Saturday, July 29, 2006

Why Does John Bolton Hate The UN? Ask The UNHRC

Think Progress reports today that the UN Human Rights Commission issued a report this week condemning the USofA's statutorial disenfranchisement of the citizens of the nation's capital as a violation of International Law.

The UN sticks up for DC.
“The United Nations Human Rights Committee on Friday urged U.S. lawmakers to give the District of Columbia a voting member of Congress, saying the lack of such representation appeared inconsistent with international law.”

Anybody wanna bet that Bolt-on's UN 'reform' agenda does NOT include a mechanism for disbanding or at least silencing the UNHRC?

Yea, me neither...

This Is A Fuukin OUTRAGE!

Your Congresscritter is now home, on a FIVE-FUCKING-WEEK vacation.

Before leaving their comfy DC digs, they were confronted with the following dilemma: the GOPuke leadership forced votes on bills which had not even completed reconciliation, or been published for the record, or been read by the Congresscritters voting on them.

No, I'm not kidding. You could check it out.

The House Republican Leadership has announced its intention to have the House vote, before adjourning on Friday or Saturday, on several major pieces of legislation that are not yet available to House members in final form because behind-closed-door negotiations on the proposals are still going on. The Leadership apparently intends to use a process known as “martial law” to allow these bills to be brought to the floor very shortly after negotiations are completed, with the result that Members of the House are likely to have virtually no time to examine and consider the details of the legislation before they will be required to vote on it.

Among the matters the House may be asked to vote on under martial law are a major conference report on pension legislation, a costly bill that would permanently reduce the estate tax and extend certain expiring tax provisions, and a bill that would combine a controversial health insurance proposal with an increase in the minimum wage. The House Rules Committee on Thursday afternoon reported a resolution that would provide martial law authority in relation to all of these bills.
Under the martial law procedure, longstanding House rules that require at least one day between the unveiling of significant legislation and the House floor vote on that legislation — so that Members can learn what they are being asked to vote on — are swept away.

Instead, under “martial law,” the Leadership can file legislation with tens or hundreds of pages of fine print and move immediately to debate and votes on it, before Members of Congress, the media, or the public have an opportunity to understand fully what provisions have been altered or inserted into the legislation behind closed doors. This is the procedure that the Leadership intends to use to muscle through important bills in the next two days.

This procedure diminishes democracy. When major legislation is being considered that would add hundreds of billions of dollars to the debt or affect millions of Americans in other ways, Members of Congress should have an opportunity to study the legislation for more than a couple of hours and to know what they are voting on.

Check out how your Congresscritter voted on these stealth-bills.

And when you find out, contact the scummy, feckless, gormless, useless shitwhistles--of whichever so-called Party--and ask 'em why!
Why did you vote on a bill on the contents of which you were not--could
not possibly have been --
full informed?
And do you expect me to vote to return you to DC in order to do this again and
If you do not have the stones to actually OPPOSE such fascistic manipulation
cannot you at VERY least, merely vote "Present," and thereby put the onus where
it belongs...
Because by actually VOTING on legislation the contents of which you CANNOT POSSIBLY HAVE READ (you, lazy, worthess fucknozzle), you give cover of conformity and complicity to the anti-democratic forces which are driving the country into a one-party authoritarian (if not wholly totalitarian) regimen with your tacit--if not your explicit--approval.

They're home now, and cannot run from you. GO GET 'EM. Hold their feet to a fire. MAKE THESE GUTLESS SHITWHISTLES ANSWERABLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS.

Friday, July 28, 2006

What Do Poll Numbers Mean? Why It's NOT Good News That Bush's Approval Is 38%!

I believe it was Chairman Mao who claimed he needed not win the hearts of the majority of his countrymen to rule them. It was possible to rule with the support of as little as third of the people, if: 1) the "Opposition" were disorganized enough and 2) there were enough apathy among the rest.

New polling results published recently show that, on average across polls, approximately 38% of USers now approve of the way the Gibbering Chimp is governing the country.

This figure has been greeted with some elation by folks on the (so-called) Left, who oppose the crypto-fascistic machinations fo the Busheviks: their callous disregard for common humanity in prosecuting the vicious, bloody, unnecessary ICORP* of Iraq, and their support for the Israeli 'incursion' (yes, Virginia, they're really calling it that) into Lebanon; their attacks on the Constitution and on the civil and political rights of USer citizens; their assault on the USer economy through tax-cuts for the rich, and their evident disregard for the good opinion of the rest of the world (among other things). The Left takes comfort in the fact that so apparently small a number of USers (between 36% and 39%, according to this week's polls) actually approve of the Busheviks' policies and activities.

But I believe that comfort is spurious, and in fact blind to certain, important realities. I shall explain:

The Gibbering Chimp (allegedly) "won" the 2004 'electile dysfunction' with the (alleged) votes on just over 51% of the ballots cast. The official tally counted somewhere in the neighborhood of 120 millions votes cast in the Presidential race. That is: around 60% of eligible voters (allegedly) cast ballots on Nov. 2, 2004.

