"...it's not the training to be mean but the training to be kind that is used to keep us leashed best." ~ Black Dog Red

"In case you haven't recognized the trend: it proceeds action, dissent, speech." ~ davidly, on how wars get done

"...What sort of meager, unerotic existence must a man live to find himself moved to such ecstatic heights by the mundane sniping of a congressional budget fight. The fate of human existence does not hang in the balance. The gods are not arrayed on either side. Poseiden, earth-shaker, has regrettably set his sights on the poor fishermen of northern Japan and not on Washington, D.C. where his ire might do some good--I can think of no better spot for a little wetland reclamation project, if you know what I mean. The fight is neither revolution nor apocalypse; it is hardly even a fight. A lot of apparatchiks are moving a lot of phony numbers with more zeros than a century of soccer scores around, weaving a brittle chrysalis around a gross worm that, some time hence, will emerge, untransformed, still a worm." ~ IOZ

Jan 31, 2011

shorter Alan Dershowitz

Shorter Alan Dershowitz: "...oh my god, oh my god, oh my fucking god, those Egyptian fucks are going to make it harder for my pimp daddies in Israel to pretend that the fascist race state is actually democratic, and what the fuck, how am I going to get pretty little actresses to intern for me if I have to explain Israel in everyday, ordinary, human terms because there are no Arab despots left to provide cover for the evil that we do?!...oh god, oh god, oh god, the Muslim Brotherhood is out on the streets now with ordinary Egyptians, while union members and the rump of the labor movement long crushed by US and Israeli funded and trained SAVAK style cops pronounce a general strike and the Suez and the factories grind to a stop!...oh god, oh god, oh god! why the fuck won't those fucking soldiers shoot already?!..."

Shorter Jack Crow: Chickens, meet roost, fuckers. Suck on it.

our necessity

I don't have a formal set of thoughts on the subject because my father (with whom I barely speak, but we've at least got to the point that we can inhabit the relatively same space) lost his own father last night, and we're getting ready to see off the body of man who believed no god, wanted no funeral, and, if he's a ghost, is really pissed right now that anyone gives a shit about his carcass:

If we - and by we, I mean average residents of the countries which benefit from corporate imperialism and the American/NATO/UN war powers regime - don't topple or at least hamper and weaken our own corporate states; if we don't begin to take real stock of the myriad social and economic benefits we derive from our relatively high position on the economic food chain; if we don't start to put our bodies and meager fortunes at risk; in short, if we do not rebel and therefore force our own governments to spend as much loot as we can make them waste on putting us down, we are complicit in the coming co-option, betrayal and counter-revolutionary destruction of the popular uprisings which have spread from Tunisia to Egypt, which threaten the Yemeni and Jordanian puppet states, which simmer on the edge of open insurrection in Albania, which give renewed hope and cause to the captive people of Palestine, and which can and may very well will re-ignite in Greece, Lebanon and Italy.

If the American, British, Irish, Scottish, French, German, Dutch, Australian and Scandinavian people do not put their own bodies in the path of the machinery of Empire, it will continue to roll. And it will eventually buy itself enough time to not only betray the incredible courage and aspiration of the Arab rebels, but to get around to putting the Venezuelan, Cuban and Peruvian upstarts down for good.

punishing the insurrection with lies

MSNBC has spent all morning trying to (a) scare whitey, over the "chaos" in Egypt and (b) blame the uprising on escaped prisoners who are now "leading" the protests and who just happen to belong to the [dum dum dum!] Muslim Brotherhood.

Which was almost as bad as Cavuto? implying that this was all a black op run from Tehran.

I wonder why the American corporate news is so interested in portraying this as anything but a popular uprising.

Could it be that its broadcast outlets are wholly owned subsidiaries of defense, manufacturing, extraction and banking concerns?

UPDATE (and h/t to Bovard):

Jan 29, 2011

Whatever government the Egyptian army ends up accepting, the US national security state will give it money and deal with it.

Whatever government the Egyptian people end up tolerating, it's highly doubtful that they'll forget that they stopped being afraid.

Jan 28, 2011

Ethan's excellent discussion regarding coding got me a'thinking.

So I googled a single word: actress.


Then: American actress.


And finally: Black actress.


Fascinating. I have to assume the high percentage of Bollywood performers, in the first search, has to do with the weight of numbers, coming from India, and the universality of English as an official language in that country.

Hence the refinement of the search to "American actress" and "Black actress."

Which led me to observe a commonality across the initial and severe coding barriers ("American actress" was almost exclusively white, for starters) which only really came into focus when I searched for...

..."heavy actress" and "overweight actress."

First result.

Second result.

Because successful branding has made sure that...

..."Fat actress" is a wholly owned subsidiary of Kirstie Alley.

Good to see the public face of the National Security State unable to competently address revolutions which unfold at a pace it no longer has the capacity to moderate, or mediate.
Gibbs, via Tweet:

"Very concerned about violence in Egypt - government must respect the rights of the Egyptian people & turn on social networking and internet"

Camus, via human feeling:

"Freedom is not a gift received from a State or a leader but a possession to be won every day by the effort of each and the union of all."

("Bread and Freedom," Resistance, Rebellion and Death)
Without simplifying or obscuring the local concerns and regional causes of "unrest",* I think it's worth noting that a single act of desperation has triggered the uprising of oppressed people in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and now Jordan and Albania. A single human choice. Heartening.

* - a term which suits the needs of power, as if the proper place of people is rest...

UPDATE - Egyptian protesters making inroads among conscripted riot police:


UPDATE TWO - according to Al Jazeera live feed:

Mubarak's government has ordered the Egyptian military onto the streets in Cairo, Alexandria and perhaps Suez, to enforce a curfew now that the police have lost control of major areas of the country.
Following Richard:

The Egyptian Chronicles


We Are All Khalid Said

The Arabist

As'ad Abukhalil (the Angry Arab) 


On the other hand, if you want some ole timey anti-Arabism  - go to the ever-so-friendly-to-Israel fashion mag known as the Huffington Post, where the rising of the Egyptian people is headlined as "Chaos" and accompanied with the predictable photo spread featuring young Arab men with covered faces, molotovs and pavement chunks in hand, spreading their orderless mayhem...

Jan 27, 2011

Again, we who have too much have been shamed by those who have next to nothing. A people, we have been told for decades, who "cannot handle" self-reliance and liberty have shown us once more and yet again that in the face of real and actual repressive violence, against the interests of their own states, against the military interest of the American imperium which funds their repressive governments, against the mediation and degradation of global capital, with a hunger that indicts us for the fat of the land we wear beneath our dress, they have the quality and caliber of spirit and courage to resist in the flesh that which we can barely consume in image.

And any one of us who cannot be overcome by these facts, and laid low in the right judgment of self, deserves to bear alone the full onus of the great dying we have inflicted upon the world. A world order of death we do not resist. A world order we make, in our complacency and subservience.

A world fought, yet again, by our victims - and against the weight of an order which struggles to abandon them, to make permanent their obsolescence, to starve them into submission before it bombs them into oblivion, they have risen up. While we wait, the lot of us, to watch the images of their defeat, before we return to our sovereign, isolated petty kingdoms of excess and gluttony.

While we no longer even know how to ask, "What is to be done?..."
Sweet fuck, could a more succinct summation exist? I think not:

"Once upon a time, there was a game called paofpopafsoj.

