Tuesday, April 15, 2014

An Obituary for Michael C. Ruppert (1951-2014)


An Obituary for Michael C. Ruppert (1951-2014)

By Sander Hicks

Mike Ruppert was a friend of mine.

He was an American prophet, a social critic, and a truther. He had his enemies and he had his demons. He confronted the enemies. Not sure he confronted the demons.
But we can’t judge that now.

His death this past weekend is a huge loss for the people. When I say “the people” I mean anyone who cares about a political system out of control, blind to its own corruption, deluded by its sugar-free media.

Ruppert was a trained investigator who sought to expose the shadow elements of the US government involved in drug trafficking and fake terrorism. He had the financial perception to alert the American people to the imminent economic crash, two years before the meltdown of 2008. Mike Ruppert was one of the first to point out the gross anomalies and obtuse leaps of logic in the Bush/Cheney explanations for the 9/11 attacks. In an authoritative book, Ruppert even accused Vice President Dick Cheney as the chief executor of the 9/11 attacks.

We met in 1999 in New York City. Ruppert came into my life like a sentinel from a different reality. I had just gone through a kind of gateway, and he was like Morpheus in the Matrix, welcoming me in.  My red pill had been the disruptive re-print of a certain controversial biography of then Governor George W. Bush. As an immediate result, an entire class of underground whistle-blowers popped up to welcome me into their world. Welcome to Zion. You are in. They introduced me to sets of facts and data that were verboten in the blue pill media. Ruppert was at the center of that gang.

He explained that he had been an LAPD cop and narcotics detective. His Mom had been a Defense Intelligence Agency heavyweight in Moscow, so CIA recruited him while he was at LAPD. He declined the offer. Why? He saw shit.  He began feeding the LA Times info on CIA heroin trafficking as far back as 1979.  LA Times sat on the story.

The drug war was phony. Which meant that both the local criminal justice system and the national intelligence/military apparatus had zero credibility. Wall Street, the White House, and everyone on down needed the drug war like a junkie wants heroin. The system was using. The system was an addict.

“The entire economy, and the entire political system itself, is currently hooked and dependent upon drug money” wrote Mike in 1999, on his main site, FromTheWilderness.com

In the mid 90’s, when Ruppert’s friend Gary Webb broke a huge story in the San José Mercury News, it documented how the CIA and the Nicauraguan Contra network facilitated the crack cocaine epidemic in the 80’s. The CIA sent DCIA John Deutch to spin the story in a public auditorium. Ruppert confronted Deutch and named three specific operations that showed the US agencies were up to their elbows in black market cocaine and heroin. Deutch sputtered, told people to phone the LAPD, and was laughed out of the room. He was swiftly replaced at CIA.

According to Ruppert, in October, 1999, investigators from the House Intelligence Committee came to Los Angeles, and made copies 6,000 pages of his records.

That same year, Ruppert asked me for a $10,000 advance to do a book on the US and drugs. I didn’t have the money, and it’s just as well. Two years later 9/11 happened, and Ruppert had a lot more to say.

It turns out the same parties who pulled off the cocaine sales funding the Contras were at it again. (Those parties being namely, the Bush Family, the GOP, the Democrats, the CIA and other shadowy quasi-government black factions too numerous to list here.)

The book Ruppert eventually brought out in 2004, Crossing the Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil (New Society Publishers).

A reviewer on Amazon called it “The single most important book written in the last fifty years…. The Patriot Act, Homeland Security and the lies about WMDs in Iraq have created a growing sense of unease in the collective unconscious. As a result, a growing number of intellectuals and every day citizens are beginning to see the Truth and more and more people are beginning to wake up every day. Crossing the Rubicon is at the forefront of this new awareness.”

At the end of 2004, however, tragedy struck. Ruppert’s friend Gary Webb, who had followed in Ruppert’s footsteps by taking on CIA drug trafficking, was found dead of a gunshot wound to the head.

Reading Ruppert’s heartfelt obituary for Webb today, I am struck:

“I would never have confronted John Deutch at Locke High had it not been for Gary Webb. 

