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Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Guardian Covers The GOP

I excerpt it because they do it better than I do it. I am going to stop writing about politics. I only started because I was appalled at the cavalier attitude with which the USA went to a misbegotten War. Now it looks like the NeoCon Republican Party has fallen apart. People talk about the party rallying behind John McCain-if he is the eventual nominee- but Republicans do not "rally" round the nominee if that nominee doesn't meet their "purity" definition. They never did. The GOP was never in my lifetime a "Team Spirit" group. Back in the day, we would rather have a Gotterdammering with Goldwater than give an inch, and it made us feel good. It still does give them, the present day Republicans, a good feeling. All that nonsense about becoming a majority party- what drivel! The GOP is a party of rich, cranky types who represent the various elites. The Rove inspired attempt to get the religious right was doomed to failure for the very reasons we see: Mike Huckabee. Mr. Huckabee is about as welcome to the Republican Power structure as a can-can dancer on City Hall steps at high noon. They never meant that the religious types should be in the place of Power. Never. Anyway, here is The Guardian on the most recent debates, or Debate XXII: "...the Republican debates have the air of cocktail parties whose guests have been selected by random telephone dialling. " and for the Democrats: "Race is an issue in subtler, nastier ways. Clinton operatives have stressed Obama's middle name, Hussein, with the clear implication that Barack might have something unconfessed in common with Saddam."

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Bush Legacy: Thomas Bray Observed

Time will not tell; the present mess speaks volumes. The only way the Bush years will be judged favorably is if the most bleak and dystopian timelines occurs, with a future so appalling that the living would envy the dead. If Skynet actually became conscious, then Bush would be judged "not too bad" and "we've seen worse". In 2006, an editor of the Detroit News with the appropriate last name of Bray committed an exercise in intellectual sloth and dishonesty-wishing to kill two birds with one stone, as it were- and compared Mr. Bush to Mr. Lincoln.
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2006/04/president_lincoln_lied_us_into.html

The site is Real Clear Politics, "real clear" being some sort of cypher for "buffoonish" or what not, but one must admire the ardency with which the obscure and dense embrace the concept of real clear-instead of really clear-and common sense and all other Cartesian notions which render them free from the burden of thinking too, too much.  

"Lincoln repeatedly asserted that his aim was to prevent the spread of slavery, not eliminate it in the South. "I believe I have no lawful right to do so," Goodwin quotes him as saying. Thus when he finally issued his Emancipation Proclamation two years into the war, freeing the slaves in the Confederate states, his Northern critics claimed that he had misled the country. A bloody and unnecessary war was being fought in a Utopian effort to bring the blessings of democracy to a people who had little experience with it."

In this article, Mr. Bray seems to fail to recognize that the Confederacy started military action by the attack on Fort Sumter. Mr. Lincoln did not initiate military action. Hence, whatever jumbled analogy was lodged in Mr. Bray's head seems to be a distinction, not a simile.  

"Oh, and by the way, where did this President get off claiming, as Lincoln did, that his implied powers as Commander in Chief allowed him to tinker with institutions, such as slavery, expressly acknowledged in the Constitution? Or suspending the writ of habeas corpus, perhaps the most fundamental bulwark of liberty in the Anglo-Saxon tradition? Only much later did Lincoln seek congressional authorization for the suspension of habeas corpus, despite the Constitution's explicit instruction that Congress must agree beforehand. And not until 1865 did the administration get around to pushing for the 13th Amendment officially ending slavery."

One of the problems of War is that War trumps everything, even the Constitution.
Warring parties do not observe the legal niceties. This is the lesson I tried to tell people like Mr. Bray back in 2002 ands 2003. They would have none of it. He still does not seem to "get it", thinking that War, even an illegal War based on the most outrageous of lies, will have many good effects. He gives the impression that he is mixing up expenditures of the Department of Defense on research (which have given us Teflon...and the Internet) with the horrible cost of War.

I do not esteem Abraham Lincoln because he suspended habeas corpus. I consider Lincoln's suspension of habeas corpus to be a blot on his history. I am not such a mindless, fawning sycophant of those canonized by popular history that I believe everything Lincoln did was somehow magically good! Mr. Bray apparently does. And by casting Lincoln as a saint, he tries to fit the Bush presidency into, if not sainthood, at least into the nave of the church.
 
"But the parallels suggest a degree of modesty among those inclined to see Bush - and his embattled Defense Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld - as unmitigated disasters. As with Lincoln, much will depend on the outcome."

And when the outcome is perverse and vile-such as we see with the economy now- who will be held accountable? Will you offer yourself, Mr. Bray? When everything comes due, where will you be, Mr. Bray?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

!! Blog Of Note !!

No, I did not make "Blog of Note", although I came in 495th in the field. This is more like "Fog of Note". However, a site named "Wooly Pigs" did make Blog o' Note. This site has some rather good photos of pigs, before and after slaughter. I keep forgetting Equation 1:Slaughter and Food = Good, whereas Equation 2: Slaughter and Politics = Bad, and even though I flirt with vegetarianism, I would not change the above equations for all the tea in Guangzhou...we aren't ready for it. (When I speak of changing the equations, I mean the FIRST equation "slaughter and food=good". Too many people have already tried to change the SECOND equation and tried to derive something like "slaughter & politics={possible good} AND {possible bad}...sort of depends on whose ox is being gored or doing the goring...")

Monday, January 28, 2008

Jesus Saves...His Money In The Bank Of Montreal

This was a ditty from the old, old, old days in Canada.

In the States it was some other financial institution, which probably no longer exists, having been consumed by one of the mega-banks whose reason for being was in part to ensure future financial crises were real blingers! Anyhow, we have touched on Save versus Consume before. We have tried to mock the mindless consumption of our society.

Now there is a wonderful article written about the new economic stimulus which very well highlights why we should Save and not go out and just Shop, even though the President and Congress and Federal Reserve - all very bright numbers- have ordered us to do so.
 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/25/AR2008012502047.html?hpid=opinionsbox1 Washington Post  
Why the Stimulus Shouldn't Stimulate You  
By Steven E. Landsburg Sunday, January 27, 2008  
"...the average American worker today earns roughly nine times as much as his 1840 counterpart. That's because today's worker is roughly nine times as productive. (You might have thought it had something to do with labor unions, but even at their most powerful, no union could ever extract blood from a stone or extract wages that exceeded the value of production.) Today's workers are more productive because they're working with better equipment -- computerized looms instead of handlooms, for example. That equipment was built from raw materials that were available because someone chose not to consume them. So if 19th-century Americans had been encouraged to consume more, you'd be earning less today. And if you and I are encouraged to consume more, our grandchildren will earn less in the future. If you care about your grandchildren, you should be encouraging everyone else not to consume, but to save."


Consumption versus Savings...reminds us of Exploitation versus Husbandry...of Saving the Environment versus Destroying the Environment...Consume or Save. The history of the last 50 years at least has been to consume more and more, to create a bigger and bigger footprint on the face of the world. We have been talking for years about the deficit and how we shall impoverish our grandchildren. We are destroying the future by rampant spending on nothing. If we were getting a superior quality of life by Consuming and Exploiting, that would be one thing, but we are not.  
We are eating the future!
 
Chronos Devouring His Children by Goya

--

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Reshet Shamaim

רשת שמיים This is Hebrew for Skynet. Israel Eyes Thinking Machines to Fight 'Doomsday' Missile Strikes (Updated) By Noah Shachtman January 22, 2008 5:15:00 PM http://blog.wired.com/defense/2008/01/israel-thinking.html?cid=98177054#comment-98177054 Just how many times shall I get to use this Dr. Strangelove video?

What Shall We Talk About?

