Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Ins and Outs of Christmas

no seas inhumano

tenos caridad
que el Dios de los Cielos
te lo premiará

This time of year in Mexico is known as the Posada season -- a time for festive remembrance of poverty. “Posada” means “inn” and starting with Advent people offer to host “posadas” by inviting friends and relatives to their “inn.”

Typically, the guests will assemble as “pilgrims” at some nearby spot. Bearing candles and singing hymns they proceed through the streets following a man playing Joseph, a woman playing Mary and, when available, a burro playing himself.

When they arrive, the “inn” is darkened and silent. Joseph knocks. No one answers. He knocks again.

“Who is there?”

“In the name of Heaven, I beg you lodging; as my dear wife can walk no longer”

The inn-keeper gruffly replies, that there is no room and begone.

“Show us some kindness; God will repay you; my wife is with child and we’ve come a long way.”

Hard-hearted and angry, the inn-keeper replies he could care less and will not be bothered by wayfarers in the night.

“But my name is Joseph, and my wife is Mary, God’s chosen maid to bear the Divine Word”

There is a pause inside, before the lights turn on:

“But if you are Joseph and Mary, bearing God’s child, we did not know you, come, bless us, inside.”

The door opens and the guest-pilgrims enter singing happy refrains.


The semi-liturgical party-going of the Posada Season, serves as a reminder that the Christmas message is an ambiguous one. It is, to be sure, a celebration of hope, birth and family -- the “within-ness”. Not surprisingly, this aspect of the event is given prominence in consumerized or Protestant countries. But the other aspect of Christmas celebrates the without-ness of despair, poverty and estrangement. Not only is a transition to light not possible without the dark, but the light comes from within the dark. True Christmas celebration is not possible without remembering that Jesus began, as he ended, “despised and rejected of men”

Nor without remembering that, at this very moment, a crime of rejection is being committed in the Holy Land against a million and a half Gazans living under a cruel and barbarous siege that has lasted over a year. To be sure, the siege is the inverse image of the posada -- Gazans are not wandering in the dark but are rather shut up in the dark; they are not trying to get in, but food and warmth are kept out. The inhuman essence of the matter is all the same.

The siege began in October 2007 when the Israelis began “interrupting” fuel and electricity supplies to Gaza. Although the U.S. press characterized these measures as some kind of punitive inconvenience, buried in the “fine print” was the fact that the Israelis also “had closed one of the two crossings through which food, medicine and other supplies pass into the area. ... As a result, only limited supplies of basic goods are allowed to enter the strip, and all exports of produce are prohibited. ...”

God rest ye merry gentlemen, let nothing you dismay, an Israeli spokesman assured a complacent gentile world that “We will allow in the minimum amount of food and medicines necessary to avoid a humanitarian crisis.” Ah, well in that case...

The brute cynicism was beyond belief.



In a different darkness, sixty years ago, Rafael Lemkin, a Polish Jew wrote his seminal and defining study of genocide. Lemkin analyzed the various facets of German occupation policies, particularly in the East, to show how they were calculated to erase the existence of un-desired ethnic groups. Outright mass murder was the least part of the analysis. In fact, at the time he wrote, Lemkin was not fully aware of Nazi exterminations. He focused instead on lesser means which tended toward the ultimate end with just as much effective ruthlessness as hands on killing. According to Lemkin genocide operated primarily on cultural, social, economic and biological levels.

It began, he wrote, with “the destruction of the foundations of economic existence" which necessarily brought about a “retrogression” of the target group’s welfare. Destroying economic foundations served also as the prelude to a biological degradation that ultimately produced a physiological withering away through disease and debilitation, in what could be called a process of induced natural selection. In the case of Poland, physical debilitation was carried out through racial discrimination in feeding. As of the end of 1942, Poles received 66% of their pre-war rations and Jews 20%. Having rendered the population susceptible to disease, the next step was to deprive the target group of the elemental necessities for preserving health and life such as requisitioning warm clothing or withholding firewood and medicine. Such measures are especially pernicious to the health of children, which of course is precisely the point. As a whole these and like measures reduce the targeted population to the most primitive conditions of mere existence. Social cohesion fragmented, economic life reduced to hock and barter, education, cultural life rendered irrelevant in the struggle for survival, and its health subverted, the target group becomes helpless, hopeless, disoriented and easily disposable



The result of Israeli “interruptions” were entirely predictable from the outset.

In January 2008, the World Bank reported that as of the end of 2007, 90% of Gaza's industrial production had ceased and agricultural output has fallen by 50% It warned that the economy was on the verge of collapse. One wonders what kind of economy was left to verge. Simultaneously, the World Council of Churches, noted that fuel shortages had hobbled the ability of health clinics and hospitals to deliver services and denounced the Israeli action as “illegal collective punishment” and immoral. The U.N. warned of pending malnutrition and reported that the Israeli blockade had back stopped 224 UN food-relief and in the previous two weeks only 32 trucks had been allowed entry.

But while the UK Guardian was reporting that Gazans were starving, the New York Times derisively reported that “Palestinians [had] used a bulldozer to knock down another portion of the wall ... to continue their shopping spree” in Egypt.

The “shopping spree” -- for food -- did not last long. The breach was sealed and, by April 2008, the Save the Children fund, reported that 50% of Gazan children has inadequate vitamin A levels, 40% were anemic and 1/5 had deficiencies that suppressed their immune systems.

In May of 2008, BBC reported that the impact of the Israeli blockade had been “wide ranging”. It cited the example of a young chicken farmer who was forced to kill 50,000 hatchlings, because gas was not available to keep them warm. What this small business failure meant was that 50,000 chickens were not available for food, even if the young farmer had wanted to give them away. The fuel cut-off, also meant that sewage treatment plants could not work so that raw sewage spilled into the mediterranean or backed up and flooded the streets, risking the spread of pestilence. In tandem, available drinking water was reduced because the Gazans were deprived of the chemicals needed disinfect potable water. Perhaps this was why, notwithstanding the reportorial sneers from the Times, Gazans returned from their “shopping spree” carrying cases of soft drinks.

In September 2008, the U.N. Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon denounced the Israeli decision to classify all of Gaza as an “enemy entity.” The Secretary pointed out that the Israelis’ interruption of electricity and fuel to the civilian population was contrary to international humanitarian law.

In November the International Red Cross reported that the Israelis’ policy had in fact triggered “devastating” long term biological effects. The economic embargo had forced Gazans to cut expenses down to “survival levels”. Agriculture and fishing had been destroyed. Most Gazans survived on 2 dollars or less a day and “those households that still have jewelry and non-essential appliances sell them” in order to buy subsistence food. Chronic malnutrition was rising and children were suffering long term damage from vitamin deficiencies.

This month, December 2008, BBC reported that, the U.N.’s relief warehouses were empty and that supplies trickled in on a day per day / truck per truck basis. Although Gazans were surving on UN subsistence food, the high carbohydrate diet of bread, rice, and vegetable oil was causing more wide-spread vitamin deficiencies and chronic hunger. Some people were contemplating suicide ”just to escape this misery.” The BBC reporter, allowed entry into Gaza by the Israelis, described the bombed out buildings and the fields and orchards plowed under into 1/4 mile no man’s land in order to serve as the Israelis’ “security perimeter”. Selected and lucky Gazans -- whom he described as “trustees” -- were allowed up to the check point to serve as porters. Such was Gaza’s isolation, that his arrival was treated as a newsworthy event by the miserable inhabitants of this ghetto, now shut out from the rest of the world, huddling in hunger, cold and darkness.

