Friday, August 24, 2007
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Monday, August 20, 2007
Friday, August 17, 2007
(So...in my dreams, I stand up in the House of Burgesses amidst the clamoring of voices. Waiting a long time for silence, I begin my speech and come to the conclusion: "...the Great Library at Alexandria ended in flames, just as Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose ends in a scene of conflagration, just as Fahrenheit 451 ends in Fire and Snow, so may this Administration..." At this point, Neoconservatives and their running dogs were heard to shout "Treason! Treason!".
I waited for them to quiet their slavering jaws. "...so may the present Neoconservative Administration profit from their example. If this be treason, then make the most of it."
Humility allows the slack needed to untie the knots. The Knotting is the creation of the Hyperreality. It is the coming together of various components and splicing or knotting them into a network which reflects the reality of our desires. It creates the sets for the movie of Desire's Hyperreality. The Untying strikes the sets of the movie.
I have previously recounted that when I gave up the notion of a God that was close to mankind and interested in a personal way in our individual doings, I was amazed to see that God was there. The God that was there was no longer the God of my juvenile imagination. How so? Well, God would not change the world just for my benefit. However, God would change the world. It may or may not be for my benefit. It depends upon how I see; whether I see with the eyes of Desire or the eyes of Humility.
The eyes of Desire have their own blueprints. If God can't change the world according to these blueprints, God is a problem. The eyes of Humility just see...and see and see...a long way. The Hyperreality of Desire is the Illusion. It is Maya. The Hyperreality of Desire is Simon Peter cutting the ear of a servant...a fisherman as a soldier! The Hyperreality of Desire is the wealthy of Mecca troubled for their Idols and thereby driving the prophet and his followers out.
The desperate hours of the Crucifixion drove Simon Peter to the emptiness of the world wherein he grasped at Humility and thus was able to see. The years of warfare and emnity placed the men of Mecca in that zone where statues no longer spoke, where ancient dreams vanished, and the whole of the reality of Allah rushed into the vacuum of the Jahiliyya like a rainstorm over the desert. Meditation is the door to Humility. It teaches us to be quiet. By being quiet, we begin to untie the knots of illusion. Even the Yaqui Don Juan told us to quell that internal dialogue of Self chatting with Desire.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Consider the strain of American society which solves its problems by violence and wars. (Here we refer to the manufactured wars, the wars created by us to accomplish what we want.) The idolater Pat Robertson has changed his mind about killing Hugo Chavez once again.
From Media Matters: "ROBERTSON: Well, a couple of years ago I made a comment or two about Mr. Chavez. Nobody even knew who Hugo Chavez was. They thought he was some grape picker from out in California. And all of a sudden my comments put him on the front page, and now we've begun to see the kind of person he is, and more and more people are saying to me, "I think you were right." Now he's talking about war with America. I knew this was going to happen. Before long, he's going to get atomic bombs. He's going to have missiles. He spent three billion, count them, three billion dollars acquiring arms from the Soviet Union, and you ask yourself, "What does a peaceful country at the head of South America, what do they need with three billion dollars' worth of arms?" We're not going to fight them. Are they going to take over Colombia? What's their next target? Are they trying to be the next Cuba? He is a very dangerous man. They call him "El Loco," and it's a well-deserved name."When all else fails, welcome War and Violence! If we cannot get our way peacefully, we will kill and maim and assassinate. It works in Iraq, or so they think. Create a illusory phantom and hurl our hatred at it...if we are lucky enough to kill a few foreigners, well and good. So, is it possible that Obama be elected President? I say yes. However, the bigger struggle will be to make it to Inauguration Day.
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Neoconservative is a misnomer.
The term is more correctly " NEOTOTALITARIAN". I know you thought that the totalitarian regimes were over and done with. Not so. What we have hitherto witnessed through the 20th century and into the 21st is the Darwinian evolution of Totalitarianism, a Survival of the Fittest, if you will, whereby we shall see the natural selection of a newer and more efficient Totalitarianism.
One of the facets of Totalitarianism was the State of Constant War. This war was waged against enemies exterior to the country and enemies within. If no such enemies exists, what then? They must be created and nurtured and brought along to an adulthood of emnity.
