...But of these sophisms and elenchs of merchandise I skill not...
Milton, Areopagitica

Except he had found the
standing sea-rock that even this last
Temptation breaks on; quieter than death but lovelier; peace
that quiets the desire even of praising it.

Jeffers, Meditation On Saviors



Surprising news:

A judge on Friday ordered the arrest of Mexico's former President Luis Echeverria for a 1968 student massacre in a surprise move just two days before a presidential election.
The judge ruled that there was enough evidence to support the charge of genocide brought against Echeverria, 84, by special prosecutor Ignacio Carrillo.
Warren Buffett, the world's second-richest person, is donating about $37 billion - more than 80 percent of his fortune - to foundations run by his friend Bill Gates and by the Buffett family.
The announcement by the 75-year-old Buffett comes just days after Microsoft Chairman Gates said he would move away from his day-to-day role at the software giant to focus more on charity work, and highlights the close friendship of the world's two richest men.

round and round

...he wore a plastic bracelet bearing the slogan "Not on our watch."
Robert B. Zoellick said today that he will leave his post as the deputy secretary of state and return to the private sector to work with the New York investment bank, Goldman Sachs.
Mr. Zoellick spent about 15 months as deputy to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, focusing on a range of diverse diplomatic tasks from Sudan peace talks to strategic talks with China.
"His extensive knowledge of international affairs will be of great importance to the firm as we continue to expand our business around the world," said Lloyd C. Blankfein, president and chief operating officer of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.
Hauser/NYTimes 19.Jun.06
"He will bring much-needed credibility to the economic message to hard-working Americans," the Democrat Max Baucus said
The head of investment bank Goldman Sachs has been given the green light by the US Senate to be the country's next treasury secretary.
No opposition was voiced to Paulson during the Senate debate and his nomination has been welcomed by both Democrats and Republicans.
Paulson is a multi-millionaire, with a personal wealth estimated at $700 million and says he will sell about $500 million of Goldman Sachs stock if confirmed as treasury secretary.
Aljazeera.Net 29.Jun.06


Clarity from the State Dept.:
re: Russian diplomats

QUESTION: Could you also tell us who is physically responsible for protection of foreign diplomatic missions and foreign diplomatic personnel?

MR. ERELI: That would be the Government of -- Iraq is a sovereign country and they're responsible for that issue.

QUESTION: Do you think it needs to be beefed up because your own -- one of your own combat commanders, General Martin Dempsey, in yesterday's Pentagon briefing -- he's responsible for training new Iraqi security forces. I'm quoting from his briefing, "It's just not appropriate yet to be thinking in terms of independent anything in Iraq. They are not independent at this point in time."

Do you think it needs to be beefed up somehow?

MR. ERELI: Well, I don't know if I --

QUESTION: (Inaudible.)

MR. ERELI: I don't know if I'd link the two -- these two cases. What Dempsey was referring to, which was, broadly speaking, the training of all of Iraq's security forces -- I mean, he said we're not there yet. Well, clearly, we're not there yet.

Daily Press Briefing
Adam Ereli, Deputy Spokesman
Washington, DC
June 28, 2006


A group of 50 pro-Israel Christian tourists came under attack Wednesday from some 100 residents of the ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Mea She'arim in Jerusalem.
Three of the tourists and a police officer were wounded
in the attack. They received treatment at the scene.
The tourists arrived at Mea She'arim wearing orange T-shirts with the words "Love your neighbor as yourself" printed across them.
...a peaceful village bearing the brunt of the Israeli occupation's policies to annex land while undermining the social and economic viability of the Bethlehem governorate. The soon to be built Apartheid wall near Al Khadr will isolate 95% of the village's lands behind the wall. The result will be to push the people of Al Khadr further towards economic ruin and poverty.
The Israeli Major General who conducted the government's investigation of the explosion stands by his conclusion that the Israeli military was not involved.
"The investigation focused on six artillery shells fired by the IDF," said the conservative Israel News Agency. "The army says it is certain five landed about 250 metres (820ft) from the beach where the Ghalia family
were sitting. One shell apparently misfired, but the explosion which ripped through the Ghalia family's picnic was at least eight minutes afterwards, the army says."
Israel has carried out about a dozen air strikes in the territory in recent days as part of a larger offensive aimed at freeing a soldier kidnapped by Palestinian militants in Gaza earlier in the week.
"Two strange phenomena have come about in Basra which I have never seen before. The first is double and triple cancers in one patient. For example, leukemia and cancer of the stomach. We had one patient with two cancers - one in his stomach and kidney. Months later, primary cancer was developing in his other kidney - he had three different cancer types. The second is the clustering of cancer in families. We have 58 families here with more than one person affected by cancer...My wife has nine members of her family with cancer."
Ninety-five percent of the mostly Fortune 500 companies polled expect to further restrict their retiree health plans over the next five years, and 14 percent plan to stop providing coverage entirely, the survey of 163 companies by benefits consultants Watson Wyatt found.
It highlighted a public 2002 UN report that specifically cited the US policy of monitoring suspicious transactions.
The searches involved millions of records
held by the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), a Belgium-based international cooperative that serves as a clearing house for transactions.
Rep. Peter Hoekstra, a Michigan Republican, said in a letter to Negroponte that intelligence officials at a June 21 press briefing organized by his office misled journalists about the significance of 500 munitions containing mustard and sarin nerve agents discovered since May 2004
"Scientists and climatologists are looking at one another and we're just stunned because no one, even in the 1990s, projected the magnitude of the storms and degree of warming in the Arctic that we are seeing," he said.
Epstein sees a clear pattern: rain has increased in the United States by 7 percent in three decades; heavy rain events of more than 2 inches (5 cm) a day are up 14 percent and storms dumping more than 4 inches (10 cm) a day rose 20 percent.
Saturday I joined some volunteers and helped gut the home of one of my best friends. Two months after she finished paying off her mortgage, her one-story brick home was engulfed in 7 feet of water. Because she was under-insured and remains worried about a repeat of the floods, my friend, a grandmother, has not yet decided if she is going to rebuild.
Just because we spend $130 billion on a bad idea doesn't mean we can ever get it to work. The latest Bush budget has $10.7 billion for Star Wars, almost twice as much as Homeland Security is spending on customs and border patrol.
The good news is that the North Korean rocket doesn't work, either. The last time they fired a long-range missile, it went 1,300 kilometers (807 miles) and could not put a payload into orbit.
Taking up a sensitive issue among religious conservatives, an influential government advisory panel Thursday recommended that 11- and 12-year-old girls be routinely vaccinated against the sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices also said the shots can be started for girls as young as 9, at the discretion of their doctors.
In the mid-1980s, India's middle class comprised just 10 percent of the population. Today, it's larger than the entire population of the United States and is predicted to grow to 445 million by the end of this decade. For 70 years, Mohandas Gandhi's myopic vision of backward-looking socialism as a template for national advancement was accepted as revealed wisdom by a string of Indian prime ministers, starting with his acolyte, Nehru.
In Mexico, as many as 200,000 people gathered Wednesday for the final campaign event for Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador ahead of Sunday’s election.
Standing before stone walls of the centuries-old National Palace, populist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador capped his phenomenal run for president by asking a pumped-up crowd of more than 200,000 people to help him put the poor first.


