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Monday, December 31, 2007

Peggy Noonan And St. Crispin's Day

Recently, while I was bashing some freakish writer, I happened to mention that Ms. Noonan had style and substance. Some perceptive types have approached me with furrowed brows and asked whether I had, to put it politely, lost my marbles. (Not all of them, mind you, just some steelies that were just cracking wizard to crush the cats'-eyes of lesser warriors of the thumb and forefinger.) Now the previous personal reflection within parentheses is what we mean by style with no substance, in case you need a tutorial. Ms. Noonan has style and substance. I admit that her substance is quite bizarre at times, and her style veers into the most outrageous.
Let us see some examples, then, shall we? I use an old example from 2004 after the re-election of the tag team of marauders. It is a good idea to get our subjects when they are at their most pompous. Then you get a good glimpse at what makes them tick. The Wall Street Journal  

'He's Got Two of 'Em'  
Why I can't stop being happy about the election result. 
 Thursday, November 11, 2004 12:01 a.m. EST

We get a good notion of where she's going with this right off. In all fairness, I'm sure there was a good deal of celebrating being done and the column had to be submitted.
"Mr. Kerry strikes me as a complicated and intelligent person, and the one time I spent any time with him he seemed to be bright, and to have an interesting range of thoughts on many issues. Mr. Bush, on the other hand, does not strike me as the most interesting man in the world. That's one of the things I love about him. I sort of have a theory that Americans don't necessarily desire terribly interesting men as presidents. "

This particular theory explains why no one has ever written a book about an American President from Washington through Lincoln and past FDR all the way up to the present holder of the office. Or, if such a book were ever written, no one ever read it. Good theoretical stuff here.
"I think Mr. Bush, the better man in terms of character, was also the more normal man. And we like normal. He loves sports and business and politics, and speaks their language. Normal. His wife is important to him, and his kids seem a bit of a mystery to him, and perhaps even to some degree intimidating. Normal. He thinks if bad guys attack New York City and the Pentagon, we go after them and kill them--normal."

Normal all the way up to the point...which she seems to have put in some hiatus...of attacking and killing the guys who did not attack us and, even if they had wanted to, had no weapons to do so. Furthermore, I am not at all sure Mr. Bush would be happy at being depicted in the same manner that neighbors talk about the man in quiet suburbia who suddenly one night kills his family: he was so normal....yep, one thing about him, he was normal. A normal Joe I'd call him. I could go on forever. So could Ms. Noonan.

" I just recounted something that has stayed in my mind. About a year ago I was visiting West Point, and I was talking to a big officer, a general or colonel. But he had the medals and ribbons and the stature, and he asked me what I thought of President Bush. I tried to explain what most impressed me about Mr. Bush, and I kept falling back on words like "courage" and "guts." I wasn't capturing the special quality Mr. Bush has of making a tough decision and then staying with it if he thinks it's right and paying the price even when the price is high and-- I stopped speaking for a moment. There was silence. And then the general said, "You mean he's got two of 'em." And I laughed and said yes, that's exactly what I mean. And the same could be said of Reagan."

Can't you imagine President and General Dwight David Eisenhower talking about men's testicles to some lady he barely knows? And can you imagine said lady guffawing like Bubba in his bar? Wonderful images. It is interesting how the coda " And the same could be said of Reagan." is appended. It seems to be the equivalent of "Amen".
Whatever it is, I'm not sure President Reagan's family would relish the imagery. Since President Reagan was such a private individual about certain things - not like today's politicians who air their religious cantakerousness along with their dirty laundry-although he would have relished the approbation of his fellow males, I doubt his approval for such a statement among a co-ed audience and for general consumption. Then, lest we forget this is about the election and not Grey's Anatomy, we see the incredible:
"...And gentlemen in England now a-bed Shall think themselves accursed they were not here, And hold their manhoods cheap while any speaks That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day."

quoted from Shakespeare's King Henry V.
Ignoring the various meanings of "manhood", we note the curious literary device by which the sublime is appropriated to the mundane; the great transferred to the wretched. One thinks Alexander Pope, but the comparison fails, for the crimes adduced in the case of Bush et alii are truly heinous and go far beyond the abduction of a lock of hair in "The Rape of the Lock" Now, Ms. Noonan, reach for that Shakespeare and open to Richard III.
Inspired by the site "Sadly,No"

Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Wall

The Wall is turning Eretz Israel into a failed symbol and a Chronos concept which is soon to devour its children.

The NeoCon Memorial: Billy Kristol

Billy (nee William) Kristol of The Weekly Standard has been hired as a columnist for The New York Times in what only can be seen as an Ashton Kutcher punk.

Mr. Kristol is referred to as a Conservative Columnist. He is not. He is a NeoCon and, thereby, an intellectual and ethical scoundrel.

A Spirit Of Bipartisanship... no good whatsoever if those with whom you associate are crooks, bums, fools, and dotards. I should know. I have indicated at another place and another time that the incessant calls for bipartisanship are empty. Know what's right, know what's the best way to get it, and do it. I append: The Greanville Journal ...I like to remind people who long for bipartisanship that FDR’s drive to create Social Security was as divisive as Bush’s attempt to dismantle it. And we got Social Security because FDR wasn’t afraid of division. In his great Madison Square Garden speech, he declared of the forces of “organized money”: “Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me—and I welcome their hatred.” The Conscience of a Liberal (W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. Copyright © 2007 by Paul Krugman.) If the fight is right and your opponents push you to it, don't be afraid of it. (Also, don't provoke and unfair and illegal fight.)

Friday, December 28, 2007

Mr. Jinnah's Pakistan?

I was born on Direct Action Day.

Mr. Jinnah was born on Christmas day in the last decade of the 19th century.

Ms. Bhutto died in the time of year of the Eid al Adha and the Eid al Milaad.

People have written about the death of Ms. Bhutto. They should have torn up their pages written in fury and despair, just as I did, so they would not leave the paper trail of nonsense behind.
They say that now since Pakistan has nuclear weapons and assassinates good persons, it is peopled by fools and incompetents and Shari'a bastards. It is time to take their freedom away from them and commit them to military rule AT LEAST for a while.
Future invasion of their state will be discussed at a future date.
(I said the same, until I recalled JFK, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, and the fact that I stated that Barack Obama, if nominated and elected would be in grave danger. Our own country has more violence than does Pakistan!)

I was at the site VIEWIMAGES and searched under Mr. Jinnah's name. I received this:

Interesting. Exactly when Mr. Jinnah and Pakistan gained equivalence to "General Musharraf and Friend" is not clear to me, so I left that site and relied on my own creativity to come up with what I felt.

The mausoleum of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto

wherein Sayeeda Benazir Bhutto will be laid to rest.

The Tomb of Muhammed Ali Jinnah

Oh, Pakistan! Whether the past be glorious or dismal, let it not diminish thee!
The long road of the future beckons.
Not hatred, but forbearance.
Not strife but ijtimaa ' (community; i.e., community between all peoples.)
Attain the perfection of your lives which Islam demands of thee!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Ms. Bhutto, A Filial Daughter

My daughter came in and asked whether I had seen the news. Of course, you are aware when this happens and the person inquiring is not smiling that something is amiss. I had already read the headlines early on the BBC, so I asked what was up. The headlines about Ms. Bhutto had changed from "narrowly escaped" to "died from her wounds". Well... I was angry. I wrote some angry stuff. Then I tore it up.

The President said the act was cowardly. Whatever.