It has been reported in Terra Daily and many other sources that scientists are getting close to creating life-according to their definition of it.
  
http://www.terradaily.com/reports/US_scientists_close_to_creating_artificial_life_study_999.html  
US scientists close to creating artificial life  
by Staff WritersWashington (AFP) Jan 24, 2008  
"US scientists have taken a major step toward creating the first ever artificial life form by synthetically reproducing the DNA of a bacteria, according to a study published Thursday."    
It is all very interesting. And there is the standard warning which appears everywhere, from the "grey goo" of nanotechnology to genetically modified food to the spread of nuclear technology:  
"And ETC, a Canadian watchdog group that uncovered Venter's patent application for M. laboratorium, worries about accountability. "While synthetic biology is speeding ahead in the lab and in the marketplace, societal debate and regulatory oversight is stalled, and there has been no meaningful or inclusive discussion on how to govern synthetic biology in a safe and just way."  
Is there ever any meaningful debate about any of the truly weighty and important topics in the USA? If something can be construed to make money, it gets a green light. The only offspring of the Electronic Revolution debarred from existence seems to be child pornography, which was outlawed. And when you consider that it was only the pornography of a sexual nature that was outlawed-the pornography of children starving and being denied medicines was left untouched-one realizes how stand-offish the USA is when it comes to forbiding the exercise of a potentially lucrative idea.

The USA does not talk about what they do. The Presidential selection process is a competition between Donors, Lobbyists, Big Corporate Media companies combined with a beauty pageant which analysts describe using Sports metaphors. Nano Tech is implemented with very little discussion of environmental impact. What discussion there is is merely pro forma and has no impact on the use of the technology. The FDA is seriously at the verge of allowing Genetically Modified food to be forced into the mouths of the populace by not insisting that GM food be labelled as such, the rationale being that a great number of people would never in their wildest dreams eat GM food. Hence, if the GM food were to be labelled, the sales would be adversely impacted and Return On Investment would be handicapped.

AND when it comes down to a choice between the health of the people and business, business usually wins the first 10 rounds. Only when the toxins have accumulated within the bodies of the parents and their children and possibly their childrens' children will business be brought up on charges, and the people may win in technical knockout. Universal Health Care is a shibboleth to Republicans and a dream to Democrats. What it is not is a serious topic of national discussion. Then there are the global interests to be considered.

Clausewitz once wrote that war is the continuation of policy by other measures. What policy?! Is there a foreign policy other than that ingrained in the hearts of the career members of the State Department? What was the rational and reasoned and nationally discussed foreign policy that led to the War in Iraq?

At least Vietnam had the benefit of having had a policy-albeit an insane, parochial, and short sighted one-behind it. War with Iran? What policy does it serve? The perversely childish policy of supporting every Likud politican who happens to sit in the Knesset or every Christian Zionist pastor who can draw a flow chart of the will of God is NOT a policy! It is the act of the mentally and spiritually bankrupt.

It seems that national discussion is too reminescent of national planning or some other communist notion, the ideal being: take a melting pot, pour in a coupl'a million huddled masses, allow them liberty in the fringes of society far from power, heat and mix well, then pour the resulting fondue into the streets of gold. (Or use the sweet fondant to ice the cake...whichever.) At no point do we discuss anything, particularly any long term results which might make us seriously question the wisdom of our short term goals. Discussion reeks of Community and Involvement and that whole "It takes a village" thing. The ruling paradigm is the autistic savant whose dysfunctional apotheosis is $.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Hari Seldon Speaks!

Hari Seldon was the father of the mathematical discipline of Psychohistory, as delineated by Isaac Azimov in the Foundation series of books. So, Seldon's vault opens once again and he speaks to us: When man returns to the Moon, the probability of Chinese nationality individuals being among the crew is 60%; the probability that the mission will be a Chinese mission is 33%; the probability that no Americans will be along for the ride is 5%. The 5% probability that no Americans would be on the mission was vanishingly small - about .00007667 % just 5 years ago. Wow!

Hari Seldon
note: I used a photo of Asa Kasher to represent Hari Seldon.

See Tom Warn

And for good measure, we have from TomDispatch the timely admonishment from Chalmers Johnson: http://www.tomdispatch.com/ http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/174884/chalmers_johnson_how_to_sink_america "As a result, going into 2008, the United States finds itself in the anomalous position of being unable to pay for its own elevated living standards or its wasteful, overly large military establishment. Its government no longer even attempts to reduce the ruinous expenses of maintaining huge standing armies, replacing the equipment that seven years of wars have destroyed or worn out, or preparing for a war in outer space against unknown adversaries. Instead, the Bush administration puts off these costs for future generations to pay -- or repudiate. This utter fiscal irresponsibility has been disguised through many manipulative financial schemes (such as causing poorer countries to lend us unprecedented sums of money), but the time of reckoning is fast approaching. " This government wants to get through the next twelve-month without losing its backside. Get rid of it now.

A Controversy Of Republicans

I am using the term "controversy" in an ancient, very ancient, and aliquant sense. It is where we draw a raster in the sand and put pebbles corresponding to inviduals into the various columns and by this primal abacus we differentiate between the members of a group...of...pebbles. There. I told you it was ancient. Anyhow, I wrote about two types of Conservatives and used "Russel Kirk" and "George Roche III" as category headings before, asking then which type you thought you were. (I was using "you" in the royal, absent-minded, wool-gathering sense.) Lest Republicans think I'm picking on them-and I am, due to a whole bush of problems-I can do this same procedure for Democrats. If I were to do Democrats, I'd probably start out with "Tony Pro" Provenzano type Democrats versus "FDR" Democrats, just to get the ball rolling. So let's get a comprehensive list of categories for Conservatives: Russell Kirk, where we would place RK, Goldwater, Edmund Burke, Ron Paul (I would place him there.) and so on; George Roche III, where we would place those whose actions directly led to tragic death. I shall leave it to you to fill in the blanks; William "Billy" Kristol, wherein we find the clowns and mountebanks, such as Wolfie Wolfowitz standing on a corner going "Hubba-hubba!", steam coming out of his ears as Rosie the Riveter walks by. (It does not have to be Rosie the Riveter. It could be an associate at the World Bank. Of course, this is the Bush World Bank a la Warner Brothers cartoons.) ; This is all coming out of the wash a good deal like Dante's Inferno. Now even I am captivated. I mean, I am forced to actually come to a stop in this mad dash referred to as "posting" and sit back and gaze at what I have written with an indistinct emotion which augments itself to something like "admiration". I shall add to the "controversy" list anon.

NCB Of The Week: Monica Crowley

This stands for "NeoConservative Blondes".  
(I have highlighted the initial letters in case the acronymn of the title escapes you!)

This is what Sean Hannity had to throw at those pesky Ron Paul supporters just as he reached the front steps of his hotel in some Primar-i-stan state or country or wherever it was. He threw her into their slavering jaws to secure his foothold in the door. It was all very Ramar of the Jungle.

Anyway, there seem to be so bloody many of these NCBs that I'm sure the sacrifice will hardly make a dent in their growing numbers. (I would have liked to call them "NCBOs" which would remind me on the "LCBO" of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario of my university days, "It was not the quantity of wine. It was the variety which made him ill.", but then I would limit my audience. No one but Canadians would understand me. NOTE from Gil in Canada: "Eh? Even we don't understand ya!")

So we have a new feature with pin ups of the NCB of the week. Today it is Monica Crowley. No. It really is. I know they all resemble each other, so you will have to take my word for it that the picture below is indeed a likeness of the NCB being honored today.


The Empire Strikes Back

Bush Olmert Associates have brought about this:

where Palestinians are flocking across the Egyptian border to buy necessities of life. The Wall on the border was bombed and 7 miles of it were toppled. So far the Egyptian police and army have not done anything to stop them, mostly because they don't believe in letting all the people in Gaza die. We are beginning to realize that there is a price to be paid for allowing this monstrous malevolence to continue, for it was our gol-durned way of keep on keepin' on that makes us think that everything's ok and God's in heaven and all's right with the world. Well...God is in heaven and the world and its economy was and is run by gangsters! There is a bond not to flood the world again, but that doesn't mean our backsides will not be kicked up and down Main Street for a while.

The Economy

The people in Michigan, I hear tell, are standing with hands cupped to their mouths, yelling to the rest of the country: "Welcome to Hell!"

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Just In Case...

