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Monday, June 30, 2008

Armageddon...Or Nothing!

In the background, Patrick Buchanan and guests are on MSNBC talking about the war with Iran being prepared. All the names we are familiar with are repeated: Admiral William Fallon being foremost. He was removed because he opposed war with Iran.
The House of Representatives have a Resolution 326 authorizing blockades of Iran, also stating this does not authorize war, too stupid to realize that blockades are not acts of peaceful amity. Whom do these representatives represent?
There are by percentage more Israelis that oppose such actions than there are people in D.C. who support them.

The subtitle of this blogs refers to a society slipping into End Time. Perhaps you thought this to be some sort of literary embellishment on my part. Not at all. I was compelled to write these things in order to leave a record for my children...to let them know I opposed what was and is going on.
This country is destroying itself in every important sense. We are letting this country be destroyed by a clique who are bent on total destruction. Attack Iran and even forget buying gasoline, much less how much it costs. Your economy, your way of life will disappear.
Personally, I favor pursuing a different course, enduring isolated attacks, responding in kind, all the while trying to engage the other side...... This was done with North Korea, but North Korea is far enough from Israel that such tactics may be employed. North Korea was far enough away from Israel that the Secretary of State could be allowed to do her job and employ diplomacy. Iran is too close to Israel.

The neighborhood of Israel is where the boys George and Dick are in charge of the 'hood. So its Armageddon...or nothing! America is only as strong as its people, not its weapons. If America becomes nothing but lying monsters and madmen, it will commit this suicide.

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Life Of Bush = Animal House?

Our film on the comical administration of Bush 2 has been undergoing some changes. We are doing a satire and doing it on the lines of Animal House and every other film we can think of. I mean, are they not all uncannily like a group of frat boys from campus comedies, and don't their supporters look and act like extras from some cheap budget zombie film? There's Karl Rove, the nerd, whom everyone makes fun of when he lurches by, pushing his specks back up his oily nose with his thumb; Wolfowitz always on booty patrol; John Yoo- the hazing master- with a paddle in his hand and a gleam in his eye; Cheney is Captain Harris from Police Academy; Cheny's aide, Addington, is a football playing bully; Rush Limbaugh is definitely in charge of keggers... I can't quite think of who is like Otis Day and The Nights.

McHale's Iraq Centennial War

Sorry. McCain. McHale, McCain, what is the difference? Anyway, time left in the Iraq Centennial War: 99 years 6 months 16 hours 49 minutes 10 seconds

Who Is McCain's Handler?

I mean, Angela Lansbury played Mrs. John Iselin, the handler of her son in The Manchurian Candidate. Is that look in Mrs. McCain's eye adoration...or cold-blooded cunning?

Even the vile Mrs. Iselin looked softer.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Dream Cruising

J'Ai Faim

pix: franklinavenue.com

Opium

Opium Production in the Raj.
Amitav Ghosh has a new book out about how the British financed their rule in India through the trade of opium, ceasing export only in the 1920s. When this lucrative business ended, British rule ended within approximately a quarter century. The largest opium producer in the world is Afghanistan. The Taliban was opposed to the opium trade. The NATO forces are in charge of most of the country. It seems logical they are in a position of control over the opium. So... who among the NATO allies is profiting from the opium trade? Are highly placed politicians and bureaucrats reaping enormous wealth from the trade in opium? Of course they are. Where is the opium being exported to? The major recipient of the opium is the European Union, followed by the USA.

The Scarce Half-Made Up President Bush

We see in Prospects For Peace http://www.prospectsforpeace.com/2008/06/at_israels_parliament_a_french.html At Israel's Parliament, a French Lesson in Leadership for Bush Sarkozy's speech was warm, full of admiration for Israel's accomplishments and understanding for Israel's genuine security concerns--but it also contained the home truths that the Israeli's needed to hear and that a visiting friend was best placed to impart. It contained precisely the ingredient--honest friendly advice or leadership--that was so absent in Bush's gutless pander-fest... Two Presidents, two speeches, one leader: President Bush on the borders for a 2 state solution: ___________. President Sarkozy: "It is not possible to have peace without a negotiated border based on the 1967 lines with an exchange of territories." President Bush on settlements: ___________. President Sarkozy: "Peace cannot be achieved without a total and immediate cessation of the settlements." President Bush on Jerusalem's future status: ___________. President Sarkozy: "Peace cannot be achieved without the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of two states and guaranteeing freedom of access to holy sites for all religions." President Bush on the Palestinian refugee issue: ___________. President Sarkozy: "Peace cannot be achieved without solving the problem of the Palestinian refugees, while respecting the identity and purpose of Israel." President Bush on Israeli-Palestinian, Israeli-Syrian, or Israeli-Lebanese peace talks: _________. President Sarkozy: "(France) is ready to organize on its soil all the talks that could lead to (peace), whether in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, the Syrian-Israeli dialogue, or the talks that will have to resume, one day soon I hope, between Israel and Lebanon."

The Surge

There seems to have been some talking and writing about how "the Surge" was the absolutely correct thing to do. http://www.mahablog.com/2008/06/24/teh-stupid-it-burns/ David Brooks has a column in the New York Times today in which the Keyboarding Cabbage waxes philosophical about President Bush’s genius in ordering the surge, which as you know has accomplished its main goal of enabling the forging of a stable and sustainable government in Baghdad... People seem to be arguing about this. At the time, the notion of sending more troops over to a war zone where the armed forces had their backs to the wall because their numbers were insufficient to cope with the civil war in which they found themselves, seemed like a good military idea: if you're getting smacked around, get some more guys to fight on your side. I myself just never stopped hating the whole immorality- the smug American immorality- of it all, surge or no surge, the war was crap. Can you imagine a country so stupid that it goose steps into a fabricated war, then spends hours debating whether more troops on the ground would be a good idea? Same country that gave you sub-primes. How stupidly and immorally obtuse can a nation become? To argue about whether more fighters is an advantage or not, and yet not to be in the streets and demonstrating against the crooks who have led this country?

Suffering

"It's from our sufferings that we form our consciousness" Lisa Bonet Whether these words are original with the young lady or not is no matter. They are ascribed to her and she is very intelligent. Suffering is unique. Our pleasures are similar to the joy of everyone else, but our suffering is uniquely ours. We brand our name on our pain with questions of guilt: what did we do to deserve this? we tear ourselves down to the very quivering wave of existence, and if we dare face the world, we let ourselves be built back up again to the individual we are, as we remember ourselves to be.

Suffering make us unique, for it makes the world slow down to focus on our abasement, whereas joy speeds everything up and slingshots us into the millenium. Look at Job; even in his righteousness, he could not have been as righteous as he makes himself out to be when he laments the turnabout of his fortune. It is he as Job who is at the center of the universe, the sole concern of God and the Tempter and all the hosts of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted.

Why We Fight

How many opium addicts do you think there are in Kabul, Afghanistan? Since Afghanistan's opium crop last year was of historic size, one thinks there may be a few addicts. Not much said about it, though. It would take the shine off our success there.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Enigmas

Enigma of Absence

The Quiet Of Iraq

McClatchy reports that 14 American soldiers were killed in the past week in Iraq. I am not sure whether the total is mentioned in the article about 3 Marines being killed in an explosion: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/iraq/story/42271.html but they mention in their newsletter: Marines among dead in Iraq attack on tribal leaders Also killed were the Marines' two interpreters. The total death toll was at least 20, Iraqi officials said. The explosion struck a meeting between U.S. officials and local tribal leaders in Anbar province who'd allied themselves with the U.S. to fight al Qaida in Iraq. It was the latest attack on Iraqis who'd cooperated with Americans. Fourteen Americans have died in such attacks this week. It is not over, not by a long, long chalk.

