Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Bobby and Alexander

Some things are too hot to touch
The human mind can only stand so much - Bob Dylan

It's another November 22, and there are a couple of current stories that make it feel like it's always November 22.

Earlier this week, BBC's Newsnight reported the findings of Shane O'Sullivan's study of photographs and videotape from LA's Ambassador Hotel the evening of Robert Kennedy's assassination. (Watch it here.) He discovered the unaccounted for presence of three senior veterens of CIA covert ops: Gordon Campbell, George Joannides and the notorious David Sanchez Morales. All three had served at the agency's massive anti-Castro (and later, anti-Kennedy) Miami station, JM/Wave. (Campbell as deputy directory, Joannides as head of psychological operations, and Morales as operations chief.)

This was no security detail. In 1968 presidential candidates were responsible for their own safety, the agency had no official domestic jurisdiction, and it hated the Kennedys and dreaded what Bobby might do - these three in particular. In 1973 Morales launched into a drunken tirade with friends that ended, "I was in Dallas when we got the son of a bitch and I was in Los Angeles when we got the little bastard." O'Sullivan asks Wayne Smith, a former State Department official who knew Morales well and corroborated his identity, whether Morales might have been covertly protecting Kennedy. Smith laughs, saying he was the "last person" for the job, and remembers Morales ranting at a Buenos Aires cocktail party in 1975 that Kennedy "got what was coming to him."

Morales, incidentally, died suddenly several weeks before he was scheduled to testify before the House Select Committee on Assassinations, a couple of years after his mobbed-up confederate John Rosselli failed to appear because he was otherwise hacked to pieces and floating in a steel drum off the coast of Miami. Cause of death was a "supposed heart attack," so described to Gaeton Fonzi in The Last Investigation by Morales' close friend Ruben Carbajal. The evening of his death in retirement in Arizona, Morales had told him "I don't know what's wrong with me. Ever since I left Washington I haven't been feeling very comfortable." He'd become somewhat disillusioned with his former paymasters, and had described them to Carbajal as "the most ruthless motherfuckers there is, and if they want to get somebody, they will. They will do their own people up." His wife refused an autopsy. "I think the government took good care of her," said Carbajal.

And then there's the likely radiological poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko, former KGB/FSB counter-terrorist officer and author of Blowing Up Russia, an important account of 1999's false flag apartment bombing campaign that anchored authority for the as-yet unelected Vladimir Putin. A statement from the FSB implies that Litvinenko is not important enough to bother killing, adding "The man got sick. I would like to wish him early recovery."

Though I wonder whether something Litvinenko wrote a few months ago, after Putin impulsively kissed a boy on his belly, might have raised his Kremlin profile as a "person of interest."

From last July 5 (and thanks to a reader for the link, which is found now only in cache):

The Kremlin Pedophile

By Alexander Litvinenko

A few days ago, Russian President Vladimir Putin walked from the Big Kremlin Palace to his Residence. At one of the Kremlin squares, the president stopped to chat with the tourists. Among them was a boy aged 4 or 5.

'What is your name?' Putin asked.

'Nikita,' the boy replied.

Putin kneed, lifted the boy's T-shirt and kissed his stomach.

The world public is shocked. Nobody can understand why the Russian president did such a strange thing as kissing the stomach of an unfamiliar small boy.

The explanation may be found if we look carefully at the so-called "blank spots" in Putin's biography.

After graduating from the Andropov Institute, which prepares officers for the KGB intelligence service, Putin was not accepted into the foreign intelligence. Instead, he was sent to a junior position in KGB Leningrad Directorate. This was a very unusual twist for a career of an Andropov Institute's graduate with fluent German. Why did that happen with Putin?

Because, shortly before his graduation, his bosses learned that Putin was a pedophile. So say some people who knew Putin as a student at the Institute.

The Institute officials feared to report this to their own superiors, which would cause an unpleasant investigation. They decided it was easier just to avoid sending Putin abroad under some pretext. Such a solution is not unusual for the secret services.

Many years later, when Putin became the FSB director and was preparing for presidency, he began to seek and destroy any compromising materials collected against him by the secret services over earlier years. It was not difficult, provided he himself was the FSB director. Among other things, Putin found videotapes in the FSB Internal Security Directorate, which showed him having sex with some underage boys.

Interestingly, the video was recorded in the same conspiratorial flat in Polyanka Street in Moscow where Russian Prosecutor-General Yuri Skuratov was secretly video-taped with two prostitutes. Later, in the famous scandal, Putin (on Roman Abramovich's instructions) blackmailed Skuratov with these tapes and tried to persuade the Prosecutor-General to resign. In that conversation, Putin mentioned to Skuratov that he himself was also secretly video-taped making sex at the same bed. (But of course, he did not tell it was pedophilia rather than normal sex.) Later, Skuratov wrote about this in his book Variant Drakona.

It's Dallas, November 22. It's Los Angeles, June 5. It's London, it's Moscow, it's Memphis. It's everywhere and it's always: a Groundhog Day of High Criminal's running the clock while too few of us ineffectually shout "Foul!" And today, which is no different than yesterday, the CIA are the coolly-efficient good guys who may yet save America from the hysteria and excess of the Bush years, while the FSB help restore Russian "order and security."

It's a level playing field, but we're not the ones playing. Should we maybe try another game?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of your better recent posts.

There's a great moral lesson in Groundhog Day, the film. It's an object lesson in second chances, in the karma of multiple incarnations if you like that take, or simply in how to live and learn in this life we are given.

Each of us needs to take responsibility for our own moral development and our actions large and small. Were we to do this, we would cease, to a large degree, being vulnerable to the deceitful and exploitative machinations of the PTB.

Let's each get our own house in order, and then see how that has transformed the world. It's a ripple effect greater than any tsunami. Confucius knew this concentric model of building a healthy world. It does work, but we have to make it do so.

Just my two cents.


11/22/2006 01:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of your better recent posts.

There is a great object lesson in Groundhog Day, the film. It is a field manual for moral development and the attainment of the heart's desire: true love and a better world.

It is about second chances and complete forgiveness (the memory wipes of the "other" characters), and the nature of spiritual growth (depending on your viewpoint) either in multiple incarnations or simply in this current life we have been given.

There is a ripple effect to moral action that is greater than any tsunami.

We each need to put our own moral houses in order first. After we have done so, we will be amazed to discover the world we have helped to re-structure around ourselves.

Confucius knew this concentric model of self, family, community, society, world. Guess what? It works. Try it.

This is the way to improve things and the most efficient and effective way to undo the exploitative and repressive machinations of the PTB.

Become positive moral agents for change in the world. It is really that simple.

And please do not come back at me with violent anger and hurling epithets of "pacifist" or "disinfo" or whatever.

What I have written is the truth as I have known it, and learned it, and lived it, in over half a century of ardent effort to know what is real and true and good, and how to bring about a more decent world.

I'll say it again: It really is that simple.

But each person has to carry his or her own burden in the process.

Just my two cents.


11/22/2006 02:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry for the (near) duplication. I thought my computer had zapped out the first post.

11/22/2006 02:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good weaving, Jeff. You'll make a basket case of us yet.

"It's a level playing field, but we're not the ones playing. Should we maybe try another game?"

I maintain that the only way to win the game, at least on an individual level, is not to play at all. I don't think the playing field is at all level: it's steeply tilted, and despite many writer's Sisyphean labours, we rarely make much headway. And, if you get too good at the game, you get the Wellstone trophy.

Still, best to struggle on, trying to get the masses to lose their secular belief in the salvific powers of an elite ruling class-qua- government which mocks their every aspiration, and is rushing us quite deliberately into a hi-tech slave state. Writers like you are invaluable, spreading the secular gnostic heresy that these are false gods that the masses unthinkingly follow, supercilious Molochs who are the exact opposite of what they profess.

Does anyone know whether the Spartacus site had that photo up of Campbell and Joannides at the Ambassador Hotel prior to this latest go-around?

11/22/2006 02:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oarwell, you are right. That is not the game to play.

Let me adopt the hat of a "moral economist", and add an explanatory word or two to the previous assertions. Lest my previous post sound overly simplistic, or some form of wishful thinking, consider this:

The powers that be, but who really aren’t as powerful as they would like us to imagine they are, depend on human corruption and corruptibility for their control. This is true whether they gain their advantages through blackmail or bribery involving simple sexual pecadillos, or satanic pederasty, or whether advantage is gained in the form of penny ante skimming of public or private funds at a local level, nickel and dime graft at another stage, or the theft of hundreds of billions of dollars via currency manipulation or natural resource plundering from entire nations at the “higher” levels of this inverted food chain of plunderers, all leading to mass deaths and the virtual enslavement of entire continents.

My point is that the whole inverted pyramid of evil, of manipulation of this world for amassing of power by wealthier and wealthier elites, completely depends on the minor and major corruption and corruptibility of its witting and unwitting human participants at every level of the system, from the thoroughly local to the broadly global.

There’s a famous story of a guy in NYC who sells vegetable peelers on the street for five bucks. He wears a suit and tie and sits on a stool and does his patter and sells them for cash on the barrel. He doesn’t even work full time. Guess what? He’s a multi-millionaire. He’s an old, white guy whose motto is “No profit is too small.” There have been a number of articles about him in newspapers and magazines in the past. How much profit do you think Chinese industrialists, or their Shanghai, Hong Kong, or London-based bankers make off of each $30 dvd seller bought in the US? Not a whole lot. But what do these profits amount to in aggregate?

Well.......moral choice and moral action is the same way. It’s like a bank account, or better, like prime real estate in a boom market that never goes down. With each correct choice, the moral ground on which we come to stand expands and the investment increases in value.

If enough of this moral ground is recovered by each of us, imagine in aggregate where we would all stand.

On a world that we owned.

No piece is too small to be ignored or disregarded.

It all matters.

Start now.

11/22/2006 02:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brook, I think you 'misunderestimated' some of what I wrote. I am not advising anyone out there kshatriya who is a kshatriya (to pick up on your "yoga" meme), not to fulfill their own destiny as heroic warriors. Not at all.

I am simply pointing out the manner in which they must conduct themselves if they are to prevail.

Ben Bradlee, supposedly JFK's "best friend", said many years after his death that "perhaps if Jack hadn't chased every skirt he could, while pretending to be a family man, he might still be alive."

That statement can be taken a number of different ways. I interpret it in part in this manner:

Perhaps if JFK hadn't been so arrogant or narcissistic, or led around by his jockstrap, then maybe he would have been more aware of the sledgehammer that was about to come down on his head, and done a better job of avoiding it. Had he been a better moral actor (and I don't mean that in the theatrical sense, but in the sense of moral agency), and had he thus been able to surround himself with the protection of a cadre of moral men who werent' themselves scheming for advantage behind his back, then perhaps he might have lived to stop the Vietnam war, continue to issue currency out of the US gov't's own coffers rather than the Federal Reserve, and succeeded in dismembering the organization that engineered his death.

That is but one example of what I mean by the collective power of individual moral choice working in concentric rings. Not omphaloskepsis. Nothing wrong with it, because one must certainly "know thyself". But it alone is not the solution, and hardly an adequate prescription for this societal ill.

Thanks for helping me to clarify this important point, Brook.

11/22/2006 02:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well PC...

Perhaps some higher power thought those words might bear repeating...hmmm? LOL

We all contribute to various arrangements that make up the so-called "big picture".

A modest adjustment for the right motivations can sometimes be enough surprisingly to prevent some portions of that picture from finding their usual completion while other more worthy ones may seem to almost magically appear with an addition of the one solitary element they lacked.

We are never powerless to influence and affect the world in a positive way except when we believe it entitles us to some form of reward beyond the sheer pleasure of being able to do it and having the good fortune to have an opportunity to do it come our way. That is all that is necessary.

No amount of effort can make the world a better place if that betterment has to be seen to vindicate a pile of doubts that surrrounded the usefullness of those efforts in the first place.

If that is the case then no genuine "good" has actually been done and so too will none be seen.

We need a bit of faith in ourselves and our own goodwill in order to extend it to others. If we are not afraid they too might just find that little extra bit of encouragement to be enough to extend themselves a bit more too.

The truth is it's remarkably easy and takes far less wear and tear on us than all the customary grumblings and arguements we give ourselves for not doing it, telling ourselves that it can't possibly make any difference anyways.

That is what drains us and makes us feel truly powerless. We don't need any PTB to take our power away, nor have they ever really been able to do that. They do what they've always done...simply employ the most shocking methods they can devise to demoralize us sufficientlty to both try and make it appear that way and less demanding for us to simply go along with it. It doesn't have to be that way.

11/22/2006 03:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Message received. And Brook's negativity and sarcasm contrasts
your comments in such a way as to
underscore the validity and importance of the method you suggest.

Ironic, that.

11/22/2006 04:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brook said...
PC -- so, what moral failing was Bobby guilty of that led to his untimely demise?

Having eight children. Highly immoral, for numerous reasons.

11/22/2006 04:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

last time i checked the kennedy's dead or otherwise are very much a part of the elitist establishment.

why do they receive immunity from the lefty wannabees when they are so obviously the velvet glove that hides the horrible scars?

they belong to the hand that grinds you into the dirt day in and day out.

there are no heroes and furthermore the concept of hero is limiting and defeatist. if you need a hero you have already lost.

