Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Who Ya Gonna Call?

You're just gonna make people jump and roar
Whatcha wanna go and do that for? - Bob Dylan

American politics isn't just theatre; it's dinner theatre, on par with a Medieval Times franchise. It can put on a decent show: the way the white and black knights joust you'd think they meant it, and that the guy who falls off his horse really gets hurt and the champion wins something of meaning. Voters are "treated like royalty" - every man a king! - but their crowns are made of tissue paper. And while the menu is all you can eat, all you can order is bullshit.

Since even those who say it's real can't seem to do anything about it, we may as well enjoy it for what it is, even if the pleasure is perverse. (And I admit to have found some, reading the futile screeds of flummoxed Democrats forever moving their lines in the sand. If they steal the next one - that's it!) And it's hard not to dispassionately appreciate the Herculean effort required to sustain such cynicism.

For instance, John Kerry's accustomed clutch performance. While uselessly stumping in California for designated sap Phil Angelides, Kerry horks a virtual gob in the eye of America's volunteer army, as if to scream "Over here!" to the Republicans' sputtering Noise Machine. It's enough to make even the relentlessly conventional Wonkette suggest, if only for rhetoric's sake, that "it’s like the White House is paying Kerry to be out in public screwing things up."

Kerry says he's earned another chance to run for President. Doing his bit to scuttle the Democrat's "Big Mo" in the final week so the right's talking heads can talk up a comeback scenario enabled by voting machines playing the margins could be his way of proving again his value. And since this is theatre, the significance of the outcome lies chiefly in the personal fortune of the players. Do well with your part, and you may get a juicier role.

Like I wrote a couple of years ago, watching an earlier Kerry flame-out, "Skull and Bones remains to some a silly issue, but an issue it will remain so long as the question 'Do you know General Russell?' can send an old boy into a trance faster than 'Why don't you pass the time by playing a little solitaire?'"

We can't say that Kerry took the call. We can only judge his actions, which appear to be those of a man who knows his part well.

All of which reminds me: The Brotherhood of the Bell has been kindly uploaded to Youtube. You may want to see it before Google disappears it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's all of what you suggest, and a bit more. It reinforces the fact the it is taboo to criticize the Military. Of course, Kerry's comments were a bit more nuanced than that, but that was the strategically planned spin.

It's the reverse of what it should be. It should be taboo to support the Military.....just as it is allegedly taboo to support pederasts. Over 600,000 people in Iraq have perished needlessly, and many millions more are suffering, and have been suffering, because it is taboo to not support the soldiers.

To support the soldiers as they carry out the unlawful and immoral orders is to spit in the face of the innocents who have died and are suffering....and it clings to an out-dated and stifling notion of Nationalism.

Anyone capable of thinking outside the box inherently knows this.....and if you know it, as you should, you shouldn't hesitate to say so.....but yet, I seem to be the only one here that repeatedly does.

Why is that?

Ask the soldiers to refuse the orders and hold open your arms to those who do.

11/01/2006 10:33:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In reference to "The Brotherhood of the Bell", is it true that the original draft of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution prohibited office seekers from membership in secret organizations?

11/01/2006 10:45:00 AM  
Blogger iridescent cuttlefish said... could be said that Kerry has not only misspoken his lines in the perfect oily cadence of collusion, but that in so transparently performing his role, he has actually, if unwittingly, done Truth a great service. These phantom, teasingly seductive hopes of salvation in the arms of the other wing of the Party must be smashed before the electronic manipulation of the "will of the people," or we'll just keep getting sucked in by our own misguided optimism. It's the death of false hope that must be wished for, hastened, and expedited in order for the birth of real hope to take place.

There are answers, simple solutions, really, but complex, choreographed delusions continue to obscure them. Still, we know because we intuit that the system is rigged, just like all the people who continue to buy into the illusion. We're just a little more honest about our intuition.

11/01/2006 11:19:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I see that Sen. John McCain has removed his lips from Bushes ass
just long enough to tell Sen. Kerry
he should apoligize for his remarks
yesterday.I guess I'll go and call
Sen. Mcain's office and ask him to
check and see how the investigation
into Pat Tillman's murder is coming
along. I dont know what impact the
remarks might have with the voting
public, but it virtually assure's
that we will be talking about the
war in Iraq right up until election

11/01/2006 12:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm surprised Brotherhood of the Bell has been up on You Tube for two weeks and less than a 100 people have seen it. The only other place I've seen it available for download is at What I find odd about the movie, if you go to the episode 10, the fictional college is called "St George". When the main characther has his flashbacks, they very briefly show Yale college and then quickly edit it to "St. George".

And about Kerry, I knew it for sure that he was loyal to Gen. Russell when he kept doing the stupidest things in the 2 months b4 the election. Windsurfing? Biking in the most faggy day-glo biking gear ever, snowboarding, etc. This just fueled the lower and middle income classes (red states) against him. I remember a friend saying to me "what the hell is he doing?!" I said "just what he' supposed to do". After all, didn't he KEEP 52 million dollars in campaign contributions? Not a bad year for a "brother".

11/01/2006 12:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with the view that it's not just the war monger politicians who really are to blame -- it's also the Universal Soldier. (I'm assuming you've heard the Universal Soldier song recorded by Buffy St.Marie and Donovan during the Vietnam debacle.) I don't support the troops in their immoral and illegal invasion. Pissed off at the needless death and destruction they've carried out, I sometimes deface the ubitquitous "support our troops" signs by crossing out the "tr" in "troops" so it reads "SUPPORT OUR OOPS." I.e., support our huge fucking mistake.

11/01/2006 12:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'Fish: "....we intuit that the system is rigged."

We don't intuit it, we damn well know it for a fact.

But it's a nice memic turn of phrase nonetheless. Flipped, of course, it's 'rigged intuition.'

Kudos, bro'.

Glad to see you've finally acknowledged that the "left" as we know it is a sham and presents a false hope by design.

Previously, you seemed on occasion to dance around that one, out of wistful thinking, perhaps.

Vale et salve, as Cicero might have said.

11/01/2006 12:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just curious... how many "clips" in total are there of "Brotherhood of the Bell", so I dont miss any?


11/01/2006 01:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

C'mon, guys - Kerry threw the '04 election, what could be more obvious. From the utter lackluster performance throughout the campaign to the premature "no mas" election evening, the guy is a shill. A billionaire Democrat? Gimme a break.

11/01/2006 01:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for acknowledging that, cheesehead.

Here is The Universal Soldier. Believe it, or not, I never heard of this before. What I said came directly from the heart, yet the sentiment is precise.

He's five feet two and he's six feet four
He fights with missiles and with spears
He's all of 31 and he's only 17
He's been a soldier for a thousand years

He's a Catholic, a Hindu, an atheist, a Jain,
a Buddhist and a Baptist and a Jew
and he knows he shouldn't kill
and he knows he always will
kill you for me my friend and me for you

And he's fighting for Canada,
he's fighting for France,
he's fighting for the USA,
and he's fighting for the Russians
and he's fighting for Japan,
and he thinks we'll put an end to war this way

And he's fighting for Democracy
and fighting for the Reds
He says it's for the peace of all
He's the one who must decide
who's to live and who's to die
and he never sees the writing on the walls

But without him how would Hitler have
condemned him at Dachau
Without him Caesar would have stood alone
He's the one who gives his body
as a weapon to a war
and without him all this killing can't go on

He's the universal soldier and he
really is to blame
His orders come from far away no more
They come from him, and you, and me
and brothers can't you see
this is not the way we put an end to war.

The link:

11/01/2006 01:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amy Goodman interviews Kevin Phillips on S & B.
David Brooks (who should know better) calls Mr. Phillips a "conspiracy theorist." That's apparently the new version of "pinko" used by "the establishment" to smear anyone who speaks the truth.

Our local red-state NY Times-owned paper has the headline, "Bush, Kerry Trade Barbs: President and his former foe clash amid the fight for control of Congress."

Nicely engineered. Now it's Bush vs. Kerry redivivus. Ignore the war, ignore Foleygate, ignore the deficit, ignore the assault on the Bill of Rights: here's some fresh Kerrymeat for you red state nitwits.

Of course, what Kerry said is unexceptional, except in the dark Rovian mirror-world where it can be proferred as an inflammatory commie utterance, in the (futile) hope of rallying the (ever-dwindling) troops to hold the Hill.

But take heart: the fact that they care enough to trot poor straw-stuffed John Fonda Kerry out might just mean that they have doubts about their electronic vote rigging.

And that's good news for those of us who don't fly the Jolly Roger over our putting greens.

11/01/2006 01:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the voting machines are rigged, what's the point of soliciting Kerry to Rally their Base?

11/01/2006 02:07:00 PM  
Blogger Jeff Wells said...

"If the voting machines are rigged, what's the point of soliciting Kerry to Rally their Base?"

Manufacturing plausibility.

re: The Brotherhood of the Bell, it's on Youtube in 11 segments.

11/01/2006 02:12:00 PM  
Blogger Tsoldrin said...

Exactly. There is a need for some plausibility. From what I have been hearing, a small but perceivable number (I think it ranges around 6-9%) of republican voters are talking about voting democrat, a larger number are saying they will vote third party (mostly libertarian) and a fairly significant number are stating they will not vote at all.

In order for the 'fix' to not be glaringly obvious they need some reason to give as to why this third category changed their minds and voted anyway.

I'm really not sure why they even bother. The masses merely yawn as their constitutional rights go up in flames, it's unlikely they'd get riled up and riot now over something as small as a stolen election. After all, what did they do the last two times it happened? Nothing.

11/01/2006 02:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting the Universal Soldier lyrics, Shrub. I would have tried to include it in my post but I'm an old babyboomer with a computer illiteracy handicap. I chose the name Cheesehead because I thought I might share some Wisconsin news, and would like to hear what's happening in other states (and countries). In the WI political scene, it looks like multi-millionaire Senator Herb Kohl will easily buy himself another election. He only participated in one debate, and only on the condition that the anti-war Green candidate couldn't participate. Senator Russ Feingold -- a basically good guy, though afraid to confront the Israel lobby -- is likely to announce a presidential bid in the next few months. Our Representative, Tammy Baldwin, is an out lesbian with progressive ideas, especially regarding universal health care. She's expected to be re-elected, thanks largely to liberal, progressive Madison. The two big Republican-instigated referenda issues -- banning gay marriage and starting up the death penalty -- are likely to pass. Enuff for now -- politics makes me feel sorta nauseous. How's by you? (Forgive me if this post is repeated - no comprendo password crap.)

11/01/2006 03:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeff said

Manufacturing plausibility.

In all fairness, I considered that would be the response, but it seems rather silly on their part when you consider the following:

Big Democratic wins likely on Election Day
NBC/WSJ poll: Public's opinion of GOP hits record low
By Mark Murray
Political reporter
NBC News

WASHINGTON - Just 20 days until Election Day, the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finds approval of the GOP-held Congress is at its lowest mark in 14 years, the Republican Party's favorability rating is at an all-time low and President George W. Bush's approval rating remains mired in the 30s -- all ominous signs for a party trying to maintain control of Congress.

In fact, according to the poll, Republicans are in worse shape on some key measures than Democrats were in 1994, when they lost their congressional majorities.

"There is not a single number in here that would suggest the Democrats will not have their best showing in a decade -- and maybe two decades," says Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart, who conducted this survey with Republican Bill McInturff.

Landslide of bad GOP news
The poll, which was taken of 1,006 registered voters from Oct. 13-16 and has a margin of error of plus-minus 3.1 percentage points, comes a few weeks after Republicans encountered a series of setbacks, including the release of an intelligence estimate calling the Iraq war a "cause célèbre" for Islamic militants, journalist Bob Woodward's unfavorable portrayal of the Bush administration's handling of Iraq, and the news that former U.S. Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., had inappropriate correspondence with teenage congressional pages.

In the survey, Bush's approval rating is at 38 percent, a one-point decline from a previous NBC/Journal poll released earlier this month after the Foley news first broke. Perhaps more revealing, only 16 percent now approve of the job Congress is doing -- its lowest mark since 1992.

Both sets of numbers suggest that the Republican Party is on more unstable ground than Democrats were in 1994, when they lost 52 House and 8 Senate seats. In October of that year, President Bill Clinton's approval rating among registered voters was at 46 percent, and 24 percent approved of the job the Democratic-controlled Congress was doing.

Dems a 'marginally accepted alternative'
What's more, in this latest poll, just 32 percent of respondents see the Republican Party in a positive light, while 49 percent view it negatively. Those are the party's worst marks in the history of the poll. In contrast, voters -- by a 37-35 percent margin -- view the Democratic Party positively.

McInturff, the GOP pollster, observes that after several months when both parties have had net-negative ratings on this question, this is second-straight NBC/Journal survey in which a plurality of voters see Democrats in a positive light. Hart adds that Democrats have become a "marginally accepted alternative."

"It might be grudging admiration," he says, "but it is enough admiration to make it through."

Moreover, 52 percent say they prefer a Democratic-controlled Congress, compared with 37 percent who want Republicans to maintain power. It is the first time ever in this poll when a majority has sided with one party on this particular question. Earlier this month, Democrats held a nine-point advantage (48-39 percent).

The final GOP straw
Indeed, the poll finds that the events of the last few weeks -- such as the Foley scandal, the Woodward book, and the intelligence estimate -- have taken a toll on the GOP. Forty-seven percent say that these events have given them a less favorable impression of Republicans maintaining their majorities in Congress. Only 14 percent say they've given them a more favorable impression.

While Republicans were already in a precarious position before the Foley scandal, Hart explains, it has become a final straw of sorts that might have sealed their fate. "It is the event that allowed certain voters to say, 'Enough.'"

McInturff adds that the scandal took Republicans by surprise, and he expects them to be able to regroup and spend the next three weeks trying to disqualify Democrats on taxes and social issues.

The war in Iraq also continues to be a drag on Republicans and the White House. In the poll, a whopping 68 percent say they feel less optimistic about how things are going there, compared with only 20 percent who feel more optimistic. That's a significant shift from June, when voters were evenly split on this question.

Control of Congress
All of these numbers seem to suggest that Democrats are poised to pick up a sizable number of seats in November, and maybe even regain control of Congress. Hart says it's been clear for the last several months that an electoral hurricane would be arriving on Election Day. The only question was how big it was going to be.

This new poll, he observes, signals that it will be a Category 4 or Category 5 storm. "Simply put, the low lying areas are [going to be] under water."

Mark Murray covers politics for NBC News.

© 2006 MSNBC Interactive

Tsoldrin said

I'm really not sure why they even bother. The masses merely yawn as their constitutional rights go up in flames, it's unlikely they'd get riled up and riot now over something as small as a stolen election. After all, what did they do the last two times it happened? Nothing.

I guess this was my thinking....and I should have just stated it as such, rather than asking a question.....but, the question was rhetorical, anyway, and what we have discussed related to it needed to be said, explicitly.


I will review the Brotherhood of The Bell link when I get a's difficult for me to do so at work, as you could well imagine.