There are four teams.  The referee is on one of the teams.  The referee decides what the rules are, how points are awarded, and who wins.  All disputes are settled by the referee.  The referee’s authority is final and absolute.  The referee records the score in a book.  Whichever team wins gets to choose the referee for the next game.

What could possibly go wrong?"
Tunisia, Egypt, and now Yemen. Hundreds of thousands of aggregate refusals to accept the slated fate imposed upon them by American funded kleptocracies.

While in the US, the networks sagely devote themselves to the advent of a novel and wholly unexpected kind of weather. Apparently, no one of note or influence has been in a blizzard before...

Jan 26, 2011

Don't know how I feel about self-immolation, as in, I don't think I could do it. But it's got to be better than killing children, blowing up a bus of day laborers or shooting a woman in the head.

And on a spectrum of violence, it's as far away from taking Uncle's dollar to murder mothers on their doorsteps, or flying a sky robot from the comfort of an operation center thousands of miles removed, Pepsi in hand, as is humanly possible.

Remember this name. Add it to the arsenal of our Long Memory:

Mohamed Bouazizi.
I shouldn't post. My head is swaddled in pain. I have artifacts in the corners of my vision, of cracked glass and spiderwebs, of geometrically perfect honeycombs which eat at the center of my field of view, and blue-red-yellow flashes of emptiness which linger, which have color, and are still nothing, no thing.

But, a minor thought -

Will our grandchildren one day refer as reverently to the Noble Palestinian as we now do to the Noble Red Indian, and the Noble Tibetan?

Safely defeated, reduced to stragglers, inward turned, commodified as the image of sins which have a perfect forgiveness because the victors write their victim's expiation of all offense, and then sell it to the sons of those who have never known their parents as murdered mothers and fathers, who have never walked past a grove, or crested the rise of hill and known the deep truth of expulsion, of exile, of defeat without deliverance.

The red nations fought back. Tecumseh almost pulled it off. The other enemies of Great White Father never came close again, not really. But they fought. A succession of the named, and the nameless. They fought, those beautiful bastards. And their names now they mark the high schools, sports teams and motor cars of they who inherited what their grandfathers stole.

The Tibetans fought back. They did not yield with an imaginary Buddhist grace. And lost. Lost everything. And now they serve up a totem high priest-high king, a man of perfect peace, because his is the perfect defeat and surrender; he didn't leave his life on the mountain top. He has value as a clown, a painted prophet of no hands clapping. He can smile his complete surrender, and scribble platitudes for the grandchildren of murderers - because he will no more ever be a threat. They eat it up, those inheritors of rape, murder and expropriation, because he too offers a perfect forgiveness.


One day, will the Palestinian remnant add their voices to the echoes, their memories trademarked and marketed by their captors, their land long plowed under, their names appropriated for the history of conquerors? Will they too become like hollowed out ghosts, wandering a world which needs them only so long as they persist in the perfect peace of the cemetery, the crematorium and the grave? Bereft of the edged weapon of a memory which refuses surrender, will the Palestinian become another figure of veneration?

Another smiling face of perfect forgiveness?

I think you know the answer. And it should make you reach for your own bladed response...

Jan 25, 2011

sometimes when they say "well at least you have your health" they don't know what they're talking about and should just shut up already

Jan 24, 2011

Being Human

On the usually, dependably terrible "SyFy" channel. Haven't seen the British version, but the two American/Canadian episodes so far surpass almost everything else I've seen in years. Including Lost in its good year.

So now IASIP, the cop show that isn't*, and this one.

* - Justified

Jan 21, 2011

Mosquitos Doing The Furious Work of Fate

Seems Georgio Clooney "contracted" malaria whilst shilling Corporate's propaganda, on location in the Sudan.

Georgio gets what he gets, and I for one will offer an anti-prayer of deep gratitude to the Erinyes, for their balancing act of bacterial love.


Some recent background, wherein in a guy who's used to having cameras follow him around thinks aloud, with cameras rolling, that it's a wicked good idea to have constant surveillance, with corporate sponsorship, over untrustworthy Africans who cannot possibly govern themselves:

 "George Clooney is joining Google, the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, and the United Nations in an effort called the Satellite Sentinel Project to monitor violence and human rights violations in Sudan as the country prepares to vote on January 9 on whether or not to split into two nations--North and South Sudan.

The explicit goal of the partnership is deterrence--Clooney and his partners want to make sure that Sudan does not erupt in another civil war. Some small pockets of violence have already been reported and the employment of satellites is meant to give war-mongers on the ground the message that the world is watching and genocide will not be tolerated.

Clooney's interest in Sudan is not new--back in 2007 he was featured in the documentary film, Darfur Now, co-produced by actor Don Cheadle. And he has maintained his interest in the embattled country since then, paying a recent visit amidst preparations for the upcoming referendum."

From 2006, Clooney pretending he understands Darfur:

"...The news is that two years after we've said "genocide" that it's still going on and it's increasing -- and that somewhere in there we can all talk about this and make speeches and say this is horrible and we have to do something. But every day we don't do something, and every day this goes on, thousands of people are dying and dying horrific deaths..." 

And Corporate's standard line on Darfur:

"...In the ongoing genocide, African farmers and others in Darfur are being systematically displaced and murdered at the hands of the Janjaweed, a government-supported militia recruited from local Arab tribes. The genocide in Darfur has claimed 400,000 lives and displaced over 2,500,000 people. More than one hundred people continue to die each day; five thousand die every month..."


And all that has fuck all to do with the truth, or the facts on the ground* -

The Darfur Narrative is fairly simple Corporate propaganda: filthy Muslims murder tribal blacks in a poor failed state plagued by Islamism, and which was once home to Osama bin Laden. Gasps and horror. Remember Rwanda. Indifference kills, or some shit.

Corporate would like you to conclude that the Sudan is a bad, bad place. That Corporate's government has humanitarian impulses towards Darfur and its luckless black bastards. That the noble and good people have justice in hand. They've got Right on their side, and they're in love with transparent democracy. Satellites for truth and voting, y'all. Don't bother yourself about it, unless you want to give money to Bono. Or watch Georgio make his square jaw squarer.

You should go back to worrying the outcome of the Superbowl. Or blogging the commercials.

Don't be assholes.

Don't fret the fundamentally suspect nature of Corporate's seamless and enduring two hundred year project of co-integration overlap with government.

You wouldn't like the Sudan if you went there, y'know.

The Sudan is probably not the sort of country that a good American would enjoy, unless he or she is fishing for a Pulitzer, a book deal or movie rights. It's hot, and Muslimy, and African. Terrorists live there. And pirates.

Also, the natives don't like Americans, what with Americans being dickhead Americans:

"...With foreign exchange reserves exceeding $1.3 trillion in the Peoples' National Bank of China , Beijing has begun engaging in active petroleum geopolitics with Africa as its main target and the Sudan-Chad region as its highest priority region on the continent. There appeared the line "a new front in the cold war" for possession of the main oil reserves—a war begun between the United States and China right after the American invasion of Iraq in 2003. So far, Beijing has played its cards more effectively than Washington . It is possible that Darfur will soon become the main field of battle for oil between the two giants.

Over the past few months, China has made a series of initiatives aimed at retaining control of the oil fields, even those that will be developed in the distant future, in one of the richest "black gold" regions in the world—the African continent.