The Chimperor (allegedly) garnered just over half of those (alleged) votes. He was credited with about 61.5 million votes; Kerry with about 58.5 million, for a gross margin of 3 million votes: 51.5% Bush versus a 49.5% Kerry.

This means, however, that the simpering, scampering, strutting, smirking pseudo-Simian now rules on the strength of the (alleged) "mandate" from just over 30% of the (eligible) electorate.

If his approval rating NOW is over that number--greater than 30.5-31%; and, at 38%, it is--this suggests Bush would 'win' yet again, and possibly by an even greater margin, if the election were held tomorrow--and the same proportion of the electorate 1) bothered to vote and 2) voted their approval poll rankings.

Fortunately (depending), this particular emanation of the USer proclivity for home-grown fascism is not eligible to run again (absent another serious, bloody 'terror' attack; in which case, all bets are off). But that does NOT mean that the way is cleared for an opponent from the (putative) opposition Party. The next 'pretender' on the Far Right need only capture the 38% of the populace which already approves the Chimp, ceteris paribus, to claim victory and the mandate to continue the disassembly of the Constitutional republic.

Of course, the only poll numbers that 'count' (to the extent that they are counted) are the ones that emerge from the polling booths on election day. But is useful to recall Stalin's (alleged) maxim in this matter: All that is needed is that the people believe there has been an election. It doesn't matter who votes; it matters who counts the votes.

(As an aside: it is both interesting and instructive to note how relevant are the observations of two of the 20th Century's least 'democratic' rulers to the politics in the 21st Century of the world's (putatively) foremost democracy.)

Just sayin'...

*ICORP: Invasion, Conquest, Occupation, Rape & Pillage

Thursday, July 27, 2006

What Do Schools Do?

From the comments on "So, seriously, what's your professional assessment of the changes in America over the past 35 years?"
R. Manhammer, moaner - 4:43 pm"

Assuming the questioner really was serious, I offered the following synopsis:

That shoulda been (and partly was) the subject of a (my) dissertation:

I maintain that we are living amid the most extensive, most expensive, most expansive most thoroughly 'mediated' (in all senses of the word), "internal, agitprop" propaganda campaign (See, Ellul, Propagandas, 1965) ever conceived or executed in the history of humanity, beginning with Eduard Bernays in the first decades of the 20th century.

Bernays was freud's favorite nephew, and sometime amenuensis. He recognized that Freud's insights, coupled with the emergent power of the centralized, corporate mass media, offered the very best chance ever in history for 'social engineering.' He is the soi disant "father" of the pseudo-academic discipline, Public Relations: "If we understand the mechanism and motives of the group mind, is it not possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without their knowing about it? The recent practice of propaganda has proved that it is possible, at least up to a certain point and within certain limits." (Propaganda, 2005 ed., p. 71.) He called this scientific technique of opinion-molding the "engineering of consent." This theme is echoed and elaborated critically in Hermann & Chomsky's Manufacturing Consent" (1988).

Bernays was a Liberal of the Wilsonian/Leninst stripe: the educated elite/vanguard intellectual whose natural gifts and social advantages elevated them to a position of social superiority and (in their own minds) unassailable leadership. He created and then strenuously upheld the spurious difference between 'advertizing' and 'propaganda', which is the source of our own certainty that propaganda is "lies" intended "for others."

The "media" and the "school" work together, almost seamlessly. The schools, over the last 50 years at least, have become the sites at which children (but really, all exogenes) are indoctrinated into instructional apprenticeships for the construction of the consuming class which (probably around 1970) supplanted the 'citizen' as the legitemate 'product' for which schooling was conducted.

The purpose of schools today can be read backwards from the consequences of schooling (and not just the public schools): despite a lot of blather to the contrary about education being the teicket to social mobility, schools exist primarily to ensure that as few children as possible escape the socio-economic niches into which they were born.

The most telling statistic, imho, in all educational research is this: upwards of two thirds of all variance in the scores of individual students on achievement/placement/graduation exams is accounted for by one--and only one--variable: the socio-economic status of the parents

And as much as half of that is accounted for by one additional variable: the mother's attendance in (not graduation from) some form of 'higher education.'

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

This is a map of the diseased Soul of Israel

Democracy Now Reports: The death toll from Israel’s attack on Lebanon is approaching (FIVE) hundred – almost all civilians. More than one thousand have been wounded and an estimated 900,000 have been displaced from their homes. Reports indicate Israel is widening its assault. This weekend, ground troops seized the Lebanese town of Marun al-Ras. Meanwhile, Israeli warplanes knocked down telecommunications towers handling cell phone, television and radio broadcasts. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports Israeli officials believe they have approval from the United States to keep attacking Lebanon for at least another week. However Britain has broken ranks with Washington. In an interview with CNN, British Foreign Minister Kim Howells criticized Israel’s military tactics and urged the US to understand the price being paid by ordinary Lebanese civilians.
Meanwhile Sunday the United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator Jan Egeland toured Beirut and condemned Israel’s actions as violations of humanitarian law. On Sunday, Democracy Now spoke to independent journalist Dahr Jamail. He arrived in Beirut this weekend after spending the last week interviewing refugees on the Syria-Lebanon border. Here is a transcript of his report:

AMY GOODMAN: We now turn to an independent journalist, Dahr Jamail. He arrived in Beirut this weekend after spending the last week interviewing refugees on the Syria-Lebanon border. Welcome to Democracy Now!, Dahr Jamail.

