front and I said to no one in particular – “What a great show!”

A guy I didn’t know raised a hand and waved it a little, like “so-so.”

“That theramin was killer, man!”  I said.  Behind me some wag mocked, “Killer, man.”

I looked at the “so-so” guy– he couldn’t have been older than his late-30’s and probably too young to have seen Black Flag in the 80s.
 “Ever see ‘em with Keith Morris?” I challenged the dude with the ultimate punk rock rank-pulling.  He then nervously turned his back to me and muttered, “No.”  I sensed someone standing behind me.  It was Greg Ginn.  I passed him the joint I was holding.  He thanked me.

I said’’ “I owe you an amends.”

Greg took a couple steps back and looked at me like – What the hell?

The wag in the back said – “That silences the crowd!”

“Pyramid Lake, 1981.  I booked the show and you didn’t get paid.” 
Greg shrugged and rolled his eyes.  “’81, well that’s a long time…Oh!  Yeah!  Pyramid Lake, I remember!  No, no amends! You don’t owe amends!”

 Greg gave me a big hug and repeated: “No amends!

Felt great to hear that! Now I just have to do an amends with others in the Black Flag crew at Pyramid:  Chuck Dukowski, Robo, Dez Cadena and Spot.

I only did four more shows after the Pyramid Lake debacle – Subhumans/INSEX at Duncan’s Pub early Fall of ’81, DOA/Really Red at the American Legion Hall November ’81, DOA/TSOL at the Paradise Ballroom out in the sticks north of Carson City May of 1982, and lastly I co-produced the Circle Jerks/Panty Shields show at the Townhouse in October of 1982 with Kevin.  I think that was his first Rockers Active show, kind of passing the baton.

The show I’m best known for in this period was one that never happened…

The Legend of Who Screwed You?
If one aspires to the title of Breaker of Legends one needs legends to break.  For me, here are two legends propagated by the two guys with whom I worked on making Hardcore Punk Rock a bona fide Thing – Joey Keithley and Kevin Seconds.

I, S-H-I-T-HEAD, by Joey Keithley,  pg 103:
“…(W)e drove to Reno for a Hardcore 81 show.  My pal Cliff Varnell, one of the Reno Crew, was the promoter.  There was a strong mix of bands on the bill: Toxic Reasons, Section 8 (a new band formed by Dim Borghino, formally lead singer of Seven Seconds), and Who Screwed You?  Ken Lester had told Varnell the name of the last band over the phone, but Varnell had never heard of them, so he spelled their name phonetically.  When Husker Du arrived and saw the poster, they just laughed.” <end quote>

1)      In all the literature of hardcore punk this the only reference to my work in Reno as a promoter until I recorded the events of that time in my 2009 Wikipedia exchange with Kevin.

2)      The Who Screwed You? show never happened.  I couldn’t overcome the red tape required to secure the hall on the Paiute Reservation.  I think Joey was thinking of the Sacramento show.

3)      The only person laughing was Tommy Borghino.  He took the phone call from Lester and misunderstood "Husker Du" as "Who Screwed You?"  When he relayed the info to me I thought, “Who Screwed You?  That’s a helluva band name!”  I didn’t hear the name Husker Du until we went down to the Sacramento show and I found myself the butt of ridicule.  Since I did the poster for the Reservation non-show, I became the author of the mix-up. Tommy thought it was hilarious! He came up with Who Screwed You? and I took the fall.  It was one of those “when the legend becomes the fact go with the legend” moments.  I had to suck it up after initial protestations of innocence.

4)      Dim Menace was the stage name of Tommy’s brother, Jimmy Froines.

5)      Dim didn’t form Section 8 –Tommy and I did.

The Legend of Early 7Seconds
The great JFK assassination researcher Vincent Salandria formulated the “Negative Template Theory” which holds that the parts left out of a historical narrative may be more important than what appears in the text.  Let’s apply the Negative Template to Steven Blush’s AMERICAN HARDCORE.  Just for the hell in it!