China currently imports 30% of its crude oil from Africa . This explains the jump in Chinese foreign policy initiatives, which cannot fail to displease Washington . China provides interest-free loans to African nations, including Sudan , and uses its own funds to build roads, schools and hospitals, while the United States attempts to control the African economy through the World Bank and the IMF by setting harsh economic and political conditions. Not surprisingly, the Africans prefer to cooperate with China . In addition, whereas any American project in the field of construction, mining or production involves a long preparatory stage for infrastructure development to build restaurants and bars, schools and hospitals, hair salons and fitness centers for American workers, specialists and their family members, the unpretentious Chinese put up tents when they arrive and set to work the next day while establishing everything they need concurrently—barracks with showers and canteens..."

The Chinese got an oil concession from the degraded Sudanese state, which state desperately needed the dough after it was drawn to a standstill in a ten year religious-civil war with UK-US backed rebels ruled by a vicious dictator.

Then, new rebels based in Tchad, using (surprise, surprise) US-EU backing, kicked up a fight right in the heart of the territory in which Khartoum had recently granted concessions to Beijing.


Corporate cannot tell you it to you that way.You might get notions. You might force them to ignore you marching up and down the street, dragging placards to and from coffee shops and Times Square emporia.


Presenting it to you in honest terms smacks of expensive oil interventionism. Which it is. But, since Khartoum made the "mistake" of hiring some horse-riding brigands to put down the rebellion, we get instead this:

"Terrible Muslim Arabs butcher and rape poor victimy tribal Blacks."

Which is, again and of course, factually deficient.

Some fairly basic data: nearly all of the participants are (a) black, (b) Muslim and (c) tribal. If you look at any given group photo of a Janjaweed rough rider, you're likely going to be looking at a (gasp!) very black man:

And their opponents in a Western financed civil war, as well as their victims, are black Muslims who speak the same koine, and have intermarried with them for generations.

In the Sudanese west, especially along the border with Tchad, "African" and "Arab" are economic/social tribal categories. They are not racial categories. Nearly every member of each tribe is black skinned and Muslim. "Arabs" are pastoralists with closer ties to Khartoum, and a tendency to use Arabic in exchange, while "Africans" are people tending more towards agriculture, especially around Lake Tchad.

In other words, it's not a simple story at all. Corporate doesn't want you to know that. With the information a search chain and an "enter" key away, it's no wonder that "net neutrality" pisses off the media bosses:

"...We will see that the story is not as simple as the conventional rendering in the news, which depicts a conflict between “Arabs” and “Africans.” The Zaghawa—one of the groups victimized by the violence and described in the mainstream press as “indigenous African”—are certainly indigenous, black and African: they share distant origins with the Berbers of Morocco and other ancient Saharan peoples. But the name of the “Bedeyat,” the Zaghawa’s close kin, should alert us to their true origins: pluralize in the more traditional Arab manner and we have “Bedeyiin” or Bedouins. Similarly, the Zaghawa’s adversaries in this war, the Darfurian Arabs, are “Arabs” in the ancient sense of “Bedouin,” meaning desert nomad, a sense that has only in the last few decades been used to describe the Arabs of the river Nile and the Fertile Crescent. Darfurian Arabs, too, are indigenous, black, and African. In fact there are no discernible racial or religious differences between the two: all have lived there for centuries; all are Muslims (Darfur’s non-Arabs are arguably more devout than the Arabs); and until very recently, conflict between these different groups was a matter of disputes over camel theft or grazing rights, not the systematic and ideological slaughter of one group by the other..."

But that just isn't sexy, is it? It's not easy to sell to the voters and other distracted parties in the UK and the US, where official policy encourages both distrust of Muslim Arabs and wafer thin justificatory guilt over bad things done to black people by the forebears of the white people still running things and making boatloads of cash today...

...and there's oil on the line here, people. Also, uranium. And gold.

Which is why Georgio was in the Sudan, pimping satellite surveillance and technocratic "democracy," counting on the camera man to cut to his manly jaw and his noble pose.

(Hat tip again to the Sudan's unsung mosquito population, doing the noble work Corporate's lap dog reporters continually fail to do. Better luck next time, tiny wing'd friends...)

* - quoting my own self, from elsewhere, in a piqued fit of vanity

Jan 20, 2011

"Grab Those Bodies Early," The Empire's Phantasm Murmured

Received today, for my signature:

"The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001 requires school districts to release the names, addresses and telephone listings of secondary school students to military recruiters upon their request unless the students or their parents request that the students' contact information NOT be released without prior written parental consent. NCLB requires school districts to inform the secondary students' parents of their right to opt out.

If this form is completed, signed, and returned to the student's school, the school and school district shall not release the student's directory information to any party without prior written consent.

Please check the appropriate boxes:

  • As the parent or legal guardian of this student, I am exercising my "opt out" right to direct that my school and school district shall NOT release my directory information to any party without prior written consent.
  • As the parent or legal guardian of this student, I am exercising my "opt out" right to direct that the student's school and school district shall NOT release directory information to the following party(ies) without my prior written consent:
(all emphasis original; ie, not mine)
Attached to the "student code of conduct" packet, itself eighteen pages of scholegalese. Without explanation. For my middle schooler.

Junior god damned high.

Note the alteration of words between the two available options. In the first, it's "my school and school district." In the second, it's the "student's school and school district." I wonder why the distinction.


In the first, as a parent I can forbid the school district from releasing my information. In the second, I have to specify each and every party who cannot receive my child's ("the student's") directory data. Separated categories, different permissions.

Sneaky fucks.

The fuckers...

...Oh, for Gallic surgeons and their infamous devices...

I do not repent. Music, instead.

And from the reverse, behind me, behind the "we" I pretend to share with you, that leaping distance resting on a fundamental distinction, the "you" which cannot share the same space with "me"; what reverence I allow, or how I forget to take myself seriously. Migraines, insomnia - twins to my karmic recompense, the debt I owe; so, from when I still knew my own flesh as young, or younger, and maybe from that middle period when I started to feel the death dying fatigue of age  -

"Here Again," Rush:

"Astronomy," BOC (original):

"Napoleon Bona," Budgie:

"Cross-Eyed Mary," Jethro Tull:

"A New Day Yesterday," Jethro Tull:

"River Man," Nick Drake:

"The World is a Ghetto," War:

"Locomotive Breath," Jethro Tull:

"Three Hours," Nick Drake:

"Use Me," Bill Withers:

"The Blue Garden," Masters of Reality:

"Salamander," Jethro Tull:

"We Took The Wrong Steps Years Ago," Hawkwind:

"The Emergency Kisses," Stereolab:

"Kill The King," Masters of Reality:

"Puncture in the Radax Permutation," Stereolab:

"Coronach," Jethro Tull:

"Requiem," Jethro Tull:

"I Walk Beside Your Love," Masters of Reality:

"Budapest," Jethro Tull:

"Ain't No Sunshine," Bill Withers:

Jan 17, 2011

From Beneath A Cowled Eye

Could the leftist insistence on recreating priestly language explain some of the failure to gain the respect, or even awareness, of the American working class?

Whether its economic jargon, or the manipulation of language to generate "cross-intersectional analysis of the dialectic of social injustice," or Zizekian flights of milky self-aggrandizement - the American leftist discussion distances its adherents from those it purports to serve.