11/22/2006 04:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brook, funny how you have repeatedly tried to take something that was meant to be entirely positive, and attempt to turn it into a negative, even going so far as to claim it stands against the very thing that it lauds and supports...

What do you call that kind of writing? Or thinking??

11/22/2006 05:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


is it safe to say that if the voting machines are rigged that the recent election results giving control of congress to the democrats was a fix?

or is it only a fix when the other side wins?

if politicians don't represent your interests regardless of fixed elections and the choices are consistently between frik and frak anyway what point is there in risking your neck pointing out electronic voting fraud?

why not call the whole political system precisely what it is rather than focusing on particular symptoms?

let's assume electronic voter fraud goes mainstream and there is an investigation and some people are prosecuted and some legal constraints are put in place. what then? do we all rest easy now that that matter has been cleared up?

it's kind of like wack a mole. after a while you end up chasing your tale because you've never addressed the core issue from the get go.

11/22/2006 05:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brook wrote of the Kennedys and MLK that "the world is a better place for their sacrifice especially given that so many would wait in the wings to disqualify their contributions."

Agreed. Completely.

But those who are waiting in the wings to disqualify their contributions with extreme prejudice are ultimately their assassins.

I simply pointed out something that might help a few would be heroes check their thoughts and actions more carefully, in order to gain more immediate help and protection around them, possibly avoid similar fates, and thus be more successful in their endeavors...possibly without even having to make the ultimate sacrifice of their very lives.

Strange that you would object to that.

I submit that we need more living, breathing heroes, and fewer dead ones. JFK hasn't accomplished much since this day 43 years ago, has he?

11/22/2006 05:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Silver fox wrote: "We all contribute to various arrangements that make up the so-called "big picture".

"A modest adjustment for the right motivations can sometimes be enough surprisingly to prevent some portions of that picture from finding their usual completion while other more worthy ones may seem to almost magically appear with an addition of the one solitary element they lacked."

"We are never powerless to influence and affect the world in a positive way except when we believe it entitles us to some form of reward beyond the sheer pleasure of being able to do it and having the good fortune to have an opportunity to do it come our way. That is all that is necessary..."

"We need a bit of faith in ourselves and our own goodwill in order to extend it to others. If we are not afraid they too might just find that little extra bit of encouragement to be enough to extend themselves a bit more too."

"The truth is it's remarkably easy and takes far less wear and tear on us than all the customary grumblings and arguements we give ourselves for not doing it, telling ourselves that it can't possibly make any difference anyways."

"That is what drains us and makes us feel truly powerless. We don't need any PTB to take our power away, nor have they ever really been able to do that. They do what they've always done...simply employ the most shocking methods they can devise to demoralize us sufficientlty to both try and make it appear that way and less demanding for us to simply go along with it."

"It doesn't have to be that way."

RTFO (Right the fuck ON!)

11/22/2006 05:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have recently been getting spam with porn headings but bits of wisdom tucked inside. Is anyone else seeing those?

One advises "All things come from above.The idea that happiness could have a share in beauty would be too much of a good thing."

Another: "There is no remedy for love than to love more.
There is no real wealth but the labor of man.When we are born we cry that we are come.. to this great stage of fools."

A third: "Honor and shame from no condition rise Act well your part, there all the honor lies."

And yet another: "The logic of the world is prior to all truth and falsehood."

I'm left wondering. Are the messages just fortune-cookie philosophizing meant to get the porn come-ons through the spam filters? Or are the porn come-ons being used to put forward a particular message?

Either way, it's got me thinking about the distinction between containers and contents -- and between the character of imperfect heroes and the message of their actions.

Which is preferable? A true container with false contents or a false container with true contents?

Or are both fatally flawed?

I do know that I wrote in my diary when John Kennedy was shot that I would *not* let myself forget how disillusioned I'd been with him before he died. And though I haven't forgotten it, I find myself entirely unable to remember the details of 1962-63 politics which led to that disillusionment.

11/22/2006 05:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Starroute, what is the "container" and what are the "contents"?

I don't get your metaphor. We are talking about real people. Are you talking about physical appearances or illusory personae or what?

Plenty of people think GWB is a great guy and moral man. Is that the container? If so, it's obvious that we need the contents. So what's your point, exactly?

On another note, today is also the day, 43 years ago as well, that both Aldous Huxley and C.S. Lewis died, in Los Angeles and somewhere in England, along with JFK in Dallas.

Some day.

11/22/2006 05:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Phil said:

Each of us needs to take responsibility for our own moral development and our actions large and small. Were we to do this, we would cease, to a large degree, being vulnerable to the deceitful and exploitative machinations of the PTB.

Phil seems to believe that as individuals we can get our own houses in order. But we cannot, not most of us, at least, and if Phil's mind is open, perhaps he can be convinced of this.

Phil, the corruption in our culture works against the possibility of that very process you call for. That is one of the main reasons it needs to be opposed. if you pollute a culture to the scale that we have seem this culture polluted, you thereby limit the scale of resistance by degrading the ability of ordinary people's to think about, conceive of, organize and act on the need for change. Make no mistake: that is the monumental achievement of American consumerism. It has be accomplished, though things are always susceptible of change. I'll get to that.

For the moment, i want to emphasize again that it is not a matter of individual choice or individual moral uprightness. The operative word is "can't", not "won't". That's the power of controlling a culture. If you do it effectively enough, If you degrade people's ability to think and if you successfully pathologize the idea of resistance, then the widely-felt need for political change remains a hazy abstraction. This is despite the fact that virutally everyone you ask will say "something's wrong, and we need to change things!" People fall into a kind of uneducated solipsism that justifies their deep commitment to political apathy: they tell themselves that 'things have always been this way' and 'there's no other way to organize a society except this one, so what are you going to do?' Thus they cleverly hit on the right course of action: 'do nothing for now. wait until it gets bad for me, if it ever does. because if it doesn't get bad for me, then the system really is basically OK'.

Having said that, I firmly believe you behave as if this is not the case, and work to change the consciousness of those you can, because it's impossible to know beforehand just how great an impact can be made by shows of resistance. Resistance is everything - just don't expect it to work. But there's nothing else to try, of course!

So while it's nice to thin that 'everybody can get their own house in order and is responsible for their own moral development', the fact is that's false, and the sooner one realizes that the better. Non-demoncratic means are going to have to be employed at some point to change society. I regard this as an uncomfortable truth. There will always be a large segment of society who not only won't get their own house on order, but will never even have the idea dawn on them. They CANNOT have it dawn on them, because if the idea could dawn on enough people to truly change the society then the society would have already changed enough!

The good thing for those who disagree: I've been wrong plenty of times before :)

11/22/2006 07:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Formerly Stoned said:
As I see it from 6 decades of American Life & struggle, JFK cared very very deeply about his Country, but, his human failing was in caring too much about his "Cunt-ry". I see the point that had he been just a little more moral, and a little less venal, he may have made better choices of companions, both societal and polital, and thus, lived to help lead us to a better America. I think the PTB got to him long before he became a Senator and, when he balked at the yoke, he was sacrificed on the Altar of Greed & Corruption. History records only one who passed all the tests. Let's see, was it Lucifer? Apparently the highest degree Masons believe so........

11/22/2006 07:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A great deal of time, effort, energy, and very serious money has been spent trying to demolish and bury forever the kind of enthusiasm and sense of being able to create positive change that both JFK and RFK both embodied and inspired not just in the US but right around the world.

That kind of reaction wasn't created by any false pretenses, entourages of scriptwriters, manipulation of facts, or staged managed and controlled events to portray them as something that they weren't.

Both men were as sincere, direct and critically honest as they were profoundly intilligent in what they had to say. Even moreso in their impromptu and off the cuff remarks that showed a degree of effortless wit and charm and gracefullness that can neither be bought nor studiously acquired.

Their words were both extensively quoted and studied at great length for their uncommon boldness and candour and the abundance of that rarest of all commodities, the truth of what they had to say.

Before throwing another shovelfull of dirt in their direction I suggest people think seriously about what purpose it genuinely serves?

No one is without flaws and great men are also inclined to have greater flaws too. That does not diminish any positive and unselfish actions they willing undertake on behalf of others, merely that they are human too.

To be sure the Kennedy's benefitted from the same kind of silver spoon treatment that the Bush clan has had but the differences between those two families couldn't be more stark.

They were killed because they couldn't be bought, intimidated, or balckmailed, any of which would have been far more preferable than than turning them into martyrs and the enormous effort required to diminish, destroy, and dispell that martyrdom and what they were martyred for in the public mind.

That campaign was only launched after both were cold in their graves and unable reply to all that has been disparagingly bandied about that if were even halfways true would have been unhesitatingly used against them by the kind of ruthless and unscrupulous foes that were lined up against them long before it ever became neccessary fro them to brutally kill them.

So I invite anyone who hasn't done so to check the record and read some of those words of their's, (any of them in fact), and consider the kind of men who must have thought and made them.

To dig ever so deeply as you can to find whatever their ulterior, selfish or base motives must have been for them beneath that all that most astute eloquence and bold forthrightness.

And while you're about it consider that neither of them had a care or a worry of their own or anything that they might desire that couldn't be had without the slightest risk or hazard and no need for any of the shallow and callow tawdryness that is the common fare and fate of politics.

They only stood to be diminished in such a cesspit and instead they both raised the bar and briefly elevated politics and public interest and faith in it to a height it has neither before nor since seen again.

The description for what that phenomenon was goes well beyond mere "hope". It was a rock solid belief both men possessed about the ability to intelligently, boldly and at the very same time humanely change things for the better.

That belief rang out loud and clear and still reverberates in all of us who experienced it.

That belief does not deserve to be buried along with them. It needs to be remembered. It needs to be shared. Most of all it needs to be used as a measure for all those who try to convince us we should ever settle for any goals that serve a lesser purpose.

11/22/2006 07:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Formerly Stoned here:
Silverfox, I could NOT AGREE MORE with your post. I know that neither one was perfect, but from my POV, they were two of the DAMNED FEW who attained their degree of power and yet still cared about the likes of you and me. May their words and their ideas never be forgotten and may they burn brightly in the hearts of our fellow citizens whenever we contemplate the "ideals" for which we were taught that America is supposed to STAND!!!!!!!!

11/22/2006 07:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brook, I will resist the very real temptation to respond in kind to your maliciously smarmy, disingenuous, devil's advocate type of taunting. You must make an effective attorney.

FYI, a Kshyatriya is a warrior. The warrior caste in fact. Who said fighting was off limits? I am simply talking about staking out the moral high battle as well. You equate that with unwitting victims who were massacred by invading armies or totalitarian police. Do you think the Oaxacans would fare better if they became as venal as the forces they oppose, or as disingenuous as you seem to be?

I don't think it would help them one bit.

It is completely dishonest of you to continue to repeat assertions which are the exact opposite of what I said. That rhetorical technique is, in fact, usually indicative of one of two things: the kind of psychological projection employed by aggressors to justify their own immorality, OR, the cynical manipulation of worlds such as the Israelis use to blame the Palestinians for the occupation.

I really do not wish to waste my time parsing the lies of such a rhetorician, so enjoy your own "prosecution complex," so to speak, and continue talking to the wall. Most likely, the separation wall in Palestine.

Have a fruitful Thanksgiving, if you are an American. Say hello to Columbus, Isabella, and Ferdinand.

11/22/2006 07:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

bks, you concluded "good thing for those who disagree: I've been wrong plenty of times before"

This is another one of those times.

11/22/2006 07:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Formerly Stoned weighs in yet again:
I foolishly thought this thread was about the late RFK & JFK........NOT about a pissing contest between Phil Connors & Brook, whom I notice posts her cutesy little picture every time she weighs in. Get over your personal selves, kids, and discuss (or freely ignore) the ongoing discussion about the untimely fates of two great men.

11/22/2006 07:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Formery Stupid: Brook & Phil, it's Thanksgiving Eve, for GOD'S SAKE!!! Stop pissing on the memories of John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Robert Francis Kennedy. ESPECIALLY YOU, Brook. Nobody else online right now gives a Fat Green Frog from WHAT country you hale! Nor what you think of Phil, nor What he thinks of YOU!!!!!!!!

11/22/2006 07:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Talk about persecution complex. Nobody was questioning who's an Amurrican. Myself, I'm a terrist, as in "inhabitant of terra" (ie. the Earth).

I do not believe in speaking ill of the dead, and I did not intend my comments about JFK to be in any way disparaging. They were a lament for what might have been...

Imagine IF John Kennedy had lived to yank us out of Vietnam in 1963, IF he had lived to see through the issuance of US Silver Certificates and quashed the Federal Reserve, IF he had dismembered his killers' organization before they killed him and continued wreaking havoc throughout the world until this day.

Imagine IF Kennedy had had honest and loyal men who were covering his back instead of plotting behind it to take his head.

Imagine IF there was something he perhaps could have done to increase his awareness of what was going on around him and to prevent his own untimely demise.

Don't you think he would have given up screwing Marilyn Monroe and Judith Exner and who knows who else for the sake of fulfilling his intentions to help usher in a better world?

I think he would have.

But we'll never know.

Imagine we are in even worse straits now. Imagine that things come to pass where someone needs a clue as to how to proceed without having his head removed before his work is done.