Remember: Bombing Iran And The Simile Of Armageddon

Just to remind everyone: Economist's View April 08, 2006 The U.S. Considers Using Nukes Against Iran " It is reported that president Bush believes that "saving Iran is going to be his legacy" and he appears willing to take strong measures, including the use of nuclear bunker buster bombs, to bring this about. Think Progress points to: US considers use of nuclear weapons against Iran, AFP: The administration of President George W. Bush is planning a massive bombing campaign against Iran, including use of bunker-buster nuclear bombs to destroy a key Iranian suspected nuclear weapons facility, The New Yorker magazine has reported... The article by investigative journalist Seymour Hersh said that Bush and others in the White House have come to view Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as a potential Adolf Hitler. "That's the name they're using," the report quoted a former senior intelligence official as saying. A senior unnamed Pentagon adviser is quoted in the article as saying that 'this White House believes that the only way to solve the problem is to change the power structure in Iran, and that means war.' " "They have come to view Iranian President M. Ahmadinejad as a potential Adolf Hitler"? ? ! ! Are we back in Twilight Zone where we are going to change history forever and ever by killing Hitler...or actually a potential Hitler?! The FUTURE will little nore nor long remember what we do here...we few...we sons of guns...we complete blithering idiots. One does not make policy based upon a Neoconservative Simile !! The simile of Armageddon: It was, like, man, like the end of the fricking world,man !

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

xmas feast

We had a salad spinner. I thought it was old and decrepit. It was really quite up to date. What is there about a salad spinner that makes it up to date, you ask? Well, it is hard to describe

Salad spinners spin, pure and simple; they describe a circular orbit about their axis and spin, thus accelerating the water droplets upon the lettuce to a speed at which they fly off the lettuce and disappear into the stratosphere.
This particular salad spinner, however, was something else. As I used its witchery, it came back to me why we had hidden it far away from mankind in the first place.

To be quite plain, the spinner spun so fast that everything became relativistic. There were quantum effects galore, entangled atoms of romaine shedding their water here on Earth by Sol and somewhere on Planet KS243 in Vega. Beyond this, since the "brake" ( relativistic brake, actually) choose this particular time not to function, there was sort of an exponential acceleration on to and beyond the bloody speed of light.
What I took to be a functional thing-a-ma-jig made from plastic and designed for spinning of the most rudimentary type apparently slipped the bonds of space and time, as it were, and turned into a Spinner of Salad with ruby dials and tourmaline levers, blinking in an alien code before my unbelieving eyes. I stood dumfounded and stared into the maelstrom of salad; a German scientist appeared out of the quantum foam next to me, muttering "Fritzchen freudich...morgen gibt's Sellerie Salat...".

The leaves of romaine begin to shift before me, growing radices and branches, stretching to heaven and hades, thickening and becoming bark-like...ent-like,epidermal and living I suppose. Then, after 100 million years had passed according to the turquoise chronometer on the side of the Spinner 2000, I saw consciousness appear. It was alive! Alive! Igor threw the dressing about wildly.
The salad looked at me...and spoke not a word. Then the Moorlocks came through the spinner slits, creeping like an insidious grease into the central sanctum.

Long story short, we did not have salad for Xmas. It had been time-line shifted and went somewhere else in the ESPY, hopefully to someone who did not already have a salad. I turned to the meat. I laid the tenderloin out on the meat cutting block. It had valleys in it for liquid flow, wadis for blood, if you will, dry for most of the year, yet filled to overflowing on the days of festivities celebrated by the meats of animals who died in cruel incomprehension, forming a drainage basin for blood which flowed to a central lacustrine locus which in my mind I called The Sea of Blood and imagined things of piracy.

I stood in festal ceremonious unctuousness as if I were a Mayan Medical Examiner with a new batch of prisoners of war, knife in my hand, on the balls of my toes, ready whatever it was that Mayan - or Aztec - Medical Examiners used to do at times like these. Everything began to look like one of the less cheery stage sets for "Event Horizon". I murmured like CSI: Port Desespoir: "...The victim was apparently killed by a blow to the head by a blunt instrument... then cut up and baked in a oven at 385 degrees for 6.5 minutes per pound... " But the solstice is a time to remember those who have gone from us as well as to look forward to the return of the sun. I put down the knife and swore never to eat meat again.

Merry Christmas 2007

photo: Human Flower Project

When I see Holly, I hear Burl Ives singing.

peace poem for december 21, 2007:

read the poem notes first...or last, as you will.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Joe Wilson And Barack Obama

The Friends of Hilary attacked the Friends of Obama. In The Huffington Post we see: Joe Wilson Rips Obama, Ignites Debate Over Candidates' Experience December 21, 2007 04:19 PM Sam Stein "Writing on the Huffington Post today, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, who has endorsed Sen. Hillary Clinton for president, took one of the hardest swipes to date at Sen. Barack Obama's foreign policy credentials. Pivoting off a Thursday article in the London Times, Wilson argues that Obama's "intuitive grasp" of the world is no match for his lack of travel and "dearth" of international experience. "Intuition may be a laudable quality among psychics and palm readers," the Ambassador writes, "but for a professional American diplomat like myself, who have spent a career toiling in the vineyards of national security, it has no relevance to serious discussion of foreign policy. In fact, Obama's supposed "intuitive sense" is no different from George W. Bush's 'instincts' and 'gut feeling' describing his own foreign policy decision-making. We have been down this road before." This entire mish-mosh forgets that it was well known that George Bush had little experience in the fields mentioned, therefore the Republicans thought it an admirable and totally inspired idea to team him to Richard Cheney as Vice President. This rationale for the Republican ticket was widely discussed at the time. This provides us with more reason to impeach Cheney. George Bush always has been a babe in the woods, so to speak. A babe with a nasty, sneering turn of personality at times, granted, but essentially a Candide. Cheney and Rumfeld destroyed everything they could touch before the high tide turned at the 2006 elections for Rummy and the NIE report for Cheney. Question to Joe Wilson: how internationally savvy was Harry Truman before he took over the reins? To be honest, most politicians are bloody fools. The good ones have good advisors. The bad ones, such as the present Rump President, have bad advisors. A good politician has a gut feeling about issues . He or she can play poker well and size up people quickly. Politicians are, or should be, the paradigm of "people" people: ones that work well with people and can lead without force or effort. By the grace of these social skills, a politician chooses among the ideas presented to him by the advisors. Harry Truman always played poker. His poker playing skills stood him well when Uncle Joe Stalin sat down at the table. Harry Truman the politician is the guy who sits in the hot seat eye to eye with Joe Stalin. JFK the politician is the guy who gets us through the Cuban Misille Crisis with Nikita Kruschchev. Ronald Reagan is the politician who, when he found out that the government had lied, choose between the advice: (1) keep telling falsehoods, or (2) tell the truth. He choose to tell the truth on national television. The present Rump ( or lame duck, if you will) President is allowed to babble on about "instincts" and "gut feelings" only so far before Cheney and the others come in to slap him down. (The President is Caligula playing soldier on the deck of an aircraft carrier, pretending to be a general in a war like his father, Germanicus.) To my eye, it has the appearance of boiling down to a fine distillate which says: Obama- I have beliefs and structures not expressed in overt Words. They are unspoken. This is my basic guide. There is a knowledge not open to direct observation. Clinton- The world is a supermarket of Words and Reasonings, from which we choose what satisfies us today. All knowledge has its own price tag about which we haggle.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Triumph Of The Will

Leni Reifenstahl shot the documentary Triumph des Willens or Triumph of the Will. She placed the Fuehrer in a symbolic time, outside of the real world, and he became an emblem of the German soul.

We have learned from her, as we see on August 15, 2002 as the drums were being beat for war. (August 15 is also the feast of the Assumption if you are RC.) The parallels and the blasphemy are quite clear, are they not?