AMERICAN HARDCORE 1st edition, 2001,pg 266:

If you toured in a van west of Texas or Minneapolis (but east of the Left Coast), you’d play for gas money at best.  In the Far West’s vast expanse, gigs were few and far between.  Historically, the West’s rugged small cities arose as oases for cowboys, prospectors, and other non-cosmopolitans traversing an unforgiving terrain.  That old-time vibe persisted into the HC days.
RENO produced the best HC action in that part of the US. Relative poverty or wealth drove other scenes; Reno’s sprouted from sheer boredom.  Most scenes evolved around a band or individual; in the case of Reno’s, it developed around 7 SECONDS and frontman Kevin Seconds.  There was nothing going on prior to or after Kevin.” <end quote>

When I first read this in 2001 I’ll admit I was pissed.  But it didn’t take long for me to realize – “This is exactly what I wanted!  I asked for this!”  Bummer for Jim Diederichsen, Sean Graves, Chris Reece, Jone Stebbins and Lynn Perko-Truell – to name 5 first class talents associated with the early Reno punk days.

In 2010 Feral House put out the 2nd edition of American Hardcore, slightly revised:

Little happened in Reno prior to or after Kevin.” (pg. 309)

Going from “nothing” to “little” is the shadow of the Negative Template, which fits so cleanly into this text from both editions of AH:

KEVIN SECONDSWe practiced with our friend Tom, who never played drums but picked it up quick.  We’d jam whenever we could, our house, his mom’s – six or so hours every day.  It was insane.  I sang with an English accent, trying to mimic Joe Strummer.  Our first gig was March 2, 1980 at a biker bar that did country and Top 40 bands, The Townhouse, to 30 people – and 20 hated us.  Our friend Cliff, who was letting us practice for free in his basement, somehow talked the guy into letting him do a Monday ‘New Wave’ night.  He had to call it ‘New Wave” – at the time you could not call it Hardcore.  The following week he invited us back; we opened up for The Zeros, one of our favorite bands of the time.  That kicked it off hard; after that, we were totally hooked.

[Blush]: 7 Seconds vinyl debut, ‘82’s Skins, Brains & Guts EP, came out on Alternative Tentacles…In late ’82, Kevin began a BYO-style collective to book shows, release records, and promote causes – first called Rockers Active, then United Front, and finally Positive Force.  You’d hear of Positive Force gigs with Social D. or Black Flag in some garage on the Paiute Indian Reservation…
… Kevin fostered a Reno HC scene based upon what he’d seen and read about elsewhere.” </q>

1)      Chronologically, Kevin Second’s account of the early Reno scene jumps from March 2, 1980 to late ’82.  My entire career as the first promoter of hardcore punk rock was entirely left out of the “definitive” book on hardcore punk…Far out! Awesome!  Seriously cool s-h-i-t! I couldn’t have planned it out any better back in late ’79!  Exactly what I'd hoped for!

2)      March 2, 1980 was a Sunday.

3)      I didn’t book the first Townhouse show.  Kevin and Steve booked it with David Yori, the owner of the joint.

4)      7Seconds practiced in my basement from January 18 to Oct 31 1980.  After that they practiced in Noni Borghino’s garage.  Kevin and Steve practiced in their bedroom 6 or so hours some days…As their manager I supplied a place to practice, transportation (shared that with Tommy), and Pepsi.  Good thing they didn’t smoke weed it coulda been expensive…

5)      Kevin and Positive Force had nothing to do with the shows at Alvin Johnson’s house on the Pyramid Lake Res.  I booked the
Black Flag show, and Alvin booked Social Distortion.

6)      I’m a bit mystified why Kevin has never taken credit for being one of the Fathers of Hardcore.  When he says it got it from somewhere else he could only be referring to DOA, and Joey and my contributions to CREEP.  I’m beginning to think neither Joe Keithley nor Kevin Seconds realize they are the Fathers of Hardcore.
I guess no one ever told them.
What I’m proud of:
1)      The impact on the lexicon.  We saved the word “hardcore” from an exclusively pornographic connotation.

2)      Because DOA and 7Seconds never took credit for HC’s paternity, there was no “founding authority” which might tend to enforce group think.  Tim Yohannon filled a political authority role to mixed success.

3)      Tight Plan B! Tiz-ite!  Context: the Negative Template.  The obvious subtext – “First rule of Hidden History is don’t talk about Hidden History” (nod to Chuck Palahniuk's novel FIGHT CLUB).

