Friday, June 30, 2006

Why Don't They Move to North Korea?

Today is Friday, 30 June 2006.

As yesterday noted, at least one political commentator/entertainer on Fox News (Brian Kilmeade) has called for imposing an “Office of Censorship”, which would have the power to determine what the American people could and could not be told by the news media about the warmaking conduct of their government. Such would-be censors invariably claim this is justified by the “global war on terror”.

Those who advocate censorship almost always claim to be strict constructionists of the Constitution. That is, the Constitution must be interpreted only in the terms in which the Framers conceived it, and according to their explicit words only.

Very well. The First Amendment to the Constitution: “Congress shall make no law … abridging freedom of speech, or of the press”. Strict constructionism can only conclude that “no law” means “no law”; no exception is stipulated for wartime. Strict constructionism means that, if the Framers intended press censorship to be within the inherent powers of the Executive as Commander in Chief in wartime, the Framers would have had to explicitly state this, and they did not.

Even if there were such an intention explicitly stated, according to the Constitution, the “Congress shall have the power … to declare War”. (Article I, Section 8) The Constitution says nothing of a “use of force” resolution as a substitute for a Congressional declaration of war. Therefore, as Congress has not declared war, there are thus no “wartime conditions” to justify press censorship, even if the Constitution allowed it, which it does not.

The strict constructionist analysis of press censorship is inescapable: it is patently unConstitutional.

It's worth asking: Why did the Framers vest the war power only in the Legislative, and not in any degree in the Executive? Because the Framers had first-hand knowledge, as well as historical knowledge, of the abuses that almost always occur when the Executive is invested with monarchical powers in such areas as warmaking.

The only “war” is in Bush’s mouth, and is rhetoric and propaganda, not Constitutional substance. If Bush wishes to claim war powers, he must ask Congress for a formal and Constitutional declaration of war (and even then he has no Constitutional power to censor).

If Bush is unilaterally claiming and exercising war powers, he is unConstitutionally usurping the power of Congress and thereby overthrowing the Constitution, a high crime and misdemeanor for which any president should and must be impeached and removed from office and, for the good of the Republic, probably indefinitely detained as an enemy combatant against the Constitution. (I suggest chained to a stake in Death Valley as an appropriate detention venue for such an egregious miscreant.)

Of course, since World War II, cowards in Congress and in the citizenry have allowed every president to wage wars while calling them by other names, thus mocking and overthrowing the Constitution. Real strict constructionists would condemn these presidents. The fact that those who pretend to be strict constructionists refuse to do so only confirms their deceit and hypocrisy.

If the Kilmeadians of this nation want press censorship and war at Big Government’s whim, I suggest they move to a country which embraces such anti-American values, and, in a decade or so, send us an eyewitness account.

If they don't like it here, why don't they move to North Korea?

The Museum of the Bourgeois will gladly contribute $10 for Kilmeade & Company’s one-way plane ticket to North Korea, and encourages others to do the same.

On this day in history:

1934 --- Press censorship advocate A. Hitler murders hundreds of political opponents in the purge known as “The Night of the Long Knives”

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Lies and Damned Lies

Today is Thursday, 29 June 2006.

"If you want to figure out what the terrorists are doing, you try to follow their money. And that's exactly what we're doing. And the fact that a newspaper disclosed it makes it harder to win this war on terror." --- Warlord W. Bush

Everyone from the Pretend-President to the most craven little member of the 82nd Division of the Cowardly Keyboardists is damning The New York Times for its 23 June article detailing the regime’s efforts to “follow the money” in an attempt to choke off funding for Al-Qaeda, et al.

Of course, back on 24 September 2001, an obscure organization calling itself “The White House” issued a Fact Sheet in the name of someone called “President George W. Bush” announcing, among other things, that “A Foreign Terrorist Asset Tracking Center (FTAT) is up and running. The FTAT is a multi-agency task force that will identify the network of terrorist funding and freeze assets before new acts of terrorism take place.”

[For press release, see this.]

Of course, those terrorists of the A-rab persuasion are so congenitally stupid that they’d never imagine someone might be trying to track their funding. After all, it’s well-known that they’re so dumb they couldn’t hit the broad side of one of the world’s tallest buildings with a large airliner.

(Thanks to for roundup of sources, this date. Check it out. Plenty more Bush regime statements alerting terrorists that the money was being watched where that one came from.)

One can only conclude that these attacks on The New York Times by the Bush regime and its minions are the result of yet more bad faith and willful deceit. They know that most Americans will never learn the fact that the regime had made no secret of its tracking of terrorist financing. They are masters of the constant smear and the Big Lie.

But, so long as the American people can wallow in gas-guzzlers and Gameboys, it seems the majority doesn’t mind being lied to, doesn’t mind their security being degraded by incompetents, doesn’t mind being made chumps.

Maybe they deserve what they get.

The tragedy is that so many others, so many innocents, are being harmed in the process.


The Washington Post today reports that the Bush regime is expected to announce the dismantling of the final W-56 nuclear warhead. An administrator of the program is quoted: "It takes anywhere from a few weeks to a month for each warhead if there are no problems … they are difficult to take apart because they were not designed to be dismantled." (italics added)


On this day in history:

1944 --- American actor Teddy Jack Eddy born

1956 --- President D.D. Eisenhower signs The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956, creating the United States Interstate Highway System

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The Great War, Etc.

Today is Wednesday, 28 June 2006.

It is said that the third emperor of Rome, Gaius Julius Caesar Germanicus, known to history as Caligula, wept, that all humanity had not but one head upon one neck, that with a single blow he might separate the one from the other.

On this date in 1914, the heir to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, was assassinated in Sarajevo by Gavrilo Princip, member of a group dedicated to unification of the South Slav peoples and complete independence from Austria-Hungary. On 28 July, Austria declared war on Serbia; by 4 August Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and Russia were all at war.

The best estimates are that the Great War produced some 9 million military deaths and 13 million civilian deaths, approximately 1.5% of the world’s population.

Also on this date, the Treaty of Versailles was signed, formally ending hostilities, but imposing financial reparation burdens on Germany which would help lead to World War II.

The best estimates are that World War II produced some 62 million deaths, roughly 60% of them civilian, approximately 2% of the world’s population.

Who says the Great War destroyed the idea of inevitable human progress?

World War I was the first truly industrial war, the application of the heavy industrial process to mass murder, the war of the crew-served machine gun, the first war to put massive killing power in the hands of one or two males. The killing which in previous gunpowder wars had required sustained volley fire by large numbers of soldiers, could now be accomplished by one gunner and one ammunition belt-handler at the tip of the spear.

World War II was the first modern industrial war, in which the heavy industrial process was applied to airborne delivery of conventional munitions, the war of the B-17, the B-24, the B-29, when a crew numbering scarcely more than a baseball team, in a single plane, could deliver enough firebombs to burn out several city blocks, when an armada of a few hundred planes could set fire to an entire city, and kill a hundred thousand or more in one night.

The culmination of World War II was the first post-modern industrial act of war, in which the heavy industrial process was applied to airborne delivery of atomic munitions, when a crew the number of a football team, in a single plane, could destroy an entire city, and kill a hundred thousand or more in a split-second.

A preview of World War III.

Currently, a single MIRVed (multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicle) ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile), fired by two missileers at the command of one president, can deliver 3 to 10 nuclear warheads, each with the potential to exterminate at least a million human beings.

Who says Hiroshima killed the idea of inevitable human progress?

Albert Einstein said that he did not know with what weapons World War III might be fought, but that he knew with what weapons World War IV would be fought: sticks and stones.

Today is also the anniversary in 1969 of the Stonewall Rebellion. The Stonewall Inn was a bar and grill on Christopher Street in Greenwich Village in Manhattan popular with gay males, many African-American and Hispanic. For decades, New York City police had enjoyed a free hand in raiding such establishments, making arrests, frequently extorting patrons, and recording names, which were often reported in newspapers.

On this day in 1969, a police raid on the Stonewall Inn led to three days of violent resistance. The next month, the Gay Liberation Front was founded. Stonewall was the birth of the modern gay rights movement.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

In Memory of Emma Goldman

Today is Tuesday, 27 June 2006.

Emma Goldman was born on this day in 1869 in Lithuania, then part of the Russian Empire. She grew up there and in St. Petersburg, then came to the United States at age 17, settling in Rochester, New York. Radicalized and introduced to the anarchist movement after the legal lynching of the Haymarket Martyrs in 1887, she moved to New Haven, Connecticut and later New York City.

Goldman became well-known and respected as a theoretician and organizer of anarchism. Contrary to its popular image as nihilism, anarchism is the political belief that social life must be organized around freely-given cooperation, not coercion and exploitation. In 1893, she was imprisoned for one year for incitement to riot, for a speech in which she said that the unemployed have the right to “Ask for work. If they don’t give you work, ask for bread. If they don’t give you work or bread, take bread.”

In 1906 she founded Mother Earth, an anarchist journal, which she edited until its suppression by the US government in 1917. She worked closely with the great radical labor union, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW, also known as the “Wobblies”), which was also suppressed in the Red Scare attendant to American involvement in the Great War.

In 1916, Goldman was imprisoned for advocating birth control and distributing birth control literature. Like most of the Left of her time, she opposed US entry into the capitalists’ “Great War.” In Anarchism and Other Essays, she wrote "The greatest bulwark of capitalism is militarism. The very moment the latter is undermined, capitalism will totter." She was imprisoned for two years in 1917 for organizing opposition and resistance to the draft.

Along with hundreds of other foreign-born leftists, Goldman was deported to the Soviet Union in 1919, having been illegally stripped of her American citizenship in 1908. She was initially supportive of the Bolshevik Revolution, but turned against it when Bolshevism institutionalized the statism and violence of the struggle against the counter-revolution. In 1921 she left for Britain, then lived in France and finally Canada. She tirelessly supported the Loyalist cause against the Fascist revolt during the Spanish Civil War. She died in Toronto on 14 May 1940.

