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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Dapper Dan Obama

Instead of the Grand Old Party, I think that Fatuous Old Party makes more sense: FOP instead of GOP. Perhaps Farting Old Party. If they insist in the "G", then how about Grifters Old Party? I take my cue from Oh, Brother, Where Art Thou? when it comes to "hair jelly" and political parties. There were 2 hair jellies, "Dapper Dan" and "Fop"

I am a "Dapper Dan" man, just as was George Clooney's character. I am not a "FOP" man. Nor am I a "GOP" man, for that matter.

So I shall vote for Dapper Dan Obama, and not for Fop McCain.

Economic Confidential

Things tend to slip out, despite the best attempts of governments to prevent it. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article4641381.ece London Times Online The government was plunged into turmoil yesterday as the chancellor admitted the full scale of Britain’s economic crisis. Downing Street and the Treasury launched a desperate damage limitation exercise after Alistair Darling declared that Britain was facing “arguably the worst” slump in 60 years. As Treasury aides claimed that he had been misrepresented, Darling took to the airwaves to clarify his remarks. However, instead of reassuring voters, the chancellor risked compounding the crisis by failing to modify his dire assessment. Darling insisted it was his duty to be “straight” with people. His warning that the slump will be “more profound and long-lasting than people thought” comes at the worst time for Gordon Brown as he struggles to shore up his leadership. Certainly the UK is not the USA, but in the present globalized world, they are inextricably interconnected. So just as George W. sez that the economy is on the upswing, based on random fluctuations of straws at which he always grasps, the UK thinks everything will be...at best...something resembling the years following the Depression and WW II.

Questionable Judgement

Apparently John McCain is going to the Gulf Coast Sunday to visit the "pre-disaster area"? I am awfully glad that I am not driving in a car filled with personal belongings and a tired family trying to get out of NOLA, in a traffic jam creeping along, and made more immobile by the shut-downs accompanying an incoming presidential campaigner's arrival as the local security forces secure things. I would chew nails and spit tacks at that old fool.

Brava, Bella Katrina!


...and encore. Possibly the last, absolutely last thing the Republican Party wanted to see was a replay of Katrina during their convention. I mean, John McCain's determined effort to suck the wind from Obama's sails by nominating his great grand-daughter as VP pales in comparison to Howard Dean's efforts at meteorological disturbance.
I would like to see some security people try, just try and keep Hurricane Gustav in line outside the convention center.

My father was in hospital when Katrina struck. I believe he was in isolation, the staff thinking he had TB or something similar, something quite malign, something even old and ancient, possibly derived from WW II and time spent in tropical jungles. Navy man, you know. (Of course, he was not in the Pacific. He served in the Mediterranean. He was in the landings in North Africa, Sicily, and Anzio.

It turned out to be pneumonia which had not been properly cleared up in the spring of the year. He had pneumonia from spring to fall in 2005. It was quite memorable to drive to their place to escort them to hospital, and arriving to find him unable to walk the 30 steps to the auto without stopping a couple times to catch his breath.)
I was in the hospital room on Sunday, as I recall. I went home later, making sure to fill up the gas tank, for we expected the price to go up due to the storm. Then we watched: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and on... As time wore on, Anderson Cooper, Shepard Smith, and eventually Geraldo Rivera remained in place. As time passed, these individuals began to display the stress they were feeling, a stress derived from seeing people being left to rot in a flooded city.

Then the Republican President flew over the area, finally having been prised from his Texas ranch to simulate some show of concern, desperation grew. It was Floodmaster G. and Brownie. It was their rap, the rap of pudgy white guys, secure in their sense of entitlement to money, power, security, and techno. Even though New Orleans was suffering, the Right Wing God was in his heaven, and all was right with the world; was it not obvious that the only white guys stranded there were ones who choose to be? That is, the journalists?

As Wednesday wore down and there was the real presentiment that we, the Cable TV audience, might actually have a chance to view the real-time deaths of hundreds by starvation, thirst, disease, lack of hygiene, and, most thrilling, cannibalism...(Indeed! What would the poor wretches eat, unless it be each other? The strongest surviving upon the flesh of the weakest!) things had begun to come apart.

It was during this time, Wednesday through Thursday, that the FOX News shills like Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly, safely far away from New Orleans, continued their usual smarmy and clueless charade. I remember Hannity speaking to Shephard Smith. Shephard Smith almost jumped through the screen, trying to get it through the great Blockhead's rather blockish looking head that people were dying and more would die...and the government was doing nothing. Too bad it's a Republican government, Sean. They are still doing nothing. Then Geraldo almost verbally skinned O'Reilly for his fatuousness. It was Modern Day Republicanism distilled to its essence: clueless and selfish greed combined with a rampant know-nothing-ism that is frightening.
It had nothing to do with Goldwater Republicanism. C-Span showed Barry's acceptanced speech from 1964 last night. One thing Barry Goldwater touched on was the fact that Private Property formed the base of our way of life, since private property allowed an individual to be his own master, and not be totally dependent upon the whims of government. Barry Goldwater was an elitist. That was back in the day when using all the smarts you could was not considered something shameful. Those Republicans knew what their philosophy was: they had fought and thought it out themselves. They did not need a half-baked, renegade evangelical whore-of-babylon-master from Dohickeyville, Texas, to tell them what they should think!

Now, just try and find a modern day Republican actually talk about such philosophy. Just try. I think that back in 1964, people actually used their heads and thought about important concepts. I really do not get the impression there's much of that done today. Tom DeLay...as in, could I get a delay in my trial date?...was all about graft. Larry Craig spoke about complex algorithms tapped out by one's feet in public toilets. President Bush spoke of the important patriotic function of SHOPPING. Phil Gramm spoke of Americans no longer having the back bone to stand up to adversity, not like the richest 2% which still did...at least we think they do from their havens in other countries.
...and the VP candidate says that when it comes to Pro Life, she's for it. No. The last thing Republicans want to see is replays of masses of poor people standing about the perimeter of a sign spelling out "H-E-L-P"... as the only government agency in sight is the Coast Guard helicopters... and there is not enough of those sweet chariots to swing low and save lives... while Brownie is doing a heck of a job... and Floodmaster G. goes...shopping. Republicans

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Palin Who?

When I first heard the news, the radio said that McCain had chosen Palin to be VP. So, of course, I assumed it was Michael Palin, and was tempted to switch allegiances.

However, it turns out that the Palin in question is Sarah Palin. She may be Michael's niece...or grand niece. She apparently has lost her British accent, but sounds pronouncedly Canadian, which makes sense, living in Alaska as she does. Perhaps she and John will create a Bureau of Silly Walks, and let Michael head it. Or maybe get Basil Fawlty over to run it.

The Ministry of Silly Walk, or the Department of Silly Walks...referred to acronymously as "the DSW" ...may aid John McCain try to get out of the hole that Bush has dug for us with Russia. Vladimir Putin famously is rendered impotent and out of sorts when confronted with silly walks; the Chechnyans knew it and made extensive use of it.

Putin Vs. Palin


That is our dream match-up. How would it come out? Don't know. So far, Putin has kicked old Bush's backside all over the Caucasus, making mince-meat out of the grand Bush plan to destroy Russian naval power in the Black Sea and to extend American influence into Central Asia.
In fact, given the history of American meddling during the Soviet war in Afghanistan, it would not be to far-fetched to believe that Bush had ideas of fomenting a bit of unpleasantness in Chechnya again.

Putin wins against Bush. All that looking into his soul did not seem to work. Putin did not settle for the table scraps the American Establishment was willing to throw Russia's way, unlike we Americans who dive for those trickle-down scraps and smile. Putin could teach us a thing or two when it comes to dealing with Republicans.
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Fire Museum Opens



The Fire Museum Of Port Desespoir, Uqbar, opened yesterday evening.