Americans are religious, but not even the American papists are publicly priestly in their choice of words. American idiom is relatively free of the technical jargon which plagues German and French, and the English mimicry of the same. This is not to suggest that it is necessarily more honest or transparent, because that is not the case. We use language emotionally, with a preponderance of mediated symbolic catch phrases employed as markers of fealty and conformity: country, faith, family, values,  family values, American way, pro-life, pro-choice, gun rights, family way, cheat, urban, douchebag, faggot, sissy, pussy, gay, girly, troops, the troops, support the troops - et cetera.

And while I'm not suggesting that leftists embrace the vulgar markers of conformity, I do wonder if this sort of misuse of language - priestly in its self-separation, in its claims to its own enlightenment - serves the interests of power more than almost any other indirect concession to its reality:

"In the creation of non-linguistic institutional facts we use meaning, the systematic powers of language, to create a set of deontic powers that go beyond the semantic powers."

"In sum, for perception and memory we represent how things really are and thus achieve mind-to-world direction of fit only in virtue of world-to-mind direction of causation. For prior intentions and intentions-in-action, we get a match between how we intend things to be and how they actually are, and thus achieve world-to-mind direction of fit, only in virtue of mind-to-world direction of causation." 

"...similar to what Searle sees to be the result of Status Function Declarations that relate networks of presupposed, mostly unconscious intentional states of various persons, also a background of abilities and capacities and dispositions, to conscious intentions, intentions-in-action, performative and declarative utterances, status functions that carry deontologies that bind persons, all in social spaces that impact non-linguistic reality.

The institutional reality is based upon Status Function Declarations, which are a certain kind of utterance (as formulated originally by J.L. Austin) whose performance has a certain form.

Basically, a person or persons counts an X as a Y in situation C. In so doing, they actually make an X into a Y in situation C by representing it as being a Y in C. The utterance is connected to prior intentions, formalized business plans, an office space, et cetera. The utterance has conditions of satisfaction, and the organization of persons through deontological Status Functions makes the institutional facts reach into and alter non-linguistic brains and spaces."


This is not language used to reach out to persons. This is language employed in a priestly manner. It isolates its speakers from their objects. It is employed to elevate its users above those they address, in their own eyes (at least as I see it). It allows its users to believe in their own special validity, a priestly possession of divine knowledge and secret keys.

Well, that's my opinion.

So does it work that way, in fact?

Does it isolate its users in pockets of self-satisfaction, while alienating those it purports to address? Does "the left" continue its abject history of comedic failure, especially in the States, because its self-appointed leadership uses priestly jargon?* Because its users sound a whole lot like the practitioners of the contractual legalese of the "bankers and lawyers and merchants of grief"?

I ask this on MLK day, in part, because the genius of the civil rights movement rests in its embrace of the vernacular, the common, even the faith terms of ordinary Americans. It offered a genuine, frightening, effective threat to power, if only for a historical moment, because it was not uttered from beneath a cowled eye. It was not communicated in the priestly language of bosses and bankers, lawyers, and capitalist academia:


* - not exclusively, of course...

Jan 14, 2011

Short Memories

Courtesy friend's email

EDIT - credit to Violet Socks, as well. Didn't see her posting of the same.

Pre-production for a snuff film in Venezuela

I don't have much of an opinion about Hugo Chavez, unlike almost everyone else on the planet, it seems. He's a strong man, so that's a mark in the con box. He's also got some serious cojones, and he's got no problem sticking his finger in Uncle and Corporate's eyes. Balance the con with a pro.

Unlike me, a couple of fellows from the Cato Institute, using the liberal fashion magazine Huffington Post of all the possible venues, have themselves a bunch of worries about El Presidente Chavez.

Curiously familiar worries.

I mean, really, really familiar worries. Let's just call them, I dunno, typical. Pro forma. Rote. Pre-scripted, even.

These guys [neoliberals and market prophets, in general] do not update their game plan. Find a country with a bunch of stuff the honchos want. Spend years demonizing the strong man or revolutionary junta which has come to power either with US assistance, or by opposing the US effectively enough to earn some domestic loyalty. Try to assassinate the leaders, or stage a coup. Send the IMF and the World Bank's economists in to pronounce the death of the local economy. Add in some SAPs, some commodities manipulation and dire warnings to recalcitrant investors. Issue ultimatums. Threaten military power if the local capital isn't freed up to escape to London, Berlin and New York. Warn off the wily Chinese and the maskirovka happy Russians. Scare up a story for the idiot news consumers who still have enough self-hatred to vote.

Yadda yadda yadda.

Anyway, following the script, Senior Cato Fellow Doug Bandow, and Project Coordinator for Latin America, Jose Hidalgo, take it away:

"Venezuela's close relationship with Iran and plans to build nuclear facilities with Russian help are raising fears in Washington of another nuclear crisis. The incoming Republican House majority may place increased pressure on the Obama administration to confront Caracas.

Washington need not panic. A 'Chávez bomb" is but a distant possibility and much will happen in Venezuela in the meantime. The U.S. should work with other interested states to discourage Caracas from pursuing nuclear weapons."

Venezuela does not have close relationship with Iran. That's a lie. A fiction, told by the sycophants and agents of power, to confuse the issue, to justify their own worldviews. Hugo Chavez has a working relationship with the Iranian leadership, especially presidential gadfly, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. A relationship Chavez cultivated because the US and its European toadies have spent a decade and a half  attempting to isolate him, to overthrow his rather popular government, to take the oil and mineral resources, the profits from which he cagily redistributes as social services and other popular benefits, to end the Constitutional land reforms upon which the Venezuelan people put their imprimatur, and to stop up one of the primary sources of the ongoing South American Bolivarization.

Russia is not helping Venezuela obtain nuclear weapons. The Russian leadership is offering the Venezuelan government aid in building nuclear power plants. Not "facilities," which is one of those vasty vague terms that obscures more than it reveals, implying in its usage nefarious projects and evil means. The Russian state, if its leadership wanted to, could just give the Chavez government nuclear weapons. Or nuclear technology. Or seed uranium. Or open up the avenues to the same, on the black and grey markets. And the US security state could do fuck all about it. It's really that simple. The US government is not going to war with the Russia state, because it cannot go to war with the Russian state. It cannot afford to. It has neither the manpower nor the man hours to sustain conflict across the whole of the Asian continent. Medvedev and Putin surely understand this. They could, if they chose to, arm Chavez, set up missile batteries, build a dozen new military bases, arm anti-government ejercitos in neighboring Colombia to further destabilize that US protectorate, and go home with favorable trade deals. The US bureaucratic and diplomatic corps would have a series of snits and fits, and then delegate the task of accommodating to the shift in geopolitical power.

Barack Obama would lose the election in 2012, and the incoming Republican would make angry noises and then look for a country full of brown people, one without a Russian or Chinese nuclear umbrella, to bomb.

Anyway, continuing:

"...Venezuela suffers from severe energy shortages -- primarily due to the Chávez government's mismanagement -- there's reason to doubt Chávez's claim that his nuclear program is for purely peaceful purposes. For one -- Chávez's arms purchases far outstrip his nation's security needs. Over the last decade Caracas has purchased fighters, attack helicopters, antiaircraft missiles, and 100,000 assault rifles. Yet Venezuela has been at peace since 1823 and faces no external threats.

Yet even if Venezuela chooses to pursue nuclear weapons, it's far from certain that Caracas will succeed. The difficult process requires time, money, technology, and science. Developing nuclear weapons is even harder in the face of international opposition. Moreover, creating weapons of deliverable size poses another significant challenge..." 