I myself might have committed suicide in 1996 - broke, divorced and having given up all hope of making people listen -- had it not been for Gary Webb. For some years now it has been the farthest thing from my mind.”
Ten years later, suicide wasn’t far away any more. Ruppert’s struggles with depression, alcohol, and isolation became insurmountable. He moved to Colorado. He did one final radio show last Saturday and then that was it. We are all so fragile.

“Wherever men and women of honor gather together from now on, your name will be spoken with reverence, respect and gratitude.” Ruppert wrote that for Webb ten years ago. The same goes for him.

I prayed hard today to understand why this happened now. What does God want us to know about why this happened? What can we learn. How can this man’s death and life give our lives a brighter, sharper focus?

I remember how Ruppert came back into my life a couple times. The time he was travelling through New York and needed a place to crash. I gave him the damp basement offices of Soft Skull Press, down in the bowels of 100 Suffolk Street, and he was happy to sleep there, on the floor. He was a soldier on a mission. Later, he kidded me about having the worst apartment in New York City.

A few years later, around 2003, Ruppert was drinking beer in a corporate pizza joint in downtown Brooklyn. It was all wrong. Our choice of restaurant, the food, the beer. Ruppert had enjoyed speaking events of 1000 paid attendees, he had bragged from the stage that he had been sober for X number of years. So why drink beer now? He had some murky excuse the exact wording of which is irrelevant.

I look at Ruppert’s life, his hard struggle, his victories and his short-comings. I wish we were closer in his final couple of years. I loved him. I say the following with love. I say the following because I don’t want to know any more great truth loving writers to die this way. If you have a drinking problem, hit a meeting. Reach out. It worked for me, to stop flailing about, running from city to country to city, always moving, thinking a big move is going to change things. Get centered. Pray and meditate. Be still.

Something snapped in Ruppert sometime later in that decade, after the book. He moved to Venezuela, in rushed effort to seek political asylum from the Chavez government. Ruppert probably wasn’t anti-imperialist enough for their tastes, at least not in a leftist way. Oh, and the CIA/DIA family background probably didn’t help.

I wept. I felt rage today. I was mad at you, Mike, going out this way. It was too similar to Gary Webb, to Jim Hatfield the Bush biographer. I don’t want this pattern. Tell me it’s not the fate for writers of deep truth, to die, alone, shooting their brains out, because they went deep and hard after the invisible forces, the slithering stag. The hunter became hunted by the dragon.

No. Mike will be remembered for his discipline, his writing, his development of a critical paradigm. Our society is stronger for the deep analysis. In the same way that Ruppert investigated Gary Webb’s death, it’s up to us now to do the scientific and careful analysis of the crime scene. To pick up where he left off, and wake up to a new view of the matrix.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Bitcoin Center Opens Up Next to NYSE

About a week ago, I went down to 40 Broad Street, to the new Bitcoin info center. It was an afternoon well spent. Bitcoin, this rambunctious disruptive libertarian currency, seemed to be coming of age right before my eyes. 

Here we were, my Bitcoin activist friend and I, on a rainy day in old New York, just south of Wall Street. Steven was visiting from out West, so I pointed out that what's called Wall Street was actually once a real wall. The original New Amsterdam Dutch built a security perimeter to keep out the Lenape natives, and the British. 

Across the street, at Wall and Broad, is JP Morgan's old bank. Morgan of course was that ultra-powerful financier who was one of the heavies who helped ram through the Federal Reserve system in 1913. 

I was reminded then of a scene in the trailer for an upcoming documentary on Bitcoin. 

“End the Fed?” says a jolly Bitcoiner in, “The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin”. “Nah, you’re never going to end the Fed. But you can bypass the Fed!”

Bitcoin has the audacity to suggest the people can take the power to mint currency out of the hands of the government. No one regulates it, and its value is based on market discipline, supply and demand. Over $50 million in transactions is already being done per month. 

If you see the connection between over-printing paper money, to fund an out-of-control empire and war machine, you are on your way to a radical conclusion. Digital currency is a radical path of peace and nonviolence.

So we kept going. Not far down the road, just two doors south of the New York Stock Exchange, was a bright white storefront, announcing something completely different than the banking status quo: the new Bitcoin center. I had to step back and start taking photos. I couldn't believe the location. Two blocks away had been Occupy. Now, something different, but not completely dissimilar, had taken space in the hood. And they were paying rent. 