Clues for those who want them. Nothing more. For the willfully clueless who wish to remain so...peace be upon you.

I've written enough already.

Over to you.

11/22/2006 08:31:00 PM  
Blogger Jeff Wells said...

"JFK hasn't accomplished much since this day 43 years ago, has he?"

I like how Paranoid Larry puts it in "Two Boats in the Night":

CI-Al Qaeda,
NB-See nuthin',
JF-Came and went.
Cuz he stood up for somethin',
Who remembers just what.
We all know what happened
But at least he stood up.

That's when they tried to take over,
But he didn't die in vain....
Since he stood up we know some of their names.

JFK hasn't done much in 43 years, or RFK in 38, but their killers have. That's what needs remembering.

11/22/2006 08:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nobody else online right now gives a Fat Green Frog from WHAT country you hale! Nor what you think of Phil, nor What he thinks of YOU!!!!!!!!

except me. i do.

11/22/2006 08:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't you think he would have given up screwing Marilyn Monroe and Judith Exner and who knows who else for the sake of fulfilling his intentions to help usher in a better world?

no, i don't. you don't attain that kind of power and still be considered a good guy. don't forget where we are posting. this isn't democratic underground. this is high weirdness. many who frequent this site hold the view that world events are and have been controlled by a small global elite. kennedy's ascension was ordained and christened just as surely as was his assassination. they sacrificed one of their own. he was always one of their's. he was never one of our's whoever we are.

11/22/2006 08:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

JFK hasn't done much in 43 years, or RFK in 38, but their killers have. That's what needs remembering.

...and afterall it was you and me.....

the stones had it right.

they were just men and that's what happens when you worship men. your dream dies with them because you are too weak to do it yourself. that's the problem with the hero construct.

11/22/2006 08:59:00 PM  
Blogger ericswan said...

My take is that the anony's among us missed Brook's point entirely. Being the constant gardener, I think it meant more to me that the urbanauts among us.

My point is that heroes aren't going to help us.

11/22/2006 09:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm going to have to take a speed reading course. This is great.

I have just one comment.

Michael Richards is a 33rd degree mason.

11/22/2006 09:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahem, to change the subject--though I value the points made above--how about this?

Let's get into CSI mode--or maybe 'SeeUsSpies?' mode--

The use of such high-profile poisons by the FSB (it's safe to assume this is their show, yes? their non-denial denial seems to me like a 'if I did it, here's how') is like a back-handed compliment, if you follow me: it's conspicuously inconspicuous. The victim obviously was struck by someone (death by dioxin O.D. ≠ natural or accidental, and same for radioactive thallium) and the sophisticated nature of the poison shows that the 'someone' who did the striking is not your average rival, but a powerful, sophisticated assassin, with more-better poisons than any ordinary hit-man.

The ultimate message then is that the victim was struck down by a power who, while obvious, is also so deftly deadly as to be safely removed: we can see who did it--but they can't be held accountable in any legalistic sense. They thus strike fear into would-be critics while also walking away whistling--a bit too loudly, frankly.

That makes two high-profile assassinations that the FSB has pulled of--2 and a 1/2 if you count Yushenko. And all the squaks of outcry are probably just what they're looking for.

And it's catching. Look at Lebanon.

So what DO we do?

What we need is a sit-in at the Russian embassy.

A boycot of Russian goods ('til their 'bads' are withdrawn?)--there's a slogan, eh?

The olympic boycott didn't exactly bring them to their knees, but there has to be SOME kind of response.

But no. Our fearless leader is swerving over to Moscow not to boject, but instead to tell them how wonderful they are.

Make that a double boycott: add the Whitehouse to the sit-in list.

11/22/2006 09:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...we get rid of one shrubageddon and two come to take his place..the cycle never ends, alas.

11/22/2006 10:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

FIrst, a couple of correction/clarifications:

In my first comment I meant to change the subject from the back and forth of a couple of you all--but by the time I posted, the topic had already been changed. Sorry for any confusion.

Also, I wasn't clear--initially refering to the type of poison used vs. Yushenko (dioxin), and talking about Russia having gotten away with 'two', then mentioning Yushenko, who lived, as a '1/2' to add to those 2--because he lived--so, sorry for the sloppiness. The dioxin goes with Yushenko, but the '2' that Russia's gotten away with are Anna Politkovskaya, and now Alexander Litvinenko.


I heard an interview with Ed Burns, who was a cop and then a teacher and who now write for a show called 'The Wire' which sounds like an above and beyond effort as far as TV shows go. The interview was on 'Fresh Air' with Terry Gross,


Burns talked about a couple of characters who'd been reformers--and since reformers always die (or did he say, 'are killed' ? I can't remember now.) they'd been eliminated. One actually was killed, another was fired--which, given his line of work, was the same as killing off that character, in terms of the story line/series.

Seems to fit the post and the JFK/RFK and so on discussion/pattern.

But are there non-martyred reformers? What about saints who lived to ripe old ages? What about Mother Jones? John Stuart Mill? Frederick Douglass? (sorry, that's a weird list but I gotta do a tuck-in/good night)

I think there's hope in pondering who could be added to the list above, or in starting a 'not dead yet' list.

11/22/2006 10:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anonymous at 5:15 said...

is it safe to say that if the voting machines are rigged that the recent election results giving control of congress to the democrats was a fix?

No, the power to rig elections is not necessarily absolute. As the OpEd article Clear Evidence 2006 Congressional Elections Hacked" (see contends, the process may be as fallible as the fixers' ability to forecast the results weeks in advance. The hack may require many actions or the actions of many people, and either the first were not sufficiently successful or the latter not sufficiently cooperative. Or, the head conspirators may simply limit the range they are willing to affect the results within what they believe they can safely get away with.

On the other hand, just because the US government is no longer being controlled with the same level of efficiency does it mean that the old PTB are out of business. They have a plan B, and no doubt, it has been in effect for some time. However, whenever you make your enemy change course or, better yet, give up an advantageous position, make no mistake, that is a victory. What it clearly is not is the end of the war. But still, give us the credit of our victory.

11/22/2006 10:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

People seem tense before the turkey slaughter...

When I noted that the only way to win is not to play, I meant separating oneself, as much as possible, from the materialism which is the lifeblood of imperialism. One step at a time, in whatever way you can. We live, quite clearly, in a culture of death, and disentangling oneself from that culture, from this landscape of hatred and mockery and despair, is critical to regaining one's mental and moral health, to "reuniting with your soul," if you will. It is also healthful for "society," if society is defined as a brotherhood of men (or sisterhood...verbal shorthand, tis all), working together for the greater good, and not locked in soul-killing competition for status and stuff.

A Hobbesian struggle for dominance is, in the end, internecine, whether it's cutting the guy off in front of you to get ten feet closer to that red light, or backing the current nascent fascism in its naked imperialist power-grab, it leads to anguish. To me, "not playing the game" means buying less stuff, turning off the tv, even (hypocrite alarms go off) being kind to one another when it's not strictly necessary. Blaise Pascal once wrote that all the problems of the world stem from man's not being able to sit still in a room. There is much truth in this, although having said that I must now make all the obligatory noises about not giving in to Quietism (although I'm still not sure what's so wrong with it, and why the Church made it a formal heresy). Wendell Berry's book "What Are People For," is a wonderful tract for our times, along with Jerry Mander's writings. There are many meaningful steps one can take without walking out onto 'their' court and trying to play their rigged game.

I myself might occasionally fantasize about going the Cryptogon route, and packing it off to New Zealand, but haven't acted on it, because I don't see the need to flee to the hills to put these things into practice (and, delusion or no, the Democratic rally seems to have let some steam out of the exploding engine of destruction that the neoconsters have hammered together out of the wreckage of the Bill of Rights...).

Tim Boucher is quite right: we feed fear by acknowledging it. The "media" creates the phantom Mass Man, and then tells us how this phantasm, this non-existent creature is "afraid of terrorism." But there is no Mass Man, only people, and no one I know or you know is skeered of dem terrists. It's all a lie, and as we come to disbelieve in their lies we "avert our gaze" and consider things which are true, examining more and more of the false assumptions upon which our Mayberry Matrix is built. Once you notice that Opie is an MK Ultra android, and Barney Fife a gladio bomber, then the whole Potemkin Village of Americanski horseshit just sort of ((pops)) like a soap bubble on a summer's afternoon.

It sounds like a hoary bromide (because it is), but the sooner more people see through the deception, and stop playing the materialist-imperialist-fear-mongering game, the faster the vampire dies. Because with truth comes light, and these foul things, and their life-destroying evil lies in which our culture is so enmeshed, cannot live in the light of truth.

This scum that chokes our political life can only thrive in the Petri dish of deception.

Television, "talk radio," paper media are the great engines of false consciousness that have enslaved the people.
Step one is: get them out of your life. Unplug yourself. Drop out of their paradigm, Tune in to real, truthful information, and turn on your capacity to be human again.

(Not to hector...)

11/22/2006 11:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brook nailed it when he called Phil's well-intentioned thoughts on the subject "magical thinking". That is precisely what it is, and Brook said it more eloquently than I tried to.

No need to get defensive. It's just a mistaken idea. Everyone has them. It's an opportunity to learn something if the mind is open enough.

11/23/2006 01:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is definitely something central and essential about the idea of cultivating one's own garden (as Voltaire put it) -- and something false and self-limiting about setting out to save the world without having learned to save oneself.

Heroes and leaders just don't cut it. They are all flawed in one way or another -- either in their personal behavior, or in their policies and effects upon the world, or in both. There is something about the attempt to exert leadership -- the desire to *change* the world through the remote application of power -- that is naturally self-corrupting.

On the other hand, merely disengaging from the world -- "dropping out" in the 60's sense -- and having as little as possible to do with the things of this world also limits your effectiveness. (If a hermit lives a life of virtue out in the forest and no one witnesses it, is he really virtuous?)

I think this must be why the Sufis talk about being in the world but not of it. By being not of the world, you are free to attune your life to a higher imperative. But by remaining in the world, you force the world to take account of you -- you become a boulder in the middle of the river that parts the flow of the waters and directs them into new channels.

And you do that not by attempting to act upon the world -- which is the way of the man of power, and which leads to corruption by the ways of the world -- but by causing the world to attempt to act upon you.

As one example of what I mean, Rosa Parks did just that by the simple act of *not standing.* An act deeply rooted in her own sense of her unique value as a human being. An act with a zen-like foundation in non-action rather than in action. She did nothing -- and empires crumbled.

To state it another way, there are holes in our reality. This is true on every level. Jeff focuses on holes in consensual physical reality -- but there are also holes in everyday social and political reality.

From the point of view of those who are wedded to existing reality, those holes are yawning maws of chaos, out of which horror and destruction may come rampaging if they are not kept closed and papered over.

From the point of view of those who despair of present realities, those holes are gates of promise, leading to Eden or utopia.

But the point of view which transcends both hope and fear is that of the person who themself identifies with the holes -- who seeks to *become* a hole in reality, an opening from what-is into what-might-be, a glimpse of unrealized possibility.

And that, I think, has to be the real meaning of cultivating your garden.

11/23/2006 01:47:00 AM  
Blogger iridescent cuttlefish said...

Seems to me that while the emotional inspiration of the Kennedys still lives, the idea that politics has anything to do with how the world is run is just absurd. Corporations control the political process, the scientific establishment, and the media. And yet, this control cannot be addressed by politicians, scientists, or journalists because they are controlled by corporations.

Fixing the world's problems would require reforming the three areas I mention, but that can't be done because of the real centers of power. So deeply ingrained in the American psyche is the 1950s slogan, "What's good for GM is good for America," that any attempt to dismantle the corporate state would not only be attacked by the three very public arenas of its control, but also by the well trained consumer-citizens who would view it as some sort of communist attack on their "freedoms".

The internet has great potential, but at this point not enough people have had their worldview affected by it. Viable alternatives to the way we live do exist--spreading the awareness of their existence is still the problem. The only practical means of influencing the collective consciousness is through the diffusion of memes, which are extremely powerful, ideogrammic, and self-replicating. Unfortunately, the best media for the transmission of memes are images, songs, and books...and the media which transmit these are controlled by the corporations which schedule the assassinations and the fake news and degradation of humanity and its habitat.

What did Yossarian do, anyway?

11/23/2006 02:17:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Initially, I think this is a great blog and it fosters some interesting discussion, but this is my first comment. I certainly would not consider myself to be sold on the radical connectivity/deep conspiracy view of the world, but I think the possibility is interesting.

I am responding to the above discussion about "morality." It seems to me that there are some assumptions being made here by all the pesons involved in the discussion, and I think the discussion may be on the wrong plane.

What exactly is morality? Who is to say that "they" (the PTB) have it wrong? From a Nietzchian (sp) perspective, maybe there is nothing wrong with the powerful asserting their will over the less powerful. Perhaps it is, in fact, perfectly moral in a normative sense for the elite to, as Orwell said, stamp on the face of mankind for all eternity. Does anyone here have a hotline to whatever authority in the multiverse is the arbitrer of morality?