If we apply the Negative Template to my own narrative, what has been left out of my own account of those old school days?…Other than the drug use?...Other than anecdotes more embarrassing to others than myself?...I left out a sex comedy along the lines of Dr. Detroit Does Venus in Furs.

No way in hell I’m telling the truth about that!

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  The Assange Trial - more than meets the eye & ear
Posted by: Peter Lemkin - 29-02-2020, 03:42 PM - Forum: Players, organisations, and events of deep politics - Replies (1)

ASSANGE EXTRADITION: Your Man in Public Gallery – Day No. 1
February 25, 2020 • 19 Comments

[b]Craig Murray reports on Monday’s opening statements in court, where the mere act of being an honest witness was suddenly extremely important since the media had  abandoned that role.[/b]
[b][Image: CraigMurray-100x100.jpg]W[/b]oolwich Crown Court is designed to impose the power of the state. Normal courts in this country are public buildings, deliberately placed by our ancestors right in the center of towns, almost always just up a few steps from a main street. The major purpose of their positioning and of their architecture was to facilitate public access in the belief that it is vital that justice can be seen by the public. 
Woolwich Crown Court, which hosts Belmarsh Magistrates Court, is built on totally the opposite principle. It is designed with no other purpose than to exclude the public. Attached to a prison on a windswept marsh far from any normal social center, an island accessible only through navigating a maze of dual carriageways, the entire location and architecture of the building is predicated on preventing public access. It is surrounded by a continuation of the same extremely heavy-duty steel paling barrier that surrounds the prison. It is the most extraordinary thing, a courthouse which is a part of the prison system itself, a place where you are already considered guilty and in jail on arrival.
Woolwich Crown Court is nothing but the physical negation of the presumption of innocence, the very incarnation of injustice in unyielding steel, concrete and armored glass. It has precisely the same relationship to the administration of justice as Guantanamo Bay or the Lubyanka. It is in truth just the sentencing wing of Belmarsh prison.
[Image: Woolwich-Crown-Court-scaled.jpg]Woolwich Crown Court, where Assange will be tried on the extradition request. (Joe Lauria)
When enquiring about facilities for the public to attend the hearing, an Assange activist was told by a member of court staff that we should realize that Woolwich is a “counter-terrorism court.” That is true de facto, but in truth a “counter-terrorism court” is an institution unknown to the U.K. constitution. Indeed, if a single day at Woolwich Crown Court does not convince you the existence of liberal democracy is now a lie, then your mind must be very closed indeed.
Extradition hearings are not held at Belmarsh Magistrates Court inside Woolwich Crown Court. They are always held at Westminster Magistrates Court as the application is deemed to be delivered to the government at Westminster. Now get your head around this. This hearing is at Westminster Magistrates Court. It is being held by the Westminster magistrates and Westminster court staff, but located at Belmarsh Magistrates Court inside Woolwich Crown Court. All of which weird convolution is precisely so they can use the “counter-terrorist court” to limit public access and to impose the fear of the power of the state.
One consequence is that, in the courtroom itself, Julian Assange is confined at the back of the court behind a bulletproof glass screen. He made the point several times during proceedings that this makes it very difficult for him to see and hear the proceedings. The magistrate, Vanessa Baraitser, chose to interpret this with studied dishonesty as a problem caused by the very faint noise of demonstrators outside, as opposed to a problem caused by Assange being locked away from the court in a massive bulletproof glass box. 
[b]Publisher in Bulletproof Box[/b]
Now there is no reason at all for Assange to be in that box, designed to restrain extremely physically violent terrorists. He could sit, as a defendant at a hearing normally would, in the body of the court with his lawyers. But the cowardly and vicious Baraitser has refused repeated and persistent requests from the defense for Assange to be allowed to sit with his lawyers. Baraitser of course is but a puppet, being supervised by Chief Magistrate Lady Arbuthnot, a woman so enmeshed in the defense and security service establishment I can conceive of no way in which her involvement in this case could be more corrupt. 
It does not matter to Baraitser or Arbuthnot if there is any genuine need for Assange to be incarcerated in a bulletproof box, or whether it stops him from following proceedings in court. Baraitser’s intention is to humiliate Assange, and to instill in the rest of us horror at the vast crushing power of the state. The inexorable strength of the sentencing wing of the nightmarish Belmarsh Prison must be maintained. If you are here, you are guilty. 