Moscow Blames U.S. for Russian Hostages Death in Iraq

"We are saying openly that it is either governmental institutions or coalition forces that are responsible for order," Safonov told journalists in Moscow on Tuesday.
First Vice-Speaker of the Russian State Duma, Lyubov Sliska, joined Safonov in blaming the coalition.
"We can see how the coalition forces are 'restoring order'," she said."Every day dozens of innocent people are dying, and now diplomats are geting killed, too. The responsibility for what is going on in Iraq lies upon those who sought mass destruction weapons here, but found nothing," she said.
uruknet/MosNews 27.Jun.06

"The next president of Mexico won't be the lackey of any foreign government," he said


More war - counterattack:

Despite its bluster, mainland China's military is far from being able to launch a massive amphibious invasion across 100 miles of sea to Taiwan's beaches. Instead, a rapid buildup of missiles in Fujian province, opposite Taiwan, would allow Beijing to crush Taiwan's will to resist by attacking its leaders, generals and command networks.
This is a one-shot strategy, because if the Taiwanese resist and the United States makes good on its commitment, as one would expect of it to maintain the credibility of its alliances in East Asia, then the mainland could face defeat.
Fullbrook/AsiaTimes 28.Jun.06

Molly Ivins:

"I say no. I say Karl Rove doesn't make timing mistakes. This administration thoroughly believes the media and the people have a collective recollection of no more than one day. Five days of cut'n'run, one day off and BAM, you get your own cut'n'run plan out there."


The Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency has not had a successful flight intercept test with its Ground-based Missile Defense (GMD) system for three and a half years. In the most recent two flight-intercept tests, the interceptor never got off the ground. Nevertheless the GMD system is being deployed in Alaska and California. The MDA plans 20 or 30 more developmental flight-intercept tests before they will be ready for realistic operational testing. At the current rate of success it could take over 50 years before the system was ready to be tested under realistic operational conditions.
Phillip Coyle III
David Isenberg/Asia Times


"So the way I read the picture is that Chavez has over played his hand, and people in the region are recognizing it. But look he still has a lot of oil money and a lot of influence. But I think it's a very encouraging sign as part of the general development in this region that Latin American countries are standing up for their own democracy."
Press Conference at the General Assembly of the Organization of American States by the astonishing Robert B. Zoellick, former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State
ScoopNZ 07.Jun.06

"My husband died of AIDS. I knew we should use a third-leg sock"
The programs described below illustrate some of the strategies that family planning, reproductive health, and women's organizations have developed to address various sexual health and gender issues in developing countries.
Reproductive Health Outlook (RHO)
Lessons learnt from the Sonagachi Project, India
coverage of the social, economic and political aspects of HIV and AIDS in developing countries - eldis
"Ten years ago, 1 percent of women in South Africa had contracted HIV; today the number is 25 percent. These women are living a nightmare, but we in rich countries are the ones who have to wake up. We need to develop prevention tools that can give women a chance to defend themselves."
Melinda Gates

"the prospects for long-term energy production in Venezuela, Ecuador and Mexico are currently at risk"

"People are just kind of weird with water"


Dept. of Unconscious Plagiarism:

This bit of sarcastic commentary would appear to have been lifted, unintentionally, from the George Saunders piece My Amendment (The New Yorker 08.Mar.04) - since reencountered in his book of short stories, In Persuasion Nation, which also contains the small masterpieces Christmas, and, most especially, 93990.
The author apologizes for any ensuant misattributed honor.

I know you are, but what am I?

Sterling Burnett is a senior fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis, an organization that has received over $390,000 from ExxonMobil since 1998. This afternoon on Fox, Burnett compared watching Al Gore's movie, An Inconvenient Truth, to watching a movie by Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels to learn about Nazi Germany.
...leading the charge against Byrd, including Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia, chief deputy majority whip and the House's only Jewish Republican; Ken Mehlman, chairman of the Republican National Committee, and Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, the Senate's third-ranking Republican.
Cantor issued a statement declaring that Byrd "should be ashamed to invoke the name of Adolf Hitler in his partisan attacks." The Virginia Republican accused Byrd of trivializing the Holocaust and of committing "a terrible offense to the American people and our way of life."