Of course no one here has such connections (at least I doubt any claims to the contrary). It seems clear to me, in my own little reality over here, that whatever "morality" and normative behavior is, is absolutely based on context and perspective. At some point I thought morality could be defined in terms of empathy, i.e. well I know getting stabbed hurts pretty bad, so I won't stab others. Now I think that it is more of a tough sell since everyone experiences things differently based on their perspective.

From my perspective, therefore, PC's statement that, "Let's each get our own house in order, and then see how that has transformed the world. It's a ripple effect greater than any tsunami. Confucius knew this concentric model of building a healthy world," is incredibly presumptious. Maybe "getting my house in order" involves banging Marilyn Monroe and organizing ritual satanic abuse. I would also point out that Conficious or Keng Ze, if you will, was certainly a member of the elite and a PTB. Maybe "getting your house in order" is just what THEY want.;)

Clearly, the starting point for all the discussion here about moral development is more or less based on traditional Western societal dogmatic morality. i.e. Not molesting children, oppressing the weak, or philandering. I can live with that, since the nihilism discussed above (not saying I necessarily agree with what I said above, but I am afraid that is the way it is), does not lead to any interesting discussion.

"Heroes and leaders just don't cut it. They are all flawed in one way or another." Aren't we all?

"As one example of what I mean, Rosa Parks did just that by the simple act of *not standing." And MLK had nothing to do with it.

"In December 1943, Parks became active in the Civil Rights Movement, joined the Montgomery chapter of the NAACP, and was elected volunteer secretary to its president, Edgar Nixon...Like many black people, Parks was deeply moved by the brutal murder of Emmett Till in August 1955. On November 27, 1955—only four days before she refused to give up her seat—she later recalled that she had attended a mass meeting in Montgomery which focused on this case as well as the recent murders of George W. Lee and Lamar Smith. The featured speaker at the meeting was T.R.M. Howard, a black civil rights leader from Mississippi who headed the Regional Council of Negro Leadership...Colvin recollected, "Mrs. Parks said, 'Always do what was right.'" Parks was raising money for Colvin's defense, but when E.D. Nixon learned that Colvin was pregnant, it was decided that Colvin was an unsuitable symbol for their cause. Soon after her arrest she had conceived a child with a much older married man, a moral transgression that scandalized the deeply religious black community...Parks also detailed her motivation in her autobiography, My Story[6]

People always say that I didn't give up my seat because I was tired, but that isn't true. I was not tired physically, or no more tired than I usually was at the end of a working day. I was not old, although some people have an image of me as being old then. I was forty-two. No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in." No disrespect to Rosa Parks, but I am not sure that I would call that a "zen-like' non action. It was an affirmative assertion of will.

Cripes, now I don't know what my point was, but I am sure I had one. I guess the point is that it seemed to me like some commentators were making some easy assumptions about reality, and being skeptical towards easy reality seems to be an important point of this blog.

11/23/2006 02:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem with the Rosa Parks example is: it's not actually true.

Ms. Parks worked for the NAACP for ten years before the Montgomery bus incident, and for the office of Rep Conyers in Detroit in later years. Fine things, but clear indications she was a movement insider, not a simple person of conscience who simply tired of Jim Crowism and sat stubbornly, like a "boulder in the river" forcing the world to move around her.

No, she says herself: "I worked on numerous cases with the NAACP," Mrs. Parks recalled, "but we did not get the publicity. There were cases of flogging, peonage, murder, and rape. We didn't seem to have too many successes."

So the NAACP and it's attorneys and counselors orchestrated this affair--hardly the first time a black person refused to yeild their seat to whitey--and prevailed through a combination of legal maneuvers, media exposure and popular outrage.

All this hardly an argument for detachment from the world.

11/23/2006 04:03:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent discussion by Starroute, "unbelievable", and others on the question of moral and political action.

But this comment troubles me: "All this hardly an argument for detachment from the world."

No one in the entire discussion ever argued in favor of detachment from the world, that I can see, unless you are reading that into Starroute's "in it but not of it."

That seems more like a statement straight out of the Bhagavad Gita, made by Krsna to the Kshatriya warrior Arjuna to put all of his effort into the battle at hand and fight with honor. Just not to be "attached to the outcome."

Wise words even today, a few millenia later.

Act with honor and all good effort, and yes, those ripple effects will be tsunami sized.

And then some.

11/23/2006 04:19:00 AM  
Blogger Sounder said...

Note the irony of societal ignoring of the rapes, lynching, and degrading treatment of our fellow man; yet Rosa Parks refusing to give up a seat caught the public attention, big time. So, it may be better to capture public imagination with less scary archetypal elements. Strike one against me (and many others here). I resolve to pay better attention to the pitcher.

Tim, well placed post. I do think that it is more the reacting to evil that perpetuates it rather than its observation. Not to be self-centered, but I need help to resolve certain issues with my (personal) ontological model. That being; certain scary archetypal elements are used to illustrate a method whereby individuals reactive mind tendencies are devalued.

I once met a personality at my local dive. He told me many VERY strange things. They seemed designed to put me off, but I enjoyed it and continued with two hours of high strangeness. Towards the end of our conversation I asked him; what is the one best thing we can do to properly shape our future? He said right on beat; ‘Make your statements in a positive form’. Crazy, yeah he sure was crazy.

Starroute, and everybody else here, thank-you.

11/23/2006 07:03:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On a lighter note the new James Bond film Casino Royale mentions the short selling of stock on 911.This con versation between M and Bond relates to future terrorist activity and a plot to blow up the new Skybus.

I mention this due to the fact that the Bedwetter contingent of RI would avoid the above on principle.

Bobby and Jack were their fathers sons and consequently acted as such.

Gore Vidal on BBC Radio3 Nightwaves recently stated that Bobby was responsible for Jacks death in his search for personal glory.

In short his war on the Mob precipitated the hit.The mob quote being between New Orleans/Miami capos "why go for the fleas ,when you can kill the dog"

11/23/2006 07:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Starroute, interesting thoughts, but I cannot help but marvel at your rhetorical question:

"(If a hermit lives a life of virtue out in the forest and no one witnesses it, is he really virtuous?)"

Absolutely! Virtue exists, just as Truth exists. I would even argue that Beauty exists, and is, somehow, quantifiable. The question is like asking whether someone who lives alone and is truthful, or beautiful, are they really, if no one else is there to experience their truth or savor their beauty?

Which is like asking whether the Last Man's actions (and therefore, his life) are important.

("What is Truth?" Pontius Pilate famously asked of Truth himself, prior to crucifying him.)

Starroute, I'm surprised. I thought you were sympathetic to the "ripples in the pond" and "butterfly wings" argument, happy with the idea of quantum interconnectedness. If the behaviour of a light particle on one side of the galaxy influences that of another on the far side, then how can it be argued that virtue is not of value, even if practiced in "isolation?"

Are we ever truly isolated? You sound like Nietsche (was it Nietsche?), staring up into the night sky and being frightened by the cold vastness.

I guess you don't believe in the power of prayer, either. All those cloistered souls, praying fervently, must be wasting their time, because they're not out in the world, "causing it to act upon them?"


Thomas Merton, call your office.

If the battlefield is spiritual, I'll take one anchorite against 10,000 Playstation/NFL-heads any day.

Because the virtuous anchorite wins every time.

But if the battle is about materiality, and having plastic junk gathered in heaps (like dung) and a head filled with useless flotsam, then the anchorite becomes, er, "a non-productive asset."

Regardless, it is almost impossible to fully detach oneself from the world, nowadays. You go and try to live in the woods, or under Joe Bannion's proverbial overpass, they'll arrest you after they have fun tasering you. The world is always quite happy to "act upon you," despite your best attempts to stay hid. Even the sainted Cryptogon has not fully detached himself from the world. He has simply withdrawn himself beyond the iron curtain that he sees descending on Freedom's land, an act I applaud.

Starroute also wrote, "On the other hand, merely disengaging from the world -- "dropping out" in the 60's sense -- and having as little as possible to do with the things of this world also limits your effectiveness."

Effectiveness? To do what? To effect change? But you yourself noted that "There is something about the attempt to exert leadership -- the desire to *change* the world through the remote application of power -- that is naturally self-corrupting."

What am I missing? I maintain that to speak of 'effectiveness' is to tread perilously close to Benthamite Utilitarianism, and to the machine-world concept of 'efficiency,' which I see as anti-human. Not to get too abstruse (because I can't), there is no 'effect' without causation, and at the heart of causation is a moral decision: good or evil, virtue or corruption. I'd rather live in a society of well-intentioned, cooperative plainfolk than the bizarre, disintegrating bedlam of factions we find ourselves in. One community practices husbandry, in the Wendell Berry sense of the word, and is therefore self-sustaining, whereas the other is hurtling, speakers blaring, towards a very high cliff.

In a nation of virtuous monasts, Starroute, Vlad Putin and Sumner Redstone, Conrad Black and Dick Cheney have no power. They would be regarded, in fact, as what they are: preening fools, dangerously power-mad, and unhinged from the taproots of humanity.

Or, as Jeff wrote in the 'Monotony of Evil' post: "These are, after all, Simone Weil's times. Evil, wrote the socialist mystic, is monotonous: there is "never anything new, everything about it is equivalent.... It is because of this monotony that quantity plays so great a part." This seems counterintuitive, or perhaps simply wrong, because the world today appears full of often lamentable novelty. But the novelty, evil's artifact, is an illusion."

What a gift for concision! "But the novelty, evil's artifact, is an illusion."

A lantern to guide us through the night.


(Now can we kill the indians, pa? "No, my son, let us first eat of their corn. Then, after they are gone, I will show you how to set up a commodities market, and create derivatives.")

11/23/2006 07:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do words matter? Here's Starroute commenting on the 'Monotony of Evil' thread:

"Morality, I believe, is an internalized awareness of opportunities for evolutionary leaps. Morality points away from personal survival and towards unrealized possibilities of altruism and symbiotic potential. It points away from the local group and towards the largest imaginable units -- humankind, Earth, the totality of existence. It points away from the present and towards the future.

And even beyond morality lies that ineffable sense of an ultimate Oneness (whether regarded as being or as becoming doesn't much seem to matter) that our moral choices and our evolutionary leaps lead us towards.

I don't presume to say whether making moral choices gives us a sense of accomplishment because it literally connects us with a Oneness outside ourselves, or merely because it enables our conscious self to resonate with the internalized Oneness within us. But then, that's probably a difference without a difference -- Macrocosm equals Microcosm, as above so below, and all that.

I do see fairly clearly, though, that the people who most often strike us as evil are those who resist evolution in the name of holding onto what they already have, resist identification with a larger whole in the name of present group affiliation, resist change in the name of imagining that their present condition is already perfect and sufficient.

And also that those who seem not precisely evil but certainly gone astray are those like the current lot of Christians, who are terrified beyond all measure of evolution and would rather see the world end tomorrow than change one jot from the world they already know."

Nice, Starroute. You seem to have made a god of evolution. Those who "resist" your god are evil, and those silly 1.6 billion Christians--they're "terrified beyond all measure (!) and would rather see the world end tomorrow." They're "not precisely evil, but seem to have gone astray."

What mindless garbage, to generalize about human beings like that.

11/23/2006 08:20:00 AM  
Blogger Sounder said...

IC said;

"The only practical means of influencing the collective consciousness is through the diffusion of memes, which are extremely powerful, ideogrammic, and self-replicating. Unfortunately, the best media for the transmission of memes are images, songs, and books..."

The 'best media for the transmission of memes' is to have aesthetic beauty, internal coherence and substance within the meme. Of course the existing power structures are not going to provide these things for us. Anyway, most social activism (and science and religion) seems to become dysfunctional, perhaps because most folk still express themselves through either accepting or at least relating through existing and conventional structures for understanding.

We can and will do better.

11/23/2006 08:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

tim boucher said
Should we maybe try another game?

Yes! We should absolutely try another game. While I am 100% certain that I will lambasted for having a "head in the sand" attitude because of this comment, I am becoming more and more certain that the observation of evil perpetuates it.

Great post, Tim. My first reaction is to totally agree with you. By observing evil we are only perpetuating it.

But what if that's wrong?

Schrodinger's cat
Schrödinger's cat is a famous illustration of the principle in quantum theory of superposition, proposed by Erwin Schrödinger in 1935. Schrödinger's cat serves to demonstrate the apparent conflict between what quantum theory tells us is true about the nature and behavior of matter on the microscopic level and what we observe to be true about the nature and behavior of matter on the macroscopic level.

Here's Schrödinger's (theoretical) experiment: We place a living cat into a steel chamber, along with a device containing a vial of hydrocyanic acid. There is, in the chamber, a very small amount of a radioactive substance. If even a single atom of the substance decays during the test period, a relay mechanism will trip a hammer, which will, in turn, break the vial and kill the cat. The observer cannot know whether or not an atom of the substance has decayed, and consequently, cannot know whether the vial has been broken, the hydrocyanic acid released, and the cat killed. Since we cannot know, the cat is both dead and alive according to quantum law, in a superposition of states. It is only when we break open the box and learn the condition of the cat that the superposition is lost, and the cat becomes one or the other (dead or alive). This situation is sometimes called quantum indeterminacy or the observer's paradox: the observation or measurement itself affects an outcome, so that it can never be known what the outcome would have been if it were not observed

What if by observing evil we cause it to die?

