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Tag: Art Kunkin (page 1 of 2)

LA Free Press Helps Push Peace & Freedom Party onto Ballot



It’s ‘now’ 1968(!) and there is no denying that true political change is upon us!!

Fortunately – in this first week – the downturning and disappointing news that the American Independent Party ‘qualified’ George Wallace as a Presidential Candidate here in California has been upset with the news that the Peace & Freedom Party has also garnered enough signatures for ballot status. And, we say proudly, with the largest total of new signatures of any city in the state, the endorsement of Art Kunkin, our Publisher, surely had something to do with that!

The P&FP was the beginning of many things that you might not remember nor heard of in the time since, but now, remarkably, you are hearing about once more. For instance, Merriam-Webster’s ‘new’ word for 2017 was feminism, due the search for its definition. It was first included back in 1841, rose to the Top Ten Lists in 2014 and 2015, and finally reached #1 with the push of events that closed out 2017.
Originally, the word was very simply defined as ‘the qualities of females’ but now known as an entire range of political movements, ideologies, and social movements that share a common goal: to define, establish, and achieve political, economic, personal, and social equality of sexes. This includes seeking to establish educational and professional opportunities for women that are equal to those for men. The P&FP was, to a significant degree, made up of those who had thoughts closer to our present understanding of this term along with the specificity of (and it may be coming back)… socialism.

As the Party is just getting into gear, here, at this point in time (in 1968), we’ve much more to talk about as it further incorporates and promotes progressive cultutral values to prospective voters.

If only we could turn the clock ahead 50 years to, say, 2018 to see how it all unfolds… now that would be something, wouldn’t it? I’ll place my bet that when that time comes, the LA Free Press will again be among the first to make that report.

A Personal Statement by The Editor



…the Orginal Editor and Publisher, Art Kunkin(50 years ago, today!) herewith employed his rarely invoked “right to speak to the community as any other Free Press writer might do…”.
And what moved him to that unusual action?

As you can read here, it was his dismay of the success that the American Independent Party had in registering voters in California. Which, in turn, qualified George Wallace to have his name on its ballot for President of the United States.

Surely that was appalling… especially if those registrations were, indeed, an endorsement of the man. However, there was a real draw to that Party’s name. Even today people check it off on the Registration Form… and it’s likely, then like now, the thought is simply that it allows an ‘Independent’ vote, one for candidates of any of the Parties.

And while it may seem like it was a ruse only to place him there so anyone – of any party – could vote for him in the general election, there’s little doubt that there was a core who supported his ‘anti-political norm’ policy, and outright discrimination against the Rights of the minorities. Again, just like those who supported a similar candidate, intentionally, in the last presidential election.

Remarkably, they both had a similar plan to take a devoted minority to bypass an other-minded voting majority. Hadn’t heard of that?  Well, back then, neither had Art…  but he did publish it when Wallace revealed it about a year later.  And we re-published it in our A Unique Perspective section so that you could see how that almost 50-year old plan actually worked! Here’ that article:  http://losangelesfreepress.com/how-wallace-trump-canwill-be-elected-president/

It’s a validation of Art’s concern.  And, too, of his recommendation of supporting a Party that was willing to listen to the views of a wider public. Had Wallace deployed that plan, either we would know right now how our present President is likely to change history… or we may have been forwarned not to have elected him at all.

[The LA Free Press – A newspaper to have been read then for what was happening as it happened, to be read now for another unique perspective on what may happenThe LA Free Press – It’s a real trip for smart minds.  And why – you – should consider becoming a Subscriber.  Click HERE for some other reasons… including our New Year’s Special.]

James Garrison’s First Reports on the JFK Assassination



Who’s James Garrison… and why should you listen to him?

A New Orleans D.A., he came across a local connection to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.  Eventually, as improbable as it may still seem now – and against much contemporary criticism then – he postulated that not only had that plan been hatched right there in his home town, but that it was authored by the CIA and involved the Dallas city government and its police department. And that fascism was a key component. Then he took it all to court.

Known by the name of a local that Garrison had arrested as a suspected participant, the Clay Shaw Trial put all of his gathered evidence on display, including the Zapruder film that Garrison wrested from Life magazine.  All in all, the trial was two years in the making.   The draw, at that point was, for the most part, the very same revelations that he makes in his speech printed in this Issue of the Los Angeles Free Press.  Particularly,  they were the magnitude of the other players and his very public challenge of the Warren Commission’s Report.

We (the Los Angeles Free Press) had been interested in this story early on – as you can see – presenting it without the filter of the mainstream press.  And when the trial came about in 1969, so that we could again do that for our readers, our Publisher, then Art Kunkin, actually went to New Orleans and reported, week after week, directly from the courthouse. And when you read his direct reports in the LA FP Issues of that year, you can see that there was surely more to it than the government-controlled media would print.

Art’s reports and, of course, the three books Garrison subsequentally wrote on the Kennedy assassination (1970, 1976, and the best-seller, On the Trail of the Assassins, in 1988), along with Oliver Stone’s 1991 film, JFK, based on Garrison’s work is a good answer to the earlier question of why you should listen to him. But, too, there is this statement by Murray Rothbard, Libertarian theorist: “Garrison, one of the most viciously smeared figures in modern political history, was simply a district attorney trying to do his job in the most important criminal case of our time.”  And, finally, now that our government has released the JFK Assassination File – nearly 50 years since the President was murdered – but shot thru and thru with redactions and without comment on the Warren Commission’s omissions, the complete text of his speech is even more interesting – and important.