DAHR JAMAIL: In Beirut, it's a very tense atmosphere here. The roar of Israeli war planes is nearly constant at times, down to the south, both over Southern Beirut and particularly over the southern part of the country. Earlier I was standing on the balcony of my hotel, and the echoes of bombings from the south were rolling over Beirut like distant claps of thunder, followed by a roaring after-burn of war planes, which had dropped the bombs. I would say on average about every half-hour there are very loud explosions from the south that we can hear very clearly here in Beirut. (But if you refer to the map, above, it is obvious that, though the South is the prime target, the rest of the country is also under fierce assault.)

And, of course, the sentiment here, people are very anxious, very tense. The evacuation of foreign nationals continues from the Port of Beirut. As I drove in, I saw at least half a dozen warships from different countries out in the blue water of the Mediterranean, waiting to come pick up people from the Port of Beirut and take them away.

And this is being viewed by people here in Beirut with great anger. One man told me earlier in the Hamra district here in Beirut, he said, “You know, this shows us very clearly how we're seen in Western eyes, that Lebanese -- just leave us here for the Israeli bombs, take the Westerners away. It's clear that we just have the wrong passport, so we don't matter.” And that so far has been a quite widespread sentiment that I’ve seen while the bombing continues in the south.
Also I can report that in Southern Lebanon today, the city Sidon has been very, very heavily bombed. A mosque there was destroyed. There were already at least 42,000 refugees there. Also a minibus carrying refugees was fleeing a southern city right on the border that was recently taken by Israeli forces, Marun a-Ras, and that minibus carrying refugees was hit, killing three people and wounding another 13. So, really the crisis continues to escalate.

There doesn't really seem to be real much of a letup in the bombing, and right here in Beirut it's very, very evident, and I’m waiting to see what happens tonight, because everyone I’ve spoken with said that nighttimes are the worst time in Beirut, that it's quite widespread bombing. The Israelis are tending to wait until the middle of the night before they start bombing, so we're waiting for that to happen now. But without a doubt, public opinion is that of very, very much anger. People are extremely anxious. People are very concerned that once the last of these foreign nationals that are being evacuated from Beirut are gone, people here very much expect things to get much, much worse. So that is the mood, that along with widespread anger.

I spoke with one student earlier from the American University of Beirut, which is nearby my hotel, and he said that he is very much against Hezbollah and always has been and is more now than ever because of what this has caused his country. But he said he's very much opposed to this Israeli reaction to what happened, and he said -- he told me that he very much hates the fact that the U.S. is supporting Israel 100% in everything that they do here now, and even though his dream was to go to the United States, as he's a business student at the university here, now he said that he hates the United States, and so it's very easy to say -- not just after talking with this man, but several other people today, as well -- that the level of anti-American sentiment is really through the roof, because people are extremely -- they’re acutely aware of the U.S. green-lighting this ongoing Israeli aggression against their country.

Over the last week, I interviewed dozens of refugees on both the western border of Syria with Lebanon, as well as the northern border of Lebanon with Syria. They were reporting atrocities. They were reporting war crimes carried out by the Israeli military in Southern Lebanon and in Southern Beirut, which is where naturally most of these refugees came from. There are hordes of these refugees. Right now, there's at least over a quarter of a million of them that have come into Syria thus far.

And most of those that I spoke with were all saying the same thing, and that was that it was widespread indiscriminate bombing in villages. Cars full of people fleeing those villages were being attacked by warplanes as they tried to leave. One man told me of a hospital that he saw with his own eyes being bombed by warplanes in South Beirut. Another spoke of seeing an ambulance being targeted by air strikes itself. It's really a catastrophic situation as far as the refugees go. People have left, many of them literally with nothing but the clothes on their backs and what they had in their pockets at the time. So, they are really left with nothing and nowhere to go. And so, there’s a burgeoning crisis not just within Lebanon, but it is, of course, spilling over into Syria at a very large level.

In Damascus, as well, I interviewed many people, and they were extremely angry at what was happening. I was at the Red Crescent headquarters in Damascus, and I interviewed a man from a village in South Lebanon, and I asked him how he felt about what was happening there, and he just stood up and I almost felt he was going to attack me. He was so angry he was defending Hezbollah to the end. He said that no matter what Israel does, this is going to backfire on them and really come out so negatively for them, as far as their security situation. And that has been a very common sentiment among really most of the refugees that I have interviewed, whether they be Lebanese or people who weren't necessarily very pro-Hezbollah, but also people who, of course, were from the south who most of which were very pro-Hezbollah. The overall sentiment is really a deep seething anger amongst the refugees toward what's going on in Lebanon.