I am a member of the baby boomer generation. Grew up on Father Knows Best, John Wayne and Hop Along Cassidy. Never knew or tasted evil till on November 22, 1963, my TV brought me the images of evil.

With the advent of the internet and all the bloggers all the hidden evil is out for all to observe.

And what does that pyramid and floating capstone on the back of the dollar bill really mean?

13 steps up the pyramid. And did you know that Generation X is the 13th generation? The "Slacker Generation". But that slacker generation has changed everything haven't they?

And Groundhog Day is one of my all time favorite movies. What a message.

Happy Thanksgiving all

11/23/2006 08:51:00 AM  
Blogger ericswan said...

The "torus" is expanding. Scientists in Toronto have discovered that our DNA is not just in two pairs from our immediate parents. There are many pairs including our grandparents.

We have a legacy to survive and if that means some of us move out to the forest, live alone, live in caves, then so be it. But then there is Ruby Ridge and the End of Time and the test has been rescheduled until every square inch of the planet has been dosed with chemtrails and every nuance of freedom has been expunged.

So capture the butterfly with wings dip't in light;
Pull off his antennae and stick them on right.

11/23/2006 09:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awesome rant by 'Masonic Plot' over on the forum: 'America Has Left the Building.'


"Our emptiness is compensated for by the gigantism we see everywhere around us: from an epidemic of obese children to bloated McMansions. But whether its wooly mammoths or SUVs -- or Elvis, stuffed into a sequined jumpsuit -- or the fate of unwieldy armies of over-extended empires, bogged down by local insurgencies -- gigantism is a precursor to extinction. Worse, at present, this phenomenon is transpiring on a global basis.

Corporatism has rendered us analogous to the last days of Elvis ... Puffy, bloated -- we wheeze our way through our set ... Guarded gate communities are our own private Graceland where we die in excess and isolation. The electric lights sequined across the entire planet, now glow from space like one of Elvis's Las Vegas costumes. But does no one see the dying man beneath the jeweled jumpsuit? The land and The King are one.

America has left the building."

'Ol Ben Franklin was right. The turkey should have been the national bird.

11/23/2006 10:57:00 AM  
Blogger iridescent cuttlefish said...

Perspective is ripeness is all, as I've serially maintained. To imagine that TPTB are the Dick, Bush and Pelosi show is to ignore the writers of the scripts.

Corporatism is the cancer that threatens all species, but we'll survive it, because the parasite does not direct the evolution of the host; although the othodoxy of neo-darwinism is a just another shell game, the concept as metaphor is useful in attaining a better perspective on the current conundrum. Here's an ocean-liner of perspective distilled into a convenient lifeboat:

There is one divine essence -- boundless consciousness-life-substance-space -- which is unborn and undying, unfathomable and ineffable. Within the shoreless expanses of abstract space there are numberless concrete world-systems repeatedly coming into being and passing away, in never-ending cycles of activity and rest, and these worlds are composed of, and provide the playground for the evolution of, countless hierarchies of beings, at every conceivable stage of evolutionary awakening, which are gradually learning and growing and unfolding their inner potential, periodically descending into matter, gaining knowledge and experience, and reascending to spirit, through world after world, plane upon plane, constantly expanding in consciousness and understanding, endlessly and limitlessly, for ever and ever . . .(David Pratt. December 1998.)

Today's links are all theosophical. While Madame Blavatsky and her occultic associates have been long disgraced, the kernel of gnostic truth hidden within the basic premise of theosophy is enjoying a current, cyclic resurrection. I don't necessarily endorse all of Mr. Pratt's positions, but that isn't required in the pursuit of perspective and its optimistic offspring: hope.

11/23/2006 12:58:00 PM  
Blogger AJ said...

The persuit of hope is the carrot on the cosmic stick that drives us forward.
The only difference is what is hoped for.

"Authentic religion should lead to that estuary where spirtual traditions blend.." {Silent Fire}

Moviegirl, thanx for the quantum ideas, something just clicked in my head, did you hear it?

11/23/2006 01:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

americans will consume 48 million turkeys today. that's 18% of the annual turkeys slaughtered in the U.S.

we rock. don't we?

i would like to thank god for this wonderful land flowing with milk and honey and porn and ritual abuse and sport utility vehicles and nascar and bubba burgers and disposable diapers and 50 different kinds of household cleaners and 3 car garages and every sport you can think of 24/7 and video games where you can kill people all day long and the sooty chinese haze that we breath every day pumped out of their coal fired power plants that are used to manufacture the shit we don't need.

i love milk and honey and turkey too. don't you?

11/23/2006 02:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's a story I didn't see: a man burned himself alive in Chicago to protest the war, wasn't reported.

"I heard you, Malachi
By Jennifer Diaz

On Friday, November 3, a man doused his body with gasoline and set himself afire to protest the war in Iraq . He died quietly in flames. His name was Malachi Ritscher.

Haven't seen it in the news? Me neither, which is kind of strange if you ask me, considering that it happened right here in downtown Chicago in front of hundreds of commuters during morning rush hour. The only conventional newspaper coverage to date was a tiny paragraph that appeared in the Saturday edition of the Chicago Sun-Times. Since then...nothing.

Should we concerned about the lack of coverage? This is serious, friends. You don't have to be a communication scholar to know that the news media go by the maxim, "When it bleeds, it leads." In a time of intense controversy over war, a man offers up his life and endures prolonged, excruciating pain to make a tangible statement of his belief in peace - are we to believe that this isn't newsworthy?

When Thich Quang Duc, the Vietnamese Buddhist monk, set himself on fire in 1963 to protest the corrupt and brutal regime of Ngo Dinh Diem, it was all over the media. A lucid, well respected American citizen makes the ultimate sacrifice on American soil four days before a national election - I ask again: is there no story here?"


And, with regards to playing fields no longer level: From an interview with Marshall Thomas, author of 'The Harmless People:'

"Marshall Thomas responds : Yes, for me they (Kalahari Bushmen)are living in somewhat the same way, but with different economics. The idea that you help your own is still present. This is what kept the human race alive for 150,000 years.

The hunter-gatherers told anthropologists they don't define themselves by how they get food but by how they relate to each other. We saw that. They tried to keep jealousy at a minimum, with nobody more important or owning more things than anyone else. You gave things away rather than keep them. You wanted other people to think of you with a good feeling.

Q: Is that the "old way" of your book title?

A: Yes.

There was a time when the playing field was level and all species lived in this way. How people and their domestic animals live now is profoundly different."

You might say.

11/23/2006 03:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's William Burroughs, reading his 'Thanksgiving Prayer.'

11/23/2006 03:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kennedy may have been "one of
their own" but they blew his
head off once he decided not
to go along with the "program".

11/23/2006 04:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

with nobody more important.........than anyone else

prexactly. no hierarchy. no authority. no heroes.

instead, cooperation.

11/23/2006 05:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kennedy may have been "one of
their own" but they blew his
head off once he decided not
to go along with the "program".

yes, but perhaps it was for reasons we will never fully know. it may well have been something behind the scenes, and what we know we only know as the cover story for conspiracy theorists. those that give the nod are far removed from the bloody handywork. at any given time it's highly plausible that elements are in place and gnawing at the bit to eliminate political foes, especially the president of the u.s. when they give the nod from their lofty perches, the dogs are loosed and the practiced plans executed. then the official cover story for those who don't subscribe to conspiracy theory and a second cover story (rife with purposeful inconsistencies) for the conspiracy theorists.

they then sit back and laugh their asses off as their minions draw up new plans for new realities that will make us dance with more feeling. that last thought was from the movie the good the bad and the ugly. it was the part where the corrupt union henchman forced the southern prisoners to play music while his charlatan captain tortured tuco in his private quarters. the corrupt henchman wasn't satisfied with the passion the prisoner musicians were exhibiting so he ordered them to play with more feeling and so they did as tuco got his head smashed in.

11/23/2006 05:45:00 PM  
Blogger plectic said...

Alexander Litvinenko is being reported as to have died. rip

11/23/2006 07:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sorry, but no love lost for Litvinenko. he was dirty. the only difference with him is that he capitalized on it. he was an opportunist and he knew well the risks. sometimes scorpions sting each other. that appears to be the case here. which scorpion stung him is the question and in his business the easy answer is never the answer. enter rigor.

i could just see him with all of his big shot russian expat friends in london embracing the western ideal of over indulgence as they feed their new found faith by having someone write books in their name containing material the intuitive already know.

don't ever trust or ever feel sorry for an intelligence worker purportedly disenfranchised or not. they are always working their craft until the day they die which is never soon enough.

11/23/2006 08:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Executive Order 11110

Executive Order 11110 was issued by president John Kennedy on June 4, 1963.

The order delegated to the US Secretary of the Treasury[1] what had previously been a Presidential power, originally granted by the Agricultural Adjustment Act to issue silver certificates against silver bullion without any reliance on the Federal Reserve System.

Actual Text:


By virtue of the authority vested in me by section 301 of title 3 of the United States Code, it is ordered as follows:

SECTION 1. Executive Order No. 10289 of September 19, 1951, as amended, is hereby further amended --

(a) By adding at the end of paragraph 1 thereof the following subparagraph (j):

"(j) The authority vested in the President by paragraph (b) of section 43 of the Act of May 12, 1933, as amended (31 U.S.C. 821 (b)), to issue silver certificates against any silver bullion, silver, or standard silver dollars in the Treasury not then held for redemption of any outstanding silver certificates, to prescribe the denominations of such silver certificates, and to coin standard silver dollars and subsidiary silver currency for their redemption," and

(b) By revoking subparagraphs (b) and (c) of paragraph 2 thereof.

SEC. 2. The amendment made by this Order shall not affect any act done, or any right accruing or accrued or any suit or proceeding had or commenced in any civil or criminal cause prior to the date of this Order but all such liabilities shall continue and may be enforced as if said amendments had not been made.


11/24/2006 12:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From Here.

Executive Order No. 11110

There is currently floating around the Net one theory of the Kennedy assassination based upon certain legal documents. According to this idea, Kennedy was assassinated because he was about ready to start issuing silver certificates; to prevent him from doing so, the "powers that be" had him killed. Please understand that what I offer below explaining the flaw of this argument does not mean that I am an apologist for the Fed or banking industry; it should be obvious from my site that I am not. I only offer these comments because this argument demonstrates just one of the completely erroneous arguments which is allegedly based upon the "law" but is not.

When Congress enacts a law, it often delegates authority to enforce and administer the law to some executive official, typically the President. Naturally, the President does not personally attend to such duties and must himself delegate to others within the Executive branch. The Agricultural Adjustment Act of May 12, 1933, was one of these acts and it permitted the President in §43 to issue United States Notes for the purpose of paying the bonded indebtedness of the United States and not for circulation purposes.

Via a law enacted by Congress in 1950, 64 Stat. 419, the President was authorized to delegate his statutory functions to others within the Executive branch. It provided:

The President of the United States is hereby authorized to designate and empower the head of any department or agency in the executive branch, or any official thereof who is required to be appointed by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to perform, without approval, ratification, or other action by the President (1) any function which is vested in the President by law, or (2) any function which such officer is required or authorized by law to perform only with or subject to the approval ratification, or other action of the President: * * *
Pursuant to this statutory authority, on September 19, 1951, President Truman issued Executive Order No. 10289, which delegated to the Secretary of the Treasury lots of the statutory duties of the President. This executive order provided in part as follows:
By virtue of the authority vested in me by section 1 of the act of August 8, 1950, 64 Stat. 419 (Public Law 673, 81st Congress), and as President of the United States, it is ordered as follows:
1. The Secretary of the Treasury is hereby designated and empowered to perform the following described functions of the President without the approval, ratification, or other action of the President:
(a) The authority vested in the President by section 1 of the act of August 1, 1914, c. 223, 38 Stat. 609, as amended (19 U.S.C. 2), (1) to rearrange, by consolidation or otherwise, the several customs-collection districts, (2) to discontinue ports of entry by abolishing the same and establishing others in their stead, and (3) to change from time to time the location of the headquarters in any customs-collection district as the needs of the service may require.
(b) The authority vested in the President * * *

Thereafter, this executive order listed another 8 statutory powers of the President which he was delegating to the Treasury Secretary, the substance of which is not important for this discussion. Please remember that this delegation to the Treasury Secretary was to be exercised "without the approval, ratification, or other action of the President." It should also be noted that this particular executive order did not delegate to the Treasury Secretary the authority to issue silver certificates granted to the President in the 1933 law noted above.
From 1933 until 1963, the President alone possessed the statutory authority to issue silver certificates. But then on June 4, 1963, President Kennedy amended Truman's 1951 Executive Order No. 10289 by Executive Order No. 11110. This particular order read as follows:





By virtue of the authority vested in me by section 301 of title 3 of the United States Code, it is ordered as follows:
SECTION 1. Executive Order No. 10289 of September 19, 1951, as amended, is hereby further amended -

(a) By adding at the end of paragraph 1 thereof the following subparagraph (j):

(j) The authority vested in the President by paragraph (b) of section 43 of the Act of May 12, 1933, as amended (31 U.S.C. 821 (b)), to issue silver certificates against any silver bullion, silver, or standard silver dollars in the Treasury not then held for redemption of any outstanding silver certificates, to prescribe the denominations of such silver certificates, and to coin standard silver dollars and subsidiary silver currency for their redemption," and

(b) By revoking subparagraphs (b) and (c) of paragraph 2 thereof.