It’s the Lubyanka. You may only be a remand prisoner. This may only be a hearing not a trial. You may have no history of violence and not be accused of any violence. You may have three of the country’s most eminent psychiatrists submitting reports of your history of severe clinical depression and warning of suicide. But I, Vanessa Baraitser, am still going to lock you up in a box designed for the most violent of terrorists. To show what we can do to dissidents. And if you can’t then follow court proceedings, all the better.
You will perhaps better accept what I say about the court when I tell you that, for a hearing being followed all round the world, they have brought it to a courtroom which had a total number of 16 seats available to members of the public. Sixteen.
To make sure I got one of those 16 and could be your man in the gallery, I was outside that great locked iron fence queuing in the cold, wet and wind from 6 a.m. At 8 a.m. the gate was unlocked, and I was able to walk inside the fence to another queue before the doors of the courtroom, where despite the fact notices clearly state the court opens to the public at 8 a.m, I had to queue outside the building again for another hour and 40 minutes. Then I was processed through armored airlock doors, through airport type security, and had to queue behind two further locked doors, before finally getting to my seat just as the court started at 10 a.m. By which stage the intention was we should have been thoroughly cowed and intimidated, not to mention drenched and potentially hypothermic. 
There was a separate media entrance and a media room with live transmission from the courtroom, and there were so many scores of media I thought I could relax and not worry as the basic facts would be widely reported. In fact, I could not have been more wrong. I followed the arguments very clearly every minute of the day, and not a single one of the most important facts and arguments has been reported anywhere in the mainstream media. That is a bold claim, but I fear it is perfectly true. So, I have much work to do to let the world know what actually happened. The mere act of being an honest witness is suddenly extremely important, when the entire media has abandoned that role.
[b]Opening Statement for the Prosecution[/b]
[Image: lewis.jpg]James Lewis QC.
James Lewis QC made the opening statement for the prosecution. It consisted of two parts, both equally extraordinary. The first and longest part was truly remarkable for containing no legal argument, and for being addressed not to the magistrate but to the media.
It is not just that it was obvious that is where his remarks were aimed, he actually stated on two occasions during his opening statement that he was addressing the media, once repeating a sentence and saying specifically that he was repeating it again because it was important that the media got it.
I am frankly astonished that Baraitser allowed this. It is completely out of order for a counsel to address remarks not to the court but to the media, and there simply could not be any clearer evidence that this is a political show trial and that Baraitser is complicit in that.
I have not the slightest doubt that the defense would have been pulled up extremely quickly had they started addressing remarks to the media. Baraitser makes zero pretence of being anything other than in thrall to the Crown, and by extension to the US Government.
The points which Lewis wished the media to know were these: it is not true that mainstream outlets like The Guardianand New York Timesare also threatened by the charges against Assange, because Assange was not charged with publishing the cables but only with publishing the names of informants, and with cultivating Manning and assisting him to attempt computer hacking. Only Assange had done these things, not mainstream outlets.
Lewis then proceeded to read out a series of articles from the mainstream media attacking Assange, as evidence that the media and Assange were not in the same boat. The entire opening hour consisted of the prosecution addressing the media, attempting to drive a clear wedge between the media and WikiLeaksand thus aimed at reducing media support for Assange. It was a political address, not remotely a legal submission. At the same time, the prosecution had prepared reams of copies of this section of Lewis’ address, which were handed out to the media and given them electronically so they could cut and paste.
[b]Official Secrets Act[/b]
Following an adjournment, magistrate Baraitser questioned the prosecution on the veracity of some of these claims. In particular, the claim that newspapers were not in the same position because Assange was charged not with publication, but with “aiding and abetting” Chelsea Manning in getting the material, did not seem consistent with Lewis’ reading of the 1989 Official Secrets Act, which said that merely obtaining and publishing any government secret was an offence. Surely, Baraitser suggested, that meant that newspapers just publishing the Manning leaks would be guilty of an offence?
This appeared to catch Lewis entirely off guard. The last thing he had expected was any perspicacity from Baraitser, whose job was just to do what he said. Lewis hummed and hawed, put his glasses on and off several times, adjusted his microphone repeatedly and picked up a succession of pieces of paper from his brief, each of which appeared to surprise him by its contents, as he waved them haplessly in the air and said he really should have cited the Shayler case but couldn’t find it. It was liking watching Columbo with none of the charm and without the killer question at the end of the process.