"...on May 26 U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice "certified" to Congress that the Colombian government and armed forces were continuing to meet statutory criteria for fulfilling U.S. requirements related to human rights for receiving American assistance.

Vivanco, of Human Rights Watch, pointed out that despite strong evidence of human-rights abuses and collusion to commit crimes, the United States had repeatedly certified that Colombia's armed forces were meeting human-rights conditions on military assistance. "This time," he said, "the United States certified Colombia's compliance with the conditions without even mentioning the alarming reports of an increase in extra-judicial executions by the army, the army's killing of 10 anti-narcotics police officers, and serious allegations of torture in military training."
Maria Cristina Caballero/Providence Journal/CommonDreams 25.Jun.06

There are now about 200,000 homeless vets in the United States, government figures show.


"We have to recognise that some of the climate supporters have tended to use data that are not by any means proven..."
"Climate supporters" would be a lot more ludicrous as a descriptive term if its opposite weren't so plausible.
And "pleasing many global warming activists" - sort of like when they stop torturing you, you're pleased.
I am pleased that they have stopped torturing me. Whew. All right.
It's a last-ditch effort on the part of the causative agencies to defend themselves from the rising accusation - "You did this."
The headline's from the SF Chronicle print edition for I think Friday 23.06.
I would have scanned it in but I didn't want to buy the damned thing, so I took a picture of it at the store.



The long lives that some former cannibals enjoy before succumbing to a brain-wasting disease suggest
but this is a very difficult moment, and I was aware that was a very difficult moment because when you have to be transferred from a place to another, it's very difficult. And so they told me that I was in a car full of explosive. So if something had been
Chinese industrial firms earned a combined 629.4 billion yuan ($78.71 billion) in profits in the first five months of 2006, up 25.5 percent from the same period a year earlier
Ehud Olmert, in his first meeting with Mahmoud Abbas as Israeli prime minister, yesterday told the Palestinian Authority president he regretted the deaths of Palestinian civilians in recent air strikes on the Gaza Strip
"We have to recognise that some of the climate supporters have tended to use data that are not by any means proven because they believe
Journalists at the Los Angeles Times and elsewhere are suffering a loss of internet access as a result of censorship programs that routinely filter out blogging sites such as Boing

megan's outlaws:

Jose Tapia, along with a friend, carried out "the largest mass murder in Rhode Island history," according to Providence prosecutors in 1996. Tapia and his buddy intentionally set fire to the home of a family of Guatemalan immigrants. Six people (including four children) died in the flames. (Typically, the criminals were both evil and stupid: Tapia and his friend were trying to torch someone else's home but got confused.) Tapia received a sentence that will make him eligible for parole in 21 years. By contrast, Kyle Lindquist, a 36-year-old excavating contractor and father of three, was busted in 1992 on conspiracy charges of intent to possess and distribute 1000 kilos or more of marijuana. Lindquist got a sentence of 23 years with no possibility of parole. Apparently, conspiring to hustle some weed is worse than burning down a house full of children.
Soldiers who object to taking part in a military occupation of a foreign country will face life in prison under measures due to be rubber-stamped in the House of Commons on Monday. The little-noticed Armed Forces Bill will have its third reading in the Commons on Monday and left-leaning MPs are alarmed that it will legitimise pre-emptive military strikes.baghdad
It will change the definition of desertion to include soldiers who go absent without leave and intend to refuse to take part in a "military occupation of a foreign country or territory".
While debates on the capital child rape statutes have often been brief and without significant record, the accounts that do exist show a strong belief in the notion that rape is worse than death. In support of Georgia's attempt to apply the death penalty for child rape, State Representative Warren Massey said, "When a child is raped or sodomized, then their life is basically destroyed.... The punishment fits the crime."
Most, but not all, parents would choose not to have their children killed, whatever the alternative presented.
American public morality is now founded on the principle that nothing - loss of freedom, loss of privacy, loss of the future, etc, - is worse than death. Nothing is worth sacrificing your life to gain. The precise opposite of the New Hampshire state motto, "Live Free or Die".
The national motto now, unspoken but clearly present, is "Do whatever you have to to survive" - no matter how degrading or dehumanizing.
The single greatest killer of children in America is car wrecks. A trivial fact, only important when Britney doesn't strap her son into his car-seat as she flees the predatory lenses of the paparazzi. Strapping your child into a federally-approved car-seat is all you can do about that statistic, and morally it's enough.Iraq
The single greatest killer of children in America is car wrecks, and this is acceptable.
American soldiers are killing children in Iraq - with bombs from thousands of feet in the air, and with bullets to the back of the head at close range. This is also acceptable.


"It is the hallowed 'Fallujah' model, intended to bring 'stability' by flattening the city with civilian death and destruction. It is a 'clean' way to victory, one supported by Representative Jack Murtha, who would withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq but continue to engage the 'enemy' from far away and from 15,000 to 30,000 feet above with air power..."

Bush is set to pledge that the United States will respect human rights in his war on terror

"To clarify this further, this entire area has been economically and infastructurally devastated - distrupting and destroying the day to day lives of thousands of Christian and Muslim Palestinians - so that a small number of Israeli citizens can continue to visit a holy site in a city which they have no entitlement to under international law."