It was, as usual in the island , preposterous and impressive. It reminded me of all the "eternal" flames I have seen. Most of them were extinguished for one reason or another, and they appeared to be anything but "eternal".
I remembered being in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania once some years ago, early 90's perhaps, and visiting the Gettysburg National Monument. Maintenance and upkeep seem to have gone through one of those cycles they do, and the flama eterna was out. The grass was also quite long. There was an air of desuetude about.

This is one of the reasons I am quite sure that present day managerial skills are not sufficient to cope with extremely large institutions, be they banks, governments, etc: all things have their season and there are up and down cycles even in eternal flame upkeep. Good intentions goeth before the fall.... Human beings are really not the best items to have as regulators and monitors...but there you are: we are stuck with them!

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Friday, August 29, 2008

Interpretation Woes

Someone asked me what I meant in the post "Mythic Stories 2". I am going to have to take some time, because I looked at it and it all seemed like gibberish and gabbleduckian.

Odd Thomas

I am sad to report that Odd Thomas is dead. Dean Koontz obliterated him in the recent novel, "Odd Hours". It was not a pretty sight.

Mythic Stories: The Free Lunch

I just touched on it in the preev ( i.e., "previous") post " Hot Man". The world proclaims there is no free lunch. As we proclaim it, we yet feel our profound faith in a free lunch, whether catered by God, or Fate, or Gaia, or what-not, there is a free lunch...oh, God almighty, amen! We know it. American Exceptionalism is a variety of the Free Lunch Myth: Americans are spiffy, therefore they are entitled to just about everything they may lay their hands on. The Sun never setting on the British Empire reflects Free Lunch & White Man's Burden, as well. These are variants of the Chosen People mythic motif. (As a child, I thought this referred to Koreans, meaning the people of Chosen. This was not the case.) Again, when we speak of Mythic Stories, we do not say anything about Truth, Falsity, or the determination thereof. Thus, when we speak of a Mythic Story of the Chosen People, there is nothing said as to whether a statement of the form " x is the chosen people." is true or false. Now: Very Important!! Note that often within the Myth of American Exceptionalism, we catch the distinct notion of entitlement. God's in His heaven, the sun shines on the US of A, and all's right with the world!! The British notion was a bit more extensive, combining Burden with the Profits, the profits often coming from opium, by the way. However, within the story of the Chosen People, there are other strains present, strains of responsibility, liability, and pure, downright suffering. Job comes to mind. Perhaps the story of The Chosen is not in the same symbolic grouping as American Exceptionalism and the British Empire, after all. Perhaps we shall not build a New Jerusalem on England's green shores, nor on America's waving fields of grain...nor anywhere else at the rate we are going. To my mind, we live in a degraded state. While it is true that times were rather savage and difficult when Moses led the people of Israel, and while it is true that there was a general dickensian and malthusian distress across the face of the globe in the times of the British Empire; still the mythic stories of those times, the stories of Entitlement AND Responsibility were ever so much more complex, ever so much more complete and satisfying as a structured and detailed picture of God's world... ...ever so much more than the truncated and brief version of Exceptionalism, a form which is exceptional only by its perverse uni-dimensionality of character.

The Hot Man And Free Hot Lunch


Does anyone actually listen to political ads?  No one admits to it, but what does one really do when the CIA, FBI, and NSA aren't intercepting one's emmails and tapping one's phone? For myself, when I hear an almost pornographically husky voice emanate from the TV and confide to me that Barack Obama is too young, too innocent, and not sufficiently corrupt by time and power and gold to be the next president of these great US of A, I am amazed. I mean, the only time I would ever hear anyone speak in such a licorice voice of subterfuge would be on a street corner, preceeded by a "Pssst! Hey, pal! Got new Rolexes...", whereupon the low voice guy or gal would open their overcoat to display their array of timepieces.

Yes. That is it. It's the voice of the Hot Man.
The voice on political ads often is that of "The Hot Man" or Woman who used to arrive at our places of work at random times throughout the year, get out of his car and open the trunk, showing tools and wrenches and spanners, all at wholesale or below. "The Hot Man."
Of course, we always bought from the Hot Man. It is a basic truth of the American Mythology that (1) we must say in public that there is no free lunch, and (2) we privately fervently believe that there is a free lunch. "Free Lunch" means, among other things, no responsibility: we buy the "hot" items, and if ever confronted by the minions of the law, we assert we had no knowledge that they were stolen. No responsibility up front, no liability afterwards.

Well, this is why I cannot vote for John McCain. I like Mr. McCain, but unfortunately he comes as a package; that is, he brings the whole appalling Republican entourage with him like Marley's ghostly change boxes! The Republican Party must yet answer for the start of the Iraq War. The issue is large-scale disinformation about weapons of mass destruction and a systematic effort to mislead. Although I am sure we have had other such instances in our history, the Spanish-American War comes to mind as a possibility, in my life I had never witnessed anything so brazenly callous and immoral.  

The Republican Party must yet answer for their Casual Racism as displayed by their response to Hurricane Katrina
A truly embarrassing look into the intimate heart of the president and the Republicans: when the people at Fox News start bellowing belligerently at a Republican government that is doing nothing to aid fellow Americans, you have a unique moment in Conservative history. At the risk of being offensive, I shall repeat what I heard Republicans say, and which from experience I know many Republicans felt: they said that the people surrounding the Super Dome were a bunch of welfare porch monkeys doing nothing...which is what they did best anyway! And this type of talk continued up to the third day, when even these coarse souls began to soften to the needs and responsibilities of Community; when they began to realize either the Union of peoples is either real and has meaning, or it is a base charade put on for their viewing pleasure. They had to choose, and most of them choose to express statements of community and fellowship, leaving behind the everyday racism their political party had taught them was acceptable.

The Republican Party must answer for Corrupt Stewardship The President as Executive was absent. The only role Bush played was War Lord. True, it was "Duck Soup" War Lord, but war lord none the less. Every governmental agency was left to drift. No regulatory functions were performed: FAA, FDA, SEC, the list is endless.  

The Republican Party must answer for Fiscal Irresponsibility Well, fellers, it seems like the ol' government got a li'l drunk! Hawh! Now it's got hisse'f a category 3 hang-over!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Prince Potemkin Lives!

The expression "Potemkin", as in Potemkin village or landscape or such - meaning essentially a facade of well-being hiding a slum - and not as in Battleship Potemkin, for example, is undergoing a revival. I first came across the expression in the 1950's and can't say that I ever heard it - except from my own lips - until very recently. I just had a post on Olympics China with Potemkinisms.

Now the Wall Street Journal:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121979742566674947.html?mod=rss_opinion_main
Obama Should Find His Inner Kansan  
August 27, 2008
  ...On Sunday, as those police sent me on the first of several long, pointless trudges around the perimeter of Denver's heavily fortified Pepsi Center, a foreign journalist summarized convention proceedings to me as a "Potemkin village of democracy."
I am not sure "Potemkin village" is what was called for here. Perhaps a charade, a pantomime, a Busby Berkely spectacle of democracy. Potemkin village sort of indicates that there is a show of democracy up front, and a ghetto of democracy behind the facade. I mean, that's a lot from a foreign guy! Anyhow, if I know anything...I think I recall that Prince Potemkin served Catherine the Great. I also know the whole story of the derivation of the expression "Potemkin village". I shall save it for a rainy day.

Time Travel: Year Zero

Maybe 2009.
Maybe 2010.
It depends.

It depends on having the correct Temporal Transplacement Infrastructore in place, for one thing.
I mean, surely one cannot expect to time travel if one does not have the correct time travel docking facility awaiting one, may one?