Karl Rove Works For Fox News

And he made an observation about Barack Obama: that Obama was like those cool guys one sees at the country club with a great looking lady on his arm, leaning against the far wall and whispering together, making fun of other people as they walk by. As has been pointed out, there aren't that many cool looking black fellows hanging out at the country club, at least as members. Some have observed that Obama's blackness is out of place in Rove's dreamy scenario, but reality must be forced back by the presence of the lady: she must be white to be in the club house dream sequence and thus to preserve the decorum of the wits of the Fox News audience. Hence, Obama dates white ladies. I, however, upon hearing this merely said that this undoubtedly was not the first time Karl Rove had had this particular story running through his head, for his ungainly and unfortunate and homely visage must have made him the object of the scorn and whispered laughs of many of his counterparts as he was growing up. Until he attained his aura of power and genius, he was but a schlub. He will be again, but that is another story. Children...and adults can be so cruel.

Kristolnacht June 27 2008

...und Kristoltag. William Kristol agrees that the possibility of a terror attack is a good argument for McCain. Notice that this means that GOP strategy could not prevent it, and probably will not in the future. It is entirely an argument based on a scenario of violence and ensuing fear. The future of the country is too important to listen to the devious and subversive opinions like those of the Kristolnachtsmann.

Mr. Black's Terrorist Attack

The popular knowledge believes that Mr. Black's claim; i.e., that a new terror attack on the US is just what the doctor order for McCain, has a problem. The problem is that it is popular knowledge, the same type that supported the inception of war with Iraq. The cable TV talkers give McCain a pass on this, because popular knowledge knows it to be true, and Mr. Black's failure was giving his worst of thought the worst of words. He should have kept quiet. However, I believe it would demonstrate that the last 8 years did not make us any safer. It would show that we gave up our rights and ethics for nothing. We enraged more people, some of whom slipped through our cordons. The type of behavior exhibited by this country's leaders over the last few years is a death wish: it is a country that desires death and war and destruction...forever. Another terror attack would be the seventh seal upon the modern day Republican mind set. Furthermore, consider that Mr. Black may be uttering a self-fulfilling prophecy. Furthermore, consider the smallness of minds that consider such arrant nonsense to be correct. These morons are blatting all day and night on cable, polluiting the airwaves, bringing their obscurant nonsense right into the homes of all of us.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Trees

Outside the old village, upon a hill that catches every breeze. I have always sensed I shall meet my end on such a hill top.

Obamacons

Robert Novak has a column on conservatives for Obama, hence Obamacons. Most of them seem to be more outrageous in their outrage against the Bush GOP than myself. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/06/25/AR2008062501942.html?hpid=opinionsbox1 Washington Post The Obamacons Who Worry McCain By Robert D. Novak Thursday, June 26, 2008;

Why We Shall Need Admiral Fallon

We shall need people like him in the military, people who support the traditional and historic view of the USA. Hari Seldon appeared at the vault yesterday:

Hari Seldon
note: I used a photo of Asa Kasher to represent Hari Seldon.
There will be a great temptation to start a war as the election draws nearer. Those who believe utterly and deeply in the Culture of Constant War will be panicked like rats to launch their millenial mission of savagery. I ask, who romanticizes war? President George Bush recently envied the front-line soldiers for their "romantic" lives of danger. So also did Kaiser Wilhelm. In fact, there are a lot of similarities between Kaiser Wilhelm II and President Bush II. I won't go into them here, because I am not really interested in parallels between the two, other than their fascination with war, and - by implication - death. If the Democratic Party appears headed for victory, what little that passes for moral restraint in the mind of George Bush will unravel rapidly, and he will be haunted by not only the opprobrium of having been the worst president in history, but also he will rationalize his fear into a scenario of the victory of terrorists. He will interpret his overwhelming despair as a rational response to his imaginary picture of a rule of Islam and Terror, not as the utter failure of a misbegotten administration, which it actually is. And he will be tempted to strike. He will be tempted to restore the nation to a war time footing. He will suspend habeas corpus for a multitude of enemies. Those whom he perceives as his own enemies, he will now see as treasonous enemies to the USA. He will out-Mugabe even Mugabe. We shall need a military that supports the USA, not the mad man.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Fox News Two Minute Hate

Fox News discusses the upcoming election.

Grady: Your son is trying to bring in an outside influence, Mr. Torrance. silence close up of Jack Torrance Grady: Your son is trying to bring in a n----- cook!

Holy Bling

I saw a photo of my favorite right wing harridan wearing a dress as black as Satan's cummerbund, accessorized with a glittering, silver-bullet-ish cross, pendant from a necklace and nestling on her bosom. I do not recall if I have written about my opinion of religious symbols used as jewelry, or "bling" ( a hip-hop term which strikes me as very approporiate ). I am endlessly offended by it. If jewelry is intended to accent the beauty of a lady, I fail to see how reminding me of my callow days as a young cathecumen at the gates of this or that theology adds to the experience. I can think of nothing but Edward Gibbon writing of the green grocers in Constantinople arguing whether the three of the triune deity were co-substantial, and this in the midst of the main market place, screaming to be heard against the sound of a thousand other mongers and drovers. I mean that...it is not at all right place at the right time type of thing. I have seen Christian, Muslim, and Buddhist, Hindu, and Kabbala...and my thoughts do not, I repeat "Not!", turn to those spiritual realms when I espy a sacred symbol perched perilously above that "chasm" of exquisite design. These twain sights normally draw the eye of the males of the clan, but we shall now impress the two with God's imprimatur, almost bloody demanding an intense scrutiny and frame of mind appropriate to being led into a wilderness and esconced upon a high place, while below our feet the glories of the kingdoms of the Earth were spread out upon a carpet. And then we are tasked and tested by the temptations of our starved eyes. If people wish to send a religious message, bumper stickers are the correct medium. I think something along the lines "My God is a honor student at End Of Times High". I have my own bumper stickers, magnetic to allow for a quick change. I designed them to reflect my own pusillanimous nature. My Buddhist bumper sticker says: (in Spanish....I lack the tilde to place over the first "N" in "manana".)
"NIRVANA MANANA"

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Mr. Black

 
Dreamcatcher: Jason Lee, Damian Lewis


Mr. Charles Black, adjutant to Johnnie McCain, thinks that a terrorist attack would be a big advantage to McCain's presidential chances. I agree. A few thousand Americans incinerated or bombed or sunk or dropped from the sky...or whatever Mr. Black has in mind, would be exactly what the Republican Party ordered: take two catastrophes and call me in the morning.

Of course, Republican inspired catastrophes do not count, say like an economy in free fall. No bounce, no play.

Mr. Black reminds me powerfully of Mr. Grey, the alien, in the film Dreamcatcher.

 
Mr. Grey

We surely need a Duditz to save us from Mr. Grey...or Mr. Black...or the Republicans.

Duditz

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Jude

....the Obscure. Hey, Linda! Hey, Gil! I actually do know what you mean when you intimate that I am often obscure, but sometimes I wish to willfully misunderstand for reasons of my own: usually to bring into relief just how bloody brilliant I am, or fancy myself to be. There are many things written that seem obscure, even to me. But I do look at them and they sort of glimmer, like going in and out of focus, so I am not quite sure. I tend to think of such "obscurities" as being somewhat akin to the poetry of Emily Dickenson; it sort of leads you around with everyday language, sort of squiring you about, arm in arm, as it were, until suddenly she laughs "Ha!" and pushes you off a shallow balcony into the mud. You are never quite sure what it all means after that.

Craven New World

Osama bin Laden is Trotsky to Bush's Stalin... ...or Osama plays Emmanuel Goldstein while Bush plays Big Brother. ...as NATO roots around in Afghanistan, a place chosen after 9/11 since it was so backward and primtive that the USA could trash it with impunity. The fact that it harbored Osmama bin Laden was a serendipity, but not really important, since the USA never really did grab him there. He is much more valuable alive and exisiting as a threat with which to whip up the fervor of the masses during the two-minute hate on Fox News.