For example, who created Al Qa'ida? You may answer, unthinkingly, Osama Bin Laden. With a little reflection, you will see that this is quite wrong. The nations of the West, and in particular the United States of America, created Islamic Jihadism to fight against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. Many terrorist and jihadist groups were funded and equipped by the USA in order that the Soviet Union be brought low.
At present, the nation of Iran, a singularly incompetent choice for a Great Enemy, is being assiduously groomed by the Neototalitarians as the new object of the State of Constant War. Now, what about the enemies within the nation? I think an afternoon and evening spent listening to political radio shows and TV shows will admirably demonstrate the growing tendency to demonize various groups. The process is not yet been perfected, but it is ongoing and shows enormous promise of neototalitarian benefits.
What else do we see? In the past, books were burned. In the recent past, museums in Baghdad were looted of thousand of years of history, creating a disaster similar to that of the burning of the Library of Alexandria. All authority outside the official Ideology must be destroyed, and the remains of the past which did not encompass Totalitarianism are items for the dust bin. (On wonders whether the New Totalitarians said that if these antiquities agreed with their Neototalitarian policies, then they were superfluous. If these antiquities disagreed, then they were pernicious and should be destroyed.)
We see torture resurrected as an instrument of policy and the offenses of Abu Ghraib are nothing if not disturbing simulacra, both premonitory and memorious, of the institutions of the Thought Police in Orwell's 1984 as well as the Spanish Inquisition. If we remember Totalitarian bombast, just look and listen to those of the present day and see the close connections between our elite and the totalitarian elites of the past. I quote from Axel Brot's article Germany: The Re-Engineered Ally:
"...since the 1970s, patient, alliance-building ideologue-adventurers, think-tankers and journalists, have crept up through the institutions, using and being used, joining the fantasies of redemption, revenge, plunder, and control over the world, into an action program for employing American power... "It is the remarkable lack of decorum, the intentional staging of bullying language, rich in threats and insults, the resentful hypocrisy, the slightly unhinged display of bad faith when diplomacy and suasion are the order of the day, that has convinced even some of the "just-a-bad-patch" hopefuls that the bad times are here to stay. "Are there Totalitarians or not? Ask the question: How long will the American pre-eminence endure?
It will not be answered...yet. It is too reminiscent of the claims in the past that certain totalitarian regimes would last a thousand years...a millenial empire.
Soon, however, as the evolution takes it course, you will find the Neototalitarians readier to answer the question. However, as the Neototalitarians claim that their new Reich will last 1,000 years, you will notice that they will yet demure from identifying too closely with past dictators and re-cast their claim in Churchillian terms, saying that if the USA were to indeed last 1,000 years, this - "this" being whatever new and destructive holocaustic war in which we are currently involved- will be called "Our Finest Hour."
The President and Ms. Rice laughed about it a good deal. Ms. Rice said that all the hubbub was nothing but "the birth pangs of a new Middle East".
One may only assume that Ms. Rice knew nothing about birthing no babies. When Hizbullah did not roll over and play dead, our rulers sat up and took notice that the game was afoot.
Friday, August 10, 2007
They wolfed down some Dare cookies and washed them all down with pints and pints of the Earl Grey kindly provided by the Grace Tea Company of NY. They then turned to reading what was left of the morning paper.
They chanced upon an article describing some hapless Republican wags likening George Bush to Harry Truman, ostensibly because both had low approval ratings at one time.
We wondered. Let's see.
George Bush is rich. Harry was not.
George is a Republican. Harry was a Democrat. Not much there.
Harry Truman had to fire a military genius in McArthur. George had flunkies run the war for 4 years.
My nephews mused. George Bush does indeed remind of some historical figure of that time, the 30s and 40s, but not Harry S Truman, they said. Who was it that started an illegal war? Who had intial success which soon turned to disaster? Who was it that thought he was in contact with supernatural forces, whether those forces be God or the Force of History? Who was it that thought that at the last minute when everything was falling down around him, he would be proved ultimately correct and victorious...just like his favorite Kings of Prussia??!!
It wasn't Harry Truman. It wasn't even an American. When you open the door to historical parallels, look out!
I had a post that I liked about Justice Scalia.