Suddenly Lewis appeared to come to a decision. Yes, he said much more firmly. The 1989 Official Secrets Act had been introduced by the Thatcher government after the Ponting Case, specifically to remove the public interest defense and to make unauthorized possession of an official secret a crime of strict liability – meaning no matter how you got it, publishing and even possessing made you guilty. Therefore, under the principle of dual criminality, Assange was liable for extradition whether or not he had aided and abetted Manning. Lewis then went on to add that any journalist and any publication that printed the official secret would therefore also be committing an offence, no matter how they had obtained it, and no matter if it did or did not name informants.
[b]Contradicting Statement to Media[/b]
Lewis had thus just flat out contradicted his entire opening statement to the media stating that they need not worry as the Assange charges could never be applied to them. And he did so straight after the adjournment, immediately after his team had handed out copies of the argument he had now just completely contradicted. I cannot think it has often happened in court that a senior lawyer has proven himself so absolutely and so immediately to be an unmitigated and ill-motivated liar. This was undoubtedly the most breathtaking moment in Monday’s court hearing.
Yet remarkably I cannot find any mention anywhere in the mainstream media that this happened at all. What I can find, everywhere, is the mainstream media reporting, via cut and paste, Lewis’s first part of his statement on why the prosecution of Assange is not a threat to press freedom; but nobody seems to have reported that he totally abandoned his own argument five minutes later. Were the journalists too stupid to understand the exchanges?
The explanation is very simple. The clarification coming from a question Baraitser asked Lewis, there is no printed or electronic record of Lewis’ reply. His original statement was provided in cut and paste format to the media. His contradiction of it would require a journalist to listen to what was said in court, understand it and write it down. There is no significant percentage of mainstream media journalists who command that elementary ability nowadays. “Journalism” consists of cut and paste of approved sources only. Lewis could have stabbed Assange to death in the courtroom, and it would not be reported unless contained in a government press release.
I was left uncertain of Baraitser’s purpose in this. Plainly she discomfited Lewis very badly on this point, and appeared rather to enjoy doing so. On the other hand, the point she made is not necessarily helpful to the defense. What she was saying was essentially that Julian could be extradited under dual criminality, from the U.K. point of view, just for publishing, whether or not he conspired with Chelsea Manning, and that all the journalists who published could be charged too. But surely this is a point so extreme that it would be bound to be invalid under the Human Rights Act? Was she pushing Lewis to articulate a position so extreme as to be untenable – giving him enough rope to hang himself – or was she slavering at the prospect of not just extraditing Assange, but of mass prosecutions of journalists? 
The reaction of one group was very interesting. The four U.S. government lawyers seated immediately behind Lewis had the grace to look very uncomfortable indeed as Lewis baldly declared that any journalist and any newspaper or broadcast media publishing or even possessing any government secret was committing a serious offence. Their entire strategy had been to pretend not to be saying that.
Lewis then moved on to conclude the prosecution’s arguments. The court had no decision to make, he stated. Assange must be extradited. The offense met the test of dual criminality as it was an offence both in the USA and U.K.
U.K. extradition law specifically barred the court from testing whether there was any evidence to back up the charges. If there had been, as the defense argued, abuse of process, the court must still extradite and then the court must pursue the abuse of process as a separate matter against the abusers. (This is a particularly specious argument as it is not possible for the court to take action against the U.S. government due to sovereign immunity, as Lewis well knows). Finally, Lewis stated that the Human Rights Act and freedom of speech were completely irrelevant in extradition proceedings.
[b]Opening Statement for Defense[/b]
Edward Fitzgerald then arose to make the opening statement for the defense. He started by stating that the motive for the prosecution was entirely political, and that political offences were specifically excluded under article 4.1 of the U.K./U.S. extradition treaty. He pointed out that at the time of the Chelsea Manning trial and again in 2013 the Obama administration had taken specific decisions not to prosecute Assange for the Manning leaks. This had been reversed by the Trump administration for reasons that were entirely political.
Quote:[Image: Fe00yVS2_bigger.png]