Jim Bunning, Hall Of Shame

Jim Bunning is a Senator from Kentucky who is holding up passage of the Presidential Records Act Amendment of 2007 for reasons he thus far has kept secret. He apparently wants Mr. Bush to keep his tawdry little secrets to himself in order to facilitate Bush and Rove's re-writing of a shameful history of deceit. I remember Jim pitching for the Detroit Tigers. I recall he did well against the New York Yankees at a time when the Yankees were a veritable powerhouse. Well, Jim, Whitey Ford was not only a better pitcher, he was a better person, and would have been one heck of a better Senator than you can ever hope to be.

Where Is John L. Lewis When We Need Him?

I golfed with Steve Yokich once...just he and I. He used to be President of the United Auto Workers. We were practicing our swing, actually. He gave me a few pointers and was very kind and cordial. That was my good experience. Now: The New York Times Labor Board Restricts Union Use of E-Mail

"The National Labor Relations Board has ruled that employers have the right to prohibit workers from using the company’s e-mail system to send out union-related messages, a decision that could hamper communications between labor unions and their membership.

...The ruling is a significant setback to the nation’s labor unions, which argued that e-mail systems have become a modern-day gathering place where employees should be able to communicate freely with co-workers to discuss work-related matters of mutual concern.

...“Anyone with e-mail knows that this is how employees communicate with each other in today’s workplace,” said Jonathan Hiatt, general counsel for the A.F.L.-C.I.O. 'Outrageously in allowing employers to ban such communications for union purposes, the Bush labor board has again struck at the heart of what the nation’s labor laws were intended to protect — the right of employees to discuss working conditions and other matters of mutual concern.' "

If you want to communicate with each other, go to the bar after work. Or go to the Union Hall. Or use your own e-mail, duh!

If you want e-mail, I shall let you use mine for free...I don't think.

It is nice to know what awful stupidity awaits us when the Democrats return to power.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Notorious V.I.P. At Xmas

The Notorious V.I.P. ( Vice Imperial President )
I got mine! What do you got?

Friday, December 21, 2007


CIA is an acronym well known and rendered infamous. XMT is the acronymous designation I have for this time of year: X=Christ ( a la mediaeval manuscrpits), M=mas, and T=tide. Christmas tide= XMT. There. Notice how the name XMT gives totally in to consumerism and commercialism, sounding as it does more like the sobriquet of an international-job-destroying-globalized company. ( Hereafter referred to as "IJDG" or pronounced "idgie dig".) Anyway, today is the day I shall finally finish that waterboarding procedure know as gift shopping. Gift shopping is not condemned under the Geneva Convention. We should have used it on recalcitrant Al Qai'das. Sort of: O.K. Abu what's-yer-name! Until you tell us where Sammy Bin Laden is, you will have to shop for all of our in-laws here at Langley, Virginia!
They are hard to shop fer!!!!!!!!!!!

The Rump Administration Of Republicans

Nancy Pelosi is not as great as we thought. Harry Reid is not a schlub, but he approaches schlub-oid status...and so it goes. The familial presbyters interrogated me about the people running for president. My father said none of them was worth a cup of cold spit. I said I would be proud to vote for anyone of them, Democrat or Republican, excepting Giuliani and Romney, because even old ursine Fred Thompson would be more able and more human than the present Rump administration. ( I have started using "rump" instead of "lame duck", a la Oliver Cromwell. It seems more fitting.) Anyone....just save us from Republicans for awhile! Let the Democrats in, do some reform, then get fat and sassy. Then kick them out! I told my daughter that when it comes to national enemies, no Iranian president ever charged me 30% interest on a credit card! President Ahmedinejad has done nothing to try to inveigle her into debt slavery, whereas fellow Americans have. The Republican Party allowed this and worse when they served the lobbyists of finance their bankruptcy law reform bill. The stench rose so high that the CEOs of credit card companies literally had to go to Congress early this year and say they did not know ( how often Republicans utter those words now!) the evil they had wrought. Thank heavens that Senator Carl Levin is now holding hearing about the ongoing abuse of the people. Look at the laws passed by the Republican congresses! A total and thoroughgoing lack of intelligence, backbone, and morality! Their incredible lack of ethics has led to the credit card scandal, which only Charles Dickens is capable of properly writing about, and the sub prime mortgage fiasco...Republicans on a bubble!! Now it is we who shall pay the somber Piper of retribution. Here's one of the Republicans' last, yet most infamous, moments: the signing of the Military Commissions Act of October 17, 2006, whereby they withdrew the right of Habeas Corpus. Look at them all smiling! Hastaert positively looks like Goering romping at Berchtesgaden, basking in the sun of his Fuehrer.

Mr.George W.Bush signing away Habeas Corpus

In the words of Oliver Cromwell addressing the Rump Parliament: "It is not fit you should sit here any longer—you have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately. You shall now give place to better men...

Depart, I say, and let us have done with you.

In the name of God, Go!"

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Who Speaks For God?

Everyone...and no one.
I have been taken to task by Henry Jakubowski for my writing about God and religion, he having said that I was "full of it." Actually, he said something more like "full a id!" but he meant full of it. At this point I could have been wilfully obtuse and considered this as approbation and a linguistic "thumbs up", the words indicating that I was indeed full of something like "knowledge" or "wisdom" or the spirit of God or something else equally meaningless. I did not. I knew what he meant. So I wondered, maybe I am full of it.
Taking my cue from the great H.W.Fowler's "Modern English Usage", I turned to the daily broadhseets...or, more correctly these days, the daily broadbands, and took a gander about at the seasonal discussion about Xmas: why can't we have a creche on City Hall steps at high noon on Boxing Day? what is a Hannukah? let's put Christ back into Christmas! ( this assumes He was ever there upon a time.) let's get the three kings right up there next to the 10 commandments at the court house! the USA is founded on religion!! YAH! ...and so on. What I really read about is Mike Huckabee and his televised message in front of a couple of cross beams of a background bookshelf, giving his old rugged face sort of an old rugged cross halo as the camera pans around.  

The Huffington Post
Jon Robin Baitz  
Mike Huckabee and the Evolving Blood-Sport of Pious One- Upmanship
"... watching Huckabee I thought of Aaron Altman, the great, perspiring fictional conscience of Broadcast News, when he proposed that the bland and warm and home spun-newscaster Bill Hurt was the devil. Altman, played gorgeously by Albert Brooks says, " What do you think the Devil is going to look like if he's around? Nobody is going to be taken in if he has a long, red, pointy tail. No. I'm semi-serious here. He will look attractive and he will be nice and helpful and he will get a job where he influences a great God-fearing nation and he will never do an evil thing... he will just bit by little bit lower standards where they are important... ...He might also prevaricate on evolution, winking at creationists, thereby willingly aiding and abetting the witch-hunts being conducted against educators to this day..."

and I believe Ron Paul likened this commercial to a fascist appeal such as that envisioned by Sinclair Lewis. I think the book was "It Can't Happen Here" or something like that. SOS. Same old stuff. So, I asked Jake who is responsible for the distrust of religion? Among those who talk about God, who has besmirched the name of religion? Was it a genial old guy who called for international assassination? Was it a recently departed jolly pastor who sermonized about how wonderful a good war could be for the soul. Who was it that has create an atmosphere of mutual distrust and loathing in the presence of God? It wasn't me.

