Saturday, October 31, 2009
WWW--Don't taken any apples with razors (this has never happened, incidentally), and be sure to watch out for the kids, they aren't always paying attention! Me? I'm writing, then I'll curl-up with some Lovecraft, some Poe, then I'm going to rewatch Evil Dead director Sam Raimi's excellent "Drag Me to Hell," a contender for the best horror film of 2009 and his first one since Army of Darkness in 1993 back when I was in college.
If you can't be good, at least be safe. Have fun kiddies.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
WWW--Here are a couple of tracks from my music project, Smolensk. "Support" features the Gristleizer, a box co-created by industrial pioneers Throbbing Gristle. Enjoy (or don't). Let me know if it works or not. You might have to "friend" me on Myspace to listen to them or have a preexisting account.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
WWW--Things are proceeding nicely, and the text is nearly 3/4s completed and should clock in around 300 pages, give or take. I have a working title as well, after reading about the murder of Kitty Genovese in 1964 in Queens. Genovese was attacked, raped, and murdered over the span of 35 minutes before her neighbors called the police.
Their inaction was called "the bystander effect," and I think what happened to Palfrey and Genovese has similar themes in common. In Palfrey's case, it was obvious that she was suicidal, and a lot of us noticed. But what do you do when you're just not sure? It depends on where you're situated. I was that proverbial "fly on the wall," not that I ever planned on being one. But there I was, the guy in the corner taking notes, preserving things for the historical record.
Thirty-eight of Genovese's neighbors watched her being attacked, stabbed, raped, and finally finished off by her psychopathic murderer. What people tend to forget is that each neighbor only saw a small portion of the overall event, so that it was hard for them to put together what was happening. Finally, one of them did, but this is rarely remembered. Would it have mattered had they called earlier? Maybe. In Palfrey's case, things were so compartmentalized and fragmented (when she wasn't making inadvisable media appearances, Palfrey spent a lot of time in her Vallejo laundry room manning her computer working on her defense, corresponding, etc.) that it wasn't always easy to put a finger on whether she was just outraged over the charges against her, an underworld nihilist, or just unhinged. Perhaps it only became truly evident once she killed herself, but I have to wonder if there were outbursts by her during the legal proceedings that were blatant, obvious.
What could anyone have done? I don't think that there was anything to be done after she refused two very generous plea deals, and she must have made some sort of a quiet death pact with herself. It's reported that she let out a very audible sigh when the guilty verdict was read. Death it would be. Were there ever deals like this? What I cannot fathom is why she told them to me in our first telephone conversation in 2007, and in pretty good detail. She told Brain Ross, and he did mention them on air, but not their specifics, they were the best you could get from prosecutors. The prosecution team were dumbbells working for ignoble aims, but they certainly had a live one on their hands. In 2008, some of them were quoted as saying that they "felt bad" how it all ended, that it was "unfortunate."
They knew. I knew. You couldn't miss it.
Anyone who read or watched interviews with her at the time knew that she was expressing suicidal thoughts. "I'm not going to spend even one more day in prison," she said over and over again, her other mantra besides, "They're not taking my assets." Weirdly, the government prosecutors drove a disturbed woman over the edge and she killed herself as we thought she might. They knew. The Bystander Effect: An account of the DC Madam it is, at least for now. But I can't see it changing either.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Site Meter--Very interesting...
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Monday, October 26, 2009
WWW--You don't hear those town hall people (I know, don't look a gift horse in the mouth...), so what happened to them? You might think they were told to stand down now that it appears people like me who want socialized medicine or at least a public option as a start are in the majority and have no intention of backing down. We know they have no real concept of how democracy works and that they're kin to the lynch mob, but they understand math and being outnumbered, at least for now until they nail themselves up on the cross again.
I've been told that a percentage of these people and the Tea Baggers are disgruntled farmers and geriatrics who have been misled into believing some their Medicade was going to be taken away, and other fantastical tales like that there's no Obama birth certificate online when there's been a copy available for over a year. That's a religious belief you got goin' there. The cries of "socialism" (and the inevitable misspellings) and "communism" have continued, but they lack the general fervor we saw in August and September. What do they always say in the end? That the big, bad government "is the problem," when a child knows better. The government is the boogeyman.
That's funny considering many of these farmers I've been hearing about are probably going to see their crop subsidies cut. They need to make up their mind: government assistance just for them and a few narrow, selfish interests, or a social safety net for everyone. Hypocrisy comes easier for some than for most. But they seem to have tired themselves out, and nobody gives a damn about a boor like Joe the Plumber when times are bad. Soon, the myths of the system are going to collapse. People also forget that the Boomer generation had people in it who didn't have a problem with the Vietnam War, hated the Civil Rights movement, and so on. This was their final moment to make an ass of themselves one more time, and they went for it like a beggar to a bowl of gruel. They're tired, Jim, they're spent.
WWW--I and others "outed" this asshole, sort of. Apparently, he was in the research of Larry Flynt Publications of the DC Madam's, though I haven't seen any corroboration.
Nonetheless, such a disgusting turd as onion-head would have to pay for it, I cannot see any woman with any kind of standards having sex with such a disgusting, decayed asshole as Fred. Did the Emperor Claudius or Henry the VIII look like him the last stages of syphilis or what?
Here's the rub: no sooner had I written my past screed against the shithead that I start getting on his email mailing-list, so he and/or his people were watching. It's good to have a spam blocker, that's all I'm saying. Isn't he more like the redneck asshole you usually have to get poor directions from when you're lost in bum-fuck Egypt?