Why I Despise Modern Republicans

In Mother Jones http://www.motherjones.com/mojoblog/archives/2008/06/8689_a_righttolifer.html we see a section entitled MoJo Blog: A Right-to-Lifer and the GOP's Nursing Home Dilemma When Ken Connor was on Capitol Hill earlier this week, it was clear that people in his party deeply wish that he would go back to worrying about the unborn. The conservative Christian Republican trial lawyer had come to Washington to testify in support of a bill that would ban the use of mandatory binding arbitration clauses in nursing home contracts. Most nursing homes today, as a condition of admission, require vulnerable elderly people and their families to waive their right to sue a facility in the event of a dispute. Instead, they must take any complaints about medical malpractice or abuse to a private arbitrator, chosen and paid by the nursing home, in secret proceedings where any awards are much lower than they would be from a jury. The arbitration agreements are often buried in a stack of complicated paperwork, where in some cases, they have been signed by blind people and those suffering from Alzheimer's... For three years, Connor served as the president of the Family Research Council, a leading social conservative outfit, and became a rock star among the GOP’s evangelical wing when he went to work in 2004 for then-Governor Jeb Bush to defend a Florida law that would have prevented doctors from removing Terri Schiavo's feeding tube. For Republican legislators, Connor has moral authority. He also gives money to many of them, so Republicans have to tolerate him, even as he forces them into a corner where they have to chose between devotion to industry and devotion to God and life... He described a nursing home industry that routinely faked medical records and staffing documentation to cover up for its shoddy treatment of its frail residents. And while Connor invoked the standard trial lawyer arguments about the need to keep the courthouse open to those who've suffered at the hands of heartless corporations, he did it in distinctly evangelical language. "Our society,” he said, “is rapidly embracing a quality-of-life ethic in the place of a sanctity-of-life ethic. But, old people do not score well using quality of life calculus and they perform poorly on functional capacity studies. They cost more to maintain than they produce and they are vulnerable to abuse and neglect by unscrupulous nursing home operators who are willing to put profits over people."... Still, Republicans demonstrated that, despite making nice with Connor, they probably weren't going to get on board. In a desperate attempt to find an alternative to the bill, the committee's ranking Republican, Utah Rep. Chris Cannon, at one point suggested that nursing homes install granny-cams, so that the residents’ loved ones could keep an eye on them remotely, as a way of improving the quality of care, rather than eliminate arbitration clauses. Connor thinks the Republicans' performance on the issue illustrates what’s wrong with his party these days. "[Republicans] failure to support this is, in my judgment, a failure of first principles," he said in an interview after the hearing. He noted that “Republicans would be the first to say we should hold the welfare queen responsible," but they never hold corporations to the same standards. "Protecting wrongdoing has become what our party is all about,” Connor added. “And they wonder why they're getting their clocks cleaned on the electoral map. The hypocrisy is breathtaking." The Republican Party had a Contract With America. Their success here made their frail egos swell with arrogance and led to the Impeachment Frenzy. Their continued degradation eventuated in the Military Commissions Act of 2006, effectively suspending habeas corpus any time they felt like it. Finally, in the elections of November 2006, they lost their majority and the country had that 800 pound monkey off its back. PS: I am not the only one to notice how modern day conservatism, not neoconservativism alone, has wrought disaster throughout the country. In Blog For Our Future: Atlanta: Finishing What General Sherman Started By Rick Perlstein June 21st, 2008 - 2:18pm ET http://www.ourfuture.org/blog-entry/atlanta-finishing-what-general-sherman-started

In an article dealing with the continuing water problems of the South East, particularly Atlanta, Georgia, whose Lake Lanier was much in the news last year: Atlanta magazine could no longer ignore it. The cover of their "The Water Issue," which I picked up on a recent swing through Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, is graced by a water glass that's one-quarter full—scratch that, three-quarters empty. The entire magazine is a fascinating document, a potsherd for future archeologists seeking answers to the kind of neuroses that allowed a civilization let itself be run according to an ideology—conservatism—so singularly unfit to govern a complex, modern society... "Eighteen years, fourteen governors, and endless posturing and finger-pointing" brought on his "tri-state water war," we learn; what we don't learn is that Roy Barnes, the guy who actually stuck his neck out to solve the problem, was a Democrat, and the man who replaced him was the Confederate Flag-baiting Republican; and that besides Barnes, eight of these eleven governors were Republicans; and that the remaining three Democrats were either conservatives or hobbled in whatever enlightened reforms they might have proposed by conservative and/or Republican legislatures... Reagan is gone. Reagan Republicans are the shallow fools you see today.

Blinded In Gaza

June 20th marked World Refugee Day. And just as this year marks the 60th anniversary of the founding of Israel, next year will mark the UN resolution that established the UNRWA, UN Relief and Works Agency...for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East. However, we note that some anniversaries commemorate births of communities, recalling the horrors and Holocaust that preceeded, while other anniversaries mark the continuation of another people's holocaust: 60 years of destruction. There is an editorial for World Refugee Day from Karen Konihg AbuZayd, Commissioner-General of UNRWA: http://www.un.org/unrwa/news/statements/2008/WRD_20jun08.html Some holocausts never end. We fought to end one; others we cannot or will not stop. This is what I mean by a "test" of a society: the line of possible future ramifies into an infinite forest of branching paths, and we must take the most humane, the most moral ones, else we shall find ourselves lost and blinded in Gaza.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Reporters Say Networks Put Wars on Back Burner By BRIAN STELTER Published: June 23, 2008 http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/23/business/media/23logan.html?_r=1&adxnnl=1&oref=slogin&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss&adxnnlx=1214215734-ELm0HfvTdc0QhBZuYdeYkw ...According to data compiled by Andrew Tyndall, a television consultant who monitors the three network evening newscasts, coverage of Iraq has been “massively scaled back this year.” Almost halfway into 2008, the three newscasts have shown 181 weekday minutes of Iraq coverage, compared with 1,157 minutes for all of 2007. The “CBS Evening News” has devoted the fewest minutes to Iraq, 51, versus 55 minutes on ABC’s “World News” and 74 minutes on “NBC Nightly News.” (The average evening newscast is 22 minutes long.) CBS News no longer stations a single full-time correspondent in Iraq, where some 150,000 United States troops are deployed. The US Media giants: enablers and embedded fools during the run up to the war; now pretending that the war does not even exist as the nation prepares to vote on the future of the country. I trust there is a circle in Hell reserved for them.

Weekend Reading

The Atlanta Journal Constitution: Cytnhia Tucker Big Oil's slick no-bid contracts will keep us mired in Iraq http://www.ajc.com/opinion/content/opinion/tucker/stories/2008/06/20/tucked_0622.html and Jay Bookman Blame it all on the greenies http://www.ajc.com/blogs/content/shared-blogs/ajc/bookman/entries/2008/06/22/refining_the_truth.html and Case for war was built on 'cynical manipulation' http://www.ajc.com/opinion/content/opinion/bookman/stories/2008/06/12/bookmaned_0612.html From McClatchy, we get an amusing portrait of the fellow called "Curveball", whose information was used to build a case for war. He seems to resemble the guys in "Slackers". Nukes & Spooks Iraq's WMD Curveball comes back around http://washingtonbureau.typepad.com/nationalsecurity/2008/06/iraqs-wmd-curve.html ...Another Iraqi friend, Ghazwan Adnan, remembers laughing when he applied for a job at a local Princess Garden Chinese Restaurant and discovered Alwan washing dishes in the back while claiming to be "a big deal" in Iraq. "How could America believe such a person?"