That shit starts off with a fairly bold lie. Chavez has not "mismanaged" the Venezuelan energy network. Hugo Chavez is president of a country which produces 70% of its electricity by way of hydroelectric power. That's right. The state of Venezuela, which controls substantial reserves of natural gas and crude oil, produces the bulk, the overwhelming majority, of its domestic electricity output using water:

"...Chavez declared a national emergency in February as water levels in reservoirs for hydroelectric dams dropped to critical levels. The rainy season in Venezuela doesn't start till May, leaving more than 30 percent of the country at risk of lingering blackouts.

Venezuela gets more than 70 percent of its energy from hydroelectric power. Economists, the Financial Times reports, are expecting the energy crisis to spill over to the national economy, which saw a 3.3 percent drop in gross domestic product in 2009.

The weather pattern El Nino was blamed for a 2009 drought, though underfunding for the electrical grid is complicating matters during the current energy crisis..."

And Venezuela is in the midst of a long drought, which couldn't possibly have anything to do with planned construction of nuclear power plants. So, unless Hugo Chavez is personally responsible for the changing climate, and weather patterns, the Senior Fellow and the Project Coordinator just tried to sell a doozy to the fashion liberals who read the Huffington Post.

But, let's move on. Because the authors don't stop with that lie. They leap - and I mean frightened frog jumping as hard and fast as it can away from the oncoming crane, sort of leap - from Chavez's mismanagement to "well, he must want nukes." And why? Because he has a higher level of military equipment acquisition than they think he should have. His purchases, according to the freemarketeers of the Cato Institute, "outstrip his nation's security needs."

Says who? The authors don't say. They can't say. If they explain any further, it becomes apparent that they're lying. And then the readers might have to ask, or muse, or wonder, "Why?" For whom, this lie? Towards what ends? What for?

Why would Hugo Chavez buy military equipment which "outstrips his nation's security needs"? The authors have already told their readers that Venezuela faces no "external threats." None. Not a one.

Venezuela, they say, has been at peace for one hundred eighty-seven years. Since 1823.

And by peace, they mean:

"The failed coup in Venezuela was closely tied to senior officials in the US government, The Observer has established. They have long histories in the 'dirty wars' of the 1980s, and links to death squads working in Central America at that time. 

Washington's involvement in the turbulent events that briefly removed left-wing leader Hugo Chavez from power last weekend resurrects fears about US ambitions in the hemisphere. 

It also also deepens doubts about policy in the region being made by appointees to the Bush administration, all of whom owe their careers to serving in the dirty wars under President Reagan. 

One of them, Elliot Abrams, who gave a nod to the attempted Venezuelan coup, has a conviction for misleading Congress over the infamous Iran-Contra affair. 

The Bush administration has tried to distance itself from the coup. It immediately endorsed the new government under businessman Pedro Carmona. But the coup was sent dramatically into reverse after 48 hours. 

Now officials at the Organisation of American States and other diplomatic sources, talking to The Observer, assert that the US administration was not only aware the coup was about to take place, but had sanctioned it, presuming it to be destined for success. 

The visits by Venezuelans plotting a coup, including Carmona himself, began, say sources, 'several months ago', and continued until weeks before the putsch last weekend. The visitors were received at the White House by the man President George Bush tasked to be his key policy-maker for Latin America, Otto Reich. 

Reich is a right-wing Cuban-American who, under Reagan, ran the Office for Public Diplomacy. It reported in theory to the State Department, but Reich was shown by congressional investigations to report directly to Reagan's National Security Aide, Colonel Oliver North, in the White House..."

So, why again would the Chavez government buy arms which exceed "his nation's security needs"?

Could it be that the US national security state has been attempting to destabilize the Bolivarian government for a decade now? Could it be because Chavez believes - and not without cause, that Venezuela is next on the invasion list? -

"...They talk excitedly about plans to repair crumbling walls, clear sewage and help local enterprises. It is the business of civic leaders everywhere - yet this gathering is also the vanguard of Leftist president Hugo Chávez's 21st-century 'socialist revolution'.

By the time they have been trained and armed, they will also be ready to defend Venezuela against outside interference, including the US invasion that Mr Chávez says he expects.

'El Comandante (Mr Chávez) told us to create communal groups and to tackle problems ourselves,' said Lenny Guerrero, 35, to nods of assent from others in the room. 'Some government officials came here to help us create the groups. Power will now rest with the people.'

On Mr Chávez's order, 17,000 communal councils have now been set up across the country, and an estimated £1 billion earmarked to fund them. As the official slogan, 'Build power from below', proclaims, their stated purpose is to promote grass-roots democracy and hand power directly to the people - in particular the urban poor who make up the bulk of his most fervent supporters.

But as well as grappling with the grim conditions in slums such as Catia, members of these voluntary groups will constitute a nationwide militia, schooled in Cuban-style tactics for both guerrilla warfare and counter-insurgency."

Perhaps what frightens the freemarketeers and agents of state is not so much that Hugo Chavez has bought a lot weapons, made trade and energy deals with the Russians, takes seriously enough the US attempts to destabilize Venezuela and to restore it to its colonial heyday - but that he has kept his word. That he has armed the poor. Not only with guns, but with self-government. With control of their own neighborhoods. That the land reform enshrined in the Venezuelan constitution has teeth, and has taken hold, because the poor of Venezuela have taken it for themselves, and have a government which not only encourages it, but trusts them with arms.

If I were a prophet of the market, that would probably scare me enough to tell lies.

The Cato authors continue,

"...Despite Chávez's pretensions of global leadership, his corruption-ridden and inept regime may be the biggest obstacle to a Venezuelan nuclear bomb. Worst is his gross economic mismanagement despite the government's receipt of billions in oil revenues."

Hugo Chavez does not have pretensions to global leadership. He no doubt has his share of vanity and ego. But he has never invaded Iraq. Or Afghanistan. Or bombed Yemen. Or murdered children in Pakistan. Or overthrown the populist governments of Guatemala, Haiti, the Dominican Republic or Nicaragua. He hasn't even invaded Colombia, and those bastards have given him plenty of cause. Hugo Chavez, in short, is not George Bush or Barack Obama. He is not the Latin American reincarnation of the last fifteen US presidents.

You're not supposed to know that, though. Instead, the authors want you to believe that,

"...The country's infrastructure is crumbling. Last April an offshore drilling rig rented by PDVSA, Venezuela's state-owned oil company, sank. The deal involved a questionable rental contract with former PDVSA executives and the accident was never properly investigated. Earlier this year power blackouts caused by a series of explosions at electrical plants and inadequate maintenance at the Guri hydro-electrical dam forced the government to impose electricity rationing..."

 To understand exactly what they're saying, here, let's turn to another neoliberal state propaganda organ (VOA), which spells out its objections in plainer language:

"...With the oil industry under state control, Mr. Chavez bears responsibility for how it is run. At a first glance, the numbers do not look encouraging. Experts say production has dropped about a third since he came to office, robbing the country of the full financial benefit that could have accrued in 2008, when global oil prices peaked around $140 a barrel.

Venezuelan oil analyst Juan Carlos Sosa says the government has diverted funds from oil infrastructure in order to sustain ever-more-expensive socialist initiatives. 'To get back to the 1998 level of production, Venezuela would need to invest $10-$12 billion a year for the next 10 years to upgrade its petroleum operations.  This is not being done, and so the situation is critical,' he said...