Goldman is buried in Forest Park, Illinois, near the graves of the Haymarket Martyrs. The inscription on her tombstone reads, “Liberty will not descend to a people, a people must raise themselves to Liberty”.

Goldman’s book, Anarchism and Other Essays, is available as a free Ebook at Project Gutenberg. Her autobiography, Living My Life, is also highly recommended.

"Organization is a different thing. It is based, primarily, on freedom. It is a natural and voluntary grouping of energies to secure results beneficial to humanity."

"It is the harmony of organic growth which produces variety of color
and form, the complete whole we admire in the flower. Analogously
will the organized activity of free human beings, imbued with the
spirit of solidarity, result in the perfection of social harmony,
which we call Anarchism. In fact, Anarchism alone makes
non-authoritarian organization of common interests possible, since it
abolishes the existing antagonism between individuals and classes.”

--- Emma Goldman

Full disclosure: Your author’s cocker spaniel friend is named in honour of Emma Goldman.

Monday, June 26, 2006

570,000 Dead Americans

Today is Monday, 26 June 2006.

What would be the average American’s response if 570,000 Americans had been killed over the past three years by a foreign military intervention?

That’s the proportional equivalent of the more than 50,000 Iraqis killed since the United States Empire/United and Subject States began the conquest of Iraq in 2003.

570,000 dead is the equivalent of the deaths of every resident of Seattle, Washington or Washington, D.C.

These figures come from a story in the Los Angles Times (25 June 2006) by Louise Roug and Doug Smith. They are based on reports from the Baghdad morgue, Iraqi Health Ministry, and other sources. The true toll is undoubtedly higher, since these statistics don’t include the three Kurdish provinces, and reporting from the rest of Iraq is inconsistent.

Warlord W. Bush has acknowledged a death count of only 30,000.

(By way of perspective: more than 300,000 Vietnamese civilians are still missing as a result of the USE/USSA war against Vietnam, versus fewer than 3,000 Americans.)

This news comes as the Republican-controlled Congress refuses to set a timetable for withdrawing USE/USSA occupation troops from Iraq, since to do so would be to “cut and run”. (The running endorsed by the GOP is away from Jack Abramoff and his cash.)

However, General George W. Casey, Jr., commander of USE/USSA forces in Iraq, has recently proposed a timeline for troop withdrawal, subject of course to circumstance, whim, and election opportunism.

“A difference which makes no difference is no difference.”

One can’t help but wonder if the Bush regime is preparing a fallback position resembling that of the 1950 and 1952 elections. A major GOP slogan then was “Who lost China?”, the answer of course being “Harry Truman and the Democrats”. In reality, China was lost by Chaing Kai-shek’s Kuomintang Party, as incompetent and corrupt a crew as ever looted a country.

If the situation in Iraq continues to deteriorate, might not the Bush regime choose to “cut and run”, blaming their failure on the weak support for the war by the Democratic Party?

I’m put in mind of those who continue to claim that the USE/USSA could have “won” in Vietnam, except for liberals who “made us fight with one hand tied behind our back”. Given that some 6,000,000 Indochinese were killed in the Vietnam War, should a two-fisted policy have been adopted which would have killed 12,000,000 or more, but theoretically would have resulted in “victory”?


Bush and Cheney are slamming The New York Times for “revealing” that USE/USSA intelligence agencies monitor international money transfers in a search for terrorist financing. Rep. Peter King (R., NY) called the Times report “treasonous” and demanded the newspaper be prosecuted under the Espionage Act.

In reality, this information has been in the public record since the release of a UN report in 2002. (See Plus, does anyone really think “terrorists” are so lame-brained as to assume their money movements are not being monitored?

This maneuver is only the latest example of the bad faith and coldly-calculated deceit of the Bush regime and its minions.



1963 - John F. Kennedy addresses a rally of 1.25 million in West Berlin: "Two thousand years ago, the proudest boast in the world was 'civis Romanus sumi.' Today, in the world of freedom, the proudest boast is 'Ich bin ein Berliner.'" Unfortunately, the phrase "I am a Berliner" was incorrectly translated by Jay Lovestone, then an AFL-CIO executive and secret CIA asset, who had formerly been leader of the Communist Party USA from 1927-1929. The correct translation would be "Ich bin eine Berliner". "Ein Berliner" refers to a type of pastry. Thus, Kennedy in effect said, "I am a doughnut".

2001 – Warlord W. Bush looks into the eyes of Russian Federation tsar Vladimir Putin and likes what he sees: “straightforward and trustworthy”.

As Sandy would say: “Arf!”

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Custer Had It Coming

Today is Sunday, 25 June 2006.

One of your author’s favourite bumper stickers has long been: “Custer had it coming.”

George Armstrong Custer was born in Ohio in 1839, and graduated from West Point in 1861, just in time to indulge his ambitions in the blood of the Civil War. Having, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica, “distinguished himself in numerous battles”, he was promoted brevet brigadier general in 1863, commanding a Michigan volunteer cavalry brigade. He ended the War as part of the Army of the Potomac, which harried the Army of Northern Virginia in its final retreat, until its surrender by the morally-corrupt slaver and traitor, Robert E. Lee.

As part of the general shrinkage of the US Army after the War, Custer was reduced to his permanent rank of lieutenant colonel and sent to Kansas in 1866 as part of the forces under General Hancock assigned to the “final solution to the Indian problem”. He chose to detour to dally with his wife, however, and was subsequently court-martialed and suspended for a year without pay. The First Americans having refused to play their part in the final solution, Custer was restored to duty in Kansas with the 7th Cavalry in 1868.

On Christmas Morning, 1868, his troops attacked without warning the encampment of Cheyenne led by Black Kettle, along the Washita River in Oklahoma, massacring women and children as well as First American braves. He and the 7th were then transferred to the Dakotas, where President U.S. Grant had ordered that all First Americans who refused to be imprisoned on concentration reservations by 31 January 1876 would be subject to armed persuasion. (A major motivation was to clear the sacred ancestral lands of the Lakota and Cheyenne, so they might be overrun and looted by goldhunters.)

The 7th was part of a pincer movement. However, when Custer arrived on the banks of the Little Big Horn River, he determined not to wait for the infantry column, as he had been ordered, and to attack at once and seize all the glory. The result was the Battle of the Greasy Grass, also known as the Little Big Horn and Custer’s Last Stand. It is unknown if he realized that he was outnumbered some 3 to 1.

This was of a piece with Custer’s entire career. His Civil War record was “distinguished” by a willingness to take high-risk chances with the lives of his soldiers, if he might win recognition and promotion. His gambler’s luck finally ran out at the Greasy Grass.

Custer did indeed have it coming. Unfortunately, he took some 208 men with him. Twenty per cent of his force was under trained (having been in service 7 months or less), they were undernourished, and had just completed a forced march of almost 24 hours. Many of the troopers, then as now, were immigrants and other marginalized persons.

Also on this date:

1898 - Maria Skłodowska-Curie and her husband Pierre Curie announce their discovery of radium.

1903 – Eric Blair, better known as George Orwell, is born.

1950 – Democratic People’s Republic of Korea invades the Republic of Korea.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Screw-Loose Saturday

Today is Saturday, 24 June 2006.

Punctuation makes a difference.

Your author recently observed, on the advertising marquee of a local “Bible institute”, an advertisement for a worship service on 2 July.

The theme is given as “Return to God America”.

Unless the institute is being unusually open about worshiping “other gods before Me”, I assume it meant “Return to God, America”.

One little comma makes the difference between admonition and blasphemy. (I assume they aren’t advocating, at least openly, returning to the God, America.)

In today’s local newspaper, an ad in the religion pages was headlined “Jesus Say’s”.

The apostrophe is frequently abused in this way, as in “New York Style Pizza’s For Sale”.

The great Karl Kraus of Vienna (1874-1936), one of whose aphorisms appears at the head of this blog, would have enjoyed these examples. As a playwright, poet, satirist, and journalist, he was keenly, even obsessively, concerned with the abuse of language, and its consequent degradation as a means of communication.


On this date in 1947, private pilot Kenneth Arnold reported he saw nine disc-shaped objects flying at supersonic speeds near Mount Rainier, Washington. Carried on the Associated Press wire and printed by newspapers worldwide, the story is usually credited with starting the UFO craze. On 8 July of the same year, news broke of the Roswell (New Mexico) UFO incident, in which fragments of a flying saucer and one or more bodies of really illegal aliens were purportedly recovered.


Jonathan Alter, in an essay on, quotes arch-con-servative Justice Antonin Scalia on banning the burning of the American flag: it “dilutes the very freedom that makes this emblem so revered.”

And your author didn’t think Scalia and he could agree on lunch.


Let’s continue in the-sky-must-be-falling, snowball-in-hell vein.

In an article by Robert Gehrke in the Salt Lake City Tribune, he quotes John Jacob, running in a local Republican Congressional primary: “There’s another force that wants to keep us from going to Washington, D.C. It’s the devil is what it is. I don’t want you to print that, but it feels like that’s what it is … I don't know who else it would be if it wasn't him. Now when that gets out in the paper, I'm going to be one of the screw-loose people." (italics added)

The second time today your author agrees with a Republican!

Friday, June 23, 2006

The Persian Dilemma

Today is Friday, 23 June 2006.

Submitted for your consideration: a nation is No. 2 in the world in proven reserves of crude oil, and No. 2 in the world in natural gas reserves. Wouldn’t one think the regime of Warlord W. Bush would be looking for any opportunity to be friends?

Not if the nation is Iran.

As has been previously noted in these pages, Iran has few reasons to trust con-servative Republican American presidents, such as Bush (or con-servative Democratic presidents, such as Carter, for that matter). In 1953, the Eisenhower/J.F. Dulles/A.W. Dulles “axis of evil” overthrew the democratically elected government of Iran, led by Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh, and re-installed the corrupt dictatorship of “Shah” Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, the former Nazi sympathizer.