SECTION 2. The amendment made by this Order shall not affect any act done, or any right accruing or accrued or any suit or proceeding had or commenced in any civil or criminal cause prior to the date of this Order but all such liabilities shall continue and may be enforced as if said amendments had not been made.

June 4, 1963

By this executive order, the statutory authority of the President to issue silver certificates was delegated to the Treasury Secretary. In Kennedy's administration, the Treasury Secretary was Douglas Dillon, a man from a banking family and a known established "power" in the banking community. Kennedy delegated the authority to issue silver certificates to Dillon and his successors, and this power could be exercised "without the approval, ratification, or other action of the President."
The only reasonable conclusion which may be reached based upon the facts are the exact opposite of the argument made on the Net. For some 30 years, the President himself held the power to issue silver certificates. But some 5 months before his assassination, Kennedy delegated this power to Dillon, and via this order, Dillon could do as he pleased with this power. To assert that Kennedy was by Executive Order No. 11110 getting ready to issue silver certificates is contrary to the plain facts. Instead, Kennedy was surrendering this power and delegating it to the Treasury Secretary, who was someone from the banking industry. Clearly, it appears that this EO was issued to put the power to issue silver certificates into safe hands, that of a banker. There is no substance to this theory on the Net. I cannot understand how this particular order proves that Kennedy was about to issue silver certificates. Where is the proof that Kennedy was anything other than a pawn of the banking community?

11/24/2006 09:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps someone here can answer the 'fly in the ointment' problem with JFK and RFK murders. Why hasn't Teddy ever done anything about them? He has been in the Senate for over 30 years. All he had to do was publically say he knew there was a 'plot' to kill his brothers and the crap would have hit the fan. They could not have done anything to him at that point. He could have forced their hand and demanded full investigations and real investigative work.
Please don't try the blackmail approach. The guy has done everything in the world and he still gets re-elected? It just does not make sense. They were his brothers.

11/24/2006 09:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's confirmed. Alexander was poisoned with Polonium-210. Not the sort of stuff you pick up from the local garden centre.

11/24/2006 11:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

polonium-210. was he a heavy smoker by chance?

11/24/2006 12:57:00 PM  
Blogger tim said...

good point about the kramer actor being a 33rd degree freemason. i've read that before his latest outburst. makes you think about the theosophist philosophy of racial superiority, etc. and what EXACTLY was going through this guy's mind as he was spewing the madness that may or may not have been "learned."

11/24/2006 03:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The coverage of the Michael Richards outburst is an obvious misdirection and purposeful distraction. I refuse to investigate the particulars. To do so is to play into the hands of those who's purpose it is to divert our attention away from more salient issues.

Who cares if Michael Richards was a Freemason? He's not that important of an individual to warrant such scrutiny.

So, I don't agree that it's a good point about Kramer as you say. It's somewhat superfluous when juxtaposed with the other fine comments in this thread.

11/24/2006 06:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The CIA-did-it theory of the RFK is assassination is the official conspiracy theory of the event, and should be dismissed as 'the conspiracy they want you to have.'

Even if certain people from the CIA were photographed at the scene, the evidence relating to the shooters and the girl in the polka dot dress used to set up Sirhan as the patsy points rather to an FBI/ADL joint operation.

For anyone interested in finding the true story, see the e-book 'The Girl in the Polka Dot Dress' by researcher Carl Wernerhoff.

For a free copy, email

11/24/2006 08:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

woah - jeff

did you catch this?

Rumsfeld and a Mountain of Misery

rumsfeld is always on point

11/25/2006 04:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wetwork at its finest.

Of course no proof.

11/25/2006 06:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeff, I hope you're just stupid, not worse.

Try googling Beresovsky, Litvinenko, "open society foundation", "plundering of russia". Try adding "NM Rothschild" while you're at it.

Now ask yourself this: who benefits from smearing Putin?

I'm sure Putin is a nasty piece of work, but there are much worse than him out there. Maybe you can stop giving their propaganda credence.

By the way, don't you find it strange how Alex Goldfarb, Litvinenko's "friend", read a statement that was supposedly dictated on his deathbed. Put "Alex Goldfarb" into Google as well. (And don't even get me started on Google itself. That's a whole different can of worms.)

Oh, by the way, keep up the good work. There's some excellent stuff on your blog. 8^)

Sorry to let reality intrude...

11/25/2006 08:17:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The ills of this reality can be summed up into one word - intrusion.

I understand that it's highly dependent upon personal perception, but maybe give a thought to something, anything that cannot be perceived as "intrusive" in this reality. That may prove to be the place to begin.
- soulsurvivor

11/25/2006 09:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amplifying some thoughts above, courtesy of Richard Gregg's 'Voluntary Simplicity:'

Turning Away from Progress

"Ecological living does not imply turning away from economic progress; rather, it seeks to discover which technologies are most appropriate and helpful in moving towards a sustainable future. Ecological living is not a path of "no growth" but a path of "new growth" that includes both material and spiritual dimensions of life. A simpler way of life is not a retreat from progress; in fact, it is essential to the advance of civilizations. After a lifetime of study of the rise and fall of the world's civilizations, the historian, Arnold Toynbee, concluded that the measure of a civilization's growth was not to be found in the conquest of other people or in the possession of land. Rather, he described the essence of growth in what he called the "Law of Progressive Simplification."3 True growth, he said, is the ability of a society to transfer increasing amounts of energy and attention from the material side of life to the non-material side and thereby to advance its culture, capacity for compassion, sense of community and strength of democracy. We are now being pushed by necessity to discover freshly the meaning of "true growth" by progressively simplifying the material side of our lives and enriching the non-material side."

11/25/2006 10:53:00 AM  
Blogger iridescent cuttlefish said...

Got to be suspicious of NPR official-lining the "impossibility" of Putin's involvement in Litvinenko's death (on the grounds that since everyone would connect it with Putin's long history of assassination and general KGBness, he would have "nothing to gain by it," except of course the silencing of one major source of pedophilic documentation...)

As to Kramer's theosophy making him a racist, all I can say, brother, is where do you find the racism in Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan's The Dignity of Man and the Brotherhood of Peoples?

(short excerpt):

Today the world is eager for the development of a world community based on unity and harmony as distinct from unanimity and uniformity. We have to remember what the great teachers of the world have affirmed, that all men are brothers, and that their differences are not to be obliterated but are to be fostered and sustained by mutual understanding. We must learn from other peoples' beliefs and experiences. We have come to realize that conflicts between countries can no more be settled by wars, which are devastating in their character. There are no losers or winners, nor victors or vanquished, in modern war. The differences require to be reconciled in a large understanding of human depth and its varied expression. Through sheer political folly and fanatical zeal for our own view, we may bring about the end of the world. We must learn to be loyal to the whole human race. Exclusive loyalty to an individual nation or group or creed is not enough in the present world.

You, the explorers of the art, literature and thought of the world's varied cultures, you have a more decisive voice in shaping the minds and hearts of the people than even political leaders. Let us dedicate ourselves today -- in the spirit of scholarship which knows no frontiers and which, if genuine, breeds humility and tolerance -- to the task of building a new world, to ridding ourselves of every trace of hatred, intolerance, and fanaticism of every variety. Let us move forward to a great meeting where we respect every man, every race, every culture, every creed. The world craves for fellowship. The spirit of this land, from the time of the Rig Veda (X, 192) till today, asks us to move together to develop common ideals and purposes:

"Meet together, talk together:
May your minds comprehend alike:
Common be your action and achievement:
Common be your thoughts and intentions:
Common be the wishes of your hearts
So there may be thorough union among you."

Did Kramer crib his rant from this, or...? Look, I'm not a theosophist, or anything else that I'm aware of, but isn't tarring any persuasion with one brush a risky business? (Well, some persuasions always need to be tarred, I guess, including racists, but still, distinctions are useful, you know.)

11/25/2006 11:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To "Reason #1 refuted (sic)":

Your entire edifice of rebuttal collapses completely on the salient fact that JFK did, in fact, issuse Silver Certificates. He didn't just "get ready to." Did it. Done. Past tense.

These un-Federal Reserve bills bear the legend "US TREASURY NOTE", rather than what is on the bills in your wallet today.

LBJ rescinded the issuing and printing of Silver Certificate currency very shortly after his being sworn in upon the death of JFK. Nixon finally redeemed them for silver and officially took them out of circulation", though bills which were not redeemed and remained in the hands of collectors or stuffed in a mattress or safe deposit box still exist.

So your supposed rebuttal or refutation crumbles into dust on the facts of the matter.

And that's just Reason #1 of 3.

11/25/2006 12:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, George Lewis told the Englishman, the Italian and the Jew
"You can't open your mind, boys
To every conceivable point of view."

11/25/2006 03:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kennedy did not issue silver certificates. That is an out and out falsehood.

The following can be found here.

This is in reply to an e-mail Mr. Griffin received that pointed out differences between his views and those of the Christian Common-Law Institute regarding an alleged conflict between JFK and the Federal Reserve.

On their website, dated August 9, 2000, the CCLI stated:

"On June 4, 1963, a virtually unknown Presidential decree, Executive Order 11110, was signed with the authority to basically strip the Federal Reserve Bank of its power to loan money to the United States Federal Government at interest. With the stroke of a pen, President Kennedy declared that the privately owned Federal Reserve Bank would soon be out of business. President Kennedy's Executive Order 11110 gave the Treasury Department the explicit authority: "to issue silver certificates against any silver bullion, silver, or standard silver dollars in the treasury."... Perhaps the assassination of JFK was a warning to all future presidents not to interfere with the private Federal Reserve's control over the creation of money."

This is what I refer to on page 569 of my book as "The JFK Rumor." I cannot accept this interpretation of history because of the following facts:

The executive orders
If you look at a copy of EO 11110 you will find that it does not order the issuance of Silver Certificates. It orders an amendment to EO 10289. If you then look up EO 10289, you will find that it says:
"The Secretary of the Treasury is hereby designated and empowered to perform the following-described functions of the President without the approval, ratification, or other action of the President."

Those functions did not include the power to issue Silver Certificates. The purpose of EO 11110 was to add that power to the list. The exact wording of the Order was:

"Executive Order No. 10289 of September 19, 1951, as amended, is hereby further amended (a) By adding at the end of paragraph 1 thereof the following subparagraph (j): (1) 'The authority to issue silver certificates against any silver bullion, silver, or standard silver dollars in the Treasury.'"

Therefore, my statement in The Creature from Jekyll Island is correct. EO 11110 did not order the printing of Silver Certificates. It ordered the amendment of a previous executive order so that the United States Code would authorize or "empower" the Secretary of the Treasury to issue Silver Certificates if the occasion should arise. The occasion never arose. According to the Comprehensive Catalog of U.S. Paper Money by Gene Hessler, and also the Blackbook Price Guide to United States Paper Money, 33rd edition, the last issuance of Silver Certificates was in 1957. That was five years prior to Kennedy's EO 11110."

The following additional explanation was contained in a 1996 report from the Congressional Research Service at the Library of Congress:

"What E.O. 11110 did was to modify previous Executive Order 10289, delegating to the Secretary of the Treasury various powers of the President. To these delegated powers, E.O. 11110 added the power to alter the supply of Silver Certificates in circulation. Executive Order 11110, therefore, did not create any new authority for the Treasury to issue notes; it only affected who could give the order, the Secretary or the President.

"The reason for the move was that the President had just signed legislation repealing the Silver Purchase Act. With this repeal, the Treasury Secretary could no longer control the issue of Silver Certificates on his own authority. However, the issuance of certificates could be controlled under the President's authority. Hence, for administrative convenience, President Kennedy issued Executive Order 11110.

"Ironically, the purpose of the order and the legislation was to decrease the circulation of Silver Certificates, with Federal Reserve Notes taking their place. As economic activity grew and prices rose in the 1950s and early 1960s, the need for small-denomination currency grew at the same time that the price of silver increased. The Treasury required silver for the increasing number of Silver Certificates and coins needed for transactions. But the price of silver was rapidly approaching the point that the silver in the coins and in reserve for the certificates was worth more than the face value of the money.

"To conserve on the silver needs of the Treasury, President Kennedy requested legislation needed to bring the issuance of Silver Certificates to an end and to authorize the Fed to issue small denomination notes (which it could not at that time). The Fed began issuing small denomination notes almost immediately after the legislation was passed. And in October 1964, the Treasury ceased issuing Silver Certificates altogether. If anything, E.O. 11110 enhanced Federal Reserve power and did not in any way reduce it." (See "Money and the Federal Reserve System: Myth and Reality," by G. Thomas Woodward, Specialist in Macroeconomics, Economics Division, Congressional Research Services, Library of Congress, CRS Report for Congress, No. 96-672 E, July 31, 1996.)

The CCLI makes the following claim in its report:

"The Christian Common Law Institute has exhaustively researched this matter through the Federal Register and Library of Congress. We can now safely conclude that this Executive Order has never been repealed, amended, or superseded by any subsequent Executive Order. In simple terms, it is still valid."