The excuses the Israelis dredge up in the attempt to justify their actions -- that they are needed to protect an Israel reeling under a barrage of “missile” attacks that have killed four people in as many years -- are meaningless. Equally bald faced and worthless are protestations that the “sanctions” will stop when the “hostilities” stop. International law forbids collective punishment. The prohibition operates not when there is peace but precisely when two groups are at war. Civilized people who desire to retain some humanity in the midst of conflict, will ask themselves, what threat is posed by a little child, a young mother or an elderly grandfather. Civilized people do not attempt to blackmail their enemies by starving their children. And Christians at least do not do so because “So as ye do unto the least of these, so do ye unto Me.”

There is, it must be said, a kind of political puritanism that acts as a killjoy to every happy moment. We have come to think of Christmas as a happy and sentimental time and do not take kindly to Scrooges reminding us to think of the starving millions in China. There is far too much cruelty and suffering in the world; and it is only natural and healthy to reserve time for joyfulness. One can imagine Martin Luther slapping dour Melanchthon on the back and bellowing Peccare fortior! True enough; but of what strength is joy, if it is merely heedless?


It is also inescapably true that the message of the Magnificat is that God lies within and is born from, the poor, the weak, the helpless; and it is the divine worth of these despised and forgotten that is the light in the dark. So as Christ was born, an outcast in a cold and miserable manger, it is appropriate to protest and pray for the Christ imprisoned and hungry in Gaza.

©WGC, 2008

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Armistice Day


Armistice Day -- the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month when a shroud of silence fell upon the Great War -- and red poppies bloomed in Flanders Field.

I am much too young to remember that November day, but what I was taught as a boy was to solemnly remember that there had once been a war as terrible as it was useless -- and for that reason to affix a red poppy to my coat. And ponder,

What passing-bells for those who die as cattle?

as all around stood still and silent in remembrance of the silence that at last fell upon those far off fields of death many years ago, in a war that forever dimmed a civilization’s lights.

No... it is not “Veterans Day;” it is not a commemoration of heroism and sacrifice in service State, Potentate or God, nor of "soldiers everywhere at all time" and much less a time for belligerent patriotism or national pride, and still less a time for speechifying or shopping. No, it is none of the things it has been abused into.

Armistice

Its name distills the vileness of war, the evanescence of peace and the tragedy of a species that is left to remembrance of its folly.


©WCG, 2008

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Delirium Tremens


Lessee here...

I am sorry to rain on the party, but Obama is not going to introduce any fundamental change to the neo-liberal regime which has gotten us to where we are. Nor is he going to reverse the irreversible course of history, which is that all empires have to rise and fall.

A neo-con is simply a neo liberal gone punk. Domestically and diplomatically Obama will provide some emollients and better manners, but I doubt little else. He may take a few paltry steps towards realizing Bismarckian social benefits and he may go back to an Eisenhower-esque diplomacy of working "through" allies and international institutions. Otherwise the Flush Democrats are already "warning" us not to expect a new New Deal (i.e. a new faux social democracy) and the New York Times is peddling its usual demented ravings telling us it's time to leave off the "folly" of Iraq and focus on the "necessary" war in Afghanistan. No you dimits!!!! I am not Jove, I am Neputne!!!!!!

I admire Obama. He is likely the most intelligent president we've had since that racist bastard, Woodrow Wilson. Obama is engaging, informed and in control. I am glad most Americans showed that they could overcome their obsessive compulsive disorder over skin hue. But, to paraphrase Tolstoy, politics is something more than personality. Americans' disastrous propensity for exceptionalism has blinded them both to understanding the true nature of the country and to thinking that historical laws do not apply to us.

Like all leaders, Obama is constrained by his context and the material he has to work with. It may be that, far from being a creature of his time, he stands outside it at some Archimedean Point and understands that neither the actual nor the merely possible reflect the ideal. But assuming that to be the case, he is still constrained by the calculus of history. I fear his options are limited. I wish I were wrong.


©WCG, 2008
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Monday, October 27, 2008

Phyrric Elections


As it now stands, Barack Obama will be the next president. It also appears likely that the Democrats will be given effective majorities in both Houses of Congress. As a result, a president Obama should be able to govern as effectively as the prime minister of Fenwick. However, it has taken near two years of non-stop campaigning coupled with economic collapse to produce such a result. Americans might justifiably exclaim, “Another such election and we are undone!”

If politics is the art of the practicable, we are certainly not going about it in anything resembling a practical way. As Aristotle would say, political elections are about political choices. The idea, in a democracy, is to vote for those candidates who best represent the choices each of us favors. Contrary to ballyhoo, voters should not be presented with a baffling array of legislative“specifics” but rather with a list of general policy choices -- as distinct from bromides which are something else altogether. Thus, by any rational measure, a general election should not require more than four months of filtering and selection.

Instead we have been subjected to two years of exhausting, mind-consuming ego driven electoral warfare that has wasted time, talent and treasure. Worse still it has left the electorate psychologically depleted and disgusted. It is not possible to argue generalities for two years. As a result, simply to fill the void, generalities turn into “niche marketing” slogans and the campaigning degenerates into and endless droning over personality, tactics and scandals. It was hardly surprising that toward the end of the current cycle, the debates ended up being packaged and presented with about as much sobriety as a World Wrestling Federation match. On the occasion of Obama’s inauguration we will no doubt be feted on a lot of hortatory about going forward to meet the Challenges of Change and blah, blah, blah. In truth, the election’s wash will leave us with a cynical sense of good riddance.

The root cause of this sorry state of affairs is that the U.S. Government was designed not to work. This may come as a surprise to those who have been weaned on the usual civics propaganda, but the fact is that Madison and his fellow framers did not want the government to work. They truly believed that government was a necessary evil and that the best government was the one that governed least.

The difficulties that confronted the Framers were vexing to say the least. The Articles of Confederation had provided for very effective government. The problem was that there were too many of them. Each State had full sovereign power to do whatever it wanted; and whatever it wanted was usually what some oligarchical cabal or mobocracy wanted. It is comical to go back and read how the vaingloriously the kingfish in these small state ponds styled themselves. But precisely because these state governments were fully potent and sovereign, they were easy prey for the more sovereign and even more potent nations of Europe. The emergent dis-united states were headed for the tin pot destiny of the later South American republics.

It is not generally taught or known that a major impetus for the reform of the Articles was the decision of the Spanish Crown to close the Mississippi to Anglo American shipping. Spain’s foreign minister, the Conde de Aranda, rightly foresaw the threat from the emerging English colonies and the consequent need to strangle the monster in its crib. From Madison’s perspective, the task was to put together a “more perfect Union” that would present a solid phalanx against the European powers, keep the States in check and, yet, not run the risk of consolidated tyranny. Ever since the ill-fated Andrus Plan a century before, the English-Americans had always distrusted “efficient, central” government.

Madison’s Marvel was the perfect paradigm of disfunctionality. This was not a mere question of the so-called “checks and balances” -- a principle of divided government understood since Roman times. The division of government into Montesquieu’s “three branches” was only the starting point. Take for example, the original non-party system for electing what was in fact a duumvirate: The candidate with most votes became president and his strongest opponent (the runner up) became Vice President and (this was really cute) President of the Senate. It was much like giving one man a handful of bullets and his mortal enemy the gun.

The Senate itself was rendered impervious to short-term change by providing for staggered six year terms. The Senate was even further removed from anything like popular consensus by being indirectly elected by the State Legislatures. As a result the Senate was so perfectly deadlocked between rival state interests that it took a Civil War to bust up the logjam.

As if these embarrassments were not enough, government was rendered even more impossible by providing for a dual legislature with the requirement that any law or appropriation be approved by both houses. All in all, this was clearly a system engineered to deadlock and designed to be impervious to the ever feared “popular will”.

Two major amendments allowed this government some modicum of functionality. The first was the provision for a single presidential ticket coupled with Jefferson’s party system. That change (more or less) got the country through its first century but was not enough to cope with the complexities of a mass industrial society. For that, Franklin Roosevelt, established the Agency System -- in fact a shadow government -- efficient, but unelected.