...you thought everything was understandable in the Middle East, you probably missed the orthodox Jewish groups demonstrating againt the State of Israel during the brief Peace Season in Annapolis. "The Talmud...teaches that Jews shall not use human force to bring about the establishment of a Jewish state before the coming of the universally accepted Moshiach (Messiah from the House of David). Furthermore it states that we are forbidden to rebel against the nations and that we should remain loyal citizens and we shall not attempt to leave the exile which G-d sent us into, ahead of time." This is another interesting facet of our government's policies. It indicates support of Israel stems from politics, pure and simple. And when the Jewish terrorists blew up the King David Hotel in 1946, it was indeed a terrorist act and not the act of freedom fighters, nor was it sanctioned by religion. It was beyond religion then, and such acts are beyond religion now, even though we try to argue that certain religions sanction them - we argue through our ignorance to the intolerance of those who listen. It may indicate that what is going on in Gaza - where it appears we are going to starve every last man-jack one of them, as well as women and children, into submission-may not be the religiously correct thing to do. Oooops!

Busses (or Buses) Bussing

There is a post... in a blog... on a site... in the web... that caused me sort of a fibrillation of the OCD, but all is well. It is at http://theoddneighbor.blogspot.com/ and it deals with the public transportation system in Missoula, Montana: http://theoddneighbor.blogspot.com/search/label/missoula "Missoula buses talk to us now... They caution us: Remain seated until bus comes to a complete stop. Do not talk to the operator while bus is in motion. And they tell us where we are: Now approaching Russell and Wyoming. Now approaching Missoula Library - Front and Adams. Listening to this for 20 some minutes is incredibly annoying, I can't imagine what it's like for the drivers who hear it all day long... This morning, I was on route 1, and the bus I boarded was in an especially chatty mood. For every stop along the route, we were reminded twice of its approach. And then we started approaching Brooks and Sussex. A good 4 blocks out, my helpful bus made sure to tell us. Then, about 2 blocks out, it reminded us again. And then a block out, and then yet again, when we were caught at the traffic light at the corner of Brooks and Sussex, it told us twice more, "now approaching - Brooks and Sussex. (Maybe Zeno had a point.) I asked the driver, "does it ever approach orgasm?" He didn't skip a beat. "Only if you rub the seats." " This works on so many levels for me. First, there is the spicey latakian mixture of sex and janitorial procedures. I mean, the very notion of "rubbing" seats whereon thousands of people have sat morning, noon, and night; in good weather and bad; feeling tip-top and half-seas-over; constipated contraltos and flatulent flautists; and all in a setting of quasi-foreplay and do-it-yourself-love-making is a truly Goyaesque creation, not to mention a Durer-like invocation of the Sexual Apocalypse!! (The Sexual Apocalypse followed on the Sexual Revolution.) Secondly, talking machines are rather fun. Thirdly, from a When Harry Met Sally perspective, we could think of it in terms of Rob Reiner's mother saying "I'll get off where she's getting off !" (Getting off the bus, that is.) This approach is reminescent of the music hall and filled with double-entendres of the keenest sort. Fourthly, it brings to the fore again the terrible problem of "bus" versus "buss". I mean, "buses" should rhyme with "fuses" and "busses" should be the plural of "buss" ( kiss), so where does that leave the plural of "bus", the vehicle? Context. The native speaker relies on context. Fifthly, this business of Zeno and whether there was a point, after all, to his philosophy is inspired. To wit, the entire validity of any philosophical system should include a run through with video and audio. For millenia, Zeno's Paradoxes have stumped the chumps and thrown a spanner-or monkey wrench-into the works of natural philosophy. However, once one becomes aware that by adding Images and a Sound Track, one may reduce pompous Zeno to no more than an annoying yenta ("Don't forget your bags! I told you the number 7 bus, not the 10! Your stop's coming soon. Pay attention!"), we see that what we took for a critique of the continuum was nothing but kvetch, kvetch, kvetch!

Monday, January 21, 2008

How Shall I Spend My Rebate?

Firstly, being slightly to the right of Mr. Ron Paul - for whom I shall vote whether he be nominated or not-I consider the "rebate" to be a "recovery" of money that was lifted from my pockets in a churlish manner by a churlish group of knaves. There. Having said this, the question is how shall I spend the whopping $800 or so from a stimulus equal to 4 months Iraq War...tops!!! ( As Wolfowitz used to say.) I shall: (1) use it to pay for higher priced gasoline, (2) use it to pay for higher priced foods, or (3) restrict my travel and eating, save the money in some off-shore bank, preferably in some investment NOT denominated in US dollars... ...and plan my eventual escape from the Empire. Heh,heh,heh.

Bush's Dream Economic Stimulus

The incumbent president woke with a start from a deep sleep. "What's is it, dear?" his wife said sleepily. "Nothin', honey. Go back to sleep." After 5 minutes she was fast alseep and he eased himself gently and silently out of bed, threw his bathrode over his shoulders, and quietly slid into the hallway, padding down to the Oval Office. He dialed a number. A sleepy and befuddled voice answered. "He...he...llooo?" "Ben. Is that you, Ben?" the president asked as if he expected some other male to be in Ben Bernanke's home at 3:00 A.M. "Yes... Mr. President, it is I." The President wished he would say things like "It is me." but let that go until another time. "Ben," he continued, "Ben, tell me somethin'. Now, the government can print all the money it wants, right?" Silence. Then came an answer "Well...yeeeahh...sure it can..." "Okey-dokey. Then, Ben, tell me this..." There was a pause. The president spoke with quiet intensity. "Can the government print all the OIL it wants, too?" inspiration from Wilson Burman in The American Conservative

How I Create

Creating something in writing is mostly a matter of immediacy or memory. If outrages are immediate, I respond: things like Neoconservatives, they are very immediate and extremely distasteful. I visualize Paul Wolfowitz speaking about the cost of the Iraq War and he is transformed before my eyes into General Buck Turgidson. When Wolfie sez "It'll cost a billion!...Tops!", or course it is George C. Scott as General Turgidson saying that the kill rate of the impending nuclear exchange will be 10 million...tops.

All very immediate and all very clear and built upon my memory, my present, and the future...which is a difficult notion to grasp: the future and how it impends upon the present. I always had trouble with "the future" until I realized that the only difference between the past, present, and future was the tense of the verb I was using: I used to see, I see, and I shall see. Which is to say, visions of the future are the same as visions right now (if you believe in visionary experiences, that is)...the seer only uses the future tense and this is what distinguishes the prophet from the raconteur of old stories. Anyway, so we have all these things tumbled together. I read of Edward Hopper the painter. I was in D.C. recently and went to the exhibit of Hopper. In my body and mind, Hopper's paintings are the past and very tense, waiting for some megatons of foreplay that seem to be held up somewhere, possibly by a train schedule mix up, and the Transcontinental never pulls into Grand Central on time. I love Hopper...and Chop Suey.

Then I read in L'Humanite a review of a new film by Ken Loach, director, and Paul Laverty, screenwriter, called It's All Free! The antagonists (at one time, there was a good debate about whether you could have more than 1 antagonist in a work of fiction) are the heroines who are the capitalists and, hence, potential villains for the communist inspired L'Humanite: "As expected, all tricks are permitted, especially the most underhand ones, resulting in a film that is at once action-packed, realist and picaresque, full of twists and turns. Viewers are obviously struck by the fact that the two villains of the day are women, one of whom is black. There is no concern for political correctness here, but instead we witness the eternal struggle for bread and survival, irrespective of gender or race." And now I am at the 1930's. It is winter and there is steam heat. A beautiful lady comes into the Chop Suey Palace and removes her coat...her clothes have the electricity of velvet and the scent of perfume turbo-charged as the steam vapors create an aesthetic ram into my nose. The radiators rattle slightly. And we go to a room, a corner room in the Flat Iron Building in New York, when the sun has set early in this Mystery Clock production...the sky is dark...we turn on the lights and raise the shades, letting our desires be hidden by the most flimsy hijab of diaphonous curtains. Far below where the Millenium Hilton once stood, we see the almost empty Krispy Kreme shop.