A sign outside invited the locals and the tourists in to learn about the problems of the economy, and one possible future for money. Inside, the smartly dressed Deputy Director Cole Ippoliti welcomed us. We sat down in the back, in a  large white on white presentation hall, where a lively former real estate broker Matt Manhattan gave a good presentation on Bitcoin, to a modest crowd of 20.

I took a look at the new "y Bitcoin" Magazine. Despite its awkward title, the mag is quite good, delivering one solid article after another about what Bitcoin is, and why it was a future.

 Calli Bailey the publisher, says, 

Cryptocurrency’s promise as an emerging technology [is] capable of profoundly benefiting people around the world. Yes, Bitcoin has many hurdles yet to cross, but like the early days of the internet, its true potential and power has yet to be understood or appreciated. Our goal is to advance the dialogue by introducing Bitcoin to Main Street and provide a tool for the Bitcoin community to help facilitate their conversations with family, friends and favorite merchants.

One of the most notable things about this debut issue of "y Bitcoin" is that it's coming out of Huntsville, Alabama, that small city of under 200,000 in the Deep South. For a slick, professional magazine to come out of Alabama of all places shows the power of desktop publishing. Bitcoin is universal, and its world-changing potential is masive.

Let's focus a little bit on what Bailey means when she points to Bitcoin's ability to "benefit people around the world." Let me share a few notes I made at the Bitcoin conference in Silicon Valley, CA, last Spring.

Here are some key pieces of inspiring information on Bitcoin's social impact. A guy at Antiwar.com said:
“With Bitcoin, I can send money to relief efforts in countries we are bombing, while people in those countries can donate to our antiwar efforts here.” At AntiWar.com, Bitcoin’s low processing fees make it possible for donors to give any amount. Even 35 cents won’t be chipped away at by the overhead of Big Credit Card Processing.  AntiWar.com brought in $800 in new in donations in the first 48 hours it started accepting Bitcoin.
Roger Ver, a charismatic Bitcoin investor known informally as “Bitcoin Jesus”  recently told the LeWeb 2013 conference, “One of the things governments around the world do currently is they finance their wars and the things that they do through inflation. They just print money for whatever it is that they want to spend it on. If the world were using Bitcoin that would no longer be a possibility. If you’re opposed to governments inflating money to pay for wars around the world, Bitcoin should be something you’re interested in.”

According to an early Bitcoin investor, who is now independently wealthy, “Bitcoin will be the liberator for the world’s poor giving them access to the global marketplace on a scale never seen before. If Bitcoin can give market access to that many people the entire planet will experience an upswing comparable to the industrial revolution, only stronger.” 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Kaleidoscope Seeks CFO

Kaleidoscope Seeks CFO

Kaleidoscope Community Yoga Inc. is looking to recruit a seasoned finance professional to come on board as our treasurer/CFO. We are looking for some wisdom to help mentor our young and growing company. We have a unique form of healthy group yoga practices, and a unique business model.

Kaleidoscope is fun, and it's catching on- from coast to coast. A new group just started in Lima, Peru. We sell classes and teacher trainings. We have a new business plan that describes how we are on track to win a share of the $10 billion yoga market.

Our founder and President, Lo Nathamundi, is based in Portland, while our VP, Sander Hicks, is in NYC. We are looking for a Treasurer/CFO to work with us in Portland. We need someone experienced in business development. Someone who is interested in something different. We are seeking someone in the fields of health, wellness, yoga, or related fields. Compensation is a mix of cash and equity. 

Kaleidoscope Community Yoga Inc. is a company that accepts payment in Bitcoin. We are interested in exploring how this new digital currency can help transform the world's economy, in the same way that our yoga practice can help to open hearts across the planet. 

We'd like some help developing this radical and wonderful new investment opportunity. Candidate must love yoga, and believe in its potential to help heal the world.

Please check out this video about Kaleidoscope Community Yoga:

Our home page is: http://www.kldyoga.org

Interested candidates should contact:

Sander Hicks
Vice President
Kaleidoscope Community Yoga, Inc.