He should keep his philosophizing strictly to the law. He should certainly not spin fables of time travel back to the founding fathers. I find him to be at least as intelligent as that columnist creature Thomas Sowell. On Mr. Sowell's columns, there is mention of Mr. Sowell being a fellow of the Brookings Institute.
This must mean that he is "a jolly good fellow" for he has not the wit to be much else. http://fatherdaughtertalk.blogspot.com/2006/10/rabbi-of-goray-and-justice-scalia.html
I consider him to be a stone-grinder rationalist: such thinkers take small stones and worry the facets off of them until they have a minute polished speck of rock, which - upon viewing critically again - appears to be almost nothing at all.
Go to Washington D.C. and have a vehicle inspection.
I have been awake for awhile this morning.
My daughter called at 5:20 A.M. to let me know she had arrived at the Washington D.C. vehicle inspection station. The line of waiting cars was 2 to 3 blocks long. The facility opens at 6:00 A.M. She called me later at 5:40 to let me know the expressions of people arriving and discovering how long the line was.
I had gone through this with her 2 years ago. It took 3 hours. People become enraged at their helplessness in the face of this virtual prison of governments.
There were loose dogs wandering around. Some of them sort of staggered a bit, looking like that rabid dog in To Kill A Mockingbird that the sheriff, Heck, has to ask Atticus to shoot down. There were people selling bottles of water. There was a doll in a flashy dress...
Oh, and they only let you know that you could not use a credit card to pay until after you had sat in line and gone through the test! That explained why we saw so many people hightailing it across the street to the US Post Office: they had to get a money order.
Have a vehicle inspect at D.C.
There is a great story in Alaska, home of a corrupt elite of politicians.
"Outside Don Young’s annual pig roast fundraiser on Wednesday night, a raucous crowd of all ages and political persuasions taunted the guests with shouts of “oink, oink,” waved signs against corruption and big money in politics, and generally protested anything Young was for. It was a party inside the fence, where the more than 200 guests drank beer and bottled water and dined on pork under white tents. They were asked to donate up to $1,000 each for U.S. Rep. Young’s re-election campaign.
And it was a party outside, where about 70 protesters showed up for a remarkable demonstration not only against Young at his signature fundraiser event, but also against U.S. Sens. Ted Stevens and Lisa Murkowski, who were special guests. "
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
At the BBC we read Cheney insists Iraq surge working in http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6925368.stm
As we read through, we come across this:
"The Petraeus-Crocker report is due to be presented before Congress on 15 September. Democrats, who are in control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate, want President George W Bush to come up with a military withdrawal plan from Iraq for 2008. But the man Mr Bush has nominated as chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, Michael Mullen, has predicted that the US will be in Iraq for years, not months, and he warned Congress against attempts to secure a rapid pull-out of troops. "
This brings us to the point where we must stop and consider.
Surely the generals and the army know how to fight a war, at least some of the time. They did not seem to know how to fight this type of war. General Petraeus had to be rescued from oblivion and obloquy to head up the new and improved fourth generation warfare. We must ask ourselves whether the tail is wagging the dog. Are we still in control of our own destiny? Or has our blind devotion to things military led us to an impasse where war's events control all aspects of our lives?
Do the exigencies of the war in Iraq - as they are perceived by the military- take precedence over all other considerations? We might easily answer that if we had some sort of policy in place rather than the roughly cobbled mish-mosh used by the present administration, then we would follow our policy. You have to have a goal. Our goal in Iraq was elimate Weapons of Mass Destruction. There weren't any. So then we said it was all worth it so we might hang Saddam Hussein in a frightful execution scenario after a trial in a kangaroo court. And then we said we have to stop the mighty and powerful IRAN. And so on and so on.
There literally is no end to this, in case you haven't figured that out yet.
What does it mean to have no goal, no well defined policy to follow and judge one's actions? One result is that the tail tends to wag the dog, or the tiger. This means that events are no longer controlled by the decision makers in Washington D.C., rather the events in Iraq and the war are in controll and the people in Washington scurry about trying to address issues, cover their backsides, and generally try to create the illusion that they planned it all from the beginning.
Let us look back in history to 1905 when Japan sent the Kwangtung Army to Manchuria to guard Japanese interests.