It was destroyed in 9/11... The Krispy Kreme gal is the same as one of the Chop Suey gals...or they're both there and one is ordering dougnuts in the second picture. These two ladies go into business during the Depression and with their success, the communist newspaper L'Humanite denounces their depredations of the working classes... That's how it's done.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Opinion Columns For The Witless: The Queen Mum Speaks

McCain wins in South Carolina. So, I am reading about it. I did not know how much the Republican establishment hated McCain. Now I do. In fact, now I see the GOP trotting out the "Queen Mary" opinionator: George Will with his bloodless subterfuge of reason. I cannot help it; his pictures remind me of the Queen Mum. I suspicion that he acts a good deal like she used to, God bless her, but I doubt he has her charm. So here is what I have seen: Ron Paul supporters chasing a terrified Sean Hannity who secures his retreat by throwing a conservative blonde into their path, Mike Huckabee's incarnation as a Evangelical base which has risen like a Frankenstein creation to threaten its former masters, John McCain being savaged by the savage elite and the Queen Mum. I believe the spokespeople for the Republican elite are talking about not what will happen, but what has happened: the Republican Party is falling apart. Since the Republican Party as we know it was a miserable and cranky pastiche of disparate peoples held together by fear, hatred, and economic exploitation, crafted by Karl Rove - "the political Genius"-its demise is a good thing. Thanks, George. You were good for something.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Old Friends

People An old friend left a comment. It was AuntieGrav who resides down the road at the old Grav house at http://auntiegrav.blogspot.com/ I used to see a lot more people. When I purchased my new computer, She-who-must-be-obeyed established temporal limits on how long I could have the old one set up on the kitchen table, trying to dissect data out of it into the new VISTA machine now known as Norma Desmond, who had been a perfectly wonderful ingenue when she was new to the house. However, since she has become accustomed to her surroundings, she has developed a rather peremptory attitude and insists that the local folk do not disturb her too much, leave the drapes drawn until noon, have breakfast at 2:00 P.M., and dine at 10:00 with oodles of champagne! I mean the whole bloody thing is way too Sunset Boulevard for my tastes. And I think I mentioned that she has totally captivated that Erich von Stroheim of an Internet Gateway she calls "Max". Really. Just when I settle in and wish to read or listen to the old BBC, up pops one of her old silent features: Getting to Know Your New Computer! starring HP aka. Norma Desmond. And as the lights go down and the flicker of the 24 frames per sec lulls me into slumber, I hear her voice: " Are you ready for my disk clean up, Mr. De Mille? " and like a threadbare Theda Bara ( "threadbare Theda Bara" makes no sense. I just couldn't resist it.) she vamps from her cabinet to walk among the living. Anyhow, what I meant to say was I did not get all my favorites transferred to Norma. Spelling I am looking for lexicographers who will stage a coup and establish the millenium: all words will be acceptable as they are typed!! the first time! Thius... Thus, that is, we shall not have to edit out "compnay" for "company" and "whoi" for "who" and the like. I mean my typing looks like some juvenile exercise of 1,000 monkeys at 1,000 typewriters working out things according to George Bernard Shaw's revolutionary orthographic conventions. wOULDN'T IT BE SO MUCH EASIER/ Paying Attention When it is cold like it is today, 17 degrees F the high, I set the thermostat at a balmy 66 degrees and bundle up. I usually wear a hood. Today I am wearing my deerstalker hat. It's light and warm and holmesian and watsonian and mrs-hudsonian. The hat was custom made in Ireland by Hanna Hats of Donegal, Ltd., Donegal Town, Ireland, Dry Clean Only. She-who-and so on says I do not pay close enough attention to her. The hat is her proof. I say nonsense. I say she does so many odd things that I have become inured to her eccentricities, serendipitous or planned. The deerstalker was a gift from her. Following so far? Now, if you know anything about custom made hats, you know one does not just go up to a hatter with a sign saying " In this style 10 / 6 " and order a topper. You have to have your head measured. And sometimes they want to record the declivities and concavities of your cranium with all the phrenological frenzy of Cesare Lombroso. Really. I kid you not. Well, She-who-must-be-obeyed was able to waltz into the den where I sat at the computer screen, take out a seamstress' tape and measure my head 2 or 3 times, mumble to herself, take notes, express amazement, then walk off quite loudly. I said nothing. I wasn't actually quite aware of anything...out of the ordinary, if you catch my drift. When the deerstalker came for Xmas, I was thrilled. "And you had no idea?" she said. "No...?" "Even when I was measuring your head?" she added. "Ooohhhh....." I said. What can one say at this juncture? I was sort of hoping Bing Crosby would pop out of the pantry and buss a maid on the cheek, giving me a Bob Hope way to wind things up. No luck. Good hat.

Iran's Speedboats Of Mass Destruction


When the old news of the face-off (?) in the Straits of Hormuz came to my attention, my first memory was of the USS Cole and the boat that ran into its hull in Yemen, setting off some explosives and doing a good deal of damage and mayhem. However, I am quite sure this is not what was in the mind of the naval personnel on those US naval vessels looking through their binoculars at the speedboats.

What they were remembering was the Pentagon war games of August 2002 called "Millennium Challenge" which took two years of planning ( placing us back to the year 2000 - notice this is before 2001.) In these games the USA was the Blue Force and the Gulf Power enemy was the Red Force. The commander of the Red Force was Marine General Paul Van Riper.
The Red Force won...until the Pentagon resurrected the Blue Forces and changed the rules.  
Slate http://www.slate.com/id/2080814/  
War-Gamed
Why the Army shouldn't be so surprised by Saddam's moves.
By Fred Kaplan Posted Friday, March 28, 2003, at 4:55 PM ET  

"Robert Oakley, a retired U.S. ambassador who played the Red civilian leader, told the Army Times that Van Riper was "out-thinking" Blue Force from the first day of the exercise." Among of the things General Van Riper did were: "For instance—and here is where he displayed prescience—Van Riper used motorcycle messengers to transmit orders to Red troops, thereby eluding Blue's super-sophisticated eavesdropping technology. He maneuvered Red forces constantly. At one point in the game, when Blue's fleet entered the Persian Gulf, he sank some of the ships with suicide-bombers in speed boats. (At that point, the managers stopped the game, "refloated" the Blue fleet, and resumed play.)"

This is what the Navy was thinking of. The Fifth Fleet is in a dangerous place without much room. Stuff happens. Some people want stuff to happen. General Van Riper finally quit the games in protest. Recall that this was Rumsfeld's Pentagon where one apparently switched the facts to fit the script.

"Finally, the paper quoted a retired Army officer who has played in several war games with Van Riper. "What he's done is, he's made himself an expert in playing Red, and he's real obnoxious about it," the officer said. "He will insist on being able to play Red as freely as possible and as imaginatively and creatively, within the bounds of the framework of the game and the technology horizons and all that, as possible. He can be a real pain in the ass, but that's good. … He's a great patriot and he's doing all those things for the right reasons." Clearly, the Pentagon needs to encourage obnoxious Red commanders, not suppress them. Scripted war-game enemies may roll over, but, as we're seeing, real enemies sometimes think of tricky ways to fight back."

There's a lot here: invasion plans going back to the years before 9/11, Pentagon brass surpressing creative generals, results of the war games published and coming back to haunt us... What kind of irony is there in having someone kick us in the backside with speedboats while we are sitting on our fat and ignorant asses watching smart bombs on TV kill people? I believe I hear Shaka Naw ( shock 'n' awe, shock 'n' awe, gonna bomb ya, shock 'n' awe!) when all I used to hear was "Hey, young fella! The Navy has news for you! To travel and get the pay you want, get into the Navy blue!..."

Friday, January 18, 2008

Miracles At Kandahar Cemetery In Afghanistan

picture: BBC
This presents us with another facet of the world and the war. This morning the BBC reports: Kandahar's cemetery of 'miracles' Dawood Azami BBC Pashto service "At Kandahar's Arab cemetery, victims of the US "war on terror" are revered by many as shaheed (martyrs) and their graves are believed to possess miraculous powers. Each day, hundreds of sick people visit the graves of more than 70 Arab and other foreign fighters and their family members who were killed in US bombing in the southern Afghan city in late 2001. " ... 'Several paralysed people have left the cemetery walking on their own two feet,'says Sangeena. " This poses a problem. I am sure the administration does not want to become victim to a "miracle" gap...or to succumb to some sort of "Miracle-Gate". We have certainly had enough people die that we could have our own miracle place. Mr. President, I do not know how long it has been since you talked to your pal, God (Actually Pazuzu, but we won't go into that now.) but it's time to hang the cost of a long distance connection and chew the fat with His Nibs. The whole election 2008 depends on a few miracles, more or less.

painting by Charnine

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Peace Poem

The 33rd so far. Sometimes I surprise myself. Well, they are all pretty rough and ripped off at a rapid pace. Today's is a day early, but better a day early than a poem late, as the old saying goes. It uses an analogy of Babylon, so I used the picture below. The one here is the Cinerama, or IMAX version of the picture.