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Girl From Qatif

photo: Agence France Presse (AFP)
His magnanimous highness, the King of Saudi Arabia, has pardoned the girl from Qatif who was a rape victim. Unmentioned, as far as I can hear, is the fact that the girl from Qatif is a Shi'a Muslim. This noted together with the fact that not only are the Saudis Sunnis, they are Wahhabi Sunnis, I believe I suddenly see why the rapists thought they might have gotten away with the crime in the first place. Recently, a Saudi judge in the eastern province refused to allow the eyewitness accounts of a traffic accident from two eyewitnesses on the grounds that they were Shi'a Muslims. The treatment of Shi's as second or third class citizens in Saudi Arabia is common. The atmosphere of religious oppression is an old story in the Kingdom. Hurray for George Bush's friends.

Nuclear Weapons At The End Of 2007

There is supposed to be a Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty which limits the countries possessing nuclear weapons to the 5 which had them at the time the treaty was signed, and it is the responsibility of these countries to work to abolish their own stockpiles.

As a leader of the world, it is the responsibility of the USA to lead and administer this treaty. How has it done? Lousy...considering the down side. If you look at what may be lost, the USA had done lousy recently. Consider a piece from 2003:  
Arms Control Association
The Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty: History and Current Problems
 "...The NPT has in fact suffered major blows. Since 1991, uranium enrichment, plutonium separation, and other possibly weapons-related activities that Iraq, North Korea, and Iran hid from IAEA inspectors have been discovered. Iraq’s weapons program was found after the 1991 Persian Gulf War thanks to UN Security Council orders demanding more intrusive inspections than were then required by IAEA inspection standards. North Korea’s weapons program later became known through intelligence, IAEA inspections, and North Korea’s own admissions. The IAEA’s discovery of Iran’s failure to disclose experiments with plutonium separation and uranium enrichment to inspectors has recently led to a standoff with Tehran. " (paragraphing my own)

Consider these: one country was a hermit and outcast since WWII, the other two had engaged in a serious war between themselves, and one of them was openly supported by the USA. Instead of ending their emnity, the USA allowed it to increase.
North Korea is also a member of the Axis of Evil, a sobriquet which is not exactly equivalent to Blue Riband and meriting a jolly welcome to the White House. North Korea is also a part of the Korea model that Mr. Bush puts forward as an exemplar for Iraq. Furthermore, it is doubtful that any progress would have been made with North Korea without the active support of China.
The White House attempted bombast and threats and axis of evil and would not have gotten to second base without China. And so it goes.  

At this time, I repeat my prescription for Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney: "It is not fit you should sit here any longer—you have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately. You shall now give place to better men...
Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. Go!"


Sunday, December 16, 2007

Born Free

Cable TV was born pretty much commercial free. Now it is beset and obsessed by commercials. In fact, if good old viewing pleasure were...say Helm's Deep and commercials were Saruman's Orcs, I would not give you much for the chances of the riders of Rohan! So I was listening to old radio, Fibber McGee and Jack Benny Christmas shows. This is the first time I have done this at home. I will do such things when driving cross country or some other such lunacy, but have never just sat back and listened at home. Now I realize that I an wistful for great old TV, too. I am now eating in Frank's Place...soon to meander out onto the street where I shall see my friends from Evening Shade!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Fast Day 28 December 14, 2007

Susan's Tree, enwrapped in needles' mystery; starry visions shining in the skies; gifting-time, either honey or the bee; hope-weaver of our lives! Druid sylvan, motionless in prayer; with what eyes solstice now observing; on mountain tops, once and forever which ancient feasts partaking? Susan's Christmas Home, filled to overflow with good food, wine, and sweets embroidered; weaver of delight our gifts bestow! All our fears occluded!

from other site

just in case I don't get around to a Xmas post.

Living In Mogambo Time

As previously mentioned, I subscribed to a WebBlog title service which supplies titles for my posts.

I have to fill in the blanks, as it were, by doing what I am doing at this very moment: writing.
Thus, when such wonderful bits of fancy such as the above are delivered by the postman, I no longer cringe, having overcome their most fanciful efforts in the past, but welcome the challenge.

Hence, we wonder whether you are familiar with the Mogambo Guru who inhabits the Asia Times. I may very well use him as and adjunct to the news service: I would merely append his words to a title and I have a collage of ready-mades of the literary type. We provide his take on the world sitch ("situation") and the banking crisis. Remember that I am not fond of banks. I consider the major problem with modern day capitalism to be the overwhelmingly prevalent illusion that capitalists may be trusted. This has been proven wrong again and again.

 Mogambo Guru:  
"...Now, pick up that remote control and hit the "fast-forward" button from 1776 to the last half of the 20th century, where we see that we have finally overruled the Jeffersonian republic that made America into the world power that it became, in favor of that Hamiltonian nightmare of a huge, powerful, dictatorial, fascist federal government, an eviscerated Constitution and a corrupt Federal Reserve destroying the dollar. Mr DiLorenzo sneers at me that I am being much too narrow, and says that we now have ' a republic of excessive public debt; inflationary finance fueled by a central bank that is the cause of perpetual boom-and-bust cycles; a dictatorial executive branch aided and abetted by 'black-robed deities' who have 'reinterpreted' the Constitution so much that the founders would not even recognize what is called 'constitutional law'; a tax burden that is even more excessive than that borne by medieval serfs; a standing army that is misused at the expense of genuine defense of America; an arrogant, imperialistic, and monopolistic government in Washington that rarely pays any attention at all to the citizens of the once-sovereign states; [a] government policy that routinely benefits big, politically-connected businesses and wealthy individuals at the expense of the rest of society (neo-mercantilism); and protectionism.' "


Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Neoconservative Memorial and the NIE

I certainly no longer am under the illusion that I can understand anything at all about Neoconservatives. I used to think that since Leo Strauss was the founding father, there was sort of a USA-Israel type of connection that explained everything. However, it does not. There is a true madness in Neoconservatism that goes far beyond any unthinking support of an ally...a truly mad and insane world view quite like that of General Jack Ripper in the film Dr. Strangelove.

We see the following:  
The Neoconservative Agenda to Sacrifice the Fifth Fleet – The New Pearl Harbor
by Michael Salla  

"The U.S. plans for an attack on Iran envision to sacrifice the Fifth Fleet in order to justify a nuclear retaliation. This is not a hypothetical scenario, but a real option being discussed within the U.S. Joint Chief of Staff cabinet. According to our sources, admiral William Fallon made clear that if such an order was given, he would refuse to follow it and would hand in his resignation along with the entire Centcom headquarter’s. So far only the Navy and Army’s superior officers’ resistance has prevented the neoconservatives and the Air Force to launch the operations." straight forward- possible asleep at the switch future interpret a la wtc make a note to make a note...before everything goes kaabloooey


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Military Review

I have in the past written that the USA does not seem to be able to win wars anymore- top heavy army, bloated bureaucracy, idiotic politicians, and high civilian death toll, but no victory. I have been criticized, but... read this article in Military Review: Fighting Identity: Why We Are Losing Our Wars

God Is In The Details

All the ritual of Christmas cannot contain God. Not all the frenetic activity comes close to the Holy. Your every breath is a story, a narrative of God and the universe. God is real and imminent, not super-real and abstract. God is Natural, not Supernatural. If you use the word "supernatural" in your stories about God, you have already banished Him to some far distant realm, and you will find it hard to recall Him. Your narrative-rituals of praise at Christmas are dry and derivative. God is born in us continually. Our consciousness of God begins at the dawn of our lives, an eonoos - dawn mind-where everything is immediate. We lose innocence when we learn to put our experiences into code: language narratives, emotional narratives, structured and quasi-repetitive movements. It is at this time, the dawn consciousness vanishes and God - as well as many other things- are imprisoned into our newly straight-jacketed minds, never to be free again!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Springtime For Hitler

I read the Daily Kos for the second or third time ever and came across this: Lecture: All I am Saying is Give War a Chance Wednesday, December 12, 2007 -

7:30 pm Student Union Ballroom, UMass Amherst Campus Free Admission Join the UMass Republican Club for yet another lively and edifying political discussion on the costs, necessities, consequences, and benefits of war.