This is not supported by the facts. The power granted to the Secretary of Treasury to issue Silver Certificates was rescinded on September 9, 1987, by Executive Order 12608, signed by President Reagan. The official purpose of the Order was stated as "Elimination of unnecessary Executive orders and technical amendments to others." It did not affect EO 11110 directly but did affect the parent EO 10289 - along with 62 other executive orders. That is how paragraph (j) was amended to remove the power in question. This Order can be found in its entirety in the Federal Register 52 FR 34617.

"The picture is blurred by the fact that the Treasury did issue United States Notes in the same year as EO 11110 (1963) but, as discussed further along, U.S. Notes are not the same as Silver Certificates. Furthermore, their issuance had nothing to do with EO 11110. It was mandated by an 1868 act of Congress which required the Secretary of the Treasury to maintain the amount of U.S. Notes outstanding at a fixed level. This did not originate with JFK and, in fact, he probably had no deep understanding of it. It was a routine matter initiated by the Treasury merely to replace worn and damaged specimens of older Notes in order to comply with the 1868 law. Apparently some of these new Notes did get into circulation but were quickly snapped up by private collectors. They never became a significant part of the money supply and, in fact, were not intended to. (For a more complete analysis, see my book, The Creature from Jekyll Island, pp. 569, 570.)

11/25/2006 04:56:00 PM  
Blogger tim said...

hey anonymous, i wasn't ranking comments in this forum. i was just commenting on the fact that historically, many upper-level freemasons have been racist in doctine. in fact, the kkk may be considered an offshoot of one branch of freemasonry.

11/25/2006 05:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think people should take the highly speculative claims about Putin and Russia being responsible for the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko with a huge grain of salt. When our mainstream news media connect dots (which they are loathe to do when it concerns any political intrigues within the good old U.S. of A.) people should be highly suspicious of their motives and government sponsorship of such speculation. I highly recommend the linked article by Justin Raimondo on titled "Poisonous Propaganda:"

A recent Washington Post editorial on the subject is typical: the Post admits "there's no concrete evidence as yet that the FSB or Mr. Putin is behind the poison attacks," but these people don't need evidence, either concrete or circumstantial, just as they didn't need it in the case of Anna Politkovskaya. Although there is nothing but speculation connecting the Russian government to Politkovskaya's death, Western reporters and pundits were virtually unanimous in declaring Putin the culprit. According to one would-be Sherlock Holmes, the fact that Politkovskaya was shot by some thug in the elevator of her apartment building on Putin's birthday proved that the wily former KGB chieftain masterminded her demise.

The same quality of "evidence" is on display in the Litvinenko affair. The stricken man opposed Putin and wrote a book accusing the Russian government of being behind the 1999 terrorist attacks carried out in Russian cities, for which Chechen terrorists were blamed. Therefore, Putin was behind this purported assassination attempt. As an indication of Litvinenko's credibility, he also claims that the KGB secretly funds al-Qaeda and orchestrated the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Litvinenko, in short, is a raving lunatic, who just so happens to enjoy the patronage of a very wealthy man with a very big grudge against Putin and Russia in general: Boris Berezovsky, the exiled oligarch who used his Communist connections to buy up whole sectors of the Russian economy dirt cheap during the rigged "privatizations" of the Yeltsin era, and fled the country when faced with charges of corruption. With much of his vast fortune still intact, Berezovsky has become Putin's nemesis, allying himself with Chechen terrorist leaders, what passes for Russian liberals, and American neoconservatives in a popular front for regime change in the Russian Federation.

Concerning the story about the false flag attack on apartment dwellers in Russia in 1999 being used as a pretext for Russia's war with the Chechens, although Litvinenko reported on the story in his book, he appears to be by no means an authoritative source for the story, but perhaps merely a secondary repeater of it from other sources.

In the recently published (and excellent) book titled The War on Truth by Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, the author devotes a portion of Chapter 3 to the allegations about the apartment building false flag attacks and never cited Litvinenko in the text or in the endnotes for the chapter. So even if the allegations against Putin are true, it was probably not Litvinenko who had the most to fear of retaliation for telling the story.

11/25/2006 05:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeez.. nothing like a good ol'
fashioned radioactive death
spray to fuck up your day...

11/25/2006 07:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is an excerpt from an article dated 11/23/2006 in the New York Post. Krazy Kramer Went Off On A Jew Rant, Too.

Michael Richards spewed anti-Semitic rants during a show earlier this year, witnesses said yesterday, as sickening new details of the comic's recent racist tirade came to light. Two customers at a Richard's performance last spring told the celebrity news Web site that the "Seinfeld" comic-who is Jewish-lashed out at Jews after he was heckled onstage. "Michael Richards said,'You're a f---ing Jew.' Your people are the cause of Jesus dying," said witness Carol Oschin, recalling an April 22 act at The Improv in Los Angeles. Richards soon stormed off stage, leaving audience members as confused as they were offended, said Oschin and another witness, J.P. Fillet.

"We didn't know if this was part of the act... He was getting very (verbally) violent, very agitated," Oschin said. Richards, in frantic damage-control mode, hired New York p.r. maestro Howard Rubenstein yesterday. And the famed mouthpiece confirmed his client used anti-Semitic words that night in California. "He is Jewish and he said,"I'm absolutely not anti-Semitic," Rubenstein said. 'He acknowledged that he said those things. He said that he was role playing and playing a character. He said,'There is no way I'm anti-Jewish."

11/25/2006 09:06:00 PM  
Blogger Tsoldrin said...

Sorry, I havn't even read this post or its comments yet, but I think some of you might find this interesting:

11/25/2006 09:39:00 PM  
Blogger ericswan said...

that would be one of Jeff's mirror sites?

11/25/2006 10:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry all you Kennedy apologists, they were just Bush I. Amazed anyone could possibly fulminate about them. Not even qualified to carry Wellstone's jockstrap. Also amazed at how little you folks seem to care bout the assasination of Malcolm X. Oh, right...he wasn't radio friendly.

Any of you folks reading Thomas Pynchon's newest screed? My god...uh-mayzzz-n...

11/26/2006 12:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are almost full circle in both "the nature of the game" and the style of the play.

There are only three options available to players when it comes to resolving any open confrontation between them.

1. One of them must be bought off. 2. One of them must be
intimidated to relent.
3. One of them must be killed.

Any player who ignores this rule will automatically invoke the third option to be carried out upon them and will consequently leave the game.

11/26/2006 12:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In reference to Tim Boucher's comment about Fear feeding itself, this surprising BBC report (sorry if this has already been posted at RI)--

Context: The Power of Nightmares-- A 2005
BBC Presentation


"BBC: In the past our politicians offered us dreams of a better world. Now they promise to protect us from nightmares.

The most frightening of these is the threat of an international terror network. But just as the dreams were not true, neither are these nightmares.

In a new series, the Power of Nightmares explores how the idea that we are threatened by a hidden and organised terrorist network is an illusion.

It is a myth that has spread unquestioned through politics, the security services and the international media..."

11/26/2006 11:26:00 AM  
Blogger iridescent cuttlefish said...

Are you still buying into the notion that any of the “players” you discuss really “plays”? As Oarwell’s reminder of the lessons of The Power of Nightmares washes over us, how can we possibly believe that any Kennedy, Bush, Clinton (or any member of the American aristocracy) could really do anything for us, even if he/she wanted to (which is quite doubtful, as such a wish would directly threaten the position & privilege of that aristocrat…) If it’s a game, that means that it doesn’t matter what these public faces say or do—it’s all just for show!! Stop talking about the show, already; aren’t we mesmerized & stupefied enough?!

Now for something completely different (sorry, Jeff, sometimes it just fits, ya know?): Check out a real radical proposal from Mark Greif over at N+1 (actually, I’m not even going to link there, since they won’t let you read this gem without a subscription, so let’s go instead to someone who has the cojones to quote it at length: LONG SUNDAY )

(Mark Greif):
One of the lessons of starting a magazine today is that if you pay any attention to politics you will collect a class of detractors, who demand immediately to know What and Wherefore and Whether and How...Is it possible you have not endorsed a candidate, or adopted a party? Within the party, a position? If not a position, an issue? The notion that politics could be served by thinking about problems and principles, rather than rehearsing strategy, leaves them not so much bemused as furious.

[...]If you question the world from an armchair, it offends them deeply. If you believe you run the world from it, it exalts them–because you have bought into the fiction that justifies their elitism. These commentators who have no access to a legislative agenda and really no more exalted basis for political action other than that of their ordinary citizenship (but they do not believe they are ordinary citizens) bleat and growl and put themselves on record for various initiatives of Congress over which they have no influence and upon which they will have no effect...No rebuke is made to the process of opinionating itself–this ritual of fomenting an opinion on everything, and so justifying the excited self-stimulation of a class of unelected arbiters who don't respect citizens within themselves.

"What do you stand for! What will you do!" Legislatively? Are you kidding? Well, there is something one can do, without succumbing to the pundits: for the day when the Congress rolls up to our doorsteps and asks for our legislative initiatives, maybe it is up to every citizen to know what is in his heart and have his true bills and resolutions ready. Call it "political surrealism"–the practice of asking for what is impossible, in order to get at last, by indirection or implausible directness, the principles that would underlie the world we'd want rather than the one we have.

Principle: The purpose of government is to share out money so that there are no poor citizens–therefore no one for whom we must feel guilty because of the arbitrariness of fate. The purpose of life is to free individuals for individualism. Individualism is the project of making your own life as appealing as you can, as remarkable as you like, without the encumbrances of an unequal society, which renders your successes undeserved. Government is the outside corrective that leaves us free for life.

Legislative Initiative No. 1: Add a tax bracket of 100 percent to cut off individual income at a fixed ceiling, allowing any individual to bring home a maximum of $100,000 a year from all sources and no more.

Legislative Initiative No. 2: Give every citizen a total of $10,000 a year from the government revenues, paid as a monthly award, in recognition of being an adult in the United States.

The redistribution of wealth can be unnerving whenever it comes up, and most unnerving to those who have least wealth, because they have worked hardest for every dollar and can't afford to lose it.

But redistribution comes in two steps, and when you look at the steps it's not so unnerving...
(go read the rest of what Long Sunday quotes--it's worth it! This is the real crux of the biscuit, friends--as long as we ignore the galling inequality of "obscene" poverty and "absurd" wealth, as well as the consequences of that obscene absurdity, we're all just praying at the many altars conveniently set up for us by you know who...)

11/26/2006 01:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oarwell and IC, thank you for the insightful and stirring dialogue, as well as the links.

Pynchon has gotten me thinking about all of this afresh. (He more or less says "they did it" (9/11) on about page 95.) There is nothing wrong with working hard for a living. But somehow they have this working propaganda that if you work hard, you get all that you deserve and nothing more, underscored by the rich baritone voice of Toby Keith.

You're right, Oarwell: Socialism IS the answer. The problem is western civ will have gone down the toilet bowl long before the question will have been asked. I really think it's hopeless.

Go Horns! Go Saints! Fuck me!

11/26/2006 05:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is a myth that has spread unquestioned through politics, the security services and the international media..."

of course it's not questioned. there's no need to question something they have purposely promulgated.

11/26/2006 05:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

no, socialism is not the answer just as capitalism isn't.

before any social-political-economic system can be ushered in as a replacement, the dilemma of corruptibility must be resolved.

can that dilemma be resolved? if it can't, and it hasn't thus far in human history, then any attempt to change the current system will result in more of the same, just this time around with a new pair of shoes.

11/26/2006 08:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go Saints!

How wonderful it is that they cleaned up the blood and feces and rotting cadavers and removed the awful stench of death and detritus from the Superdome. The Saints have a home again. That was the real tragedy of Katrina, as any self-respecting sports enthusiast would tell you. A football team without a home field is like a playboy playmate without breasts and a vagina. Closure for the Karina incident was finally reached when the good samaritan money changers coughed up their hard-earned gains for the refurbishment of the Superdome. We can hold our heads high once again because the Saints have come marching home again, hoorah, hoorah.

11/26/2006 08:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, buddy, I'm FROM New Orleans, and yeah, it does make a difference to all New Orleanians, even the ones living in Houston and Mobile, that the Saints are home again. (Maybe when you see YOUR home town washed from the map you'll understand--though your home town is probably not a ville loved by people from all over the world.) Geaux Saints!!!

11/26/2006 10:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lifted from Cryptogon:

"The Debt Ridden, Undead America
November 27th, 2006

America is like a chicken that has just had its head cut off. The carcass remains animated, for a time, bleeding and running around in the dirt, bumping into things. It isn’t quite dead at this point. It’s undead.

Or, maybe that’s just how it seems to me, as someone with no debt of any kind, no credit card balances and no desire to shop for crap I don’t need. Becky and I are “poor” in terms of income, yet we wouldn’t be living any differently if we had a bank balance many digits long. Well, we might have a couple of solar panels and a wind turbine if we were rich…

Via: San Francisco Chronicle:

If you’re like most people, you’ll be giving your credit cards a healthy workout over the next few weeks. So this is as good a time as any to consider a few harsh realities.

First off, the Center for American Progress, a liberal-minded think tank, has crunched data from the Federal Reserve and found that Americans for the first time owe more money than they make.

According to the center, average household debt levels topped average after-tax income by more than 29 percent as of this summer. Moreover, the average family is now spending 14.4 percent of its disposable income on debt repayments — the largest share since the Fed began collecting such data in 1980.