Also, thanks for the link to the Parralax Montage scene.....I love that I love the movie.

11/01/2006 03:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How's by you?

I'm a severe cynic when it comes to politics. It's dirtier than dirt, if that's possible. I will not partake in the charade......not out of apathy, like most folks who don't vote, but because I now know, unequivocally, that my vote doesn't mean jack shit, not only because it won't be counted, but because there are no viable voting options.

11/01/2006 03:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shrubby said...
"I will not partake in the charade......not out of apathy, like most folks who don't vote, but because I now know, unequivocally, that my vote doesn't mean jack shit, not only because it won't be counted, but because there are no viable voting options."

Oh thats the spirit! Man That is intelligent beyond belief and cynical to boot. We could start by (all) voting incumbents OUT! That way its not predestined to be in office more than your most recently won term. Effect the job security and you have a start at least. Accountability is the key.

11/01/2006 04:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think I meant Affect...

11/01/2006 04:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Dead are Living and The Living are Dead.


To where I will go?
To where I will go?
The way of the Dual God.
By luck is your house in the place
of the emaciated ones?
Perhaps inside the sky?
or only here in the Earth
it is the place of the emaciated ones?

Cantares Mexicanos: fol. 35.

The Earth God opens the mouth with hunger to swallow the blood of which they will die in this war. It seems that they are wanted to cheer the sun and the called God of the Earth Tlaltecuhtli; who they present the Gods the sky and hell, doing to them convites with blood and meat of the men who will be to die in this war. They are already in the sight the Gods of the sky and hell to see who are those that are to win… whose blood has to be drunk and whose meat has to be eaten.

Sahagún, op. cit.

Bad translation. But it matters not...

Kiss me till I'm in a coma
Love's just as good as SOMA.

11/01/2006 04:29:00 PM  
Blogger iridescent cuttlefish said...

Mojo Workout,

I think we've gotten to the bottom of the divide between us with this last exchange. You responded to my remark about intuiting the fact that the system is rigged with,

"We don't intuit it, we damn well know it for a fact.

But it's a nice memic turn of phrase nonetheless. Flipped, of course, it's 'rigged intuition.'

Kudos, bro'.

Glad to see you've finally acknowledged that the "left" as we know it is a sham and presents a false hope by design.

Previously, you seemed on occasion to dance around that one, out of wistful thinking, perhaps."

I realize now that it must have seemed like I was dancing around the collusion of the Left, but it was really the ideals of the Left, not the corrupted bastards who've so thoroughly sold us out that I was so staunchly defending. Those ideals are still workable, from Eugene Debs to Victor Berger to Ben Cohen's cookies; any reasonable reorganization of society will have to incorporate egalitarianism and an equitable distribution of wealth.

You're right about the manufacture of false hopes, as well. Everything is manufactured in the surreal drama that politics has become (including the plausibility/deniability that Jeff mentions.) Here's the paradox that you haven't acknowledged yet, at least with me: the reason I used "intuit" rather than "know" (aside from the turn of phrase) is because it's in fixating on the proofs of the conspiracy, to borrow the good doctor's phrase, that we let ourlselves be fitted for the shiny aluminum hats, also by design (theirs, of course) since they do dare us to call it a conspiracy. This is precisely the method of the Big Lie. I've been clamoring recently for Jeff to look into the hydrocarbon conspiracy (see Dave West's Low Dishonest Decade) because I think it's happening again with focking Woolsey popping up as hemp activist/carbohydrate economy spokesman, just when Blair is making holy with the overdue climate change pronouncments, but even there we're going to sound delusional when it's the system that is.

I guess my previous position was always that it's in the effect rather than the method that we stand a better chance of exposing the machinations of the elites--who profits and how--in the big swindles like The War On Drugs, The War of Terror, and the Great Energy Fleecing.

Beyond this distinction, MW, we are indeed agreed.

11/01/2006 05:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I watched The BrotherHood of the Bell. This is a really good movie starring Glenn Ford. Its funny that I have never heard or seen this movie on TV. It is about the secret society or puppet masters that control everything. The focus is on the footsolders that physically pull the strings.

My question. Is there a movie or information that identifies the core group making the decisions. I realize that it is referred to as TPTB. I just thought a movie about the core group of TPTB would be very interesting.

11/01/2006 05:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeff wrote:

All of which reminds me: The Brotherhood of the Bell has been kindly uploaded to Youtube. You may want to see it before Google disappears it.

It was at Google? What was the link? It's gone now from the search function.

And is there a way to download and assemble the YouTube clips?

11/01/2006 06:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am enough of an anti-cynic to remain interested in imagining ways we might just conceivably get out of the dead end we're currently jammed into.

Step one would be restoring two-party government to the point where we at least have some space to maneuver -- for example, making it possible for people to stand up and demand real change without fear of being disappeared.

Step two would be removing the visible blanket of corruption that turns politicians into the representatives of their donors and lobbyists rather than their constituents. I don't know if that's actually going to be possible, given how deep the rot goes -- but there are historical precedents for it happening. (If nothing else, the fact that when I was a kid my father was part of the Reform Democratic movement that overturned the power of Tammany Hall tells me that genuine reform can happen, given favorable circumstances.)

At any rate, if the election isn't stolen completely, and if I see real signs of a willingness to address the various economic and ecological disasters that are rushing upon us, together with the imminent and ignominious collapse of the Iraq War, I'd be willing to give the process 2-3 years and see if anything meaningful happens.

But there's a third level yet, and that's addressing the power of the deep state -- which might be willing to tolerate a certain amount of tossing out the current lot of rascals in order to save its own hide, but which is still going to remain with us afterwards, undermining any efforts for genuine renewal.

This is why I come to RI -- not just to bitch about how awful and impossible everything is, but to take the measure of the enemy and consider countermeasures.

"No reason to get excited," the thief, he kindly spoke,
"There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke.
But you and I, we've been through that, and this is not our fate,
So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late."

One thing I've been thinking about lately is the extent to which simple blackmail serves to keep the system in place -- to intimidate even the best-intentioned politicians and incite the worst to ever-greater levels of viciousness and corruption.

For example, here's one thing I ran across the other day. (Link at the end of the post, where blogger will be less likely to screw it up):

Well, sexual blackmail may have a more enduring place in Washington politics than we tend to suspect. More than one vice investigator in Washington believes that mob-controlled call girls, intelligence operatives, and even Washington lobbyists have long run an underground racket aimed at sexually compromising Congress and the administration.

Conspiracy researcher Peter Dale Scott calls it "an ongoing, highly organized, and protected operation." Scott, a former Canadian diplomat and professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley, goes so far as to suggest that Washington's sex syndicate, exploited by intelligence spooks and the mob, has "driven the major scandals of Washington since at least the beginning of the Cold War."

Apparently, behind every good political scandal is a prostitute. Scott isn't alone in this thinking. According to Scott, "a retired Washington detective, one who played a small but important role in Watergate," believes that mob pimps and bigwig lobbyists use pricey call girls to put the squeeze on key officials. This is apparently a reference to Carl Shoffler, incidentally the arresting police officer who slapped cuffs on the Watergate burglars.

During a 1982 investigation into the use of "drugs and sexual activity to lobby congressmen," Shoffler did indeed advise congressional investigators to look into a male prostitution ring that serviced Capitol Hill. The veteran police detective believed that the sex ring might be linked to a high-flying Washington lobbyist, Robert Keith Cray, who had more than a few connections to CIA folk. According to Peter Dale Scott, some Washington investigators also suspected that the gay sex ring was connected to D.C. crime boss Joe "the Possum" Nesline.

Unfortunately, the congressional probe petered out before it got anywhere. Summing up the untested Libido-gate hypothesis, however, one of the congressional investigators put it this way to author Susan Trento: "If a lobbyist wants to use hookers to influence legislation, there's a pool of talent he draws from. There are certain madams in town that they make connections with. By simple logic, if you're in the business of influencing people with male prostitutes of kids, there has to be that supply chain…. [If] we start to identify some of the clients, it's possible we could find the suppliers for intelligence, organized crime, and lobbyists." In other words, follow the honey.

Former (and fugitive) CIA officer Frank Terpil had no compunction about identifying one such client, his former employer. Terpil told investigative author Jim Hougan that CIA-run sexual blackmail setups were common in Washington during the Watergate years. Terpil fingered his former partner, Ed Wilson, as the facilitator of one such CIA operation. Terpil claimed that Wilson ran the CIA mantrap from Korean agent Tong Sun Park's George Town Club, the Korean intelligence front that figured in the 1970s Koreagate scandal.

"Historically," Terpil explained, "one of Wilson's agency jobs was to subvert members of both houses [of Congress] by any means necessary…. Certain people could be easily coerced by living out their sexual fantasy in the flesh…. A remembrance of these occasions [was] permanently recorded via selected cameras."

Of course, we should note the Terpil hasn't offered any proof to back up that claim, and ex-CIA officers - not least of all, ones who have been convicted in absentia for terrorist activities - aren't celebrated for their candor. On the other hand, sexual blackmail was indeed a favorite CIA method of "turning" foreign agents or otherwise compromising them to do Uncle Sam's bidding. Considering all of the Agency's illegal doings on domestic soil during the last four decades, Terpil's story certainly seems plausible.

Interestingly, Robert Keith Gray, the omnipresent superlobbyist whose name came up during the 1982 gay sex ring investigation, also pops into the George Town Club-Terpil milieu. Gray, who (coincidentally or not) gravitates toward spy nests, was the club's first overseer and also a director at Terpil's firm, Consultants International, a notorious CIA proprietary front.

I checked Gray out a little, and these days he seems to be more into AIDS-related philanthropy than into gay blackmail. And Edwin Wilson is busy trying to clear his name from 25-year-old charges of treason. But the pattern remains the same, and if we took all the assorted political sexual scandals of the last few years -- from Jeff Gannon to Hookergate to Mark Foley -- and attached the word "blackmail" to them, we'd probably have a far clearer idea of what's really going on in DC than any other way.


11/01/2006 08:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

True to form, Crazy Hair Kerry apologized.

Double Whammy!!

Anti-Military Liberal and Pussy Foot Apologist.....he couldn't have played the stereotypes any better.

Hypothetically speaking, what if the Dems do wrestle control of Congress? Do we think it will really fundamentally change the road we're on? I, for one, don't. If we believe even 10% of what is discussed here, such thinking is beyond delusional.


I'm all ears. Let's hear the plan......and I don't just mean grandiose ideals....I mean explicit and specific on-the-ground tactics for changing course.

IC has some great ideas, but he has no means to implement them....and wihtout that, it's more Willy Loman, I'm afraid.

11/01/2006 08:35:00 PM  
Blogger ericswan said...

In the remarkable words and insight of Marshall McLuhan, "The Medium is the Message" and with reference to "Bell" it's not the movie (message), it's the medium that will solve the problem. Popularity of youtube was its albatross and "nevermore" will we have to quoth the newbie who says "Youtube is so last year".

Kerry is your October surprise. Happy Weenie...

11/01/2006 08:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you ever really think Kerry is "clean", wake up - - don't forget Kerry's use to the "brotherhood" in the trial of Green Beret Bill Tyree - - who was going to blow the whistle on some of the activities of the boys running things but instead ended up in prison for life w/his wife's murder hung on him . . .

11/01/2006 08:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Jeff,

Check this out...

They found the NASA tapes from the moon landing in an Australian College...

Maybe this lends some insight into where the Apollo mission really landed? Perhaps they landed in a designated spot in the Australian desert...?

11/01/2006 09:04:00 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

"IC has some great ideas, but he has no means to implement them...."

Some ideas on implementation in the book. My regards....

Toward a Bioregional State: A Series of Letters About Political Theory and Formal Institutional Design in the Era of Sustainability

There's a longer review at this link. A summary would be:

Environmental sociologist Mark D. Whitaker is a comparative historical researcher on the politics of environmental degradation and sustainability. Toward A Bioregional State is his novel approach to development and to sustainability. He proposes that instead of sustainability being an issue of population scale, managerial economics, or technocratic planning, an overhaul of formal democratic institutions is required. This is because environmental degradation has more to do with the biased interactions of formal institutions and informal corruption. Because of corruption, we have environmental degradation. Current formal democratic institutions of states are forms of informal gatekeeping, and as such, intentionally maintain democracy as ecologically “out of sync”. He argues that we are unable to reach sustainability without a host of additional ecological checks and balances. These ecological checks and balances would demote corrupt uses of formal institutions by removing capacities for gatekeeping against democratic feedback. Sustainability is a politics that is already here—only waiting to be formally organized.

(I posed something here in the comments about health, ecology, and economic policy polls:

a while back on demographics that is indeed showing that it's "already here--only waiting to be formally organized.")

And a general open note to whomever it concerns.

I'm surprised the high elites driving the world to unsustainabily fail to see the error of their own model. It's probabaly a case of their being embedded in corporate materials and financial consolidation organizations in the past where the externalities of such things they could rationalize away and ignore. However, when the externalities generated by their own methods are now the major factor in demoting their capticity for being successful in consolidating power, it's a touchy sitution with them because they have "invested" (literally) so much in methods that are innately unsustainable toward getting more power. And the diminishing returns so to speak have gone negative and inverted for every step they take on that strategy by the early 21st century.

The tragedy I think that some elites do see is that their own limited methods of expanding their power mentioned above won't even get them the goals they seek or much less durable power. It's going to backfire all over the world. Basically, their own policies are going to be their own self-destruction since nothing they can achieve on this route is sustainable in all senses of the term.

Though I suppose their cluelessness about this--and merely attempting to react to it as some sort of "public relations psyop engineering difficulty" instead of systemic wrongheaded model--could just be written up toward nepotistic hubris being unable to see any other way to expand their power except by more nepotistic hubris even though it's obvious a necrotizing unsustainability is all they offer. There's an embedded drift going on of institutions and private jurisdictional modes of consolidation that they are as much a part of as directing, carrying them on as well as directing. There's a huge inertia of what they contributed to set in motion with corporate forms of globalization, and I think that a lot of them now wish they hadn't set it up that way...since the WTO rounds have all failed without any country wanting to start it back up. They have built their own policy prison and see the writing on the wall.

From some social science research I have seen, it's very plausible that estimations of a monolithic 'ruling class' are overrated: it's rent with divisions.

How the current strategy crowd got into power is hard to guess particuarly in what it 'means' from an insider's view that is shielded, though here's some ideas what it might mean: [1] whether they are indeed a 'internal mass agreement' of a sponsored choice of neocon methods, organized crime, and rigged vote machines all over the world to be a putch to dominate, or [2] whether they are some sort of group that has 'gotten out of control even with their own people' through the methods above.

For the #2 position, interpretive though it is (and that interpretation could be either #1 or #2), I remember that it was the Bilderberg that sponsored the "Kerry side of things" in 2004 (with the hushed up meeting of Kerry's Vice Presidential candidate attending Bilderberg that year).