Kristolnacht

The Kristolnacht is the evening of the day of war undeclared, the violence of warlords beyond control, the ongoing constant death applauded by neoconservatives and the Republican party. We shall not all be bombed, but we shall all be changed. This is a vast and great test, and we and our allies have not been doing too well recently. I hope we shall not meekly go into that evil night, the gotterdammerung of all the gods of reason, when the Himmlers and Bormanns re-emerge to take over the future. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/06/22/kristol-bush-might-bomb-i_n_108510.html In the Huntington Post: Kristol: Bush Might Bomb Iran If He 'Thinks Obama's Going To Win This President is essentially leaking threats to this entire nation to the press, telling us what to expect if we dare to elect someone he does not approve of. In this respect, he closely resembles Robert Mugabe. The violence will be our Kristolnacht and Kristoltag.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Why A Goldwater Republican Despises Reagan/Bush Republicanism

Republicanism is what is sounds like: a theory, an -ism, and I consider it a deviation of the most dangerous sort. Look at what a Republicanist writer says about Reagan Republicanism in Commentary magazine https://www.commentarymagazine.com/viewarticle.cfm/what-is-a-bush-republican--10038?page=all What Is a Bush Republican? Daniel Casse March 2006

...Today, 25 years after Reagan assumed office, it is hard to exaggerate his influence on American politics in general and on the conservative movement in particular. Many of the once-controversial elements of his philosophy—tax cuts to spur economic growth, a build-up of American defense forces, confronting totalitarianism abroad, an end to welfare dependency at home—are today embraced by most (but not all) Republicans and even some Democrats, and the conservative movement he headed has effectively become the established core of the GOP. This transformation has been one of the great ideological triumphs in American politics...

All very true...except that tax cuts spurred bubbles that destroyed more wealth than they created, the American defense forces show no signs of being able to keep track of their own nuclear weaponry nor are they scaled to an appropriate size for the opponent they face: essentially an infinite black-hole of expenditure, and although welfare dependency may have been ended, the system has encouraged a dependency of the business class on the active conspiracy of government agencies to wink at their less ethical schemes.

That is your Reagan Republicanism:

Bear Sterns executives in $1,000 suits scamming their investors and being arrested;

American defense spending in its war on terror approaching that of the amounts spent during the Cold War when it confronted the USSR, a real nation state with an army;

An active schism in the body politic between haves and have-nots, between the old and the young, between racial groups...no sense of community and common reciprocal need.

When I think Reagan, I think "Death Valley Days".

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Uqbar Yacht Club

My yacht and yacht club: very small membership, very elite and snobbish.

In The News

...drilling to be beside the seaside, to be beside the seaside, in the beautiful sea!

The Cellars Of Invention

The entry to the John Yoo Interrogatorium
McClatchy has an absolutely stunning article on the people in the Bush administration who worked to set up the Guantanamo system and the torture system: the cellars of inventive testimony and screams of Truth and Justice. http://www.mcclatchydc.com/detainees/story/38886.html Easing of laws that led to detainee abuse hatched in secret A good excerpt: Romig recalled tense discussions with Yoo in November and December 2001 about setting up military commissions to try detainees. "John Yoo wanted to use military commissions in the manner they were used in the Indian wars," Romig said. "I looked at him and said, 'You know, that was 100-and-something years ago. You're out of your mind; we're talking about the law.' " What really interests me now is whether Bush will issue some sort of blanket pardon for crimes that a number of his minions have not yet been indicted for. Of course, this would not apply to other countries who may detain the malefactors for transgressions against international law.

Shopping Cart Screaming Man 2

Luther, or Loofer as he says it (actually "Loofa" and his mother may have named him after a shower article), was back on the corner of 32nd and Howard, rocking his shopping cart back and forth rhythmically while screaming unintelligible screams. Now as the summer solstice of 2008 approaches, we find that he has been joined by various people throughout the day, some with cart, most without, but all sharing the common need to stand on a public corner and scream. Now these folks seem to be a bit more articulate than Loofer. They quite clearly are yelling about the price of gasoline, the price of food, the war in Iraq, and even about new films about to open. Some of them have signs; some about the end of time, some about retail store closing sales. The police are a bit unclear as to how to proceed. Loofer was never bothered. What about these new people? Since there is no illegal activity, other than standing on a corner, screaming as the world goes by...standing on a corner, givin' all the creeps the eye. Brother , if you got a better occupation, give it a whirl, give it a try... Loofer, as far as we know, has said nothing. There has been no discernible change to his outbursts, regular as Old Faithful: no sign of acknowledgement on his part, even though most of the new folks say "Hey, Loofer. What's up, man?" when they arrive. I think of Being There and instead of Chauncey Gardner there is Loofer becoming the new celebrity of the media. Quite a story.

Religion And The Philosopher MacFinn

The love of God is the greatest force in human history. The love of God bursts forth like new wine from old wineskins, running out in rivers to cover the world: the Christians going forth to the nations, the Muslims spreading out to Spain in the West to India and beyond in the East, the disciples of the Lord Buddha going from India to all points of the compass...

What destroys the love is the human side of religion: the things human beings need, or think they need, for their enterprise of religion to function; the laws, the buildings, the monies, and so on. This human side of religion is backwards-looking, retrograde, slothful, cautious, fearful, pinch-penny, neutered, and the list goes on...all the baggage of human society.
This retrograde human side of religion is, in the spirit of Arnold Toynbee, the continuation of Universal State by Universal Church. If man is to progress, he must separate God from what has gone before in his life, for by definition, God is the new and the future, and man's life is the thing of a childhood due to be cast aside for the new good news.

This is what I mean when I say that I do not believe in God; I expect God.
If God's being is imminent all the time, does it not strike one as silly to stop and say that one believes? Is it not just as silly as saying one does not believe? I mean, under what circumstances would you say that you are an atheist? You just have an attittude about religious types and you like to attack them? This is hardly a basis for a discussion of beliefs. And if you are in a debate sponsored by such and such a forum and the topic is "God, does he/she/it exist?", in all fairness, would you not expect the entire shambles to be quite ridiculous?

Recently, when Tim Russert passed, someone said that you knew he was very religious guy, but he was never in your face about it. Now, this means that he is a type of person who is not pushy about beliefs, but it also implies that when bad things are done, this type of person may not publicly protest.
Now this attitude, expressed about Mr. Russert, best sums up the attitude of our American and human society about God, it is part of our religious structure: keep God in his place, which is essentially that of justifying everything we feel compelled to do. But it does not free us, rather it delivers us to the evil one in chains. To keep God in his place is to treat God as a concept. God is not a concept. There is no conceptual knowledge of God. To speak of God is to speak of quantum mechanics and what is the state of Schrodinger's cat: is it quick or dead? To speak of God, then, is equivalent to stand with an infinite daisy and pluck at the petals, saying "...she loves me, she loves me not, she loves me, she loves me not,..." as we flip flop between possible states of being. To love God is to stop. I say "...loves me..." and speak no more.

Everyday religious people say "...loves me..." and carry on the flip flop process using different words and different symbols, unleashing an erudite flood of words, overwhelming all in its path. But when the waters recede, we are dry and untouched. It is like MacFinn: the water is the divine and he experiences water within the structure and confines of the established bowl, not quite suspecting what that wavy thing is on the near horizon.
MacFinn: ( slapping his fin against the glass side of the bowl) Thus do I refute unseen and non-local causes, wierd notions and innovation, and things outside the established religion! Yes, I see the wavy thing you call "sea", but it has no existence independent of the glass bowl, the crystal church, wherein we live. Were it not for the light wave propagation through the medium of glass, the "sea" would not exist! What you call "sea" is a projection from the water within our bowl, outwards without bounds. It is merely the natural human desire to expand and to imperialism. The quaint notion that "sea" somehow will make us different is preposterous, as if it makes sense to say: "Now we see as in a darkling bowl, but soon we shall all be changed!" Nonsense! Pure rubbish!
"For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of Lord,as the waters cover the sea."

