Saturday, November 17, 2018

PORTLAND: LATE ARRIVAL




Room with a view



So, we arrive and it's almost midnight, and Marcus and I hit the hotel bar for a nightcap of Willamette Valley pinot noir, and when the bartender sees me admiring the vast selection of craft gin upon his shelves he pours us a couple of samples...









...and then an angel sits beside me and talks of "mythical magic" and "passion's fate" and "heaven's call," and I sneak a photo of the angel on my iPhone, and when I finally get back to my room to look at it, this is what I see...





...and thus I am left in no doubt whatsoever that I have truly arrived in Portland, Oregon.


Friday, November 16, 2018

PRE-FLIGHT FEAST



Lure, Santa Barbara


Ran into my old friend John Macker, another Montecito Mudslide survivor.

Then off to the airport...


SBA




BREAKING: MONACO SCANDAL SPREADING TO FRANCE



Bernard Squarcini:  Under investigation for corruption


It does not surprise me that Bernard Squarcini, Director of DCRI (French Intelligence) while Sarkozy was president, is now under investigation in a widening scandal rooted in Monaco.

The French press is reporting that Squarcini's home in Paris was just raided and  searched by police.

It was Squarcini who tried to disrupt our anti-corruption campaign in Monaco by telling the intelligence services of European countries that I was working not for Prince Albert but for the CIA.

As I wrote a few years years ago...


              I planned an October sweep through Paris, Monaco, and Luxembourg, for a Columbus Group meeting, where I wanted to meet with our micro-Europe liaison partners and gently close the doors they had so kindly opened. 
         
              However, my friends in Luxembourg became nervous and cancelled Columbus after President Sarkozy’s new DST chief, Bernard Squarcini, told the Luxembourg chief Marco M that I was “CIA station chief in Monaco.” 


              This was how the French finally chose to discredit me.  Not very original, but calculated to ensure our liaison partners would become wary of working with me.  Tragic it should have this disastrous effect on so fabulous a creation as Columbus—but perhaps that is what the French had striven to achieve.


FIRST OFF, LET'S GET THE PRONUNCIATION STRAIGHT







Wednesday, November 14, 2018

TWO MILLION VISITS !






No sponsorships, not monetized, no advertising.

100 percent independent.



MONACO: THE NARMINO REPORT, WRITTEN FOR AND READ BY PRINCE ALBERT











On January 13, 2006, Prince Albert of Monaco appointed Philippe Narmino to be Chief of Judicial Services, with full knowledge of Narmino's corrupt character and corrupt activities.

Last Thursday, Narmino was indicted on corruption charges in a scandal that is causing great damage to the principality.




Monday, November 12, 2018

THE REIGN OF PRINCE ALBERT II OF MONACO MAY SOON END







Several well-informed sources within Monaco's close-knit community have informed me that Prince Albert of Monaco is so seriously stressed by scandals rocking the principality that he may soon abdicate.

Albert never did have the stomach to rule, and since his investiture in July 20o5 he has shown poor judgement, an inability to be present, and is personally responsible for the scandals blackening Monaco's name.

Here are the facts:

It was Albert who invited the Russian invasion into Monaco, mostly at the behest of his closest associates who stood to gain financially from Russian "investment," which we now know includes a vast amount of influence-peddling and corruption.

It was Albert who established a close relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, now considered a global pariah due to his invasions, annexations and assassinations.

It was Albert who accepted an expensive gift from Putin (a whole dacha built from scratch by Russian laborers) in contravention of the International Olympic Committee's Code of Ethics.  In turn, Albert, an IOC member, voted Sochi (in Russia) for the 2014 Winter Olympics.




It was Albert who appointed the disgraced (and now indicted) Philippe Narmino to Monaco's top job in the courts as Chief of Judicial Services.  Albert appointed Narmino even though he knew about  Narmino's corrupt character and activities.



It was Albert who selected the disgraced Paul Masseron to be Interior Minister, now under investigation for bribery and corruption.

It was Albert who invited disgraced (and now indicted) Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolov to purchase Monaco's football team, AS Monaco.

On July 4th of this year, France TV 3 (the French equivalent of the BBC) broadcast an hour-long documentary called Pieces of Conviction on the Narmino scandal, posing this question: "How much did the Prince know?"

As part of this story, producer Pascal Henry interviewed me on camera.  





I told France 3 that Prince Albert knew plenty about Narmino's corrupt activities before appointing him Justice Minister in January 2006.  That I, as Albert's Intelligence Adviser, working closely with senior Monaco police officers, investigated Narmino and concluded he was corrupt.  We recommended to Albert that not only should he not give Narmino the top job at justice, but he should remove Narmino as a senior judge and also from his role as Director-General of the Monaco Red Cross.  