Whether that means they were betting on the other side against the neocon Bushes, or whether they were just stacking the deck (like stacking the deck between Bush and Kerry anyway in 2004) remains to be seen. Without transcripts of that Bilderberg meeting concerning the Bush/Kerry campaign that year, no one will know either way. Skolnick argued that he had evidence passed to him that Kerry took a dive (illegally, mind you, publicly announcing his withdrawl, "conceding" to Bush) because Kerry took a huge bribe in gold, currently sitting in Europe, delivered through his nearly billionaire wife.

All I know is that their current whole model for world consolidation will crash. It's whole socioeconomic basis is non-durable.

Now, to a more general comment to the U.S. politics:

1. When Bush opines through his speech writers that "The American way of life (sic) is non-negotiable," what the neocons really are talking about is "we are holed up in the White House through vote fraud networks and you're dealing with our criminal power strategies for world domination, or nothing." I'd imagine that phrase "non-negotiable" was talking to different audiences simultaneously when I heard it--aimed equally 'to disagreements within their own' as much as the world population. (For instance all the agreements, leadership--and then waffling--on Kyoto frameworks over the past five years as a drastic course change happened).

2. I think that the whole sexual blackmail arrangement as well to keep everyone in line (talked of by more than Peter Dale Scott) has pretty much become so large it might be considered the only route to power in either the Democratic or Republican Parties. (I think Wayne Madsen had something interesting on the mob-ties of Pelosi's father for instance.)

3. Given the above, that is why I think expecting change automaticaly within this corrupt two-party framework is a delusion however comforting it may be to endlessly withdraw one's line in the sand, every time, over and over, allowing it be crossed (as the Democratic Party has stood by and allowed a fascist state to be erected without a peep).

Instead, only through widened political party competition is the voter's vote valued and the full electorate addressed instead of the partial electorate, which both parties prefer to be as small as possible. That's probabaly why the pressure has been so strong to convert the paper ballot into electronic nothingness over the past several years. The current crowd in power knows that their methods can't work in anything except a dictatorship.

Back to my book, published in this tipping point period--as I knew so well.

The book is toward identifying some systemic FORMAL corruptions that are the balustrade for why INFORMALLY this situation of power exists. And these formal institutional frameworks are inately changable, and something that all 'out' groups would have interest in. It's not simply a corrupt party system that's the issue. The corrupt party system has designed formal institutions of democracy to tailor made to maintain a gatekeeping arrangement. Moreover, the book isn't only about the United States, since it is arguing there are common strategic features to concentrate on in how corruption of formal democratic institutions occur anywhere, that keeps such unsustainability formally in place. And regardless, these are formal institutional issues will always be a form of public issue accessible for change.

If super-majorities on health, ecology, and economic policies are entirely at odds with policies of the (the record low approvals of) both Democrats and Republicans in the U.S., we have a very interesting situation on our hands.

And I think that the divisions in the elites presently know it as well though with the Democratic/Republicans running the same campaigns both of these parties are still consciously selling out the last stopgap against U.S.-led global dictatorship. This stopgap was the imperial U.S. 'core' wasn't yet a one-party dictatorial state, even though the U.S. has done its best to generate one-party state dictatorships around the world in support of it in the past 50 years.

They may have the parties, though none of them have any support. They make have the institutions, though none of them increasingly have any legitimacy.

All I know is that small contributions can have big effects, particularly if they are big ideas, so I wrote the book:

If the present strategies of them are destined to backfire (as I would argue), it's best to have some other ideas around as the crash occurs.

An alternate future is the start of anything.

11/01/2006 10:07:00 PM  
Blogger foist lastus said...

firefox video downloader extension

11/01/2006 11:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Jeff for posting the link up to the movie. It is appreciated.

The blackmailing of the professor in the movie indicated an international conspiracy which is how I see politics today operating on. This bigger picture of globalism and how this radical conspiracy of the New World Order subtly and profoundly trickles down to every county on the planet.

Is it possible that servants of the god-like conspiracy of the global management system have and will provide us with the best clues and the best solutions to deal with it's own tyranny? It's historically perplexing to intellectuals when they find out that members of influential international secret societies are the ones who inform on themselves. They can be this lofty. This mischievousness is especially appealing to the more impressionable aspiring over achievers. It's like you can't expose the exposers exposing themselves. If you expose them it's because some of them have given you ample ability to do it. They become enabling and not by accident.

The mechanical tentacles of secret societies and organizations arm some of the members with the ability to share their own dirt and not have to worry at all about it. It may be part of the process for it's inevitable success. Like Al Capone's soup kitchens in Chicago made him seem as a nice guy. But this caters to intellectuals strictly. That the radical criminals were nice enough to let you know what they have done and are planning on. Keeping us wondering and working on proving whether or not these exposures are mere distractions from something else. Somewhat similar to a Muslim political organization falsely claiming responsibility for acts of terrorism because they want more people in the world to know what they represent but this being the biggest picture. The global secret organization.

I conservatively assume that many young people love this evil influence.

11/01/2006 11:48:00 PM  
Blogger foist lastus said...

"Even Bono of U2 has proclaimed his allegiance to darkness. That's really no surprise, given the Davos and D.C. crowds he hangs out with. Bono has dressed up on stage many times as satan in drag, wearing heavy makeup and sporting red lame' horns, calling himself MacPhisto. You can figure out some of the allusions of that name.

11/02/2006 12:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I see this performance by Kerry as being used as the cover story for the MSM/America Proavda (AP) to explain a poor Democratic performance on election day and divert any attention from election theft as a valid explanation for an unexpected turn of events.

11/02/2006 01:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks foist lastus for that link.

11/02/2006 01:47:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well! Congratulations, Jeff.

Brotherhood of the Bell got about 800 watches in just around 16 hours of you posting that.

11/02/2006 03:02:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The whole thing about "plausible deniability" is that multiple foundations for different possible outcomes have to be laid in advance. There is likely to be lots of things that can be plausibly denied but, in the end, only one or two of them will have to be. This may explain many of the water-muddying statements, behaviors or disinformative storylines that are laid out for the future. Only the maestro will determine which thread he will pull, which move he will make, because he sees the whole playing field, while most of us only see one file, one rank, or one moment.

For further clarity, read about the OODA loop.

11/02/2006 03:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

New York Times poll this morning (check the graphic) shows the repubs getting creamed. No "Kerry factor" will explain a discordant result against such overwhelming anti-Republican sentiment.

I harbor no illusions about the Dems. All I want is subpoena power. (Which may be why that shredding truck was pulled up next to Cheney's house, and why that building at Ft. Meade got torched).

11/02/2006 07:45:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I despise politics and if was forced to watch the election propaganda machinations and final outcomes, I would struggle with my captors by trying to blare this song as loud and as often as I could in the place.

I am the one, Orgasmatron, the outstretched grasping hand
My image is of agony, my servants rape the land
Obsequious and arrogant, clandestine and vain
Two thousand years of misery, of torture in my name
Hypocrisy made paramount, paranoia the law
My name is called religion, sadistic, sacred whore.
I twist the truth, I rule the world, my crown is called deceit
I am the emperor of lies, you grovel at my feet
I rob you and I slaughter you, your downfall is my gain
And still you play the sycophant and revel in your pain
And all my promises are lies, all my love is hate
I am the politician and I decide your fate.
I march before a martyred world, an army for the fight
I speak of great heroic days, of victory and might
I hold a banner drenched in blood, I urge you to be brave
I lead you to your destiny, I lead you to your grave
Your bones will build my palaces, your eyes will stud my crown
For I am Mars, the god of war, and I will cut you down.

Orgasmatron by Motorhead

11/02/2006 11:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

interesting that the Kerry story has been at the top of Google News since it broke.

11/02/2006 12:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep, the idiotic shit being spun from Kerry's comments are quite predictable and loathsome.

Here's a typical one:

Lynndie England couldn't have said it better, herself.

11/02/2006 01:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with everyone here - Kerry is just earning his keep. How they must laugh at the 322 meetings. Bastards.

Has anyone got the link that was mentioned about the missing NASA tapes??

11/02/2006 01:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please consider renaming the comments section of rigint v2 to shrubageddon said...

Im sure I don't stand alone in feeling his passive piggback takeover of this site is contributing to its loss of interest.

How hard do you work to get first on the comments list each post? Cell-phone alert? What if you are in the potty when a new post comes out?

Last time I checked there is plenty of room on the internet for another blog.

Please, do many of us a favor and get your own blog. I cant wait to see the flock that follows, or will you have to carry multiple E-dentities to comment on your own blather?

11/02/2006 01:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From today's investment A-letter from the international investment advisory service the Sovereign Society:

Forget no-fly lists. If Uncle Sam gets its way, beginning on Jan. 14, 2007, we'll all be on no-fly lists, unless the government gives us permission to leave-or re-enter-the United States.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (HSA) has proposed that all airlines, cruise lines-even fishing boats-be required to obtain clearance for each passenger they propose taking into or out of the United States.

It doesn't matter if you have a U.S. passport-a “travel document” that now, absent a court order to the contrary, gives you a virtually unqualified right to enter or leave the United States, any time you want. When the DHS system comes into effect next January, if the agency says “no” to a clearance request, or doesn't answer the request at all, you won't be permitted to enter-or leave-the United States.

Consider what might happen if you're a U.S. passport holder on assignment in a country like Saudi Arabia. Your visa is about to expire, so you board your flight back to the United States. But wait! You can't get on, because you don't have permission from the HSA. Saudi immigration officials are on hand to escort you to a squalid detention center, where you and others who are now effectively “stateless persons” are detained, potentially indefinitely, until their immigration status is sorted out.

Why might the HSA deny you permission to leave-or enter-the United States? No one knows, because the entire clearance procedure would be an administrative determination made secretly, with no right of appeal. Naturally, the decision would be made without a warrant, without probable cause and without even any particular degree of suspicion. Basically, if the HSA decides it doesn't like you, you're a prisoner-either outside, or inside, the United States, whether or not you hold a U.S. passport.

The U.S. Supreme Court has long recognized there is a constitutional right to travel internationally. Indeed, it has declared that the right to travel is "a virtually unconditional personal right." The United States has also signed treaties guaranteeing “freedom of travel.” So if these regulations do go into effect, you can expect a lengthy court battle, both nationally and internationally.

Think this can't happen? Think again…it's ALREADY happening. Earlier this year, HSA forbade airlines from transporting an 18-year-old native-born U.S. citizen, back to the United States. The prohibition lasted nearly six months until it was finally lifted a few weeks ago.

Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union are two countries in recent history that didn't allow their citizens to travel abroad without permission. If these regulations go into effect, you can add the United States to this list.

For more information on this proposed regulation, see .

11/02/2006 02:47:00 PM  
Blogger iridescent cuttlefish said...

The Question of Implementation,
How to Get A Foot in The Door:

Shrub, starroute & Mark all wrote about this question. Yes, implementing the solutions seems to be the problem, much more than finding the solutions, which are right there, in the public imagination, despite the relentless noise & obfuscation generated by the media and both wings of the Party. As Mark has written elsewhere, we do know what we want--universal health care; an aggressive and comprehensive response to climate change and environmental degradation; living wages for meaningful work; affordable and adequate housing; high quality, free education; a strengthened & expanded social security system; an end to the disastrous War On Drugs; reining in the power of corporations--but we also know that we're not going to get these things from the current system.

Starroute talks about giving the groundswell of desire for change some time, while Mark speaks to reforming the institutions of our failed democracy so as to change policy direction. Well, yeah, it's a tall order and it will take some time to restructure the system, if we're given the chance to do so...but I don't think we have that much time, before either the the soft tyranny hardens or nature is pushed too far. So here's another idea. I've been thinking about this question of fast track implementation ever since the discussion that Mojo Workout and I had with an anonymous poster last week. I was slinging some sky pie and Anon quite correctly chided me for my "top-down, policy driven" strategies for change, insisting instead that only the grassroots level stood a chance of not being infiltrated, co-opted, and corrupted.

My initial reaction was "Yeah, but you'll have to reinvent the wheel everytime," but then I remembered the story of Wangari Maathai's Green Belt Movement, and I realized that Anonymous was right. I'm going to retell part of that story here to suggest another alternative to starroute and Mark's.

On another level, even seemingly mundane tasks can have that magic ripple effect. Consider this statement from Wangari Maathai, 2004 nobel Peace Prize Laureate:

The planting of trees is the planting of ideas. By starting with the simple act of planting a tree, we give hope to ourselves and to future generations.

For those not familiar, Wangari Maathai is the best-known face of the Green Belt Movement , a "non-profit grassroots non-governmental organization based in Kenya" which has had an amazing impact on the lives of the most disenfranchised elements of Kenyan society. Sure, they were just planting trees (40 million so far), but in so doing, they challenged the authoritarian power structure, changed public policy, empowered women, and stopped a wave of violence and retribution unleashed by the old boy network dead in its tracks. This story is one of my favorites about Maathai and the GBM.

The powerful folks were planning on building a skyscraper to house themselves in regal splendor and borrowing foreign money to do it, which would only have worsened the plight of the already debt-ridden victims of colonialism. Maathai declared that the people didn't need a skyscraper to glorify their "leaders" but an environment which could support them and political power with which to chart their future. The project was stopped and the old boys were pissed. An army was dispatched to stop the tree planters, but a funny thing happened when the soldiers attempted to beat the women. Led by Maathai, they bared their breasts, en masse, which reminded the young soldiers that they were "beating their mothers" (apparently, the gesture is traditional in some parts of Africa), and they were shamed into desisting, even releasing political prisoners and actually helping to plant the trees.

The more I've thought about this story, the more clear its implications became to me. If Maathai had proposed legislation that sponsored the tree planting, the old boy network would have been able to stall and sabotage the effort. And even if it had gone ahead, the people wouldn't have been inspired by the act of taking the initiative into their hands. The reason it achieved the critical momentum of engendering other, wider changes, including the empowerment and subsequent representation of women and other disenfranchised groups is due to the fact that it made these groups believe that their efforts would take root, that the system would have to respond, favorably, to their actions. Belief is the magic that made it work.

So how can we take direct action that bypasses the firewall of official channels and which will engender further change? The most pressing problem we face is ecological disaster; as it turns out, everything else is directly and/or indirectly related to this one issue. So, why not copy the simple reforestation operation of the Green Belters? Without the approval/interference of the present power structure. A simple act of civic-minded disobedience which would fire the imagination of the lullabied nation. Any idea how many disaffected young people are just waiting for something to believe in, something to do with their own hands? What about the old people whose livelihoods and sense of purpose have been stolen by time and age discrimination? Not everyone can volunteer (or be accepted) for Habitat for Humanity, and this project is a lot more of an old-fashioned barn raising than that modest effort anyway. Johnny Appleseed already exists in the iconography of the mythologized, if largely forgotten, American Frontier; what better way to rehabilitate that imperialist madness than by replanting the many, many devastated landscapes from the strip mined hollers of West Virginia & Kentucky to the blighted reservations where the original tenants have been sent to wither and die?