Who thought he was actually ever going to win the Republican nomination to run for president? If you have the name of this person, please send it my way, I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell him, but he's going to have to get in line, Rudy Giuliani has first dibs.
Do these people get off on wasting millions of other people's money on a sure loser? They must have friends on Wall Street, that's all I'm saying. When, when are they all going to walk backwards all the time and shit-in-reverse? Fred's still ugly, alright, and he's getting uglier every day.
But if you wonder, "Would he screw a prostitute? Did he have sex with one of Palfrey's girls?" just take a long, hard look at his wife.
I never read any of his "Fred Talks" emails, curiously titled like "Mao Speaks," but there you go. Any woman who would fuck him is doing it for the money and is a de facto whore.
I never could understand how an amorous woman could cause a ship to sink, but there you go, the Bard couldn't have put it more succinctly...erm.
WWW--This is very simple: all the liberals/Democrats watching for the next horrible morsel our of Glenn Beck's yob. Bill O'Reilly seems to be pretty overshadowed these days by the mentally-challenged Beck. Quit watching Fox News, you're being reactionary too. It is not news, it's entertainment and misinformation predicated purely on turning a buck. Why follow it? Why even follow it online? You're going to hear about if it's important, right?
If you ignore it and quit writing about it so much, it will eventually go away. Most of the right exists on resentment and wants attention. Like a little brat, you take that away from them, they'll stop, you watch. Murdoch--if he's alive--will notice that the party is over and that there's no more to be milked from his infotainment network, and it'll fold. Seriously, quit watching them. It's working wonders on a certain wo-man named Ann who has an Adam's apple and looks like James St. James.
Same as the old bawss: Obama continues to cling to Bush II intelligence policies, while The Times contradicts itself ad infinitum
Washington D.C.--The New York Times did an editorial on Sunday condemning President Obama for invoking the very same kinds of claims to national security as the administration of George W. Bush. On the face of it, they're right, but we're not a proactive culture, so they were nowhere to be seen in 2004. While the criticism is deserved, one should remember exactly who's stating it: The New York Times, the same people who bent over backwards for the Bush II administration's claims on national security again and again, depriving the American public of vital information, and they sat on this NSA wiretapping story for over a year that had been uncovered by journalists Eric Lichtblau and James Risen. We can assume there were others besides it and the Judith Miller doing the reverse for the same administration in the Plame scandal!
On Sunday, Sunday, Sunday, we got this anonymous editorial--so it can be assumed that the institution itself backs it--sternly titled "The Cover-up Continues," something that they're practiced hands at at the Times and would therefore know when they saw it:
...In that case [of the renditioned Ethiopian national Binyah Mohamed], the Obama administration has repeated a disreputable Bush-era argument that the executive branch is entitled to have lawsuits shut down whenever it makes a blanket claim of national security. The ruling rejected that argument and noted that the government’s theory would “effectively cordon off all secret actions from judicial scrutiny, immunizing the C.I.A. and its partners from the demands and limits of the law.” The Obama administration has aggressively pursued such immunity in numerous other cases beyond the ones involving Mr. Mohamed. We do not take seriously the government’s claim that it is trying to protect intelligence or avoid harm to national security.Great, and again, they're right, but thanks to their practices surrounding the warrantless wiretapping program and other areas, they definitely affected existing lawsuits; it would be impossible for the suppression not to have. No, in 2004, the New York Times did just that--they took seriously the government's claim that it was trying to protect intelligence and that if they published, it would harm national security. Or, it's just their excuse and they conspired criminally or abetted or enabled them, or any number of unpleasant permutations.
Like most mainstream journalists, Risen and Lichtblau valued their careers and bank accounts over the common good when they should have held a press conference once it became clear that their editors were going to sit on the very explosive information of high crimes, and they kept quiet. The program itself was illegal under the 1978 FISA. The role of the Times couldn't be more crucial in this story since they bought criminals over a year to cover things up and to ready the legal obstacles to slow things even further. They say the wheels of justice grind slowly, especially when you put a wrench in the gears. There has been very little support in Congress to rein-in these practices or to hold anyone accountable for them, quite the opposite. Years passed as weak calls for investigations ensued and predictably went nowhere. Dueling court lawsuits went back-and-forth, and...
Then-Senator Barack Obama voted (as did the majority of the Senate) in the fall of 2008 in favor of granting the telecommunications corporations who aided-and-abetted the Bush II administration for a bill that granted them all retroactive immunity, a kind of oxymoron of the law. He was hardly alone in his "yes" vote, and it could be said with genuine shame that a Rockefeller was leading the charge. Lichtblau mischaracterized the behind-the-scenes negotiations with the Bush II administration last year at the expense of Salon, thankfully not me:
For 13 long months, we'd held off on publicizing one of the Bush administration's biggest secrets. Finally, one afternoon in December 2005, as my editors and I waited anxiously in an elegantly appointed sitting room at the White House, we were again about to let President Bush's top aides plead their case: why our newspaper shouldn't let the public know that the president had authorized the National Security Agency, in apparent contravention of federal wiretapping law, to eavesdrop on Americans without court warrants. ("The inside drama behind the Times warrantless wiretapping story, Salon, 03.28.2008)Remember the wonderful national elections of 2004 and all the irregularities? No, not just the pandering to those who fear homosexuals and African-Americans, the problems at the polling places. Do I think that NYT journalist Eric Lichtblau is telling the whole truth here? Oh sure, I'd sit on a story for over a year, sit on the knowledge that high crimes had been committed by people under the color of authority. It's what all good apparatchiki do, both Lichtblau, Risen, and most of all, their editor, Bill Keller. The Times, Risen, and Lichtblau continue to be vague as to when exactly that first meeting occurred in 2004, but we can rest assured it was before the elections.
