Obama Healthcare Logo Looks Like An Acid Trip — Bob Dylan Unknown Again — Carlos Santana In Las Vegas — 69′ Woodstock (LIFE Magazine Classic) Video — PBS Summer of Love — John Kerry’s New Deal — VFW (While Woodstock Rocked, GIs Died) — Vietnam War veteran proud after breaking 35 years of silence)


Obama Healthcare Logo Looks Like An Acid Trip!

The Obama healthcare logo makes a rather celestial plea for Obama’s health care reform plan. A stylized caduceus rises ethereally from the fields of Obama. Three heavenly stars grace its crown, while a faint bubble trembles above the silhouttes of expectant Americans. If Uncle Sam himself were tripping, this is probably what he would see. I’d prefer a more down-to-earth logo–perhaps a big needle piercing a health insurance company–but obviously someone on the Obama team thought LSD-inspired patriotism was the most effective way to market healthcare reform. –Business Pundit


Like a complete unknown?

Bob Dylan frogmarched to collect ID after rookie policewoman fails to recognise scruffy music legend

DailyMail By Annette Witheridge

He has sold albums by the million and was the idol of the 1960s protest movement. But yesterday Bob Dylan discovered what it’s like to be just a face in the crowd.

Police were called in a quiet seaside town after he was spotted freewheelin’ down the street and apparently acting suspiciously. A 22-year-old female officer demanded to see his identification papers.

He assumed she would at least recognise the name if not the face. But she ordered him into the back of her car and took him to his hotel to check his story.

Then she radioed her older colleagues at the police station to ask if anyone knew who Bob Dylan was.

‘I’m afraid we all fell about laughing,’ said Craig Spencer, a senior officer in Long Branch, New Jersey. ‘If it was me, I’d have been demanding his autograph, not his ID.

‘The poor woman has taken rather a lot of abuse from us. I offered to bring in some of my Dylan albums. Unfortunately, she doesn’t know what vinyl is either.’

It was in 1965 that Dylan wrote Like A Rolling Stone, with its line: ‘How does it feel to be on your own, a complete unknown?’

He found out while staying at the Ocean Place Resort in Long Branch. Before taking part in a concert with Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp, he decided to take a stroll through the town’s Latin quarter.

‘Residents called to complain there was an old scruffy man acting suspiciously,’ said officer Spencer. ‘It was an odd request because it was mid-afternoon. But it’s an ethnic Latin area and the residents felt he didn’t fit in.’

This is not the first time that Dylan has wandered off alone while on tour.

After a concert in Belfast in 1991, he shunned his chauffeur-driven limo and was captured by a TV crew waiting at a bus stop.

And in the middle of an American tour he popped unannounced into the childhood home of author Mark Twain.

When the stunned curator asked if he was really Bob Dylan, he said: ‘I guess I am.’

6a00d8341c630a53ef01156eaf6dbf970cPhoto credit: AFP/Getty Images

What’s the one thing Las Vegas needs more of? Light, according to Carlos Santana, who figures he’s just the guy to bring it during a Sin City residency he’ll begin May 27 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

Santana, the man and the band, will play about three shows a week through 2010 at the Hard Rock’s expanded and refurbished concert theater, the Joint, which another classic rocker, Paul McCartney, will inaugurate April 19.

“Santana is going to bring a lot of joy, light, peace and happiness into a place that is basically based on illusion,” the multiple Grammy-winning guitarist, songwriter and bandleader said Tuesday from his management’s offices in San Francisco. “We have to triumph, because we’re bringing the opposite of what Las Vegas is built on.”

The residency is the result of a deal with entertainment giant AEG Live, which also produced Celine Dion’s “A New Day” show — a production that ran five years at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace — as well as subsequent residencies with Elton John, Cher and Bette Midler.

Santana, who has never been hesitant about expressing his spiritual beliefs, said he intends to keep his performances inspired by avoiding an overly scripted and choreographed production.

“I put in the contract that we will need 20 to 30 minutes in the middle of the set to do a back flip into the unknown,” he said. “I won’t know what that’s going to be; the sound and lighting people won’t know, the band won’t know. We need that just so we can reignite and reinvent ourselves.”

The Joint, which opened in 1995 and helped make Las Vegas a legitimate destination for rock musicians, is undergoing a $60-million expansion. The former 1,400-seat theater now will house up to 4,000 people. Tickets, priced from $79 to $299, go on sale today for Santana performances through September.

“There are a lot of options of what we can do,” said Santana, 61. “The only thing we don’t want it to be is routine. . . . I’m ready, I’m inspired, and I’m ready to roll up my sleeves.”