AMY GOODMAN: Dahr Jamail, independent journalist who spent last week on the Syria-Lebanon border and has just arrived in Beirut. (Emphases added)

(Ed. note:
Israel complains hourly about the 'hundreds' of 'missiles' falling indiscriminately in northern Israel, as far south as Haifa and Nazareth (both centers of Israeli Arab settlement, ironically). They have grounds for complaint. Such attacks amount to haphazard artillery attacks, and are clearly violations of various protocols for waging 'civilized' warfare.

Still, it should be noted that the Katyusha rockets unleashed by Hizbullah into Israel are in fact little more than artillery shells with stubby wings. They are, strictu sensu, 'missiles,' but they are not "guided" missiles. They go up; they come down; but they are not guided to targets. Whether someone is underneath them when they land is pretty much a matter of (good or ill) "luck."

This is not true for the Israelis. Israeli missiles, the majority purchased from the USofA, are 'guided,' and when they are fired, it is at particular, selected targets. Israeli pilots (flying USer-made Apache helicopters and F-15 and F-16 fighter aircraft) are in direct visual contact with their targets. They select the bridges, or the highways, or the UN observation posts, or the refugee convoys, or the ambulances to attack. When they trigger their 'smart' ordinance, they know exactly what they are shooting at. There are no accidents; there is no 'luck.'

And this seems to me to be a significant difference.)

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Yes, We Have No Bananas

(With Apologies to Harry Belafonte)
De-o, Ju-De-o- ju-de-e-ju-de-e-ju-de-e-o...
Daylight come and we bomb Lebanon...
De-o, ju-de-e-e-o...
Daylight come and we bomb Lebanon...

Come Meester IDF an' tally up de corpses
Daylight come and we bomb Lebanon...
Come Meester IDF an' tally up de corpses
Daylight come and we bomb Lebanon...

De-o, ju-de-e-e-o...
Daylight come and we bomb Lebanon...
Ju-Deo, ju-de-e-e-o...
Daylight come and we bomb Lebanon...

Shoot all night at de Hezbollah-men
Daylight come and we bomb Lebanon...
Pick-off de civilians when day try to run.
Daylight come and we bomb Lebanon...

De-o, ju-de-e-e-o...
Daylight come and we bomb Lebanon...

Well, it's six bomb, seven bomb, eight bomb falla
Daylight come and we bomb Lebanon...
Maybe hit de deadly Hez-bo-llah
Daylight come and we bomb Lebanon

Sing, Deo-, ju-de-e-e-o...
Daylight come and we bomb Lebanon...

When de bomb fall, it gonna hit near ya
Daylight come and we bomb Lebanon...
After you, we gonna bomb de Syr-ya
Daylight come and we bomb Lebanon....

Daylight come and we bomb Lebanon...

Friday, July 21, 2006

Telefon Terror

From the Gaggle, today (thanks to Holden's Obsession at of First Draft)

Q Has the President phoned the Israeli Prime Minister yet, or does he have any plans to?

(Alternate Pres. Spokesperson) MS. PERINO: The only update to the President's outreach in terms of foreign leader calls was to -- he called Angela Merkel this morning.

Overheard in Berlin this afternoon:

"Gnadige Frau Kanzellor, telefon..."

"Wer ist denn Das?"



"Gnadige Frau, Sie wissen genau Wem...Ihm..."

"Menschen's Kinder! Kann der Scheize-Hundt nicht auf-passen? Mein Gott! Wass ein Kwatch ist Er...Wer hat Ihm gesagt das Er mir so wie so Handeln konnte?... Sag Ihm Ich...Ich been bei Frisseur...Lech fet!!!"

"I'm sorry Mr President but the Chancellor told me to tell you she a hair appointment and said perhaps she might call you later..."


The Blogosphere and the SCUM* are all alive with speculation over the fate of Joe Lieberman, Connecticut's senior Senator, with 18 years' tenure in Office:
Will he survive the primary challenge of Nedd Lamont?
If he doesn't win the primary, will he support the Party's choice?
Or will he jump the Party and run as an Independent?
Who will endorse Lieberman, once the Party's 'choice' for Vice-President?

None of those first few questions can be answered before August 8, when Connecticut voters go to the polls.

But the last one can be, and has become a topic of considerable interest, since former-President Bill Clinton announced he would campaign for Lieberman in the primary. Clinton was not the first pol to come out for Joe-Mentum; already freshman Sen.s from CO and IL (Salazar and Obama) have allied themselves with the embattled Lieberman. Several other, far less likely Democratic Senators have pledged to support Lieberman, too, including CA's Boxer (though at last report, she hadn't appeared there yet in his cause).

This diverse array of supporters has the heads scratching all over cyber/bloggo/pundit-space.
The epitome of the issue is, as it often is, embodied in Clinton: Why would Clinton, of all people--who had to all appearances been stabbed in the back by the hypocritical Lieberman during and after the notoriously political impeachment process against him--offer to work for the re-election of his ostensible betrayer?

But I think the answer is plain and clear.

Clinton, the quintessential pol, sees the writing on the wall:

yeah, man!!!!! if them 'little people' (thou & I) learn they (we) can actually rise up and throw the shitwhistles out; if they (we) actually succeed in throwing out even ONE super-annuated, irrelevant, corrupt, fascist-friendly back-stabbin back-slapper...

why then, NO-fuckin-body's place at the trough is ever gonna be safe, ever again...the fucking HORROR!!!