History isn't going to be kind to any of them in the intervening years, regardless of their lame attempts to paper over the pertinent questions of why exactly they sat on it. Another terrorist attack? A book deal? Give me a break, they were terrified in the editorial board that James Risen's book, State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration, was going to expose that they decided to sit on the story for political purposes and ran it before it was published. They would have continued sitting on it had it not been the case. How much else of our history are they sitting on? We could be in real danger, and they wouldn't tell us. As a matter of fact, that's the case, and one has to assume that "the newspaper of record" is becoming about as reliable a source of information as a Wall Street banker. Somehow, I think they do lunch occasionally.
Licthblau's statements about the illegal program and his actions and attitudes surrounding it are a lie, a fabrication, and he's not a real journalist, and more like a stenographer. So is the Times' recent concern about being a government watchdog. It's a double-think like no other, as though they never sat on the story for over a year to help the Bush and the GOP through a tough election. That's what friends are for. Executive Bill Keller and the NYT showed considerably less concern about Bush over-reaching on national security than he does over Obama, and sat on the story for an incredible thirteen months.
But he's very careful in not being too specific as to how early they knew:
"A year ago, when this information first became known to Times reporters, the Administration argued strongly that writing about this eavesdropping program would give terrorists clues about the vulnerability of their communications and would deprive the government of an effective tool for the protection of the country's security.
"Officials also assured senior editors of The Times that a variety of legal checks had been imposed that satisfied everyone involved that the program raised no legal questions.
"As we have done before in rare instances when faced with a convincing national security argument, we agreed not to publish at that time.
"We also continued reporting, and in the ensuing months two things happened that changed our thinking.
"First, we developed a fuller picture of the concerns and misgivings that had been expressed during the life of the program. ("N.Y. Times statement defends NSA reporting," CNN.com, 12.16.2005)
Right, it's the job of a free press to take elected officials and their appointees at their word. This is the behind-the-scenes line held by the New York Times during the administration of George W. Bush, but oddly, not so in the case under Barack Obama, even though he's essentially doing the very same things that Bush did and is attempting with considerable effort to continue these expansions of power in the executive branch in the areas of national security. What's it going to be, eh? Who are you guys? Really. Small wonder that neither Keller, Risen, or Lichtblau will speak with any specifics about 2004.
"The inside drama behind the Times warrantless wiretapping story, Salon, 03.28.2008: http://www.slate.com/id/2187498/
"N.Y. Times statement defends NSA reporting," CNN.com, 12.16.2005: http://edition.cnn.com/2005/US/12/16/nytimes.statement/
"The Scoop That Got Spiked-Times delay on wiretap story leaves questions unanswered," FAIR, 01.11.2006: http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=2798
The Cover-up Continues," New York Times, 10.25.2009: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/26/opinion/26mon1.html?_r=2
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
WWW--And now, it's time for some hard-earned wisdom, kids! Just last night I was getting hit by these fake warnings that I had a virus infecting my hard drive with these constant pop-ups harassing me that if I didn't, I could "lose critical files and functions" on my computer. It just pops-up again, and again, and again, and again, until you want to perform a vivisection on the idiot that created the malware doing this to you, your computer, and of course, your mind and your sense of well-being.
Oh yeah, I had a virus on my drive alright, and it was Winisoft's "Softcop," a Trojan horse program that installs itself on your computer without your knowledge or required permission to get you to buy bullshit. Not-so-ironically, Softcop's exactly what it's telling you that you need to remove from your drive by buying their fake software that does nothing. Well, it does nothing except give you more problems like the one you stupidly paid to get rid of! That's when I'm certain that extreme violence is in order, but it's best to inform your credit card company immediately about this intolerable situation and to start the disputation process. Send them a refund message at Winisoft and refuse to pay.
This scam must be making the rounds since there's a bevy of articles about it that provide links to Malware's legitimate removal software that's free and actually works. Once you've downloaded it, run it, and then restarted your PC, the problem not-so-magically disappears. Fancy that. Yes, yes, we don't need any rules or regulations, said the Libertarians. This is exactly why we have to have laws and why business has to be regulated heavily. I could have used these articles yesterday, but this is a fairly sophisticated scam and didn't do my usual Google search, lesson learned. My guess right now is that it's from the Czech Republic, possibly from Brno, a hub of hacker and scammer activity like this, but who knows? All I know is that I'd like to remove their fingernails one-at-a-time, and very slowly...
"Can Softcop Save Your PC?", PC1 News, 10.21.2009: http://www.pc1news.com/news/1057/softcop.html
"Safety Keeper Removal," Free PC Security, 09.11.2009 (with legitimate Malware removal downloads): http://freepcsecurity.co.uk/2009/09/11/safety-keeper-removal/"Remove Softcop (Uninstall guide), Bleepingcomputer.com, 10.17.2009: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/virus-removal/remove-softcop
Saturday, October 17, 2009
WWW--Over a year ago, the other paranoid Alex threatened to sue me, and right after he had a near-miss with a civil suit of his own! After making some rather pointed remarks on one of his comments threads (moderated by himself, so he cannot complain, he let it pass) about the nature of Jeane's death (she was NOT murdered, wake up), he got pissed-off when I wrote that he was making these wild claims along with others to get attention and basically make money, sell merch, ad space, whatever.