Every president up to and including Carter continued this support, for the “axis of evil” is longitudinal in time as well as in space. This support sufficed until the Revolution of 1979, after which the hard-line faction of the Muslim clergy (the Persian equivalents of Robertson, Falwell, and Dobson) triumphed over the secularists, and created their own squalid dictatorship.

Well, when did being a squalid dictatorship ever stop con-servative American presidents from making nice, if there was profit to be had?

Flynt Leverett, former senior director for Middle East Affairs at the National Security Council, published a perceptive essay concerning Iran on the Op-Ed page of The New York Times for 20 June 2006. Leverett and the Museum of the Bourgeois have independently reached many of the same analyses, albeit prescribing different courses of treatment.

As Leverett notes, Iran requires investment of at least $160 billion over the next 25 years in order to convert its oil and gas reserves into salable product. To date, only $15 to $20 billion has been attracted from European and Japanese investors. Guess who’d like to help, and get their hands on the spigots and product?

The People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation.

Both the PRC and the RF fear American unilateralism, fear a world in which there truly is only one global superpower, and they are both permanently confined to the second tier, mere regional “great powers”. What if the PRC were to play the RF card, and vice versa? Would an “Islamic Bomb” truly be too much a price for them to pay, if they could divide access to Iran’s buried treasures, and deny them to the USE/USSA (United States Empire/United and Subject States)?

Ironic, isn’t it? A con-servative Republican American president, who should be at the head of the class in seeing the advantages of exercising American economic imperialist hegemony over Iran’s oil and gas (the 21st century way to play the Great Game), can only think of ensuring his place in History by military conquest. (So 19th century. B.C., that is.)

(Richard Nixon seems to have imagined himself as George C. Scott playing at Patton. Does the preening Warlord W. Bush imagine himself as Colin Farrell playing at Alexander?)

Of course, the MoB is totally opposed to anyone’s economic imperialist hegemony.

The MoB just finds it more than passing strange that Baby George Bushmaster is playing Texas Hold’Em with the economic survival of the USE/USSA, not to mention humanity and the planet, by complete, crude reliance on the sword (or should one say the crusade and the jihad?), when a much less lethal and more effective weapon is to hand.

After all, the USE/USSA’s increasingly-strained armed forces have thus far proved incapable of subduing Iraq and Afghanistan, whose populations are respectively only 36 % and 40 % of Iran’s are respectively only 36 % and 40 % the size of Iran’s. Surely this prep school brat of a Connecticut faux-cowboy isn’t so deluded as to imagine that he, a legend in his own mind outstripping even Alexander, can humble Babylon, crush the Persian empire, and march to the ends of the Earth?

Or is there really such madness in the method behind the smirk?

Leverett’s goal is twofold: “meaningful long-term restraints on [Iran’s] nuclear activities” and victory for the USE/USSA in the “longer-term struggle for Iran.”
Leverett proposes a “grand bargain with Iran --- that is, resolution of Washington’s concerns about Tehran’s weapons of mass destruction and support for terrorism in return for American security guarantees, and end to sanctions and normalization of diplomatic relations”.

The Museum of the Bourgeois asserts that this is merely more of the same old gangster imperialism of super- and great powers, destined to lead only to more misery and bloodshed.

It’s long past time to reject the rapacious strategies of imperialism, and give the proponents of internationalism and equitable cooperation a chance. There’s only a finite, ever-more-quickly depleting treasure of oil and gas in the Earth, and, when that’s gone, to paraphrase Franklin, if we have not all hung together, we’ll all freeze together in the dark.


Delightfully, 23 June 2006 is the anniversary in 1973 of the Oval Office chat between Richard M. Nixon and H.R. Haldeman, in which they concocted the plan to lure the Director of Central Intelligence into falsely telling the Director of the FBI to back off the Watergate investigation, for reasons of "national security". The revelation of this plot convinced many Republican Members of Congress to at last abandon their support of Nixon.


Today is also the anniversary of the 1912 birth of Alan M. Turing, the great British mathematician, often considered the father of computer science. He killed himself in 1954 by eating a poisoned apple, after persecution by British intelligence agencies for his homosexuality. R.I.P.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Bush Defaces Old Glory

Today is Thursday, 22 June 2006.

Somewhere in the many boxes awaiting unpacking when your author re-assembles his library is a paperback, ca. 1971: Would You Buy a Used War From this Man? Of course, a caricature of Richard M. Nixon is on the cover.

One of the stories includes a reference to a “perpetually-burning American flag, shunted from one hippie hideout to another”.

If this is an election year, it must be time for the con-servatives in the Republican party to drag out their perpetually-burning American flag constitutional amendment.

Not that there’s been an epidemic of flag burning, or flag stomping, or anything but cowardly con-servatives wrapping themselves in the Red-White-and-Blue while running like hell from service in the Iraq Conquest.

There is, however, a law on the books that con-servatives might want to demand that Warlord W. Bush enforce. It’s found in 4 United States Code 8 (g):

"The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature."

Now check out: It’s a photograph of Warlord W. Bush, on 23 July 2003, defacing a miniature American flag by scrawling his so-not-John-Hancock on it. Apparently King George has been at it again, defacing the flag during his vacation junket to Vienna, Austria.

The Museum of the Bourgeois is, for the record, opposed to 4 USC 8 (g), to any flag burning amendment, and to all such attempts to eviscerate the First Amendment by criminalizing political free speech. (But if the con-servatives represent The Rule of Law, then by gum ought not they do some serious representing, and demand punishment of Fearless Leader?)

Now, a constitutional amendment banning the defacement of the First Amendment: that MoB could support.


Correction: Due to confusion in the Office of White House Flackery, T. Snowjob Prop., the correct day for the Warlord’s speech about the Hungarian Uprising, subject of yesterday's post, was not yesterday, but today.

On this date in 1898: Erich Marie Remarque, author of the antiwar classic All Quiet on the Western Front, was born.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

No Exit in Crawford

Today is Wednesday, 21 June 2006.

Vacationing today in Budapest, Warlord W. Bush will give a speech marking the 50th anniversary of the Hungarian Uprising of 1956, although the anniversary isn’t until October.

"This is not a policy speech, it's kind of a tone poem about the 1956 revolution," said White House spokesman Tony Snow. "This is not a newsy speech."

Among the tones not expected to be sounded in the poem is remorse.

When Dwight Eisenhower became president in 1953, one of the priorities of John Foster Dulles, Secretary of State, and his brother, Allen Dulles, Director of Central Intelligence, was to replace the Truman Administration’s policy of containment of the USSR with “rollback”: a proactive effort to remove Soviet satellites from their Moscow orbits. Or so they said: they failed to put action where their rhetoric was. Many Hungarians, unfortunately, took them at their words, which had been broadcast behind the Iron Curtain by American propaganda radio stations.

Many Hungarians believed that, once they had risen up and expelled Soviet occupation forces, the American military would arrive to protect their new freedom. When the Soviet tanks rolled across the countryside in November, the Hungarians discovered to their horror that ”rollback” was a slogan meant to be swallowed by American voters, not a promise to be honoured. The Uprising was duly crushed and a new wave of repression, torture, and executions rolled over the Hungarian people.

Do not expect Warlord Bush to express remorse, regret, or even embarrassment at the deceit of and betrayal by his Republican predecessors. His poetry is tone deaf.

On this date in 1905, the great French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre was born.

“Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does.” --- J.-P. S.

Would that Eisenhower, Dulles, Dulles, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, etc. had learned this lesson, and learned to use their freedom responsibly, instead of as a snare and a club.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

World Refugee Day V

WRD times out in this time zone in five minutes.

Every day is refugee day.

World Refugee Day IV

According to United Nations statistics widely circulated on the MSM this date, only 15,000,000 humans are refugees.

Your author, of all people, hates to dis the UN, but only .0025% of the 6 billion on our planet are refugees?

Seems like a Bush accomodating definition to me.

World Refugee Day III

Riddle: How many Republican Presidents, Senators, and Representatives, all in control of the Executive and Legislative branches, does it take to accomplish something in Sudan?

Fountain of Tears

Today is 20 June 2006.

The Museum of the Bourgeois salutes the memory of David J. Babineau, Kristian Menchaca, Thomas L. Tucker, and all other Iraqis, Americans, British, and others killed needlessly in the Republibush conquest of Iraq.

"O that my head were waters,
O that my eyes were a fountain of tears,
That I might weep for the slain..."
Jeremiah 9

BUSH REGIME: For their sake, for the sake of the murders you could avoid, surrender now: Surrender your imperial adventure to United Nations control.

Humanity demands it; history demands it.

World Refugee Day II

The Museum of the Bourgeois is currently located on Diego Garcia, an atoll in the Indian Ocean.

As you will see below, the people of Diego Garcia became refugees thanks to the demands of American imperialism.

Following from WIKIPEDIA:

“Portuguese explorers discovered Diego Garcia in the early 1500s. The island's name is believed to have come from either the ship's captain or the navigator on that early voyage of discovery. The islands remained uninhabited until the 18th century when the French established copra plantations with the help of slave labor. Diego Garcia became a possession of the United Kingdom after the Napoleonic wars, and from 1814 to 1965 it was a dependency of Mauritius.

In 1965, the Chagos Islands, which include Diego Garcia, were detached from Mauritius to form part of the British Indian Ocean Territories (BIOT). In 1966, the crown bought the islands and plantations, which had been under private ownership and which had not been profitable with the introduction of new oils and lubricants. In 1971 the plantations were closed due to the agreement between the United Kingdom and the United States to make Diego Garcia available to the US as a military base. No payment was made as part of this arrangement, although it has been claimed that the United Kingdom received a $14 million discount on the acquisition of Polaris missiles from the United States. This agreement also forbade any other economic activity on the island.