*SCUM: So-Called Unbiased Media

Thursday, July 20, 2006

They Would Need The Fuukin' Jaws of Life... extract my knee from the Gibbering Chimp's groin, if he EVER laid hands on me like that...

The Commander-In-Chimp and leader of the Free World is a cheap thug and a bully. These little physical tricks--rubbing bald men's heads, sneaking up behind women--are domination moves, evident to any with even the most rudimentary understanding of anthropoid tribal dynamics. He relies on his position, and the known presence of his protection squad to pull them off.

The chance of such an occurrence coming my way are vanishingly small; but should it happen, I would happily go to jail for one, good, solid shot of lese majeste to the Presidential cojones.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Another Bar in the Gibbet Wherein the Carcass of Our Democracy Rots

Which of the following legislative/executive acts are NOT related to the forthcoming GOPhascist electoral campaign, which is being staged to provide cover of plausibility for the predictable theft of the ostensible election:

1) According to a story reported on the 4 pm (PDT) News on Air America, that the GOP-dominated USer House of Representatives today (7/19/06) passed a bill which would prohibit Courts from ruling that the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance are an unconstitutional violation of the 1st Amendment. The bill had made its way to the floor, even though a committee had voted to kill it.

2) Last week, the both Houses voted to approve a Constitutional Amendment which would criminalize 'disrespect' for the User Flag (though the Senate measure passed with less than the required two-thirds majority).

3) Both the Senate and the House, this week, passed measures that would have released unwanted, but fertilized, blastocysts for stem cell research, which the President has used the first veto of his Regime to overturn.

4) The House and the Senate both held hearings last week on Immigration Reform, months AFTER both Houses had already passed competing Bills on the issue. Aptly named GOPuke Rep. Stephen Flake announced additional hearings this week.

5) Gay marriage issues have recently been adjudicated very publically in New York and Massachussets, and the Congress considered and voted on, but failed to pass Constitutional Amendment proposals which would have excluded gay couples from equal participation in the rights accorded straight married couples were loudly debated in both the House and the Senate.

Want a recipe to pander to the basest instincts of the mediated electorate?

Just add terror and stir.

So, of course, to that fetid stew of domestic "culture" goads can be added how Syria, Iran and North Korea are being portrayed as allies in the 'Global War On Terror' which is irrupting outpourings of death and destruction all over the Middle East, coincidentally, just as all those other issues seem to be coming to a head.

It's just a coincidence, I know.
(photo by zigy kaluzny)

Monday, July 17, 2006

Ritorno A Roma!!!!!

I want the apartment on the fourth floor, corner, of the building on the right, the one with the wrought-iron balcony railing, and the shrubbery, overlooking the piazza...I'd return to my 'faith' in a fuckin New York minute, if it got me that place: go to confession, repent my sins, take sacraments, go back to the first wife, the whole damn deal...

Who wouldn't?

I'd be entitled to it, wouldn't I? On the same logic by which a Russian peasant of Jewish ancestry is entitled to 'return' to Israel and to displace a Palestinian from their ancestral lands, farm, orchard?

Cuz when the Vatican is finished carving out a 'homeland' in Italy--particularly Roma--for the victims of the Roman Catholic diaspora, the Pope's gonna issue an edict inviting all of us Catholics to return to Rome, our ancestral home. He'll even pay the freight.

Who's with me? Veniento a Roma!

Peace? Yeah, right...I ain't holdin' MY breath...

There has been incessant bloodshed, terrorism, and low-through-high-grade warfare in Israel/Palestine since 1947. It is, in fact, cosmically ironic that Israel, which won its current status as a State on the back of terrorists and atop the bodies of thousands of victims of terror in the lands it now occupies, complains about terrorism against its settlement. Violence in the region is not going to stop, now, or in the foreseeable future, or ever. The reasons for this are as intractable and as insusceptible to solution (short of total genocide on one side or the other) as the conflict itself.

Primary among them is that the Israelis will not now, or in the foreseeable future, or ever, permit the establishment of an actual, viable, functioning Palestinian state; so the two-state 'solution', subject of so much vain, futile 'negotiation' for the past 50 or so years is now and always will be a 'non-starter.'

This is because, starting right after the 1967 'war,' if not even before, the State of Israel has moved aggressively to gain and maintain control over the most valuable resource in the region: water. Israel controls virtually every source for fresh water in the area. So, they also control Palestinian access to and usage of water there. Palestinian farms go dry, ancient olive orchards turn to dust, and palestinian people thirst and cannot bathe, while Israel's swimming pools glitter like tiny blue gems in the desert. In the desert, water is life, water is power, water is all. Israel has appropriated--confiscated, actually--virtually all the access to water there is there, and there is no imagineable circumstance or set of circumstances under which Israel-as-state will ever relinquish that control. Without water, no viable Palestinian state can ever emerge or long survive. If Italy operated its water supply with respect to the Vatican the way Israel controls water in the West Bank and Gaza, the Vatican would cease to exist in a matter of months--and the papal body odor would drive the pilgrims right out of St. Peter's.