The essential pre-requisite of the Agency System was to disempower Congress. Prior to FDR’s “overhaul,” Congress was constitutionally responsible for virtually all acts of government over and beyond mere execution and implementation of its decisions. But no congress could possibly keep up with all the day to day work handled by FDR’s agencies and ultimately the Supreme Court interpreted the Constitution so as to allow Congress to delegate its authority to theses agencies so long as it maintained some vague and amorphous “oversight”.

The ultimate historical result has been to remove government in both its effective day to day operations and in its formal policy decision-making from anything resembling responsiveness to popular will. Concomitantly, day to day governance has been removed from the Congress and concentrated in what the Romans called the Imperial Household -- a bureaucracy of greeklings and courtiers forming around a “unitary executive” and beholden to or bribeable by corporate or foreign interests.

Both the Party System and the Agency System are here to stay. But without entirely restructuring the Union, what can and must be done is to move government toward a ministerial-parliamentary system.

This could be accomplished in a variety of different ways. But bearing in mind that, even at present, the president is not directly elected, perhaps the simplest way of accomplishing the change would be to require the president to be elected by a majority of the House of Representatives in tandem with a requirement that ordinary elections for all members of both Houses be held once every four years.

Such a system would allow a direct line of authority to flow from the electorate through a coordinated executive/legislature to the implementing agencies. It would allow the People to retain actual and effective control over the general direction of government. The contra-mantra we have all heard ad nauseam is that such a parliamentary system would “lack stability” and be subject to “the emotion of the mob.” But to say as much is to confuse “stability” with the current system of bureaucratic stasis coupled with electoral hysteria

To say as much is also to confuse the principle of a popular oligarchy (which is what Madison provided for) with a rabble rousing cabal (which is what we have had). The Framers' fear of an efficient centralized power being abused by a passionate demos has been realized in the inverse. In the end, it is simply intolerable that an Administration which had lost virtually all popular credibility and support by its fifth year could still exert its strangling mortmain on government mortgaging our future for generations to come.

After two years of exhausting and debased ego-driven hoopla, we might finally get an effective change of government. But the damage confronting Barack Obama is four to six years the worse; and, by now, no one could think that even several months of additional damage was small beans. How much better off we would have been had both Congress and the Executive been directly tied to what the public wanted years ago. It’s time for a change and that includes a change in the way we elect our government.

©WCG, 2008
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Sunday, October 19, 2008

New York Times Fires Falsehoods at Russia


All the Crap That's Fit to Print
does it again. Today's dispenser? One Tom Skanker who, reporting on Russian military exercises, sputters out the following

"In a grim finale, commanders launched three intercontinental ballistic missiles, the type that can carry multiple nuclear warheads. It was a clear signal of the drastic endgame the Kremlin might consider should its conventional forces not hold. One of the missiles flew more than 7,100 miles, allowing Russian officials to claim they had set a distance record.

"If these images of Russian power projection appeared drawn from the dark decades of Dr. Strangelove, the response from Washington was anything but."
Ah yes... Washington the Supremely Patient and Forgiving being tried once again by those dark Strangelovian Russkies. Once again, the Times pierces through its own thin veneer of liberality to reveal that it is just a pompous shill for economic and military imperialism.

If anyone has been Strangelovian it has been the Neocon Thug Staat, previously known as the U.S.A. Has Skanker read his co-worker, Billy Kristol's magnun opus, Rebuilding Americas' Defenses (P.N.A.C., Sept, 2000)? Surely he has and therefore surely he is engaging in grotesque misinformation on behalf of a fellow worshipper of The Devouring Saturn.

For Skanker's benefit and anyone else who hasn't got a whiff of Kristol's wet dream, the Bush Administration's neocon "project" is nothing other than ongoing, relentless, global American power projection -- in Iraq (to the tune of trillions) and against Russia, for starters. After outlining the New American Security Mission of sustaining "multiple full theatre wars" and ongoing "lesser included" so-called "constabulary operations" in "zones of democratic peace" (such as Iraq and Afghanistan) the Neocon blue print reaches its ultimate thug-climax with a call to

CONTROL THE 'NEW INTERNATIONAL COMMONS" or SPACE AND “CYBERSPACE,”

Not only does the Neocon Manifesto call for” the creation of a new military service – U.S. Space Forces – with the mission of space control” The PNAC’s goal of “space control” is to prevent anyone else from having access to outer space and to use outer space for the placement military weapons that can strike anywhere on earth from the push of a button in some bunker in Wyoming. [Barf some more here on the PNAC Wet Dream of US Dominance]

Who the fuck is Strangelove around here? Hardly the Russians. But stay misinformed. Read all the crap that's fit to print.

©WCG, 2008



Friday, October 10, 2008

No Tears for Bully


Just when you thought the U.S. couldn’t cover itself in more odium along comes defense secretary Gates to announce that the United States would not be adverse to sitting down and chatting it up with the Taliban. “At the end of the day, that's how most wars end," Gates said. DUH

At the beginning of the day that’s how most wars are avoided .

But no....the besmirching occupant of the Offal Office, had to go “Smoke ‘em out” and “Bring ‘em On” and rally up the Yeeehaw Boys who were getting so little regular sex that they had to stomp round the flag, hardness in hand vowing to kick ass and never nego-she-ate with turrurists ... especially them rag head types.

So where is the First FlyBoy now? He sure as hell ain’t strutting his codpiece on the flight deck. No... he’s hunched over a podium telling a revolted and contemptuous world that the “fundamentals” of an economy he and his cronies bankrupted are “sound”. No... he blathers platitudes to a General Assembly so openly laughing at him that the ever servient US press had to shield the public from the disgrace

The New American Century did not even last a miserable eight years. Bush’s Kick Ass strutting, Cheney’s scowling unilateralism, Scumsfeld’s smirking preemption have been replaced with Shylock Tears for “please can you lend us a bail out?”and beggaring whines “..for some troops, please, to help out in Afghanistan...” Hectoring Condi’s World Lecture Tour has been replaced by articles entitled “A New Multi-Polar World” and “The End of Liberal Imperialism” and most cuttingly by Putin’s remark that the U.S. was in no position to lecture anyone.

Where is smirking Billy Kristol now to tell us why the world despises and hates the U.S. Come out of the New York Times editorial rest room Billy and tell us what happened to your Kick Ass Bully Boy wet dream.

Now, it is possible that in the incestuous intrigue that constitutes Beltway politics, Gates was "signalling" that he supports Obama (who favors talking) over McCain (who favors crash-bombing). But that doesn't remove the vicious irony. The United States which eight years ago ran up the red pennant of no quarter now wants to chit-a-chat, tin cup in hand.

It would be laughable had not so many innocent people been killed, maimed and made to suffer by the repulsive slime that have indelibly stained the corridors of government with their infected and putrid "ideology". It would be laughable had not Iraq and Afghanistan been shock and awed back to the stone age; had not an entire city been “shaked and baked” (yeehaw yuk yuk) with phosphorous bombs; had not old men, boys of 15 been and innocent shepherds and farmers been kidnapped, beaten, (“pulpified”), drugged and thrown into isolation cells for years where they slowly went crazy and tried to kill themselves while morally degenerate “Injustices” spewed judicial vomit over the finer technicalities of The Great Writ.... for seven goddam years. It would be laughable had the United States not been turned into a frank and open police state, that respects NO law, international or domestic, that spies on its citizens as “potential” enemies, breaks into houses without warrants, that arrests people without cause and whose ThugKops stomp about with the same body armor and kill-toys as their fellow KombatKops in Iraq and Afghanistan. It would be funny had not this cancerous administration done everything within its metastasizing power to eat up the environment, kill species and drive whales insane.

It would be funny, if any of these things could be undone. But they cannot be. That is not the way history works. That is not the way Nature works.