Until 1973, Diego Garcia had a native population, known as the Ilois (or Chagossians), which was composed of the descendants of East Indian workers and African slaves who had been brought to the island in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to work on the coconut and copra plantations. The islanders were transferred [Your author’s note: term for kidnapped at gunpoint] off Diego Garcia to Seychelles and then Mauritius amid allegations of starvation and intimidation tactics by the US and UK governments, including the alleged killing of island dogs by American soliders. Ever since their expulsion, the Ilois have continually asserted their right to return to Diego Garcia. In April 2006, 102 Chagossians were allowed to visit Diego Garcia for a week, to tend to graves and visit their birthplaces.

Now, Diego Garcia is home to a military base jointly operated by the United States and the United Kingdom, although in practice it is largely run as a US base, with only a small number of British forces and Royal Overseas Police Officers (ROPOs).

The base serves as a naval refuelling and support station. It has an airbase that supports the largest of modern aircraft. B-52s and other bombers have been deployed from Diego Garcia on missions to Iraq during the 1990 Gulf War, and to Afghanistan in the 2001 U.S. Attack on Afghanistan. High-tech portable shelters to support the B-2 bomber were built on the island before the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The base is part of the U.S. Space Surveillanc Network, with a 3 telescope GEODSS station, and is a NASA Space Shuttle emergency landing site.

Neither the US nor the UK recognizes Diego Garcia as being subject to the African Nuclear Weapons Free Zone Treaty, even though the rest of the Chagos Archipelago is included, suggesting the US wishes to maintain the freedom to base nuclear weapons there.”

In the event of a USE/USSA war against Iran, Diego Garcia will be a staging point.

World Refugee Day I

Today is Tuesday, 20 June 2006.

Today is World Refugee Day.

In solidarity, The Museum of the Bourgeois is currently located in Grozny, the capital of Chechnya.

Chechnya was first occupied by Russian imperialist armies some 250 years ago. Resistance has not ceased. The latest phase began in 1994 when the regime of former Commie opportunist Boris Yeltsin began ethnic cleansing. The latest ethnic cleansing is courtesy of "Tsar" Vladimir Putin, former KGB thug.

Several years ago, W. Warlord Bush visited Putin, looked deeply into his eyes, and "liked what I saw."

Throughout the region, hundreds of thousands of refugees have been generated ... that's the technical term, don't ya love it, sounds so electrical and antiseptic and "not my problem" ... by the Czarist/Yeltsin/Putin/Bush-endorsed wars against the people of Chechnya.

Gotta go. That's the HI-def of being a refugee. Check in throughout the day as MoB makes its pathetic contribution to raising consciousness about refugees.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Appeal for the Hostages

Today REMAINS Monday, 19 June 2006”.

Two American soldiers are newly missing in Iraq, after their checkpoint was attacked south of Baghdad on Friday last, 16 June 2006.

They are Pfc. Kristian Menchaca and Pfc. Thomas L. Tucker. Their comrade, Spc. David J. Babineau, was killed.

Eyewitnesses report the missing soldiers, members of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), were abducted after the attack.

Is it not passing strange that such staunch proponents of the war against Iraq as W. Bush, D. Cheney, D. Rumsfeld, C. Rice, K. Rove, B. Frist, D. Hastert, J. Inhofe, T. Coburn, J. Sullivan, etc., have not expressed their “support for the troops” by publicly appealing to trade themselves for the freedom and lives of these hostages?

Is it not passing strange that not one of those Americans who cavalierly support the war against Iraq has publicly appealed to trade themselves for the freedom and lives of these hostages?

We are incessantly told that America is a “Christian nation”. Heed this, then, you proponents of this war, you who flee in the face of these missing hostages: “No greater love than this, than one lays down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13)

Who among you lovers of this war, will be first on the plane to Iraq, to lay down your life for these missing?

In Memory: Ethel and Julius Rosenberg

Today is Monday, 19 June 2006.

On this date in 1953, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were electrocuted at Sing Sing Prison in New York. They had been convicted of espionage in 1951, charged with passing atomic bomb secrets to the USSR.

Available evidence indicates that the government believed that Ethel Rosenberg played little or no role in the spying, but that she was charged and made death-penalty-eligible as leverage against her husband. There is firm evidence that the judge, Irving Kaufman, was predisposed to find them guilty. It is now known that, contrary to law and justice, the judge had secret communications with the prosecution and FBI, designed to advance the cause of conviction.

At sentencing, Kaufman drew a bizarre conclusion: “I believe your conduct in putting into the hands of the Russians the A-bomb … has already caused, in my opinion, the Communist aggression in Korea, with the resultant casualties exceeding 50,000 and who knows but that millions more of innocent people may pay the price of your treason.” It must be noted that the Rosenbergs were neither charged with nor convicted of causing the “Korean War” or any future nuclear holocaust.

Evidence since recovered from Soviet archives shows that the materials passed by Julius Rosenberg provided little assistance to the USSR. The most potentially-valuable materials were passed by physicist Klaus Fuchs (who received only 14 years in another proceeding) and others. Soviet records indicate that KGB chief Beria was quite suspicious of the veracity of these materials. (Thus following the lead of Stalin, who was famously, paranoidly suspicious when Richard Sorge, a Soviet spy in Japan, passed the warning that Hitler was preparing to attack the USSR.) In any case, it is self-evident that Soviet scientists would have succeeded in fabricating atomic and nuclear weapons without the assistance of espionage, although it would have taken a few more years.

The reasons the Rosenbergs were killed rather than imprisoned were several.

Half a decade after emerging as the most powerful empire in history at the end of World War Two, Americans were increasingly frustrated. Most had assumed the United States Empire/United and Subject States (USE/USSA) would easily dominate the post-World War II environment on a scale unrivaled in human history, the Manifest Destiny of the Red-White-and-Blue being an (undoubtedly) benevolent world hegemony. Many Americans preferred to believe the seemingly-inevitable triumph had been thwarted by conspiracies and an “axis of evil,” rather than by the objective correlation of global political realities.

The generation which fought the Second World War grew up in an America in which agriculture was not yet so industrialized and mechanized as it would soon become, and which still required a sizable work force, many on small family farms. (In 1920, 27% of the population was employed in agriculture. The number is less than 1/10th of that today.) Many farmers were inclined to view their struggles as the result of a greedy conspiracy of “the moneyed interests”, particularly Eastern bankers.

Most farmers were traditionally constrained to borrow money before spring planting and repaying the loans after the autumn harvest. This cycle required a spring flow of capital from Eastern banks to smaller banks in rural areas, and a reverse flow of capital and interest in autumn. This was not a conspiracy in the sense of The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, but the ordinary mechanics of modern capitalism. The resulting mind-set meant that many Americans were pre-disposed to be deceived by bogus revelations of what the glue-sniffing Senator Joseph McCarthy called “a conspiracy so immense”.

The higher levels of America’s governing elites clearly recognized that the USSR stood very little chance of catching up with the USE/USSA in the struggle for global hegemony. In 1950, the combined economic productive power of the USSR plus the satellites of Eastern Europe was only 20% of that of the USE/USSA plus Western Europe, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand. This ratio was virtually unchanged when the Cold War concluded in 1991.

(Your author realized this ca. 1968 after crunching statistics from The World Almanac and Encyclopedia Britannica.)

The stirring battle cry, “We’re Number One by 5 to 1”, was obviously insufficient to impel the American public to squander more than $18 trillion on waging the Cold War. Fear, fear, and more fear were required to convince the American taxpayers of the mortal dangers of the phantom menace. The myth of the Rosenbergs was an integral element in manufacturing the Great Fear of the 1950s.

(For more on the $18 trillion figure, see the magisterial Atomic Audit: The Costs and Consequences of U.S. Nuclear Weapons Since 1940, edited by Stephen Schwartz: Brookings Institution Press; Washington, D.C., 1998.)

The Rosenbergs were Jewish. Anti-Semitism has deep and persistent roots in American culture. Unsurprising, given that the American ruling elites, like the vast majority of the pre-Civil War population, were of Christian North European origin. Their cultural prejudices flourished once significant Jewish immigration began during the Gilded Age of accelerated industrialization.

During the 1930s, it was not considered “crazy” or unbecoming to believe that Franklin D. Roosevelt was Jewish, and that his Dutch ancestors had concealed their faith by changing the family name from “Rosenfeld.” Until the late 1950s, it was also respectable in many circles to proclaim that “Communism is Jewish.” The public spectacle of ritually executing the leftist and Jewish Rosenbergs was too tempting a windfall for the Eisenhower regime to resist.

Whatever Ethel and Julius Rosenbergs did, they did sincerely believing, however mistakenly or foolishly, that the USSR, America’s wartime ally, was the international homeland of proletarian hope and resistance to Fascism. They deserved better than liquidation.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Fathers and Time

Today is Sunday, 18 June 2006.

Herewith, in honour of Father’s Day, the beginning of John Cheever’s great novel, Bullet Park (1969). One of your author’s favourites, as is the first sentence.

“Paint me a small railroad station then, ten minutes before dark. Beyond the platform are the waters of the Wekonsett River, reflecting a somber afterglow. The architecture of the station is oddly informal, gloomy but unserious, and mostly resembling a pergola, cottage or summer house although this is a climate of harsh winters. The lamps along the platform burn with a nearly palpable plaintiveness. The setting seems in some way to be at the heart of the matter. We travel by plane, oftener than not, and yet the spirit of our country seems to have remained a country of railroads. You wake in a Pullman bedroom at three a.m. in a city the name of which you do not know and may never discover. A man stands on the platform with a child on his shoulders. They are waving goodbye to some traveler, but what is the child doing up so late and why is the man crying? On a siding beyond the platform there is a lighted dining car where a waiter sits alone at a table, adding up his accounts. Beyond this is a water tower and beyond this a well-lighted and empty street. Then you think happily that this is your country --- unique, mysterious and vast. One has no such feelings in airplanes, airports and the trains of other nations.”