While you're chewing on that idea, consider the ripple effect. Many of those areas most in need of reclamation also suffer from toxicities introduced by mining and industrial processes: guess what plant has been proven to remove heavy metals and other toxins in a safe manner without any complex chemical refinement? Why, the life-affirming hemp, the royal hogweed, of course! The following states have already enacted some form of legalized hemp growing: Arkansas California Hawaii Illinois Kentucky Maine Maryland Minnesota Montana North Carolina North Dakota Vermont Virginia West Virginia, and while earlier this month Schwartzenegger refused to sign California's new hemp legislation into law (out of fear of looking "soft on drugs"), there's a bill in congress right now just waiting to get out from underneath Dennis Hastert's fat ass (The Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2005: Bill # H.R.3037) which would change the dynamic of farm & drug policy very, very quickly.

This is the foot-in-the-door that the sustainable, carbohydrate economy has been waiting for. The repercussions of the Hemp Revolution are difficult to map out, much less underestimate, since it goes to the heart of the conspiracy of the oil men to supplant the natural, farm-centered economy with the disastrous petroleum-based model which has fueled the wars of imperialism and the mindless, conspicuous consumption whose implementation coincided with the birth of the national security state in 1947. Some of the consequences of restoring hemp to its rightful place in the carbohydrate economy are described in Fred E. Foldvary's Progress Report:

California has been invaded by the starthistle, which is taking over grasslands and is difficult to eradicate. Hemp could help control that weed, just as it successfully dealt with an earlier invasion, the Canadian thistle, which entered the U.S. midwest a hundred years ago. When farmers cultivated hemp for a few years, it grew fast and blocked out the sunlight the thistles needed. In a few years, the hemp succeeded in wiping out the thistle blight, and the farmers could go back to growing their other crops.

But instead of using hemp to restore natural flora and grazing lands, the US government is instead poisoning the environment with herbicides to kill hemp along with marijuana plants. These chemicals enter the water supply and end up in our food. The government will spray poison on the starthistles rather than use hemp. People look to government to protect them from pollution, when in fact the government is a major environmental destroyer.

Canada has legalized hemp cultivation, and so far the fabric of society in Canada has not fallen apart. By legalizing hemp, the U.S. government can help farmers, reduce pollution, help fight plant invasions the natural way, and reduce the trade deficit by cultivating hemp in the United States instead of importing it.

The prohibition of hemp cultivation is another example of the absurdity of the "zero tolerance" policy of the federal government's war on drug users, a war which has destroyed civil liberties, harmed the economy, violates property rights, and ruins the environment.

This is, admittedly, a huge step, but the American Reforestation Movement, which would start with perfectly legal and respectable species could provide the impetus for a very wide range of after effects, especially in the over-turning of the Hydrocarbon and Prison Economies. There are, however, certain vulnerabilities to this scheme. The lunatics at the apex of the pyramid could declare the tree planters to be enemy combatants (remember how Reagan, with his keen understanding of all things environmental, tried to warn us about the dangers posed by trees?) and since habeus corpus is now a corpse, Gitmo could be filled with seed-planting grandmas, but I think this is one area where the Nazis would have their asses handed to them in the court of public opinion if they reacted in such a heavy-handed manner. Which leaves the more subtle avenues for infiltration and corruption.

Dupont, whose history is the history of suppression and exploitation, is attempting to either rehabilitate its image or co-opt the carbohydrate economy, depending on your level of cynicism. Bill # H.R.3037, The Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2005, isn't the only legislation presuming to address the ecological imbalance of the hydrocarbon economy:

The American Chemical Society (ACS) today (28-Sep-2006) praised House passage of legislation that will improve federal coordination, dissemination and investment in green chemistry research and development (R&D). Introduced by Reps. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) and Jim Marshall (D-Ga.), the Green Chemistry Research and Development Act of 2005 (H.R. 1215) aims to provide safer, more sustainable technological options to replace traditional products and processes.

ACS President E. Ann Nalley, Ph.D., praised the leadership of the two Congressmen saying "Green chemistry is a smart approach to pollution prevention, and the House took a smart step in the right direction by passing H.R. 1215."

"As real environmental progress shifts to preventing pollution, we need more innovative strategies and technologies," Nalley said. "The tools chemists and chemical engineers develop will be instrumental in meeting the challenges of environmental protection and economic growth. Green chemistry plays a critical role because it literally seeks to change the equation by designing cleaner and safer chemicals, products, and processes up front."

And guess who's thick as thieves with the ACS? That's right, neighbor, Dupont and its friendly rival Dow Chemical, the same folks who brought you agent orange, napalm, DDT and paraquat, which they continue to use in your government's many eradication programs, as seen in the starthistle program described above by Progress Report. Why is it that the Green Chemistry bill sailed through congress while the Hemp Act is still sequestered under Hastert's ample cheek? It might have something to do with the fact that the Green Chemistry movement refuses to renounce the hydrocarbon monopoly and is, as a result, mere greenwashing, to borrow a term you'll see more of in a moment.

My tree planters are going outside these channels of deception & fraud--and it's this just-do-it mentality (bugger off, Nike!) that just might provide the momentum which the successful grassroots campaign needs. Of course, anything can be corrupted, but it'll be harder for them to do it from the outside looking in. I realize this post is ridiculously long already, but I wanted to leave the last word to Alex Steffen, from World Changing, whose Earth Day essay illustrates the pitfalls and promise of going green far better than I can. (Very sorry about taking up so much space--I'll try to practice a little abstinence for a while to make amends.)

On Earth Day
April 21, 2006

Green is the new black. No buzz-phrase better sums up both the excitement many of us feel about the blooming environmental and social consciousness around us and the essential hollowness of the answers being promoted by many newly-minted eco-pundits.

The flood of environmental magazine cover stories, documentaries and advertisements has pushed us over a public-opinion threshold, which is great. But the solutions being touted by many of our new-found allies are themselves creating a new kind of problem -- people who should know better are selling a muddle-headed, style-over-substance, "lite green" environmentalism at a time when we need to be rebuilding our civilization to avoid disaster. To be blunt, we're being sold out.

People are being told to buy organic cotton T-shirts, keep their tires inflated and recycle their beer bottles. But the reality of the situation is that the impacts of these sorts of actions are totally out whack with the magnitude of the planetary problems bearing down upon us. Those of us who care about the future of the planet need to reclaim this moment from those who would have people think that our biggest challenge is picking the most stylish vegan shoes.

With every passing day, we are discovering that things are worse than we thought. Our climate is ripping apart at the seams at a rate that's surprising even the so-called alarmists. Natural systems are collapsing. The ocean seems headed towards a series of catastrophic tipping points. Economic inequity is producing a planet of billionaires and a billion desperate people. Our political systems are suffering a massive crisis of legitimacy, while insane fundamentalists, violent criminals and two-bit dictators (wearing both uniforms and Armani suits) are stealing or destroying everything they can get their hands on. Everywhere on the planet we find an empty consumer culture so accepted we barely speak of it, except perhaps to make an ironic joke. We have placed a Great Wager on the future of humanity, and the odds are getting worse.

In the face of this reality, recycling a bottle is an act so insignificant as to be merely totemic. Paper or plastic? Who the hell cares?

In the developed world, few of us, essentially none of us, currently live a "one-planet life." The vast majority of us, even of those of us who have committed ourselves to change, consume more resources and energy than our sustainable share: indeed, it is very, very difficult to live an individually sustainable life, because the very systems in which we are enmeshed -- which enfold and make possible our lifestyles -- are themselves insanely unsustainable. We're driving our hybrid SUVs down the highway to the Collapse.

Most of the harm we cause in the world is done far from our sight, created through the workings of vast systems whose workings are often intentionally hidden from us, and over which we have very little influence as single individuals. Alone, we are essentially powerless to change anything that matters. We can't shop our way to sustainability.

I believe we are bombarded with messages encouraging us to take the "small steps" precisely because those steps are a threat to no one. They don't depress sales of fashionable crap we don't need. They don't bring people into the streets or sweep corrupt politicians from office. They certainly don't threaten the powerful, entrenched interests who are growing fantastically rich off keeping us locked into the systems that make our lives such a burden on the planet and impoverish our brothers and sisters elsewhere.

Buying a hemp hoodie is not a blow for better world, it's at best a mere gesture towards the idea that the world ought to better. And, here in the Green Spring of 2006, we must finally admit to ourselves that gestures are no longer enough. That to be focused on lifestyle tweaks and attitudinal adjustments at this moment in history is like showing up with a teaspoon to help bail out a sinking ship. If the New Green degenerates into handing out more stylish spoons, we're screwed.

We don't need more carpool lanes. We need to eliminate fossil fuels from our economy. We don't need more recycling bins. We need to create a closed-loop, biomimetic, neobiological industrial system. We don't need to attend a tree-planting ceremony. We need to become expert at ecosystem management and gardening the planet. We don't need another unscented laundry detergent. We need to ban the vast majority of the toxic chemicals upon which our livestyles currently float and invent a completely non-toxic green chemistry. We don't need lite green fashions. We need a bright green revolution.

To really change the world we need to hand out real tools: rugged, free, collaborative tools for understanding the world and our role in it, for seeing the systems in which we are trapped; tools for learning how to work together to either transform those systems or destroy them completely and bioremediate the rubble. Tools that help us as people make meaningful changes in both our own lives and the world. We need to make people participants, not consumers. We need answers that address peoples' lives, not their lifestyles.

We need to take back the ballot box. With the exception of a couple small nations like Finland, most governments on earth are now seething messes of corruption, oppression and entrenched privilege, and our government here in the U.S. is worse than many. We need transparency, accountability, genuine equity, real democracy and human rights. No environmental or social issue transcends the need for worldwide political reform, and none of our huge planetary problems can be solved without it.

We need to seize the trading floor. Most large corporations, and most of the markets we've established through regulation, incentive and tradition, demand that we participate (as employees, consumers or investors) in ecological destruction, unfair labor practices and an assault on the public realm. We need to grab hold of these economic systems, strip them down to their component parts and rebuild them anew. That means supporting (or becoming) clean energy entrepreneurs, green builders, sustainable product designers, socially-responsible investors, and so on. We need a new generation uncompromisingly innovative and determined regulators, planners, bankers, insurers. We need to take back business as a realm of service and do away with the dinosaurs who dominate it today, and we need an army of people ready to put their careers and investments on the line to do it.

We need to share. There is no sustainable future without a vigorous and lively public realm. We need to defend the commons, from the air we breath to the culture we create together. That commons is everywhere under attack from those who would privatize it for profit and stifle innovation to protect the status quo, the way, for instance, that the music and film industries are trying to take away our ability to freely (and legally) share our own music and videos, because they're worried not only that someone might illegally share some of their music or videos, but because the explosion of free music and video we're seeing threatens their out-of-date business models. We must counter-attack, supporting open culture and public ownership, and working everywhere to redistribute the future.

We need better mousetraps. The stuff that surrounds us is crap: toxic, wasteful, unjust, ugly. We need innovation everywhere, real innovation, stuff that isn't just marginally better or superficially green, but stuff that is actually, right now or as soon as possible, an order of magnitude more efficient, completely non-toxic and closed-loop. We need to support the folks out there trying to design these things. We need to laud their efforts, invest in their inventions, and generally do everything we can to get better design, technology and thinking applied to every aspect of our lives. Then we need to help regular people separate the bright green from the greenwashed.

11/02/2006 03:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, Iridescent Cuttlefish, that was quite simply....AWESOME!!

When do we start planting the hemp? Should we meet in Whistler first to discuss it? I haven't given up on Whistler....the Cyber has to eventually be transposed to the Physical for anything to actually happen.

11/02/2006 03:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You really should get rid of the Shrub(gov)ageddon. I second the thought that his incessant posting has succesfully dulled enthusiasm for the site. Youshould follow Rivero's lead and post only salient or relevent material related to a certain post or subject.

All the best,


11/02/2006 03:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

2nd that.

11/02/2006 04:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Just an FYI. Little known to many observers and researchers into the cryptocracy, The Bohemian Grove has a clubhouse in the Nob Hill area of San Francisco. It is on the corner of Taylor and Post, adjoining the Olympic Club of San Francisco. Each of these elite membership clubs has its adjunct pied-a-terre in the outer parts of the city. This is an important point--the Grove and internationally known Olympic Golf Club are the adjuncts to the main metropolitan meeting houses.

How do I know? I used to work at the Olympic Club after graduating from Berkeley. Then, I resided at 1345 Taylor, and as I walked to work down Taylor Street, I would walk by the totally unknown, old SF money Pacific and Union Club, (at the apex of Nob (aka snob) Hill), and by the massive and stately Masonic Lodge, which is completly adorned in grey Italian granite.

On my way down Taylor, I'd have to walk by the Bohemian every day. One day, I decided to take an early left and walk into the Club unannounced. And what do you know? The decor was almost exactly alike the interiors of the Brotherhood of the Bell---dark wood, leather-backed chairs, fireplaces. The interior was spacious, with high paneled ceilings. The similarites to B.O.B. are eerie in retrospect. I distinctly recall a Club member relaxing in a chair reading the Wall Street Journal, a classic motif of the old money. After wandering around for a minute, I was asked to leave politely by a butler-type person, much like the individual in the first scene of B.O.B. I haven't watch ed to entire film yet, but if I recall any more similarites after the viewing, I'll let you know.

Also, the Olympic is populated by the elite, Brooks Brothers crowd of SF, most of whom rose up through St. Ignatius prep, to local elite colleges and to membership.

Thanks for all the hard work Jeff. I appreciate it. If you'd like to know more or have any questions, you can email me.

Robert W. Ramacciotti, JD

11/02/2006 04:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeff et al.,

Speaking of theatre, best summary (though very very dense) of Osman Spare by Kenneth Grant. (in case you missed it)



11/02/2006 05:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's another clue: Most change starts with ideas.

The dominant ideas of the moment are irresistible. They can't be refuted, can't be denied, can only be worked with in various ways.

Not every idea is a dominant idea -- only the top-level ideas that everyone in a society accepts, whatever their other differences.

Over the last century or so, the dominant ideas of Western culture have come from science -- but science itself evolves, and there is always something of a lag.

In the early 20th century, the Big Idea of science was the Machine -- in all its efficiency, impersonality, and inexorability. Governments and corporations strove to be like machines. Mere humans were to be ruthlessly subordinated to the machine, made cogs in the system.

You can see these ideas being worked out in art and films in the 1920's -- then inspiring the fascists in a crude, goose-stepping way in the 30's -- and finally coming to dominate the West in a more refined but still brutal form from 1945 on.

We're still living with the cult of the Machine -- but meanwhile, science has moved on. The new idea is not the Machine but the System -- and the highest ideal of the System is not ruthless efficiency but feedback and adaptability.

When even Bush proclaims that he's not really Stay the Course because he's all about adaptability, you know a new top-level idea has taken hold.

But on Bush's part, it's all lip service. The essence of the adaptability isn't commanding officers trying a series of increasingly desperate and useless plans. It's feedback -- and you can't have feedback without the channels being open to transmit it.