–Randy Lewis, Los Angles Times

Related: Santana is new resident headliner at Hard Rock



Comrades! August 15th (July 31st in the Julian calendar) marks the glorious 40th Anniversary of the Great Woodstock Revolution, when a 500,000-strong army of heroic young workers, peasants, and toiling intelligentsia courageously rose in massive rebellion throughout the 600 acre dairy farm, 69 kilometers away from Woodstock, New York, to struggle together for the deepening of the widening of the expansion of the awareness of their struggle. —The People’s Cube


We hold these experiences to be self-evident, that all is equal, that the creation endows us with certain inalienable rights, that among these are: the freedom of body, the pursuit of joy, and the expansion of consciousness and that to secure these rights, we the citizens of the earth declare our love and compassion for all conflicting hate-carrying men and women of the world.

– A Prophecy of a Declaration of Independence, published anonymously, 1967

In the summer of 1967, thousands of young people from across the country flocked to San Francisco’s Haight Ashbury district to join in the hippie experience, only to discover that what they had come for was already disappearing. By 1968 the celebration of free love, music, and an alternative lifestyle had descended into a maelstrom of drug abuse, broken dreams, and occasional violence. Through interviews with a broad range of individuals who lived through the Summer of Love — police officers walking the beat, teenage runaways who left home without looking back, non-hippie residents who resented the invasion of their community, and scholars who still have difficulty interpreting the phenomenon — this American Experience offers a complex portrait of the notorious event that many consider the peak of the 1960s counter-culture movement.


Watch the PBS Program

Chapter 1 Chapter 1: (2:49)
“Teaser” introduction for Summer of Love on American Experience.

Chapter 2 Chapter 2: (7:53)
Disillusioned members of the Baby Boom generation embrace a utopian vision.

Chapter 3 Chapter 3: (4:25)
A mind altering new drug becomes popular with San Francisco’s hippies.

Chapter 4 Chapter 4: (7:34)
National news reports put the hippie movement in the national spotlight. Young people travel to San Francisco from across the country.

Chapter 5 Chapter 5: (7:35)
San Francisco residents and local authorities react to the growing number of hippies in the city.

Chapter 6 Chapter 6: (9:17)
San Francisco hippies create the Council for the Summer of Love in response to concerns about a massive influx of young people to the city.

Chapter 7 Chapter 7: (9:46)
Young teenage runaways struggle with drugs, disease and life on the streets of San Francisco.

Chapter 8 Chapter 8: (3:28)
On October 6, 1967, a group of hippies close the curtain on the Summer of Love with “The Death of the Hippie.”

Chapter 9 Chapter 9: (2:51)
End credits.

Film Description
A synopsis of the film, plus film credits.

The program transcript.

Further Reading
A list of books, articles, and Web sites relating to the program topic.

Program interviewees and consultants.


Carrying a guitar and a M16 rifle, Marine waits  for a flight out of Khe Sanh, February 25th, 1968

It was the era of Rock & Roll and more people turned up for James Brown at the yearly USO extravaganza, than for Bob Hope. The AFRVN radio networking was grooving from the Delta to the DMZ. Accompanying the music of the era was a new mood towards the war and a lack of faith in the objectives became more common among the servicemen than ever before.



John Kerry’s New Deal

Melinda Henneberger, Editor in Chief,  4/27/09

Forty years ago this spring, Navy Lt. John Kerry returned home from Vietnam. His first wife, Julia Thorne, told Kerry biographer Douglas Brinkley that when he stepped off the commercial flight from San Francisco to JFK in his dress blues and white hat, “He was bandaged, some of it was sticking out, and nobody was paying attention to him while I was sitting there going, ‘Everybody stop and look at this man. Part the seas and say, This is your veteran coming home from serving his country.’ But nobody cared. Nobody gave a goddamn. Nobody gave a damn at all. Nobody.”

For the next year, according to Brinkley’s Tour of Duty: John Kerry and the Vietnam War, he’d wake up screaming, thinking he was back on the Mekong Delta: “He was always in combat, in an emergency situation,” said his former wife, who died in 2006. “He was saving men. It was never anything about him – it was saving the boat and saving the men.” It was Kerry’s growing conviction that his government was doing just the opposite — cavalierly sending his buddies into situations they didn’t survive for reasons they couldn’t explain — that led him, in 1971, to ask the Senate Foreign Relations committee, “How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?”

Kerry chairs the committee now, and according to his aides, last week was the first time since his own testimony all those years ago that rank-and-file fighting men and women had been invited to appear before it, to weigh in on the operations in which they’d risked everything and lost plenty. Kerry told the young veterans of our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq that if we as a country learned nothing else from Vietnam, we do know now how wrong it was, disrespecting our soldiers and “confusing the war with the warriors.”