Hitherto, time travel has been nothing more than jumping in the old De Lorean and setting the time-space co-ordinates on the Tom Tom and literally...jumping into the past...or future. Nice concept. The De Lorean provides the proper temporal infrastructure at both ends of the time line.
Paradoxically, if we jump backwards, the De Lorean may not exist yet...or be at the car wash, not at the high school prom that we wish to be at.
If we go forward, rust may have totally corrupted the auto, and it may have been donated to the Purple Heart. So this approach will not work the way we wish.
No. Infrastructure is needed, independent infrastructure in the time periods in question, both at the start of the temporal jump...meaning me here and now in my laboratory, a modern day Dr. Praetorius with my miniature supernova creations within bell jars, crackling with sempiternal intensity...


Bell Jar 6: Supernova Remnant...(note: don't fry companion galaxies!)

...and at the end of the temporal jump, meaning the end of the temporal jump. The target, if you will.
Why now?
Well, the first bit of galactic mosh-pit dust has been fed into the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) cum atom smasher, mandoline, ricer and dicer. One thing leading to another, this will possibly lead to (1) the end of the world as we know it, or more probably, (2) the creation of closed Time-Like Curves (TLCs...essentially torus or doughnut shaped curves).
The TLC is nothing more than the wormhole of yore, already used by Deep Space Nine and any other number of quasi-commercial enterprises. Thus, the future will have the proper type of "dunkers" or TLC containment fields, and now so shall we, that is, we shall if we take advantage of the LHC's TLCs and build the proper type of doughnut-shaped guestroom onto the estate. This is where our great-great-grandchildren from the future may come and visit while their self-centered, narcissistic parents vacation in Thule on Mars.

Now, we come to what we all are concerned with: won't everyone leave 2008?!
I mean, why stick around waiting for the rest of the financial debacle to unwind? Or the Afghanistan situation to go to Hades in a tiffin box?
Who, indeed, will man things here in 2008?
I do not know.
Last person to leave 2008, please turn off the lights.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I Would Not Run For President In 2008

because... Here is the Case - Schiller residential real estate index for 1890 to the present. The index measures the cost of housing against other goods.

2001 to 2006 are unprecedented. Every bubble saw the index fall back down to around 110. That would be almost 50% from 2006. And Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have mortgages priced at 2006 costs. Welcome to hell!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Bocklin der Mahler

de Theodora Na Pyramide http://theodoranapiramide.blogspot.com/ Sobre a Ilha dos Mortos O pintor suíço Arnold Böcklin criou diversas versões do mesmo quadro, no qual aparecem um remador e uma figura branca atravessando o mar num pequeno barco, rumo a uma ilha rochosa, levando um caixão. Qualquer semelhança com Caronte, o barqueiro que na mitologia clássica conduzia as almas ao Hades, não será mera coincidência.

http://fatherdaughtertalk.blogspot.com/2008/06/new-hilton-resort-on-bocklins-island-of.html

http://fatherdaughtertalk.blogspot.com/2008/08/bocklins-isle.html

Mist...

End of the road Crawford, Texas

...and darkness... ...who is there?... ...weeds of Athens doth he wear.

pix: richie rich

De Profundis

Lord Black in durance vile...in Florida. Does it get any...viler than that? http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=743226
On strip searches and fellow inmates Conrad Black National Post Published: Saturday, August 23, 2008

Synchronized Swimming?

Whatever one calls it, it is phenomenal! I have never seen anything so erotically barbaric and positively primitive as synchro swim! I mean, it may as well be held deep within the confines of the caves of Lascaux. It left me with aboriginal aphasia! The fluid and insectile movements of the swarm of swimmers!...like flowing maenads under the possession of some dark goddess... some sea goddess... mistress Cthulhu! orants at the ocean temple of Dagon! Argh! I hear her watery approach! SHE is at the door!......

I swoon!...........

Roe vs Wade Gives Way To Boumediene vs Bush

Justice Scalia, flanked by Justice Thomas, Chief Justice Roberts, and Justice Alito in the background, after issuing their minority decision.

Good article on the case concerning Habeas Corpus. Scalia was on the dissenting side, and used his brilliance to portray himself as either a rich white guy who is very frightened of the changes in the world and would do anything to make them all just go away, including delivering his soul to Caesar and letting the Republic go down the tubes, or as a charlatan. http://www.common-place.org/vol-08/no-04/talk/ H. Robert Baker The Supreme Court Confronts History Or, habeas corpus redivivus History matters. Perhaps more to the point, how we craft history matters, whether we are historians or not. The Supreme Court proved this on June 12 when it issued its decision in Boumediene v. Bush. The case concerns habeas corpus, latin for "have the body" (as in a command by a judge to a jailor to "have the body in my courtroom and explain why you are restraining him or her"). In Boumediene, the question at issue was whether the government could strip federal courts of jurisdiction to entertain prisoners’ applications for habeas corpus. The Court broke five to four against the government, ruling that Congress had exceeded its authority... Unfortunately, the originalist justice Scalia acts as a pander for Empire vs Republic in his dissent, but did we ever think he was anything else but a self-aggrandizing chapman-narcissist? Brilliant, yes, but flawed. In the near future, we shall use Boumediene vs Bush as a touchstone of political correctness: are ye a son of the Republic or a bastard of the Empire?

Yeah...So?

Someone just pointed out that I am (1) repetitious, (2) tedious, (3) narcissistic, (4) a nonce creation of God. Now, which of the above did they not really say? Which one did I make up, thereby proving the truth of the other 3?

I Knew It!

Ann Coulter at a Press Conference on "Saruman: Friend or Crank" ?

Ann Coulter is a proponent of Intelligent Design! I knew it. 
Everyone I disdain is a proponent of Intelligent Design (ID), are they not? I am sure that Corso Pagliacci-type guy who writes character assassination books for the discredited Republican Party and Mary "Hexenhut" Matalin supports ID. 

Almost by definition these creatures crawl to the fluid altar of ID. "Monsters from the ID", remember that line from Forbidden Planet

In a review in Committee For Skeptical Inquiry:  
Ann Coulter Takes on Darwin Godless: The Church of Liberalism. 
By Ann Coulter. Three Rivers Press, 2007. 336 pp. 

MARTIN GARDNER  
Ann Coulter is an attractive writer with green eyes and lopsided, long, blonde hair, whose trademark is insulting liberals with remarks so outrageous that they make Rush Limbaugh sound like a Sunday school teacher. This is one reason why all six of her books have made The New York Times best seller list and earned her fame and fortune. 
Coulter’s fifth book, Godless: The Church of Liberalism, has just been issued in paperback to provide an excuse for this review. Here are some of the book’s mean, below-the-belt punches: Monica Lewinski is a “fat Jewish girl” (Coulter 4). Julia Roberts and George Clooney are “airheads” (8). Ted Kennedy is “Senator Drunkennedy” (90). The four Jersey “weeping widows” (289) of men who died in the September 11 attacks are “rabid” (103), “self-obsessed” (103), and “harpies” (112). “I’ve never seen people enjoying their husbands’ deaths so much” (103). Diplomat Joseph Wilson, whose wife was outed from the CIA, is a “nut and liar” (119) and a “pompous jerk” (121). He is likened to a “crazy aunt up in the attic” (295). Cindy Sheehan, the vocal war widow, is a “poor imbecile” (102) with an “itsy-bitsy, squeeky voice” (103). Katie Couric is a “shopworn sweetheart” (295). Liberals are repeatedly called pathetic nuts and crackpots. “[They] are more upset when a tree is chopped down than when a child is aborted” (5). 
Apparently Coulter expects God to send most liberals to hell, because she writes, “I would be crestfallen to discover any liberals in heaven” (22).  