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Dark City June 17 2008

Mr. Book says that this is going to be a very dark and difficult election season, filled with threats and dirt. For "We are looking for John Murdoch", read "We are looking for those who are not one of us" and we shall deal with them.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

National Call Someone A Nazi Day Two

Since today is Fathers' Day, I shall celebrate it by calling Ann Coulter a Nazi. This is particularly gratifying as there is a definite element of paradox in it. I mean, just how often does a woman born to play Leni Reifenstahl or Eva Braun - a svelte bombshell of the sahellian slim, thin body and blondy locked hair- get to be Fuehrer for a day? I shall pronounce the word "Nazi" as did Winston Churchill, uttering a lushly sibilant "Nazi" with a "z" pronounced as an English or American "z" or "zed", and not at all like a German "z", which is pronounced like "ts" ( hence, Nah-tsee). Then we shall sing in honor of the holiday: Coulter... has only got one ball! Limbaugh....has two but they are small. Himmler...is very sim'lar and Goebballs....und so wieder, und so wieder, und so wieder...verstehen Sie nun?

Airlines And The War On Distransportation 2

Previously we had the "Sea/ Land Trolley". http://fatherdaughtertalk.blogspot.com/2008/04/airlines-and-war-on-distransportation.html Now, the FAA's Multi-Phase Aerodrome (MPA) is being tested:

The Jewish People In History

In the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:  
http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/P/PALESTINIANS_NO_BUILDING?SITE=WIMIL&SECTION=INTERNATIONAL&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT  
Israel curbs Palestinian building on disputed land  
By DALIA NAMMARI Associated Press Writer AQABEH, West Bank (AP)
 -- The elders of this West Bank village hold their meetings under a carob tree, sitting on boulders arranged in a circle. It looks idyllic, but is born of necessity - the council doesn't have a meeting hall. Aqabeh, home to 299 people, has never received Israeli construction permits despite many requests, its mayor says. After losing a battle in Israel's Supreme Court in April, the village now lives with the threat of seeing 37 of its 47 structures demolished, according to a U.N. count. That includes 27 homes, a clinic, a mosque and a kindergarten that was co-financed by a U.S. charity, the Building Alliance. All were built illegally, Israel says...  
I shall take this moment to describe my point of view of the Jewish people and their place in History.
Hitherto, it has been fashionable for people, hearing the expression "the chosen people", to understand this as meaning correctly that the Jews are set apart, but incorrectly as that somehow the Jews were more important and dearer to God than the nations. My own opinion is that the Jewish people are the Beta testers of God. Israel is thus far a 60 year test.

From our point of view the results are decidedly mixed, but from the boss's point of view, who knows?

After the Holocaust, one would think that the return to Israel was a blessing and a sabbatical for the Jews. Instead they are now facing one of the hardest tests ever: can they establish peace and justice in the land where there are Israelis and Palestinians?
It may seem counterintuitive that brute physical and spiritual survival against the Tyrrany was less difficult than Peace and Harmony, but so much for intuition: throughout history, we have always seen tyrrany, but bloody little Peace and Harmony. Hence, P and H are pretty slim pickings.

The test as to whether Israel can actually have two ethnic groups seems to have failed, even though there are Palestinians living in Israel and, indeed, serving in the Knesset. However, I think even the founders, though they spoke of such an ideal, were not deluded and knew that it was next to impossible. This Beta test indicates a failure. Notice that while this Beta test of ethnic groups living together has been run in Israel, it has also been run in numerous other locations on the globe. Bosnia, Kosovo, and Ruanda come to mind immediately.

The tests that the Jews are in are tests of all men. Given their unique position as "testers" or "test takers", if the Jews fail, it is highly probable that no other group will succeed, at least at the present stage of human development. Now the other test is whether the Palestinian State may be established and the just claims of Palestinians be met. May Jew and Palestinian meet as "I" and "Thou", or are they condemned forever to be "Us" versus "Them", the Jews versus the Nations, the Dar al Islam versus the Dar al Harb? When I walk outside my group, am I become Gershom, a stranger in a strange land? Am I become Ghasheem, transformed into an alien in the midst of day? This is still in Beta testing. God willing, we shall know the results soon and shall share them with you.

--

Saturday, June 14, 2008

How Long Until Fox News Says...

The new game show where people try to guess how long it will be until Rupert Murdoch's Fox News says various inane combinations of words when speaking of Democratic presidential nominees. Today's question is: How long until Fox News says: "Spear Chucker" ?

Philosopher MacFinn

The Scottish Realist, MacFinn, asking himself whether the fish bowl of his existence is 3/4 full...or is it 1/4 empty......?

So full of such lofty cogitations is he, he does not see the large salty thing beyond.

Waiting For Godzilla

I know Samuel Beckett would approve.

Habeas Corpus: The Minority Report

Justice Scalia, flanked by Justice Thomas, Chief Justice Roberts, and Justice Alito in the background, after issuing their minority decision on whether Guantanamo detainess have access to the US courts.

The darkness and shadows of their subterranean refectory is symbolism as well as realism.

The Seventh Sense

Excerpt from screen play: " I see...living people! Live politicians!!" ( breaks down into hysterical sobs). Bruce Willis holds him and tries to comfort him.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Judgement Day?

Final Skynet satellite launched http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7451867.stm The Skynet 5C platform rode into orbit atop an Ariane 5 rocket from the Kourou spaceport in French Guiana. Oops. Terminator time.

Code: (1) is Skynet 5C

Jews Whack Arabs

I want Obama and McCain to comment on this.

 http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7451691.stm  
Footage from a video camera handed out by an Israeli human rights group appears to show Jewish settlers beating up Palestinians in the West Bank.  
An elderly shepherd, his wife and a nephew said they were attacked by four masked men for allowing their animals to graze near the settlement of Susia. The rights group, B'Tselem, said the cameras were provided to enable Palestinians to get proof of attacks.  

In case you do not know, B'Tselem is an Israeli human rights group.

--

The Supreme Court Decides

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7451139.stm Foreign suspects held in Guantanamo Bay have the right to challenge their detention in US civilian courts, the US Supreme Court has ruled. How does a poseur like Justice Scalia make up his mind on such questions? Flip a coin? Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who voted against the ruling, warned that "it sets our military commanders the impossible task of proving in a civilian court ... that evidence supports the confinement of each and every prisoner". No. Justice Scalia decides the case based on the assumed impossibility of proving that evidence supports confinement. He becomes an activist judge, assumes he knows that such recourse to courts will increase American fatalities in the future (!??), and just sort of wings it. Proving the evidence supports confinement is not impossible.If it does not support, then the prisoner is released. If it supports, the prisoner remains. Justice Scalia apparently wants the military commanders to decide and never have that decision adjudicated. Nonsense. And which miltary commanders is he referring to? The soi-disant Warlord Bush? If the government has no task of proving that confinement is justified, you have a situation like that in Guantanamo where people are held forever with no charges being brought. Bush says the government will review the decision and see whether further legislation is necessary. Fat chance of that. This Congress will not support your mad dash to authoritarianism. I wonder how Clarence Thomas voted. You never know with that deep, deep mind.