Feedback depends on transparency. It depends on a free flow of information in both directions -- for example, two-way media rather than broadcast media. It depends on an absence of corruption and toadyism -- both of which act as barriers to separate the people making the decisions from the reactions of the people being affected by them. It depends on consumers making open decisions rather than decisions induced by advertising and constrained by limited choices.

It depends on things we don't even have the words for yet -- because words like "media" and "consumers" are of the old order of things. But it's coming, and in ways that are presently unimaginable.

If we can reshape our world around the idea of feedback -- if we really open our ears to the feedback from nature, as well as from one another -- it will go a long way towards healing the wounds inflicted by the idea of the Machine. (At least for a time, that is -- until its own limitations become apparent and the cycle begins again.)

11/02/2006 06:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I can dig what you're saying and I agree with a good percentage of it, but what I see is a great deal of fragmentation amongst those who know and understand that radical change is necessary.

I'm not sure I understand your stance. Are you saying that it will JUST happen as part of an evolutionary process from Machine to System? If so, then as Iridescent Cuttlefish indicates, we don't have that kind of time. I inherently knew that....but Iridescent Cuttlefish, as is his fashion, wrapped it in a wonderfully articulate package.

I am definitely interested in a number of his ideas......the latest grassroots one, in particular. It is a radical step, though, and one that has to be, somewhat, foisted. Otherwise, meaningful change won't JUST happen until things have gone too far.

That also concerns me. An Anony several threads back indicated people won't wake up and smell the coffee until it's too late...until they and their loved ones are starving. I have always thought that, as well. Until people are confronted with harsh realities, they presume that their current comfort will continue endlessly, and history has proven that presumption false...time and time again.

Civilizations can and do collapse......and we could be in the midst of a collapse, currently. I read somewhere that it is not without precedent that the decline can happen in one generation. In one to two generations, the social/technological/economic/academic fabric of Contemporary Society can be obliterated and cast asunder, the pieces of which may never be put back together again.

I love ideas every bit as much as you do. In fact, that's been the story of my life......constant thinking, imagining, dreaming, searching. But I'm afraid that with the innundation of information these days, ideas are so ubiquitous, it has an opposite effect....meaning it results in fragmentation and inertia when it comes to applying those adeas to bring about meaningful change.

I posted a link a while back that indicated that there are now more books published than there are people who read them. It's extremely difficult for an idea to become dominant and gain momemtum when the set of ideas becomes so watered-down.

11/02/2006 07:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of grassroots movements, this one dovetails nicely with the earlier discussion of supporting the soldiers (notice I didn't say troops....because it's incorrect usage...but try telling that to the dunderheads).

Here's the link.

Ahh....the Bikers....didn't, or doesn't the Hell's Angels have a Fascist Connection? Not that these bloated hogs are Hell's Angels.....but they're pretending to be.


11/02/2006 07:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hyperlink was a bum.

Here it is without the hyper:

11/02/2006 08:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

shrub -

Things don't *just* happen -- any more than evolution *just* happens. Lamarck may have been wrong about the mechanism, but he was right about the element of will -- and Darwinian determinism was profoundly misguided.

In our current situation, I would say that the change from mechanistic thinking to holistic thinking is both inevitable and imminent. It began at the high point of mechanism, between the World Wars, it's now well-advanced on the theoretical level, and all that remains is for people to start bringing the institutions of society into tune with it.

And that will certainly happen, if only because "as above, so below" is as much a law of politics as of mysticism.

However, what is not inevitable is the details of *how* it happens. Will it be fast enough to avert planetary devastation? Will it bring us to a bottom-up society or just to a new form of elitism? Will it be done in such a way as to incorporate our deepest moral values or will it become a new excuse for exploitation?

There's been a battle going on for the soul of modern science ever since it emerged in the 17th century. Back then, when science was still known as natural philosophy, it was almost indistinguishable from what was called natural magic. But the idea that any thinking individual could attain to knowledge of ultimate causes through the study of nature was anathema to the established powers of church and state. And so the doctrines of materialism and mechanism were devised -- first in Catholic France but then (after the restoration of the monarchy) in Protestant England as well.

According to those doctrines, the reach of science was pretty much limited to banging rocks together and recording the results. Science was barred from achieving true knowledge of reality. Spiritual matters were kept purely in the hands of the church or (by the 19th century) declared to be illusory.

We're heading into a fresh round of that same battle now, but this time there's a chance for the contest to turn out differently. I want to help make that happen.

But there's more to it than that. I once assumed (like any good late 20th century rationalist) that periods when science was developing rapidly were probaby periods when occultism was at a low ebb, and vice versa. But when I sketched out some rough timelines and looked at them, I found the opposite was true. Science and occultism tend to flourish in tandem -- while periods of extreme rationalism tend to be times when science stagnates as well.

What's more, democracy and populism follow the same pattern. It seems as though any time elites are in control, they just can't help opting for scientific stagnation and spiritual conformity. It's how they maintain their power. And when elites are overthrown or held at bay, creativity of all sorts flourishes.

This has a lot to do with the fall of empires, as well. When elites really dig their claws in, everything grinds to a halt. They arrest dissidents, pass laws to prevent people from getting above their station, suppress new discoveries. Change and creativity peter out, economic growth stagnates along with them, knowledge fossilizes. Eventually, they collapse under some combination of pressure from more nimble competitors, internal alienation among the rich and disaffection among the poor, and the ineffectiveness of their own institutions.

All things being equal, I'd just as soon not have to live in a society that is decaying in that manner -- or in a world where decaying societies like that are hanging onto to the past and getting in the way of everyone else.

So there are at least two possible futures I can imagine that I very much want to prevent -- one where stagnant and regressive empires hold off necessary change as long as they can, and another where a bright and shiny New World Order is run by the same old elites.

Instead, I want to see a world that fulfills all the promise of the last four centuries -- one dedicated to real democracy (not the half-assed representative crap we have now), to free exploration in both the scientific and occult spheres, and to maximizing the creative potential of every individual. But that sort of world is going to have to be fought for at every step.

11/02/2006 09:20:00 PM  
Blogger OpLan said...

heres that story on the recently discovered Apollo tapes.

The SSTV tapes are still missing.

11/02/2006 10:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For a "relentlessly conventional" DC site, that Wonkette runs some interesting items: Bush family moving to Paraguay, 9/11 Commission Report being "fiction," Philip Merrill assassinated, Clinton working for Murdoch, Camp Falcon coverup, shredding trucks outside Cheney's residence ... and that's from the few weeks I've read wonkette since the Foley news broke. I wish all the Washington media was so conventional.

11/02/2006 10:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the circumstances of our world, how are we to deal with the negative feelings. How should we cope with the negativity and tension?
Usually these things come from stress and unhappiness. Stress comes from unwelcome pressures. Unhappiness comes from unfulfilled desires. The results are negative feelings. The negativity is just a symptom of the deeper cause. The deeper cause is wanting our own will, or self-will. Our self-will is that we want to be happy by having things as we want them to be. But that kind of happiness is always a carrot on a stick. Sooner of later it always leads to disappointment. Disappointment turns into unhappiness. Unhappiness turns into bitterness and resentment. All that is the source of negativity.

So negativity is not surprising, because it is very human for us all to have disappointments, frustrations, resentments and anger, and ultimately even bitterness. In fact, we must be careful because bitterness can produce hate, and hate is very wrong.

The world teaches that the ‘cure’ for negativity is “positive thinking”. But this is a lie. Unhappiness is like having a psychic debt. Having more emotional expenses than we can pay. Positive thinking is artificial. It is like taking out a loan on future happiness, but it will only increase our debt. Because positive thinking is still based on self-will. And self-will is an illusion. It will only make us even more disappointed in the end. Positive thinking is really just pretending, and pretending is fake.

So what is the real root of the problem? Self-will. And self-will comes from not trusting God in faith. In other words we think our will is more important than God’s will, because we don’t believe God is doing what is best for us. So the real source of unhappiness is human frustration coming from not being in harmony with God.

What is the answer to this problem?
First we have to believe in God. True belief in God induces us to repent of sin, which God convicts us of. The sacrifice of Jesus on the cross for the remission of our sins is proof of God's desire for our eternal wellbeing.

Then we have to trust God is working for what is best in his infinite wisdom, which is a fair ways beyond our human wisdom. This means we have to be patient, because we cannot jump through time. So we have to trust God. This means trusting that he cares about us, even if he doesn’t set everything right at this time as we would wish. If we trust in God and accept his will, then we can be in harmony with God. When we are in harmony with God, he can begin to ‘speak’ to our understanding and guide us in the things that really matter. Then we forget about what we want, and instead we follow God’s guidance to do his will instead of our own. That way we live for God’s purpose instead of for our self. This fills us with God’s spirit, His Presence, which is inner peace. This is spiritual peace, which is far better than outer happiness and excitement. That outer happiness and excitement comes and goes depending on whether our satisfactions are met or not. But the peace of God can be with us at all times, and leads us into deeper and deeper wisdom. Godly peace and wisdom is the true solution to negativity. Godly peace and wisdom is always accompanied by God’s love. This is the true love all people would want, but do not know how to find. Because this love does not come from the desires of the world. This love comes only from God and is what he wants us to come to know. Deep peace, real wisdom, and true love. All of this does not come from the things in the world, but from God. This is God’s real desire for us. That we walk with him, even though we are yet in this world. This is what it really means to believe in Jesus. Not to just go to church and clap our hands. Anyone can do that. If we forget our self-will then we can walk with Jesus every day, who said he is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
The Peace, the Wisdom, and the Love, … is Jesus.

So please realize that unhappiness and negativity actually have a purpose – to show us that we cannot find lasting joy from the things in this world. This is so that we can make the choice to abandon our self-will, and learn to know God.

11/03/2006 12:15:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

" So what is the real root of the problem? Self-will. And self-will comes from not trusting God in faith. In other words we think our will is more important than God’s will, because we don’t believe God is doing what is best for us. So the real source of unhappiness is human frustration coming from not being in harmony with God.

What is the answer to this problem?
First we have to believe in God. True belief in God induces us to repent of sin, which God convicts us of. The sacrifice of Jesus on the cross for the remission of our sins is proof of God's desire for our eternal wellbeing.

Then we have to trust God is working for what is best in his infinite wisdom, which is a fair ways beyond our human wisdom. This means we have to be patient, because we cannot jump through time. So we have to trust God. This means trusting that he cares about us, even if he doesn’t set everything right at this time as we would wish. If we trust in God and accept his will, then we can be in harmony with God. When we are in harmony with God, he can begin to ‘speak’ to our understanding and guide us in the things that really matter. Then we forget about what we want, and instead we follow God’s guidance to do his will instead of our own. That way we live for God’s purpose instead of for our self. This fills us with God’s spirit, His Presence, which is inner peace. This is spiritual peace, which is far better than outer happiness and excitement. That outer happiness and excitement comes and goes depending on whether our satisfactions are met or not. But the peace of God can be with us at all times, and leads us into deeper and deeper wisdom. Godly peace and wisdom is the true solution to negativity. Godly peace and wisdom is always accompanied by God’s love. This is the true love all people would want, but do not know how to find. Because this love does not come from the desires of the world. This love comes only from God and is what he wants us to come to know. Deep peace, real wisdom, and true love. All of this does not come from the things in the world, but from God. This is God’s real desire for us. That we walk with him, even though we are yet in this world. This is what it really means to believe in Jesus. Not to just go to church and clap our hands. Anyone can do that. If we forget our self-will then we can walk with Jesus every day, who said he is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
The Peace, the Wisdom, and the Love, … is Jesus.

So please realize that unhappiness and negativity actually have a purpose – to show us that we cannot find lasting joy from the things in this world. This is so that we can make the choice to abandon our self-will, and learn to know God."

I'd laugh, but typed laughter is so utterly halfwitted that I'd just embarass myself.

Sorry pal, the whole "God" explanation just doesn't do it for me.

I lost the last illusions about that little meme sitting in a room with 12 human cabbages for 16 hours at a pop.
Contemplating that one little itty bitty twist in the dna could sentence someone to this, quite obviously, living hell just scuppered the whole "God" deal for me.

I had one religious chap explain this all to me as God's way of punishing one of the retarded fellow's ancestors.

This fellow was my supervisor & he enjoyed dragging me into religious discussions.
I think that he was trying to save me.
One day God gave him his reward....we were in a particularly heated discussion about the Big Cahuna when the MR client he was feeding, a client who had hepatitis type B by the way, hocked a huge effing loogey in an arc into my religious 'friends' mouth.

He nearly shit himself. He must have used every bottle of mouthwash in the place.

I nearly wet myself laughing.

He was a fat pompous windbag with 6 kids & a wife, continually flapping Jesus jaws, & a hard-on for this redhead who worked with us.

He used to leave cash in her coat pocket.

Left his wife for her even though she hated his ample guts.

Eventually came crawling back to the wife on his hands & knees.

On second thought, maybe there is something to this whole God thing.

I suppose that, although the Big Wazoo may look like a malicious psychopath at times, at least He has a wicked sense of humor.

11/03/2006 12:59:00 AM  
Blogger iridescent cuttlefish said...

Thanks, Shrub!
Just to clarify--while I'd like to see hemp everywhere as much as the next guy, the reforestation project will be controversial enough as it is, so trees it is for now (much to the chagrin of my youthful volunteers, but you know how those folks are...I just can't get over the fact that I actually have volunteers. If hunger is the best cook, then who cooked this hunger for justice in these kids?)

I saw this & thought of you:

Albert Einstein once said that perfection of means and confusion of ends characterize our age. We’re so mesmerized with technology and development that we forget to ask, “Technology for what?” and “Development for whom?” We have become consumers of change, but we don’t know the difference between change and progress.

To Bertrand Russell progress is ethical and change is scientific; change is inevitable, while progress is problematic. In other words, progress is value-laden and as we change, we need to ask ourselves, “Will we progress?” We can have a green city within a brown world by moving all of our production and disposal systems very far away from our city. But to truly embrace the ecological motivation behind a green city, we must become responsible for the wastes that are generated for our convenience. And the only way to do that is to begin to return that loop of production, use and disposal, back to the community.

Marcel Proust once said that the voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes. It is in seeing our communities and our cities with new eyes, in pursuing a globe of villages and not a global village, that we begin to create a new paradigm.

(By David Morris, from Raise the Stakes: The Planet Drum Review #13, Winter 1988)

If you have the time, and/or the interest, compare This Is Your Brain on God (electromagnetically induced godhead) with My Experience of Cosmic Consciousness (good old fashioned epiphany...well, maybe there was some residual psychotropic agent involved...from TASTE, Prof Charles T. Tart's website, where such things tend to happen.) In either case, it's definitely not the God experience your friend is talking about and both are good, short reads.

11/03/2006 03:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the submitting to 'god's will' line seems, to me, in an involuted way run to Crowley-esque conclusions. I get what you're trying to say, but it's spiked and skewed. where's the discernment ?

here's a bit more on this whole god as guy-in-the-sky thing.