Coulter has nothing good to say about any Democrat. They are all crazy liberals who are socialists in disguise. Her latest book is titled If Democrats Had Any Brains They’d Be Republicans. Here are a few other folks who get pummeled in Godless: All defenders of abortions. All defenders of gay marriages and those who think homosexuality is genetic. “Hysterical” and “ugly” feminists. Scientists who deny there could be subtle differences between the mental abilities of men and women and between different races... 

 I had forgotten just how deep the Coulter thing is. She is a profound one. The fact that her books were on the NY Times bestseller list is one of the reasons why, when confronted by the angry peasantry yelling "If you don't like it here, go somewhere's (sic) else!", I have begun to considered this sage advice, indeed. I have actually begun investigating Ireland. Of course, there's always Canada. Staid and stolid. The Coulter thing continues:  

In the last four chapters of Godless, Coulter suddenly morphs into a science writer. The chapters are blistering attacks on Darwinian evolution—the notion that life evolved gradually from simple, one-celled forms to humans by a process that consisted of random mutations combined with the survival of the fittest. 
Darwin of course knew nothing about mutations, but Coulter is concerned with modern Darwinism, which she is convinced requires some sort of superior intelligence to guide evolution. In brief, Coulter is a dedicated believer in intelligent design, or ID for short. Among promoters of ID, mathematician and Baptist William Dembski and Catholic Michael Behe are Coulter’s main heroes. Dembski, who has a degree in divinity from The Princeton Theological Seminary, was Coulter’s principal adviser on the last four chapters.  
Like all IDers, nowhere does Coulter hint at how God, or a pantheistic sort of intelligence, guided evolution. There are two leading possibilities: God manipulated mutations so that new species arose, culminating finally in humans. God may have allowed mutations and survival of the fittest to produce different breeds of a species, such as dogs and cats, but new species were created out of whole cloth, just as it says in the Book of Genesis. 
Like Behe and other IDers, Coulter is silent on how God directed evolution and what sort of evidence would confirm or disconfirm the role of an intelligent designer. This is not the place to defend in detail what Coulter likes to call the “Darwinocranks.” It has been admirably done in scores of books by top scientists, all of whom Coulter considers cranks. 
Peter Olofson, writing tongue in cheek on “The Coulter Hoax,” in the SKEPTICAL INQUIRER (March/April 2007), accuses Coulter of perpetrating a brilliant satire on ID rhetoric. 

I have many times expressed my opinion that ID is idolatrous polytheism. I have not changed my view one iota. ...We know from a footnote on page 3 of Godless that Coulter considers herself a Christian. But what sort of Christian?... Apparently the Coulter is the type of Christian mentioned in the Sermon on the Mount: blessed are they whose pens drip venom; those who having discord with their brothers and sisters, leave their sacrifice at the altar and go first to their brothers and sisters and throw stones at them! Beware of the wolves who go to the same tailor as the sheep
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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Mythic Stories: Clark Rockefeller

The NY TIMES has a story of Mr. Rockefeller on page 1 of its Sunday Styles section: Ready-Made Rockefeller. Mr. Rockefeller was actually Christian Gerhartsreiter and his tale is that of duplicity, impersonation, and catch him if you can. If you read it, the story shows how the angel of Power and the angel of Wealth create their own world of belief and knowledge, independent of the real world, based upon the passions of those who are duped. All of Celebrity Biz is Mythic: that is why there is nothing there, but it seems so very full! Take the story of Leda and the swan: Zeus wants Leda, gets the crazy notion to meet with her at Cliveden for a masked ball, has his valet assist him in suiting up as a pantomime swan, meets the lady in question, and more or less has his way with her. Not much there. So it is with Celebrities. Heath Ledger had a life ahead of him filled with potential: great things, great sufferings, achievements and disappointments; just like the rest of us. Cut it short, though. Not much there when you look behind the facade. Madonna...not much to the Gematria and the Kabbala when you really look at it. When everyone dips their toe into the river of Zen, it gets a bit dirty...unless there really wasn't any water there to begin with. (I sense I have lost you......)

Mythic Stories: Mahmoud Darwish

Mahmoud Darwish
The Mythic stories often seem of another place, another time, seeming to be omni-temporal and omnipresent in the consciousness of mankind. That is indeed their nature. Observe criticism of Mahmoud Darwish, recently deceased, and a poet from Palestine, from a town destroyed in 1948...destroyed in 1948 and buried, while he yet lived until death sought him out, too.  

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7559565.stm  
Fitting farewell to Palestinian poet 
 By Heather Sharp BBC News, Ramallah

  ... But in Israel there has been mixed feeling. Many respected his abilities as a writer, but others saw some of his writing as anti-Semitic and even racist - in one poem he urged Israelis to "leave our land / Our shore, our sea / Our wheat, our salt, our wound" and "take with you your dead". However, acclaimed Israeli writer Avraham B Yehoshua said he was deeply saddened by Darwish's death. "Of course there were poems that were very much aggressive," he said, "but it's important that we know what they are thinking - you have to know your enemy because your enemy is your neighbour and future friend." 

  There is nothing particularly mythic about a cry of pain directed against an inimical force. There is, however, in the attitude that even the slightest criticism somehow infects and must be painted as "Anti-Semitism". This is the same process we have described earlier (below) by which certain forces or "deities of power" - good and evil- are set up and let free to rule consciousness; the same process we employ by calling people "nazis" or "Hitler".
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View From Iraq

McClatchy Blog Inside Iraq The master statement August 08, 2008 Today 8th August, many Iraqis congratulated each other on the anniversary of "the master statements" in which Saddam announced the end of Iraqi-Iranian war and they wished each other the close day when they will congratulate each other on the end of American occupation. A good view from Iraq. Read it if you dare/care: http://washingtonbureau.typepad.com/iraq/

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Humanae Vitae

A great article on Paul VI's encyclical Humanae Vitae dealing with sexual mores and contraception. The gist is: look at the wasteland we created with freedom without morality! First Things The Vindication of Humanae Vitae by Mary EberstadtAugust September 2008 Copyright (c) 2008 First Things (August/September 2008) http://www.firstthings.com/article.php3?id_article=6262

Mes Amis: Les Freres A

Why I Cannot Stand Professional Sports

Yahoo ! Olympic glory too high a cost for NBA By Adrian Wojnarowski Yahoo! Sports Aug 22, 6:45 pm EDT http://sports.yahoo.com/olympics/beijing/basketball/news?slug=aw-olympicrisk082208&prov=yhoo&type=lgns ...Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban had two 30-something maximum-salary players – Dirk Nowitzki and Kidd – in these Olympics and had long been leery of exposing his franchise stars to so much risk. He watched an archrival, Ginobili, go down on Friday and understands that whatever gloss that comes with Team USA’s golden glory, the dirty little secret of Olympic basketball doesn’t go away. “I absolutely continue to worry about it,” Cuban said Friday in an email. “Maybe we should do something similar to the soccer approach and limit it to players 23 and under. The real question is whether or not the NBA, with our increasing global strength can create our own global tournament to replace the Olympics and make money doing it.” Sooner or later, the NBA has to take a look at the good of these Olympics beyond the needs of Nike and the commissioner’s global imperialism. Maybe the Americans are protected with the waves of talent that they can turn to, but that gap will just drive the rest of the world harder and harder to catch them. More risks with multi-million dollar investments, more Ginobilis crumbling to floors around the world. These are the NBA’s casualties, too. “It is a tough decision to make,” Delfino said. “We come here with pride. We play because we want to represent our country.”... This is why I go to cricket matches to watch the young gentlemen from India and Pakistan and Jamaica and Bermuda and the Bahamas play: it is free to watch, the parking is free, bring your own food... ...and you get to have a sport experience, not a staged entertainment.