And, he notes, a significant portion of Venezuela's dwindling oil production is donated to Cuba and other leftist-led countries."

"...Cuba receives more than 100,000 barrels of Venezuelan oil per day without paying anything.  Instead, Cuba provides medical services, sports training, and other assistance.  It is an ideological arrangement.  But PDVSA suffers, because it could be selling that oil to the United States for hard currency,' Sosa said.


"...New geological surveys show Venezuela's oil reserves dwarfing those of Saudi Arabia. But having oil is one thing; maintaining a state-owned oil industry and using revenue wisely are another, says Venezuelan oil analyst Juan Carlos Sosa. 

'Since almost all the oil revenue PDVSA receives are used for non-petroleum purposes, PDVSA cannot maintain the wells and keep them running. It does not have the funds, so it has to close the wells. And since foreign companies are given no incentive to invest in oil operations, production is paralyzed,' he said.

Venezuela's oil production has plummeted by a third under Chavez, according to Sosa.

He blames PDVSA's social programs that are so popular among the poor. 'Instead of staying on top of oil production and international sales, PDVSA's president has to worry about a thousand other things. And nothing is done well,' he said.

Hugo Chavez has the audacity to use oil revenues for social programs. The audacity to...not sell it for hard US currency. That's his "crumbling infrastructure." The Chavez government is not investing in efficiency, in increased productivity. In profit for foreign extraction firms. It is, instead, building health clinics, hospitals, railroads, and a water distribution network."

And this pisses off the market prophets, doesn't it?

"...Venezuela's transportation infrastructure is literally falling apart. The government agency that manages the country's food supply let 120,000 tons of imported food rot in port while its own supermarkets suffered shortages of basic staples. Chávez's anti-business policies discourage private investment..."

I cannot find any reference to this rotted food which isn't a link back to the Cato article, or another piece of propaganda, such as this Economist piece. Let's assume it's true. Let's assume that food rotted on a dock in Venezuela. That this is somehow unique in the history of food distribution. That is has absolutely no analogs or parallels anywhere else, ever.

The point, for the Cato authors isn't that food rotted, or that people went hungry. It's that Chavez discourages "private investment." The so-called rotten food? The allegedly hungry people? That doesn't matter. What matters to them is that money was not made off of the provision of food to poor people.


Moving on,

"...Although Caracas is a major oil supplier, it cannot easily afford an expensive nuclear program. With the days of skyrocketing oil prices over, at least in the foreseeable future, the government faces serious financial difficulties.

For example, Chávez's regime owes Colombian businesses approximately $500 million for past exports. PDVSA has delayed payments to its contractors. After Chávez's allies lost the legislative elections in October, his government launched an expropriation spree but only 9 percent of the confiscated industries have been paid for.

Moreover, Chávez is not certain to retain power in the face of a contracting economy, staggering crime rate, unbridled corruption and an increasingly united opposition, Even if he wins reelection in 2012, Chávez likely will find it more difficult to achieve his international ambitions..."

Let me sum that up: Bolivarian socialism doesn't work, see. Because foreign and domestic capitalist enterprises don't make money. The socialists owe money to the capitalists. Therefore, socialism is Fail.

Heh. Boy, do they miss the point, eh?

Let's get to it already, will ya, Cato?

"...Obviously, it would be foolish to dismiss the possibility of Venezuela becoming a nuclear power, but it is equally mistaken to speak of 'an over-the-horizon Cuban Missile Crisis,' in the words of the Heritage Foundation's Peter Brookes. Venezuela is nowhere close to or certain of becoming a threat to the U.S. Thus, the Obama administration should develop a long-term strategy to head off any 'Chávez bomb.'

The U.S. should maintain a low profile in Venezuelan affairs. The chief issue in the upcoming election should be Chávez's disastrous record. The less attention received by U.S. officials and policy, the less blame Chávez can off-load on Washington, and the less he can claim that America poses a threat.

At the same time, American individuals and groups should support Venezuelan advocates of liberty. The strongest opposition to Chávez comes from grassroots activists committed to a free society.

The U.S. also should engage Moscow. The Obama administration should be prepared to make concessions on matters of NATO expansion and missile defense as part of a larger political understanding, which would limit or end Russia's military relationship and nuclear plans with Caracas.

Washington should encourage Venezuela's neighbors and United Nations Security Council members to press Caracas, as a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, to comply with International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards. Particularly important are the roles of Brazil and Argentina, which have had nuclear ambitions in the past.

No one, other than, presumably, Hugo Chávez, wants Venezuela to build nuclear weapons. With the threat still distant, patience is a virtue. The U.S. should assemble a diplomatic coalition to constrain any nuclear ambitions in Caracas..."

Phew. Finally done with it. All that mouthbreathing to deliver the same old script.

I mean, literally, the same fucking storyline. Hell, it worked for Iraq, so...

...let's assume they might get away with it:

For what it's worth, a translation: Let's not drop bombs on Venezuela until we have to. There are plenty of middle and upper class allies in the suburbs and posh neighborhoods of Caracas. Let's get them all grassrootsy. And by grass roots, we mean, y'know - another coup. That would play better to the press. The American Moron would eat that shit up, but we're pretty sure he doesn't have any patience for a fourth front in the global war on poor and brown people who live atop resources that they should never have had the gall to be born above. That would also allow the US to keep a "low profile." Hell, it just worked in Guatemala, that old stomping ground of United Fruit, didn't it? So, patience, fellow neoliberals and warhawks. We have time. And we can always ante up the fear over a "Chavez Bomb" if we have to. Seriously. We just made that case for you. Like, y'know, our betters did in the run up to Iraq...

Anyway, we know that pattern. We know their habits.

We've been warned...

Jan 13, 2011

Death Management, or How the Emperor Found A Pale White Woobie's Corpse, and Upon Feigning Emotion, Rediscoverd the Virtue of His Power

In lieu of tackling the entire text of the latest imperial utterance - a self-referential, platitudinous, trite piece of swillery, sold by Imperial Barack to a crowd of cheering onlookers who ostensibly showed up to memorialize the victims of a odd man's rampage but acted like cheerleaders at a pep rally - I thought I'd just focus in on a few choice elements.


First, the woobie:

"A woobie (named for a child's security blanket) is that character you want to give a big hug, wrap in a blanket and feed soup to when he or she suffers so very beautifully. Woobification of a character is a curious, audience-driven phenomenon, divorced almost entirely from the character's canonical morality.

The Woobie's appeal lies in how it allows the audience to experience catharsis. The Greek philosopher Aristotle proposed that tragedy is popular because it allows people to experience and let out their negative emotions, "cleansing" themselves. The Woobie is popular for this same reason. A story with The Woobie allows the audience to vicariously experience relief from some pain by fantasizing about relieving The Woobie's pain..

Woobification can tie into a disturbing hurt/comfort dynamic, in which fans enjoy seeing the Woobie tortured, if only for the chance to wish the hurt away...

...An important aspect of The Woobie is that their suffering must have its genesis in external sources...

In Imperial Barack's speech, we encounter two Woobies, a live one, and a dead one.

The living Woobie, with whom you are supposed to identify, to take her suffering as your own, as an example not only of your vicarious urge to live an extraordinary life, where injury to the ennobled is injury to yourself, but as a reminder also of your failings, your sins, your many compromises, of your smallness. You did not do something noble, something which drew the attention of Evil. You do not lead. You follow, so follow some more.