A few days after France 3's documentary was broadcast, Albert cancelled his engagements for the duration of July.

What is less known is that Albert (according to two reliable sources) spent five days in a hospital for stress-related health issues.

Even Albert's personal life is a shambles.  Sources report that he and his wife, Charlene, have been living separately since at least July and are together only for official engagements.

As Monaco's National Day looms later this month, Albert's days as ruling monarch may now be numbered.  


Sunday, November 11, 2018

MONACO: TRUTH SHALL PREVAIL






One day, the enormity of the work my team and I did in Monaco will be better known and understood, and the aspersions cast by others (such as in this linked story) will be rendered ridiculous.


The corruption we investigated within Monaco's establishment at Prince Albert's command is finally being rooted out by the principality's courageous prosecutors.

More shall be revealed in time.


CORRUPTION IN MONACO





The ultimate blame belongs to Prince Albert II.

I know. 

I was in Monaco, working for Prince Albert, when he appointed Philippe Narmino (indicted three days ago on corruption charges) to the job of Director of Judicial Services.

It was part of my brief to investigate corruption and to vet Narmino, then a senior judge and Director-General of the Monaco Red Cross.

I revealed my findings to Albert in December 2005—the result of an investigation my intelligence service conducted in liaison with senior officers from Monaco’s police department.

This was Albert’s response about Narmino before ignoring the corruption we uncovered and appointing Narmino to the top job at Justice on Friday the 13th, January 2006:  "He didn't kill anyone, did he?"

I told Albert that he would live to regret this appointment; that the appointment of Narmino would eventually cast a pall over the principality and seriously damage his reign.




11/11/11






I bought this book from High Hill Bookshop in Hampstead Village, London, in 1969.

Don't know what attracted me to it at the age of 15, but it has traveled with me everywhere since.






Thursday, November 1, 2018

ALL SAINTS DAY



Nicholas Roerich



A day, a ritual, nicked from the pagans by the church to adopt pagan holy days as their own and honor loved ones no longer among us.

Stoics of Ancient Rome and Greece implored people to keep death in mind all the time as a means of deeply appreciating life.

You cannot have been born, and be alive, without death.

The Greek stoic Epictetus:  Don't dread death, dread the fear of death.

Non omnis moriar.

Or, put another way, every exit ramp is the start of a new adventure.  



Wednesday, October 31, 2018

SAMHAIN



Nicholas Roerich



In between autumn equinox and winter solstice, a doorway opens to the "otherworld."

It is a time when, sitting around a roaring hearth, family and friends exchange stories and reminiscences about those who have passed to that other-worldly place.

And maybe, just maybe, the spirits of those dearly departed will manifest and join the celebration.


From Folie a Deux:

Halloween was originally a three-day Celtic festival, commencing with All Hallows on the eve of November, which signifies the autumn transition between light and dark, day and night, life and death, and commences the Celtic New Year.

It was (still is, for some) a time to celebrate the dead, remember them, respect them, and hold close (for at least one evening) all that links you, the sum of your ancestors, to those who delivered you.

On All Hallows Eve, Celts (and pagans) tell stories of those no longer among us, be they relatives, friends or pets, and celebrate their spirits by bringing out heirlooms and talismans handed down through generations.








Saturday, October 20, 2018

UNIO MYSTICO





The early morning sun intensifies Yosemite's natural beauty.


The Majestic's Dining Room


The Great Room




Friday, October 19, 2018

YOSEMITE: CLEAN AIR







Stillness, quiet, majesty.




Yosemite, along with the Monterey Peninsula, is known for having the cleanest, purest air in the continental USA.

You can go a few weeks without food, a few days without water, but only a few minutes without oxygen.






MAJESTIC, YOSEMITE: ROOM WITH A VIEW












"The power of the solitude is great beyond understanding."

-- James Muir



And leads to the awakening of inner senses.





MAJESTIC HOTEL, YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK





In keeping with COW Rituals, we had no reservation at Yosemite's premier property, which books up months in advance.

Just moseyed in.

And nailed a suite that someone cancelled thirty minutes earlier.

(The registration receptionist was astonished.)



Bar with a view


The last (and only) time I was here was when I was eight years-old.

We tented in Camp Curry, breakfast was an open-air buffet, I tried to catch a squirrel by luring it into our tent, and watched the fire-fall at nine o'clock sharp--and my grandmother got chased by a bear after taking out the garbage.