These diseased aliens from a lower dimension together with the cowardly, venal, whoring degenerates in Congress and the Judiciary have destroyed everything: the environment, civilization, language, law, comity and cooperation and now the economy. They have done so just as we said they would, and they have done so while the U.S. demos as a whole sat around, guzzled chips and gas, scratched their anuses, and pondered the next re-fi. It’s known -- as Palin reminds us -- as Murkan Exceptionalism. Hey Da Rulez don Apply to Us! We’re the Shining Bacon on the Hill.

I wish I could feel sorry for my country; but I don’t.


©WCG, 2008
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Friday, September 26, 2008

Synderesis Identified As Cause of Wrecked Brain Syndrome


"Future soldiers may operate in encapsulated, climate-controlled, powered fighting suits, laced with sensors, and boasting chameleonlike “active” camouflage. “Skin patch” pharmaceuticals help regulate fears, focus concentration and enhance endurance and strength."
Rebuilding America's Defences, P.N.A.C. Report, Sept. 2000

A friend of the Gazette, called to say that he thought he had discovered the cause of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, an identified mental illness affecting more and more soldiers returning from their multiple tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The symptoms of PTSD can range from subjective psychological disorders like fidgetiness, insomnia, distraction, and alcoholism to more paranoid behaviours such as suspicion, hostility, and bad tempers to outright anti-social conduct like rape and murder. As one Army psychologist put it simply but cogently, "basically your mind is broken."

Most of the psychological studies on PTSD have focused on its symptoms -- which ends up being a fancy way of saying that much of the studying has spent time and effort cataloging the many ways in which a mind can be broken. Since the mind is an incredibly versatile faculty, it is hardly surprising that it can be broken in hundred of ways that range from "a little out synch" to "exploding into a hundred pieces."

Neurological studies have identified various bio-chemical changes "associated" with PTSD behavioural symptoms, such as lower cortisoid levels, hippocampus shrinkage and so on. But in the end, these too, while they may lead to new generations of useful psychotropic drugs, are simply physiological symptoms. The only known cause, is some kind of traumatic stress.

But life is full of stress, some of which is no less shocking, pulse-raising, stomach-tensing or grief-inducing than conditions on the field of battle. This has led people, especially people in the military, to doubt the existence of war-related PTSD. Besides, it hardly helped recruitment efforts to admit that your healthy proud son who marched off to war would come back with a brain turned into swiss cheese.

During the Great War, people spoke of "shell shock" -- a more of less physical state of exhaustion and trembling paralysis. Considered to be a variant of "fatigue," the military had no great objections to recognizing the symptoms seeing as they weren't anything that weren't curable by a swig of brandy, a day's pass, and maybe a good sleep-in followed by a hot shower.

During the World War, perhaps due to absence of trench warfare, shell-shock was less of a phenomena in the public mind. It was replaced by "the gitteries" made famous by General Patton's famous slap. And it is fair to say that most people felt Patton had been right to "put a little backbone" into someone who couldn't "get ahold of himself" and control natural fears that were felt by everyone. If World War veterans felt bad about what they had seen or done, they tended not to talk about it.

"Oh tell us Mr. Winslow, tell us, did you kill any Nazis? C'mon tell us," we boys squealed delighted to find out that our history teacher had been a real life Sergeant in the war. "C'mon..tell us."

"I never saw anyone fall from any shot I fired," came the terse and disappointing reply.
The Vietnam War was different. Returning veterans did not keep things tersely inside. Still, the official reaction at first was that the Baby Boom generation was just a bunch of babies who didn't have the discipline and fortitude of their fathers. Although the Pentagon and the Veterans Administration ultimately recognized PTSD as a real battle-related casualty, it was still treated much in the vein of syphillis or a foot fungus. The Government's efforts went into (1) not making a very public deal about it and (2) commissioning studies to identify symptoms (i.e. symptom levels), to establish "early identification procedures," "preventative" (ie. ameliorative) measures, counselling resources, "stress management" programs and so on. Soldiers with syphillis got the better deal. By and large, veterans with wrecked brains were criminalized or left to sink or swim on their own.

By the end of the first year of the Iraq/Afghanistan war, though, Wrecked Brain Syndrome loomed as an immense dark cloud on the horizon. Although the Neocon Administration which had engineered the war was hopeful the compliant press would down-play any story, the Pentagon's own statistics began to paint a frightening picture. Two years into the war, and the cat was out of the bag. Soldiers returning from Iraq and soldiers being sent back to Iraq for second and even third tours of duty were showing elevated symptoms of Wrecked Brain Syndrome.

One Army study found that after one, two and three tours, 12%, 18% and 27% of soldiers showed PTSD symptoms. A Rand study conducted earlier this year found that nearly one fifth of US military personnel who had served in Iraq or Afghanistan had suffered some symptom of PTSD. "Our readiness is being consumed as fast as we build it," said one general.

Our friend said he had been reading reports about these cases and was struck by how the authorities claimed not to be able to "identify" any singular cause. The studies hopped around from personal issues such as "difficulties readjusting" to military issues such as "diminished mission effectiveness." They mixed up symptoms, talking in the same breath about "signs of depression or PTSD;" and, of course, they talked about the effect of "multiple tours" and "insufficient" recovery time, as if it were all simply a question of over-training. It seemed, he said, as if they wanted the cause to remain fuzzy and tentative.

So I asked my friend to explain what he thought was causing this battle-related PTSD, and he replied that he thought it was caused by soldiers encased in the latest high-tech killing armor being called upon to repeatedly blast away at and kill a supposed "enemy" who was indistinguishable from ordinary men, women and children and who at best was so poorly armed as to be practically defenseless.

It was quite odd my friend should have brought this up, because just the other day I had occasion to check up on Thomas Aquinas's definition of "conscience." Most people think of "conscience" as the little birdie on your shoulder that tells you what's wrong and what you really, really must do. However, the matter may not be quite as simple.

In Latin, the word con-science is comprised of "cum+scienter" -- that is, "with knowledge of..." In St. Thomas' view, conscience has two parts: the passive part which has knowledge of something and the active part which brings that knowledge to bear on conduct in practical situations. The key question is: knoweldge of what? Synderesis.

The best way to understand idea of synderesis is to put morality aside for a moment and turn to geometry. Everyone will remember that all geometry is based on certain very fundamental axioms, such as "Two things each equal to a third thing are equal to each other." In Thomas' view, such axioms were more primary and root-level than even our most basic "concepts" or "principles". Such axioms were actually part of the mind's (the soul's) structure. A person simply cannot think at all if he thinks against these axioms. The mind simply won't work.

"I see where you're going," my friend said.

Yes. St. Thomas was of the view that in addition to these purely "logical" or "mathematical" axioms, the soul (or the mind) also had built-in moral axioms. An example would be our innate sense that it is unfair to punish a person twice for the same one offense. It is impossible to explain why that is wrong, we simply cannot think that it is right to do otherwise. These innate moral axioms he called synderesis.

Conscience begins by becoming aware of, "opening up to," and having knowledge of these axioms. Once we are infused with knowledge of such an axiom, we cannot but act accordingly.

"Did I ever tell you about my friend Larry...?" my friend asked.

Larry P. had been a Navy pilot in the Phillipines in the 1960's, a time in which the U.S. was waging an undeclared and unpublished war against the Huks and Moros, primitive native rebels. Larry P flew aerial missions against these savages and on one such mission he caught a Huk in his site. The rebel looked up and began to run for dear life through the waving brush of the field toward the cover of the thick dense jungle. But Larry P's AD-6 with its mounted 50 calibre machine guns was gaining on him and the Huk knew he wouldn't make it. He turned around, and in his loin cloth and bare chest, drew an arrow into his bow and fired up at the plane. At the same time, Larry P. pressed a button and let loose a barrage of ballistics that pulverized the rebel fighter in a ball of fire, as his arrow fell hopelessly short of its target.