Manchuria is a huge area and many in Jpana and in the Kwangtung Army thought it would be just what Japan needed to alleviate the overcrowding of the home islands, to be markets for their goods, and to be a source for raw materials for Japan's industry.
By the summer of 1931, elements within the Kwangtung Army were ready to take Manchuria from Chinese control. A charge of dynamite was planted on the tracks of the South Manchurian Railway near Mukden; its explosion was to be the excuse to "bring order" by sending troops to seize Mukden.
By the morning of September 19, 1931 Mukden was in Japanese hands, much to the dismay of the world and Tokyo. The Cabinet ordered the Army General Staff to limit the scope of hostilities, but individuals within the Kwangtung Army ignored this. The War Ministry finally radioed the Kwangtung Army a reproach:
1. The Kwangtung Army is to refrain from any new project such as becoming independent from the Imperial Army and seizing control of Manchuria and Mongolia...
We do not mean to imply that the US Army is acting like the Kwangtung Army.
We do mean to imply that events in war sometimes shape policy rather than policy shaping the conduct of the war. If there is no strong, well defined policy -such as is the present case-then it is easier for the events and exigencies of war to define policy, effectively taking decision making from the hands of elected representatives. We are seeing indications of this already. Our representatives and those who wish to be our representatives clearly are divided into 2 camps: (1) those who see the WAR as a given and are determined to let it play out into whatever dead end it goes to, and (2) those who maintain the right and honor to choose whether or not they will commit themselves to this infamy.
The Gang of Four of the title are Mr. Bush, Mr. Cheney, Mr. Rumsfeld, and Ms. Rice. They have been aided and abetted in their actions by numerous neoconservatives. Neoconservatives now say that the Iraq War was a strategic blunder. I say that it was more than that; this War was a lie and a crime. It was conceived in iniquity and born in perfidy. March 19, 2003 is a Day that will truly live in infamy. We must take back the right to choose between good and evil. We must not assume a worldy-wise posture and shrug, saying that people will have wars anyway.
Our whole way of life is based on the premise that we are free to choose, so now you must choose.
Monday, August 06, 2007
Homeless in the Market of War
This is an age when no man goes about in finery.//
This is the age of our debasement. When our hearts are noble, even the rags of the poor//
shine like silken finery upon our backs. Five years ago the powerful usurped their own //
worst dreams and became ignoble beasts of prey. Richard Cheney, William Krostol, Richard Perle and //
Douglas Feithe, Michael Ignatieff and Strauss sneered at us in our drab clothes and straggling band//
saying how will you endure? there are so few of you! And we answered, Lo, indeed you are fools! //
for the number of noble men is truly small! Not like your band of discord and war, motley garbed//
in opinions outrageous and ravening. The noble have a fortress mighty whose //
strength gives increase to our small band of heroes. It is a disgrace to lie. They ignobly spread lies like seeds.//
Would we not rather die than live their fabrications? We mill about in the midst of the market, looking//
at the wares. To which seller of souls shall we entrust our lives?
modelled after 'Antara
Friday, August 03, 2007
Many people have mentioned it. Hyperreality this....hyperreality that...everything is hyperreality.
The process of memory is the same process involved in the creation of hyerreality. To be able to relive the past gives us the ability not to live in the present.
....is coming to us in September.
It is being shown around in test screenings on the Larry King Show by Mr. Richard Cheney.
The other day I posted http://fatherdaughtertalk.blogspot.com/2007/08/richard-cheney-observes.html where we see:
"The venerable Richard Cheney, Vice President of the USA, has observed that the surge of troops is working. Among the proofs offerred is the fact that the 78 deaths of American troops in July 2007 is the lowest in a year."Subsequently I decided to look at the mortality rate by month, since that is what Mr. Cheney is talking about.
I found the site Iraqi Coalition Casualties at http://www.icasualties.org/oif/ which keeps track of such things. The number of US forces deaths in July, 2007 there is 81, not 78. The chart displaying the monthly death rates are able to be copied into a spreadsheet where they may be subject to statistical analysis.