I would provide a link, but my Hewlett-Packard Norma Desmond Computer, the Sunset Boulevard model, has adopted an attitude of a movie star in the autumn of her glow.

Miss Desmond, Serial # 7645CD987HY12, does not deem it sufficiently a noble undertaking to allow me to copy a link. She says for all she cares, re-boot. Then she cast a sidelong look at Max, the Internet Gateway, who muttered "Yes, madam."

Well, I was not happy about it.

http://peace-weaving.blogspot.com/2008/01/fast-day-33-january-18-2008.html

Got it...finally. Now if you will excuse me, I must escort Miss Desmond to a Whist tournament.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Conservatism In A Nutshell

If you remember your history - and your Classic Greek Tragedy - you may remember Hillsdale College in Michigan in the 1980s. Russell Kirk, a fine conservative writer, taught there.

George Roche III was the college president.

Both these men were political conservatives.
Russell Kirk wrote The Conservative Mind: From Burke to Santayana.
George Roche was a big money raiser for Reagan. George was a very important Republican. George Roche had an intimate affair with his daughter-in-law for years. It finally ended when the lady committed suicide in the gazebo on campus. Which type of Conservative R U ?

Could A "George Roche III University" Seal Rush Limbaugh's Legacy?

There is a...quaint website managed by...arcane types of folks called Family Security Matters. It can be totally over the top at times. It really took me a few minutes to figure out whether it was some outrageous parody of current events being staged by The Onion or whether it was legit. It is legit, meaning the people who write believe themselves to be quite serious. One of the editors or poo-bahs or panjandrums is a Raymond S. Kraft. His bona fides state that he is an attorney in California. He has an article entitled " Could A 'Russell Kirk University' Seal Rush Limbaugh's Legacy?" Seriously. I thought perhaps he meant "...seal Rush Limbaugh's fate?", but he seriously thinks that the great accomplishments of the pear-toned RL are in need of being preserved forever in a monumental chair of political philosophy with an appropriate professor emeritus. The only "Rush Limbaugh" Chair I could imagine being established would be in the mens' room. Read the article. Where else can you find these Great Personages rubbing elbows: Russell Kirk, Santayana, Plato, Edmund Burke all pushed uncomfortably near Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, Neil Boortz, and Glenn Beck. http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/terrorism.php?id=1386117 It is a hoot. It is even funnier on the second read. Quote these great names once more in the context of how Mr. R.S. Kraft, Esquire, thinks the university be established: "Creating a new, major, university is an enormous project. But I think this can be done relatively quickly, as enormous projects go. Here’s how: First, Rush should convene a Founding Board of Directors to take the first steps. I would arbitrarily limit this Founding Board to the five conservative radio talk show hosts with the largest audiences, who are (I believe) Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, Neil Boortz, and Glenn Beck." Surely these gentlemen would feel more at home with a George Roche III University? Root for good old GR3!? It has a tinge of the Classics...Oedipus comes to mind.

Genetically Modified MRSA

The USA is keeping itself under control.
It wants GM - genetically modified- foods allowed into the EU.

GM foods have been around for a long time in the USA. Monsanto has a number of them and what good is a Republican administration if it does not support the interests of its paymasters. It has not lashed out against the EU...yet. Of course, the tests run on GM as to its long term effects are non-existent, or, rather, they are being run now and you are the guinea pigs.

The tale of MRSA is a paradigm for the state of mind of many in the USA and the world at large. MRSA is a staph infection which has become resistant to antibiotics because of the widespread use of antibiotics for minor problems. MRSA is becoming even more nasty as we speak.
Antibiotics have been abused because: 1) our state of mind requires immediate short term returns (gratification) and we do not consider long term effects, 2) there is money in selling antibiotics, 3) we as patients do not question medical procedures, 4) there is no world-view or value system used by us in which making money short term does not trump all other values.
So too with GM foods. When the time comes when we ask why we did such thing to the ecology, we shall shake our heads and return to our lives, lives made more precarious by quisling crops and fugitive cereals and vanishing fruits...when comes the time when there will be a Sahellian abundance on our plates and our masters shall gnaw on our bones.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Land And Sea, Body And Soul

God is simple. As seen in time, God becomes complex. Particularly the divine looks complex when it interacts with consciousness like ours. We are made in God's image. Not a physical image, like some sort of body, for that is not what the Hebrew words mean in Genesis. Our consciousness is similar to the divine. Our life in the World is like the land under the sun, going on for mile and mile until it reaches the sea. At the beach and tidal pools, where the land meets the sea, it is like an interface between the World and the Self. All that has been experienced flows from the disappearing land and into the sea.

On the sea waves form in different patterns. Beyond these wave patterns, the surface of the sea reflects the sunlight in a million different shining facets, each one a new and different bit of data, and under the sea are unknown currents flowing boundlessly. Within the utter complexity of the sea lies the Self.

Within the Self are Images and Memories and Language and Habit which bear with them the odors of land. In time, the sea comes to an end at some shore and the Self flows back into the external world, hopefully as good or better than before, for the land has its own complexities of a more durable nature. We go from land to sea and back. The interface between the World and Self forces the complex to become simple, in order that the Self may assimilate the complexities of the World. In turn, the simple state of the Self begins a Wolfram process ( cellular automata) which leads to greater complexity within consciousness. To exit from the Self and return to the World, the complexity of the Self must become simple again and be re-incarnated into the World as a new day.

Then another complex of the working day begins until we tire and, with the setting of the sun, start to divest ourselves of our intricate costumes and cease to talk and shut down in sleep. We see sleep as withdrawal from the World and a parable for death. With God, there is no death and the sleep of God is a parable for life. (This was known from antiquity and is the reason why we see the picture of Persephone as Queen of the Underworld seated with Hades, both of them bearing symbols of life and increase.)

Media Madness

The US presidential campaign has turned its focus to the media supposedly covering the news. The only things being reported are facts and acts about media people: O'Reilly, Matthews, Russert, et alii. These people themselves shamelessly are promoting themselves at every opportunity, leaving little time for discussing important issues. Indeed, one wonders if they are capable of doing so anymore. The very basis of partisanship so much talked about and so much in evidence in this society is the unhealthy preoccupation with the Self or Ego. This process assumes that the Self- this Self, myself- is the center of the universe to which all things gravitate. This infilling of the Self is the opposite of Humility. This inflation finds no limits to control its progress, nor are there guidelines for its workings. Since there are-truth to tell-a limited number of truly good, benevolent, and heroic types of behavior to seek to add to one's Self, a person who keeps inflating oneself must turn to "sub-prime" predicates of the Self: creating scenes in which they are the constant focus, creating discords to which they alone posses the answers, creating conflicts where none can be easily discerned by most people. (If you have seen I Am Legend, do not the film zombies resemble the media talking heads in their sound and fury a bit too much for us to be entirely comfortable with the analyses...of the talking heads, not the zombies?) Even Keith Olbermann's "Countdown" no longer takes calls from viewers. Why should it? If maintaining a connection to real people were it's goal, it would. It has some other goal. Assume that the goal is fighting to rid ourselves of the present Rump administration from hell. That would be a good goal and worthy of support, right? The goal is good, but their effort has now become divorced from the rest of us and inhabits the never-never land of the Neoconservatives where wars cost "a billion...tops!". Just because we oppose an infamous wrong does not mean that everything we do is good and heroic. By turning the presidential campaign into a gladiatorial combat between the raving Egos of the media, we have contributed mightily to the downfall of the Republic.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Iraq 2008

I do not believe Mr. Bush will escape the coming apart of Iraq. He certainly wishes to do so. He will start bringing troops back, leaving just enough in the long term bases which no Iraqi seems to want in their country. Then, everything will be hunky-dory. His thinking is that when things in the future fall apart, he will be comfortably gone from the presidency - long enough to alibi his way through History. I do not believe he will be able to do so. 2008 is filled with an ominous silence presaging the storm: storm of economics and storm of Iraq. Too bad for us all.