 · Feb 24, 2020

Defence lawyer Edward Fitzgerald: The extradition is for political purposes and that’s prohibited under US/UK treaty.#DontExtraditeAssange #Freepress #FreeAssange
Quote:[Image: Fe00yVS2_bigger.png]


Defence lawyer Edward Fitzgerald: This prosecution is not about criminal justice, it is due to underlying political motives of the US government.

3:26 PM - Feb 24, 2020
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On abuse of process, Fitzgerald referred to evidence presented to the Spanish criminal courts that the CIA had commissioned a Spanish security company to spy on Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, and that this spying specifically included surveillance of Assange’s privileged meetings with his lawyers to discuss extradition. For the state trying to extradite to spy on the defendant’s client-lawyer consultations is in itself grounds to dismiss the case. (This point is undoubtedly true. Any decent judge would throw the case out summarily for the outrageous spying on the defense lawyers).
Fitzgerald went on to say the defense would produce evidence the CIA not only spied on Assange and his lawyers, but actively considered kidnapping or poisoning him, and that this showed there was no commitment to proper rule of law in this case.
[b]Deliberate Misrepresentation in Framing the Case[/b]
Fitzgerald said that the prosecution’s framing of the case contained deliberate misrepresentation of the facts that also amounted to abuse of process. It was not true that there was any evidence of harm to informants, and the U.S. government had confirmed this in other fora, e.g. in Chelsea Manning’s trial. There had been no conspiracy to hack computers, and Chelsea Manning had been acquitted on that charge at court martial. Lastly it was untrue that WikiLeakshad initiated publication of unredacted names of informants, as other media organizations had been responsible for this first.
Again, so far as I can see, while the U.S. allegation of harm to informants is widely reported, the defense’s total refutation on the facts and claim that the fabrication of facts amounts to abuse of process is not much reported at all. Fitzgerald finally referred to U.S. prison conditions, the impossibility of a fair trial in the U.S., and the fact the Trump administration has stated foreign nationals will not receive First Amendment protections, as reasons that extradition must be barred. You can read the whole defense statement, but in my view the strongest passage was on why this is a political prosecution, and thus precluded from extradition.
“For the purposes of section 81(a), I next have to deal with the question of how
this politically motivated prosecution satisfies the test of being directed against
Julian Assange because of his political opinions. The essence of his political
opinions which have provoked this prosecution are summarised in the reports
of Professor Feldstein [tab 18], Professor Rogers [tab 40], Professor Noam
Chomsky [tab 39] and Professor Kopelman:-
i. He is a leading proponent of an open society and of freedom of expression.
ii. He is anti-war and anti-imperialism.
iii. He is a world-renowned champion of political transparency and of the
public’s right to access information on issues of importance – issues such
as political corruption, war crimes, torture and the mistreatment of
Guantanamo detainees.
5.4.Those beliefs and those actions inevitably bring him into conflict with powerful
states including the current US administration, for political reasons. Which
explains why he has been denounced as a terrorist and why President Trump
has in the past called for the death penalty.
5.5.But I should add his revelations are far from confined to the wrongdoings of
the US. He has exposed surveillance by Russia; and published exposes of Mr
Assad in Syria; and it is said that WikiLeaks revelations about corruption in
Tunisia and torture in Egypt were the catalyst for the Arab Spring itself.
5.6.The US say he is no journalist. But you will see a full record of his work in
Bundle M. He has been a member of the Australian journalists union since
2009, he is a member of the NUJ and the European Federation of Journalists.
He has won numerous media awards including being honoured with the
highest award for Australian journalists. His work has been recognised by the
Economist, Amnesty International and the Council of Europe. He is the winner
of the Martha Gelhorn prize and has been repeatedly nominated for the Nobel
Peace Prize, including both last year and this year. You can see from the
materials that he has written books, articles and documentaries. He has had
articles published in the Guardian, the New York Times, the Washington Post
and the New Statesman, just to name a few. Some of the very publications for
which his extradition is being sought have been refereed to and relied upon in
Courts throughout the world, including the UK Supreme Court and the
European Court of Human Rights. In short, he has championed the cause of
transparency and freedom of information throughout the world.
5.7.Professor Noam Chomsky puts it like this: – ‘in courageously upholding
political beliefs that most of profess to share he has performed an
enormous service to all those in the world who treasure the values of
freedom and democracy and who therefore demand the right to know
what their elected representatives are doing’ [see tab 39, paragraph 14].
So Julian Assange’s positive impact on the world is undeniable. The hostility
it has provoked from the Trump administration is equally undeniable.
The legal test for ‘political opinions’
5.8.I am sure you are aware of the legal authorities on this issue: namely whether
a request is made because of the defendant’s political opinions. A broad
approach has to be adopted when applying the test. In support of this we rely
on the case of Re Asliturk [2002] EWHC 2326 (abuse authorities, tab 11, at
paras 25 – 26) which clearly establishes that such a wide approach should be
adopted to the concept of political opinions. And that will clearly cover Julian
Assange’s ideological positions. Moreover, we also rely on cases such as
Emilia Gomez v SSHD [2000] INLR 549 at tab 43 of the political offence
authorities bundle. These show that the concept of “political opinions” extends
to the political opinions imputed to the individual citizen by the state which
prosecutes him. For that reason the characterisation of Julian Assange and
WikiLeaks as a “non-state hostile intelligence agency” by Mr Pompeo makes
clear that he has been targeted for his imputed political opinions. All the
experts whose reports you have show that Julian Assange has been targeted
because of the political position imputed to him by the Trump administration –
as an enemy of America who must be brought down.” 
[b]Craig Murray is an author, broadcaster and human rights activist. He was British ambassador to Uzbekistan from August 2002 to October 2004 and rector of the University of Dundee from 2007 to 2010.[/b]
This article is from CraigMurray.org.uk.