Escape From The Empire Of Carbon

Friends With Friends

Mush Head Republicans and their Familiars

My friends, all 1 or two of them, have friends. They have more friends than I do. I know why. I was with a friend. His friend spoke against Obama. After his opinion, he looked about for fat, sassy white-guy approbation: a high-five, a fist-jab of the clueless... I asked him whom he voted for in 2004. He answered "Bush". I looked at him silently for a bit. Then I said that since he voted for Bush...and Cheney...I did not think he had enough experience in using his head clearly. I also said he and his ilk were also to blame for Bush and company's disasters; they were enablers of lies, wars, torture...you get the idea. I never did believe in that ditty: make new friends and keep the old....one is silver and the other's gold! It did not help that my nephews were hanging about in the shadows, vampirish and sucking tea (compliments of the Grace Tea Co, NY, NY.) and eating whatever came to hand. If they truly loved their ancestor, they would have intervened, right? No, no. They let me go on. I mean, after all, I had started this blog with the express purpose of leaving a record of my thoughts for my daughter, and the proximate cause of this was the outstanding immorality of the American government. My nephews knew this, and they pretty much agreed that Bush & Co. had that tyrannical way of walking and talking down pat, and were the illustration for "Bad News" in the dictionary of idiomatic expressions. Later, I asked them what they do when they talk to the benighted ones, Bush voters in the past, now reformed and pretending to have "thought things through" in the present. "We don't." they said. "Don't what?" I rejoindered. "Don't talk to them?" "No", they said. "We run..." I looked queries and quizzes at them. "...the other way. Your problem is not speaking your mind; it's speaking to the mush heads in the first place." Mush Heads. Hmmm. I thought about it. These people did enable Bush. I could care less what they think of Obama. I can barely hear their screams from that circle in Hell where Dante rightly puts them; seducers and panderers, flatterers, simoniacs, nepotists, false diviners, false counselors, thieves, hypocrites, grafters and carny grifters: the Republican Party!

It Sums It Up

http://www.inthesetimes.com/article/3866/jumping_ship/ Jumping Ship Citing social issues, local GOP officials are abandoning their party in droves By Hans Johnson ...“I don’t think Ronald Reagan would recognize the party anymore,” Wisconsin state Rep. Jeff Wood told the Chippewa Herald on July 8... ...“The party continues to try to prove Ben Franklin wrong, trying to buy security by sacrificing liberty,” Wood said...

College Days

A view of the Quad at Saint Juwahn Community College.

Barbarians Within The Gates

Recording the fall of the Empire, we journeyed to Gaul and on past into Germania, where we made records for posterity:

Forest Primeval

City Primeval
Special Thanks to Brothers Paulo, Peter, and Odd for their help in the scriptorium.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Bocklin The Painter

The New Hilton Resort On Bocklin's Isle Of The Dead

Bocklin's Isle

Main Entry, view down the stairs.

And Now For Something Completely Different...


Eurozine: http://www.eurozine.com/articles/2008-08-07-seymour-en.html  
Blurred boundaries
Sport, art and activity

 ...I want to take up a series of propositions from Loren Goldner's remarkable book Herman Melville, identifying sport as one site of the emergence of an epochally new form of human activity. Goldner develops C.L.R. James' observations regarding Melville's famous novel Moby Dick and James's provocative reflections on the place of sport in the life of the working class... ...James, who grew up in Trinidad, was well placed to register this transfusion between art and sport, raised as he was on a steady stream of English novels and constant games of cricket. James became fascinated by what he called the "social aesthetic" of cricket: "men from the neighbourhood described by his aunts as 'ne'er-do-wells' were transformed into aristocrats of self-mastery and brilliance at bat in cricket matches."...

Something new and fascinating, perfectly timed for August and the Olympics. Read it and sit through the outrageously philosophical Marxian blah-blah and you will see that Sports is an important area of human behaviour worthy of serious consideration... ...particularly the price of hot dogs at the ball park... ...or the cost of tiffin boxes at Eden Gardens...

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Mythic Stories

There are stories, myths, and narratives. The list could be augmented, but I am not interested in doing so. I was asked what I meant when I said 2 societies were mythically different. I meant that they have different stories in that literature of narratives that touches the life of emotion and religion and morality. A myth is a story which compels one to feels good and evil; fear of evil Darth Vader and rejoicing when the good Skywalker triumphs. I consider true Religion to be wordless; a behavior which is not dependent on words in any way, although it may be modified by words and language, being similar in thios respect to Music. Music is music, and has no need of Language, although we may talk about music and sing along with music as much as we wish. So when I say that Myth depends mightily upon Religion, I am talking about the external carapace of Religion: the words, the buildings, the paintings, the icons, the relics, and everything which stands materially bewteen God and Man. I do not mean all religion is myth. So MYTH is the fund of stories which touch on morals and faith and good and evil. An important characteristic of mythic thought is that it is not self-reflective; it does not subject its own concepts to analysis or valuation. Its library of critical concepts is usually closed to any inputs, although there may be a good deal of innovation of lower levels which do not impinge on the critical concepts; for example, consider Francis Fukuyama's notion of "the end of history" where the USSR fell and History itself was delivered into the hands of the USA. There is the critical concept of the almost divine mission of the USA, itself a very primtive religious notion, and the new twist of "end of history". But Fukuyama's new way of saying things is nothing but cosmetology for the old "chosen people" of God which imbued the American continent since the white man first set foot here. During the Cold War, it was frequently pointed out by conservative thinkers that Marxism was but another form of religion, an ideology of irrational beliefs. Of course, so was the ideology of the West an irrational, yet fervent faith in its own rectitude. Now consider: The American Conservative http://amconmag.com/article/2008/aug/25/00015/ Czechoslovakia on Their Minds Neocon news flash: Hitler invades Georgia. By Leon Hadar Neoconservatives and their useful idiots in the American media have been on overdrive this August, rewinding to their World War II analogies and applying them to the fast-forwarding world of global politics... ...no neocon narrative is complete without Czechoslovakia. Imagine your average Weekly Standard subscriber taking a free-association test and being asked to state the first words that come to his mind when he hears “Czechoslovakia.” Rest assured, he would respond with “Munich,” “appeasement,” “Chamberlain,” or “umbrella.” And let’s not forget “Hitler.” Thus can anyone clamoring for U.S. military intervention in, say, the former Yugoslavia or the Persian Gulf, mount a successful media and public-relations campaign by identifying his chosen victim (the Muslims of Bosnia and Kosovo, or Kuwait, or the Kurds) with Czechoslovakia and associating his preferred “aggressor” (Slobodan Milosevic or Saddam Hussein) with Hitler... This is History or Current Events as distorted through the lenses of Ideology. It is Myth; originally a news story refined by opinion to a mythical story of good and evil. Of course, Hitler is still the devil. That's why people keep calling each other "Hitler!" The Bush Idiocracy, by its profound emphasis on Ideology, came early on the view the world as Myth. At that point, good and evil became distinct, and there was no living together; war must ensue. We are lucky George W. Bush was not president during the Cold War, for his mythic ability, which in his case expressed itself as a perversely innocent childishness, was far greater than any leader on either side during the Cold War. But we are not safe even when Bush departs, for as we read further on in The American Conservative: “The details of who did what to precipitate Russia’s war against Georgia are not very important,” explained leading neocon foreign-policy ideologue Robert Kagan—who insists that he isn’t a neocon at all—in a column in the Washington Post three days after the eruption of hostilities between Russia and Georgia over the breakaway province of South Ossetia. “Do you recall the precise details of the Sudeten Crisis that led to Nazi Germany’s invasion of Czechoslovakia?” he asked. Kagan, one of the chief advisers to Republican presidential candidate John McCain, wants to kick “revisionist” Russia out of the G-8 and establish a League of Democracies as part of a strategy to contain the growing threat from Moscow. Kagan’s answer to his rhetorical question in his column titled “Putin Makes his Move” (wink, wink—like you-know-who made his move 70 years ago): “Of course not, because that morally ambiguous dispute is rightly remembered as a minor part of a much bigger drama.” Mr. Kagan seems to mix up Knowledge of the Facts with Recall of the Facts. His position is Mythic. History does offer us valuable lessons. However, intelligent human beings are guided, not compelled by History. They are compelled by Myth mixed with Power. (note: this points to the difference between Myth and Religion: when the Prophet said that there is no compulsion in Religion, he spoke of what actually is Religion, not the facade of Religion which uses the force of the State to compel obedience.) A habitat:

House of Nations
further information:

and myth:

Jesse Owens Room in the House of Nations

This takes us to the Myth ( myth does not mean "untrue"!) of America and its race relations. Now you pick up the thread.

