Monday, June 30, 2008
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.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
"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.
Friday, June 27, 2008
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
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.
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
Friday, June 20, 2008
...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
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.
"For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of Lord,as the waters cover the sea."
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Sunday, June 15, 2008
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?
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
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.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
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
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.
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...
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
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Monday, June 09, 2008
Sunday, June 08, 2008
Saturday, June 07, 2008
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.
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.
Sunday, June 01, 2008
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.