Gay-Affirmative Public School Teachers/Curricula May Influence Brain Maturation In Teens

"I am convinced that gay affirming materials are injurious to children and will add to the psychological problems they already have as a normal part of development," said Breiner. "It is wrong to say that homosexuality is a viable alternative to heterosexuality. If teens are to be protected, they must be given the facts about homosexual behavior, not fantasies from the gay community."
Dr. Sander Breiner/Virtue Online
NARTH (National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality)
Gay Activism in the Schools at NARTH
Episcopal delegates yesterday snubbed Anglican leaders' request to temporarily stop electing openly gay bishops, a vote that further frustrated conservatives in the American church and could hasten a break with Anglicans worldwide.
Phil. Inq.
"Some at ABC News are obviously hyperventilating over the election of the first female presiding bishop in the Episcopal Church, and that no doubt led them to package this story with a bogus account about women being ordained as Catholic priests. Joan Clark Houk, and seven other women, will hold an 'ordination' ceremony on a boat in Pittsburgh on July 31, but no one save mad feminists will give it any credence. Indeed, this happens every day in the asylum: some actually think they're the pope."
Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights

The actress Elsa Lanchester's mother was kidnapped, in her early 20's, in late 19th c. London, from the home she shared with her lover, Lanchester's father, because they hadn't been married, and were consequently living in sin. By her own father and her own brother. baghdad
She was taken to a private asylum and held there for more than a day or two, though less than a month. The idea being she was insane, because she was living with Lanchester's father out of wedlock. This idea was corroborated by medical professionals.
They never did get married, though producing Lanchester and her older brother, and living together into their elder years.
Lanchester's most famous role by far was as the eponymous "Bride of Frankenstein".
In the uncut original she plays Mary Shelley on that dark and stormy night with Byron and Percy, as the tale begins.
She was married to Charles Laughton, whose career and fame far overshadowed hers.
Laughton was a relatively discreet homosexual. Their's was an unusual but loving and long relationship.
Laughton's family was Catholic and there was some conflict, as Lanchester records it, at the time of his death about his antipathy toward Catholicism.
The Wikipedia entry for Lanchester seems to have been written by someone still engaged in that conflict.
She was a founder of the Turnabout Theater in LA. (link to LA Pub. Lib. images)
Photographs of her in her autobiography, "Elsa Lanchester, Herself" make it seem likely she was an alcoholic.baghdad
As a young woman, before she married Laughton, Lanchester dined with, on separate occasions, Aleister Crowley the famous Satanist and covert operative, and Theo. Herzl, the public founder of present-day Zionism.
The social morality that made it possible, if not imperative, that Lanchester's grandfather "rescue" her mother by force, against her will, from the awful sin of unsanctioned cohabitation, has altered itself.
But there was never a moment of admission of fault, never any shame - just slow change, an evolution toward more enlightened morality, undirected, uncodified, in stark contrast at its extremes, but unnoticeable in the midst of its progression.
This leaves open the possibilty that there are still pathologies in the public moral code.


Three children killed by A Crucial Vote 'Cut and Run' in Israeli air strike Iraq Debate gets run out of Senate Heats Up 'kills children' Leaving the Left

As Americans woke up this morning and learned of the tragic fates of two American servicemen in Iraq, they saw yet more evidence of the real war that continues there.
An Israeli army spokesman said the air strike had targeted militants wanted for attacks on Israel. The spokesman expressed regret over any civilian casualties but said responsibility lay with the Palestinians for failing to stop the rocket salvoes.
In the United States, the political war over which of the two major political parties will be able to use Iraq as an issue for its electoral advantage in the November midterm election continued to heat up today.
Those who died include a boy and a girl - both about five-years-old - and a 16-year-old girl, Palestinian medical sources say.
Khalil Roka, a cousin of one of the dead children, told the Associated Press news agency he saw a red flash as the car exploded amid a group of children playing.
In his call for a change in strategy, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., declared the Republican plan for Iraq "lie and die."
A spokeswoman for the Israeli army said the attack had targeted members of the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade, a militant group associated with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party.
A candidate who advocates bringing the troops home within a year polls three percentage points better than one who says the US needs a "new direction," but stops short of calling for an exit date.
An Israeli military spokeswoman confirmed the strike
A "New Direction for America," you may recall, is the latest slogan unveiled by Democrats last week. But the public wants specifics, not slogans.
Israel says such strikes are necessary to deter militants from firing crude rockets from Gaza.
And as election time approaches, the war is by far the most important issue to the Democratic base.
People in the southern Israeli town of Sderot, frequently hit by Palestinian rockets, went on strike on Tuesday to protest that the government was not doing enough to protect them.
If anyone politicized this issue, John Kerry, with a lot of help from the Democratic caucuses in both houses. For those who find themselves annoyed because the cut-and-run poses from Kerry, Feingold, Kennedy, Boxer, Harkin, and Kennedy make the Republicans look good, they should direct their ire to Kerry and the Freak-Out Five. Congress exists for the debate and resolution of issues, and Kerry initiated the debate with his amendment. The GOP leadership simply gave Kerry what his action demanded - debate and a vote that put everyone in the Senate on record as to whether they would abandon the Iraqis before they could effectively defend themselves.
Witnesses said aircraft fired at least one missile at a car carrying al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades militants in Gaza City. The occupants managed to leap free but a 7-year-old girl and her 5-year-old brother nearby were killed, as was a 16-year-old.
Nine bystanders, most of them minors, were wounded.
After moving to Los Angeles in the early 90s, I watched from the roof of my apartment building as the city burned after the Rodney King verdicts were handed down. I thought what those four cops did to King was shameful. But I didn't hear an uproar from my friends on the Left when rioters rampaged through the city's streets, stealing, looting, and destroying property in the name of "no justice, no peace."
The occupants of the car leapt out before the blast in a crowded street in the Jabaliya refugee camp, witnesses say. Fourteen people were wounded.
What made me leave the Left for good and embrace the Right were their respective reactions to 9/11. While The New York Times doubted that we could succeed in Afghanistan because the Soviets in the '80s hadn't, George W. Bush went directly after the Taliban and Al Qaeda and crushed them in short order. Although many on the Left claim to have backed the President's actions, the self-doubt leading up to it, crystallized my view of the Left as weak and terminally lacking in confidence.
The Israeli military confirmed it had attacked the vehicle.
Iraq is the "Normandy" of the War on Terror. The hope, once Iraq and Afghanistan are more stable, is that the nearly 70 million people in Iran will look at those countires (on it's left and right borders) and say: "Why do these people get to vote, send their women to school, and buy Nikes and we don't?"