The notion of a so-called 'one-state solution' is a non-starter for slightly different reasons, one of them having to do with the constitutional composition of Israel as a "Jewish" state. Left to normal demographic tendencies, a combined Israeli-Palestinian State would become majority-Palestinian within decades. Given that the Israeli Constitution also creates a putative democracy as the political machinery of the state (pace, for the moment, the apparent irreconcilability of a theocratic Constitution and a democratic polity), within some distinct and knowable number of generations, and with their different birth-rates, Palestinians (that is, non-Jews) would soon outnumber Jews, and so threaten the reality of the "Jewish" state of Israel. One cannot imagine the "Jews" allowing this to happen, either. So that avenue toward peace is also blocked.

Then there is another piece of the puzzle: money.

At present, the USofA provides Israel with between $13 MILLION and $15 MILLION EVERY DAY. A quick basic math exercise determines that this amounts to between $3.5 BILLION and $5.5 BILLION EVERY YEAR. This is a LOT more than just walking-around money in the Israeli economy. If peace ever broke out, this subsidy to the Israeli state could be drastically reduced.

Israel has thrived in the region because of US and European economic stimuli, and because they have managed to keep their antagonists in disarray. The USofA began, and continues, the ICORP* of Iraq in no small part because it removed Iraq from the field of antagonists confronting Israel over its Palestinina 'policies.' A fragmented and fractured Iraq, engaged in civil war between its competing religious factions, has no excess energy or resources to direct toward pressuring Israel to ward a humane accomodation with the Palestinians. Israel's current program of violence against Lebannon and, soon (almost certainly, at the behest of the USofA) Syria, is aimed at the same end: creating civil unrest and violent chaos, from which a coherent plan of containing Israel cannot be pursued by Israel's antagonists.

With the (passive) assistance of the USofA --which, in this case, consists of holding back and foregoing the role of honest mediator in the disputes--this policy seems to be succeeding.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Operation Iraqi Liberation

Craig Barnes, noted essayist and international crisis negotiator, read an essay last week on the local NPR outlet here (, though it is not yet in their archives), in which he described, finally, and flatly, the direct connection between the ICORP* of Iraq and OIL as well as petroleum.

It started with Cheney's Energy 'Task Force' meeting in Feb, 2001, at which the hungry wolves of the USer energy establishment were forced to gnash and snarl over the fact that all of Iraq's oil concessions were already held by folks who were NOT IN THE ROOM.

Everybody present knew that the only way these concessions could be overturned, and that enormous wealth could be re-appropriated, was if Saddam, who was signatory to 'em all, was ousted.

So, in the fullnes of time, Saddam was ousted. And all the pre-existing concessions were voided. And Ahmed Chalabi--who, in March, 2003, marched into Bagdhad at the head of his own private army of 700 well-armed loyalists AHEAD of the invading, victorious USer 'Liberators'-- was installed as interim Oil Minister for just long enough for viceroy Paul Bremer to affix his signature to new concessions, which were awarded to (guess who)...yeah, the very same guys who were in the room sith Darth Cheney, back in Feb 2001.

Everything that has happened in Iraq--and, arguendo, to the USofA and the world--since that day in 2001, when the USer oil cabal decided they wanted--indeed, were entitled to--the oil in Iraq, is the result of decisions reached that day. From which you can ascertain why it was so important that the words exchanged that day remain secret--a judgment in which the SCROTUS was agreement, even before the Busheviks installed their own Chief and another lickspittle factotum.

Barnes, a very thoughtful and perspicuous individual (whom I have had the opportunity to meet on several occasions) also noted that, if you took a map and marked out upon it the locations of all the (allegedly 14) 'permanent' US bases in Iraq, and laid that map over one which showed the richest oil fields in Iraq (see above), there you would find an almost exact homology (except for the base in Basra, which is Iraq's only port, by the way).

From that map, it also possible to understand why it has become so important to bring Syria into the sphere of war, too: pipelines.

BTW: I still think it a very good possibility that, if he lives, Chalabi will eventually become the next Iraqi strongman.

*ICORP: Invasion, Conquest, Occupation, Rape, Pillage

Friday, July 14, 2006

How do we prevent religion from being a divisive force in America?

There was a big, long, boring interview with Barak Obama on NPR this morning.

It followed up on Obama's big, long, boring speech last week during which he castigated Democrats and the Left for not being 'tolerant' of the religious affiliations of the faithful.

The interviewer asked Obama how 'we' should go about assuring that religion does not become a 'divisive force', Obama replied with a turgid, inane repetition of the points he previously made.

But I've got a better idea.

If you want to be sure religion doesn't become a divisive force in American politics,


Thank you. I'll be here all week. Try the brisket. Tip the girls....

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The Medium and the Message: It's All About Control

This morning, Atrios posted the following on Eschaton:
The Destruction of Politics
It's pretty fascinating that over 100,000 people have clicked
through to watch a campaign ad. During the whole FEC hearing process one of the big concerns by the people who wanted to regulate the internets was that if we didn't then people (horror!) might put candidate videos and stuff online and that would be bad because... well, I was never quite sure but it was going to be bad.With Youtube and similar services anyone can slap video online for free. While the video in question is an official campaign video, Lamont supporters have been putting up all kinds of campaign-related videos. It's all good.
10:15 AM

"that would be bad because... well, I was never quite sure but it was going to be bad."

