15 Jul “When Hope Blooms; Shadows Fade; The Sun Brightens; The Stars Melt”, the cat with the MRI in the cage thinks, “that’s when you’ll find what you’re looking for, Yo.” “I don’t understand”, I reply as I put in more chewing tobacco. #meowAF
“I think that’s the misconception with alcoholics (and maybe drug people) is that society doesn’t like them? The point, I think, really, is that, looking at the research, there’s a tendency to try to lead (be the hero) when they don’t know the situation or understand what’s going on (this can cause problems for people around them), or to hide (when people need them). It’s not about anyone wanting to get you to change; team players we’re all trying to be; all together now, right? Do whatever you want to do, really, at the end of the day, with the quick buck you made, I think, but be a team player. I think that’s all anyone ever wants? Fight, flight or friend, huh?”
I continue looking at the TV screen while the cat with the MRI (and dose of LSD) continues to think.
People that talk about movement; wanting someone else to take action. People that talk about revolution; let someone else be the leader and take the bullet. People that talk; someone else takes action; mischievous moments spent sending someone else to die. Why are you here?
I look back at the cat; the cat turns his head to me; I look at the screen; the MRI transmissions stopped?
“Captain, general”, I call out as I turn my head to where they were sitting, “the play is done.”
Not yet shows up on the TV screen.
“Oh!”, I yell out as I turn back to see the new words on the TV screen, “not yet.”
The AK-47 made a quick kill; my body would be thrown out in the jungle shortly after; devoured by the animals that are in these parts; the general and commander would eventually get stars on their uniform; the play would dazzle the troops; moral would stay high; they would say that I was lost; another victim of the war and my whereabouts were unknown; the story, of me, would never get out; until now; until you read this; the journal that I had kept on my dresser would be found later; 40 years later, the story would come out; the story of You’ve Got Hate Mail; the story that was told in 1967 would be auctioned off in a small room with people smoking cigarettes and a girl serving mixed cocktails to shady figures dressed in black and red; that’s when this story would…. well, I guess… that’s when I would finally rest in peace; out in the jungle, I had died; when my story was told, 40 years later, I, my soul, would find peace; that’s for another day, that story is better told at night in a small gathering at a campfire with marshmallows and hot chocolate flowing; that’s the story that we only tell at night; the story of You’ve Got Hate Mail; the story of how it ends, the beginning is the mystery; right? Or, wrong.
A Strange Creature Discovered by Darwin Has Baffled Researchers for Decades
REDISCOVERING THE MACRAUCHENIA
Charles Darwin discovered the bones of Macrauchenia, which went extinct toward the end of the Ice Age, in 1838 while digging in Patagonia. To him they seemed to belong to a kind of prehistoric llama. The remains were analyzed later on by the top anatomist in the UK, Richard Owen, who named the mystery mammal Macrauchenia patachonica. Although Darwin was right that there were some similarities with the llama, Macrauchenia didn’t appear to be a good fit with any existing group of mammals.
Counter-intuitively, the discovery of more fossils clouded the picture instead of clearing it up. Finding a nasal opening that signaled a trunk on the animal’s face resembling a tapir’s caused paleontologists to categorize Macrauchenia as a litoptern. This group of South American mammals arrived on Earth soon after the non-avian dinosaurs died out, and stayed until the end of the Pleistocene period. Perhaps the strangest thing about this group was that they superficially resembled animals found elsewhere in the world — such as elephants and horses — but evolved independently in South America.
However, of all of the mysterious factors surrounding Macrauchenia‘s identity, the strangest was that attempting to trace the animal’s origins through the bones — a process that was usually successful for paleontologists — wasn’t working. The relative isolation of South America, much like that of the Galapagos Islands, allowed evolution to create mammals that were confounding to scientists.
TECHNOLOGY CLARIFIES PAST, FUTURE
The mitochondrial genome of any creature reveals matrilineal inheritance — and, therefore, can reveal siblings and other relatives with common female ancestors. The newly sequenced matrilineal genome divulged a sister taxon to the Macrauchenia and its litoptern family: perissodactyls. Also called odd-toed ungulates, this group includes horses, rhinos, and tapirs.
Westbury and his team also found that the two branches of the larger tree diverged around 66 million years ago as the Age of Mammals began.
There’s something very wrong; not with me; you have external hope; depression on the inside? I don’t know psychology–you make me wonder?
Vietnam War Accounting
Since 1973, the remains of more than 1,000 Americans killed in the Vietnam War have been identified and returned to their families for burial with full military honors.