Crimes Against Nature:

Part 2 broadcasts Robert Kennedy, Jr. in Who Owns Nature and Turtle Island Film's, Texas Gold, about the most unreasonable women* in Texas, who took on the giants of the petro-chemical industry
Broadcast Times
Saturday, June 24 8:00 PM
Saturday, June 24 11:00 PM
Sunday, June 25 2:00 AM
Sunday, June 25 5:00 AM
*Diane Wilson


...the computer-generated record from the Kamal Adwan hospital, which documents the blood test of a victim from the beach incident being taken at 5:12 p.m. on June 9. Furthermore, hand-written hospital records log patients from the incident as having been admitted starting at 5:05 p.m. If the records are accurate, based on the time needed to dispatch an ambulance and drive from the hospital to the beach and back, this suggests that the fatal explosion took place at a time when the IDF said it was firing artillery rounds. Both sets of records also directly call into question the account of the IDF that ambulances did not reach the beach until 5:15 p.m. that day.
HRW News 15.Jun.06

After leading Bush's successful campaign, Allbaugh was appointed as head of FEMA, whose internal organization he shook up in order to shrink the agency and its scope. In particular, the Allbaugh FEMA diminished the Clinton administration's organizational emphasis on disaster mitigation in favor of terrorism response.
Drug traffickers enjoy relative safety in military bases. There is no serious control there. German police cannot work there. However, outside of military bases German law-enforcement is in effect. True, any police can be bought. But the level of corruption in Germany is not as high as, say, in Russia. This is why it is more convenient for Americans to establish distribution centers in other places. I believe that, in time, such centers will move to their military installations in Poznan, Poland, and also in Romania and Bulgaria.

In the wake of 9/11, Sibel Edmonds, a former FBI translator, has claimed to possess information linking the American 9/11, and much else, to massive drug-trafficking which has corrupted high level U.S. officials. Among other things, she has claimed that the U.S. has never gone after top-level drug traffickers, because:
"this would upset "certain foreign relations."
But it would also expose certain of our elected officials, who have significant connections with high-level drugs- and weapons-smuggling - and thus with the criminal underground, even with the terrorists themselves...
In the last three decades, three important facts have emerged about the international drug traffic. The first is that it is both huge and growing.
Narcotics are estimated to be worth between $500 billion and $1 trillion a year, an amount, according to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in remarks to a United Nations General Assembly session in June 2003, that is greater than the global oil and gas industry, and twice as large as the overall automobile industry.
The second is that it is both worldwide and above all "highly integrated." At global drug summits such as the one in Armenia in 1993, representatives of the Sicilian Mafia, the Brighton Beach Organizatsiya, and Colombian drug lords, have worked out a common modus operandi, with the laundering of dirty money entrusted chiefly to the lawless Russian banks.
The third important fact, undeniable since the 1980 U.S. intervention in Afghanistan, is that governments with global pretensions will avail themselves, in pursuit of their own political ends, of the resources, both financial and political, of the drug traffic.
Peter Dale Scott/Lobster
Scott at Flashpoint


In this case, that seat was the toilet.

Pro-whaling Mali and Mongolia have consistently voted with Japan in the IWC in its campaign to resume whale hunting.

The Farley Mowat, under the command of Dutch Captain Alex Cornelissen, is preparing to return to the Antarctic Whale Sanctuary in December to once again intervene against illegal Japanese whaling operations. Japan is using their economic muscle to instigate harassment of the Sea Shepherd ship.

Meanwhile, Sea Shepherd has discovered that Japan illegally transships whale meat in and out of Cape Town. "Japan has influence in Cape Town," said Captain Paul Watson. "We have experienced that influence and we have been very disappointed that South African harbor authorities have seen fit to harass people who simply want to save the whales. We have operated the Farley Mowat since 1996 and we have never received the level of harassment that we experienced after intervening against illegal Japanese whaling."
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society/ScoopNZ
Sea Shepherd News


A Break In The Timeline:

"My son Nick died in Iraq on May 7, 2004. He is buried next to my father, who had died just a year and a half before. That is not the way it's supposed to be.
I'm supposed to go somewhere between my father and my son in the graveyard. Nearby are my proud immigrant grandparents, who died first. That is the way it is supposed to be.
There is a lot else going on that is not the way it is supposed to be. Our leaders are not supposed to lie to us. Yet because George Bush and company told us to beware of weapons of mass destruction and so-called Iraqi involvement in 9/11, my son and the loved ones of 150,000 other grieving souls on both sides lost their lives.
Though I doubted our president's words, I did too little too late.