"...In that same interview, Huston said she believes that "contemporary America is reproducing the worst traits of Nazi Germany. I believe we are in a pretotalitarian state."

Lignes de faille -- nominated this year to the long list for France's most famous literary award, the Prix Goncourt -- is a four-part, 500-page novel, each part of which moves backward in time, from 2004 to 1982 to 1962 and, finally, to 1944-45. In each instance, Huston uses the viewpoint of a six-year-old child to tell the history of a Jewish family, starting in present-day California and working "toward" Holocaust-era Europe.

It's the first part, named after the young narrator, Sol, that prompted McArthur's concern and that of her North American agent, Rosalie Siegel. Sol, as described in La Presse, is a precocious, haughtily nasty American boy who, over the course of 128 pages, "gets turned on [carbure] by Internet pornography and images of the tortures at Iraq's infamous Abu Ghraib prison."

At one point, Sol declares: "I love to click on [images of] the dead bodies of Iraqi soldiers in the sand; it's a total slide-show." In another passage he says: "God gave this body and this spirit . . . I know that He has great plans for me, which is why he saw to it that I was born in the richest state in the richest country in the world . . . Happily, God and President Bush are good friends. I think of Heaven as being like a big state of Texas in the sky, with God wandering around his ranch in a Stetson and cowboy boots . . ."

11/03/2006 05:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ps: shrubby, I'm with you on the troops'soldier position.
but not as 'taboo'. I'd rather people would just get over it, but that's wishful thinking.
in, so-called, civil society, murder, etc, particularly the pre-meditated kind, is understood as a crime and legally sanctioned against.
so what's it called where the state sanctions and structurally provisions for it ?

11/03/2006 05:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

rain writes:

the submitting to 'god's will' line seems, to me, in an involuted way run to Crowley-esque conclusions. I get what you're trying to say, but it's spiked and skewed. where's the discernment ?

here's a bit more on this whole god as guy-in-the-sky thing.

"...In that same interview, Huston said she believes that "contemporary America is reproducing the worst traits of Nazi Germany. I believe we are in a pretotalitarian state."

And remember that the 1930s policy wonks (mentioned in the book The Plot To Seize the White House, about the attempt to kill and/or replace Roosevelt with a dictator in 1934. Failed to work due to the exposure by a loyal military officer they wanted to lead the astroturf "veterans" organization as a fascist coup.

In the 1930s, they wanted to use as a model then the French version of Nazism, the "Le Croix de Feu" (Cross of Fire) made up of commissioned and noncommissioned military officers, veterans, and citizens as a fascist "get out the vote" party.

Now, they have moved to create a different Croix de Feu, using infiltration in the evangelicals though with the same military fascist tinge. Read the quotes below. And note that the whole administrative cadre leaps right into the high level homosexual and/or pedophilia elite.

The head of the whole "New Life" wing of the evangelicals was just caught hiring out male prostitutes. When you read of the "gay porn" that adorns their whole New Life supermax prison/church, you'll perhaps see why...

The long lost cousin of Jeff, Wonkette(.com), (sarcasm) is reporting on this:

Pastor Haggard Steps Down: Is "Blowvember" the Best We Got?

Gay Pastor Haggard - Wonkette-- Ted Haggard, previously mentioned here, just fu**ing resigned from the National Association of Evangelicals due to the rumors of his employing a gay escort named Mike Jones (and doing meth).

Jones claims to have saved voicemails from the pastor, who still denies it all, but this is still weird fu**ing news.

Or, actually how really "weird" is it anymore in America, with the corporate right wing being a pedophile party instead of a conservative party, given the "Conspiracy of Silence" about the whole thing from 1980s onward, of which the Foleygate is just a tip of the whole iceberg that is still sailing merrily almost out of sight still in the shipping lanes of American politics.

It's hardly weird to find that the head of a "cell based" megachurch is like this, if the whole 'New Life' movement is CIA operation.

Some interesting quotes below from a Harper's news article processed with more rigorous intuition than they could handle in print:

To learn more about how crazy and dangerous Haggard is (even without the gay hooker bit), read this really good Harper’s piece from last year.

His "New Life" superchurch movement sounds more like a MKULTRA factory with CIA ties. As proof it goes right into the heart of the "Ukrainian Orange Revolution" which was staged by the CIA to topple the Ukraine. That pastor recently taken down in the male prostitute scandal brags earlier in the Harper's piece that 'his New Life people' were involved in that "Orange Revolution". That's interesting because the CIA has been tied with that as well.

Title: Ukraine: US Orwellian "well planned drama" of IMF/CIA/NED coup as "grassroots democracy"
Date: 2004.12.02 01:30
Description: Ukraine, perfection of Orwellian "well planned drama" media perception around IMF/CIA/NED coup as a "grass roots democratic reform"; how it's done --- "Among the numerous Western foundations, the [Orwellian named] National Endowment for Democracy (NED), although not officially part of the CIA, performs an important intelligence function in shaping party politics in the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe and around the World. [NED additionally involved in funding of Venezuelan coup against Chavez.] NED was created in 1983, when the CIA was being accused of covertly bribing politicians and setting up phony civil society front organizations. According to Allen Weinstein, who was responsible for establishing the NED during the Reagan Administration: "A lot of what we [NED] do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA." (Washington Post, Sept. 21, 1991). --- "Pora's posters plastered all over Ukraine DEPICT A JACKBOOT crushing a beetle, an allegory of what Pora wants to do to its opponents. It was like this during Nazi-occupied Ukraine,...Nobody in the West has said anything against these posters. Pora continues to be presented [by CNN] as an innocent band of students having fun. But it is an organization created and financed by Washington, as were sister organizations in Serbia and Georgia, Otpor and Kmara." --- "It is claimed that officially the US government spent US$41 million to fund the year-long operation to get rid of Milosevich from October 1999. In Ukraine, the figure is said to be about $14 million so far."

And, as mentioned here, "Back in the USSR: CIA 'helpful' in Florida, Ukraine elections," Daniel Hopsicker presents us with a little look deeper into Ukraine and Florida,....A retired CIA agent, whose illegal and unfettered access to election rolls in Martin County Florida was a major source of legal contention after the 2000 Election, traveled to the Ukraine four years earlier to teach "grass-roots politics" to people there, The MadCowMorningNews has learned.


In a bitterly ironic twist, Charles Kane, former Director of Security at the Central Intelligence Agency, and member of the Florida Republican Executive Committee, spent four days in Kiev, the capital of the former Soviet republic, hosting training sessions for Ukrainian political parties in 1996.

Institute officials chose Kane to go to the Ukraine, according to the February 20, 1996, Stuart/Port St. Lucie News, apparently straight-faced, "because of his experience in grass-roots campaigns."

Four years later, Kane's credentials as a proponent of democracy were receiving much closer scrutiny...

"Kane's efforts were part of a sinister underground conspiracy to help Bush," Edward Stafman, attorney for the Martin County challengers told the Associated Press on December 7, 2000.

So you have "retired" CIA's Kane--the freaking ex-Director of Security at the Central Intelligence Agency--working with New Life evangelicals to overthrow governments in Ukraine.

And the way they train them in the U.S.A. they are likely going to be the astroturf tilted field to the corporate fascism the Bush regime wants to use to destroy the United States as well. They failed in the 1930s, though they are well on their way with turning evangelicals into American hating fascists.

For instance, just quoting that Harper's piece for the elisions of military, hierarchy, corporate control of political campaign slogans, and religious ideology, in "New Life", New Life seems like a future CIA astroturf for the "Orange Revolution" in the planning for the U.S.

The whole "New Life" thing below screams Illuminati implant into the evangelical wing.

Historically, if you know anything about the Bahai 'faith' and its mix of religious cult and internationalism, its Machievellian elite led politics, you will see this clearly as "Bahai, Part II"--though with a decided "freikorps" tinge with "cell structured" churches adopted from South Korea; Rev. Moon mass weddings; Mormonist theocratic sentiment; encouraging male homosexuality just as the Nazi party gloss--all rolled into one.

Every imaginable cult recruitment and entrainment technique of the past 50 years is being merged into New Life.


The story they found in Colorado is about newness: new houses, new roads, new stores. And about oldness, imagined: what is thought to be the traditional way of life...

The city's mightiest megachurch crests silver and blue atop a gentle slope of pale yellow prairie grass on the outskirts of town. Silver and blue, as it happens, are Air Force colors. New Life Church was built far north of town in part so it would be visible from the Air Force Academy. New Life wanted that kind of character in its congregation.

“Church” is insufficient to describe the [technological marvel that the cult] complex [is]. There is a permanent structure called the Tent, which regularly fills with hundreds or thousands of teens and twentysomethings for New Life's various youth gatherings. Next to the Tent stands the old sanctuary, a gray box capable of seating 1,500; this juts out into the new sanctuary, capacity 7,500, already too small. At the complex's western edge is the World Prayer Center, which looks like a great iron wedge driven into the plains. The true architectural wonder of New Life, however, is the pyramid of authority into which it orders its 11,000 members. At the base are 1,300 cell groups, whose leaders answer to section leaders, who answer to zone, who answer to district, who answer to Pastor Ted Haggard, New Life's founder [and the guy hiring male prostitutes and visiting the Bush White House directly--small world, I'm sure they had a lot to talk about i.e., Gannon.].

Pastor Ted, who talks to President George W. Bush or his advisers every Monday, is a handsome forty-eight-year-old Indianan, most comfortable in denim. He likes to say that his only disagreement with the President is automotive; Bush drives a Ford pickup, whereas Pastor Ted loves his Chevy. In addition to New Life, Pastor Ted presides over the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), whose 45,000 churches and 30 million believers make up the nation's most powerful religious lobbying group, and also over a smaller network of his own creation, the Association of Life-Giving Churches, 300 or so [MKULTRA?] congregations modeled on New Life's “free market” approach to the divine.

....others call Colorado Springs the “evangelical Vatican,” a phrase that says much both about the city and about the easeful orthodoxy with which the movement now views itself....They produce missionary guides, “family resources,” school curricula, financial advice, athletic training programs, Bibles for every occasion. The city is home to Young Life, to the Navigators, to Compassion International; to Every Home for Christ and Global Ethnic Missions (Youth Ablaze). Most prominent among the ministries is Dr. James Dobson's Focus on the Family, whose radio programs (the most extensive in the world, religious or secular), magazines, videos, and books reach more than 200 million people worldwide.


When Bush invited him to the Oval Office to discuss policy with seven other chieftains of the Christian right in late 2003, Pastor Ted regaled his whole congregation with the story via email. “Well, on Monday I was in the World Prayer Center”—New Life's high-tech, twenty-four-hour-a-day prayer chapel —“and my cell phone rang.” It was a presidential aide; “the President,” says Pastor Ted, wanted him on hand for the signing of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act. Pastor Ted was on a plane the next morning and in the President's office the following afternoon.


....what Pastor Ted has built in Colorado Springs is not just a battalion of spiritual warriors but a factory for ideas to arm them.


....He was always on the lookout for spies. At the time, Colorado Springs was a small city split between the Air Force and the New Age, and the latter, Pastor Ted believed, worked for the devil. Pastor Ted soon began upsetting the devil's plans. He staked out gay bars, inviting men to come to his church; his whole congregation pitched itself into invisible battles with demonic forces, sometimes in front of public buildings. One day, while he was working in his garage, a woman who said she'd been sent by a witches' coven tried to stab Pastor Ted with a five-inch knife she pulled from a leg sheath; Pastor Ted wrestled the blade out of her hand. He let that story get around. He called the evil forces that dominated Colorado Springs—and every other metropolitan area in the country—“Control.”

...He moved the church to a strip mall. There was a bar, a liquor store, New Life Church, a massage parlor. His congregation spilled out and blocked the other businesses. He set up chairs in the alley. He strung up a banner: SIEGE THIS CITY FOR ME, signed JESUS. He assigned everyone in the church names from the phone book they were to pray for. He sent teams to pray in front of the homes of supposed witches—in one month, ten out of fifteen of his targets put their houses on the market. His congregation “prayer-walked” nearly every street of the city.

....Some Sundays traffic backs up from the church half a mile in all four directions. The congregation creeps up the highways. When parents finally pull into a space amidst the thousands of cars packed into a gray ocean of lot, their kids tumble out and dash toward the five silver pillars of the entrance to New Life, eager to slide across the expanse of tiled floor, to run circles around “The Defender,” a massive bronze of a glowering angel, its muscular wings in full flex, arms at the zenith of what will undoubtedly be a smiting blow of his broad sword....

....“Fort Victory,” whose rooms are designed to look like an Old West cavalry outpost, the kind they used to fight real live Indians, back when Colorado still had Indians to conquer and convert.

...New Lifers always turn to metaphors to describe their church and their city, between which they make little distinction. It is like a “training camp” in that its young men and women go forth on “missions.” It is like a “bomb” in that it “explodes,” “gifting” the rest of us with its fallout: revival, which is to say, “values,” which is to say, “the Word,” which is to say, as so many there do, “a better way of life.”)

At the heart of the sanctuary rises a four-sided stage, and above the stage a great assemblage of machinery hovers, wrapped in six massive video screens. A woman near me compared it to Ezekiel's vision of a metallic angel, circular and “full of eyes all around.” When the lights went down and the screens buzzed to life, the sanctuary turned a soft, silvery blue. Then the six screens filled with faces of tribute, paying homage to New Life and Pastor Ted: a senator, a congressman, Colorado's lieutenant governor, the city's mayor, and Tony Perkins, Dobson's enforcer on Capitol Hill; denominational chieftains, such as Thomas E. Trask, “general superintendent” of the 51 million worldwide members of the Assemblies of God; and a succession of minor nobles from the nation's megachurches. These I know now by numbers: Church of the Highlands, in Alabama, pastored by a New Life alumnus from 34 to 2,500 souls in the last four years; a New Life look-alike in Biddeford, Maine, that has multiplied to 5,000; Rocky Mountain Calvary, the New Life neighbor that has swelled in a decade from a handful to 6,000.

....A skinny, chinless man with a big, tenor voice, Ross Parsley, directed the musicians and the crowd, leading us and them and the choir as the guitarists kicked on the fuzz and the drummer pounded the music toward arena-rock frenzy. Two fog machines on each side of the stage filled the sanctuary with white clouds. Pod-shaped projectors cast a light show across the ceiling, giant spinning white snowflakes and cartwheeling yellow flowers and a shimmering blue water-effect. “Prepare the way!” shouted Worship Pastor Ross. “Prepare the way! The King is coming!” Across the stage teens began leaping straight up, a dance that swept across the arena: kids hopped, old men hopped, middle-aged women hopped. Spinners wheeled out from the ranks and danced like dervishes...