Larry P, flew back to the base, got out of the plane and tendered his resignation. "You can't do that!" "Court martial me, do what you want. I'm not doing this anymore." There was nothing at all to bargain.

Well of course; that was it. Larry P. had acquired conscience of a moral axiom; an axiom that soldiers have known about for centuries; an axiom even boys know. A fight between equals is fair; a fight between unequals is not.

Kill the poys and the luggage! 'tis expressly
against the law of arms: 'tis as arrant a piece of
knavery, mark you now, as can be offer't; in your
conscience, now, is it not?
Fluellen, Henry V.

Interestingly enough, modern science has rather born out St. Thomas's idea of synderesis. Several years back, some animal behaviorists at Emory University conducted an experiment with capuchin monkeys, in which the monkeys were had to do some sort of work, at the end of which they each got paid a cucumber. Needless to say, in capuchin society a cucumber functions like money, at least in the sense of pay or reward for work. So the experiment went on for several weeks, the monkeys doing the work assignment (whatever it was) and getting paid a cucumber when it was over. One day, with no lead up or explanation, at the end of the work-day, the scientists only paid cucumbers to half the crew. The monkeys went nuts. All of them were quite upset and even the capuchins that had been paid refused to work.

I was quite excited when I read this, because it was evident that the monkeys were operating from some axiom of fairness that said: equal pay for equal work. What was exciting about this, was not that the simians had "achieved" some "human level" of consciousness, but rather that, as monkeys, they had this built into their monkey-minds. What this meant was that this axiom of justice was not a relative human construct. It was something that existed in the monkey soul millions of years before man ever existed himself.

Skeptics would perhaps argue that the only thing that had upset the monkeys was the breaking of a learned and habitual routine. But to me, that doubts too much.

And, it doubts too much even for the very evil people that are currently operating the U.S. Government; for in the depths of what passes for their souls they are aware that they are forcing our soldiers to engage in unnatural acts.

A recent article in Time magazine, “The Military’s Secret Weapon,” disclosed that “for the first time in history, a sizable and growing number of U.S. combat troops are taking daily doses of antidepressants to calm nerves strained by repeated and lengthy tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. But that is only half the story. The real story is that such reports are just a step in the process of acculturating the country to accept having its young men turned into doped-up killers.


Why did the people who wrote the P.N.A.C. report for the "New American Century" write that our soldiers of the future would wear "“skin patch” pharmaceuticals" in the climate-controlled, powered fighting suits? Why such a vision? Because their policy of global "full specturm dominance" requires our military to engage in so-called constabulary missions in what the report calls "zones of democratic peace." Iraq is such a zone, and the mission is none other than to engage in continual "shaping of the security environment."

This "shaping" consists in intimidating, kicking in doors, randomly arresting, and generally brutalizing the civilian population. According to the P.N.A.C. report these "constabulary missions" are "likely" to "generate" violence. How so? Because it is expected that some people in the occupied zone of democratic peace will resent being abused in this fashion and will fight back with whatever inadequate means they have at their disposal... at which point they will simply be blasted away by some computer guided drone, sidewinder, or gross-calibre weapon.


It was entirely according to plan, that upon occupying Baghdad, U.S. soldiers started randomly rounding up young teenage males, parading them through the streets (naked) and giving them a "taste of detention". It was entirely according to plan, the the U.S. phosphorized "the enemy" civilian population in Falljuah. And it is entirely according to plan that U.S. drones are currently blasting away the "gooks" in Afghanistan, just as we practiced napalming and defoliating the Taliban networks in Vietnam.


Our neocon military understands that American soldiers will be asked to repeatedly kill an unequal opponent. They even have a word for it: "asymmetrical warfare." Thus when one prisoner in Guantanamo tried to commit suicide, the commanding general called it an act of asymmetrical war.




The listed authors of the P.N.A.C. report are a roll-call of neocons: Perle, Feith, Kagan, Kristol, Wolfowitz and yes Donald Rumsfeld. These morally cancerous malevolents understood full well that their work was "as arrant a piece of knavery, as can be offer't in your conscience"

They understood full well that such asymmetrical war would break eventually break the human mind because the mind would be called upon and forced to act against its most axiomatic structure... It is a evil-minded distraction to waste time cataloging the hundreds of ways it can break down, the fact is that it is broken and useless because it has been forced to act against its conscience.

The people who have taken over the U.S. Government are the devil's spawn. There is no other name for them. They understood that the only way to get human beings, young American men, to engage in these brutal "constabulary" wars of oppression against civilian populations would be to turn them into doped up, semi-human, semi-android killers. With or without drugs, their souls would be dead.




©WCG, 2008

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

It's Time for Punitive Voting


It’s time to start punitive voting.

The concept of punitive voting is very simple: If we loose, YOU loose.

As things are now run, Democrats (like Pelosi, Franks, Feinstein, Biden, and even Boxer) think they’ve got Progressives in a corner. After all, who else are we going to vote for? So they toss us the occasional chicken feed while they

vote billions for war and destruction

vote billions for insurance companies that deny health coverage

vote billions for the banksters that rob and plunder America, all

while they deny bankruptcy protection for people who loose their homes because they committed the crime of falling ill,

while they deny environmental protection for a poor earth that is whitering and dying under the unslaught of naked greed

while they do nothing of any serious importance to assure people a life of wellbeing and freedom.

The senawhores and pimprasentatives who do this figure we’ll vote for them anywyays because what are we going to do, vote Republican?

Hey, the way I see it, if you act like a Republican you should be treated like a Republican. We loose anyway, so we might as well kick your sorry ass out.

It may take a cycle or two, but that is the only way to work for change. You can’t plant until your clear.

VOTE PUNITIVE.

P.S. Call up your local congressoid’s office and tell them about the concept. and listen to the stunned silence at the other end. Oh shit......

©WCG, 2008

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

You can't Out-Pander a Palin


For years -- since McGovern or at least Carter -- Demorat electoral strategy has been based on the mousy notion that if they just toned down the "librul" parts of their platform they could attract enough of the DumbFuck vote to win. The Republoscum lie low and let the Demorats tone themselves down. Once the Demorats have self-gutted, the Republoscom come up with some freak-of-nature dumbo whom not even the Demorats in their most craven self-abasement could out-down . Plus ça change.


©WCG, 2008

Saturday, September 6, 2008

United States Atones for Monroe Doctrine.


Attending a meeting of Euro-leaders at Lake Como in Italy, Vice President Cheney offered official mea culpas for the United States' unilateral embargo of Cuba. "That is no way for a responsible power to conduct itself,” Mr. Cheney said. “And it reflects the discredited notion that any country can claim an exclusion zone of authority, to be held together by muscle and threats.”

©WCG, 2008

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Gordon Brown is a Jackass

The English have always been superb at intoning pious hypocricies; but Gordon Brown has taken the skill into the heights of ludicrous comedy

"When Russia has a grievance over an issue such as South Ossetia, it should act multilaterally by consent rather than unilaterally by force," he said. "My message to Russia is simple: If you want to be welcome at the top table of organisations such as the G8, OECD and WTO, you must accept that with rights come responsibilities."

He talks that way to King George, too?


©WCG, 2008

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Bullying the Bear: Payback and Pipelines


If anyone ever wanted to punch George Bush in his stupid face, kick Cheney in his underbelly or stuff a stinking sock into any palavaring neocon's mouth, he can relax his hostile intentions. The very center of this Administration’s foreign policy has received a massive blow to the gut.

The Administration’s neocon policy of encircling Russia and gutting it from within baited the bear once too often. The bear has struck back and the US can do little but stand aside like a hapless, shown-up punk.