My son Nick was an independent contractor, not associated with Haliburton, Bechtel, Lockheed-Martin, or the U.S. military.
Nick was arrested by the U.S. military without reason and then illegally detained for thirteen days. While he was in custody, the revelations of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal became public. These revelations ignited the resistance in Iraq and made it impossible for Nick to get home alive.
Once released, Nick was swiftly murdered - on videotape, by a hooded man now believed to have been Abu Musab Zarqawi - in retaliation for the atrocities committed at the Abu Ghraib prison: murders, rapes, and torture of Iraqi citizens.
The president's contribution was to order then-White House Counsel Alberto Gonzalez to rewrite definitions of torture essentially ordering these sins, and he did so with impunity. Though Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld says he took responsibility for the resulting atrocities, no consequences were felt by him, but they were by my son and everyone who loved him..."
Michael Berg/CommonDreams 16.Jun.06

A federal judge in Brooklyn has ruled the government can legally detain non-citizens on the sole basis of their religion, race or national origin and then detain them indefinitely.
You may want to repeat that out loud a few times, just to get the rhythm.
See also:
Nina Bernstein/NYTimes
Zach Haberman/NYPost

No Irony!

Bush creates huge aquatic Eden!


Profane or sexual:

President Bush Thursday signed a decency bill into law that increases tenfold the fines levied against broadcasters who violate decency standards with profane or sexual material. The new fine is $325,000 per violation, instead of $32,500.

During the signing ceremony, Bush said "parents have the final responsibility over the television shows that their children watch, or the websites they visit, or the music they listen to."

"One thing they can do if they're worried about people watching a bad program is to turn off the TV," said Bush.
Melanie Hunter/CSN 15.Jun.06

"If not for America, who would rally likeminded countries in the global fights against HIV/AIDS? As Southern Baptists, you are not new to this struggle. You are a part of a vast international coalition that aims to turn the tide. And Americans are, by far, the largest contributor to these global efforts.
So here, ladies and gentlemen, is the choice before our country, before us as Americans. Will we lead in the world or will we withdraw? Will we rise to the challenges of our time or will we shrink from them? America is a country of vast wealth and power, to be sure. But just as important, we are a nation of great compassion and conscience and democratic principle. So as we consider our future role in the world, we must reflect on some important questions. We must ask ourselves: If not for America, who would rally other nations to conscience to the international defense of religious liberty?

President Bush has made clear that the best relations with the United States are reserved for those governments that respect the beliefs of their people. When you go to a place like China as I have and you sit in a church with Chinese Christians, you cannot help but marvel at their faith and their courage. If America does not rally support for people everywhere who desire to worship in peace and freedom then I ask you: Who will? (Applause.)

You see, religious freedom is an issue that demands moral clarity. And ladies and gentlemen, America's message could not be clearer. Government simply has no right to stand between the individual and the All Mighty. (Applause.)
If America does not serve great purposes, if we do not rally other nations to fight intolerance and to support peace and to defend freedom, and to help give all hope who suffer oppression, then our world will drift toward tragedy. The strong will do what they please. The weak will suffer most of all and inevitably, inevitably, sooner or later the threats of our world will strike once again at the very heart of our nation."
Remarks at the Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting
Condoleezza Rice
ScoopNZ 15.Jun.06

Since 2003, the U.S. has doubled its emergency aid paid to Uganda to fight AIDS to about $170 million. However, the Bush administration has made the policy that at least one-third of all HIV prevention aid money must be earmarked for abstinence-only programs instead of teaching safe sex. The new message has confused the population and made them skeptical that using condoms can prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.

FreeMarketNews 08.Jun.06


no pattern emerges:

In the last couple of weeks these two news aggregators
California Chronicle and
have vanished and
rigorous intuition was hacked and/or blocked


Serge July, the CEO and founder [with existentialist writer Jean-Paul Sartre, in 1973] of the financially struggling French daily Liberation, unwillingly resigned today under pressure from the paper's principal stockholder, Edouard de Rothschild.
Le Monde/Editor's World 13.Jun.06
Florence Aubenas was working for Liberation in Iraq when she was abducted.
The estimable Nidra Poller in the estimable Front Page Magazine on Aubenas, and hypocrisy, of a kind.

Left I on the News has a pretty clear and very readable explanation for the stench of bogosity and deception around the media's clamorous barking at Fema.

Meanwhile, Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz has said in a separate statement that Israel will act with force against any group that attacks them.

"We showed the necessary restraint in light... of the international uproar that resulted, but it's over," Peretz said.
"The accumulating evidence proves that this incident was not due to Israeli forces," he said at a news conference on Tuesday.
"The intention to describe this as an Israeli event is simply not correct."
Meir Klifi, the Israeli general who led the committee, said the army had shelled areas north of the beach but could account for each one.
"There is no chance that a shell hit this area. Absolutely no chance," he said.
Klifi said Palestinian fighters "could have placed something in the area in order to prevent operations by our forces".
Israel has been pounding northern Gaza for weeks with artillery shells in an effort to prevent Palestinian militants from launching rockets into Israeli territory.
Marc Garlasco, a military analyst for rights group Human Rights Watch, said it was "patently not the case" that the blast was caused by a mine.
"The injuries of the people in the hospital were all to the torso and head, so a land mine couldn't have done this," he added.