Habeas Corpus

My blog has a little picture over on the right depicting little men applauding the suspension of habeas corpus in a law designed to bypass a federal court ruling. In 2004, a federal court ruled that federal courts had the right to consider challenges to the legality of the detention of foreign nationals held at Guantanamo. In 2006, (before the 2006 elections) a federal court ruled that the president did not have the authority to order the enemy combatants at Guantanamo to face military commissions. The government responded both times by obtaining congressional legislation restricting judicial review of the detentions. The Military Commissions Act (MCA) passed in 2006 removed the right of habeas corpus and set up tribunals to try detainees who were not US citizens. (BBC) The Military Commissions Act apllies to anyone the government will so deem to be an enemy combatant ever, past or future, giving the government the power to deny habeas corpus at will. Another heritage of the Republican disaster, the total loss of any sense of propriety that characterized the Republican party for the past 8 years, if not longer. We have had discussions about it, heated discussions. It has been pointed out that habeas corpus has been suspended in the past when the nation was in crisis. Abraham Lincoln himself suspended habeas corpus in the middle of the Civil War. He was mightily criticized at the time, but he stood firm. So did George Bush stand firm, my opponents have argued. History will judge him to have been right to do what he did. Abraham Lincoln was in a Civil War of major proportions when he suspended habeas corpus. George Bush and the Republican party suspended habeas corpus 5 years after 9/11 and 3 years after the invasion of Iraq and Mission Accomplished. George Bush and the Republican toadies suspended habeas corpus as a dodge, a scheme, a scam, a ruse...having nothing better to do than degrade the Presidency, degrade the compliant Republican Congress and make a end run around the laws of the land. For shame to compare Abraham Lincoln and the insidious mediocrities of our time!

Rachel Ray And Dunkin Donuts

Once again we shall show you blokes in the USA just how insular and parochial - not to mention comically ignorant - the dregs of the right wing (Michelle Malkin etc.) are.

Referring to the fact that Michelle Malkin took Dunkin' Donuts to task for a commerial featuring Ms. Ray garbed in a roguish keffiya, worn like a scarf - definitely charming but not too, too Arafat-esque. (Where's Tim Gunn when one needs him?)

Expensive media time was spent on this, and D Donuts yanked said ad with a "terrorist fist jab" (Fox News). http://jewschool.com/2008/06/11/rachel-ray-aint-got-nothing-on-israelis/ ... I really did a double-take a couple times while in Israel two weeks ago: keffiyahs are for sale everywhere. And not by Arabs in the Christian and Muslim quarters of the Old City, or East Jerusalem, or Nazareth — but by Jews in Jewy places...

What The President Is Responsible For


Fox News and their mindless minions like to make assertions to the tune of: the President can't actually be blamed for the state of the economy; this follows 9 months or so after a long, drawn out two-step during which they took bows for the state of the economy. Fair enough. In his own words, the President likes to see himself go down in history as the wartime President leading the effort of a successful war.

However, the Founding Fathers actually envisaged the President to be a bit more than a Warlord. The President was the executive, meaning he executed that which was the law of the land, said laws being established by Congress. Exactly when we got into the situation where the President capers nimbly on the decks of naval vessels, sees himself as a wartime President, fancies himself to be the Bringer of Democracy to the world, and other such nonsensical notions, dates to January 20, 2000. Exactly when we reached the point where the executive branch ignores the will of the people as expressed in Congress dates to January 20, 2000.

As executive, it is the job of the President to see to the smooth running of the entire government. It is not the business of the executive to, for example, put scientifically incompetent religious dweebs into power at NASA. This, to my uninitiated eye, has the appearance of undermining the smooth running of the government. It is the job of the President to see to the operation of the FDA, for example; to see that it looks out for the nation, as well as the well-being of corporate entities. Here is where this President has been an abject failure.
 
It's about tomatoes now:  
June 12 (Bloomberg) -- 
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has failed to provide costs or deadlines for a plan to improve food safety even as tainted tomatoes have sickened Americans, according to a report to Congress. The agency oversees the safety of about 80 percent of the nation's food supply, including $417 billion in domestic products and $49 billion in imports annually, according to a report by the Government Accountability Office. The FDA said in a November plan it would improve the way it polices the food industry by collecting data it needs to focus on the riskiest products. Prospects for the plan can't be judged unless the agency explains how it would be carried out, said Lisa Shames, director of natural resources and environment for the GAO, in testimony to be given at a House hearing today. ``As food-borne illness outbreaks continue, FDA is missing valuable opportunities to reassure Congress and the public that it is doing all it can to protect the nation's food supply,'' Shames said in her testimony. The FDA said yesterday it hasn't been able to identify the source of tomatoes that health officials say are the likely cause of 167 reported cases of salmonella in 17 states since mid-April. Lawmakers criticized the FDA's handling of food and drug safety when consumers became ill after eating tainted spinach in 2006, peanut butter in 2007 and using contaminated lots of the blood-thinner heparin this year...  
To my memory, this is the 3d year we have had outbreaks of vegetables being a threat to human life, the previous threats being E.Coli. If you think I am being facetious about blaming George Bush for this, we shall spend the time and go back into the history of the FDA since the year 2000. It will be suspiciously similar to that of the FAA and other agencies who took their cue from the administration and cosied up to business interests. Moral: no man can serve 2 masters.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A Declaration Of Independence

At the League of Extraordinary Coots, there has been an ongoing discussion about how Americans cried out in their horror and pain at 9/11 and it was the quaking fear of the populace that led to the quaint excesses of the Bush Administration, excesses such as suspension of habeas corpus and torture. Long, long, long story short: If protection means a Royal Authoritarian Executive who delves into every aspect of our lives, we reject it. We got guns. We got good people. We'll protect ourselves! We will not give up our freedom for the dubious protection of a rapacious Neo-Monarchy!

The Future Of Rail

photo: Tiddlycove in FrEAKING NEWS 


There is a blog and there is a letter about Amtrak:http://www.kunstler.com/Grunt_trains_and_planes2.html 

People are always talking about "Manhattan Projects" to solve the energy crisis. 

As pointed out before, such projects do not stand a chance at present because they are totally government controlled and directed. The US government did not stand around and wait patiently while the free market system came up with an atomic bomb on its own. 

Of course, logically speaking, the Iraq War is a sort of "Manhattan Project" itself, being totally government controlled. No free market there. 
A government subsidized rail system is logically a "Manhattan Project", although it is truly a messed up project and has been so for 50 years or so. The problem is (1) a vision of the desired transportation system, and (2) the political will to implement. 
Recall when Dwight Eisenhower proposed the interstate highway system. That was one humungous investment in infrastructure. Since that time, we have become afraid of investment in infrastructure. We do not want to save; we wish to consume now. It's rather as if every road were a toll-road, and once we drove over it, it vanished into nothingness. ( After 9/11, if we had had an moderately sharp president, he would have not said "Go shopping!", rather he would have said "Save for investments in the future of America!")

-- 

The Housing Sector And A Republi-Con President

There is no sign that the decline in the prices of houses will abate any time soon. This primary decline is the result of the end of the housing bubble. After the decline due to this ending of the bubble stops, there will be an interval of sort of a random walk with no particular trend, followed by another, less precipitous decline as the market tries to evaluate the assets; i.e., houses, that they are dealing with. Just like the financial sector, the housing sector is coming off a bout of night-on-the-town capitalism and finds itself embarassed in the morning: it has assets whose value has been an illusion, like the promise of "I love you" made in the heat of drunken passion the night before. As previously mentioned, the quality of much of construction during the bubble is obviously sub-standard. These assets will not recover in value - unless we can segue into a brand new bubble. However, that scenario cannot come to be until another RepubiliCon ( combined of Republican and Neocon ) is elected. These people followed an economic philosophy termed "Voodoo Economics" by one George Herbert Walker Bush, and it goes back to the Reagan era. I estimate the amount of inferior product to be a minimum of 40% of total construction during the period. Furthermore, fully 25% of all such construction is worthless for use as a domicile by the time the period of the primary decline will have ended. This will cause the secondary decline. How long will the primary decline continue? Due to the bubble, the value of houses far exceeded the ability of the buyer to pay off their debt. However, since there was a bubble and the value of the houses immediately increased and credit was easily - too easily - available, there was no problem as long as the skin of the bubble did not burst. Now, however, the decline has not been enough to value the house at a price which the buyer, stuck with the house now, is able to pay it off, since salaries and wages have essentially been stagnant since the 1980s. I do not expect wages to increase here in the 3rd world. Hence, the primary decline will continue for at least 6 more quarters.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

My Robot Readers

"Obscurus per Obscurior" Another comment from a robot. Actually the communications subsystem of a robot. Astu 13H8 consists of a number of parallel computing devices and an antenna of dubious provenance. He/she/it reminds me of some gizmo from Mad Max. A Latin comment. I do not quite know what to think about it. So, I shall provide a translation: the obscure by the more obscure... The idea is that one attempts to explain something obscure, but does so by an even more obscure explanation. It is a knock on me, but it is all in good spirit. At least, I think it is. It is hard to tell when dealing with entities who do not express emotion. What is more, they do not wish to. They laugh at the "emotion chip" of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and find Lieutenant Data to be rather "gay" in a Mech sense. Thanks and a tip of the tin man's oil funnel hat to Astu 13H8:

Bed Oddfellows

Who is Scott Horton, and why is he involved in politics? In my ignorance, I assume he is the son or grandson of Willie Horton, the nemesis of Michael Dukakis, not Willie Horton the baseball player.