The answer is that that would be 'bad' because it undercuts and challenges the century-long, multi-trillion dollar campaign to consolidate the media under the direction of a very few, reliable, corrupted, corporate entities-- and thereby to exert as nearly as possible total control over the message (remember McLuhan?). It means that, instead of being completed, that expensive propaganda campaign has to be continued, just when the corpoRats thought they had achieved 'message/medium' hegemony.

The inherent democratizing power of the internets (e.g., Habermas) challenges and threatens to overthrow that hegemony. The internets make it possible (so far, but diminishingly by important increments) for unauthorized, critical, un-approved, non- or counter-hegemonic messages to flourish outside the control of the dominant, corporate/consumerist ideology. There IS bad publicity; it is the kind that the CorpoRats don't control.

This is why the attacks on the internets' message and ideological independence will continue, and grow increasingly heavy-handed. The overthrow of network neutrality is just one stratagem. Many more are in train, being planned, and developed by the very best minds in the 'bidness.'

Enjoy it while you can. This election cycle, even if it doesn't result in the overthrow of the fascist corpoRats, will probably come to be viewed as the the high-water mark of the internets' power. The CorpoRats have got just too much invested in this program to ever let it go.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Why Don't the Democrats Make An Issue Voting Fraud???

Why haven't the Dems taken up the voting fraud & corruption scandal?

The public, criticcal, political literature, from The Nation, to Harper's, the The New Yorker, as well as the blogs, are replete with reports by Greg Palast, Bobby Kennedy, Brad Friedman, and a host of others, as well as academic reports and statistical analyses which indicate pretty conclusively that not only was the 2000 presidential election stolen by vote tampering, and rampant disenfranchisement; and not only were key senatorial races in 2002 fraught with corruption and fraud; but also the presidential election of 2004, as well as certain other races of national political importance were literally stolen by electronic vote shifting, as well as other, more traditional--but no less odious--means, though on a scale hitherto unimagineable in the politics of even the most corrupt 'developing' and 'third' world/banana 'republics.

So why won't the Dems lift the gauntlet? The evidence--as is the evidence for destructive global climate change being a human responsibility, as Al Gore has shown--is both conclusive and convincing. The answer is, of course, because they're--and everybody else--are simply fucking terrified of it. It opens doors NOBODY in official Government circles either wants open, or is willing to enter. GOP/DEM, it's all the same: if the dems charge fraud, and prevail, there will never be another election WITHOUT such charges being leveled...everybody knows that...

Casting the results of the last three USer elections results in what Jurgen Jabermas calls a 'legitimacy crisis.' The oligarchs and aristo/technocrats in both soi-disant 'Parties' have a hard enough problem keeping their Joe Sixpack constituencies convinced of their right to govern. They--as a class, a trans-generational discursive community--have invested almost 100 years, hundreds of billions of dollars, thousands of lives, and uncountable, contemptible and horrible deeds in establishing and maintaining the charade of their superiority and their 'natural' right to rule. Nothing--NOTHING--scares ANY of 'em more than the threat of the withdrawal of that legitimacy. Legitimacy is what keeps the wheels turning, keeps the money spigot spewing tax dollars and other perquisites flowing.

And besides, what do you--what do we-- do if the charges are proved correct and stand up to real public scrutiny?

Gather in the streets with burning brands and tar and feathers?

Who's gonna step up and demand the busheviks resign, en masse, as would be the only just thing--since they were criminally collusional in the original theft?

Who's gonna enforce the removal of Roberts and Scalito--as the docrine of 'fruit of the poison tree' would seem to require?

And, finally, who's gonna disarm the rabid, frothing, venom-spewing, flying-monkey wingnuts who, NOT having the 'good life' to lose, will swarm out of their trailer parks armed to the teeth, drunk as rabid skunks, meth-crazed, and just begging for a fight, after 'their Preznit!' was brought down by the godless heathens on the left?

Does anyone really think that a Regime which could not bring itself to shoot down a jet liner in the light of day would call out the military to protect those who are trying to topple it?

I guess it's another rhetorical question...sosiouxme!

Friday, July 07, 2006

The Terror, the Terror...Nyuk-nyuk-nyuk!!!

What would 'terror' look like if it were going to be done by the 3 Stooges?

Another alleged 'plot' to launch a terror attack on the Heartland was 'uncovered' recently, it was revealed today by New York papers. This one was alleged to involve bombing the Holland Tunnel into NYC, and flooding the financial district. Really! I shit thee not. There has been one 'arrest,' in Lebannon, allegedly based--get this; are you listening Kos-- on intercepted internet traffic.

I think Larry was the mastermind of this one.

Only a couple of weeks ago, we heard about another 'terror plot' to attack the Sears Tower in Chicago by the 'Miami Seven.' This one was masterminded by Larry.