Lest you think I fabulate, the Imperial Barack's own words:

"...There is nothing I can say that will fill the sudden hole torn in your hearts. But know this: The hopes of a nation are here tonight. We mourn with you for the fallen. We join you in your grief. And we add our faith to yours that Representative Gabrielle Giffords and the other living victims of this tragedy will pull through..."

Start right there. You are part of the story. Not a lead, or a supporting member, but the narrative needs you. You belong. There's a reason you're in this story, sinner. You share in these so-called "hopes of a nation," though we will find out soon enough why you are not worthy of them. If you don't mourn, if you don't identify with the nation, sinner, with the "hole torn in [the] hearts" of good people, perhaps you side with killers. Perhaps your sins have gotten the better of you. Or worse, perhaps you agree with those vitriolic opponents who poison the moral environment of a better nation. The Woobie needs you. She lies near death, this Woobie, wounded by your sins of omission, and by the greater sins of the evil priests who have occulted the broken mind of a broken man, and guided his anger towards the targets they have painted.

"(Applause.) Scripture tells us: There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. On Saturday morning, Gabby, her staff and many of her constituents gathered outside a supermarket to exercise their right to peaceful assembly and free speech. (Applause.) They were fulfilling a central tenet of the democracy envisioned by our founders -- representatives of the people answering questions to their constituents, so as to carry their concerns back to our nation's capital. Gabby called it "Congress on Your Corner" -- just an updated version of government of and by and for the people. (Applause.) And that quintessentially American scene, that was the scene that was shattered by a gunman's bullets..."

The Woobie was noble. She was bright. She was a bridge between you and the shining ones, bringing power down to your level, that you might be enlivened with it, might be elevated by her descent. Her constituents, her loyal followers were co-dwelling in that democratic holiness, and God himself has ordained it. Her mission was to save you, to save this holy nation by carrying your will forward, towards the center of all power.

Later, lest we remain clouded by doubt, unclear as to her purpose, and her role, her civilizing mission and the great project so dear to the Woobie's heart - and our own failings by comparison:

"And in Gabby -- in Gabby, we see a reflection of our public-spiritedness; that desire to participate in that sometimes frustrating, sometimes contentious, but always necessary and never-ending process to form a more perfect union."

So, that's the live Woobie. And she's sitting there in the heart of this tale as a contrast to the dead one. And as a foil to the great evil of the agents of discord, contention, of division which obstructs the teleological imperative, the more perfect union. The one with men like Obama at the top, and you, basking in the reflected glory.

But the dead Woobie, the pale corpse that power so often finds so very fucking useful?

She's there to keep you in line. She's your murdered future. She's your failings, manifest. She was going to be somebody - a first somebody, a better somebody, a best somebody. And the sins and crimes of rhetoric and vitriol and discord and obstruction murdered her as surely did the bullets fired from the gun, the sadly legal gun, of a broken, wounded, puppet of a man.

Take a moment, if you will, and ponder what manner of man hammers home this point with the following words. A man who orders the deaths of innocents at least on a weekly basis. A man who pillaged, and continues to pillage the receipts of common labor, and the Commons, in order to reward the deceits and depredations of his own class. A man who will, by the end of his term, have spent more money on weapons of murder than any other man in the two hundred year long, sad, tired, sordid history of this so-called nation. A man who has arrogated to himself the right and the power of fiat murder. A man can bomb children and attend a fundraiser in the very same afternoon. A man who can kiss his wife good morning, and then go to work murdering the wives and daughters, sisters and mothers of strangers who have never done him a moment's wrong. This man, then:

"...None of us can know with any certainty what might have stopped these shots from being fired, or what thoughts lurked in the inner recesses of a violent man's mind. Yes, we have to examine all the facts behind this tragedy. We cannot and will not be passive in the face of such violence. We should be willing to challenge old assumptions in order to lessen the prospects of such violence in the future. (Applause.) But what we cannot do is use this tragedy as one more occasion to turn on each other. (Applause.) That we cannot do. (Applause.) That we cannot do. As we discuss these issues, let each of us do so with a good dose of humility. Rather than pointing fingers or assigning blame, let's use this occasion to expand our moral imaginations, to listen to each other more carefully, to sharpen our instincts for empathy and remind ourselves of all the ways that our hopes and dreams are bound together. (Applause.) After all, that's what most of us do when we lose somebody in our family -- especially if the loss is unexpected. We're shaken out of our routines. We're forced to look inward. We reflect on the past: Did we spend enough time with an aging parent, we wonder. Did we express our gratitude for all the sacrifices that they made for us? Did we tell a spouse just how desperately we loved them, not just once in a while but every single day? So sudden loss causes us to look backward -- but it also forces us to look forward; to reflect on the present and the future, on the manner in which we live our lives and nurture our relationships with those who are still with us. (Applause.) We may ask ourselves if we've shown enough kindness and generosity and compassion to the people in our lives. Perhaps we question whether we're doing right by our children, or our community, whether our priorities are in order. We recognize our own mortality, and we are reminded that in the fleeting time we have on this Earth, what matters is not wealth, or status, or power, or fame -- but rather, how well we have loved -- (applause)-- and what small part we have played in making the lives of other people better. (Applause.) And that process -- that process of reflection, of making sure we align our values with our actions -- that, I believe, is what a tragedy like this requires..."

Do you get the message, yet? You have failed. You have put the still living Woobie at the brink of death. You have made the pale, white Woobie into a corpse. Your failures. Your sins. Your willingness to listen to the vitriol of the enemies of concord and agreement.

You weren't nice to your mother. You failed to agree with a coworker. You bitched about work aloud. You wanted fame, or wealth, or status. You did not have sufficient moral understanding. You were not expansive enough to know how to love, to make the world a better place.

Told to you, this tale of your own sinfulness and apathy, your failure as a person and as citizen, by the most powerful, highest status, most deadly and dangerous famous man in the world. A man with wealth you will probably never, ever have. A man who actively sought that fame, power and wealth - and used you to get it. A man who spent hundreds of millions of dollars of other people's money to get it. A man who uses that power to protect those with status, power, fame and wealth. A man who murders those who get in the way of his high status, high power patrons and friends.

But, because you failed, because the whole nation isn't good enough anymore to keep alive the pale, White, dead Woobie - because "We" all let her die with our vitriol and self-debasement, she will never get a chance to be one of the ennobled ones. She won't get to be more of this:

"...That's what I believe, in part because that's what a child like Christina Taylor Green believed. (Applause.) Imagine -- imagine for a moment, here was a young girl who was just becoming aware of our democracy; just beginning to understand the obligations of citizenship; just starting to glimpse the fact that some day she, too, might play a part in shaping her nation's future. She had been elected to her student council. She saw public service as something exciting and hopeful. She was off to meet her congresswoman, someone she was sure was good and important and might be a role model. She saw all this through the eyes of a child, undimmed by the cynicism or vitriol that we adults all too often just take for granted. I want to live up to her expectations. (Applause.) I want our democracy to be as good as Christina imagined it. I want America to be as good as she imagined it. (Applause.) All of us -- we should do everything we can to make sure this country lives up to our children's expectations. (Applause.) As has already been mentioned, Christina was given to us on September 11th, 2001..."

The holy, sacred White dead Woobie - born on a day of consecration, a day when the more perfect union found its calling again - she died for your sins.

Barack fucking Obama just told you so.