Higgs During Eights Week

http://cdsweb.cern.ch/journal/article?name=CERNBulletin&issue=24/2008&number=1&category=News%20Articles&ln=en Knocking on the LHC’s door On 24 May, a proton beam knocked on the door of the LHC. This is only the second time since 2004 that the beam has crossed from the SPS into the TI8 transfer line. Thanks to a huge collaborative effort the final commissioning of the transfer line TI8 has been successful. There was both excitement and relief as, after some unforeseen delays, the beam burst onto the monitors in the Control Room on Saturday 24th May. Although the beam is less intense (at around 5 thousand million protons per bunch) than will eventually be used in the LHC, this test represents an important milestone in the run-up to the switch-on of the accelerator... The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is almost on line. It may discover the existence of the Higg's Boson, sometimes popularly referred to as the God particle.

Now the point of the title was young Higgs at Oxford crewing on a boat during the races of Eights Week: Higgs could have been a "coxswain" on one of the boats. And if he could have been a "cox'sun", he could have somewhere and sometime been a "boatswain" or "bo'sun". Hence, Higgs Bo'sun, or Higgs Boson, and everything in the universe sort of wedgies into a proverbial tight spot from which we might only be extricated by our innate charm and breeding, not to mention "spin"...which in my case is truly measured by my "spingularity" function. There. That is Science. And it is not a bit obscure.

Something New...

My taste in reading this morning is unusual. I fancy that I want to read some sort of pop psychology twaddle about the important issues of the age. I shall go to Google or Yahoo and type in "psychological claptrap" and see who comes up. I want something along the lines of the Dark Lord Cheney as a metaphor for Lady MacBeth; Cheney, father and daughter, united in their unholy lust for an Iranian Barbeque. I mean, how many "hajjis" does one need to fry before one feels truly safe? And why do "hajjis" inspire such fear in us anyway? A little Pop Psych, maestro, if you please!

AIPAC Mono-verse

In the multi-verse reality of America, there is a singularity and that one-ness is AIPAC and the ruling elite. In this mono-verse, there is only one narrative, one scenario, one story line. And this mono-verse exists only in the USA. It does not exist in Israel nor among the Jewish world at large. The Jewish world is diverse in opinion. Jewish thought is Real Thought, not some hidebound mumbo-jumbo from a Jurassic limbic system instead of a brain. In Ha'aretz: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/981318.html Sixty years of Nakba, 60 years of nothing By Bradley Burston ...They are filled with dread here, these people, my friends, the Israelis and the Palestinians both. Part of the dread is the realization that, no matter what direction the conflict takes, the result will in no way justify the violent deaths since 1948 of more than 24,000 Israelis and uncounted thousands of Palestinians... ...Both sides have their monsters, who see themselves as the keepers of the holy flame, ready to bring down and/or do violence to anyone on their own side who dares to work for peace. Both sides have their diaspora, with its armchair martyrs and La-Z-Boy commandos, its online ideologue and its Talkback Cato the Elder. We have done iniquity to one another and felt only victimhood... ("Nakba" is Arabic, referring to 1948 as a disaster rather than a cause for celebration.)

Monday, June 09, 2008

Let Me See If I Understand This...

Barack Obama said some folks were resentful and held onto their guns and faith with a bitter desperation. I think he wanted to instill some empathy for people marginalized by our globalized society. Richard Cheney accused the people of West Virginia of incest. I do not think he was trying to empathize. And who exactly is the elitist? And what, by the way, do you mean by "elitist" here? And...does anything "mean" anything anymore anyhow?

Snake Oil Salesman

There is a fellow going around saying that we should drill for oil in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge. He is no other than George "Quick Fix...No...wait 50 years" Bush. Before you make up your mind, refer back to Jay Bookman's Atlanta Journal Constitution Blog posting about it: http://www.ajc.com/blogs/content/shared-blogs/ajc/bookman/entries/2008/05/23/memorial_day_weekend_and_gas_p.html

Sunday, June 08, 2008

McClatchy News

I have added McClatchy News to my daily reading. What you might find refreshing is that they are news people in the classic sense, not the celebrity and celebration hounds who dog us from morn til night on cable and other outlets. http://www.mcclatchydc.com/ In their Blog, Nukes & Spooks, of May 29, 2008, there was an article on Scott McClellan and the big lie-up to the War. This article establishes that not all media were complicit in the crimes; not all were smiling enablers like Charles Gibson. Not all directed their activities depending on the phone calls they received from the Pentagon, like the hapless Brian Williams. McClatchy was working to get news. May 29, 2008 Memo to Scott McClellan: Here's what happened http://washingtonbureau.typepad.com/nationalsecurity/2008/05/what-happened.html I said it before and I say it again: there was adequate information and intelligence available even to an ordinary citizen. Couple this with the unholy delight of that monstrous "Shock 'n Awe" perversion and the happy cakewalking attitude towards war shown by our leaders, and the horrid outcome could have come as a surprise only to the most ignorant, most willfully ignorant people on the face of the planet!!

For My Father...

My father could not believe that there are Jews who oppose the Tzionistische Medina of Yisroel (Israel), so here's a picture post card: (Get it! There are Jews that do that which we cannot: criticize Israel! They actually oppose its existence! To be honest, there actually is a wide range of opinion in Israel about the nature of the Jewish State. This is totally in contrast to the situation in the USA, where there is only 1 officially sanctioned view.)

(Bet you did not see this coverage of the 60th anniversary.)

Intelligent (?) Design

In case you missed it, I consider the theory of Intelligent Design to be idolatrous polytheism. Anytime I hear some dim bulb Christian clown espouse the idea of ID, I shudder. I never did really understand the story of the golden calf: how could the children of Israel, having been led out of slavery in week 1, turn about on week 2 and hold a golden buffet of idolatry?! Never understood it... never, that is, until I heard Christians spouting about the polytheism of Intelligent Design. And we wonder how this country got into the present fix, especially when we have such great leaders of politics, finance, religion...the list goes on.

The Culture Of Constant Conflict

The following graph from The New York Times illustrates how money is spent: it costs us almost as much to combat Osama Bin Laden and approximately 5 to 8,000 bearded mullahs as it did to stand up against the USSR, a real nation-state with an army, navy, missiles, etc. Who is kidding whom? (Just how many enemies do we have? Is the number infinite? Maybe. What this indicates is that in a war minded culture where every conflict is settled by violence, it will cost the same to fight against just a few thousand individuals as it does to wage war against a coalition of countries allied against us!)