A question and answer session will be administered after the initial lecture. Jonah Goldberg, 38, is a rising star in the conservative intellectual movement as the editor-at-large for National Review Online and a contributing editor for National Review. [...] The "benefits of war". 

What universe do these people come from?


Poems For Peace

A fellow named Affable Atheist, young as he is, wrote to me about my extraordinary delusion of fasting one day a week for peace, as well as topping the lunacy off by writing a poem to go along as a side order. I liked it. Of course it is madness. So was going to war for lies. Which is the greater madness? And if believing that Peace is possible is madness, what remains for us? So, the poems for the last 2 weeks from
Fast Day 26 November 30, 2007  
A Winter Storm At The Cenotaph

I stand waiting within the antechamber of the Spirits, buffeted by the echoes of the living. I touch the marble classic columns with my tears; the cold stone sucks my water in. We fear the storm of those voices, an unsought handsel clamorous to reward our departure. Rain does not wet us, nor does the ice nor snow of atheistic fury make us shiver. We are beyond all that; we only fear the echoes because we lived our lives in fear and like a dirty sin, this habit we trail along behind us like Marley's chests of empty gold. When I thought I could stand no more and sought the oblivion of the marble's now succulent veins - an eternity of seeking past- yet my Love was sudden upon the horizon where used to be the Moon, and I broke free from my renown prison and my voice burst mantic from my breast and I was reborn!

Fast Day 27 December 7, 2007 The Wedding
She came to me with bed clothes and bed coverings that were new. our bodies were new and so our love. our dowry was new things and old, some good, some maybe not. Bed coverings that are new speak of the newly wed; speak of the newly born; speak of those gone away; and speak of those who are free from this slavery. The coverings are like eye lids anointed in egypt's desert. the coverings are your lips. take your dowered things along; take the golden earrings. Reflections in a gilded mirror, burnished and cuprous multiply our number; we are two, then three, then more. we dance holding the mirrors of marital increase. She comes to me all new; new as the bed coverings, sewn with pictures of star and moon; sun and birds, arrows and beast. Her breast is a new pillow with colored beads!


Taking Back The Government

When the NIE report came out, the situation was so abruptly changed from what the President and Notorious V.I.P. (V.P.) had hitherto claimed that I immediately was suspicious. Now the machinations are coming out. If the report was not released, certain people would make sure the American people would be made aware of what it contained. Just like an action movie. How nice that life imitates Art. Now the Neocons attack. It is now time to attack the Neocons and drive them not only from power, but from the soil of America. Use whatever is at hand: impeachment, civil actions of protest... The Neocons will not stop until they have destroyed everyone who does not agree with them. Treat them the same.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Waiting For The Elections: 2 Intel On Iran

According to John Bolton and Norman Podhoretz, all the Intelligence is wrong again. It wasn't all wrong the first time. Hans Blix and his team had it right. John Bolton and his team chose not to pay any attention. So I wonder what Hans Blix says this time? The President says he did not know until quite recently. I believe him. I have believed he is essentially a child who has been manipulated by Neocons. "You shall now give place to better men...

Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, Go!"

Monday, December 03, 2007

Trinity Lutheran Christmas German Language Service

Historic Trinity Lutheran in Detroit, Michigan will have its German language service on December 9, 2007. It is awesome.

December 3, 2007: No Longer Do I Miss Imus

We had some bug last week. My wife received a viral packet from a hacking child at a store and she brought it home, gaily wrapped with Christmas glee. It was infectious. I became sick Monday last and it sat deep within me until Saturday. At this point I developed a fever of 100 F as my body seemed to launch a final assault. I slept most of Saturday. Sunday it was much better. Monday, today, even more so. I suppose I did myself no good by choosing Thursday, November 29, to empty out the rented storage unit in the rain. However, I did not feel strained, nor chilled. I do not think it did any harm. The rent was due December 1 if we did not vacate, and I might well be dead by then. So I made the 4 trips and moved everything very slowly. But I began to realize how nice it would be to take antibiotics and other drugs so easily dispensed by the pharmaceutical companies with such largesse. By Saturday morning, the first of December, I had been up since 2:00 A.M. and my daughter joined me around 4:30. We went to the 24 hour Pharmacy to get some concoction to dry our heads up, stem the cough, and aid sleep. It is very poignant to go sickly to a drugstore at 4:30 in the morning. Otherwise we had relied upon massive doses of onion soup. Now this may strike you as odd. However, ever since we saw Kiser Pease being cured of his pneumonia by a tub full of onions in Where The Lilies Bloom, we believe in the ability of onions and garlic to kill bacteria. They cannot affect the virus causing the illness, but they defend mightily against secondary infection which is a danger in such a weakened condition. Of course, we use chicken broth as well as beef broth in order to derive the benefits of chicken soup. The problem with this, I believe, is that it has been established that chicken soup is indeed good for what ails you, but it is the chicken fat itself that is hell to microbes. Well, just try and buy a commercial chicken broth with fat! Low sodium broth is plentiful. However, you can't get chicken fat on a bet. The containers positively trumpet their lack of fatiness. It's almost as if no one is aware of the mystic abilities of chicken soup via its fat content. So its was onion and garlic soup, green tea and black ( from Grace Tea, NY.), oranges, and taking it as easy. Well, not only are we recovered this Monday morn, but we tumbled out of bed early to listen to Imus in the Morning again. Hurray for Imus...and hurray for Billy Schutt who loved Imus and introduced us to the show. (I wonder if it was flu? I did have a flu shot in October. Perhaps I can secure a refund? )

The Concept Of Faith

Reason and Faith and Climate Change Faith is something I do not believe that we understand very well. I know that it took me at least one half century to attain any reasonable understanding, having from childhood been beset by nonsensical definitions and scenarios of Faith. I had to go back to the source: the writings of those intimately involved in Faith. I quote the following as what I consider an illustrative example of Faith versus Reason, although absolutely none of the people involved in this situation are nor would be aware of it. We tend to think about Faith and Reason in drawing-room scenes which we have read or seen ( sit-coms ) a hundred or a thousand times. We might readily invoke the images of Galileo and all the scenes we have had created for us by generations of writers, commentors, painters, poets, and all the rest of the ancient information and data processors. As usual, by relying upon pre-built opinions, we arrive at a situation where we ourselves have none. We have no opinion if we rely on the detritus that falls from the vacuum cleaner of the ages. Faith is someone we do not know. If we do not know Faith, then we cannot know Reason, at least in its interaction with Faith. Here's the excerpt:  
US delegates say dangers of climate change unclear
by Staff WritersWashington (AFP) Nov 17, 2007  
The United States believes there is no clear scientific definition of the dangers of climate change although it recognizes urgent action is needed, a US conference delegation said. "The scientific definition of that is lacking, and so we are operating within the construct of, again, strong agreement among world leaders that urgent action is warranted," said Jim Connaughton, chairman of the Council of Environmental Quality. Connaughton, a top White House environmental adviser, was speaking late Friday during a conference call from a meeting of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in Valencia, Spain. 

The Nobel-winning IPCC was to release the fourth and final piece of its assessment report on climate change later Saturday, summarising the first overview on the effect of greenhouse gases since 2001. "The scientific community has offered a wide range of perspectives in these documents," Connaughton said. "We are operating consistent with the G8 leaders' consensus that the issue warrants urgent action, and we need to bring forward, in a more accelerated way, the technology that will make a lasting solution possible." 