That's my opinion and I have a right to it, but he didn't think so, so he went and wrote a 3-part, 2-part piece (ask him) about me that was rife with speculation and just more wild allegations and flat-out untruths. At least he finally noticed Jeffrey A. Taylor when he came to my site and read my Palfrey material, and he dutifully regurgitated it as I assume the rest of his ilk does. Then, dumbbells can go, "Look, see? He wrote against this like the lefty-guys!" when it's really just about more grist for his mill and his anti-government agenda, a right-wing agenda.
It should be said and written again and again: government isn't the problem, it's the people that get voted in--mostly by the right--who are the problem, they are corrupt. It's like blaming the hammer instead of the guy who hit you in the head with it, it's a moronic and dysfunctional argument that Jones, Constantine, Nimmo, Rense, and all the rest make, and too many on the so-called "progressive left" are buying into it because these nimrods simply know the right things to say to sway them.
Remember: genuine democracy is contentious, it is dirty and messy and ugly. People argue in a democracy. It can even get ugly. Never, ever, should it become violent when we disagree, not ever. But argue? We should be taking the gloves off all the time when it comes to our beliefs. You cannot be inert or neutral in any society, that's a myth, and I consider my writing a humble contribution to the dialog. Constantine and these parapoliticians, on the other hand, are trying very desperately to undermine our government.
We might ask them why, in seriousness, this is so, and why they don't suggest real reform and participation in the political process to fix things. It's my feeling that many of them are there to demoralize the left, the majority of Americans when it comes to issues of the role of government and social policy. I have no respect for these people and consider them wackos at best, provocateurs at worst. Government will always be the solution, and it's up to us to make it serve the public. To do nothing is just more self-fulfilled prophecy, more bullshit, like what these turds are selling in the form of t-shirts, books, and coffee mugs. It's a cottage industry.
Hoax, n--A business opportunity disguised as a lie. A wise investment for one person that quickly goes south is the livelihood of another. Life imitating art imitating life imitating art. Performance art for the bored. Entertainment for the creative that reminds the victims that the majority of humor is at the expense of someone else.
What public policy usually is. The underlying reality of temporal existence. Entire civilizations and their cultures have been built upon this firm bedrock (See "Delusion").
Examples include: The Shroud of Turin; the Virgin of Guadalupe; transparency in government and campaign promises generally; any Bigfoot revelation, truth in advertising; any given economic system at any given era in human history; the concept of the nation state; the American work ethic; the curious notion that the "other" really means us harm; the American Dream; the notion that "wise men" are running things at any given point in human history; television's "In Search Of" program, and the notion that TV chef Bobby Flay isn't in the Patterson-Gimlin film, he is, trust me.
Friday, October 16, 2009
WWW--Boy, I sure miss a lot when I don't bother to watch television or the 24 hour news networks, don't I?
Again...who gives-a-shit? People without a life? These very bald examples of media white-outs (namely, regarding Afghanistan, we can presume) are beginning to irk me. This isn't news, it's entertainment-at-best. At worst, they're put out there to crowd out real stories that the public needs to know.
Does this story warrant any attention? Did the bigfoot one emanating from Georgia a few years ago? The press sent over 100 representatives "just in case" it turned out to be "true." What the fuck does that mean? There's no such thing as bigfoot any more than there was a Virgin birth or a Paul Bunyan ferchrissakes, gimme a goddamned break. I'm not going to miss the mainstream media when it finally croaks...
I would be more than happy to kick in to airdrop your asses into the shit tomorrow. Please, keep talking about how "tough" you are and how you "really want to go." Get your all-talk asses down to the local recruiting stations and talk like that, sign the papers, and we'll have your asses dumped from a plane over Iraq or Afghanistan. I hear the topsoil there could use some work.
Washington D.C.--So what? He covered his ass just like Eisenhower did with his "military-industrial" speech on his last day in office as president. Yet, both men can be credited as key in their creation. Now, why in the name of logic and reason would you believe them or value what they had to say when they not only did nothing to stop it, but actually did everything to encourage its creation to enrich themselves and their careers? That's correct, logic and the historical record dictate that you wouldn't, but mythologies are very hard to counter once they've taken root.
It's my guess that Powell and his associates and allies are trying very desperately to recast his role in the historical landscape that was his time as Secretary of State under George W. Bush. The fact is that he lied to the public during that time in a manner that got us into an unnecessary war that came directly out of his and the administration's grandstanding and exploitation of the terror attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.
Powell wasn't merely an enabler of the illegal war in Iraq and Afghanistan, he expedited it with gusto and he is a co-conspirator. In fact, General Powell is a war criminal not only from these wars, but from the Gulf War (Bush War I) and Vietnam when he was part of the cover-up of the My Lai massacre in 1969. People from that time refer to Powell as a "team player." Well right, that's the kind of stupid asshole you bring on board, a moron who will follow any order so long as it's coming from a superior. The legality of those orders rarely ever crosses their minds, and when it does, it gets a backseat in the final judgment, theirs.