AlJazeera 13.Jun.06


Piecing Together Haditha at Obsidian Wings

you're never going to go home



"This illustrates to me the true nature of the men we have detained here," says Navy Rear Adm. Harry Harris Jr., overall commander of operations at the detention center for 460 detainees. "They are dangerous men and committed jihadists willing to die and order others to commit suicide."
In a series of disruptions spanning 18 hours across the prison camps here on Thursday, four captives staged suicide attempts and briefly fought U.S. guards with light-bulb shards, broken fans and metal bars they had ripped from their prisoner-of-war-style barracks.
At one point, to quell a five-minute brawl between 10 detainees and an equal number of soldiers, a U.S. Army rapid strike force fired pepper spray and rubber bullets.
Adm. Harris said the guard force charged inside a medium-security, POW-style barracks last night after suspecting a detainee inside of staging a suicide attempt.
CarolRosenberg/MiamiHerald 19.May.06
Three detainees at the U.S. military detention center at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, hanged themselves with nooses made of sheets and clothes, the commander of the facility said Saturday.
Harris and Craddock said no riot or uprising accompanied Saturday's suicides.
Harris said detainees have been spreading rumors around the prison's camps that it would take three suicides to garner international attention.
To help prevent more suicides, guards will now give bed sheets to detainees only when they go to bed and remove them after they wake up in the morning, Harris said.
Craddock said the three had left suicide notes, but he refused to disclose the contents.
WashPost/SeattleTimes 11.Jun.06
Sanity's like morality now, it has only to do with what works. There's no longer any higher thing against which the immoral and the insane are measured. It's about what works and what doesn't.
In an awesomely bizarre way that's more accurate than any other view.
Darwinian truth and biological accuracy.
Harris is:
  • more sane than the average American
  • right in the heart of the median demographic
  • a lunatic
But what does that mean? A Doberman behaviorally-modified to kill on a one-word command is insane, but not in a utilitarian sense. Not in a military or police sense.
Only in a happy-dog happy-world sense.
We don't seem to have that anymore as a possibility.
So now, just like with the moral exigencies of murdering women and children for military objectives, we judge these things, these events, by their outcomes, and since none of this has resolved into anything clearer than more of the same, we can't say - it's nuts.
We have to wait until it's over.
And just like with global climate disruption, by the time the evidence is irrefutable in the public's very short sight, it won't matter.

Harris is nuts to call that "asymmetrical warfare", even though it is, in some real ways, exactly that.
It's just that an enemy who's willing to die like that for his cause, or from grief or despair, shames the home team, and by his dying exposes the selfishness that has become the national religion for what it is.

Alberto the wake-up call


In the very simple mind of the very large thing inside the media corral ruminating the dribbled-into-its-food-information about bad-things-in-the-world, the arrest of "terrorists" in Canada leads directly to the death of al-Zarqawi and that line becomes a road that runs right over the dusty bodies of the executed children of Haditha.
There's a rhythm to it.
Had to arrest them, had to kill them - to get him.
Winning the war against evil.

Unfortunate incidents had occurred, mistaken ideas had been current. It had been felt that the existence of a farm owned and operated by pigs was somehow abnormal and was liable to have an unsettling effect in the neighbourhood.
Too many farmers had assumed, without due enquiry, that on such a farm a spirit of licence and indiscipline would prevail. They had been nervous about the effects upon their own animals, or even upon their human employees. But all such doubts were now dispelled.

Leverage xenophobia response

Goff on al-Zarqawi

Compare and contrast:

Blow by Blow - As American as Apple Pie


Nothing up my sleeve.
No doubt about it, I got to get another hat.

NASA is canceling or delaying a number of satellites designed to give scientists critical information on the earth's changing climate and environment.
The space agency has shelved a $200 million satellite mission headed by a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor that was designed to measure soil moisture -- a key factor in helping scientists understand the impact of global warming and predict droughts and floods. The Deep Space Climate Observatory, intended to observe climate factors such as solar radiation, ozone, clouds, and water vapor more comprehensively than existing satellites, also has been canceled.
And in its 2007 budget, NASA proposes significant delays in a global precipitation measuring mission to help with weather predictions, as well as the launch of a satellite designed to increase the timeliness and accuracy of severe weather forecasts and improve climate models.
The changes come as NASA prioritizes its budget to pay for completion of the International Space Station and the return of astronauts to the moon by 2020...
BethDaley/BostonGlobe/CommonDreams 09.Jun.06


"Victory diminishes the significance of war crimes; defeat magnifies them into defining events"
MaxBoot/LATimes 07.Jun.06
That's a little more profound than Boot seems to realize. And it doesn't lead quite so directly to sending more troops into the valley of death, either.
If you loop it back in to what that semi-anonymous neo-con said back whenever it was that he said it - that they're creating the reality we're responding to - and extend it to morality's most particulate elements, you end right back where so many of our heroes started.
You have to grab some plank and insist that it's enough.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident..."
Something outside and beyond the immediate, something universal or close enough to it.
Otherwise anything you did to win becomes good, and whatever the losing enemy did in his failed attempt to win becomes bad.
And that's it, there's nothing else going on.
So executing children, and worse, becomes a regrettable necessity if you're on the side that did it, and then won.
And it becomes a war crime if it was done by the losers.
It's pig morality, the moral code of sentient swine.


Swords into ploughshares
ploughshares into thin air:

Four decades after first visiting as a young congressman at the height of a divisive war, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld toured Vietnam on Monday amid increasingly warming relations between the onetime enemies and made unexpected progress toward improving military relations.
U.S. officials were cautious to lower expectations ahead of Rumsfeld's visit here, particularly given Vietnam's occasionally tense relations with its northern neighbor China. But after meetings with Defense Ministry officials and Prime Minister Phan Van Khai, Pentagon officials emerged upbeat, saying Hanoi appeared eager to deepen defense cooperation, despite the possibility of antagonizing Beijing.
"Both sides agreed we wanted to expand things," said one Pentagon official involved in the talks.
Rumsfeld also said Monday that the U.S. is pressing Vietnam for underwater searches and access to aging witnesses in stepped-up efforts to recover remains of Americans missing from the Vietnam War.
xxxxChicago Tribune 06.Jun.06
The United States won't compensate Vietnam's Agent Orange victims but will offer advice on dealing with the wartime defoliant, a US official said during a visit by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
When Rumsfeld met Defence Minister Pham Van Tra and military officials, the Vietnamese side had raised the issue of dioxin exposure and contamination from Agent Orange, the senior official said on the sidelines of the visit.
"What we can do is make scientific information available, historical archival information we might have, ... technical advice on how to deal with the situation," the official said.
xxxxAFP/CommonDreams 05.Jun.06

"There were problems in Kilo company with drugs, alcohol, hazing [violent initiation games], you name it," she said. "I think it's more than possible that these guys were totally tweaked out on speed or something when they shot those civilians in Haditha."