Mythic Stories 2

Let us recall that when we speak of a mythic system of thought, we are speaking of structural characteristics of a thought system, never about truth or falsehood conditions for statements made in that system. An example of mythic thinking: When I write on Religion, I will refer to the founder of Buddhism as the Lord Buddha, the first of Islam as the Prophet, and Jesus Christ as Jesus Christ. These are acceptable to most folks of those faiths. Some people, however, have their noses slightly out of joint with this, particularly that "Lord Buddha" business. The word "lord" surely must be reserved for their own notion of God or their notion of first in religion. Some think that this also means that all religions are the same. 1) I submit to you that that type of thinking is Mythic Thinking: it demonstrates the exclusivity of religion primitively experienced in community defined by similarity in a small neighborhood, but by difference within a larger neighborhood.................. The community of believers is small and restricted to the small neighborhood where I can see people frequently and let my mirror neurons establish a reciprocal bond between us.... ...and in the larger neighborhood, we are an island in the midst of a vast ocean. 2) Inputs of critical concepts come only from the pre-established pool of concepts. 3) Conceptual structures based on the Primary or Axiomatic or Basic Concepts are not open to criticism, being effectively closed. 4) There is no self-criticism, no self-referential statements. One may easily loose control of self-referential statments. 5) If we consider a conceptual system to be similar to a Wolfram Process ( i.e., a cellular automaton), the mythic system for all its potential richness does not exhibit randomness over time.

Mythic Stories 3: The Nature Of Ideological Thinking

In Eurozine: http://www.eurozine.com/articles/2008-08-21-abraham-en.html Samuel Abrahám The end of illusions? Czechoslovakia 1968 and after ...In the West, a whole generation of admirers of the post-Khrushchev thaw were forced to commit intellectual suicide after the invasion of Czechoslovakia. Some retreated into seclusion, others transformed themselves into Euro-communists, environmentalists or feminists. Some even jumped all the way to the far-right or neo-fascism. They made a virtue out of necessity, and one can add that many became more useful than they had been during their communist past... Is this not a sight filled with the most abject pathos? Yet, this is the nature of mythic thinking, to be continually brought up short by Reality. ( A good parallel would be the Lisbon earthquake and its effect on Voltaire and his contemporaries.) An note the variety of Ideological camps mentioned here, and how easily a mythic thinker may jump from one to the next. Indeed, a socialist may become a neo-fascist, given enough jolting. Why? Because the content of the belief system does not matter as greatly as the structural nature of the belief system; i.e., it is more important that there be order and compulsion rather than freaky freedom.

What Right With John McCain?

He's a war hero, I think, and he's somewhat honest. However, he seems to think that having a bunch of Republican retreads hanging around his auditory canals, whispering more of the discredited nonsense into his head is just perfect. It is not. Case in point: he has an economic advisor named Donald Luskin. We may see the depth of Mr. Luskin by the following in which he banishes the fear of recession by observing that Disneyland was packed while he was there. He seems to forget how well fantasy and entertainment do in bad times. They certainly did relatively well in the Depression and WW II.

http://www.smartmoney.com/ahead-of-the-curve/index.cfm?story=20080808-disneyland But his record speaks for itself. At Cunning Realist:

http://cunningrealist.blogspot.com/2008/05/yeah-that-worked-out-well.html

Wednesday, May 14, 2008 Yeah, That Worked Out Well ...January 18, 2008: I admit that I've been very wrong. I've been saying to buy stocks all the way down since the October highs. I was wrong. I repeat: I was wrong... The stuff before this high point is more of the same nonsense. Furthermore, during that goofy discussion with Pastor So-and-so where McCain was supposed to have been secluded and not aware of Obama's responses...only McCain was not secluded...whatever that means...McCain said that one of the 3 people he would take advice from was some lady who founded eBay.

Just as information, the founders are dumping their own eBay stock as fast as possible:

Insiders Bailing As Fast As Possible
Margaret Whitman is bailing as fast as humanly possible.
in Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis.
I am not saying that one should not jump off a sinking ship. However, I am saying that there is a big difference between the long-term economic wisdom for running a country - for the present day citizens, for their children, and for the future grandchildren - and a business like eBay which can hardly be considered a paradigm anymore.
It was only a paradigm while the Bubble still had not burst...back in 1999 or thereabouts. Premillenial stuff.
I am looking forward to more Republican economics.

A New Chechnya?

Reports in the Eurasia.Net indicate possible contacts between remnants of the Chechen Islamic insurgents and the Orthodox Georgian insurgents-to-be. Intention: have a good time at Russia's expense.

The American Establishment: Predator Or Alien?

21st Century Dollar ($) Sign
pix: cheryllll
Which iconic Sci-Fi monster does the Establishment which runs the USA most closely resemble? Alien or Predator? In reality, the Predator species has some good points: honor, loyalty, and the bon hommerie and comeraderie of the hunting lodge type. Alien, on the other hand, is purely and repulsively exploitative and parasitical. Of course, there is the species of Species, which itself is quite without redeeming virtues...at least, as far as we are shown. What brings this up - this bashing of the Idiocracy- is a proper look at how close the international financial system came to collapse: Der Spiegel http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,553484,00.html May 15, 2008 THE WORLD FROM BERLIN Former IMF Head Says Global Financial System 'Came Close to Collapse' Germany's President Horst Köhler has entered the fray in a hard-hitting interview with the weekly magazine Stern. Coining a term which is likely to become as popular as the infamous locusts, Köhler, who belongs to Angela Merkel's conservative Christian Democratic Union, said that the search for profits has turned the markets into a "monster." The president had a stark assessment of the severity of the crisis. "I want to hope that the worst is past," Köhler said. "Nevertheless, we came close to a collapse of the global financial markets." The criticism is given added weight by the fact that Köhler is the former head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). at the time: Commentators writing in Germany's more business-friendly newspapers Thursday are skeptical of the usefulness of Köhler's analysis -- and of his motives. However, the sceptics seem to question Mr. Kohler's motives, not his facts. I say you should read present day Nouriel Roubini in RGE Monitor for the down-side view. If you want the up-side - the side of the Idiocracy - that Larry Kudlow creature will do quite well. He is on cable TV...as if we didn't know!

Did I Just See Jesse Owens?

Mr. Ji of Beijing, a Free Man until Recently
No. It was Usain Bolt.

However, I did have that 1936 deja vu feeling.
http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,572984,00.html  
The Phantoms of the Beijing Opera 
 By Ullrich Fichtner in Beijing
  ...On Opening Day Ji went to the Deshengmenwai police station in Beijing's Xicheng district to file an application for a permit to stage a public protest. Ji's petition, written in the elaborate Chinese style, contains sentences like: "The party and the government are dependent upon the assistance and wisdom of the Chinese people. We are capable of successfully holding the Olympic Games, and we will be just as successful at bringing about reforms, so that the international community will congratulate us on our democratic culture." In short, Ji wanted to demonstrate. He wanted to appear in one of the three "protest parks" the government has specifically designated in Beijing for the duration of the Games. As his petition states, he wanted to: 1. Hang up colorful posters, 2. Give speeches, 3. Distribute material, 4. Sell books, 5. Promote judicial reform. Essentially, what Ji wanted was what Jacque Rogge (the President of the IOC) wants, and what was promised to the rest of the world before these games. Repeatedly in his speeches, the last one two weeks ago, Rogge had insisted that China is willing to change. China, he said, wants to open up and will open up, and the country will change after the Olympics. Rogge raised the hope that the athletes arriving in China would be allowed to bring the Olympic ideals with them...  