Yet, somehow, he's a "hero," which is an insult to the mentally handicapped everywhere. He's not a hero, he's a war criminal just like the Einsatzgruppen commanders who slaughtered entire villages of Slavs on the Eastern Front. Nobody made them do these things just as nobody forced Powell into doing it. They did it willingly to further themselves and their position in the hierarchy. To allow someone like Powell to even walk around free is an insult to the rules of war and the rule of law everywhere, and he's not alone in the American pantheon of the damned, not even remotely. Eisenhower was cut of the same cloth--burlap, the preferred material officers are made of, because it gives easy. Officers are political operatives expediting political orders, period. A 1932 example offers some insight into what kind of officers Powell and Eisenhower were and how they rose through the ranks.
In the last full year of the Republican Hoover administration, economic conditions had gotten so bad that WWI veterans were flooding the nation's capital demanding their military pensions ("bonuses" originally slated to be issued in 1945, though you could borrow against them) early. Collapse was in the air. By June, the Bonus March Force had come and many veterans were camping out on Capitol Hill in semi-permament "Hoovervilles," bitterly named for the president who did virtually nothing to alleviate the desperate conditions of the Great Depression. Rather than do that, Hoover allowed the situation to grow worse as a lack of proper hygienic facilities and public services in the makeshift camps--continued neglect--contributed to incidents of violence and an atmosphere of fear and dread. Fear mounted in governing circles since it was known that President Hoover had no intentions of giving the veterans any of their very minimal demands.
On July 28, 1932, when Treasury Dept. agents and Capitol police were unable to evict the marchers peacably, U.S. Army Chief of Staff General Douglas MacArthur mobilized 600 regular troops under the command of Majs. George S. Patton, Jr. and Dwight D. Eisenhower and violently routed the Bonus Marchers with bayonets, bricks, tear-gas, truncheons, and fists. MacArthur was on the scene and actually disobeyed Hoover's orders to go about it as peacably as possible and not to push too hard. Hoover who instructed MacArthur that his men go in unarmed, but no shots were fired by federal troops. Three veterans died, many more were wounded, and an infant died in the scuffle. It all-but handed FDR the election in November of that year, something the Democratic candidate was heard to affirm in his own estimation of the mishap. Others weren't so pleased either.
Patton later went on to describe it all as "discgrace to the service," but it's not entirely clear how Eisenhower felt and seems to have simply followed orders and kept his mouth shut as MacArthur's assistant. How familiar, then, this all is with Powell who helped keep a lid on My Lai and numerous other war crimes we don't even know about. He kept his mouth shut as Eisenhower most certainly did on many occasions to advance upward in the ranks. For what? Money and the perks, of course, but what more was going to await him than just more illegal and unethical orders, more crimes to push events towards war? I won't even bore you with his actions surrounding Iran-Contra. Yes, he was even part of the arms-for-hostages deal, so he'd know about how not to deal with terrorists, a practice he adhered to until he finally, belatedly, left life as a public servant, the one constructive act of his time working for the public.
Now, he and others have released this dumb video of him warning about a "terrorist-industrial complex" because he's realized too late that he's been nothing but a stooge for bad people in high places. The timing is curious, so you have to wonder if charges are coming, possibly from Spanish courts. What an idiot to think that he can do anything to change how he's going to be portrayed in the history books. By even the most casual observation, he's viewed as the man who got us into Iraq with his "16 words" before the U.N. Security Council that were a panoply of lies. Were it not for Powell's 16 words in the early months of 2003, we wouldn't be in Iraq now, there would never have been the all the billions-upon-billions of military defense contracts going to the highest-bidders, meaning friends of the president and vice president.
You don't rise to the top in the military by bucking orders. Eventually, they shut you down, just as they did with Patton and MacArthur, albeit for the right reasons (one of the men Patton slapped is buried here in Michiana and my grandfather served under him). No, those who are rewarded make it to the "top," only to realize that it's really the bottom, and then it's too late. I have very little doubt that this stupid video surfacing is a last-ditch effort on the part of Powell and his associates and allies to repair the damage and to paper over the very dishonorable and criminal acts that General Powell has been party to, his involvement being either before or after the fact. It's not going work.
The other story--the truth--escaped out of the bottle long ago. No human being, no tyrant, has ever been able to escape the judgment of history. Colin Powell is no exception to this rule and should serve as a warning to those willing to follow illegal orders out of convenience and the yearnings of crass careerism that there really is no escape; not from the judgment of history, or that "sun that never sets," one's own mind, that harshest of judges. What most of these men did wasn't serving their country, it was serving criminals and themselves to the detriment of the nation. Shame. Dishonor.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
WWW--The fascination--even my own--just continues to boggle my mind. He has no real ideas of his own, but he's burly and loud and shows absolute certainty and credulousness at all times. There's no conspiracy theory he wouldn't love to have thought up. It seems he's the last guy on earth to have heard of Bohemian Grove. Sociologist C. Wright Mills wrote about the gathering place of the elites decision-makers in the California redwoods way back in 1956 in his book The Power Elite, when rock was being born and Eisenhower was president.
America's global power had reached an apex, and it's been downhill ever since. Mills didn't think Bohemian Grove amounted to much and that it was simply a place for the influential to unwind and sometimes talk shop. I don't think he was mistaken, but even reading the implications of what Mills concluded, you can presume that deals are made and consecrated there. And? That's not a conspiracy, it's reasonably out in the open. Were that not so, Jones himself would never have been able to sneak in, but then you begin to realize that this is more about oversimplified explanations and the cult of personality than anything else.