Since 1947, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (founded by those who took part in the development of the atomic bomb) has featured the Doomsday Clock, which indicates their judgment of how near Earth is to nuclear destruction. The Clock was created at 7 minutes to midnight.

The Doomsday Clock has stood at 7 minutes to midnight since 2002.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Seems Like Old Times

Today is Saturday, 17 June 2006.

Today is the anniversary in 1972 of the Nixon regime’s failed burglary of the offices of the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate office complex.
Today, as in Nixon’s day, an imperial president mocks the rule of law, overturning and defacing it with arrogant whim.

Today, as in Nixon’s day, an intellectually- and ethically-bankrupt regime continues to insist that victory and peace are at hand, if only the course is stayed and the graves dug deeper.

Today, as in the Indochina War’s day, casualties continue to multiply, with those of the conquered civilians far exceeding those of the conquering legions.

For a reality check, see “The State of Iraq: An Update,” on yesterday’s Op-Ed page in The New York Times. (Comparisons are of May 2003 to May 2006.)

Among the statistics:

U.S. and other Coalition troop strength: 150,000 + 23,000 vs. 132,000 + 20,000. (Add at least 28,000 U.S.-funded mercenaries to current total.)

Iraqi civilian deaths: 250 vs.1,500. Multi-fatality bombings: 0 vs. 56. Iraqis kidnapped per day: 2 vs. 35.

U.S. troop fatalities: 37 vs. 68. Other foreign force fighters (“Coalition”): 4 vs. 10. Iraqi army and police fatalities: 10 vs. 149.

Daily attacks by “insurgents”: 5 vs. 90. Monthly incidents of sectarian violence: 5 vs. 250.

Oil production (millions of barrels per day): .3 vs. 2.1. (Pre war: 2.5.) Household fuel supplies [estimated need supplied]: 10% vs. 83%.

Average electric power from official grid (in megawatts): 500 vs. 3,800. (Pre war: 4,000.) [In Baghdad, this often means only 2 hours of electricity delivered each day.]

Real G.D.P. per capita: $550 vs. $1,100. (Pre war: $900.)

Acceptable intelligence tips from Iraqi civilians: 100 vs. 4,400. [This number is not subject to independent verification or evaluation.]

“According to an International Republican Institute poll conducted in late March, more than 75 percent of Iraqis consider the security environment to be poor and the economy poor or mediocre.” [The IRI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization chaired by John McCain.]

Iraqis optimistic about the future, then vs. now: 75% vs. 30%.

Nixon regime: Bush regime. Fruitless slaughter in Indochina: fruitless slaughter in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Today, as in Nixon’s day, living and breathing wickedness bestrides the earth, invading and occupying and threatening every fragment of existence.

Seems like old times.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Open Letter to anonymous/name withheld

Dear anonymous/name withheld:

Responding to your comments on “Break Newz: Arabian Whites”, 13 June 2006.

I don’t consider the poetry of Auden, Millay, and Yeats to be “trivia”, if that’s what you meant (if I misconstrue, my apologies), but vital elements in the constellation of human culture and civilization (if the latter is indeed “civilized”, whatever that is).

From Theodore Ziolkowski’s Preface to one of my favourite novels, The Glass Bead Game (also published under the misleading title Magister Ludi), by the great Hermann Hesse: “The Glass Bead Game is an act of mental synthesis through which the spiritual values of all ages are perceived as simultaneously present and vitally alive.” (I think everyone who reads the novel is enriched.) This is a good description of what I try to achieve.

(For the record, I don’t equate myself with Hesse. I’ve learned much from some four decades of reading and pondering his works, values, and life. As an homage, and some small recompense, I chose “HH” as my blogger nom de plume.)

Some of my posts consist of short entries on several subjects; perhaps this is what you perceive as “rambling and disjointed.” (Perhaps the connections I sometimes see between these subjects exist only for me.) Most of my posts attempt to deal in a systematic, analytic, and scholarly manner with single subjects. And thank you, I do spend a good deal of time researching, writing, and polishing my posts, as I believe strongly in the critical nature of words, ideas, and communicating.

I am troubled by what I perceive (and again, if I misconstrue, my apologies) as the virtually ad hominem attack character of questions about “a real job” and my publishing history. These seem irrelevant to me; what is in question is whether what I communicate is valid and of value. I take no umbrage with anyone who disputes, debates, or rejects what I write.

Thank you for reading Museum of the Bourgeois and commenting. I hope you will find my posts interesting enough, or at least irritating enough, to continue in dialogue.



Homage to Soweto

Today is Friday, 16 June 2006.

On this day in 1976, a demonstration by schoolchildren in Soweto township, South Africa, was turned by government terrorism into a bloodbath, a crucial landmark in the resistance which would eventually overthrow white supremacist rule.

The target of the demonstration was a 1974 law which mandated that Black students not only learn Afrikaans, the corrupt dialect of Dutch created by their oppressors, but also be taught such subjects as history and mathematics in that language.

Quoth the Deputy Minister of Bantu Education at the time: "I have not consulted the African people on the language issue and I'm not going to. An African might find that 'the big boss' only spoke Afrikaans or only spoke English. It would be to his advantage to know both languages."

The demonstration began with a rally, then a march by 5,000 to 10,000. Student chants included: “If we must learn Afrikaans, Vorster must learn Zulu.”

(B.J. “John” Vorster was prime minister (1966-1978) and president (1978-1979). He was imprisoned during World War II for supporting the Nazis. A staunch proponent of apartheid, he resigned in disgrace in a corruption scandal.)

Confronted by police with automatic weapons, the route was changed. Soon, the police threw tear gas, to which the students responded by throwing stones. Police then opened fire. The government claimed 23 students were killed; responsible observers put the number at 500-600.

An iconic news photo of the time shows the youngest victim of the massacre, Hector Peterson, 12, dying as he is carried in the arms of a fellow student. Today’s memorial in Soweto will take place at the Hector Peterson memorial. Today is Youth Day in South Africa.

As your author is constrained to point out, whenever mentioning South Africa, because of many of his fellow citizens selective memories, successive United States Empire/United and Subject States (USE/USSA) governments provided only token opposition, and, when conservative, outright support to the apartheid dictatorship. “After all, they’re anti-Communist.” These supporters like to forget that apartheid was based directly on the Nazi system (the “Nuremberg Laws”) for control of Jewish Germans.

All honor to the martyrs of Soweto, and to all those who fought apartheid.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Magna Carta

Today is Thursday, 15 June 2006.

This day in 1215, an assemblage of the feudal barons of England, having been vexed by the martial shortcomings, profligate spending, and consequent heavy taxation of King John of England, and having seized London five days before, met with the King in the meadow at Runnymede, there forcing him to affix his seal to the “Articles of the Barons”, the document known to history as Magna Carta, the Great Charter. In return, they renewed their oaths of feudal allegiance.

Contrary to popular belief, Magna Carta (hereafter M.C.) is not the first English document of its type, for much of its text is copied directly from the Charter of Liberties of Henry I from 1100. M.C. is not even, in reality, the document of 1215, for it was reaffirmed, e.g., in 1225 and 1297, the form most familiar today as the “original.” (M.C. is actually a series or collection of documents subsumed under a common name.)

Much myth has attached to Magna Carta, as one might expect, since it is a profoundly political document, that is, the record at a particular moment in space and time of the correlations of power existing among elites. As the political struggles developed, each fraction of the elites, and then also the common people, affected to see in M.C. the irrefutable proof of the justice of their respective causes.

In reality and myth, it would probably be not stretching the point to say that M.C. is a landmark in at least three areas: establishing boundaries for principles of taxation, a rudimentary sense of due process of law, and separation of the government from the person of the monarch.

Nor surprisingly, all three are still hot potatos.

For example, whenever the majesty of that moth-eaten abstraction, “The Presidency”, is invoked as reason blindly to submit to the judgments, whims, and demands of a particular president, we regress to the time when “divine right of kings” could be intoned with a straight face.

When a president asserts that his wartime powers (in a time of Constitutionally undeclared war!) are unlimited, and thus include the faculty of detaining all he deems “unlawful combatants” for an indefinite period, we hear the echo of ancient despots proclaiming sovereign immunity from even the most cursory of judicial consideration of all claims of habeas corpus.

When a president decrees that it doesn't matter what the Judicial branch rules that the Legislative branch intended when it enacted a law, that the only thing which matters is what the president chooses ... it is time to bring that president to Runnymede.

It is the oldest trick in the books of kings: your freedom and security are in danger, surrender them to me, only I can keep them safe. But the truly mortal perils are always in palaces.

Magna Carta is best seen as a waystation, important but not always defining, in the continuous struggle to assert and ensure human freedom over and against tyrants.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The shade look, seriously

Today is Wednesday, 14 June 2006.

So W. Warlord Bush went to Baghdad to look into the eyes of the new Iraqi prime minister and take his measure. Recall when W. did that with former KGB thug Czar Vladimir Putin of Russia? W. liked what he saw.

I was waiting for W. to try to sound Churchillian: This is not the beginning of the end, but it is the end of the beginning.

I was put in mind of similar trips by LBJ and Nixon to Vietnam. They too returned with rosy projections: all we have to do is stay the course, do more of what hasn’t worked, and all will turn out well.

Meanwhile, in the House of Representatives a limited debate on Iraq is scheduled today. The Republican Majority Leader, in a strategy memo to House Republicans leaked to the press, calls on members to keep hitting the 9/ll-has-everything-to-do-with-Iraq theme, plus suggest the only alternatives are an increasingly ramped-up Global War on Terrorism or, the supposed Democratic preference, waiting for all the bad things to fade away on their own. (See entire memo at this date.)

I doubt there was ever a ruling class that didn’t try to dictate falsification of the terms of political debate. So long as most Americans not only have their heads in the sand, but in the wrong patch of sand altogether, the slaughter will continue. Your author sometimes regrets having spent a great deal of his life in the study of human history; every day comes to have aspects of Groundhog Day.


