Thursday, January 31, 2008
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
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
Monday, January 28, 2008
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!
Sunday, January 27, 2008
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
(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.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
...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!
Monday, January 21, 2008
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Saturday, January 19, 2008
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.
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
painting by Charnine
Thursday, January 17, 2008
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.
Got it...finally. Now if you will excuse me, I must escort Miss Desmond to a Whist tournament.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
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
Sunday, January 13, 2008
Friday, January 11, 2008
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:
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?
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.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
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.
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
Monday, January 07, 2008
"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!
Sunday, January 06, 2008
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.
Saturday, January 05, 2008
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.
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
Thursday, January 03, 2008
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.