With all of his yammering about government being evil, you'd think Alex Jones was merely an extremist Republican, not that that's saying much these days. Perhaps this is why he's becoming more mainstream. It's beyond my understanding why Slacker director Richard Linklater has placed Jones in two of his computer rotoscope films, Waking Life (2001) and A Scanner Darkly (2006), based on the paranoid meditation on informant and surveillance culture by Philip K. Dick., except that he literally sees him as a cartoon character. If that's what he means, I'm with him. Jones is a symptom of a very sick body politic.
While he espouses being against the wars in the Middle East on the one hand as Ron Paul does, he's also spreading misinformation about the current president and his birth certificate on the other. Jones is a clown at best, but I have to wonder if he's around to bad-jacket information that's actually valid and true. But most of all, he really just looks like a shaved ape with a Halloween mask on, yelling at the top of his lungs that there's a fire in the crowded theater of America when there's merely smoke. He is alarmist in his rhetoric. He is a conflater and a spreader of hysteria. He is not the answer, and he is a demagogue. What he constitutes is a great example of delusions of adequacy, and the dark underbelly of Populism. He is a very dangerous man.
Postscript 10.17.2009: And if you don't believe me, look at the one you're with! We'll just say that Ted Nugent is Jones's Barney Rubble.
Monday, October 12, 2009
WWW--I'm still counting the days when someone accurately describes Senator Sanders as a socialist, you know, since he is one. I'm one too, a philosophical socialist. So far, the most recent person to call me one was a neo-Nazi and a Holocaust denier. Of course, I had to TELL them.
Really, and this is a good thing: we have our FIRST SOCIALIST SENATOR IN VERMONT SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS.
Meanwhile, morons are misspelling the "S"-word at Tea Bagger protests.
"The best and the brightest" is a crock: The U.S. Military as a form of welfare and a cult of the dead
I have never understood this: our men and women in uniform as supposed to be the best and the brightest people in our nation, yet I think we all know that this is just more rhetoric, more lies. We all know it's bullshit and that the best and the brightest aren't rushing out to join--with noteworthy exceptions like a Pat Tillman or a Sergeant York-- they're heading to where the good paying jobs are. There is also the dark side of the military in our culture: People like Lt. William Calley, the commanding officer present at My Lai during the Vietnam conflict who told his men (Calley was under orders himself) to slaughter the entire village, every man, woman, and child--and they complied. And how many movies have we seen with crazy veterans killing when they get home? For many, all this changed the perception of American soldiers across the world forever, never mind America.
Interestingly, Calley recently apologized for this atrocity at a Knights of Columbus gathering in Ohio, his home state where he's worked in a cushy job as a jeweler since at least the early 1970s. Hardly anyone noticed and it was barely reported. Most of the men who served under him haven't been so lucky, so pampered, which is a matter of race as well as class. Speaking of class, a huge percentage of our homeless are veterans, most from the Vietnam War. The claims regarding all of our troops are wildly distorted claims. They are lies the occlude the reality on the ground. Like a lot of things in modern American culture, this over-adulation begins with the First World War and has more to do with motivating the domestic population towards another, future war then it does in actually honoring the dead. It's about money and power.
The Cult of the Dead Solider is about creating a false history where our troops have always held to the rules of war and where every conflict is a just one. Even very recent history must be misrepresented. In the official story, all of our troops are noble young men and women who heard the call of their nation and joined to defend it and its environs for the common good. The reality--as we should know by now--is far less glamorous and any person capable of independent thought should view such assertions with the utmost suspicion. Life in the modern world is a minefield. After 1973, we switched over to what is now euphemistically known as the "peacetime army," and the rest applies to the other branches, they're all-volunteer now too. Yet, economic conscription is still conscription and we all know that many Americans join--as they are right now in large numbers--when the economy is bad and there are few other alternatives. In other cases, it's simply a matter of individuals who couldn't hack it in civilian society and literally had no other options regardless of the state of the economy. If you think I'm kidding, look at the lives of retired military and how rapidly they become unraveled after discharge. So why are they all "heroes"? They sound desperate to me, and I grant that this isn't the entire story, but it's the bulk of it.
In 1991, noted historian George Mosse published his seminal Fallen Soldiers: Reshaping the Memory of the World Wars, a book that details how the Cult of the Dead Soldier came into being and what its purpose is. Frequently, our soldiers have been painted in our culture as young, nubile, and brave, having come to the military out of pure patriotism and a sense of sacrifice for the group. Again, while there is some truth to this, I think we all know that many people--in the past and the present--have joined because they had nowhere else to go, something that's been a truism well before 1973 when the draft was ended. There was a good reason for this that has a lot to do with the current version of the Cult: the myths weren't true and the very real perception that the children of the poor were fighting the wars of rich men was commonplace and hasn't gone away entirely. As a matter of fact, it's alive and well. This healthy and cynical contention came out of the revelations of war crimes, the Pentagon Papers, but really out of ground level experience. People knew they were being screwed and lied to.
The enthusiasm of going to war is a normal prelude to reality setting-in: at the end of WWI in Germany there was no talk of glory, no celebrations over the war dead, no parties celebrating the loss. The reaction of many after any war is to want to forget and to cling very tenaciously to the myths of warfare and nationalism--that there was glory in it, that the sacrifices were necessary for the group, and that it was all a worthy cause that enriched all. That's a hard sell nowadays, but the desire to believe it is still very much alive, and it's part of a pathology. This dynamic was played-out in many different ways in our culture since 1973, from Sylvester Stallone's "Rambo" movies where the muscle-bound actor went back to Vietnam to "win this time," to the the equally bad "Top Gun," Reagan's exhortations to get us involved in Central America during the 1980s, and the depictions of military men and women in recruiting ads as young, vital, cleanly-scrubbed, and pure in intentions and behavior.