The IPCC report is styled as a guide for politicians facing tough decisions on cutting pollution from fossil fuels, shifting to cleaner energy, bolstering defences against extreme weather, and other problems set to intensify through climate change. The IPCC was to adopt a 20-page "summary for policymakers" and a 70-page technical document. UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon warned Saturday that the world was on the verge of a "catastrophe" due to global warming after the draft IPCC report said the evidence of a human role in observed warming was now "unequivocal." Retreating glaciers and snow loss in alpine regions, thinning Arctic summer sea ice and thawing permafrost show that climate change is already on the march, the draft report said. By 2100, global average surface temperatures could rise by between 1.1 C (1.98 F) and 6.4 C (11.52 F) compared to 1980-99 levels, while sea levels will rise by between 18 and 59 centimetres (7.2 and 23.2 inches), it forecasted. Head US delegate in Valencia, Sharon Hays, cited recent American studies by made on the basis of the last IPCC report, in which US researchers stated "very clearly" that "value judgments" still have to be made in determining what the dangers of climate change really are. 

"So the science simply can't tell us what that number is," Hays stated. "There are always going to be value judgments associated with it." "That is a political judgment, as it's been made," added US negotiator on climate issues Harlan Watson. "It's their interpretation." 

Watson expressed the view that the conference in Valencia would prompt heads of state and government to seek a new agreement on combating climate change that would replace the Kyoto Protocol due to expire in 2012. The US delegation also expressed optimism about the prospects of a conference on climate change in Bali, Indonesia, on December 3 to discuss an agenda for future talks on an agreement that would eventually replace Kyoto. The United States continues to oppose establishing strict legal limits on greenhouse gas emissions. 

Instead it is arguing for voluntary measures, new technologies and increased efforts to persuade fast-developing countries like China and India to do their share of regulating greenhouse gases. "We actually, in the conversations we had, we think there's a broad consensus around these elements," Watson pointed out. "It's just a matter of coming up with the right wording to get it done, and we're very confident it's going to happen." It is very clear that "value judgements" will need to be made. Now if you read this again, you will see that the value judgements that the delegate Ms. Hays refers to are not economic value judgements, not ethical value judgements; they are essentially leaps into faith that what we believe to be true will be close to what is actually happening, because "...the science simply can't tell us what that number is."  

And just as Science cannot tell us the number, Faith cannot tell us the nature of things like Dark Matter or Dark Energy. Be smart. Be wise as foxes. When your smarts can't do the job anymore, you use Faith. You Faith will be good or vile depending as how you have directed that life of yours which remains invisible, the spiritual side. This itself depends on the smatterings of Faith we have learned. Now some people will deny this, saying Faith comes first. Faith may come first, but our understanding of Faith is so childish that it will take most of us the majority of our lives to come close to a proper understanding. A juvenile, middle-school, frat-boy, Calvin and Hobbes understanding of Faith is not a Faith that is ready to lead.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Waiting For The Elections 1

Oliver Cromwell addresses Parliament, 20 April 1653.

"It is not fit you should sit here any longer—you have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately. You shall now give place to better men...

Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. Go!"

Friday, November 30, 2007

Our Lives In The Bush Of Ghosts 5

From the BBC we learn: Russia suspends arms control pact President Vladimir Putin has signed a law which suspends Russia's participation in a treaty limiting military forces in Europe. This comes as no surprise. We pretty much knew this was coming. I believe I have talked a good deal of how the Bush people treat Russia. There is this business of putting missiles directly next door to order to protect Europe against Iran. Again, the occasion when Iran threatened Europe is hazy, but I am sure it happened. Reading the article, it appears to embody the 1984 logic of the present age: "Russia says the suspension is a reply to the non-ratification of the treaty by Nato countries. "Nato members, led by the United States, have refused to ratify the CFE treaty until Moscow withdraws its troops from the former Soviet republics of Moldova and Georgia, as Russia had promised in 1999. " The USA regrets Russia's decision, but it is not clear to me whether any country other than Russia was in this deal! Anyway, this is the culmination of a number of actions by both the USA and Russia retreating hastily from the Era of Good Sense and back to a more mediaeval ambience. When all else fails, welcome Dr. Strangelove!

All Aboard For A Very Commercial Christmas!

I was playing with my dogs, Xoloft and Zymbalta, when my three nephews came by and asked whether I would like whether I would like to take a trip to the Mall. Not just any Mall, of course, but THE Mall...rather like one designed by Gustav Klimt for fin-de siecle Vienna...all rather spectacular and Egyptian, influenced by Herr Napoleon's foray into Egypt.

Last time I was at a mall, it was some years ago a few days before Christmas. I was ready to leave at 5:00 PM. It was darkening quickly and a mixture of light rain and snow had begun. There was gridlock throughout the parking lots, bumper to bumper, continuing out onto the feeder roads. I stood upon a high elevation and could see an uninterrupted line of brake lights to the East and to the West. I wondered if emergency equipment had to be air-lifted in at such times. Dismal shoppers drove by me. Their breath had condensed on their greyly transparent windows, forming drops of water which dripped slowly, but faster than the cars were going.

It resembled an infinite funeral cortege of the drowned heading back to some despondent swamp. I ran into the movie theater and watched a flick. When I exited from the movie, consumer Armageddon was over and the air was clear. God forbid, but if ever there would be need for a good Christmastide curse, here it is: May the wind be ever at yer face, may ye not be wearing a muffler, and may ye be making a trip to the Mall!

Zulu Time

Even though I have managed to get through yet another phase-shift ( time-warp, interdimensional taffy-pull) of the grand temporal reversal of Daylight Savings Time to Standard Time all in one piece and actually on time, I have decided to set my time pieces to Zulu Time, or Greenwich Time for those of you who have problems with the military-industrial complex flavor of Zulu Time ( that used by the US military....essentially Greenwich without the aftertaste of Brits.) This year of 2007 was especially significant since it witnessed the foremost effort of energy conservation exerted by the US Congress and White House hitherto: pushing back the change to standard time by an entire week in order to conserve energy. I recall when this draconian law was being debated in the Congress. I think it was a bit after Katrina; not too soon after, though. It was perhaps in 2006? And even though Katrina was old and a jade, still a number of our fellow citizens lives were enwrapped within the toxic embrace of that old sea hag, Katrina. My problem with "the Change" stems from too many diddles...(pause...hopefully for laughter...) O.K. The word is not "diddles". Neither is it "riddles". What is the bloody name for a bit of doggerel with rhyme that one, usually pre-schoolers, recites in order to aide the old memoire? (Curses! I wish I had a bit of rhyming doggerel I could use to remember that other bit of rhyming doggerel...this is how I discovered recursive functions when I read Maths with Johnny Von Neumann, by the by.) It is coming to me slowly. It did not rhyme. It was short and pithy. It was a brief hoodia of recall. I apparently thought it was something like, "Red skies in the morning...", but it wasn't. It was: Spring forward; Fall back. Now this nostrum for "the Change" is everything a bloke would want. It is clear and precise and ready to take to the pharmacy to be filled and have you back in the snuff in no time. It indicates the manner of horological modification at the proper season, as well as indicating a lower level logic, a sub-motif if you will, which marks it indelibly within the vasty warehouse of memory; sort of a " (if) you spring forward, (then) (in the fullness of time) (in this the best of all worlds) (god-willing and the creek don't rise) you must fall backwards (eventually)." Sweet. Or, sweet as, as the ANZAC contingent would have it; mostly the NZ portion thereof. This type of old saying is, however, fraught with peril, for its obverse makes perfectly good sense also. This was the source of my utter downfall. For I, upon rising that ill-fated autumnal day, recited the old saying as: Spring back; Fall forward. I even checked myself. Does this make any sense? Might I not spring back, given sufficient provocation? Say, for example, my dear wife were to surprise me on Christmas morn with an elegantly wrapped gift box containing a hooded cobra? Yes. I would indeed spring back, and with considerable alacrity, I might add. Step 2 of the pithy nugget of wisdom: does the "fall" part make sense? Well, let's assume for the sake of argument that I was back in the army...say Vietnam or Laos...and while were at it, let's go all the way and say with Allenby in Jerusalem ( I say Allenby because the general was in Zululand around the late 1880s and I seem to remember that I started this post with something about Zulus.)...and I am standing in ranks with full kit under a blazing sun... Hmmm. This is a bit of a Bridge too far over the River Kwai, come to think of it. O.K. River Kwai, full kit, blazing sun, Alec Guiness, and Sessue Hayakawa... After 3 hours of this, men begin dropping like flies. They collapse and fall forward out of ranks! Perfect sense. So now, having two perfectly good pieces of doggerel which are totally at odds the one to the other, what does one do? Well, happy to say I chose correctly this time and I did not have the unnerving experience of going out for my morning jog and finding the milk man and his horse just coming onto the streets of our fair village at some mind-shattering early hour.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Judo Logic 3