If proof were needed that things were bad, one need only have listened to Condolezza Rice’s hectoring whines chastising Russia’s failure to “integrate” into world institutions and condemning its resort to unilateral and “disproportionate” force against a neighboring country. From an Administration that bully-bellowed it’s “right” to act unilaterally while it incinerated Falluja, Rice’s shamelessness could only provoke acidic ridicule.

If proof were needed that things were edging toward critical, one need only have noticed that virtually no Western media horn published a detailed map of the region


To its credit (mirabilis dictu) the New York Times published a guest editorial by Michael Gorbachev outlining Russia’s complaint against U.S. policies and a decent synopsis by Jad Mouawad of the petro-political issues in the region. I suppose the Times has to do something every once in a while to keep its nose a hair above toney tabloid. Nevertheless, the fact that the western media en masse omitted any mention of the critical gas pipelines that criss-cross the region while they blathered stupidly if tirelessly about who started it and about the ethnic differences between East and West Ossetians was proof certain that Uncle Sam just got his hand mauled as it was clawing the cookie jar.

To appreciate the set back, one has to go back to the sordid foundations of this punk-administration’s foreign policy, so ably set forth in Billy Kristol’s neo- and zio-con PNAC Report of 2000. (Rebuilding America’s Defenses, Project for a New American Cenutry, Sept. 2000)

As enunciated in the Report, the core policy goal for the 21st century was simply and nakedly to “preserve American preeminence through the coming [technological] transformation of war.” America’s policy should be to “preserve and extend” its military “preeminence” by simultaneously fighting “multiple theatre wars” in order to “shape the security environment in critical regions.”

In plain English, the U.S. policy was to go about kicking ass simply to show everyone that it was the meanest punk on the block. This is nothing else that a policy of geo-political terrorism that sought to intimidate anyone and everyone else

The Report identified two critical regions in which this “power projection” needed to take place, viz: (1) “in the Middle East and surrounding energy producing regions and (2) in a new “American security perimeter in Europe removed eastward.” Although much has been written about the “zionist” prong of PNAC policy which obsesses on Iraq and Iran and the fiction of “islamic terrorism” the more “traditional” prong of this policy was the nibbling away, emasculation and encirclement of Russia.

The Report made unquestionably clear that these twin goals were to be accomplished by unilateral “diplomatic” and military decisions and a corresponding rejection of international structures, treaties and norms. In the neocon mind, institutional structures are useful only as they may temporarily serve to cover and advance an American “projection” of its putative “democratic values.”

Bearing these fundamental in mind, Condi Rice’s sanctimonious condemnation of Russia’s action was nothing other than theatre of the absurd. Just listen to her cant.

Early on in the crisis, Rice intoned that Russia had a “choice to act in a 21st-century way, [and] fully integrate into the international institutions.” (8/15/08) Instead it chose to “to engage in kind of Soviet-style behavior of intimidating and invading allies” like Czechoslovakia. (08/19) “Russia” she said, had backed away from “the principles of cooperation among nations of the communities of states” by “invading small neighbors, bombing civilian infrastructure, going into villages and wreak[ing] havoc and wanton destruction of [the] infrastructure.” (08/19) That same week it was reported that the U.S. had twice killed scores of Afghani children in some village blitzkrieg. Rice’s hypocrisy was so shameless that it is hard to say whether she deserved a medal or a wack upside her prissy face.

There are those who argue that Rice utters this nonsense solely for Americow consumption. After all who else can’t remember back past two weeks and who else wouldn’t choke on the absurd analogy of “Georgia” as a Russian “ally”. Certainly almost no one in Europe -- even if they are intensely anti-Russian -- could swallow such crap.

More interesting than whether Rice swallows her own poop is what her effluences disclose about the inner workings of the neo-con mind. Neo-con pronouncements always inversely reflect the truth. One has to translate.

When Rice speaks of a Russian choice to “fully integrate into ...international institutions” what she really meant was that Russia had a choice to vasselize itself as a quiescent and powerless satrap in America’s neo liberal “institutional empire.” That is the only reason she could go on to say that she felt it was “ very much worthwhile to have given Russia that chance.” Alas! For some perverse reason Russia didn’t particularly jump at the opportunity to be the projectee of American values.

When Rice condemned “the Russian strategic intent of destroying Georgian infrastructure and economic progress,” what she really was moaning about was Russia's spoiling Prince Cheney and Halliburton’s progress at constructing a gas pipeline circumventing both Iran and Russia. In fact, Russia was simply intent on not having its own infrastructure rendered worthless and its own economic progress sent to the back of the Chevron / Unocal / Halliburton bus.

When Rice goes on to assure us that “The culprit here is that Russia overreached, used disproportionate force against a small neighbor, and is now paying the price for that, because Russia’s reputation as a potential partner in international institutions, diplomatic, political, security, economic is frankly in tatters” what she was in fact doing was describing the nature and confessing the failure of America’s own policy.

Over and over again in the past eight years we have seen that with neo-con speak, the condemnation and characterization of “the other” is almost invariably a confession and characterization of self. “They’re seeking to ..." undermine, provoke, destabilize, destroy... always ends up being a completely accurate description of what this Administration itself has done and is up to. The neocon mind is in fact a mental illness, as those who work with paranoids, psychotics and delusional anti-social crazies will readily recognize.

In all events, what Rice has indirectly admitted is that a key prong of US power projection into the “surrounding energy producing regions” is “frankly in tatters”.

Indeed it is. The Bush-Cheney Administration has but a few months to go and it is scrambling to create “realities on the ground.” In so far as the anti-Russian prong of neocon policy is concerned, the Administration certainly has made headway. The Baltic states and Poland been have admitted into NATO, a missile shield against Somalia’s emerging nuclear threat has been forward based in Poland and the Czech Republic. Quite against Russia’s historic interests and alliances, Kosovo was “freed” from Serbia. There can be no doubt that the Administration was egging Georgia on to de-autonomize South Ossetia. As Presdident Medvedev put it
“ The Georgian leadership chose another way. Disrupting the negotiating process, ignoring the agreements achieved, committing political and military provocations, attacking the [Russian] peacekeepers — all these actions grossly violated the regime established in conflict zones with the support of the United Nations and O.S.C.E [Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe]. ...It stands quite clear now: a peaceful resolution of the conflict was not part of Tbilisi’s plan.”
Well, Tbilisi had about as much to do with it as the “political and material support provided by its foreign guardians” If Medvedev is to be believed (and there is no reason why he shouldn’t be), Cheney & His Neo Cons were seeking to extend America’s eastward “security perimeter” another nibble or two.

It was too much for the Bear which has now emitted a ROAR that has chilled half of Europe. It has pushed its own security perimeter south and has hung the Sword of Damocles over the CBT pipeline. It has brusquely informed Poland and the Czech Republic that, happy days are again and their cities will once again be targetted by Russian missiles . It is only regrettable that Russia missed a chance for irony by not claiming that the missiles were only directed at the nuclear threat from Brazil. But angry bears aren’t given to irony.

Medvedev made quite clear, that in addition to protecting its southern flank, Russia’s action on behalf of the Ossetians could also be considered pay for Kosovo,
“ [Faced with Tbilisi’s actions] Russia continually displayed calm and patience. We repeatedly called for returning to the negotiating table and did not deviate from this position of ours even after the unilateral proclamation of Kosovo’s independence.”
Contrary to Rice’s disingenuous blather, upon the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia did earnestly seek to “integrate” itself with the West. What it got was rebuffs, encirclement by US and NATO bases and an insulting 300 million dollar loan collateralized with demands to “open” its economy to savaging and scavenging. Russia has apparently had enough. It is signalling in concrete terms that the days of bullying the bear are over.

And what has the United States shown it can faced with this ROAR? About all it can do is send Condi Rice (and now Cindy McCain!) to hector and whine and accuse the Russians of harboring her own sordid intents. It is truly pathetic, even if Homo Americow can’t figure it out to save his mortgage.