The enthusiasm which youth had once felt for war as adventure and personal fulfillment was difficult to sustain after experiencing the reality of war, but the nation, using the Myth of the War Experience, was able to keep the flame alight. ...Yet it was the political Right and not the Left which was able to annex the cult and make the most of it. The inability of the Left to forget the reality of the war and to enter inot the Myth of the War Experience was a gain for the political Right, which was able to exploit the suffering of millions for its own political ends. The Myth of the War Experience helped to transcend the horror of war and at the same time supported the utopia which nationalism sought to project as an alternative to the reality of postwar Germany. (Mosse, 106)The true costs of war and the endless suffering and repercussions have been all-but-forbidden except with noteworthy exceptions. During this conflict, so little suffering and carnage is being shown to the public that the culture had to do catch-up with endless displays of gore in CSI programs on network television. But, generally, Vietnam has posed too much of a challenge, and so, damage control has been the approach since that sordid conflict. The domestic information war was like this before Vietnam, but the methods have had to become more subtle, which makes them more insidious, from lousy xenophobic action films to video games. Our troops should never be viewed as angels nor our causes automatically "just" or "necessary," but that's the message being spoon-fed to our children.
In a democracy, talk of war should always be highly contentious and there should be a very serious debate over its necessity and what its real world costs are going to be. "Will we be better off?" should be at the top of the list. Have we been better off since the Vietnam War? The invasion of Panama in 1989 and the Gulf War in 1991? The Balkans during the rest of the 1990s? When does it end? It depends on who you ask. The shift from classical depictions of our troops has shifted to that of the victim: recall when it was alleged that American POW Jessica Lynch was mistreated and raped by her Iraqi captors. It was a total lie concocted by propaganda chiefs at the Pentagon.
Lynch once stated, "They used me to symbolize all this stuff. It's wrong. I don't know why they filmed [my rescue] or why they say these things."
The Pentagon went as far as to coerce Lynch into lying about what happened while she was being held by Iraqi troops and doctors during the invasion in late March 2003, even including the allegation in her ghost written biography; Lynch has since accused the military of using her in a propaganda effort to sell the war and that they embellished her own account. Less than one year after her ordeal, the Pentagon-backed "Saving Jessica Lynch" aired, selling more lies. Instead, she was used as a pawn on several levels, not merely including the lie that she was raped by Iraqi troops, it being a bald appeal to classic American racism as well as sexism. But why did the West Virginian Lynch join the military? She needed money for college...
There are much better and efficient ways to care for our young people, to give them a real shot at the future, and it would behoove us to begin the process of demilitarization within our economy. Patrick Tillman is another stellar example in the deification-through-victimhood of our troops. The irony is, Tillman really was a hero, but not for the reasons that the Pentagon's propagandists told us. He was a hero because he saw the war in Iraq as a lie, as a violation of international law, and I believe he went overseas to bear witness to the crimes so that he could testify about them when the smoke had cleared. I also believe that his fellow troops and possibly some officers figured this out as well. They had to use him in death for their ends because...you do the math. They destroyed his uniform and his diary. Why did they stop at that? Bad press.
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
Louisiana Republican Sen. David Vitter has another ethics complaint filed against him, this time by Louisiana Democrats Part II
Louisiana--Yet another FEC complaint has been filed by Louisiana Democrats against him, so it's time for Davey to retain Wiley, Rein and Fielding once again (no, not for hookers this time), a high powered law firm populated by his own peers in the GOP, many past incumbents in Congress. Will he get out of it this time? Of course he will, the fix is always on for Davey, the law doesn't apply to people like him who service the wealthy and government contractor-fed districts (also known as "welfare").
Stupid is as stupid does, and the rule of law be damned.
The political committees of Louisiana Sen. David Vitter, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and former Rep. Chip Pickering (R-Miss.) have been accused of scheming to conceal a contribution from Pickering to Vitter in violation of federal campaign finance laws.
The Louisiana Democratic Party plans to file a formal complaint with the Federal Election Commission today, charging that Barbour's PAC essentially filtered a $5,000 campaign donation from Pickering's PAC to Louisiana Vitter's 2010 reelection committee to make it look like the contribution didn't come directly from Pickering.
Louisiana Democrats allege that Pickering didn't want it to look like one Republican embroiled in a sex scandal was giving to another Republican involved in a sex scandal.
Pickering says the charges simply aren't true. ...
Here's the evidence Louisiana Democrats are presenting to the FEC:In August, Barbour's low-dollar political action committee, Haley's PAC, collected just one check and made just one contribution, each for $5,000. The outgoing donation was to Vitter's campaign, and it was recorded four days before the receipt, which was from CHIP PAC. That is CHIP PAC's only activity since Pickering retired in January, and Haley's PAC has made only one other donation this year. ("Louisiana Democrats file complaint against Vitter," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 10.06.2009)
And so, therefore, since Pickering says it isn't true, it's isn't true, especially to the eternal children who were abused by their parents and mutated into authoritarians. Can we just lower the age for the eligibility to run for public office? Any ten-year-olds out there? Hmm?