Barack fucking Obama - the guy who did this to a boy you don't know, a brown, unpeople, burnt and broken nobody without a name:

Jan 12, 2011

Ant Icipation

Listen to the presbot give his "Tuscon Tragedy" speech.

Can't wait to get a hold of the transcript, to compare his moment seizing rhetoric to his murderous austerian actions.

"Only a more civil and honest public discourse...challenges of our nation...make them proud..."

Jan 11, 2011

Competition for Chief Clown Among Fucktard Clowns, And A Solution to the Problem Which Draws Upon the Genius of Jack's Smirking Revenge

Don't have enough brain capacity to reply to the batch of comments piling up below, or to write an entry which doesn't embarrass the good teachers I had in my youth, but...

These fuckers deserve each other.


"If Sarah Palin, whose website put and today scrubbed bullseye targets on 20 Representatives including Gabby Giffords, does not repudiate her own part in amplifying violence and violent imagery in politics, she must be dismissed from politics - she must be repudiated by the members of her own party, and if they fail to do so, each one of them must be judged to have silently defended this tactic that today proved so awfully foretelling, and they must in turn be dismissed by the responsible members of their own party...

If the Tea Party leaders who took out of context a Jefferson quote about blood and tyranny and the tree of liberty do not understand - do not understand tonight, now what that really means, and these leaders do not tell their followers to abhor violence and all threat of violence, then those Tea Party leaders must be repudiated by the Republican Party...

If Glenn Beck, who obsesses nearly as strangely as Mr. Loughner did about gold and debt and who wistfully joked about killing Michael Moore, and Bill O'Reilly, who blithely repeated "Tiller the Killer" until the phrase was burned into the minds of his viewers, do not begin their next broadcasts with solemn apologies for ever turning to the death-fantasies and the dreams of bloodlust, for ever having provided just the oxygen to those deep in madness to whom violence is an acceptable solution, then those commentators and the others must be repudiated by their viewers, and by all politicians, and by sponsors, and by the networks that employ them."


"The Tucson massacre ghouls who are now trying to criminalize conservatism have forced our hand.

They need to be reminded. You need to be reminded.

Confront them. Don’t be cowed into silence. 

And don’t let the media whitewash the sins of the hypocritical Left in their naked attempt to suppress the law-abiding, constitutionally-protected, peaceful, vigorous political speech of the Right.

They want to play tu quo que in the middle of a national tragedy? They asked for it. They got it".

"I'm am Jack's complete lack of surprise":

If you all just shut up, got off the air, stopped writing, speaking or thinking, plugged your assholes with kewpie dolls, painted your lips with epoxy, squeezed 'em tight, duct taped your shitty mouths shut, and then duct taped the duct tape, shipped off to some already irradiated Russian backwater, where the sand in the soil has a half life twice the age of the universe, and then just fucking begged Iran to lob one of it's non-existent nukes in your direction, the whole fucking cosmos would thank you.

And then forget you.

PS - please take your overlords, paymasters and patrons with you. The rest of us would like to live our lives more fully, now.

Fucking clowns.

Getting it right by getting it wrong

"'It should be an outrage, where we kill more people in America on a daily basis, on a yearly basis than most of the countries combined . . . and this is unacceptable," Daley said, adding that America is a 'killing machine' because of guns." 



"A diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks shows that the US military covered up the killing of dozens of civilians during a cruise missile strike in south Yemen in December 2009.

The secret cable from January 2010 corroborated images released earlier this year by Amnesty International, implicating the US in the use of cluster bombs. The cable was sent by Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh to US General David Petraeus, saying his government would 'continue saying the bombs are ours, not yours'...

...'The cable appears to confirm Amnesty International's finding that the Abyan strike was carried out by the US military, not Yemeni government forces,' Philip Luther, a Deputy Director for Amnesty International, said.

On December 17, 2009, an alleged al-Qaeda training camp in Abyan was hit by a cruise missile, killing 41 local residents, including 14 women, 21 children, and 14 alleged al-Qaeda members."


"CHICAGO, Nov. 14 — Chicago police officers are the subject of more brutality complaints per officer than the national average, and the Police Department is far less likely to pursue abuse cases seriously than the national norm, a legal team at the University of Chicago reported Wednesday."


"Robin Petrovic, a college English teacher, was out dancing at a popular Chicago nightclub, the 'Funky Buddha Lounge,' when she got into an altercation with the bouncer and called police for help.

But according to Petrovic, the officer who showed up -- James Chevas, a 12-year veteran -- turned on her when she refused to sign a blank incident report and tried to write down his badge number.

'He picked me up and threw me face down into the ground. And since my hands were handcuffed behind my back, I couldn't break my fall at all, so I just landed on my face,' she told CNN...

...Between 2002 and 2004, for example, more than 10,000 complaints -- many of them involving brutality and assault -- were filed against Chicago police officers.

Yet only 18 of them resulted in any meaningful disciplinary action, according to Craig Futterman, a lawyer who uncovered these statistics while researching a client's claim.

Futterman's client, Diane Bond, sued the city of Chicago and a handful of officers, accusing them of beating and sexually abusing her.

'[The officer] took me in the bathroom, locked the door, had me unfasten my bra, then he had me shake my bra, he had me pull my pants down stick my hand in my panties and do like this while he looked on,' Bond said."


Jan 10, 2011

Lessons from the last two days of professional liberalism

1. If you (a) hold elected office or (b) a position of power and influence in a media conglomerate, and (c) plan, execute, fund or euphemize sky robot murder, starvation austerity, war powers expansion, occupations and escalations, coups d'etat, wetwork, black ops and the militarization of public space - you bear no responsibility for the decisions of those following your direct orders, or who act under the cover and normalization you promote. If you apologize for those who, under orders, commit the acts which directly contribute to your wealth and comfort, and to the maintenance of a continent spanning system of degradation, imprisonment and oppression, you bear absolutely no responsibility for the consequences of the systemic destruction of human life which you support and promote. You are a public servant. A leader. An exemplar of civilization.

2. If you use campaign rhetoric which does not sanitize political conflict, or read books which do not pass official muster, or if you do sit not in current favor with those who have the wealth and influence to arrogate to themselves the arbitration of taste, worth, sanction, viability and validity, you bear complete responsibility for acts of violence committed by persons you have never met.

3. If you campaign for a man who, during the course of his contest for the most powerful office in the history of the human race, rather brazenly admits that his foremost foreign policy focus will expand the occupation of and attacks upon one of the most destitute regions of the planet, this to include the escalation of home invasions and drone murders, and the re-creation of rape and death squads, you have done your civic duty. You belong. You have earned your due, and your keep.

4. If you doubt the claims of those who rule; if you take even a moment of your day to publicly express discontent with or disapproval of the claims to authority, to sanctification, to the mandate of heaven routinely offered by the wealthy and powerful; if you have the misfortune to assume that the powerful tell lies; if you question the disconnect between the efficacy of government and claims about that efficacy; if you have the audacity to read Marx, or "anti-government" literature; if you have unsanctioned or unmediated notions about money, symbols, representation, affiliation or the epistemes employed in the defense of power, you shall henceforth bear the scarlet letter, the opprobrium of the lunatic outcast. You do not belong.

5. Wear it with pride. Because you do not belong. Live in the manner which best frightens the shit, the complacency and the hubris out of them. Make them waste treasure trying to save you from yourself. Bog it down...