Then the music and video quickened as the camera rose to meet the new sanctuary. Images spliced and jumped over one another: thousands of New Lifers holding candles, and dozens skydiving, and Pastor Ted, Bible in hand, blond head thrust forward above the Good Book, smiling, finger-shaking, singing, more smiling. (His nose is snubby and his brow overhung, lending him an impishness crucial to the smile's success; without that edge he would look not happy but stoned.) Now Pastor Ted, wearing a puffy ski jacket in red, white, and blue, took us to the suburban ranch house where he stayed on his fateful visit to Colorado Springs; then on to another suburban ranch house, nearly indistinguishable, where Pastor Ted made plans for the church. Then to a long succession of one-story corporate office spaces and strip-mall storefronts, the “sanctuaries” Pastor Ted rented as his congregation grew, each identical to the last but for the greater floor space.

...Pastor Hayford wants to “wedge” an idea in our minds. The idea is “Order.” The illustration is the Book of Revelation's description of four creatures surrounding Christ's throne. “The first . . . was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying angel.” Look! said Pastor Hayford, his voice sonorous and dignified. “All wonderful, all angels.”The angels were merely different from one another. Just, he said, as we have different “ethnicities.” And just as we have, in politics, a “hierarchy.” And just as we have, in business, “different responsibilities,” employer and employees. Angels, ethnicities, hierarchy, employers and employees—each category must follow a natural [sic] order.

After church, I walked across the parking lot to the World Prayer Center, where I watched prayers scroll over two giant flat-screen televisions while a young man played piano. The Prayer Center—a joint effort of several fundamentalist organizations but located at and presided over by New Life—houses a bookstore that when I visited was called the Arsenal (its name has since been changed to Solomon's Porch), as well as “corporate” prayer rooms, personal “prayer closets,” hotel rooms, and the headquarters of Global Harvest, a ministry dedicated to “spiritual warfare.” (The Prayer Center's nickname in the fundamentalist world is “spiritual NORAD.”) The atrium is a soaring foyer adorned with the flags of the nations and guarded by another bronze warrior angel, a scowling, bearded type with massive biceps and, again, a sword. The angel's pedestal stands at the center of a great, eight-pointed compass laid out in muted red, white, and blue-black stone. Each point directs the eye to a contemporary painting, most depicting gorgeous, muscular men—one is a blacksmith, another is bound, fetish-style, in chains—in various states of undress. My favorite is The Vessel, by Thomas Blackshear, a major figure in the evangelical-art world.[2] Here in the World Prayer Center is a print of The Vessel, a tall, vertical panel of two nude, ample-breasted, white female angels team-pouring an urn of honey onto the shaved head of a naked, olive-skinned man below. The honey drips down over his slab-like pecs and his six-pack abs into the eponymous vessel, which he holds in front of his crotch. But the vessel can't handle that much honey, so the sweetness oozes over the edges and spills down yet another level, presumably onto our heads, drenching us in golden, godly love. Part of what makes Blackshear's work so compelling is precisely its unabashed eroticism; it aims to turn you on...

...Or this one from “Lauralee” of Vermont: If you never pray for anyone else, please choose this one! I'm in such pain I think I'm going to die; pray a healing MIRACLE for me for kidney problems (disease? failure?); I'm so alone; no insurance!

One might be tempted to see an implicit class politics in that last point, but to join the Prayer Team one must promise to refrain from explicitly political prayer. That is reserved for the professionals. The Prayer Team screen, whether viewed at the center or on a monitor at home, is split between “Individual Focus Requests,” such as the above, and “Worldwide Focus” requests, which are composed by the staff of the World Prayer Center. Sometimes these are domestic—USA: Pray for the Arlington Group, pastors working with Whitehouse to renew Marriage Amendm. Pray for appts. of new justices. Pray for Pastor meetings with Amb. of Israel, and President Bush. Lord, let them speak only your words, represent YOU! Bless! But more often they are international— N. KOREA: Pray God will crush demonic stronghold and communist regime of Kim Jung Il.

....The most common Iraq-related prayer requests, however, are strategic in the most worldly sense, such as this one: Baghdad—God, press back the enemy . . .

Behind the piano player, the front range of the Rocky Mountains stretched across a floor-to-ceiling, semicircular window with a 270-degree view. Above him, a globe fifteen feet in diameter rotated on a metal spindle. When he took a break, I sat with him in the front row. His name was Jayson Tice, he was twenty-five, and he worked at Red Lobster. He'd grown up in San Diego and once, he said, he'd been good enough to play Division I college basketball. But he broke his ankle, and because the Marines promised him court time, he joined. There didn't turn out to be much basketball for him in the Marines, just what he described as “making bombs and missiles,” so he didn't recommit, and decided to start over in a new city. His mother had moved to Colorado Springs, so Jayson and his girlfriend did, too; his mother left after three months, but Jayson had already decided that God, not his mother, had called him to the mountains. He discovered that a lot of the people he knew, working as waiters or store clerks or at one of the Air Force bases, felt the same way.

“Colorado Springs,” Jayson told me, “this particular city, this one city, is a battleground”—he paused—“between good and evil. This is spiritual Gettysburg.” Why here? I asked. He thought about it and rephrased his answer. “This place is just a watering hole for Christians. For God's people. Something extra powerful's about to pour out of this city. I hope not to stay in Colorado Springs, because I want to spread what's going on here. I'm a warrior, dude. I'm a warrior for God. Colorado Springs is my training ground.”

“There was,” Pastor Ted said one afternoon in his office, “a significant influence exerted on the last election by Colorado Springs.” He was meeting with me and another reporter, an Australian from a financial paper.

“You mean,” the Australian asked, “almost like a force going out from Colorado Springs?”

A force—Pastor Ted liked that. He smiled and offered other examples. His favorite was the Ukraine, where, he claimed, a sister church to New Life had led the protests that helped sweep the pro-Western candidate into power. Kiev is, in fact, home to Europe's largest evangelical church, and over the last dozen years the Ukrainian evangelical population has grown more than tenfold, from 250,000 to 3 million.


And remember: A retired CIA agent, whose illegal and unfettered access to election rolls in Martin County Florida was a major source of legal contention after the 2000 Election, traveled to the Ukraine four years earlier to teach "grass-roots politics" to people there, The MadCowMorningNews has learned. In a bitterly ironic twist, Charles Kane, former Director of Security at the Central Intelligence Agency, and member of the Florida Republican Executive Committee, spent four days in Kiev, the capital of the former Soviet republic, hosting training sessions for Ukrainian political parties in 1996. Institute officials chose Kane to go to the Ukraine, according to the February 20, 1996, Stuart/Port St. Lucie News, apparently straight-faced, "because of his experience in grass-roots campaigns."


According to Ted, it was this army of Christian capitalists that took to the streets. “They're pro-free markets, they're pro-private property,” he said. “That's what evangelical stands for.”

...By “worthwhile projects” Ted means building funds and soup kitchens alike. It's not that he opposes these; it's just that he is sick of hearing about them...

New Lifers, Pastor Ted writes with evident pride, “like the benefits, risks, and maybe above all, the excitement of a free-market society.” They like the stimulation of a new brand. “Have you ever switched your toothpaste brand, just for the fun of it?” Pastor Ted asks. Admit it, he insists. All the way home, you felt a “secret little thrill,” as excited questions ran through your mind: “Will it make my teeth whiter? My breath fresher?” This is the sensation Ted wants pastors to bring to the Christian experience. He believes it is time “to harness the forces of free-market capitalism in our ministry.” Once a pastor does that, his flock can start organizing itself according to each member's abilities and tastes.

Which brings us back to “Order.” Key to the growth of evangelicalism during the last twenty years has been a social structure of “cell groups” that allows churches to grow endlessly while maintaining orthodoxy in their ranks. New Life, for instance, has 1,300 cell groups, or “small groups,” as Pastor Ted prefers to call them. Such a structure is not native to Colorado Springs; in fact, most evangelicals attribute it to Pastor Paul Cho, of South Korea, who has built a congregation of 750,000 using the cell-group structure. American megachurches that have adopted the cell model unaltered have had only partial success.

Pastor Ted's insight was in adapting this system for the affluence of the United States. South Korea, he notes, is on the “front lines” in the war against communism, “so they needed a strong chain-of-command system.” But not so Americans. “Free-market globalization” has made us so free, he realized, that an American cell-group system could be mature enough to function just like a market. One of Pastor Ted's favorite books is Thomas Friedman's The Lexus and the Olive Tree, which is now required reading for the hundreds of pastors under Ted's spiritual authority across the country. From Friedman, Pastor Ted says he learned that everything, including spirituality, can be understood as a commodity. And unregulated trade, he concluded, was the key to achieving worldly freedom.

Free-market economics is a “truth” Ted says he learned in his first job in professional Christendom, as a Bible smuggler in Eastern Europe. Globalization, he believes, is merely a vehicle for the spread of Christianity.

...And that is why he believes spiritual war requires a virile, worldly counterpart. “I teach a strong ideology of the use of power,” he says, “of military might, as a public service.” He is for preemptive war, because he believes the Bible's exhortations against sin set for us a preemptive paradigm, and he is for ferocious war, because “the Bible's bloody. There's a lot about blood.”

Linda Burton was “specifically called by God” to Colorado Springs seventeen years ago, though at the time she thought that she was only running from a crack-addicted man who beat her.

Linda was not a Christian at the time. She had married young and moved west; after her divorce, there had been many men, an abortion. With the man who beat her she fathered a son, whom she named Aaron Michael, the “strong right hand of God.” Linda took the baby and fled to Colorado Springs, which she remembered as pure and clean from a vacation she and the ex had once taken. She worked two jobs, one waiting tables at the best hotel in town, the other at Red Lobster. A friend at the hotel invited her to New Life, where she learned how her troubles were the result of demons and how to cast them out. Now Linda is an insurance agent, and she and Aaron Michael live in a suburban home. She hears voices, but they do not disturb her. “The Holy Spirit is a gentleman,” she told me one morning over a basket of cinnamon muffins still warm from the oven.

Sitting across from me in her kitchen, she closed her big brown eyes and shushed herself. “I'm listening,” she said quietly.

“To the TV?” I asked. In the next room, Aaron Michael was watching an action movie; the house was filled with the sound of explosions.

“No,” said Linda. “To my Spirit.” She opened her eyes and explained the process she had undergone to reach her refined state. She called it “spiritual restoration.” Anyone can do it, she promised, “even a gay activist.” Linda had seen with her own eyes the sex demons that make homosexuals rebel against God, and she said they are gruesome; but she did not name them, for she would not “give demons glory.” They are all the same, she said.[3] “It's radicalism.”

She reached across the table and touched my hand. “I have to tell you, the spiritual battle is very real.” We are surrounded by demons, she explained, reciting the lessons she had learned in her small-group studies at New Life. The demons are cold, they need bodies, they long to come inside. People let them in in two different ways. One is to be sinned against. “Molested,” suggested Linda. The other is to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. You could walk by sin—a murder, a homosexual act—and a demon will leap onto your bones. Cities, therefore, are especially dangerous.

It is not so much the large populations, with their uneasy mix of sinner and saved, that make Christian conservatives leery of urban areas. Even downtown Colorado Springs, presumably as godly as any big town in America, struck the New Lifers I met as unclean. Whenever I asked where to eat, they would warn me away from downtown's neat little grid of cafés and ethnic joints. Stick to Academy, they'd tell me, referring to the vein of superstores and prepackaged eateries—P. F. Chang's, California Pizza Kitchen, et al.—that bypasses the city. Downtown, they said, is “confusing.”

...the anti-urban sentiments of modern fundamentalists...

Three years ago, in the 2002 elections, Christian conservatives swept Georgia, the last Democratic bastion in the South. They toppled an incumbent Democratic governor, a war-hero Democratic senator, the state House speaker, the Democratic leader of the state Senate, and his son, the Democratic candidate for Congress in a majority black district that state Democrats had drawn up especially for him. The new Republican senator, Saxby Chambliss, and the new governor, Sonny Perdue, [THE 'REPUBLICAN' GOVERNMENT WAS ACTUALLY IMPLANTED IN GEORGIA BY VOTE FRAUD DUE TO DIEBOLD--AN ALREADY CERTIFIED TOTAL "CHANGED" OVERNIGHT; THE REPUBLICANS WERE IN BY THE MORNING.] both conservatives and Christian, won not on “moral values” but on an exurban platform. The mastermind behind the coup was Ralph Reed, once of the Christian Coalition, who had been reborn as Georgia's Republican chairman. Reed remains a fundamentalist, the same man who once tested employees' commitment to “Christian values” by asking them if they supported the death penalty for adultery, but he was too canny to talk like that in public....

[The whole thing is set up to demote urban politics, a well planned operation by elites:]

This troika of exurban ambition worked on multiple levels. Just as Nixon used marijuana and heroin in the 1960s as code for hippies and blacks, Reed devised a platform that conflated ordinary personal goals with fundamentalist values. “Shorter commutes” is a ploy that any old-time ward heeler would recognize. It means: let's move the good jobs out of the city. Atlanta, like Colorado Springs, has an urban core that Christian conservatives would just as soon see wither. “More time with family,” of course, extends that promise of exurban jobs but also speaks in code to the fundamentalist preoccupation with “family”—that is, with defining it, with excluding not just gay couples but any combination not organized around “biblical” principles of “male headship.”

As for “lower mortgages,” they are lower in exurbs because cities subsidize them. The city pays the taxes that build the sewers and the roads for the exurbs. The city provides the organization that makes it possible. Exurbs are parasites. And what else does “lower mortgages” mean? More land. More space between you and your neighbors. And this, too, is necessary for Christian conservatism, which depends on the absence of conflict as one of its main selling points. For all its talk of community, it is wary of community's main asset: the conflict, and the resulting cultural innovation, born of proximity. But such cultural innovation is death to today's Christian conservatism, which tosses a gauzy veil of tradition over the big-box consumerism of its megachurches.

As contemporary fundamentalism has become an exurban movement, it has reframed the question of theodicy—if God is good, then why does He allow suffering?—as a matter of geography....

This exurban exile is not an escape to easy living, to barbecue and lawn care. “We [Christians] have lost every major city in North America,” Pastor Ted writes in his 1995 book Primary Purpose, but he believes they can be reclaimed through prayer—“violent, confrontive prayer.”

He encourages believers to obtain maps of cities and to identify “power points” that “strengthen the demonic activities.” He suggests especially popular bars, as well as “cult-type” churches.

“Sometimes,” he writes, “particular government buildings . . . are power points.” The exurban position is one of strategic retreat, where believers are to “plant” their churches as strategic outposts encircling the enemy.

I returned to the World Prayer Center on Wednesday for a church staff meeting. The meeting of more than 100 employees began with “worship”—which means it started with a band, one of New Life's many “worship teams” of musicians. This one was composed of students in New Life's Worship and Praise School, a one-year college-credit program created to train and staff churches around the country.

....The idea of applying market economics to religion originated not within evangelicalism, nor even in the petri dishes of the laissez-faire think tanks in D.C., but with a sociologist from the University of Washington named Rodney Stark, whose work has won a broad readership beyond his discipline. Stark (who now teaches at Baylor, a Baptist university in Texas) and various collaborators began interpreting religious-affiliation data through the lens of neoliberal market theory in the 1980s.

The very best sort of religious economy, insists Stark, is one unregulated...