For more than two decades the U.S. has conducted joint field activities with the governments of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia to recover the remains of missing Americans. Throughout these countries, field teams continue to investigate crash and burial sites, as well as interview locals to gain additional knowledge. The U.S. also continues to obtain access to historical wartime records and archives that provide information relevant to the fates of missing Americans.
Today, more than 1,600 Americans remain unaccounted for from the conflict.
Immediately after the Paris Peace Accords were signed on Jan. 27, 1973, Operation Homecoming returned 591 prisoners of war who had been captured in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia (two Vietnam POWs and a Cold War POW were released from China). Some families and government officials expected a greater number of returnees, which gave rise to the urgency of the accounting mission. Although Article Eight of the Accord called for mutual assistance among the parties in accounting for the missing Americans, immediate postwar hostilities limited access to many sites. In 1973, the U.S. listed 2,646 Americans as unaccounted for from the war, with roughly equal numbers of those missing in action, or killed in action/body not recovered.
From February 1973 to March 1975, teams from the U.S. and the Republic of Vietnam conducted joint, but restricted searches for Americans missing in South Vietnam. These searches met with limited success, recovering and identifying 63 servicemen, 23 of whom had died in captivity in North Vietnam, and five of whom had been killed in Laos. On Dec. 15, 1973, U.S. Army Capt. Richard M. Rees was killed by guerrilla fighters while conducting search efforts, which caused restrictions of the ongoing recovery work. On April 30, 1975, searches ended completely when the Communists took over Vietnam.
In the 1980s, the U.S. resumed its recovery efforts with high-level policy and technical meetings. Then in August 1987, President Ronald Reagan dispatched Gen. John W. Vessey, Jr. as a Special Presidential Emissary on POW/MIA issues to find ways to account for those still missing from the war. As a result of the Vessey meetings, the Vietnamese permitted American teams to search throughout the country starting in September 1988. Parallel arrangements were reached in Laos and Cambodia around the same time and occasional targeted investigations were done in China. Continuous joint searches began in April 1988 in Laos, and in October 1991 in Cambodia.
In February 1992, the U.S. organized its accounting efforts into the large-scale field operations which continue today.
Pablo Escobar’s Son Reveals His Dad “Worked for the CIA Selling Cocaine”
Juan Pablo Escobar Henao, son of notorious Medellín cartel drug kingpin, Pablo Escobar, now says his father “worked for the CIA.”
In a new book, “Pablo Escobar In Fraganti,” Escobar, who lives under the pseudonym, Juan Sebastián Marroquín, explains his “father worked for the CIA selling cocaine to finance the fight against Communism in Central America.”
“The drug business is very different than what we dreamed,” he continues. “What the CIA was doing was buying the controls to get the drug into their country and getting a wonderful deal.”
“He did not make the money alone,” Marroquín elaborated in an interview, “but with US agencies that allowed him access to this money. He had direct relations with the CIA.”
Notably, Marroquín added, “the person who sold the most drugs to the CIA was Pablo Escobar.”
Where his first book primarily covered Escobar, the man as a father, Marroquín’s second — which has just been released in Argentina — delves into the kingpin’s “international ties of corruption in which my father had an active participation, among them with the American CIA,” he said in a recent interview.
Those government associates “were practically his partners,” which allowed Escobar to defy the law, and gave him nearly the same power as a government.
Predictably, this information is conveniently absent from media headlines in America.
If the CIA trafficking cocaine into the United States sounds like some tin foil conspiracy theory, think again. Their alleged role in the drug trade was exposed in 1996 in an explosive investigative series “Dark Alliance” by Gary Webb for the San Jose Mercury News. The investigation, headed up by Webb revealed ties between the CIA, Nicaraguan Contras and the crack cocaine trade ravaging African-American communities.
The investigation provoked massive protests and congressional hearings, as well as overt backlash from the mainstream media to discredit Webb’s reporting. However, decades later, officials would come forward to back Webb’s original investigation up.
Then-senator John Kerry even released a detailed report claiming that not only was there “considerable evidence” linking the Contra effort to trafficking of drugs and weapons — but that the U.S. government knew about it.
El Patron, as Escobar came to be known, amassed more wealth than almost any drug dealer in history — at one point raking in around $420 million a week in revenue — and reportedly supplied about 80 percent of the world’s cocaine. Escobar landed on Forbes’ list of international billionaires for seven straight years, and — though the nature of the business makes acquiring solid numbers impossible — his estimated worth was around $30 billion.