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  Professor Pulte
Posted by: Milo Reech - 27-02-2020, 06:33 PM - Forum: JFK Assassination - Replies (5)

Professor Bill Pulte's research into the Tippit murder neighborhood scene stretched over many decades, valuable but difficult to assess & credit. The main problem pre-YouTube was his practice of privately releasing juicy bits to other researchers, through whom they seeped into view for general consumption. This is peculiar conduct coming from a professional scholar, but if anyone can point to a more systematic presentation of his discoveries & disclosures I'd gladly apologize for my mistake.

For example, knowledge of the James Andrews incident that appears in Bill Drenas' "Car #10 Where Are You?" stemmed from Pulte as a conduit, passing information received from Greg Lowrey to Drenas.
Tippit 1.pdf (p. 26)

So what to make of Pulte's 1996 memo to Livingstone? --

5. Tippit cuts off a car driven by Asa Fletcher, who was heading west on 10th St. about eight blocks west of where Tippit would be killed.
Interpolation: Interviewed about 1990-1 by Lowrey
Marginalia: say Fletcher was Roscoe W's super at American National Life (before DPD) said Roscoe wasn't interested in selling ins.
Tippit 2.pdf (p. 31)

There may be a simple explanation for Fletcher morphing into Andrews, and it's my impression few place great reliance on the validity of this encounter. However, another incident also reported by Drenas via Pulte (the fight at Marsalis Avenue) has several devotees.

A thread that depends on it, Why Officer Tippit stopped his Killer, is truncated. Some issues deserve further discussion, buy many posts are missing. I've brought this to the attention of site administration and will hold fire for a bit, hoping for a restoration of the lost content.

Both pdf references above are to documents at Dealey Plaza UK.

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  Missing posts from "Why Officer Tippit stopped his Killer"
Posted by: Milo Reech - 27-02-2020, 06:22 PM - Forum: Forum Technical Issues - Replies (1)

Much of the content of thread 16085, Why Officer Tippit stopped his Killer, is missing. Please take a look at this and restore the lost posts if possible. Thanks!

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  Trine Day needs some help
Posted by: Anthony Thorne - 19-02-2020, 06:52 PM - Forum: JFK Assassination - Replies (4)

Trine Day under apparent attack by shady distributors, Amazon among them. If anyone is keen on some of their better JFK books, an order to Kris might not go astray at this point.


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  Adjust color scheme?
Posted by: David Andrews - 12-02-2020, 05:06 AM - Forum: Forum Technical Issues - Replies (2)

The new site is nice, but quoted material shows up as black-on-charcoal on my computer.  Is there a way to adjust background color or text color?  THANKS

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