The aim of Judo Logic is freedom. Within our great diversity of perception of the world, our anger at not being able to understand with the miserable tools of human philosophy and knowledge and science gives way to fear. Fear is a close cousin to Anger. The chemistry is very similar. When we understand that it would take an infinite amount of computation to encompass the universe and have a Great Unified Theory of Everything, we begin to understand that there is a way of seeing that is not computation, not data or information processing. This is the Silence I have mentioned before. In Humility, there is Silence. This Silence allows the universe to be heard. This is one of those seeming contradictions that made Zen so appealing to us in our college days. The same truth exists in Christianity, Judaeism, and Islam. However, the learned ones have chosen not to accentuate it.

Judo Logic 2

The whole idea behind Judo Logic, or Judo Philosophy, or the Zen of Disputation, or whatever nonsense title we choose, is to be able to stand on the high ground - not necessarily the "moral" high ground, just the high ground as an advantage - and survey the line of battle.

I always think of Sam Elliot in Gettysburg standing on the hill just north of the city and saying what fine ground he had chosen. Or one could think of Sam Elliot in The Big Lebowski.
Perhaps one could think of the Dude Lebowski himself. The variations are infinite.

The infinity of detail in God's universe is exactly what gives rise to differences of opinion. Thus, just as diversity is good for gene pools, so also is diversity good for opinions and the mens sana in the good old corpore sano of mankind. Widely differing opinions are a sign of health. That is the way God wants it. That is why God created mankind as individual units of consciousness with the ability to create their own Reality: there are as many realities as there are men; quot homines tot sententiae.

The thrust of Judo Logic is to kindly let people who demand Sameness of Thought to exhaust themselves until they can see.


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

When Writers Go Bad 1

Yes, that is a title from Gary Larson. Just like the one where we have what we say versus what the dog actually hears: Blah,blah,blah, Rusty,blah,Rusty,blah,blah,blah. So it is with writers. We think we write things of insight and clarity which by their sheer effulgence will enlighten the readers. If the glister is so great that the readers are rendered zombies by sensory overload, so be it. We have many fields out back that need cheap labor. I have started a miserable trek through the pages of writers on the politics of the day. Hitherto I have limited myself to The American Conservative, which has a bit of style and scads of substance, and Cal Thomas, who possesses neither. There are so many others, all with imperious likenesses on their pages, shot from a obeisant vantage point, giving the scribe an unusually majestic air of authority. Thus far, I judge that they need every such trick in the book, as well as prestidigitations from volumes not yet penned. Today I shall look at This is a site I have seen before and I believe I wrote about its use of pictures of women with a focus on their breasts. We have today Suzanne Fields with The Cut-Rate Pursuit of Power: "The drip, drip, drip of robotic, monotonous answers is finally revealing acute insights, exposing the real beneath the veneer. We're finally getting below the paint to see the real people hidden under the polished political surfaces. Hillary's convoluted answers to simple questions suddenly betrayed her carefully applied cosmetic answers in the early debates, making it harder to keep her (face) powder dry. She's not just a front-runner and a woman, but half of a power couple who may finally be required to pay for the excess baggage, both his and hers. The former first lady is the most exposed candidate in the race, and the least known. Despite the endless revelations of scandal and sharp dealing, we've never got to the bottom of "Wifewater," her financial killings in the commodities markets, the whereabouts of the lost records that suddenly and inexplicably showed up in the living quarters of the White House. We probably won't ever learn more about them than the mixture of facts and factoids in all the books by and about the Clintons. But the questions, like ghosts, haunt perceptions of her character as the focus on the present continues to sharpen. The double talk -- "the tripletalk, quadrupletalk, Olympic nonresponsiveness," as columnist and author Peggy Noonan calls them -- suddenly sounded an alert, like fog horns cutting through the mist on a dark sea. " The drip, drip, drip which echoes very effectively the boredom of robotic answers carries through a bit too far. If we had limited it to the first sentence, it would be style and satire. However, by the time we get to the "convoluted...cosmetic...(face) powder" the beating tattoo of the drip-drip of cute tropes has irritated me beyond reason and has warned me that Ms. Fields is all style, style, style ( and not too endearing a style at that ) and no substance. If there is substance, she will be niggardly of it and dispense it to her famished readers crumb by ratty crumb to demonstrate her absolute authority. The appeal to Peggy Noonan helps oodles, since Ms. Noonan actually has style and substance, but it also makes it very clear that Ms. Fields has written herself into a Vicious Corner ( a la the good old Vicious Circle ) of absolute dithering wherefrom only a lifeline from Ms. Noonan - or some other writer with the good sense not to attempt to delineate blather by blathering oneself-may extricate her. If I write like this ( and I suppose I have indeed ), then take me out and shoot me; don't consider taking me to the venerable glue factory. At least keep your wife and kids off the streets, lest they be afflicted by the wayward hack writer! But there is more. On October 11, 2007 we see Huck Finn on the High Court When I saw this title, I said to myself that there was no way she could be talking about Clarence Thomas. No. Not really. Well......she is. Now why did I find this odd? There has always been a bit of controversy about the book Huck Finn, and the controversy was such that I found it hard to create an analogy between Huck Finn and a gentleman that sees himself as a bit of Bigger Thomas and Tom Robinson. In fact, if Mr. Thomas sees himself as Bigger Thomas and Tom Robinson, why perforce must we we go him one better and say he is an emblem of Huck Finn? Who, by the way - in case you have not read it- is a white boy who uses language that got Dog, the Bounty Hunter, fired. I know what this is: a writer short of time who becomes too enamored of their first take on a situation, so they try to force their tropes and turns and twists into a semblance of sense and tie it all up with a bow......or a St. Jude statue, as Ms. Fields does: "As a schoolboy, he won an award for doing well in a Latin bee. The prize was a statue of St. Jude, the patron saint of hopeless causes. He suspected that it meant that some people thought his effort to learn Latin was hopeless. But he was proud of the statue. When a malicious classmate broke off the head, he glued it back. When the classmate broke it off again, he glued it back again. This time, it stayed glued, and he carried it with him wherever he went, all the way to the United States Supreme Court. No hopeless cause there. " I think Mr. Thomas may well tell the statue story and honi soit qui mal y pense. However, to repeat it in this way, as if this were a book report from the fifth grade we were trying to lengthen and pad out with fluff, is inexcusable. Next, we shall look at Thomas Sowell.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Et In Acadia Ego

No, the title above is not a mistake. I was with someone last night who mentioned that the last time they saw Vegas, the tickets for Celine Dion were $280. Of course, he said he did not attend at such prices, but the rest of us choose to ignore the disclaimer and instead to concentrate on this appalling example of conspicuous consumption and to bring it up at judicious intervals all evening. Since Ms. Dion is French-Canadian, I wrote "Acadia" ( appelation of French Canada- the root from which our Cajun comes ) instead of "Arcadia". The above image is a painting by Nicolas Poussin showing shepherds clustered around a tomb whereon is engraved the words: Et in Arcadia Ego.