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Unpleasantness At The Straits Of Hormuz: The Fifth Fleet


Recently it has been reported that 4 Iranian speedboats with Revolutionary Guards in them sped at some US naval vessels in the Persion Gulf. It was within the area at the Straits of Hormuz, the narrowest spot of the Gulf.
I did not react much to this report because (1) all the facts were not in, and
(2) I had seen enough manufactured incidents not to believe anything a government throws our way like a bone for a dog, expecting us to salivate, and
(3) the US Navy does not report to news media; the report goes the way the administration desires it to go, and
(4) I had been expecting it.

Why had I been expecting it? I did not think Cheney would give up on his war plans just because of the NIE report. Furthermore, back on November 19, 2007 I had read this article in Voltairenet.org:
http://www.voltairenet.org/article153013.html  
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."
The article's logic deals with an attack on Iran, followed by an Iranian response, which response will destroy the Fifth Fleet. This outcome had been the outcome of the Millenium Challenge war games of 2002 with Iraq as the enemy, not Iran. (Of course, we wonder why the $250 million games which obviously required a good deal of planning took place in 2002. Accounts state that the games required 2 years of planning, putting its genesis back to 2000...indeed, since the US lost the war games, we may well wonder whether in 2003 at the start of the real war the US KNEW that Iraq did not possess the weaponry necessary for destroying its fleet.)

So I had been expecting a casus belli for some time. Even if there is no intentional warlike act perpetrated by either side, when you shove two parties who do not like each other into close quarters where they are literally tripping over each other, it is only a matter of time before some lovely little incident occurs. The situation is ripe for a war-like act, whether intentional or unintentional.
 
And since the US government already knows that Iran possesses the weaponry which destroyed the Fifth Fleet in Millenium Challenge, perhaps some within the US government think that they may as well sacrifice a part of the fleet to get things going...since the fleet will be destroyed anyway. Who knows?

http://mcgeek.com/news/geekus/229  
The Man Who Kicked Blue Team's Ass 
 (Note that Blue Team was the US and Red Team was Iraq and General Paul Van Riper was the head of Red Team.)
"When games began, Riper attacked first, using small boats and planes (very many of them civilian), which he'd placed circling in the Gulf. Riper used coded messages broadcast from the minarets of mosques at the call to prayer, as well as motorcycle messengers to transmit orders. There were no high-tech communications for the US to intercept. He ordered unanticipated chemical attacks. He also ordered al-Qaida-style suicide attacks by the small boats and planes, and Chinese Silkworm-type cruise missiles, which sank the US fleet's only aircraft carrier and two marine helicopter carriers. Altogether, sixteen ships were sunk. In the first day Red Team had essentially defeated Blue Team. "
This morning I read that the audio accompanying the US Navy's video stating that the speedboats would crash into the Navy vessels and explode cannot be traced to the speedboats. The voices could have come from any ship, US or Iranian. There are other oddities. So it goes.
note: the article's author Dr. Salla has some unorthodox opinions, but these are in areas not germane to this discussion. 

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The Neoconservative Memorial: What We Believe

Another design idea for the NeoCon Memorial has been passed down. This one attempts to delineate the spiritual being whom the NeoCons worship, all of which is set down in the NecroNeoCon volume.

Impressive, eh?

Michigan?

The moveable Feast of Fools is going to Michigan. This is the state where I was born. Apparently, since Mitt Romney's father was governor-an a good one-there is an idea that Micihgan is solidly behind Mitt. Imagine that. I don't think .5% of the Michigan residents ever heard of Mitt before 1 year ago, and what they have heard since is not all fulsome praise. If I remember correctly, George Wallace won the Democratioc primary in Michigan back in the 60's. Michigan is a funny, funny place. No, I do not think Michigan goes for Romney. The guys working the hardest in Michigan are the Ron Paul people. Ron Paul wins Michigan.

A State Of Constant War



Patrick Buchanan's The American Conservative has a very good article on Giuliani written by Michael Dresch, titled "Declaring Forever War" and looking at Giuliani's foreign policy advisors. http://www.amconmag.com/2008/2008_01_14/cover.html

The article starts with Norman Podhoretz who is by many definitions "certifiable" and continues on to our friend, Daniel Pipes:

 "Daniel Pipes is the crazy uncle of the Giuliani campaign. In some places he is listed as a senior advisor, but the chair of the senior advisory team went to great lengths to minimize his influence. This is not surprising because even among this group, Pipes stands out as an extremist."

This is the Daniel Pipes who considers the existence of a single Palestinian within the boundaries of Israel to be one Palestinian too many, necessitating a "final solution" of some sort of ethnic cleansing, possibly with "extreme prejudice". NeoCons all. No. These people think mere NeoCons are too timid. This is Giuliani as Clockwork Orange in the White House.

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The Drudge Report And Joe Sobran

Reading The Drudge Report, I noticed a link to Joe Sobran. It was one link among many. I remembered reading Joe Sobran many years ago. I found him to be intellectually non-existent. I imagined him to be a schnorrer of concepts and conceits, a pastiche maker, a compiler of collages of political snippings which he glued together with a unlovable persona. He hasn't changed much. On the Home page of his site, there is prominently displayed an add for another site called The Legion of Joan of Arc and we find there: "The formula for winning the war is:listen to the subliminal audio, connect with God, sleep, awaken, and go to work;listen to the subliminal audio, connect with God, sleep, awaken, and go to work.Give it thirty days. This is the action of cultural transformation referred to by all of our theoreticians as that that will lead to the cultural instauration of our people, our American Renaissance and the Benevolent White Imperium." (emphasis mine) There's a mouthful. I wonder what Joan's so-called friend, the Dauphin of France, would say?

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The Destruction Of The Republican Party

I have been amusing myself by viewing the video of Ron Paul supporters marching with the pompous ass Sean Hannity and escorting him back to his hotel. Hannity ignored them and left it to a petite blonde ( all FOX people are or have blondes somewhere) to talk back at them. What is important here is that everybody was a Republican. Get it? Everyone was a Republican. It wasn't liberals or leftists or Khmer Rouge walking with Mr. Hannity; it was Republicans. My,my,my. There is a group of the party which seems to be represented by Mike Huckabee. His win in Iowa was not greeted with acclaim by the Republican establishment. There is also obviously a group represented by Ron Paul. They have been insulted by the blatant act of marginalizing their candidate. All the groups which Ronald Reagan brought within the party are being driven out by the Big Business-Big Media wing. The very constituency sought to increase the GOP's numbers are gratuitously being driven out. It is hardly Mike Huckabee's fault that the best the Republican leaders can come up with is the wooden Romney. It is not Ron Paul's fault that a Republican administration has spent the nation into debt greater than ever imagined possible. This will take the Republicans back to minority status they enjoyed for so many years. Sean Hannity...pick your new target audience and demographic.

The Children's Crusade

I like Barack Obama and, if he runs, shall probably vote for him. However, what I do not like is the lemming-like adulation of the Media (but the Media knows only Attack-Fawn behavior, doesn't it: attack someone or fawn at their feet?) which once again whips the populace into some religious-like trance. They have their ears to the ground, they detect a run-away train: it is the Obama groundswell which will sweep to the White House !! Hallelujah! The Media and the populace performed this same perverse stunt back in 2002-2003 when it did its Iraq War thing, popularly known as Shaka Naw or Shock and Awe. It is the very act of preying on a populace who from youth have been taught to respond to the behavior modifying devices of TV and commercials that disgusts me. The American people will never grow up. They are living in Never-never-land. Their entertainments have debased them to greedy children watching TV visions of dancing candies. In Desert Storm I we watched in immature fascination as Baghdad was bombed right before our eyes, right in our living rooms on our television sets. In Desert Storm II, or Shaka Naw, we watched the evil guy with a moustache, the vizier Jafar, be defeated by the youthful Aladdin. And speaking of youthful, look at the candidates running for President. Why haven't their wives, their mates with whom they raised a family, aged in the manner of their husbands? The husbands have lines and creases on their faces, but the women are images of youth. Well...I actually do know why. That was a joke. It is a matter of the Iconography of a society. And American society's values are treated as commodities in a market of Icons, bartered and transformed and traded, as easily as new wives for old. ...ever in pursuit of being Peter Pan and Wendy in Never-never-land. Within this whirlpool, even those opposed are unable to escape playing their parts. The mind-numbing charlatanry of the O'Reillys and Limbaughs and Hannitys fall in line and parrot their effete negativism (rather like Wormtongue in Lord of the Rings), filling in admirably for the widely drawn villains of this cartoon; not real villains, but the overblown caricatures of human beings which is the role they have been cast in and which they have accepted: knowingly that they will gain influence and money; unknowingly that they are mere pawns of a scenario over which they have no control. What the Media has strained mightily to set a stage for some Disney event and it looks as if it is going to pull it off. Americans can't live in the magic kingdom. Americans as well as most people do not have any grasp of the type of commitment it requires to live in the kingdom of peace. This gift of peace is not given and maintained by God, rather it is we ourselves who create this kingdom and maintain this kingdom by our actions overt and hidden. And even though we are committed to dreams of utopia, we are not committed to changing our lives in such a way as to effectively accomplish an age of peace. Dream on, fools, at least until Cinderella's coach comes a-calling.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Reading News