If some of us nonetheless continue to confuse protest with a want of patriotism, or diplomacy with a chronic case of the williwaws, well, that is no longer John Kerry’s problem…


… When I ask about the state of his relationship with his old friend John McCain, he isn’t much interested in my own shock and dismay that the McCain of ’08 wasn’t the guy I thought I knew in 2000. In fact, he plausibly suggests that with the ranks of military vets in Congress dwindling, their bond as Navy men might even go beyond politics, at least some of the time: “I like John, I still admire him, and I really didn’t think of it as being against John McCain” during the ’08 campaign.

He certainly regrets, he says, that there are fewer military veterans in their line of work these days: “Here’s what I’ve found: Can they be passionate without ever having served? Yes. But it really hones the questions you ask. You see things other people don’t see, and find the right people to talk to. I value it in a resume, and think we ought to have recruiters on all the college campuses.”

… Asked whether President Obama might want to cool it with the effusive greetings – not just to monarchs, but to oh, say, Hugo Chavez – he says absolutely not: “A guy walks up to him who is the democratically elected leader of his country and he was polite on behalf of our country and that’s just what he ought to have been. If that’s the best the Republicans can grab on to, they’re really desperate. To be rating a smile is just ridiculous, and I feel sorry for them.”

…When I ask about what it’s like, having the chance to invite the new generation of John Kerrys to testify before his committee, he is downright effusive: “What do you call that? Irony? Serendipity? Kismet? Karma? Amazing?”

Almost since the moment he testified in 1971, people have been asking why he hasn’t shown that fire more often, but could the passionate young guy who came to national prominence then have ever been elected to anything? “That guy did get elected,” he says quietly.

And for that guy, foreign policy in the Obama era boils down to “an appropriate combination of American idealism and values and appropriate realism, with a respect for international institutions but a priority on security and a willingness to act accordingly.” Not, in other words, simply holding hands and hoping for the best, as the cartoon Kerry would have. Which, I’m sorry to say, makes me mad all over again.



swiftpowlogoSwift Vets C-SPAN Streaming Videos


While Woodstock Rocked, GIs Died

With the 40th anniversary of the ‘60s cherished rock concert, the so-called “Sixties Generation” remembers fondly those four days in August 1969. Instead, VFW magazine commemorates the 109 Americans killed in Vietnam then.

by Richard K. Kolb

Newsweek described them as “a youthful, long-haired army, almost as large as the U.S. force in Vietnam.” One of the promoters saw what happened near Bethel (nearly 40 miles from Woodstock), N.Y., as an opportunity to “showcase” the drug culture as a “beautiful phenomenon.”

The newsmagazine wrote of “wounded hippies” sent to impromptu hospital tents. Some 400,000 of the “nation’s affluent white young” attended the “electric pot dream.” One sympathetic chronicler recently described them as “a veritable army of hippies and freaks.”

Time gushed with admiration for the tribal gathering, declaring: “It may well rank as one of the significant political and sociological events of the age.” It deplored the three deaths there—“one from an overdose of drugs [heroin], and hundreds of youths freaked out on bad trips caused by low-grade LSD.” Yet attendees exhibited a “mystical feeling for themselves as a special group,” according to the magazine’s glowing essay.

That same tribute mentioned the “meaningless war in the jungles of Southeast Asia” and quoted a commentator who said the young need “more opportunities for authentic service.”

Meanwhile, 8,429 miles around the other side of the world, 514,000 mostly young Americans were authentically serving the country that had raised them to place society over self. The casualties they sustained over those four days were genuine, yet none of the elite media outlets were praising their selflessness.

So 40 years later, let’s finally look at those 109 Americans who sacrificed their lives in Vietnam on Aug. 15, 16, 17 and 18, 1969.

An American Profile
They mirrored the population of the time. A full 92% were white (seven of whom had Spanish surnames) and 8% black. Some 67% were Protestants; 28% Catholic. A disproportionate number—more than one-third—hailed from the South. More than two-thirds were single; nearly one-third married. Not surprisingly, the vast majority (91%) were under the age of 30, with 78% between the ages of 18 and 22.

Overwhelmingly (87%), they were in the Army. Marines and airmen accounted for 8% and 4% of the deaths respectively, with sailors sustaining 1%. Again, not unexpectedly, two-thirds were infantry¬men. That same proportion was lower-ranking enlisted men. Enemy action claimed 84% of their lives; non-hostile causes, 16%. The preponderance (56%) had volunteered while 43% had been drafted. One was in the National Guard.