“This is an unsustainable trend,” said Christian Weller, senior economist at the center. “People simply can’t borrow at the same rate they’ve borrowed in the past.”

According to the Fed, total consumer credit debt, excluding mortgages, hit a record $2.4 trillion in September. Factoring in mortgages, outstanding household debt soars to about $12.3 trillion."

Simplicity. If you choose now, it can be voluntary. Later, it'll be chosen for you.

Like I noted above: turn off the teevee, and stop buying crap you don't need. 2 simple steps towards autonomy.

11/27/2006 08:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the big easy was an armpit and highly over-rated. nonetheless, it was tragic to see people suffer and lose their homes and loved ones, but the irony of ensuring the city's pro football team has a home field to play on considering all the other implications and circumstances is just too stark not to highlight.

if every current and former new orleanian feels and thinks as you do, which i highly doubt, then i surely wish there was a way i could hold back my tax dollars from going to the reconstruction of a city with a populace that willfully ignorant.

you need to face the facts. new orleans is done. it's gone. it will never again be the over-hyped new orleans you remember. never. but the saints came marching home again, hoorah, hoorah, anyway.

bread and circuses. it works every time.

p.s. i have spoken to a number of residents from mobile and a substantial number of them consider the invasion of new orleanians a nuisance and more. i can't speak for houston, but that city is as much, if not more, an armpit as was new orleans so the impact of the invasion is most likely negligible in the scheme of things.

11/27/2006 09:12:00 AM  
Blogger sunny said...

p.s. i have spoken to a number of residents from mobile and a substantial number of them consider the invasion of new orleanians a nuisance and more.

Um, I live ten miles Mobile. Who have you been talking to? We have had people from Miss. as well as NOLA and I have never heard anyone refer to these poor displaced people as a nuisance or anything else other than folks who need our help and compassion. In fact, local businesses were booming because of the influx, and as far as I can see, no increase in crime has occurred. The only thing that got on my nerves was the incredible traffic on Airport Blvd. and other major thoroughfares in Mobile for a few months just after Katrina.That has largely dissipated and for the most part, things are entirely normal.

11/27/2006 10:27:00 AM  
Blogger iridescent cuttlefish said...

no, socialism is not the answer just as capitalism isn't.

before any social-political-economic system can be ushered in as a replacement, the dilemma of corruptibility must be resolved.

There is considerable evidence that capitalism can't be considered a solution because it's very much the problem. The dilemma of corruptibility has to do with power, not the particular system. While it's true that no system to date has been allowed to develop which does not given certain persons or classes power over others, this doesn't mean that's impossible or even difficult to do so--it simply means that this has not been allowed to occur, for the obvious reason that the truth of our entirely unnecessary suffering would be an indefensible embarrassment to those who've authored it.

Have the so-called Socialist states known corruption? Of course! Was it due to "human nature" or to the degree of power invested in the new ruling classes? Consider William Blum's words on the reaction of the capitalists to the very idea of socialism:

The boys of Capital, they also chortle in their martinis about the death of socialism. The word has been banned from polite conversation. And they hope that no one will notice that every socialist experiment of any significance in the twentieth century – without exception – has either been crushed, overthrown, or invaded, or corrupted, perverted, subverted, or destabilized, or otherwise had life made impossible for it, by the United States. Not one socialist government or movement – from the Russian Revolution to the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, from Communist China to the FMLN in Salvador – not one was permitted to rise or fall solely on its own merits; not one was left secure enough to drop its guard against the all-powerful enemy abroad and freely and fully relax control at home.

It's as if the Wright brothers' first experiments with flying machines all failed because the automobile interests sabotaged each test flight. And then the good and god-fearing folk of the world looked upon this, took notice of the consequences, nodded their collective heads wisely, and intoned solemnly: Man shall never fly.

Excerpts from the Introduction, 1987 edition of Killing Hope, by William Blum
(A brief history of the Cold War and anti-communism)

The rest of those excerpts put this question into an even broader context, for those interested.

11/27/2006 11:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

poor displaced people as a nuisance or anything else other than folks.........local businesses were booming because of the influx

a couple of observations with these two seemingly incompatible comments.

1.) if they are as poor as you say, where's all the money coming from that enables the booming business?

2.) business booming is quite the formulaic response when it comes to situations such as this. the presumption is that if business is booming, all is well. how very capitalist.

i will go a step further and assert that the influx has not only been a nuisance, but also a strain. mobile previously suffered from an inadequate public infrastructure (education, healthcare, crime protection and public works) so to add additional costs to an already flawed and ass-backwards system can only serve to exascerbate the inadequacies.

considering that, i find it ridiculously ironic and moronic that there has not been a greater public outcry over the refurbishment of the Superdome for a couple hundred million dollars, a large percentage of which was subsidized by FEMA.

11/27/2006 03:04:00 PM  
Blogger sunny said...

2.) business booming is quite the formulaic response when it comes to situations such as this. the presumption is that if business is booming, all is well. how very capitalist.

Formulaic only in the sense of a cliche that also happens to be true. As for capatalistic: if I'm glad that people like my mechanic husband were getting a lot more business than usual, and all the gals at the restaurant I used to work at were going home every day with pockets stuffed with money, that makes me Lee Iacocca?

And I meant "poor" in the sense of deserving of compassion, not just a comment on their economic status. After all, wasn't it revealed that even the people in the 9th ward had jobs?

inadequate public infrastructure (education, healthcare, crime protection and public works

Last I looked, none of that had collapsed from the strain, and was more than made up for with that good ole capitalistic cash they were spending around here while paying local sales taxes.

11/27/2006 04:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

we'll just be in disagreement then, sunny. both of us have supplied unverifiable anecdotal evidence to support a more comprehensive conclusion. the truth most likely resides somewhere in between.

that being said, do you care to comment on some of the other points rendered in regards to this side topic? afterall, the part you carved out was a postscript and was not the main point of my refutation or initial sarcasm.

11/27/2006 06:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

as mentioned earlier, houston is an armpit anyway, but apparently it got even worse. of course this is almost a year prior, but these kind of cultural issues don't resolve themselves overnight.

Did Katrina evacuees bring more crime to Houston?

You won't find any public officials in Houston who will say, "Crime is up because of the Katrina evacuees." That's not smart politics. But you will find plenty of Houston residents who feel that way.

To tell the story of how the massive influx of evacuees has affected crime in Houston, we decided to visit the Fondren neighborhood in the southwest part of the city, because this is where many evacuees wound up settling.

The mainly working-class neighborhood, which consists mostly of low-rise apartment complexes, was plagued by crime long before Katrina evacuees arrived. But officers who work this beat say they've seen a significant spike in emergency calls since they got here. One officer told me, "Oh, we're a lot busier."

Across Houston, there have been a series of high-profile crimes involving Katrina evacuees. Houston police say evacuees have been victims or suspects in about 20 percent of the city's homicides, more than double their percentage in the population. This is leading to a feeling among some Houstonians that perhaps the evacuees are wearing out their welcome.

here's the link.

i don't believe Mobile is as bad as certain parts of houston as a result of the influx, but i do believe the influx has had a significant impact for the reasons i stated above.

none of this is a surpise. it was predictable, just as no public outcry over refurbishing the Superdome considering the rest of the mess left unattended is predictable.

here's an interesting read on the refurbishment of the Superdome.

While watching Monday Night Football telecast of the home opener for the New Orleans Saints last night, I couldn't help but notice how much better the Superdome looked.

Not just better than after Katrina hit – I mean better than it ever was. The field was brand new FieldTurf, and the interior of the bowl was illuminated with new color video boards and LED “ribbon” boards. Fresh paint and a new roof, along with color-cycling strobe lights outside, gave the building an appearance of almost complete newness.

In between the gushing over how the event was a victory for the city and a catalyst of regional rebirth, and the deluge of emotional sideline interviews with every celebrity who ever spent five minutes in New Orleans, there was a mention of the price tag. Something in the ballpark of $180 million. Most of it paid by FEMA.

And that set me off.

The majority of the population of the gulf coast region is still living in Houston or Baton Rouge or Atlanta or wherever, largely because FEMA hasn't gotten around to replacing or repairing anything but a handful of the homes and buildings and other critical infrastructure destroyed by Katrina... but the federal government is paying for stadium upgrades?

Less that 2% of the population of the United States lives within the New Orleans region. But we're all paying for the shiny new ballpark we saw on TV on Monday evening, well before any other substantial recovery has been made in the region. A building that seemingly serves to enrich a select few has been completely repaired and even upgraded, while the common man is still displaced (or lives in a FEMA trailer, if he's lucky).

Rather than listen to the opinion of a handful of sports commentators on the subject, I decided to to some research on the matter, and share my findings. Not surprisingly, very little of the media coverage surrounding this game did anything to expose the truth behind the stadium project, and I won't pretend to have all the answers here. Hopefully a more substantial media outlet will tackle this project (and if you find a story that does, please share a link).

The first questions that came to mind were pretty simple: What was the price tag? Who paid how much? What upgrades were included, and why? And my wife raised the best point: Shouldn't this have been covered by the building's insurance?

I found most of the answers to these questions (and you'll find links to my sources at the end of this article). Let's start with the ownership issue.

The Louisiana Superdome is owned by the State of Louisiana, and is privately managed by a group called SMG – a corporation based in Philadelphia that manages scores of sports venues worldwide. It falls under the authority of the Louisiana Stadium & Expedition District (LSED), which also controls the New Orleans Arena. The primary tenants of the Superdome are the New Orleans Saints, and Tulane University (a private institution). The dome is occupied 45-50 weekends out of the year, presumably by assorted conventions, concerts, and other varieties of entertainment.

The Superdome is covered under an insurance policy that the State of Louisiana has for all of its facilities. The problem is, the policy isn't large enough to cover the extent of the damage. The following sums it up pretty well:

The $2.3 billion Louisiana estimate includes damages to state government buildings, universities, courthouses and other facilities. Of that, $500 million is covered by insurance, after a $25 million state deductible.

Blanco is seeking 100 percent FEMA reimbursement for the uninsured amount. But that is negotiable. The law requires that FEMA pay 75 percent, but the agency reimbursed 90 percent of California's costs after the Northridge quake, and covered 100 percent of New York's costs after Sept. 11, according to congressional reports.

The law says FEMA must only restore facilities to their previous quality...


So, basically, insurance is going to cover half a billion dollars worth of the total estimated 2.3 billion dollars in damage to state and government buildings. That answers the insurance question – the state simply didn't have a big enough policy. But what about the point that states “The law says FEMA must only restore facilities to their previous quality...”

Well, here's who footed the bill for the new and improved Superdome:

FEMA: $115 Million
State of Louisiana: $13 Million
NFL: $15 Million
LSED Bond: $41 Million
Total: $184 Million

So that works out to 62.5% being paid for by the federal government – less than the 75% required by law, but almost certainly more than just “previous quality.” The Superdome improvements include:

Eye-catching technology updates are in place. New scoreboards, video boards and an LED ribbon board system have been installed. The end zones sport new 27-by-48-foot (8.2-by-15-meter) scoreboards. There will be four high-tech 8-by-44-foot (2.4-by-13-meter) scoreboards in the corners of each end zone, and four new 183-foot-long (56-meter-long) LED halo boards along the facade of the second level.

Fan comfort is emphasized. Club-level seats have been replaced with new leatherette seats. Fans will buy their beer and hot dogs from renovated concession stands. All 137 box suites were stripped down to the metal studs in the mold-removal process, then refurbished, although carpets, cabinets and countertops will not be installed until after the season. Plasma televisions have been installed in each.


All this, in addition to the new and improved FieldTurf (which is a substantial upgrade over the old AstroTurf playing surface).

Nothing was done to improve the Superdome's capability as a storm shelter. It is estimated that those upgrades would cost an additional $30-$40 million.

What is unique to the Superdome (as opposed to most NFL stadiums), is that it is profitable to the state of Louisiana even without the presence of an NFL team – at least it was prior to the hurricane. In fact, the state is paying the Saints $180 million to stay where they're at, as team owner Tom Benson has repeatedly complained about the building, and has threatened to move. Benson can buy his way out of his lease for $81 million. Arguably, it might be more profitable for the state to let them go.

So what's happened here? Is the Superdome really that important to the NOLA region, or did the American taxpayer just get ripped off? In my opinion, it's a little of both, but more of the latter. The Saints have been unhappy tenants in the aging Superdome for years. The kind of improvements that they sought weren't going to fly with the taxpayers in Louisiana, because people generally hate subsidizing wealthy private business owners.

In fact, hurricane Katrina was the best thing that could have happened to the Saints. They were a pathetic team last season anyway, and the displacement caused by the natural disaster gave them a free pass. But more importantly, the consortium of government agencies and private corporations with an interest in the Saints and the Superdome were able to exploit the disaster to their own profit. By selling the dome recovery as a critical catalyst for economic recovery, and playing on the guilt of a federal government that simply could not do enough to relieve the disaster, they procured an enormous sum of money to pay for the upgraded stadium that they wanted all along.

We've all paid for it. I suppose that makes the Saints “America's Team” now.

11/27/2006 07:38:00 PM  
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7/19/2010 11:24:00 PM  
Anonymous justpub said...

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