Men In Black

A Matrix of Repression is spreading across the global. In the era of globalization, it is irony to observe that the end game will be closure, confinement, and walls built to keep people out...and perhaps to keep people within. What is terrorism and illegality is...... exactly what these guys......

say it is!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Judo Logic

Someone once described to me his ardent desire that his new born son would, in the fullness of time, attend University and would be healthy and smart and would have the intellecetual acumen to be able to withstand the onslaught of the smirking, sneering, liberal Dons or Fellows or Professors who demean Christianity and would try to send all their students down the easy path to perdition. He said his son should be able to withstand their logic. His son would be tutored in the philosophical ways to fight and demolish error. I said that it would be a whole lot simpler if you taught him not to let his opponents choose the battleground. Or, if the battleground is the Secular University and we have no other choice for matriculation, then we should not allow the enemy to choose the weapons, nor the ground rules, nor anything else, for that matter. Having been a student myself, I know how it goes: the Professor has authority and learning and logic; in short, he has everything on his side, including our feeling of being subordinate to him, since he controls our grade. However, I recently learned one ought to do Philosophy just as one does Judo: let your opponents thrust cause him to overreach and we use his own efforts against him. For example, if one argues God's existence, one cannot accept the Scientific Method as a touchstone of Truth for the existence of something. God does not fit into a test tube, so one must find some other way to assert the Truth of God-propositions. Thus, one must attack the opponent's very basis of logic: assigning truth values to propositions. You do not neeed to defend your beliefs until the opponent has demonstrated that his criterion of Truth is acceptable to your debate. Now the ball has been tossed back into his court. Now he will propose various criteria. Shoot them down. Make him do the work. There is no good and transcendent way to assign Truth. Truth is belief, pure and simple. The opponent will wear himself out trying to come up with an iron clad definition of Truth. Stake out you own battlegrounds; don't let others define them for you. You will only fall into their traps if you do. This is why I refused to answer when people asked me whether Jesus was my savior. Whether I answer yes or no, I am immediately in the midst of combat on their terms, on their battleground, using their logic. They will use their things better than I. So I did not answer. Instead I wrote their sins in the sand on the beach with my finger. That's a joke. But...if you do not let others define things for you, if you do not let society define your being, then you must do it yourself. In this process you will come across an old pal, God Himself. You will say, "Haven't seen you in a month of Sundays." He will say, "I have been here all along. You just did not recognize Me. You had someone else's glasses on."

What The Pres Did And When He Did It

As a snippet from Mr. Mclellan's book causes us to question our collective insanity for putting up with outrageous nonsense, I feel compelled to point out one verity which I have learned over many years: When we have attained the point where one may observe that "The President did not know that what he was telling Mclellan was false." "The President merely repeated what he had been told." "Although the President gave his full authority to the denial, he obviously was uninformed." and so on, we have come to the point where we either fish or we continue to dither and cut bait. For when we have reached the point where the highest powers in the land are portrayed in a nebulous casuistry of lack of responsibility because they were uninformed, we are very close to the point where even the true believers will begin tittering in the audience. When the President's defenders must use the defense of ignorance to support their man, their man has been fatally wounded.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Reality As An Ideal Construction 3

I heard someone say they disagreed that we create Reality. I asked them, "What do you think is the purpose of consciousness?" The role of consciousness in life is exactly to create a Reality in which a life form may live well. Natural selection and genetic change help form life to the various situations it finds itself, but consciousness works faster; e.g., the use of tools to build a shelter is faster than waiting for a mutation to give you a carapace impervious to the elements. The role of consciousness is precisely to create a Reality for consciousness. What other purpose would it have?

Why Don't You Write More About God?

Given the Blog Title, some inquiring minds wonder why I sometimes appear to write about everything but God. Therefore, I shall make it clear now. My friends, or -more correctly-those people who happenstance find themselves in close quarters with me for more than 15 seconds and feel enforced to converse, will blurt out "God again!" when I mention the Holy, as I invariably do. For me, the touchstone of all conscious life is the manner in which we deal with the Holy. God for me is not some alien being, not remote, not intellectual, not saved for one day of the week, not something so abstruse that you need an advanced degree even to mention Him, not here, not there, not seen, not invisible. God is the most wide, most great, most important aspect of the Conscious Being we refer to as Man. I understand nothing in my short life if I do not understand my relationship to God. There!

American Empire 3: The End Of Freedom

When did the American Empire begin? Did it begin with the war against the Native peoples of the continent? Or did it begin with the Civil War and the period of despotism over the vanquished South? It may have begun with the invasion of the Phillipines and the Spanish-American War.
Certainly the Civil War showed what America was capable of in terms of firepower and sheer slaughter, as well as military innovation and invention.

In the 1/3 century, a generation, that followed the end of the Civil War, we awaited the next conflict. This was the Spanish-Ameridan War, started over what appears to have been a staged explosion of the battleship Maine. (Foreshadows of Tonkin Gulf and WMDs in never changes...the bloody minded have nothing new, but they don't have to, because their lies always work.) It reached its greatest power in World War II and continued through the era of reconstructing Europe and Japan.

When the Soviet Union fell apart and China decided it was better to export toys rather than revolution, there were no more wars. However, the men whose entire consciousness was based on war and emnity and competition and brutality could not conceive a world without war.
Therefore, they give us the denouement of Empire:
whereas the USA and Soviet Union achieved the enormous moral victory of not blowing up the world and actually beginning to decrease nuclear arms, now such arms increase again;
whereas the USA was a beacon of Democracy, it now uses Democracy as a punch line in a crank phone call at best;
whereas the USA used to have some fund of moral value which attracted others, it now has torture and Abu Ghraib;
whereas there used to be a belief that all citizens were participating in the growth of wealth and benefit in the country, it is becoming increasingly clear that more and more the USA is a country where a small number control a vast majority of the wealth. (This is demonstrated by the recent abuse wherein we provide the less wealthy with mortgages which will destroy them - potentially-and they will only be able to pay if the housing bubble were to continue indefinitely: sub primes. This ruse had the intention of DECEIVING the people who were not fully participating in the economic growth. It deceived them into thinking that they were. And it worked for a while.)

From the foregoing, we see that a period of Imperial Growth is often marked with great benefits and great good. Empire is not necessarily a perjorative term. However, when Empires go bad, they go bad quickly.
We have not yet reached the point where the imperial party has gained absolute control and all politics has become merely the machinations of the rich...but we are close. This business of the possibility of the Presidency being in to exclusive possession of exactly 2 families for a quarter of a century is ominous.
During this time we have seen how outsiders are marginalized by the political process. ( Perot, Nader, et al. Mr. Ron Paul is the most recent. He has been studiously ignored by the Large Media. However, his supporters have utilized the Internet for fund raising. Mark it well: if he has a measure of success, the Republicans and Democrats will seek to hobble the Internet after the 2008 elections.)

The next year will be very informative. I believe that things will happen in politics domestically which will absolutely astound us.