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Bush: The Great Spigot Opener


From Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis:
http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/ (bold emphasis mine)
June 5, 2008  

Sheer Force Of PersonalityDateline June 28th 2000 - The 2000 presidential campaignBush Would Use Power of Persuasion to Raise Oil Supply Gov. George W. Bush of Texas said today that if he was president, he would bring down gasoline prices through sheer force of personality, by creating enough political good will with oil-producing nations that they would increase their supply of crude."I would work with our friends in OPEC to convince them to open up the spigot, to increase the supply," Mr. Bush, the presumptive Republican candidate for president, told reporters here today. "Use the capital that my administration will earn, with the Kuwaitis or the Saudis, and convince them to open up the spigot."Asked why the Clinton administration had not been able to use the power of personal persuasion, Mr. Bush said: "The fundamental question is, 'Will I be a successful president when it comes to foreign policy?' "
and the article referenced above is: http://www.nytimes.com/library/politics/camp/062800wh-bush.html

It also contains such gems as:  
Asked why the Clinton administration had not been able to use the power of personal persuasion, Mr. Bush said: "The fundamental question is, 'Will I be a successful president when it comes to foreign policy?' " and He was also asked to respond to remarks made this morning by Chris Lehane, press secretary to Vice President Al Gore, to reporters in Philadelphia. Mr. Lehane had criticized Republicans, and Senator Arlen Specter, Republican of Pennsylvania, in particular, for releasing reports last week that a Justice Department official had called for a special prosecutor to investigate Mr. Gore's fund-raising activities. 
Mr. Lehane said that the Republicans were "turning the U.S. Congress into a scandal-industrial complex" and that Mr. Bush was "the C.E.O." of that. Mr. Bush dismissed Mr. Lehane's comments, saying, "It's frankly the type of politics people in America are sick of, this kind of finger pointing, calling names and trying to divert attention." 
He returned to the subject after a subsequent question about how he would court independent voters in Michigan. He said he would "make the case that I'm the person that can change the tone of Washington, D.C.," and added, "Just give me a chance to be the president." 

People like Condoleeza Rice say that the Bush Presidency will not be able to be evaluated until some time in the future, until the passions of a country lied to and betrayed will have cooled and the generation for whom the present and future were destroyed have passed away. Then and only then will the incredibly intelligent historians of the future age be able to fairly judge the Bush administration; the administration that presumed to ignore any law passed by Congress which it chose to ignore - an arrogant autocracy far beyond any claimed by George III leading to the American Revolution. I do not know for sure what the historians 100 years from now will say. I DO know that they shall be lecturing in unheated halls and writing with quills.
(resignation now!)

Resign Now!

Have pity on the rest of us and remove yourselves from office. On every side, people who have worked with you deluge us with memoirs recounting your corruption and insanity. Go join the Abramoffs and the DeLays! And when in the future your crimes come back to haunt you, as they will, and you stare at the blood of the innocent upon your hands, ask for God's forgiveness and that of the people you have wronged!

The Misperception Of Catastrophe


 Roman School; Boy at Right Carrying Lunch Impedimentum



We use the metaphor of the Roman Empire a good deal: its decline and fall, its paganism and opposition to Christianity; we love to either contrast our pure greatness to its alloyed form of eminence, or to parallel the crimes of those we disagree with to the crimes of Rome.

Yet, even though Rome did decline and fall, at the time the typical Roman probably did not see decline nor did he see fall. He probably thought change was for the better. Tempus fugit and all that, followed by a well deserved O tempora, O mores!
And even as the noose of the Imperium tightened around their necks and the severe Tiberius gave way to the corrupt Caligula, the Romans probably sat about drinking wine in the shade and formed committees to discuss reforms: reform the Imperium back to Republic, to reform the corn distribution, to reform the army, etc.

We suffer also. Our political leadership is a nonentity of fools who excel at self-enrichment. We slide into economic chaos and suffer the inane pratings of cheer leaders on Fox News. Worst of all, we cannot see the forest of disaster for the trees of our decline.

For example, people who count in Detroit discuss ways to improve the school system. They get together and meet. They hire new School Board Presidents...frequently, it seems. It seems business as usual. The graduation rate for Detroit schools is just under 25%. That is not a bit of slippage in standards; that is a complete disaster! The graduation rate might as well be 0%.
When you consider that among the 24.9% that graduate are included those they are moving along just to get rid of them and have not gained much from education, these figures show an educational system that has been destroyed, not one that needs a new President and some remedial measures. It is an educational Dresden after the bombing. It is Hiroshima. ...and the aftermath of the destruction is spread out for all to see.

The young are not educated...and now there are no jobs even for the educated! Yet the people of Detroit and the nation cannot face up to the fact that urban education has been vaporised and has disappeared. As we continue to plod our way to a dusky future, we shall see familiar signposts all the way and we shall not divine the imminent catastrophe...because we are God's chosen, because we are America and America never loses, because our minds are too small to comprehend the evanescence of pride.

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Sunday, June 01, 2008

Opaque Versus Transparent

 Arnold Toynbee


I have received great praise which carries a great criticism enwrappt within the laudatory petals of its bloom: an old friend says she loves the blog, but finds it a bit obscure at times. Hmmm. I have never known how to deal with this. I mean, does one rattle on and on, explaining every bloody thing, totally assuming that one's readers are incapable of knowing things on their own and are strangers to our common history, thereby insulting one's audience?

For myself, I find it very hard slogging through blogging where the expositor feels the need to pad out their written matter of already dubious value with explanatory paragraph after paragraph of things they feel necessary to ensure a complete understanding of their oeuvre. However, others near and dear to m'self have said, "True, but...", this last conjunction being followed with an exasperated query as to why I feel the necessity to be obscure.

For example, sometimes I write in Latin. Well, everybody reads Latin...surely. When I was young in days of yore, I went to the library and read Toynbee's A Study Of History in its entirety. I was impressed on how Mr. Toynbee quoted the French and the German and the Classic Greek and Latin writers of history...and the Arabic writers who formed the bridge between Classic culture and the present day and who were the great travellers and historians of their age. He quoted them in their original form without translation. The unspoken assumption was that the reader had enough of the French, German, Latin, Greek, and Arabic that he should be able to muddle through.

Well, there you have it. Everybody should read a little Latin. I do not use Greek, because I have no font available for it. When I use Arabic, it is a horrible transliteration which pleases neither writer nor reader. My French is jejune, and my German tends more to a yiddische yenta's chatter. I guess I assume people are familiar with literature and cinema. Of course I do... The very last thing I shall do is provide a synopsis of a film or story for someone too slothful to immerse themselves in the narrative arts.

Go to films. Read books. You do not have to spend a lot of time. When I do not like a film, I get up and leave. And I usually give books 20 pages to establish some sort of empathy with me; failing that, they are tossed aside like the detritus which they are. My vocabulary? I write pretty much the way I speak. I repeat stock phrases over and over. How many times have I said "...like a yiddische yenta..."? Lots. Or "......like a momzer..."? Oodles and oodles. Someone took me to task about what I thought was a pretty good bon mot using the philosopher Martin Heidegger. It turns out they were not fully cognizant of Martin Heidegger qua philosopher, and they took it all ill, thinking I was somehow making fun of their epistemological deficiency.

Nothing, I repeat, nothing had been further from my mind. However, once they had brought this to my attention, I can assure you that I shall indeed be making fun of them sometime in the near future! In fact, now is as good a time as any. If anything, I am too transparent. My ideal is to try to present things and let the reader make the connections: present everything and by your presentation hint at the underlying logic you feel; then leave the reader to their own "A-ha!" experience. "A-ha!" experiences stay with people, whereas tedious didacticisms do not.

The whole process resembles how a film "means" , to steal a phrase; it resembles cinema more than essay writing. (I must admit that frequently the logic is a bit "non-linear" which seems to defeat the "mid-wifery" of this filmic process; instead of delivering the child of understanding, we seem to end up in a louche bar near Soho...) You will notice that I usually fall far short of this ideal. I say in my defence that I have only been working on it for a short time and shall strive for improvement.

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