Of the four days, Aug. 18—the last day of “peace and love” in the Catskills when the 50,000 diehards departed after the final act—was the worst for the men in Vietnam. Thirty-five of them died on that one miserable day. Many perished in the Battle of Hiep Duc (see VFW August 2008) fighting with the hard-luck Americal Division in the Que Son Mountains. In fact, 37% of all the GIs lost in this period came from this one unit.

So when you hear talk of the glories of Woodstock—the so-called “defining event of a generation”—keep in mind those 109 GIs who served nobly yet are never lauded by the illustrious spokesmen for the “Sixties Generation.”

1112VetsManthei_t715A 20-year-old Stephen Manthei, right, and fellow soldier Bob Tarbuck, left, prepare for the Battle of Ripcord, during which their platoon was attacked, killing everyone but the two of them.We say we’re a progressive country, but as far as taking care of veterans, we’re way behind.” – Stephen Manthei

Vietnam War veteran proud after breaking 35 years of silence

MILTON TOWNSHIP — Steve Cameron left his family farm in New Milford, Ill., and joined the Marines in June 1965. He was 20 years old, and the Vietnam War was raging a half a world away. If he didn’t enlist, he knew he’d be drafted. “If your country needed you, there were no excuses, no cowardice and no second thoughts in serving your country,” he said.

Cameron met his would-be wife, Patricia, in July 1965 shortly before he went to San Diego for 13 weeks of boot camp. He proposed when he returned home, and they married in February 1966, just 17 days before Cameron boarded a troop ship headed for Vietnam.

Cameron was assigned to 1st Force Service Group in Da Nang, where he supervised 14 South Vietnamese civilians working on the Marine base. Within a few months of their arrival in Da Nang, Cameron’s unit and a group of Catholic nuns started an orphanage in abandoned buildings on China Beach.

“There were so many children there who had lost their parents,” he said. The Marines brought the orphans clothing, toys and candy. They paid regular visits—at least once a week—to the children. In addition to repair work, the Marines fed the children, played with them and acted as role models in the absence of their parents. “They thought we were great,” he said with a chuckle. “Of course, we had things for them.”

1112VetsCameronalone_t715Cameron’ tough Marine exterior housed a generous, loving heart that melted when he met a 6-year-old Vietnamese girl who had lost her leg. “It was just the smile she had on her face,” he said. “For someone losing their leg in a war zone, losing their mother and father, my heart just opened up to her.”

Cameron sent pictures home to his family, planting the seed of adoption. His wife was supportive of the idea, but at the time no adoptions of Vietnamese children were allowed. It wasn’t until 1985 that the couple adopted a 7-year-old Korean girl, whom they named Julie.

Cameron said his unit’s relationship with the children at the orphanage revealed an often-overlooked aspect of the war. “It was something we could be a part of, some place we could feel loved,” he said. But the adoring eyes of the orphaned children weren’t enough to block out the disheartening stories of anti-war protests and riots that filtered to the soldiers serving in Vietnam.

“Whether they returned on their own two feet, in a wheelchair … or in a body bag, they were met with taunts, jeers and derogatory name-calling,” Cameron said. “Over there (in Vietnam), it was out of sight, out of mind.” En route back to the United States, the Marines were warned of the unpleasant homecoming ahead.

The higher-ups told them to stay out of the way of protesters, not to talk back to rioters and to wear civilian clothes. “It bothers me,” Cameron said. “When I went in, I was proud to serve my country. And when I came home, I was still proud, but I could not display it by wearing my uniform.”

Cameron was discharged in 1969 as a staff sergeant. He and other Vietnam veterans learned it was better to keep quiet about their service. “When we came home, we were the bad guys,” he said. “So I tried to forget about it.” Cameron, 63, of Milton Township remained silent for almost 35 years until the traveling Vietnam Memorial was brought to Janesville in 2000. While standing in front of the memorial, a business acquaintance shook his hand and thanked him for his service.

His voice shakes when he tries to describe the meaning of that brief exchange. He said it was the first time someone other than his family members had thanked him. Now when he meets a fellow Vietnam veteran—or any veteran, for that matter—Cameron makes it a point to extend his hand in thanks. “I go out of my way to do it,” he said.


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Canada Free Press: The last hippie on the planet earth

Selling Drugs and Revolution to Children in America (The Politics of Nihilism at the Denver Art Museum)

The Olive-Drab Rebels: Military Organizing During The Vietnam Era By Matthew Rinaldi

ThePeoplesCube: Woodstock’s 40th Anniversary: Official Chants and Slogans

American Thinker: Woodstock: Was it something, or was it nothing?

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Chicago Sun Times: Here’s why I hate Woodstock

KTAR: Text of Obama’s Speech at VFW Convention