Do Pickering and Barbour have intimate ties with Wiley Rein? You bet, in legislative actions and consulting, and they've even given to his own campaign fund, in 2002, $1,000 (as far as we know). For example, Pickering received $1,500 from Haley Barbour's own law firm in the 2004 election cycle through two of their employees, and $500 from one at Akin Gump. You think they had to be told to? Me either. I could on (and on, and on...), but I leave it to the reader to make more connections that are a good indicator of impropriety.
Do a Google search on "Charles Pickering Wiley Rein and Fielding," and permutations on the other players. It's going to raise your hackles. What you see on the net is just the surface level, and that's bad enough. Now--and we can assume they're doing this most of the time--they're trying to do it under the wire. When the rules you made no longer work, you break them. You cannot get more perverse than this, breaking one's own rules.
"Contributions from Wiley Rein and Fielding to Charles Pickering," Watchdog.net: http://watchdog.net/contrib/?from=wiley%20rein%20and%20fielding"Louisiana Democrats file complaint against Vitter," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 10.06.2009: &to=chip_pickering
Charles W. Pickering - $873,579 raised, '04 election cycle, Mississippi (MS, Republican Party, Congress," Campaignmoney.com: http://www.campaignmoney.com/political/campaigns/charles_w_pickering.asp?cycle=04
"Louisiana Democrats file complaint against Vitter," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 10.06.2009: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09279/1003295-473.stm
July 3, 2008 - Vitter's (ultimately successful) attempt at skirting campaign finance laws: http://chickasawpicklesmell.blogspot.com/2008/07/louisiana-sen-david-vitter-attempting.html
Sunday, October 04, 2009
That's right dearie, everyone cranes their neck at the scene of a car accident, and Palin is a car accident par excellence. Oh yeah: Dan Brown can't write, and Johnny can't read; if you think Freemasonry has any secrets beyond the innate meaning found in eternal symbols, you have a reading comprehension problem too.
It's a fraternal and humanist social organization, get over yourself. Look at the traditional enemies of Freemasonry, and you'll find all the worst groups and people in human history, it's a simple fact. The intolerant hate the Craft. Hitler hated the Craft. Stalin hated the Craft. The Vatican and its office of the Holy Inquisition hated and hate the Craft. Radical Islam hates the Craft. Neo-Nazis and the radical right in-general hate the Craft. The ignorant hate the Craft, meaning Sarah Palin.
Saturday, October 03, 2009
At the age of 41, I can honestly say that I don't give-a-shit why women have sex. It's usually obvious anyway, and probably akin to "Why do people itch themselves?" and "Why did so-and-so just sneeze?" I could go into scatological examples, but I'm sure at least 10% of my readership (and that's a magic number) already raced to them like me, and sadly, it's just as valid as these stupid articles that don't even rise above this or many other blog postings. You get a dumbbell system out of dumbbell people.
Has Newsweek ever heard of the Kinsey Institute here in pansexual Indiana? Indeed they had, feeling the need to cover their asses at the end of the piece and the gaping-maw of a fact that their article says nothing new and that the study they were covering is hardly epic-in-scope (1,000 online-participants) or even very scientific. In other words, like Michael Moore, they were telling us (and selling us) what we already knew. What turns women on? Sigmund Freud (who was right about far more than most feminists care to admit, hence why they quote him so much) couldn't figure it out, and neither can most women come down to it, not that I care. I should add that with more women employed right now, and with the economy in the shitter, feminism just doesn't resonate that strongly these days. "But why? Why do you women have sex?" they ask us, the readers, making me wonder what their informational role is. They should, especially the ladies, since one would assume they have all the answers to this burning, itching question.
It could be: Money; power over a mate in a relationship; ego-boosting; material items; that stunning posture and moves of the insensate and cocksure beefcake; a man in uniform; a woman in uniform; someone they feel "sorry" for (pity fucks); a well-told joke; the tie someone was wearing that day; someone's personality; a good day; a bad day; frustration; naivete; a confluence of events; a rush of hormones or drugs; a bad childhood; a good childhood--gimme a break. The most galling thing about the Newsweek piece is their offhand contention that most studies haven't ever asked women what makes women want to have sex. Again, didn't the Kinsey Institute cover that ground decades ago? Here's a suggestion: try doing actual research for your article before it goes to press. Women are people, and people are complicated and not easily quantified or understood by science.
More importantly, this week, a Ukrainian-born woman in Chicago invented a bra that can also act as a gas mask, something I consider both genius and uproariously funny. But...but, why did she invent it? Luckily, this won't require any grants or lab time:
Elena Bodnar, who lives in Chicago, got her start as a scientist in Ukraine, when she witnessed the devastating effects of the Chernobyl nuclear plant disaster in 1986. She noticed, among other things, that women were wearing bras that may have been lacy but were certainly not life-saving.
At the ceremony, Bodnar demonstrated her invention, which she said could have prevented people from breathing in Iodine-131 in the wake of Chernobyl. She graciously gave pink bras (each of which can turn into two gas masks) to actual Nobel laureates (yes, even the men, who now have the option to enjoy the bras without shame--not to mention any likely real effect--in the privacy of their own homes).
That's right, men can wear them too. Well yeah! What would the Kinsey Institute say about that one?
My real question is this: would it be appropriate for men with pot-tits to wear them in public, and where can I get a grant to study the phenomena?
"Introducing the bra that is meant to be taken off," CNET, 10.02.2009: http://news.cnet.com/8301-27083_3-10366730-247.html