Good Reads for Down Time

by William Skink

After another glorious break from blogging I have a report to file from the heartland. Visiting with family gave me ample opportunity to waste some downtime with cable news, and I can officially state there is nothing else going on in the world except for Trump and San Bernardino. I saw no breaking news of Turkey invading Iraq. Just Trump and terrorists and Muslims, but if I’m like most America, maybe I’m just repeating myself, right?

Traveling to Kansas City also provided me the opportunity to visit a few book stores I like to check out when I’m in town, and they didn’t disappoint. Two titles in particular stand out. The first I found, interestingly, at Barnes and Noble. I finished it in three days. The book: Drugs as Weapons Against Us, by John L. Potash.

I can’t recommend this book enough, and it couldn’t have come, for me, at a better time. Potash carries on, and greatly expands on Dave McGowan’s work with Weird Scenes Inside the Canyon: Laurel Canyon, Covert Ops, and the Dark Heart of the Hippie Dream. From the Opium Wars to Tupac, Potash connects some compelling dots. The title seems justified, despite whatever insight some of us may claim regarding certain mind-expanding substances.

The other score–this one from Half-Priced Books–really had me going. The Occult Technology of Power was first published in 1974 (you can read it here). It’s structured as a sort of final lesson from a Financial Capitalist to his son, who is about to take on his father’s empire. Read it, it’s brilliant.

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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11 Responses to Good Reads for Down Time

  1. I will definitely read the Potash book, right up my alley. I noticed about McGowan long ago that all of his work needs to be expanded upon, that he stops short in everything he does. In spook terminology, it is known as a “limited hangout,” telling you enough to entice your curiosity, but not enough to enlighten. The object is to draw you close to the flame, and then snuff the flame or lead you somewhere else entirely – anywhere but the truth. The Internet is loaded with false leads and dead ends posing as truth-seeking sites – it makes for very muddy waters.

    It is kind of like when I went to confession as a kid – I would construct a story of believable but relatively minor sins, a plausible case to present to the priest, leaving the big stuff out – I did a limited hangout! McGowan did no interviews, did not even attempt to interview anyone for his book. And there was a big story there that he missed.

    I find that I don’t have to tell curious people much, and cannot tell the incurious anything that will shake their certitude. Glad you’re back, but wonder why you need a “glorious break” from a voluntary activity that most of us do because we are driven to find out what is real.

    • Turns out the Potash book sat on the table behind my desk in the ‘I’ll get to it’ pile. I read the intro, and will read the rest too, but a couple of cautionary notes: One, there’s very little about Potash on the web, no bio, nothing concrete. He mentions his parents in the intro as activists, but doesn’t name them nor have I learned yet who they might be. I hope I can, but they sound suspiciously like spooks. Second, and not to I generaloze about a huge institution, but Columbia turns out many graduates, among them spooks, including Obama, for whom the institution appears to have constructed a false record (and then suppressed it) while he was off doing his spook stuff. That is just two things about Potash – missing bio and Columbia. He could well be real, or the book could be answering the right questions with the wrong answers.

      • I would suggest reading the book before automatically denigrating the author. Potash speaks about himself and his interest in this subject in the introduction.

      • I read the introduction, and will read the book, as noted. It was too vague to satisfy me, especially since he seems to have no bio on the web. He has supposedly been a counselor for may years prior to the book, but there is no information to that end available – someone in that field would at least have a Linkedin page, and more likely have been a speaker at an event or two, perhaps even authored some professional articles. Nothing. Zippo. The name “Potash” is prominent Ashkenazi Jewish name, which ought to cause at least one raised eyebrow – that coupled with near anonymity in the public records, along with his parents. Spooky.

        I’ll read it and get back to you, but skimming the table of contents, I see nothing new or earth shattering, and some of which will be shown to be false history, which I will be writing about sometime down the road.

        Question for you: The Gary Webb story was recently made into a major movie starring Jeremy Renner. How does that happen in a world where CIA controls everything that comes out of Hollywood? How? In the same vein, how did the movie JFK ever get made?) These questions demand answers.

        • you bestow omnipotence on “them” which is unfortunate because it’s not true. what I came away with after reading this book is how desperate “they” are to keep cultural icons from flourishing and maybe, just maybe, helping to move our sad species away from a crass materiality that equates to a collective suicide pact.

          but go ahead and pre-judge the author for his name and lack of a linkedin account if it makes you feel superior.

        • I am gonna read the damned book, OK? I just happen to know what to look for in terms of disinfo, as there is a lot of it around. I’ve been at this a long time. Foggy background, Askenazi, are not conclusive, but are mere caution flags. Just getting a book published is enough of a caution flag to make me wary. Why so defensive?

          These guys are not “desperate,” the “cultural icons” are usually of their invention, the whole idea to keep us guessing and headed down blind alleys. I have much more to say about that and no need to feel “superior.” I just do what I do all by myself and don’t suffer fools.

          Here, I’ll share with you something that ought to shake your world view a little … You liked McGowan and Laurel Canyon, I did too but wished he had done a little more work. I thought he was just preoccupied making a living. Well, had he kept digging, he’d have found that John Lennon was part of that operation too, CHAOS, it was called, or COINTELPRO, or a British counterpart by the Home Office. And the lyrics to Helter Skelter appeared in the Manson affair before the White Album album was released. And that ain’t even the beginning of it.

          I have a fun post to wrote today, apart from this and not linked in anyway.

        • More reason for caution – Potash cites Bernadine Dohrn eight times and Billy Ayers five in the footnotes. In none of the text does he raise the possibility (probability, in my view) that the two were government-sponsored agents provocateur. I am raising my caution alert from a two to a five. If Potash is smart, and he surely is, and not suspicious of these two charmed characters, he’s simply reinforcing existing false history.

  2. Craig Moore says:

    When in Kansas City I like to go to Joe’s. What’s your favorite BBQ spot there? In keeping with your time off, here’s a little Wang Chung.

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