Rumsfeld has kicked what little press presence was in Gitmo out, according to this date. Journalists for the Miami Herald and Los Angeles Times received the following: "Media currently on the island will depart on Wednesday, 14 June 2006 at 10:00 a.m. Please be prepared to depart the CBQ [quarters] at 8:00 a.m." It seems Rummy expected them to confine themselves to military tribunal stories, but they filed on the recent suicides.


Karl Zinsmeister, W. Warlord’s new chief domestic policy adviser, is another Ivy League neocon piece of work. Editing the American Enterprise Institute’s magazine, he called Nelson Mandela a “feckless fool.” Enjoy the following from an article in yesterday’s Washington Post:

"In 2003, he mocked the BBC for asserting the United States "could take, bluntly, a couple to 3,000 casualties." Later that year, he wrote, "Not too far down the road, today's drumbeat about America's failure to bring instant recovery to Iraq may look quite rash."

A year later, he wrote a piece titled "How America Is Winning a Guerilla War." A year after that, he declared victory. "The War is Over, and We Won," announced a June 2005 piece. "With the exception of periodic flare-ups in isolated corners, our struggle in Iraq as warfare is over," he wrote. Although there will still be "egregious acts of terror," he said, "contrary to the impression given by most newspaper headlines, the United States has won the day in Iraq."


Couldn’t resist this:

“At a press conference this morning, President Bush needled Los Angeles Times reporter Peter Wallsten after he stood up to ask a question wearing sunglasses. “Are you going to ask that question with shades on?” Bush said, telling Wallsten, “I’m interested in the shade look, seriously.”

But as Wonkette first noted, and which ThinkProgress subsquently confirmed, Wallsten is legally blind.” ( this date)


Snowballs in Hell Dept.: Now that it seems Karl Rove can send the Gucci orange jumpsuit back, questions linger. Was there a deal? Has the pit bull become a rat? Who did he give up? Given that Karlo admits to leaking classified info, will his Master revoke his security clearances?


Today in History: 1940 - Auschwitz opened; 1964 – Nelson Mandela sentenced to life imprisonment; 1989 – Ronald Reagan knighted by Elizabeth II.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Break Newz: Arabian Whites

Today is still Tuesday, 13 June 2006.

So, George W. Warlord vacations in Baghdad.

Keepin' it real.

Here is the real, dedicated to the victims of the Warlord:

Edna St.Vincent Millay (1892-1951)

We were very tired, we were very merry—
We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry.
It was bare and bright, and smelled like a stable—
But we looked into a fire, we leaned across a table,
We lay on a hill-top underneath the moon;
And the whistles kept blowing, and the dawn came soon.

We were very tired, we were very merry—
We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry;
And you ate an apple, and I ate a pear,
From a dozen of each we had bought somewhere;
And the sky went wan, and the wind came cold,
And the sun rose dripping, a bucketful of gold.

We were very tired, we were very merry,
We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry.
We hailed "Good morrow, mother!" to a shawl-covered head,
And bought a morning paper, which neither of us read;
And she wept, "God bless you!" for the apples and pears,
And we gave her all our money but our subway fares.

Monday, June 12, 2006

In the Prison of Our Days ...

Today is Tuesday, 13 June 2006.


HAD I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

[from The Wind Among the Reeds, 1899, by William Butler Yeats]

Yeats, in the first rank of poets, was born on this day in 1865. Died, 28 January 1939.

In 1381, the English Peasant’s Revolt, known as Wat Tyler’s Rebellion, began.

In 1966, the Supreme Court issued the Miranda ruling.

“You have the right to remain silent. If you give up that right, anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney and to have an attorney present during questioning. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided to you at no cost. During any questioning, you may decide at any time to exercise these rights, not answer any questions, or make any statements.”

In 1971, The New York Times began publication of the Pentagon Papers.

In 2006, Day Two of Fearless Leader’s summit at Camp David, regarding the failures of the Conquest of Iraq.

Oh, how reactionaries hate Miranda. That is to say, how reactionaries hate the concept that people are to be reminded of their Constitutional rights.

Such horror and base treason that: to remind people that they have and enjoy Constitutional rights. Let’s lock them all away.


In Memory Of W.B. Yeats
By W. H. Auden


He disappeared in the dead of winter:
The brooks were frozen, the airports almost deserted,
The snow disfigured the public statues;
The mercury sank in the mouth of the dying day.
What instruments we have agree
The day of his death was a dark cold day.

Far from his illness
The wolves ran on through the evergreen forests,
The peasant river was untempted by the fashionable quays;
By mourning tongues
The death of the poet was kept from his poems.

But for him it was his last afternoon as himself,
An afternoon of nurses and rumours;
The provinces of his body revolted,
The squares of his mind were empty,
Silence invaded the suburbs,
The current of his feeling failed; he became his admirers.

Now he is scattered among a hundred cities
And wholly given over to unfamiliar affections,
To find his happiness in another kind of wood
And be punished under a foreign code of conscience.
The words of a dead man
Are modified in the guts of the living.

But in the importance and noise of to-morrow
When the brokers are roaring like beasts on the floor of the Bourse,
And the poor have the sufferings to which they are fairly accustomed,
And each in the cell of himself is almost convinced of his freedom,
A few thousand will think of this day
As one thinks of a day when one did something slightly unusual.
What instruments we have agree
The day of his death was a dark cold day.


You were silly like us; your gift survived it all:
The parish of rich women, physical decay,
Yourself. Mad Ireland hurt you into poetry.
Now Ireland has her madness and her weather still,
For poetry makes nothing happen: it survives
In the valley of its making where executives
Would never want to tamper, flows on south
From ranches of isolation and the busy griefs,
Raw towns that we believe and die in; it survives,
A way of happening, a mouth.


Earth, receive an honoured guest:
William Yeats is laid to rest.
Let the Irish vessel lie
Emptied of its poetry.

In the nightmare of the dark
All the dogs of Europe bark,
And the living nations wait,
Each sequestered in its hate;

Intellectual disgrace
Stares from every human face,
And the seas of pity lie
Locked and frozen in each eye.

Follow, poet, follow right
To the bottom of the night,
With your unconstraining voice
Still persuade us to rejoice.

With the farming of a verse
Make a vineyard of the curse,
Sing of human unsuccess
In a rapture of distress.

In the deserts of the heart
Let the healing fountains start,
In the prison of his days
Teach the free man how to praise.

Online text © 1998-2006 Poetry X. All rights reserved.

Leave Some Words Behind

Today is Monday, 12 June 2006.

Why “left”? Why “right”?

What is the origin of these terms which have for so long served, formally, as a taxonomic distinction in world and local politics, but which in fact serve only to obscure?

They originated in 1793, during the French Revolution. In the Legislative Assembly, the Jacobins sat on the benches at the left rear of the amphitheatre; these were the highest seats in the hall, and so they were also known as the Montagnards, from the French word for mountain. The Girondins sat on the right benches.

Of course, the issues which animated the politics of the French Revolution are, in most cases, only abstractly related to those which have animated politics since. The continued use of these “brand names” in radically different contexts favours the forces of obfuscation rather than of clarity.

(The usual spectrum is as follows: anarchist, Communist, socialist, liberal, centrist, conservative, far-right (or reactionary), libertarian.)

For example, consider the designation by some of Senator Edward Kennedy as “far left-liberal, if not socialist.” On so-called “social issues,” Kennedy is a liberal. Economically, however, he is a staunch supporter of laissez faire capitalism, albeit tempered by such governmental participation which is necessary in an economy which bears little resemblance to that of 1789. He also believes in the fundamental right of the USE/USSA (United States Empire/United and Subject States) to exercise global hegemony, although he doesn’t see it as usefully exercised in the same places and ways as, say, Karl Rove. So, Kennedy must be a conservative, right?

This example, which could be replicated endlessly, illustrates the absolute intellectual poverty of “left” and “right”. These terms are not taxonomic, but propagandistic. The danger of their use is that they implode nuances of political thoughts and positions into brand names, and thereby impede, and often render impossible, rational political thought.

(Full disclosure: your author is forced to use these obnoxious terms more frequently that he would like. The problem is, of course, that, in a society dominated by the simplistic and propagandistic, use of more carefully shaded terminology would lead one to paragraphs like the Kennedy one running rampant on the page.)

This is one of the horrors made possible by capitalistic mass media: that words serve to degrade and distort communication, for the purposes of propaganda and manipulation, rather than foster it.

Another example. In 2003, the command at the Gitmo gulag decreed that there were no longer any suicide attempts occurring, only “incidents of self-injurious behavior”.

The “right” likes to say, “Words have consequences”. And indeed they do. In the interests of more transparent communication, it’s time to retire archaicisms such as “left” and “right”.


On a related subject:

"Nicholas Minucci's mom has launched an attack on a Queens prosecutor, claiming the lawyer went after the Howard Beach hatemonger because [the lawyer’s] husband is black and her children are "half-and-half."

[Nicholas “Fat Nick” Minucci was convicted of beating a black man with an aluminum baseball bat because he was black in a white neighborhood.]

"Let's call a spade a spade," Maria Minucci told the Daily News, referring to prosecutor Mariela Herring.

"She's got her own agenda," Minucci said. "She has issues with her own half-and-half children. That's her own business. She should get off people's backs."

She even suggested her son's use of the N-word, the centerpiece of the hate-crime charge, was a boon for race relations.

"What the kids call one another is a good thing. They took the hate away," she said. "What my son said was not the N-word. It was, 'What up, n---a?' With an 'a.' It's said by young people. It was not derogatory." (New York Daily News, 11 June 2006)


On this date in 1963, Mississippi civil rights leader Medgar Evers was assassinated by white supremacist Byron De La Beckwith, who was not convicted until 1994.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

When you go to woman ...