The United States cannot come to the military aid of Georgia. It simply doesn’t have the manpower. Nor does it have the money to double the size of Blackwater, its new Free Market Army. The United States pushed and poked and now it can’t do much more than back off. The United States is close to bankrupt and its fraud riven banking system is dragging the world into recession. The NeoCon Century of Power Projection has turned into little more than a limp dick, high oil and most of our allies in Europe -- still dependent on Russian gas --with very deep second thoughts. All that is needed to make the farce complete is for Israel to discover its long standing “special relationship” with China.

©WCG, 2008
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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Sunday, March 23, 2008

War Mongering On Easter


Except for the Progressive magazine, the USUK press has downplayed Cheney’s war mongering foray in the Holy Land. Instead the headlines announce “Cheney says Independent Palestinian State Overdue.” Yawn.....

What is really going on is that Israel is pressuring a known war hawk to lean on Bush to go to war against Iran.

As reported by the International Herald Tribune: "Welcoming Cheney on Saturday night, Prime Minister Olmert pointedly placed Iran ahead of the peace process as one of "the many items on the common agenda" to be discussed. ' We are both very concerned about Iran; we are anxious to carry on the peace negotiations with the Palestinians.' "

Of course, “We are anxious for peace talks with the Palestinians” is the single most outstanding bull moo of the last 50 years. It is what Israel says every time it takes some action to torpedo whatever umphteenth Peace Plan is on the table. The refrain is intoned so regularly it would not be in the least surprising to learn that it had been incorporated into morning prayers at the Wailing Wall. It is meaningless. It is taken at face value only by morons, and the US mudia.

What Olmert really said was “We are both very concerned about Iran. 00 000 0000000 00 00000 00 000 00000 000000000000 0000 000 000000000000.”

In case one isn't quick enough to understand the meaning of zero, an Israeli official added that Cheney was seen by Jerusalem as "a significant player" who could influence "serious issues that cannot wait." (IHT 03/23/08)

What “serious issues” can’t wait? Certainly not the Peace with Palestine in Our Time issue. While that might be a serious issue, it has been waiting for 60 years. Surely it can wait another nine months until Cheney leaves office.

Well.... what other “serious issues” can’t wait? Peace in Iraq? We all know that Israel has nothing to do with our incursion into Iraq. Global Warming? As if Olmert were pressing Cheney to do something about the Arctic polar bear?

In case anyone still hasn’t figured it out, maybe Cheney’s reply will help. “America's commitment to Israel's security is enduring and unshakable, as is our commitment to Israel's right to defend itself always against terrorism, rocket attacks and other threats from forces dedicated to Israel's destruction,"

Once again, we get fillers packed with zeros. No one denies anyone the right to “defend against” terrorism, whatever that is. The right of self-defense is the bedrock of international relations. Cheney might just as well said he was committed to everyman's right to piss. The question is: against whose wall? Well... for one, against the rocket attacks or more accurately the jumbo firecrackers Hamas is lobbing at Sderot which has forced Israel into aerial bombing of Gaza. That hardly needed clarification. So, discounting the sum of zeros, we are lef with “other threats” allegedly “dedicated to Israel’s destruction.”

I will spare the slow reader any further agony. The issue that “can’t wait” is Iran. What the Israeli official was saying was that Israel regarded Cheney as a key player who could influence President Who himself on an issue that Israel says can’t wait.

The International Herald Tribune, which reported on the Unknown Issue, went on to fill up column inches with the usual blather about Abbas, Hamas, rockets, and the usual nonsense that masquerades as news. But supposing the Times, the Post and the Tribune really can't fathom what is going on, even a moron understands that the vice president doesn’t need to go to Israel to “revitalize” the peace process two weeks after the president himself went to Israel and actually did (or so were told) revitalize it.

In the absence of serious reporting from the Times, the Post, and other outlets of the US mudia, it was left to Mathew Rothschild in the Progressive to note that the sudden departure of Admiral Fallon the other week signaled, if not an imminent attack on Iran, the removal of the safety-lock against doing so.

The missle hatches are open. And on this Sunday, when Christians celebrate the the Suffering and Resurrection of the Prince of Peace, the prince of darkness (while he may attend spurious services in some bunkered conventicle of the US Embassy) is in the Holy Land tete a teting with Israel who wants him to lean on Caesar to attack Iran.

God help us.

© WCG, 2008
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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Palm Sunday Pay Day

A friend of the Gazette who is an avowed atheist and thinks religion is an empty crock has been complaining about Pay Day lenders for a little over a year now. For the silk stocking readership of this blog that might not know what my friend is talking about, a Pay Day lender is a loan shark who specializes in short term, usually two week loans, to tie you over until next pay day. It’s a po’ folk thing.

Suppose a someone makes $100.00 every two weeks. Coming up short at the end of the first week he needs $50.00 to tie him over until next pay day. The smiling Pay Day lender lends him $50.00 for which he will charge him $25.00 in fees and interest. Pay day rolls around and our debtor with a new $100.00 bill in hand goes off to pay his loan ($50.00 + $25.00) and returns home with $25.00 which has to last two weeks. He might as well have gotten hooked on heroin.

While these figures are merely illustrative, a person on minimum wage working 160 hours a grosses $880.00 a month; so the illustration is not that far from reality. Interests and fees charged by Pay Lenders go as high as 800%. per annum [sic].

Is this legal, you might wonder? You bet! A free market is a free market. Reagan taught us all about the evils of Gov’mint meddling and onerous bureaucratic paperwork stifling the “entrepreneurial initiative.”

Well... wait a minute. Wasn’t usury illegal? Wasn’t there a legal cap of 7% interest on loans? Doesn’t the Bible say something about that?

Yes it does. The Old Testament prohibits interest and mandates the forgiveness of debt. Today, Palm Sunday, Jesus rode triumphantly into Jerusalem on an ass, drove the money changers from the outer temple and freed the sacrificial doves from their cages.

But in god-fearing, ever self-righteous, ever self-adulating United States we don’t really think about that, do we? In fact, how many Palm Sunday sermons actually mention Jesus’s act of Compassionate Vandalism?

In State legislatures and in the back-hallways around Congress there are murmurs to the effect that pay day lending is “hurting the economy”. Various compassionate politicians are talking about putting a 36% cap on pay lending. Can’t get more progressive than that, now can you?

Thirty six percent!!! Sho’ is a lot less than 800%. The “cure” being proposed by our humanitarians in the Congress is only 7 times more than the traditional rate of gouging.

Go out, wave your psalms, sing your hosannas, and crucify the widow and the poor man on a cross of interest.

© WCG, 2008
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Saturday, March 8, 2008

In Torture We Trust


The veto of legislation that would have outlawed CIA waterboarding is the shriek from Hell that reflects what this diseased regime has always been about : the poisoining and consumption of everything healthy and decent in the United States.

Spewing over the radio waves, the presidential malignance in the Offal Office asserted that “the fact that we have not been attacked over the past six and a half years is not a matter of chance. ... were it not for this program, our intelligence community believes [sic] that Al Qaeda and its allies would have succeeded in launching another attack against the American homeland. ... this is no time for Congress to abandon practices that have a proven [sic] track record of keeping America safe.”

Our faith is our proof! His Malignancy never actually asserted that a specific attack had been deterred through the use of torture. This minion from Hell said only that something called our intelligence community “believed” that this “program” had prevented another attack. Once again, injecting poison into the body politic, Bush sought to induce people into thinking that torture had made us safe. This is a lie, and it is a lie that kills.

The truth is that torture does not produce reliable information. The truth is that this diseased regime has been unable to point -- in private or in public -- to a single instance where torture has protected the United States from a specific attack.