Please take advantage of this rare opportunity to read through it.


There are, though, 3 additonal pages – ‘Were Oswald and Ruby Friends?’, ‘President Johnson Profited Most from the Assassination’, and ‘Oswald Framed with U.S. Help’ – which include a separate section of Garrison’s answers to the audience’s questions. They’re not placed here because of space and downloading considerations, but are available for free to Subscribers.
(Which reminds us… our Subscriptions are usually $60/year but, today, you can still get yours at the 1967 price of only $5!  (Yes, only $5 for the entire year – and with extra Subscriber-Only benefits.) Here’s a link to that Special RateCOME JOIN US… and help us bring this very unique perspective to all.)

Art Kunkin: Free Press Founder Lives with Purpose


RW Klarin shares his book of poetry with LA Free Press Founder, Art Kunkin

Returning to my favorite quick getaway recharge town in the Mojave Desert, Yucca Valley, I discovered a long-shuttered coffee lounge reopened. Minor structural and decor changes have occurred but its essential classic 40s architecture remains.  Pleasantly surprised after missing it for over a year, I bought my coffee and quiche and went outside to enjoy the warm desert air.

The day began with running into the annual Memorial Day parade on the main street, starring soldiers from the nearby 29 Palms Marine base. Slightly peeved at the delay, I did my ritual walk of the labyrinth at the Joshua Tree Retreat Center, then I saluted the seven directions at the medicine wheel and I drove to the intersection of 29 Palms Highway and Pioneertown Road. I intended to drive home the long way through Landers and eventually to Deep Creek Hot Springs for a long hike. But my tentative plan ran into a greater purpose.

Seeing a small man in his 80’s in deep concentration on a book by L. Ron Hubbard, I shouted his name and introduced myself. For the next two hours we had a wide ranging, up to date conversation. This man is an iconic figure of the Sixties and legendary to my generation that came of age in Los Angeles in that Era.

Art Kunkin published and edited one of the first and the most successful ‘alternative’ newspapers in the 60’s and 70’s, the Los Angeles Free Press. His influence as a promoter of the emerging hippie/radical culture can’t be overstated. If you aspired to hipness at all (and what high school kid didn’t back then) his weekly was required reading. In it, I learned about the anti-war movement, protests in Berkeley, love-ins, Hair (the musical), concerts, and marijuana. I read poetry by Charles Bukowski, media criticism by Harlan Ellison, and excerpts from the Pentagon Papers by Daniel Ellsberg. In those pre-Internet days, access to current affairs was limited to the nine TV stations, the L.A. Times, and the throw- away papers. The excitement and tumult of the times was spread by newspapers such as the Freep, as it was affectionately known by its fans. The Free Press announced the ‘revolution.’ By the late Sixties, its weekly circulation reached over 100,000. The only other source of radical information was Mort Sahl expounding leftist politics and interviews on local KHJ TV.

Craving more of this exciting and new culture, occasionally my buddies and I would make the 45-minute drive to Fairfax Ave in Hollywood and visit the Free Press bookstore. It stocked many hard to find items in 1967, candles, incense, radical books, black-light posters, beads, and bongs. When the crack in 1960’s suburban-conformity widened and became an outright fissure in America, the Free Press and others like it were the harbingers as Dylan had foretold in Times They Are a Changin.’ Too young to participate in the cultural and political tempests on the college campuses, we looked to Art Kunkin let us ‘know what time  it was.’

Meeting this iconic and influential figure of the Sixties reinforced my view that the mature stage of life offers the chance to renew and revive the spirit of our youth. The Sixties generation had great hopes for real, significant change in our society. We know how that all turned out. My long ago optimism for social change got a boost talking with Kunkin. He is still in the vanguard. He spoke at length about his latest project, a technology for living up to 200 years of age. At the time he was 83 (now 89), and well versed on the latest advances in media and uses the Internet for disseminating his investigations of ancient alchemical teachings for life extension. The techniques can be read in detail on his website and in his weekly column (back then) in the The Desert Star. Not one to rest on his laurels, he is an exemplar of life-long growth, courage, and service.

As I left, Kunkin gave me a useful tip: meditate on the attributes of those that inspire you. Art Kunkin influenced me from afar in my youth and now inspires me in person in my elder phase. He represents forward thinking that is not bound by age.

At 60, 70, 80 and more, life can be a journey of exploration, growth, and service. Looking at habits and comforts in my life and remembering the excitement of youth, my big take-away was never stop learning and when you learn something, share it. The second lesson of the day was to trust my intuition because it knows where I need to go. Although I missed my hike to Deep Creek Hot Springs, the synchronistic stop at the coffee lounge was, as we used to say, right on time.

Now, more than fifty years since the Free Press began, the clarion call of societal tension has amped up, and there’s a show-down of opposing values and interests.  Back in the day, the main fissures were civil rights (for blacks and other minorities, women, gays) and the futile war in Vietnam.  What have we learned?  What wisdom can we offer as the circle comes around again?

The above piece is from my chronicle of my reinvention, Living the Dream Deferred, published 2015.  Art Kunkin still lives and  pursues life-extension in Joshua Tree, CA.  A new interview will be forthcoming in September, 2017.

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