...propagated his ideas through the cell-group structure. On the surface, at least, the evangelical enthusiasm for Stark's work might seem somewhat puzzling. Certainly Stark does celebrate the entrepreneurial, “ultra-conservative” church as the engine of religious vigor. And yet he also seems to promise fundamentalists that their eventual fate will be moderation, or pluralistic irrelevance, or both.

....In devising New Life's small-group system, Pastor Ted says that he asked himself and his staff a simple question: Do you like your neighbors? And, for that matter, do you even know your neighbors? The answers he got—the Golden Rule to the contrary—were “Not really” and “No.” Okay, said Pastor Ted, so why would you want to be in a small group with them [or identify with public things]? His point was that arbitrary small groups would make less sense than self-selected groups....

But Pastor Ted's true genius lies in his organizational hierarchy, which ensures ideological rigidity even as it allows for individual expression. Not just anyone can lead a small group, much less a section; a battery of personality and spiritual tests must be undergone....

...since New Life's cell groups don't limit themselves to Bible study, they function as covert evangelizing engines. In return, what Pastor Ted has given his flock are lifestyle choices.

Commander Tom Parker and his family live a long way from New Life, far south in a neighborhood of postage-stamp yards and houses without foundations. Commander Tom used to make computer chips; his wife is a maid. Their living room is two couches a leg-stretch apart, with Commander Tom's recliner between. An upright piano, painted red-and-white, is backed against one wall; a TV, no longer much used, squats against the other. When I visited, Commander Tom's wife stayed in the kitchen, but his son, Junior Commander T.J., joined us in the living room. The two men—T.J. is only fifteen, but he's been bar mitzvahed, about which more in a moment—owe their officer's ranks to the Royal Rangers, a Christian alternative to the Boy Scouts. The largest “outpost” of the Rangers in the country, 475 boys and men, rallies at New Life. [rut roh...]

Royal Rangers wear khaki military uniforms and black ties. They study rope craft and smallbore shooting and “American Cultures.” There is a badge for “Atomic Energy,” which boys can earn by making scale models of a nuclear reactor.

...T.J. doesn't meet many girls. He is homeschooled, his “hobby” is reading, and most of his out-of-the-house hours are dedicated to the Rangers, an all-male organization. T.J.'s purity ring, which he wears on a delicate silver chain, is a symbol of his commitment to virginity until marriage. It was given to him two years ago by Commander Tom on the occasion of T.J.'s bar mitzvah.

The bar mitzvah was Commander Tom's idea. A heavyset man with glasses and a mustache, Commander Tom decided his son deserved a ritual to mark his entrance into manhood, just like the Jewish people have. T.J. took as his text not a portion of Torah but the song “Shine,” by a Christian rock band...

When T.J. was coming up in the Rangers, little boys started as “Straight Arrows” and proceeded from there to “Buckaroos.” ....they dream of becoming Buckskin Men. “The problem,” said T.J., “is that it takes time and money. Because you have to make an outfit. And it has to be out of leather.”

Commander Tom returned to the moment. “I'm not even saying I know what to do with it. It's just—that's what I see. And I pray. There's something going on here, and God's gonna explode it. There's gonna be an explosion from here bigger than anyone's ever seen.”

“Who's the Balrog?” I asked, referring to a demon that nearly kills Gandalf, the Lord of the Rings's heroic wizard. I expected Commander Tom to reply with the usual enemies, “the culture” and the homosexuals and the humanists.

...unanticipated effect; the city's Jews, as it turns out, were not pleased to find New Testaments in their driveways a few days after Hanukkah.) The cover image of Our City, God's Word is a surreal photo collage in which the Air Force Academy chapel—a row of silver, daggerlike structures that is probably the cruelest-looking church in America—is superimposed over office buildings and snow-draped Rockies.

When I walked in, an hour late, they were talking about Christian film criticism—whether such a thing could, or should, exist. Then they talked about the tsunami and wondered with concern whether any of the city's preachers would try to score points off it. When I mentioned that Pastor Ted already had, they cringed. I told them that at the previous Sunday's full-immersion baptism service, Pastor Ted had noted that the waves hit the “number-one exporter of radical Islam,” Indonesia. “That's not a judgment,” he'd announced. “It's an opportunity.” I told them of similar analyses from Pastor Ted's congregation: one man said that he wished he could “get in there” among the survivors, since their souls were “ripe,” and another told me he was “psyched” about what God was “doing with His ocean.” “That's not funny,” one woman said, and the room fell silent.

I told James about a little man I had met in the hallway at New Life who, when I said I was from New York City, said, simply, “Ka-boom!” I told him also about Joseph Torrez, a New Lifer I had eaten dinner with, who, when describing the evangelical gathering underway in Colorado Springs, compared it to “Shaquille O'Neal driving down the lane, dunking on you.”

Torrez had said, “It's time to choose sides,” a refrain I had heard over and over again during my time in Colorado Springs.

“So which is it?” I asked. “Which side are you on? Theirs? Are you ready to declare war on me, on my city?”


The morning service on the second Sunday of 2005 was devoted to the marriage of Pastor Ted's eldest son, Pastor Marcus. It began with worship, just like an ordinary service, but the light show was a royal purple-and-gold, the hymns more formal, the dancing more ecstatic. I sat with Linda Burton in the front row; she curtsied and bowed, over and over, her right hand sweeping the carpeted floor.

....The Woman must take on her man's calling, her man's desire.

“Mmm-hmmm,” murmured Linda, eyes closed.

In return, Pastor Ted continued, the Woman gets the Man's love; authority just wants to serve. “Total surrender!” he called. “True or false?”

“TRUE!” answered the 8,000 assembled.


“The Christian home,” preached Pastor Ted, “is to be in a constant state of war.” This made many so happy they put their hands in the air, antennae for spirit transmissions. “Massive warfare!” Ted cried out.

The language of the Christian right was, I realized, hardening, collapsing. “Spiritual war,” a metaphor as old as the Gospels, has been invoked for the sake of power before—the Crusades, the conquest of the Americas—but for most of Christian history it has been no more bellicose than “jihad,” a term that once referred primarily to internal struggle. But the imagination of the Christian right has failed, and its language has become all-encompassing, mapped across not just theology but also emotions; across not just the Church but the entire world.


Update: He also placed himself on “administrative leave” from his church. Countdown to rehab, guys. First commenter to pick the date he announces he’s headed for Hazelden wins an unspecified and possibly imaginary prize!

Haggard Stepping Down Amid Gay Affair Inquiry [Denver Post]
Earlier: Secretly Gay Evangelical Leader: “Who Is Mike Jones?”

11/03/2006 06:04:00 AM  
Blogger Sounder said...

Abraham Heschel says that there are three types of people. The first type seeks self-salvation. These folk tend to bow down to authority figures in their vain hopes. They are more often followers of the 'static' principle, or Ahriman, rather than the 'will of God'. The second type sees the self as the problem and so they seek self-abdignation. In both cases the sense of self has been perverted by an appealing pretence. The third type express themselves through fellowship. Surely more productive and inclusive than are the first two expressions of being. And more likely then to be following 'the will of God'.

11/03/2006 06:21:00 AM  
Blogger Sounder said...

What we need is an aesthetic that better illustrates the contrast between what a person says and what they in fact do.

IE the good/evil dichotomy provides shelter for evil to dress itself up as being good.

11/03/2006 07:57:00 AM  
Blogger cabdriver said...

"For a "relentlessly conventional" DC site, that Wonkette runs some interesting items"

Yeah, it's as if they started reading this blog and woke up, or something.

Or [ pause for eyeroll ] maybe they've been tasked as 'gatekeepers', beginning the end-run around Jeff...

11/03/2006 08:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanx for that anoni6:14.

has anybody else had a look at the pics of Ted and.., well maybe I'm just seeing things.. around the forehead area. still, be interested if anyone has any obsevations.
and, just curious, does anyone know if BayLife (if I remember correctly), which Zalva is involved with, is associated with NewLife ?
crap. this 'word verification'thing hates me.

11/03/2006 10:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ps: no, I get what Jeff means by 'relentlessly conventional'.
I think Wonkette's great, but there's still some subjuects you wont see covered there.
no matter: horses for courses.

11/03/2006 10:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a buddy who owns a comic shop & he is forever attempting to entice women into his store. Now I can tell him to just stock the gay pre-teen anal sex manga comics & the women folk will come running.


The ponderous glass chandeliers dim in the hotel ballroom as the emcee takes the stage in front of a chattering crowd. It's past 10 on a Saturday night, and time to give the attendees what they've been waiting for since the convention began on Friday afternoon: "fanservice."

"I know you've all been having fun so far, because there's been a lot of discussion of DICK," the announcer says, with a grin for the crowd. "There's also been some discussion of COCK. But the primary topic of discussion has been about . . . " — he holds the microphone out to the audience.

"BUTT SEX!" shriek almost 2,000 women, rearing up from their chairs. This isn't a convention of wild, wanton sodomites, however; these women aren't clamoring to perform the act themselves. Instead they want to see, read, and think about the man-on-man version.

The event is Yaoi-Con 6, an annual gathering of those who live for yaoi — Japanese comics that tell stories of beautiful young men falling desperately, passionately in love, and often having enthusiastic butt sex. The twist is that the comics are created almost entirely by women artists and writers for an audience that's primarily female, satisfying a craving that few knew existed. Each October, the most dedicated fans pay $60 for a weekend pass and often travel across the country to gather in a pair of bland hotels across from the San Francisco International Airport for "a celebration of male beauty and passion," as the convention's Web site explains it.

The genre bubbled up in the United States as an Internet-fueled, underground fan phenomenon over the past decade, and began seeping into the mainstream only in the last three years, when importers and publishers of manga — the umbrella term for Japanese comics — realized that the market was there. Since 2003, at least five new publishing companies or imprints have launched to bring English-language yaoi to the fans, and they say they can't publish quickly enough to keep up with demand.

In most stories, the boys don't identify as gay — they're just hot for each other.
The books are also becoming increasingly popular with preteens and teenagers, creating an audible split in the fan base: The word yaoi is pronounced "yah-oi" by those with some knowledge of Japanese, and "yowee" by the legions of young girls who discover it on the Internet before they've ever tasted sushi. While some older fans who've come to Yaoi-Con since its beginning in 2001 are irritated by the infusion of giggly youth, they're concerned about more than just the expansion of a previously exclusive club: Underage fans put the genre as a whole at risk. Since mainstream stores like Borders started stocking their shelves with yaoi, it's become much easier for teenagers to bring home books that look like harmless comics to their parents, but which often feature graphic sex scenes. The proliferation of young fans has already led to the shutdown of a few beloved yaoi Web sites when outraged parents figured out what their kids were looking at and started making threats

11/03/2006 10:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Education of an Anony

Just when I think things can't possibly get weirder - they do. It's time to reread Character Analysis and review the two-year old's psychological development, i.e., the anal fixation stage.

Starroute, et al, we don't have to do a thing. The miscreants are shitting all over the place and the bad stink is drawing attention to them. (Following through with this metaphor)The rest of society will no doubt be compelled to flush this excrement and clean up the place.

Meanwhile, buy stock in butt plugs.

11/03/2006 01:11:00 PM  
Blogger Charles Watkins said...

Back in '04 there was a great deal of consternation over how the exit polls could be so wrong. I expect we are in for another round of that and wonder what the pollsters may have done to avoid a repeat. There must be ways to adjust the methodology to rule out the sort of excuses used in '04.

11/03/2006 04:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Charles, surprised you missed this:

News Networks Install "Quarantine Room" For Election Night: No One Gets Out With Exit Poll Info...

Washington Post | Howard Kurtz | Posted November 1, 2006 11:58 PM

In the Senate, with fewer seats in play, the math is simpler. If one or two of the most vulnerable Republicans -- in Virginia, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee and Missouri -- win decisively, the networks will know fairly early that the Democrats won't be able to reach their magic number of six needed to take control. But even if the Democrats sweep those races -- and hold New Jersey, which is in doubt -- the networks still won't be able to forecast a Democratic takeover until enough votes are counted in Montana, where polls close at 10 p.m. Eastern. The Democrats would have to unseat Montana's embattled GOP senator, Conrad Burns, to gain control.

The biggest behind-the-scenes change in network coverage involves what has been dubbed the Quarantine Room. Determined to avoid a rerun of recent years, when its exit polls leaked out by early afternoon to the Drudge Report, Slate and other Web sites, a media consortium is allowing two people from each of the networks and the Associated Press entree to a windowless room in New York. All cellphones, laptops and BlackBerrys will be confiscated. The designated staffers will pore over the exit polls but will not be allowed to communicate with their offices until 5 p.m.

comments of note:

1. This is all a load of horshi*. The exit polls were right in ohio, Kerry did win. The traitorus criminals who "count" and then "fix" the vote count is why the exit polls were "wrong". This Network crap is just more evidence that they will try and Fix this election's count as well. I just hope it is such a landslide that it is too much for even the diebold creeps to fix. Exit polling is used throughout The WORLD to verify elections and has decades of reliability.

2. NO polls for House races....are you KIDDING me?

The fix is in folks....brace for it!

3. Why? When the Republicans and Diebold steal the elections, they will simply say exit polls are wrong. The Dems and media will say, OK.

4. Sounds like the fix is in for the repugs. Cheating, lying and stealing have become the norm for these bushpigs.

5. Exit polls have been a part of every election for years.
Now They Are Considered Leaks ? ?

What are they trying to hide in this election?

11/03/2006 05:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I understand that the act of voting is supposed to be accompanied by a sense of pride in having done your civic duty, or something similar. I vaguely remember the sensation from the first time I was considered old enough to excercise the franchise, with the '92 presidential election. Ah... Those were the days...

After a long argument with myself, I caved in and early-voted on Monday, and have felt nothing but unease about it since.

Part of me feels that I'm just lending legitimacy to a system that cannot be justified. Another part of me feels like the person who is given the choice to throw the railroad switch that decides wether the train continues down its current track, killing 20 people, or gets switched to another, killing only 15.


11/03/2006 05:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Support The Tropes", Muthafukker!

11/03/2006 06:13:00 PM  
Blogger cabdriver said...

I think there's a better than even chance that the Republicans will retain both houses of Congress. By the slimmest of majorities. That way, they reap the maximum of polarization and mutual animosity in the electorate.

What reinforces my guess is Daniel Hopsicker's investigation into the recent disclosures in the mass media concerning an alleged "Venezuelan connection" to an electronic ballot box company [read: "Chavez-directed attempt at vote fraud on behalf of the Democrats against Bush" .]

Recognize this: , once the results are tallied, there's no recourse available, no matter how obvious the fraud appears. And no Bush loyalist will ever open their mind to the possibility of vote fraud. Unless, of course, it's due to Hugo Chavez intriguing with the Democrats, against the Fearless Leader...

Read the linked Hopsicker story, before November 7, 2006. And when you do, remember, you're one of a very few.

11/04/2006 03:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good stuff, RDR. Thanks for the link.

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