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Pride Takes Temporal Priority To A Gravitational Event

Clueless in Gaza

Or, it goeth before a fall. The American Empire as devotedly mythed out by the minor intellects of Neoconservatism has come to an end, lasting about 20 years. A nine day wonder. Of course, nothing is absolutely cast in incorruptible adamantine, so we could see a change, but the only way America could recapture empire is to turn to the dark side. First, read Nouriel Roubini's article: http://www.rgemonitor.com/roubini-monitor/253323/the_decline_of_the_american_empire  
The Decline of the American Empire  
Nouriel Roubini Aug 13, 2008 

  ...First, the US squandered its power by relying excessively on its hard military power in the wars of Iraq and Afghanistan and in its unilateralist foreign policy – including economic issues such as global warming - rather than relying more on its soft power of diplomacy and multilateralist approaches to global policy issues. Second, regardless of mistaken US policies the rise of other economic and financial powers – the rise of China, the recent resurgence of Russia, the process of economic and political integration in the European Union, the emergence of India, and the rise of other regional powers such as Brazil, South Africa and Iran – implies that the relative economic, financial and geopolitical power of the US will be reduced over time...

Then consider the fact that the USA cannot actually do anything militarily to assist Georgia. It is too deeply committed in Iraq and Afghanistan. There are no troops. There are too many fires and not enough firemen. Similarly Poland: if Russia were to put pressure on Poland...or the Ukraine...what could the USA do? Very little, indeed. It could replace its defensive missiles with offensive missiles, but it was probably already working out those details. It would have to reinstitute the Universal Draft. Then it could raise another 1 to 2 million troops as needed. These troops combined with technology and you have the Empire striking back. The next election may lead us down this path. Thanks again to George W. Bush and Richard Cheney for getting us tickets between the Rock and a Hard Place.

The Future is History!
(The symbols from 12 Monkeys I deem appropriate for George W. Bush and the Republican Party.)

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Insurgency And Counter-Insurgency

On an Afghan Street

Counter-Insurgency resembles a ghost of Franz Fanon's nightmares. It is the sixth stage of Imperialism. Imperialism consisted of the first stage of unorganized efforts spreading into foreign lands, then a second stage of more and more organized efforts, then a third stage being a period of domination and exploitation, followed by a fourth stage of anti-imperial insurgency. The fifth stage is a period of fluctuating dysfunctonality/functionality of the new states founded on the locales of the imperialist domains. The sixth is the re-insertion of outside powers, such as the USSR and now NATO into a long term presence in Afghanistan. The West and the world built on the Western model will not allow any part of the globe to reside outside its power. Globalization, for all the print expended to limn it as purely economic and beneficial, is also an intolerant ideology, as intolerant as any Wahhabi Saudi Islam. Both Ideologies have Mythic narratives of exclusivity, which renders them unable to co-exist alongside cultures that are Mythically different. Thus, we are now watching the battle of ideologues. Ideologues, by definition, see the world through the Mythic (quasi-religious) narratives of Ideology. Each stage of Imperialism is marked by its own stories, narratives, and myths. Some remain the same, some are redacted forms of older versions, some are new. We are not freeing ourselves from the past.

Monday, August 18, 2008

A New Foreign Policy

In the Asia Times: DISPATCHES FROM AMERICA Is perpetual war our future? By Andrew Bacevich ...Since the end of the Cold War, the tendency among civilians - with Bush a prime example - has been to confuse strategy with ideology. The president's freedom agenda, which supposedly provided a blueprint for how to prosecute the "war on terror", expressed grandiose aspirations without serious effort to assess the means required to achieve them. Meanwhile, ever since the Vietnam War ended, the tendency among military officers has been to confuse strategy with operations. The problems in Georgia and the ensuing developments in Poland, combining with the implications for the Ukraine and others, emphasizes the importance of a rational Foreign Policy that has real national interests in mind. Right now, we have the corrupt ideology of intellectually lazy right-wing types. This is best symbolized by the Secretary of State who is an expert on the Soviet Union, but has little to offer when dealing with Russia, other than references to 1968 Czechoslovakia.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Auntie Anti-Christ

I was going to write about my Aunt Chresto, whom is considered to be the anti-Christ by more than one person, but have decided against it. For one, it is her 100th birthday, or some such centennial figure, so why not just celebrate? I know she would like that more than writing about her. She considers my writing to be amateurish, the work of a literary and philosophical dilletante. I do not very much improve the situation by saying, " Dilletante! Mais, non, ma tante!" and working around this basic template a number of present participles of the feminine gender: savante, amante, suivante, frappante... So, instead I shall talk about how some Republicans have issued a fatwa that perhaps Obama is the anti-Christ. John McCain thinks this is a good joke. However, this is impossible. John Haggee is the anti-Christ, as we all know. For one thing, John McCain has denied John Haggee three times! Once in his human incarnation, once as his angelic presence, and once as his master and mentor. I am sure that had there been an officer of the law attempting to arrest Johnny H., and had there been a suitable sword nearby, and had Johnny McC. been at hand, John McCain would have lopped off the ear of said officer of the law in no time. Therefore, let this put to rest the analogies to Judas, for truly it is more like Simon Peter. And I hurry to offer apologies to Simon Peter for involving him in this tawdry affair.

Georgia On My Mind

Marx & Lennon
Abkhazian Stamp
A good list of the events is in the BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7551576.stm Day-by-day: Georgia-Russia crisis wherein we glimpse: THURSDAY 7 AUGUST Georgian forces and separatists in South Ossetia agree to observe a ceasefire and hold Russian-mediated talks to end their long-simmering conflict. Hours later, Georgian forces launch a surprise attack, sending a large force against the breakaway province and reaching the capital Tskhinvali. South Ossetian rebel leader Eduard Kokoity accuses Georgia of a "perfidious and base step". I recall distinctly hearing on that day that Georgia had been the instigator. Since this was before any political spin had touched the situation with its touch of icy death of reason, I cherish the memory. I was actually familiar, though not expert, on the South Ossetia situation, and familiar with Abkhazia's history, and the history of Georgia. Not an expert. If you had asked me where South Ossetia was, I would have said "South of North Ossetia.", but I had studied some of the peoples in the area. So when I heard of the Georgia fighting, I was a bit up to speed. I did not need a boob-tube talking head to alert me to the situation, nor to explicate the thorny thing in words a second grader would have scorned to employ. I recall thinking what an idiot the president of Georgia was. That was before the advocates of constant war turned him into a hero. McCain says we are all Georgians. I say NONSENSE. I have made it clear that I consider the European Union and its members participation in NATO to be tantamount to the Delian League of Athens. The Delian League of allies was formed to fight Persia. When Persia was defeated, the Delian League was not allowed to pass away, an old and honored soldier, but was transformed into the instrument of Athens hegemony. When the Soviet Union fell apart, the Warsaw Pact disappeared and NATO should have been changed radically, for its reason for existence was gone. However, instead of a radical nuclear disarmament and a radical reduction of conventional forces in Europe, we saw a desultory effort which did not last long. NATO became the instrument for American hegemony. Do not get me wrong. I am not opposed to American hegemony per se. I just do not want to pay for it with my dollar. How about some affordable health care for everyone before you go around establishing bases on Russia's perimeter? AND I do not want any hegemony lead by the poltroons as presently make up the the American government. Georgia's desire to join NATO was seen by Russia as a threat. It was seen as establishing an American base in the Caucasus. What is important to remember is that it was seen the exactly same way by the American government. The next president will be committed to the same insane plan of putting missiles - of dubious efficacy - into countries surrounding Russia, all on the laughable pretext of defense against the missiles of Iran...when and if these missiles come to exist in some future time.