I read an interesting front page story in the London Times last evening, Sunday, January 6, 2008. It dealt with a translator named Sibel Edmonds who listened into phone calls for the US government. She discovered that numerous people in the US government whose calls she was monitoring were on the take, selling nuclear secrets etc., to all and sundry countries around the world. Big names were not named, but were promised. The names are named at other sites. Since it was in the London Times, it must be researched. But why had I not seen anything in the US Media? Are there no investigative reporters in the US? If there is anything to this story, then it in combination with what has been noted about Bill Clinton's remarks prove that the US Media has become part of the E! Channel and no longer has claim to be believed. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article3137695.ece http://cannonfire.blogspot.com/2008/01/bombshell-sibel-edmonds-speaks.html http://www.bradblog.com/

I Have No Presidential Aspirations

"The forgotten paintings on velvet re-surfaced to haunt the candidate..." NEWSWEEK March 20, 2016

At least I thought I had none. Recently my dogs, Zoloft and Cymbalta, have come to me not with my slippers and the London Times, but with a proposal, a scheme if you will, that they wish to run on the unsuspecting populace. They are bemused by the possibility of husband & wife presidencies: Bill Clinton and Hillary. Of course, father & son presidencies were done early on with the Adams, Pere et Fils, and the Bush imbroglio was only notable for the fatuousness of the son, and not for the succession of their presidencies. It seems that son & father might be a bit more unusual, say if Sonny Blutarski were to become prez for a brace of terms, later to be followed by old man Blutarski. Anyhow, Zoloft and Cymbalta have a proposal. What instigated this idea of theirs was my slip one day of reading the news and expostulating that the world was going to the dogs! I sensed a sudden silence, as if the regular panting which formed the background cosmic noise to my life had stopped. (She-who-must-be-obeyed does not form background noise. She is - how shall we say it?-the singularity of my Universe? The Big Bang, if you will, around whose circumference the quarks and anti-quarks tiptoe lest they wake her.) Their tongues had retracted into their mouths. They no longer looked carefree. They no longer stared adoringly at my rumpled figure. In fact, I seemed to notice a distinct narrowing of their eyes as they stared at me with an intense scrutiny, interspersed with condescending snorts.

It is their idea that I should run for President. No,no. Not because I have any good qualities or good ideas. Heavens no. They know me better than that. They wish me merely to establish a presidency on my own. Now whether I serve one term or two matters not. It doesn't matter whether I even serve out one term. All they want is that I be elected and be sworn in. Then after I have left office, at some future date one of them...or both...shall run for President. Upon their successful election to office, we shall have established the owner & dog succession of presidencies, or- as they like to say it- the succession of Dim Bulb & His Canine Handlers. It seems like a lot of work for a small pay-off. Being congenitally lazy, I demurred. They came back with razors of arguments, such as the "world going to the dogs" thing, exposing my own shallowness and my inbred "Anthropism": a crime they explained as Homo-centric racism versus the other animals. Well, I was guilty. I suppose I'll have to throw my Deerstalker into the ring. There may be problems. I asked them how they were going to handle those old paintings on velvet that Cymbalta posed for when he was young and on the streets. They dismissed my fears as...well, the babble of a lazy blogger! Blast!

Hammorabi Endures

Hammorabi has endured through the misbegotten war against his country. Although originally in favor of it, he changed his mind when everything began to fall apart. When you hear people like Senator McCain speak of winning, consider what our one-time supporter, Hammorabi, says: "Day after day the US forces in Iraq commit more killing and damages to the civilians and the structures of this country. Four Iraqis (3 women and a man) were killed in Baghdad, Alshab area today when their vehicle attacked by US soldiers. More than 95% of the Iraqis would like to see an end to the occupation and the foreign troops to leave their country as soon as possible. The signing of a declaration between George Bush and Nori Almalki about the presence of the US forces and the possible stay in an American bases in Iraq for long time is not going to help the relation between the two sides. It will certainly increase the resistance to any American stay in Iraq. " November 27, 2007 and "The role of the occupiers, Iran, the terrorists, and the puppets in destroying Iraq is one. The occupation should end by choice or by force irrespective but it should come to an end. On the other hand Iran should pull its dirty hands from Iraq destruction or they will expect the worst for these hands. All the Iraqis say; No to the occupation, No to the puppets of the occupation, No to Iran and its puppets, Yes to Iraq and all of its components including the Sunni, the Shiites, the Arabs, the Kurds, the Christians, and the others." December 28, 2007 Hammorabi's address is over to the right under Links. Senator McCain and others had best consider going beyond the concept of winning and reflect on the concept of culpability.

Bill Clinton: Spot On

Bill Clinton made some remarks, the substance of which was that the Media coverage of the presidential campaign was 99% devoted to trivia. He was quite right. This is why we consider most of the Media to be in need of some sort of super GED to correct the mistaken belief that the manner in which they cover Britney Spears is the paradigm for ALL coverage of any sort. And then there is FOX. I have a friend who religiously watches FOX News. He loves it. He also calls it "Big Yaboos News". I watched it briefly and found out why. All the female news people are blonde and are well endowed. I was not too surprised, for I had read stuff at a conservative site called Townhall.com and the only thing I remember is that there were 3 photos of young ladies scattered about the page. They were thrusting parts of the body towards the camera or were clad scantily. Come to think, one of them was Ann Coulter dressed like one of Dracula's wives, so they were not all young ladies in the pix. I would like to get what FOX spends a week in lip gloss. I wonder what the target demographic is?

Sunday, January 06, 2008

A Don's Life


I read Mary Beard in the Sunday Times. The LONDON Sunday Times, that is. I have begun to steer clear of the other Times since it has been sleeping around and came up with a case of Kristols. (I suppose one must hear the other side, so to speak, but my point is that we have heard what this particular guy has said; he has said it over and over again and it has been balderdash...pernicious balderdash at that! He has his own burrow. Let him stay there. Why go chivvying the little grunt out? So we may hear more of the same? No,no,no. If you want conservatism, publish some articles by Burke. Publish something by Barry Goldwater. Publish The Federalist Papers. Publish Common Sense. Russell Kirk could use another go round since we were not paying attention the first time. But whatever you do, do not publish lies we've heard before and whose propagation has caused the deaths of almost 4,000 Americans, untold numbers of Iraqis, and has maimed and destroyed the lives of more. Idiot that I am, I deny that I require the tutelage of an viper immoral in his species and unethical as an individual.)

Now back to kindlier things: Ms. Beard. Her column is A Don's Life. How nice it is to read someone who does not have a bloody axe to grind...and who is not in the pay of some cruel taskmaster.
This week it was What's an acceptable alternative to democracy? http://timesonline.typepad.com/dons_life/
and poses a question not many of us thought to pose over the holidays. She does so, and does so with references to Athens and Pericles, although not so many as to encumber the piece with the patina of archaeology and philology. Try it out.

The Empire Strikes Back

FOX has not allowed Dr. Ron Paul to be on their so-called debate. The reason is that Dr. Paul does not support the existence of an American Empire. FOX does. There is Politics, there is Persuasion, and there is Control...complete and utter unyielding control that pervades the lives of those who live under it.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

What Does One Call...