(1) Average Number of deaths per month: January 74.75 February 53.50 March 52.80 April 88.20 May 78.40 June 62.40 July 55.80 August 62.75 September 58.00 October 77.50 November 93.25 December 73.00 The months in order, greatest mortality to least: 1...November 2...April 3...May 4...October 5...January 6...December 7...August 8...June 9...September 10..July 11..February 12..March Unfortunately, I cannot transport any charts from Excel to this blog.
(2) We had mentioned that Mortality Activity fell off in the summer months. Deaths fall off in February and March, spiking upwards in May, declining again to July, remaining low until October where the numbers pick up and spike again in November. We said the activity falls due to heat in the summer. This does not explain the low point in February and March. However, we see that June, July, August, and September are listed within the lower 6 months with lesser deaths.
(3) When Mr. Cheney said the number of deaths was the lowest in July in a year, he meant within the year 2007 so far, not within the 12 month period of July 2006 to July 2007. The second interpretation would make his statement obviously false. However, the 80 deaths in July 2007 marks an increase of 86% over the 43 deaths of July 2006.
(4) Looking at the periods of January through July for 2007 and 2006, we see the following increases: January 2007 shows an increase of 34% over the corresponding period of 2006. February 2007 shows an increase of 47%, March shows an increase of 161%, April shows an increase of 37%, May shows an increase of 83%, June shows an increase of 66%, and July shows an increase of 86% over the corresponding period of 2006. All increases. The increase for July is the second greatest increase for a period of 2007 over 2006.
(5) If the increased number of US troops and whatever new strategy they are using is actually working, what may we expect for the Death Numbers of August? We have seen an increase in activity ranging from 34% to 161% so far in 2007. We would expect an increase in August. The prediction now, based on an August average of 72 deaths - ignoring the first year of the war before the insurgency entrenched itself- we expect a minimum of 101.52 deaths.
Anything less than 101, then we must consider that the surge is actually effecting the death rate. After all this, the best way to evaluate the Surge may not be the death rate. What I like best about the War is the feeling that we cannot do anything. That is indeed an eerie feeling. Not even in the doldrums of Vietnam did the populace at large seem to feel that. At that time, those who did not support the war got out an demonstrated. Now we just sit and stare at TV.
Thursday, August 02, 2007
My title service had some glitches.
Instead of "Middle East" ( Sharq al-Awsat), they came through with "Middle Easy" ( Mahl al-Awsat).
I think I shall use it. It will remind us that the administration said the war would cost 1 billion....TOPS! They also said it would be a cakewalk, a picnic in the park, and a ride through the woods to gramma's house. Their understanding of the nature of war was somewhat deficient.
So, here we are looking at the Big Ol' Middle Easy. Joey Nasser went off on a tirade about the US giving billions to Sunni governments, ostensibly to defend against the mighty and powerful Iran, which- by the way- is a Shi'a government. His pals, Ahmed and Ralph, just shook their heads and went out for a smoke.
Joey Nasser says that the US gave the secular Sunni Saddam Hussein millions and weapons to fight the Shi'a in his own country and to fight the Shi'a government of Iran. Well, that all went to heck in a tiffin box, but now we're at it again: fight the mighty Iranian threat. Only it's weapons to all Sunni's in the area; no weapons to Shi'a. Now it may strike you as strange that the government of Iraq in its present incarnation as the government of Al-Maliki has a majority of Shi'a representatives.
Surely the Maliki government is a Shi'a government that GETS weapons! Let us look at that.
Al-Maliki, a Shiite activist who spent the Saddam Hussein years in exile, hotly objects to the recent U.S. practice of recruiting tribal groups tied to the Sunni insurgency for the fight against the Sunni extremists of al-Qaida. His loud complaints have won little but a U.S. pledge to let al-Maliki's security apparatus screen the recruits. Aides say that the Iraqi leader also has spoken bitterly about delivery delays of promised U.S. weapons and equipment for his forces. http://newsfeedresearcher.com/data/articles_w31/idw2007.07.29.13.40.41.html
So Joey Nasser says its a plan to ethnic cleanse the Shi'a! It was a plan to instill Civil War in the House of Islam! And so on... All the guys down at Hanaan's Diner looked at what he had. Some of us tried to argue, but they petered out. All we could say is that it was so incredibly stupid, no one in their right minds could come up with such a foreign policy....... Then we looked silently at each other, eyes opening wide with disbelief at what we'd said.