John McCain! We are not Georgians! We are Americans, and America firsters! Once you solve some problems here at home, we may let you go sniffing around the fire hydrants of the world, looking for a spot to relieve yourself! In this matter, take a page out of George W. Bush's playbook. He has said how we are all behind Georgia in their struggle, then took off on a 10 day vacation at his ranch. The Georgians are learning how the residents of New Orleans felt after Katrina. George W. is giving them a dose of Katrina-ization. Very similar to what his father gave the Shi'ites of Iraq after the Gulf War: he led them on with pictures of democratic joy, then abandoned them to slaughter by Saddam Hussein. Summary: It is not in our interest to establish this ill-thought out hegemony whose only effect will be to renew and exacerbate tensions among the nuclear powers. The great leaders who did the most supremely moral act of our lifetime: the refusal to commit suicide by nuclear armageddon, are gone; what is left is the children dressed up as grown-ups, acting out myths.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Awestruck

Again from The Cunning Realist: We'll see where this goes. So far the reaction has been underwhelming. I'm beginning to think if we learned tomorrow that an asteroid was about to destroy the planet, the story would come in a sleepy third to Paris Hilton and breaking news on Beijing's air quality. If Suskind's revelation elicits little more than a national and congressional yawn, Thomas Mann probably explained it best: The market woman who demanded in a dry tone "one hundred billion" mark for a single egg had lost during inflation her ability to be amazed at anything. Since that time nothing was so mad or so atrocious that it could have caused any awe in people anymore. Again, inflation is simply a symbol for any period of profound institutional failure to which the public becomes inured. We all know what national, socialistic, workers' Party Mann was talking about, right? And how the German Nation did not respond to the horrors of it all. Well,...I am not sure how to say this. The threads of my thoughts seem to float like shining webs in the morning dew. Here goes: Never, never, never in my life did I ever expect to see an American Veteran who had bravely served his country to be as thoroughly disrespected as was John Kerry in the presidential election of 2004. And by the Republican Party, of all people! Never! If power tends to corrupt, observe the absolute corruption of the Republican Party. I always thought we were sort of entering an era when one had to be a veteran to even be able to run for preseident; a veteran and rich. Then I saw even serving one's country can be turned to compost. Brave soldiers, men and women, would never treat each other in that manner. They may disagree greatly, but they would never stoop to doing what that miserable group of carpetbaggers and scallywags, under the direction of Rove, the "lardass" leader, did to a fellow soldier or sailor.

KristolNacht

From The Cunning Realist: The discovery in a Florida office building of anthrax--the Iraq-favored biological agent--may be all the explanation we need for why the administration is beginning to warn that actions could be required against "other states." -William Kristol 10/9/01 And Iraq is the only nation in the world, other than the United States and Russia, to have developed the kind of sophisticated anthrax that appeared in the letter sent to Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle. What will it take for the FBI and the CIA to start connecting the dots here? A signed confession from Saddam?-Robert Kagan and William Kristol 11/19/01

Bases In The Caucasus

Actually, it should be something like Mohammed Ali would have sung: the BASES in the CAUCASUS! In response to the Georgia situation, Poland and the USA have come to terms on basing missiles in Poland, ostensibly to deter an attack from Iran. The agreement also contains a mention of a US base in Poland.This must obviously be there to deter a land-based attack from Iran, also. I sense there were to be bases in Georgia. The USA was already training Georgian troops. Georgia, however, seems to have jumped the gun and ruined the entire scenario for Bases in the Caucasus. Orwell is catching up to the present, having missed the 1984 subway. Recall that Eurasia was Russian, East Asia was Chinese, and now it is obvious that Oceania is NATO and the EU. (Sorry abo0ut the redundancy of this post and the previous one on Oceania. However, I liked the ditty about "bases in the Caucasus", and I could not resist.)

Ron Susskind

...has written a book detailing how evidence was made up and invented to support the rush to war in Iraq. Everybody was there: CIA, FBI, NSA, the entire cast of the misty Acronymous Party of the USA. I wonder if George Tenet was awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Bush in order to keep him quiet?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Oceania Forever

Poland has agreed to host some rockets as part of a missile shield. The rationale repeatedly put forward is the possibility of a missile launch from Iran, a claim that is preposterous and always has been. http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSLE807520080814?pageNumber=1&virtualBrandChannel=0  
U.S. and Poland sign missile shield deal  
Thu Aug 14, 2008 4:10pm EDT  

Officials said the deal included a U.S. declaration that it will aid Poland militarily in case of a threat from a third country and that it would establish a permanent U.S. base on Polish soil in a symbolic gesture underlining the alliance.

Again with the US bases. Surely this cannot be a defense against a land based attack from Iran, also. Once again, the Establishment-Military-Industrial complex is promoting a state of once and future war, instead of promoting peace. Is there a symmetry? A metaphor? NATO and European Union: Oceania as Russia: Eurasia as China: East Asia. Orwell apparently was 100% on...or Stapledon...or Wells...or all the dystopians. We are now creating the dark doom which our grandkids will inherit.

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Georgia On My Mind

In the early hours of the day when it happened, I distinctly heard or read that the forces of Georgia had begun hostilities in South Ossetia. The status of South Ossetia was unclear to me. It had been part of Soviet Georgia and had recently demanded autonomy from Georgia, preferring the good old boys of Moscow. Regardless of the unclear status, I distinctly heard Georgia started this. Russia seems to have finished it. If you go signing up Russia's neighbors into NATO, the USA's equivalent of Athens' Delian League and at present hardly a defensive force such as when it was the bulwark against the Warsaw Pact nations... If you go around putting missiles into the backyards of Russia's neighbors on the transparently flimsy pretext that Iran is fixing to bomb Europe (!!??!!)... If you have a numnuts for President who says he and the real Russki leader are bosom buddies 'cause he looked inta that Russki's soul while he was asittin' beside him... You are gonna have some problems.

Darkling Knights

I have not seen the film "Batman: The Dark Knight" yet, but I assume that I shall. From what I have heard it is the perfect film for the present. I hear that Batman has an enormous bunker underground where his enormous computer is situated, the computer which allows him to "control" Gotham City. Perfect control, perfect information on the lives of the citizenry, law-abiding and law-scoffing. Bunkers hidden, secret tribunals, all for the good of mankind. Bruce Wayne's apartment is in a large, glass-walled building, such as those being built in Abu Dhabai or Dubai: soulless and hard edges, glowing like platinum dreams, a millions windows gleaming like a million empty eyes. However, what I shall enjoy the most is how this film has seamlessly integrated itself into the Real World as well as the world of filmic literature. For the nasty iconography of the Joker and his desperate tortured soul have been mirrored brilliantly - no dark glass here! - in the real death of the actor who portrayed the Joker; a death assisted on by drugs, by celebrity, by too much for too little. Yet, the actor portraying Batman has been accused- in the real world- of beating ( Zap!) his mother (POW! **!**) The Dark Knight is our Cabinet of Doctor Caligari. Here we see the dark doom of happy wealth without soul which awaits. Batman and the Joker await the sleepwalkers. The sleepwalkers are us, and we have been appearing as such in uncounted numbers of trashy zombie flicks over the past few years. Ask yourself: am I LEGEND......or am I LEGION ?