Today is Sunday, 11 June 2006.

The very good news: “Federal drug officials on Thursday announced the approval of a vaccine against cervical cancer that could eventually save thousands of lives each year in the United States and hundreds of thousands in the rest of the world.” (The New York Times)

The bad news: “But Gardasil’s price could put it out of reach for most women in poor countries and some in the United States who lack private insurance.” (Ibid.)

The worst news: certain “Christian” groups hope to prevent any government role in funding distribution of the vaccine. “We can prevent [cervical cancer] by the best public health method, and that’s not having sex before marriage,” said Linda Klepacki, a flack for Focus on the Family, the extremist political conspiracy. (Ibid.)

That is: better for women to die of cervical cancer, than to risk giving unmarried women the idea of premarital sex by giving a vaccine, even though the median age at which American women first have sex is 15.

In other words, premarital chastity is so important to the Focus god that it is willing to have women killed over it.

The same holds true for the whole range of demands that young people not be taught that scientific birth control methods reduce the chances of pregnancy and disease by ninety per cent or more. Death by HIV/AIDS is morally and theologically preferable to condom use.

And how do Focus on the Family, and its co-conspirators, know? Their god has told them, in ways most people can’t perceive, and ordered them to impose its will on all humanity. People have no right to make their own choices: the elect of god will dictate choices to them.

This is simply the latest front in patriarchal fascism’s war on women. That some women, like Ms. Klepacki above, or anti-ERA activist Phyllis Schlafly, choose to support this war, is evidence of the power of socialization to warp judgement, and of some women’s choice of avarice and advancement over humaneness and solidarity.

Were the warriors, male and female, for patriarchal fascism to study Nietzsche, I’m certain they would delight in his infamous maxim: “When you go to woman, take the whip.”


Phyllis Schlafly: “The flight from the home is a flight from yourself, from responsibility, from the nature of woman, in pursuit of false hopes and fading illusions" (from, as are quotes below). This from a woman whose resume includes testing ammunition (St. Louis Ordnance Plant), B.A. Washington Univ., M.A. Harvard, J.D., Washington, founding Eagle Forum, Congressional candidate (1952), etc.

This is on a par with fundamentalist women who proclaim that the New Testament demands women be silent in church, then proceed to run profitable ministry businesses where they talk up a storm.

Schlafly quotes:

"Sex education classes are like in-home sales parties for abortions."

"Just tell them to keep your hands out of what’s inside your swimsuits – that takes care of most girls and boys."

"It’s very healthy for a young girl to be deterred from promiscuity by fear of contracting a painful, incurable disease, or cervical cancer, or sterility, or the likelihood of giving birth to a dead, blind, or brain-damaged baby (even 10 years later when she may be happily married)."

"The atomic bomb is a marvelous gift that was given to our country by a wise God."

“Many years ago Christian pioneers had to fight savage Indians. Today missionaries of these former cultures are being sent via the public schools to heathenize our children.”

“I suspect that the picture of the woman soldier with a noose around the Iraqi man’s neck will soon show up on the bulletin boards of women’s studies centers and feminist college professors. That picture is the radical feminists’ ultimate fantasy of how they dream of treating men.”

Saturday, June 10, 2006


Today is Saturday, 10 June 2006.

Why do Log Cabin Republicans belong to a party of which (at least) a sizable minority would like to see them all exterminated RIGHT NOW, and another (at least) sizable minority is willing to wait until a merciful god FRIES THEM ALL IN HELL FOREVER?

Is a phony laissez faire attitude that compelling?

“Columbus only discovered
that he was in some new place.
He didn't discover America.”
--- Louise Erdrich

[ripped off from]


Your author yesterday received a form e-mail from his Member of Congress, John Sullivan (R, OK), which began:

“Thank you for contacting me with your concerns regarding the Downing
Street Memo. It is good to hear from you and I appreciate the opportunity to
respond. … I disagree with you that President Bush should be investigated and
impeached with regard to the interpretation of one man's thoughts on the
Iraqi military operation addressed in the Downing Street Memo.”

Strange to note: this was the response to an e-mail requesting Mr. Sullivan vote for H.Res. 543, a discharge petition which would permit debate on all aspects of the Iraq war, not just the limited sham debate intended by the Republican leadership, and which did not include any reference to the Downing Street Memo.

Stranger to note: this is at least the 3rd time your author has received this form e-mail in response to his very different e-mails regarding the Iraq war, none of which mentioned the Downing Street Memo. Has Mr. Sullivan a guilty conscience in regard to the cats let out of the bag by the Downing Street Memo? Doth he therefore protest too much?


(MR. INHOFE) As you see here, and I think this is maybe the most important prop we’ll have during this entire debate, my wife and I have been married 47 years. We have 20 kids and grandkids. I’m really proud to say that in the recorded history of our family, we’ve never had a divorce or any kind of a homosexual relationship.

From Jerry Doolittle:

My wife and I have been married 50 years. We have 15 kids and grandkids. I’m really proud to say that in the recorded history of our family, we’ve had quite a few partial assholes, but never a complete one like Inhofe.

Oh, and another thing. Inhofe’s official homepage, as of this morning, reports that “Inhofe has been married to his wife, Kay, for 46 years and has four grown children and twelve grandchildren.” Apparently the senator didn’t bother to take his shoes off before doing the addition.

[ripped off from]


The following section, relating to the required curriculum, of the Florida Omnibus Education Bill was recently passed by the Florida legislature and signed by Gov. Jeb Bush (declared, incidentally, by The Weekly Standard on its cover as "the best governor in America"):

(g) The history of the United States, including the

2 period of discovery, early colonies, the War for Independence,

3 the Civil War, the expansion of the United States to its

4 present boundaries, the world wars, and the civil rights

5 movement to the present. The history of the United States

6 shall be taught as genuine history and shall not follow the

7 revisionist or postmodernist viewpoints of relative truth.

8 American history shall be viewed as factual, not as

9 constructed, shall be viewed as knowable, teachable, and

10 testable, and shall be defined as the creation of a new nation

11 based largely on the universal principles stated in the

12 Declaration of Independence.

[italics added by MoB; ripped off from]


Students of human nature are familiar with the phenomenon: opponents regularly exaggerate the prowess and threat of the competition, contrasted with their own (righteous) weakness. This hoary strategm makes every victory shine brighter, every defeat less blameworthy, and, if one is a government agency rattling its tin cup, every budget request more justifiable. (Cf. CIA and KGB during the Cold War.)

One more than suspects this was the case with the USE/USSA government and al-Zarqawi: the former gave the latter credit for acts of terror his organization had nothing to do with, and the latter happily accepted. Everyone wins, except humanity and the truth.


Liza Sabater and Jessica Valenti alerted a bunch of us to this site,, which takes corporations to task for their abuse of women around the world.

The site is a project of Women's Environment and Development Organization. It parodies Fortune magazine's list of biggest corporate fish, and brings to light the "corporate activities that violate women’s rights, threaten lives and livelihoods, and destroy the environment."

[ripped off from]


In “Freakoutonomics, an otherwise reasonably-perceptive essay on the Op-Ed page of The New York Times for 2 June 2006, Mr. Charles R. Morris makes the following claim: “Before the Civil War, America was perhaps the most egalitarian society in the world.”

In 1860, the population of America was approximately 31 millions. Of these 31 millions, 27 millions were free, and 4 millions were slaves. Of these 31 millions, 16 millions were male, and 15 millions were female.

Let us assume that Mr. Morris uses “egalitarian” in the common sense, or, as Webster’s Second Unabridged has it, “equalitarian,” the latter defined “as of or pertaining to social equality.”

There were 4 million slaves, not so socially equal. There were 15 millions of females, deprived by force and custom of a most basic right, the ballot, also not so socially equal. There were hundreds of thousands of First Americans, either confined by force to “reservations,” the quaint euphemism for “concentration camps”, or under genocidal attack, also not so socially equal. No one was particularly concerned to make a count of the former Mexican citizens, forcibly annexed to the USE/USSA by the American War of Conquest Against Mexico of 1846-48, also not so socially equal.

“Before the Civil War, America was perhaps the most egalitarian society in the world.”

Given that the competition included Russia, with its millions of enslaved serfs, and the United Kingdom, with its millions of Irish, Indians, and etc. languishing under the yoke of the British Empire, and France, lording it over the Algerians, and the Ottoman Empire, increasingly feeble and corrupt but still in the driver’s seat, and China, with millions chained to the hydraulic dictatorship of rice paddies …

Perhaps, “perhaps” is the right word.

And perhaps, for those on the wrong end of the great “perhaps” of such a sham “egalitarianism,” there wasn’t a dime’s worth of difference.


CELEB WATCH: Retorts indicate Angelina Jolie has left Brad Pitt for Donald “Real Man” Rumsfeld. They will henceforth be known as “Dongelina.” The happy couple expects twins in March. Miss Jolie is currently filming the female lead in the re-re-make of The Omen.


On yesterday’s MSNBC's Imus in the Morning, co-host Charles McCord said "It's unclear who will step forward to take Zarqawi's place in Iraq." Imus responded: "Maybe Dennis Kucinich could."

I remember a quarter-century ago, when Imus was funny and counter-cultural. Now ego and money-grubbing seem to have reduced him to a right-wing caricature of a Howard Stern wannabe.


At last, the real McCoy: a recipe from the excellent Tapas: The Little Dishes of Spain, by Penelope Casas: Thyme-Scented Green Olives (Aceitunas al Tomillo).

Lightly crush a 7-ounce jar of large green Spanish olives. Combine in a glass jar with 2 garlic cloves (lightly crushed and peeled), ¼ cup better-grade olive oil, and 1 tablespoon thyme. Shake to mix. Keep at room temperature for 24 hours, then refrigerate for 3 days. Keeps several weeks. Serve at room temperature.

Friday, June 09, 2006

The Mark of Cain

Today is Friday, 9 June 2006.