Escobar and the Medellín cartel smuggled 15 tons of cocaine into the U.S. — every day — and left a trail of thousands of dead bodies to do so.
“It was a nine-hundred-mile run from the north coast of Colombia and was simply wide-open,” journalist Ioan Grillo wrote in the book, “El Narco: Inside Mexico’s Criminal Insurgency.” “The Colombians and their American counterparts would airdrop loads of blow out to sea, from where it would be rushed ashore in speedboats, or even fly it right onto the Florida mainland and let it crash down in the countryside.”
If what Marroquín reveals in the new book is, indeed, true, it would mean the CIA played a major role in ensuring Americans had access to boundless quantities of cocaine — while the U.S. government sanctimoniously railed against drugs to promote the drug war.
In fact, as Marroquín keenly observes, drug prohibition makes for the best pro-drug propaganda — the nature of something being illegal naturally gives it greater appeal.
THE WEALTH OF NATIONS SUMMARY
Adam Smith doesn’t waste any time getting down to business at the opening of this book. He tells us that his goal is to figure out why some countries in the world are wealthier than others. Is it because the people of these countries work harder? Probably not. There are countries all over the world where people spend their entire lives working. So why do the people in other countries spend less time working while still leading more comfortable lives? Well for Adam Smith, the secret is… wait for it… free trade!
What is free trade? Well Smith is going to spend the rest of this book explaining just that. But first, he wants to walk us through the origin of money and why we use money to buy stuff. The reason for this is because money makes it way easier for us to get the things we want. After all, if we could only get stuff by trading thing we already had, then we’d only be able to trade with people who wanted our specific stuff. And that would slow things down a lot.
So yeah, we use money so that we can swap goods and services with people. And for Smith, all of this trade is like a magic wand. It makes everything about our lives more efficient and helps ensure that the marketplace will always fulfill our wants to the best possible extent.
Unfortunately, government often tries to butt in and mess with free trade by banning foreign products or taxing them so much they become super expensive. If they just took their hands off the steering wheel, Smith is convinced that the “autopilot” mechanism of the free market would make everyone a lot better off, even the poorest people in society.
If governments stay out of the market, then the people who create products will always work to make the biggest profit for themselves. And if they do this, they’ll always spend their time and effort making things that the public has a big demand for. And if you follow all of that to its natural conclusion, the market will always work to satisfy all of people’s most pressing wants as much as possible. Now the fact is that along the way, some people will get super rich and others will stay poor. But Smith thinks that this is just the price we have to pay for human freedom and an efficient market. And he’s definitely willing to pay that price.
When he writes about the free market, Smith is reacting against the dominant form of economics in his time, which was called mercantilism. This system of economics basically assumes that one country can only get rich if another gets poor. It’s a system of winners and losers, so every country tries as hard as possible to bring money into its borders without letting any escape.
But, according to Smith, this seemingly commonsense approach actually makes the country poorer in the long run. If another country can provide cheaper and better goods, you’re actually letting your country’s people down by not giving them access to these better products.
Adam Smith closes the book with a long talk about taxes and public expenses.
The Commander turns to the General in the small space; he takes out the small bag; lays them down on the table; the Commander eats half of them; giving the other half to the General; they are gone in 3.487 seconds; these are good, they agree, as the lights above them start to dance; the smoke in the distance continues to come up from the jungle; the #hongosAF do the trick again; 5 minutes later, the two people in this small space start laughing; 10 minutes later they hit #playAF on the stereo; 15 minutes later, they start dancing with the cat, now not connected to the MRI; 20 minutes later, there’s a phone call; 25 minutes later, the door opens to the small space; 30 minutes later, after the skirmish in the small space, the cat escapes; 40 minutes later, the cat is found; by who?
I take the stick and poke the small campfire; the embers glow red; HR pulls the blanket tighter to keep out the cold wind; my wife returns to my side.
“How much longer will we be here?”, my wife asks me as she scans the Andes that with first light she can start to see again.
“We’ll leave when the suns completely up”, I tell my wife.
“Go on”, HR tells me as she looks over, “finish the story before the sun comes up and the Woolly Mammoths can see us.”
I continue, “the Ayuhuasca that they gave me made me see the future. There was a war. A small animal with fur would lead it. People would be lost.”
“How can you see the future?”, my wife asks me as she puts her hands out to warm them at the campfire.
“Perhaps”, I tell her as I look over to her, “I’m not seeing the future. I recall the past?”