So why does bowel movement from Hell insist that torture will make us safe? Does it really believe that? No. It did so because in the festering intestines that pass for its soul, it knows that the minute the American People buy that lie, they will have been tricked into damning themselves forever. The body politic will have lost all immunity against being consumed entirely.

The instant torture is accepted as capable of protecting us from bad things, it itself becomes a good thing. It will become an accepted routine for bringing about the greater good and we will turned away, dulled and accepting, from the screams and pleadings of the tortured. We will have inverted good and evil. We will have accepted sin.

The moment torture is accepted as protecting us from our “enemies” it becomes acceptable to be used against us, ourselves, in order to ferret out the enemies in our midsts. And not just the known enemies, because the avowed purpose of torture is not to prove what is known but to find out what is unknown. And if not just against known enemies among us, then against any of us to find out who of us is the enemy, and to root out the blendables.

In this way, our acceptance of sin will consume us and the malignancy from hell will have triumphed.

Anyone who may have perchanced into this blog, may have wondered why it uses such foul language describing the slime and putrefaction that inhabit our public places. We does so, because this regime and everyone associated with it and everyone who collaborates with it is truly foul and disgusting in every possible way. Foul language is the only way to speak the truth.

©WCG, 2008

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Monday, March 3, 2008

On Time & On the Dime

The Guardian
newspaper reports a former British SAS soldier has been served with a gag order preventing him from discussing the role of British forces in the US extraordinary rendition program. Last week, Ben Griffin told a news conference that individuals detained by British forces have ended up at Guantanamo, Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan and other secretive US-run prisons.

Ben Griffin: “The use of British territory and airspace pales into insignificance in light of the fact that it has been often British soldiers detaining the victims of extraordinary rendition in the first place. Since the invasion of Afghanistan in the autumn of 2001, United Kingdom Special Forces have operated within a joint US-UK task force. This task force has been responsible for the detention of hundreds, if not thousands, of individuals in Afghanistan and Iraq.”

Griffin said he had no doubt that noncombatants he had personally detained in Iraq had been handed over to the United States to be tortured.

It is truly pathetic how passive and worthless the press is. Why wasn't this "discovered" seven years ago? I know more in my bones than these clowns have in their brains.


©WCG, 2008


Saturday, March 1, 2008

Psychosis, Policy and Purim

The image of Israel is that of a big body-built bouncer holding a five year old by the scruff of its neck, smashing its teeth out, bloodying its nose, and kneeing it in the stomach as “deterrence” for being kicked in the shin.



In researching the previous post on Israel's threatened holocaust, I logged onto Ha’artez in order to find the exact quote from an israeli source. After doing so, I perused the discussion blog, which -- no surprise at this point -- was nothing more that a long roll of murderous, hate-filled self pity.
“ The trouble with Israel is that they keep pussy-footing around and bombing empty buildings. For every rocket attack on Israel their should be a 2-3 day rocket barrage in return, right over the Gazan`s heads.”
“ Ring Gaza with artillery and bombard from a stand-off distance as a direct answer to rockets. Time this for maximum embarrassment of Condi"
“ The past two years have been devoted to this still born process, called the peace process. ... . We were told that we had to be patient, that Sderot had to be valiant, and her children had to suffer in silence ... People have the impudence to tell Israelis that they have to suffer in silence because otherwise the Palestinians will stop cooperating in this non-existent peace process. The world always liked its Jews quiet and pliant. The world, the "civilized" one, would like nothing better than to see the end to this troublesome country of the Jews. They just dare not say it in public. That would be bad form."
There was a smaller percentage of posts that decried the “holocaust” remarks as a tactical public relations error. I counted only one or two Jewish/Israeli comments that pointed out the moral contradiction and hypocrisy of Israeli policy.

These few examples are illustrative of the mass psychosis that has taken hold of Israel. This is a phenomenon that has been noted and decried by high-ranking Israelis themselves. As far back as 2001, Ami Alayon, the head of the Israeli secret service (Shin Bet) until 2000, told Le Monde that “In Israel, nobody is dealing with reality anymore.” He debunked the self-deluding propaganda that Arafat had maliciously turned down a magnanimous offer. “This is ridiculous”. (Le Monde 12/22/01) At the other end of the political spectrum Uri Avneri, Class of ‘48 and leftist journalist, has repeatedly decried Israel’s “self-brainwashing, paranoia and suspicion. In between, there are anonymous people like “Esther” who lamented on the discussion board that Ha’aretz had deleted her posts mentioning the three Hamas truce offers that the Israeli government rejected before launching its mini (not so bad) holocaust.

The manner of speaking that has been emitting from Israel and zionist quarters around the world has been cribbed from the book of ThugSpeak -- a language of cultivated hardness and brutality. Victor Kemperer, a German Jewish professor who survived Nazi genocide wrote a book about how deeds conform to the mental attitudes carved out by habits of speech Anyone who has truly informed himself about the nazi period can only be shocked by the kind of language coming from jewish lips.

But the truly troubling psychosis is revealed in the comment that the whole rest of the civilized world “would like nothing better than to see the end to this troublesome country of the Jews.” They all hate us!!! Therefore we have to destroy the Palestinians.

This is simply insane; it bears no relation to objective reality. Israel has the United States, the world’s strongest military, firmly in its corner. Pro-Israeli Jews work at the highest levels in all branches of the U.S. government. Laws in France and Germany make it a criminal offence to denigrate or even to question the jewish version of “The Holocaust”. Most western powers have embargoed Iran demanding that it give up nuclear power, while Israel is allowed to maintain a nuclear arsenal. What kind of derangement translates this into “people have the impudence to tell Israelis that they have to suffer in silence” ?

The Israeli author and musician Gilad Atzmon, answered it this way:
“ I tend to believe that the recorded sudden change in the Israeli collective mental mood is nothing but the outcome of the Israeli natural tendency to resolve the schizophrenic mode inherently entangled within Zionism. It is the outcome of the outburst of the conflict between the tribal and the universal that matures into a state of a colossal and complete phobia. The more Israelis want to secure themselves by clinging to isolation, the more death they happen to spread around themselves” [link]
Zionism certainly, but perhaps more. One of the commentators on the Ha’aretz blog wrote:
“ Our Purim Lesson is that Israel needs to do to Hamas what Hamas has promised to do to Israel. Haman hung on the gallows he had built for Mordechai.”
Well, what did Haman do? Haman faithfully carried out the orders of his king Ahasuerus, who ruled, it is said, from Ethiopia to India. On instructions from Mordechai, the Jewish inhabitants refused to bow to the king or to obey his laws . Haman asked the king what he should and the king gave him power to prosecute the offenders.

On orders from Mordechai, Esther concealed her jewishness, worked her way into the king’s affection and by the usual arts turned the king against his own loyal servant. Mordechai moved into the drivers seat had Haman and his sons hanged and then went about merrily slaughtering 75,000 of the kings own non-Jewish subjects..
"Thus the Jews smote all their enemies with the stroke of the sword, and slaughter, and destruction, and did what they would unto those that hated them.” (Esther 9:5 )
Perhaps it could be said that Haman got it in the neck during a palace coup. But what of these 75,000? Nothing in the story gives grounds for believing that they were other than just non-Jewish subjects obeying their king’s laws. The account provides no explanation or evidence that these slaughtered innocents “hated” anyone, at least no more than the assertion that “the whole civilized world” just hates us because we are Jews.

To this day Purim is a Jewish holiday. And the actions in Gaza will provide the Israelis with another occasion for holiday that they can call Purim II.


©WCG, 2008


Post Script. The Guidelines for the Ha’artez discussion board prohibit

“2. Statements terming Israelis or Palestinians and their leaders Nazis, or accusing them of genocide or ethnic cleansing."

Uh.... that makes it kinda difficult to discuss the topic, doesn't it?

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