An esteemed reader suggested a topic to your author: “Commentary on our military now providing etiquette lessons to the troops (God love 'em) regarding not massacring the natives. Is My Lai so far in the past that no one thinks it could ever happen again?”

There’s a phrase I wish I’d written: “ … etiquette lessons to the troops (God love 'em) regarding not massacring the natives.”

As the MoB has pointed out before, the “rules of war” are dictated, always and only, by the victors in war, who also adjudicate transgressions of those rules. The brutal fact is, those “rules” are enforced mainly when they are of advantage (and they are written for advantage to the powerful to begin with).

For example, it is regarded as in bad form (going EmilyPostal, as it were) (to be caught) walking into a home and spraying women and children with torrents of bullets. It is regarded as entirely becoming an officer and a gentleman to drop a 500-pound bomb from a great height on a home, knowing that civilians are very likely inside. It is argued: but infantry can see women and children, while airmen can’t. Counter: in the split second infantry walks into a home, how do they know the women and children aren’t concealing weapons? Better safe than sorry, so, no crime, or so they say.

Ah, but we’re talking about doing it deliberately, when infantry knows they’re civilians. Well, airmen drop the bombs deliberately, knowing that the percentages of reality mean that civilians will be killed a good deal of the time. They don’t need visual confirmation in each and every situation to know that.

But a truly proper, suitable, and comprehensive commentary can be fashioned only within the context of a judgment upon war, and upon this war in particular.

I assert that all killing is murder, whether within arbitrary rules or not, whether one is 100% positive the quarry is combatant or civilian. I say, “all killing is murder.” This is a statement of values unshared, I dare say, by a majority of USE/USSA citizens, and a majority of humans throughout the ages. “You killing me is murder; me killing you is justifiable courage, if perhaps regrettable.” Once one adopts the value that there are good killings and bad killings, every sophist with an IQ exceeding a pretzel can figure out how to move the goalposts so the home team scores a touchdown every time.

Killing = murder = not good.

I use “good” here in a very strict philosophical and theological sense: “the good,” an absolute. I don’t bother to hide behind appeals to the commandments of deity: I simply assert that the statement is true. Love it or leave it.

There are circumstances in which I would kill. Were I to be in a store when a Klansman walked in with a Glock and took aim at an African-American, I would use any measure, including deadly force, to stop the Kluxer. My action would be justified in so far as averting a greater harm, but I would still have killed another human being, and so have committed murder. Justification of the act (i.e., the achievement of a better result) does not change the essential nature of the act: killing remains murder.

Atrocity is the essence and nature of war. War itself is the atrocity, and all war’s components are contributory atrocities. “Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime. Ask the infantry; ask the dead.” (Ernest Hemingway) The war against Iraq was not even justified by a higher good, anymore than were the German and Soviet conquests of Poland or Iraq’s conquest of Kuwait.

Facing facts: our ruling elites don’t squander half the annual Federal budget on war (past, present, and future), only to intend to have a few “laws of war” thwart their collective will. Certainly, a few unlucky souls at the bottom of the military heap will be made examples for propaganda purposes of public consumption, whether as guilty of torture in a prison or bloodbaths in an Iraqi living room, but bombs will still carpet the world in pursuit of the ends of empire, and maybe the lucky relatives of the dead will receive a “death gratuity.”

(Use of the latter term is pure rage and sarcasm; it’s the official USE/USSA Government term for the pittance paid to the next of kin of members of the military fallen in battle. Sort of like a tip left in a restaurant, only Uncle Sugar ain’t no twenty per cent tipper.)

Make no mistake about it: the civil war in Iraq began on 9 April 2006, when Saddam Hussein went into hiding and Ba’athist power dissolved, and the Bush regime had no coherent plan and insufficient power to stop civil war. That is: the civil war in Iraq is the direct consequence of the Bush regime’s conquest and occupation of Iraq, and therefore the Bush regime bears ultimate ethical responsibility for all the deaths and sufferings in the civil war. Zarqawi bears immediate responsibility for his terror, but the Bush regime bears ultimate responsibility for Zarqawi’s terror, and for the terror directly unleashed by Bush regime forces.

Terror is a tactic, a means to an end, not an end in itself. This is the case whether it is the terror of Zarqawi, or bin Laden, or German, British, and American terror bombing of cities during World War II, or the American conquest and occupation of Iraq. The USE/USSA can make “GWOT” ("Global War on Terror") only by including itself as a primary target.

To return to our original consideration.

I believe it is unjust to imprison a handful of enlisted rankers, subjected as they were to peril and energized by vicious anti-socialization, while the high command who gives unnatural birth to a war carefully loaded with religious and racialist overtones is permitted to cower in their safe houses, white or pentagonal, and then fade away to highly-remunerative retirement in Palm Springs or on Texas ranches.

In this case, the fish indeed rots from the head, and that is where the war atrocities trials and punishments should begin.

I do not foresee that this supplementary training in the etiquette of war (or “core warrior values,” as the Department of War styles it) will accomplish much. So long as the infantry is subjected to hard-core anti-socialization in training, then inserted with criminally insufficient planning and support into a war zone where there is no “behind the lines,” and so long as our wicked rulers demand results … well, as the increasingly Brezhnev-like Rumsfeld says, “Stuff happens.”

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Breaking News for 8 June 2006

SUPPLEMENT for Thursday, 8 June 2006.

Warlord George W. Bush could hardly wait for the blood to dry before beginning to preen and crow:

“Zarqawi's death is a severe blow to al Qaeda. It's a victory in the global war on terror, and it is an opportunity for Iraq's new government to turn the tide of this struggle.”

An essential component of the shell game oppressive regimes play with their people is to divert attention from larger, structural issues by blinding them with personalities. We can see that as far back as Homer’s time. There are kernels of historical truth in The Iliad. Undoubtedly, there were struggles for hegemony among the ancient Greek kingdoms and city-states, but they turned on far greater and deeper issues than whose bed Helen shared.

It cannot be said often enough: the situation in Iraq turns on a failed state (the artifact of British imperialism) which was temporarily held together by the Ba’athist dictatorship (which was a far larger enterprise than Saddam Hussein). This untenable stability was disrupted by the war of conquest waged by the Bush regime, which was too arrogant and ignorant to prepare to impose its will on Iraq after the Ba’athists were overturned. The result: a truly Hobbesian war of all against all. (It should also be noted that failure to provide security and safety to a nation after conquering and occupying it is a gross violation of international law.)

In terms of the larger struggle, the killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is a mere bagatelle. Same even if the entire al-Qaida in Mesopotamia organization were dismantled. And in terms of GWOT (Global War On Terror), the Bush regime is like a doctor treating a cancer patient for sniffles, and puzzled by the continuing precipitous decline.

(The regime is already floating leaks that al-Zarqawi was betrayed by members of his own organization. A classic of psychological "black" operations. Well, who can trust anything the creatures of this regime say? The truth is not in them.)

One can hardly wait to see if the Bush regime will compound its barbarity in displaying the corpses of Qusay and Uday Hussein like hunting trophies, by parading photos of al-Zarqawi’s corpse. So delightfully “medieval”: the high-tech equivalent of dumping the corpses of the king’s enemies on the street outside his palace, with the implicit threat, “Obey, or this will be you.”

[Later addition: Of course the Bush regime couldn't resist celebrating by treating the world to photos of al-Zarqawi's dead face. This is a violation of the laws of war. Undoubtedly, as in the case of the Husseins, the regime will argue those laws don't apply in this case. So much for Mr. Bush's "Christianity," and respect for the dead.]

Valueless: The Church of Coulter

Today is Thursday, 8 June 2006.

From Ann Coulter’s new book, Godless: The Church of Liberalism, regarding widows of 9/11 victims:

"These self-obsessed women seemed genuinely unaware that 9/11 was an attack on our nation and acted as if the terrorist attacks happened only to them." [p.103]

"[T]hey believed the entire country was required to marinate in their exquisite personal agony. Apparently, denouncing Bush was an important part of their closure process." [p.103]

"These broads are millionaires, lionized on TV and in articles about them, reveling in their status as celebrities and stalked by grief-arazzis. I've never seen people enjoying their husbands' deaths so much." [p.103]

Coulter on Muslims: “We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity". (“This Is War",, September 12, 2001)

Coulter on South African white supremacism: “In response to a question on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Miss Coulter said she supported the government of Israel for the same reason she supported apartheid in South Africa, because they were surrounded by "savages". (The Daily Bruin, February 28, 2002)

Coulter on African Americans: “Indeed, slavery is the only African institution America has ever adopted.” (How to Talk to a Liberal)

Coulter on the Oklahoma City Bombing: In an interview with George Gurley, Coulter said, "My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times building." (August 26, 2002)

Like Bill O’Reilly (featured here a few days ago; check out for a good time), Rush Limbaugh, etc., Ann Coulter is a hate entertainer, not a journalist. They manufacture outrageous lies to gain media exposure and make money, while conning the ignorant into support of hate and violence.

These folks put your author in mind of Nazi Julius Streicher, publisher of the newspaper Der Stürmer, which blended virulent anti-Semitism with pornography. (See Wikipedia for a good bio.) He was hanged at Nuremberg in 1946. Not that your author advocates hanging for anyone, but 25 to life seems about right for conspiracy to foment hate crimes. (And your author is not entirely sure that last sentence was meant entirely ironically.)

What is noteworthy about Coulter and her ilk is their crude, cruel, callous, craven cynicism. (I’m having a Spiro Agnew “nattering nabobs of negativism” moment here.) Pitch ‘em enough dollars, they would praise bin Laden to the skies. If history remembers them at all, it will be as bush-league wannabe quislings.

Thomas Paine died this date, 1809, on Grove Street in Greenwich Village, Manhattan.

These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. (The Crisis, 23 December 1776)

Compare and contrast: Tom Paine and Ann Coulter, Limbog, O’Heilly, etc.