...people like Bill Bennett?

They are not NeoCons, although their incredible moral opacity makes them "pass" as NeoCons at times. It is laughable to call them Conservatives. They mix old-time virtues with old-time Rabelsian ribaldry, making for a sort of feeling I can only describe as "Bluto puts up a plaque with the 10 Commandments in the Animal House." Their minds are a maze of intentions which have never been placed in the categories of "good ideas" and "bad ideas".
Bill Bennett was on CNN during the Iowa thing. In Salon we read: http://www.salon.com/politics/war_room/?last_story=/politics/war_room/2008/01/04/hewitt/  
"...You could almost feel CNN's producers and hosts cringing along with the audience when Bennett said this: "Barack Hussein Obama, a black man, wins this for the Democrats. "I have been watching him. I watched him on 'Meet the Press,' I've watched him on [Anderson Cooper's] show, watched him on all the CNN shows -- he never brings race into it. He never plays the race card. "Talk about the black community -- he has taught the black community you don't have to act like Jesse Jackson, you don't have to act like Al Sharpton. You can talk about the issues. Great dignity. And this is a breakthrough. And good for the people of Iowa." CNN's Anderson Cooper, who was in charge of questioning the panel, was quick to change the subject..."
It is very reminiscent of Mr. O'Reilly's visit to a Harlem restaurant where he found that black people ate food and acted in ways which he found congenial; this was an eye-opening experience for Mr. O'Reilly just as Barack Obama was for Mr. Bennett.
Now I know what to call Mr. Bennett. Observe that if Barack Obama never ran for President of the USA, Mr. Bennett would quite possibly never have experienced a black man who did not act like Al Sharpton...or worse. Similarly, if whoever it was did not cajole Mr. O'Reilly into that restaurant, he would still have mental images of fried chicken and watermelon and 2 Live Crew. I believe the correct label for these gentlemen is "Goofy Old White Guyz." I think the rest of us understand the concept of GOWG...we have seen them for a long time.

110 Years In Iraq

Senator John McCain has said that the USA should stay in Iraq 100 years if necessary. This statement is not a factual depiction of events, but is a symbol of Senator McCain's determination. For who defines what is necessary?
Consider the history of our Iraq involvement. There were military goals: overthrow Saddam Hussein, secure WMDs; there were political goals: ensure a free and democratic Iraq. In the course of events, it became clear that some of the goals would not work together. A case in point is the continued existence of the state known as Iraq. It has been the genius - the military genius, not political genius - of a number of soldiers, including General Petraeus, to devise a strategy to allay the insurgency. This strategy is based on (1) empowering Sunni groups and turning them from Al Qa'ida, and (2) empowering the Kurds in the North, and (3) leaving the Shi'a to carve out their sphere of influence in the South. This strategy has worked militarily, but will be a disaster politically as concerns the continued existence of the state of Iraq. The best that may be expected now is some sort of federal union. Surely the Sunnis will not accept Shi'a hegemony now, having been embraced as allies of the Coalition Forces. The Kurds do not even pretend to want to return to the past. Therefore, we see the military needs have overturned the political goals. That is what happens.

Now, why should the USA stay there 100 years? Senator McCain was correct on military strategy, but he sees through the eyes of an American of the Empire. A conservative like myself does not believe in foreign entanglements, whereas the American Imperials see the necessity to be entangled everywhere, although they explain it to themselves as bearing the burden of American power.
The American Empire began with the dislocation of the Native Americans and the Civil War. The outcome of the dislocations was morally indefensible, involving the subjugation of a population and undermining their society. The outcome of the Civil War was the morally elevated goal of ending slavery as well as the subjugation of a population and radically modifying their society.
If the Empire began from morally elevated and ethically lofty actions such as the utter destruction of slavery, that would be one thing. However, I believe that seed of Empire lay within controlling the Southern populations after their armies had been defeated, just as another seed lay within subjugating and controlling the Native Americans. At the time, even the Southern churches preached the crusade of pro-slavery. The South was politically, philosophically, and religiously pro-slavery. Forces in the North had been molded equally into anti-slavery prejudices. At this point, no quick change was possible short of war. There was nothing in the Constitution which could be used to eliminate slavery; the 14th amendment would wait until 1868 to become part of the Constitution.
At the end of the war, the people living in the South had to be controlled as long as necessary until generations could be born and raised and come into their majority which were amenable to the new order of society. This is the rationale of garrisons around the world: secure until the future - hopefully- makes the indigenous peoples amenable to the Imperialists...or gives the Imperialists some greater hold over them. As great as Senator McCain is, he uncritically accepts the necessity of the existence of the Empire. This is his fatal flaw. Dr. Ron Paul obviously does not accept the necessity of the existence of the Empire. He decries such intimate foreign entanglements, seeing them as pernicious and destructive. (If I were of a religious bent, this is the point at which I would say "He casts the mighty from their thrones and raises the lowly." However, this only shows how maladept I am at these things, for it is commonly known that what is held as popular wisdom trumps religion every time. )

Friday, January 04, 2008

Uqbar Traffic

Our Super Highway system is about 43.2 linear kilometers in length, plenty big enough to create traffic jams. Here is the notorious "Mixing Bowl" in the urban center of Uqbar.

2008: The Year Of Thermal Shredding

As candidates like Barack Obama and Mike Huckabee make gains, you will discover an odd corelation: it is that documents and tapes and DVDs-any device for information storage-held in the control of the present Rump Administration will mysteriously be destroyed at an ever increasing pace. That's why I'm going into Thermal Shredding. It's a new Tech. Essentially, one increases the surface area of old-fashioned documents by a "shredding" process which takes an old 2-dimensional piece of paper with a top, bottom, and two sides and renders it into a multi-plex of 2 dimensional pieces.

The major effect of this is to create a discontinuity in the flow of information as it was captured on the document in question. This discontinuity leads to a condition called ( in the trade ) Illegibility Syndrome. Beyond this, one applies the new tech of fahrenheit 451 and most traces of information are destroyed, at least, information that has any utility in a forensic setting.

The Bush Administration will begin to destroy more and more evidence. You do not want to have an answer to the question: "Evidence of what?" That would require another "Data Wipe". "Data Wipe" indeed! Wipe this, Mr. Republican!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Born Free 2: Comcast And Local Access

Comcast Gallery of Art
"The Infinite Regress of Quality= The Infinite Progress of $"
artist: Benny Hill
Cable TV rates are going up again. Comcast has removed the local access channels from the single and double digit numbers and boosted them up into the triple digits in order that they may charge $ for viewing them.
If memory serves, local access channels were supposed to be mandatory and free in return for the lucrative grant of monopoly for cable in an area. I have decided to get DVDs of the things I like and create my own Media company, where I shall schedule the programs without advertisements.

For C-Span I shall go to the Internet, at least until they screw that up. I shall read the BBC, as always, the NY Times, The Times of London, The Asia Times, The Hindu Times, something-something from Australia, some Frenchy tabloid and I shall be richer by $60 per month. I calculate my intial investment as follows: (1) super media type stuff= $ 2200 (2) not-so-super stuff= $600 At a savings of $60 per month, my pay back period for (2) is 10 months. My pay back period for (1) is 36.67 months. However, since rates are usually increasing every year, using expected rates of increase modifies the pay back period of (1) to 30 months. Incorporating extra charges for DIGITAL DESPOTISM ( which is where they force digitality down our throats), the pay back reduces further to just under 2 years, or 21 months. In fact, allowing for the possibility of a Bush-like administration that lets the Media giants do whatever they wish, the future costs of digital access could be substantial. Hence, the present value of that possible future, adjusted for the probability of a Republican administration, reduces (1)'s pay back period to 18 months. It's either a Win-Win situation, or a Winn-Dixie situation, I forget which applies here.

William Kristol In The Anthology

...of NeoCons at Dinner which has been re-issued under the new name of
NecroNeoCon
The NecroNeocon is a Lovecraftian tome consisting of the finest works of the greatest NeoCon minds. A definite plus to any library! With notes in the hand of Abdul Alhazred himself!
It is said to contain the names of 600,000 to 700,000 of the dead ( De Inferis Quaerite ! ), or of only 30,000 to 32,000, depending on whom you ask. Incredible? You betcha!