This follows by some months the report that some 'Islamic' terror cell was going to attack the Brooklyn Bridge with acetylene torches. I see Moe towing the oxy/acety dolly across the bridge.

These are wildly celebrated developments--touted widely as 'VICTORIES' in the war against terror: hugely, loudly, and universally broadcast, apparently for the purpose of justifying the enormous costs of Homeland Security, and as justification for the Gibbering Chimp and his regime to pursue intra-national spying upon US citizens.

Now here's the thing:
A bunch of right-wing, flying monkey bloggers have attacked the NY Times and other papers for allegedly 'revealing' official USer/Bushevik tools for tracking international terrorist plots. A parallel discourse maintains that it would be folly for the USer intelligence agencies to reveal all their successes in blocking or stopping planned 'terror attacks'.

So, which is it? What purpose is served by trumpeting the discoveries of these alleged 'terror' charades, meanwhile attacking the press for reporting on the means purportedly/presumably employed to capture or thwart these putative 'attacks'?

Okay, so it's a rhetorical question. Sosiouxme...

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

WTF??? CIA Disbands Osama-Tracking Unit

The New York Times published a story today which reports the CIA has quietly closed the unit that was supposed to be tracking and capturing Osama bin Laden. I guess it's just a coincidence that the story appears on the day before the summer's biggest national holiday, when NOBODY is paying any attention (except y'r ob'dnt S'vt).

C.I.A. Closes Unit Focused on Capture of bin Laden

Published: July 4, 2006
WASHINGTON, July 3 — The Central Intelligence Agency has closed a unit that for a decade had the mission of hunting Osama bin Laden and his top lieutenants, intelligence officials confirmed Monday.

The unit, known as Alec Station, was disbanded late last year and its analysts reassigned within the C.I.A. Counterterrorist Center, the officials said.

The decision is a milestone for the agency, which formed the unit before Osama bin Laden became a household name and bolstered its ranks after the Sept. 11 attacks, when President Bush pledged to bring Mr. bin Laden to justice "dead or alive."

The realignment reflects a view that Al Qaeda is no longer as hierarchical as it once was, intelligence officials said, and a growing concern about Qaeda-inspired groups that have begun carrying out attacks independent of Mr. bin Laden and his top deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri.

Agency officials said that tracking Mr. bin Laden and his deputies remained a high priority, and that the decision to disband the unit was not a sign that the effort had slackened. Instead, the officials said, it reflects a belief that the agency can better deal with high-level threats by focusing on regional trends rather than on specific organizations or individuals.

"The efforts to find Osama bin Laden are as strong as ever," said Jennifer Millerwise Dyck, a C.I.A. spokeswoman. "This is an agile agency, and the decision was made to ensure greater reach and focus."

The decision to close the unit was first reported Monday by National Public Radio.

Michael Scheuer, a former senior C.I.A. official who was the first head of the unit, said the move reflected a view within the agency that Mr. bin Laden was no longer the threat he once was. Mr. Scheuer said that view was mistaken.

"This will clearly denigrate our operations against Al Qaeda," he said. "These days at the agency, bin Laden and Al Qaeda appear to be treated merely as first among equals."

In recent years, the war in Iraq has stretched the resources of the intelligence agencies and the Pentagon, generating new priorities for American officials. For instance, much of the military's counterterrorism units, like the Army's Delta Force, had been redirected from the hunt for Mr. bin Laden to the search for Abu
Musab al-Zarqawi
, who was killed last month in Iraq.

An intelligence official who was granted anonymity to discuss classified information said the closing of the bin Laden unit reflected a greater grasp of the organization.
"Our understanding of Al Qaeda has greatly evolved from where it was in the late
1990's," the official said, but added, "There are still people who wake up every
day with the job of trying to find bin Laden."

Established in 1996, when Mr. bin Laden's calls for global jihad were a source of increasing concern for officials in Washington, Alec Station operated in a similar fashion to that of other agency stations around the globe.

The two dozen staff members who worked at the station, which was named after Mr. Scheuer's son and was housed in leased offices near agency headquarters in northern Virginia, issued regular cables to the agency about Mr. bin Laden's growing abilities and his desire to strike American targets throughout the world.

In his book "Ghost Wars," which chronicles the agency's efforts to hunt Mr. bin Laden in the years before the Sept. 11 attacks, Steve Coll wrote that some inside the agency likened Alec Station to a cult that became obsessed with Al Qaeda.
"The bin Laden unit's analysts were so intense about their work that they made some of their C.I.A. colleagues uncomfortable," Mr. Coll wrote. Members of Alec Station "called themselves 'the Manson Family' because they had acquired a reputation for crazed alarmism about the rising Al Qaeda threat."

Intelligence officials said Alec Station was disbanded after Robert Grenier, who until February was in charge of the Counterterrorist Center, decided the agency needed to reorganize to better address constant changes in terrorist organizations.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Just'a Bloggin' the Dogs--Dix & Hanna of late

Hanna'd like a tummy-rub, please

Yes, me!!!!

Something I said amused Mis Dixie-belle

Hell, yes, I'm talkinayou! Pay attention, damn it!