CNS: Creationism is not considered a science because it can't be observed or empirically tested. You assert in your book that the theory of evolution has the same problems. Why then has the U.S. public school system been willing to accept the theory of evolution, but snubbed creationism?

Ann Coulter: Because evolution is the official state religion. Although it is possible to believe in God and evolution, it is not possible to not believe in God without believing in evolution -- otherwise, atheists have no explanation for why we are here. Thus, it's very important for the liberal clergy to force small school children to believe in a discredited mystery religion from the 19th century -- evolution -- in order to prepare them to believe in the nonexistence of God, one of the main goals of the American public education system.


The dead from Hiroshima and Nagasaki wish to object, too.

"I argue that the Bush Administration's path to making Katrina a moment of development is through an enclosure, i.e. by uprooting and dispersing a combative, culturally rich and largely black community strategically placed at the geographical centre of the US's oil, natural gas and chemical industries and replacing it with a 'more profitable' and politically docile population.
The US military's intervention during and after Katrina was crucial to stripping black New Orleanians of their rights, even their property rights, in this enclosure."
George Caffentzis/MuteMagazine
link wood s lot


core values training
Richard Marsden on Bush, Nietzsche and Haditha

"Until that moment, I'd never heard those three words, National Security Letter. I never knew there was such a thing."

Mark Leibovich has a lengthy hit piece on Nancy Pelosi in the erstwhilely liberal NYTimes.


"All the victims had gunshot wounds to the head"
Warning: strong images
A military investigation into allegations that American troops intentionally killed civilians in Ishaqi, a village north of Baghdad, has cleared them of misconduct, the U.S. said Friday even though it acknowledged the deaths of up to 13 Iraqis in the March raid.
ABCNews 03.Jun.06
The obscenity rests most precisely in the term "Iraqis".
13 Iraqis. 13 dogs. 13 Niggers. 13 Jews. 13 interchangeable subhumans whose lives don't matter.

link fixed! Children in the news every day:

"These meeting notes make it clear that the pesticide industry's top objective is access to children for experiments. After reading these ghoulish notes one has the urge to take a shower," commented PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch, whose organization works with EPA scientists who have been prevented from voicing ethical and scientific concerns about human subject testing."


"We have heard that you are very interested in human rights," reads the open letter to Ms Jolie from Bushman organisation First People of the Kalahari. "The government is trying to destroy us and we are asking for your help in our battle to save our people. Many Bushmen families have been split apart by the evictions. Many people don't know where their relatives are and are very worried, desperate. They are not allowed to attend the funerals of relatives.
"Those who have remained inside the game reserve are not allowed to hunt and gather and have no access to water. The health situation is bad in the resettlement camps."


In its Quadrennial Defense Review, published in February, and the first such report since September 11, 2001, the Pentagon highlighted China as the country with "the greatest potential to compete with the United States".
The National Security Strategy, released in March, pointedly criticized China for its efforts to "lock up worldwide energy supplies". This followed similar comments last September by Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick, who challenged China to reject mercantilist efforts to secure energy resources and embrace open markets like a "responsible stakeholder".
AsiaTimes 02.Jun.06

China China China:

The union representing journalists in the UK and Ireland has called on its 40,000 members to boycott Yahoo
Yahoo has been accused by the NUJ and other journalism groups of providing information that led to an eight-year prison term for Li Zhi for discussing pro-democracy issues in a Web forum.
The company has also been reported as helping to identify Shi Tao, who was sentenced to prison for 10 years for forwarding a government e-mail to the foreign press.
The NUJ also accuses Yahoo of providing records that led to the imprisonment of Jiang Lijun - who was sentenced to four years in jail for writing articles advocating democracy.
Aljazeera 02.Jun.06
"I believe strongly in the traditional saying that if you've done nothing wrong, you don't fear the knock on your door at midnight."


And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
The First Book of Moses, Called Genesis, Chp. 1, Vs. 26-27
Bartleby, KJV
President Bush is beginning a major push for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage - part of a new campaign to reassure cultural conservatives who say he and his party abandoned them after the 2004 elections.

Mr. Bush is to declare strong support for the amendment - scheduled for a vote in the Senate next week - in his radio address on Saturday, and at an event at the White House Monday with conservative activists, White House officials said today.
JimRutenberg/NYTimes 02.Jun.06
A sensible, and sensitive, compromise would be to pass a law making it a mandatory requirement that when two people get married, one of the partners must be very masculine - male-ish, and the other must be very feminine - female-ish.
This will make the discomfort a lot of unsphisticated straight people feel about couples who look like each other kissing and having sex a non-issue.

Waking the kids back up:

A meteor's roaring crash into Antarctica - larger and earlier than the impact that killed the dinosaurs - caused the biggest mass extinction in Earth's history and more than likely spawned the Australian continent.
Ohio State University scientists said the 483km wide crater is now hidden more than 1.6km beneath the East Antarctic Ice Sheet.

Water Pyramids
link RN

power over those with no recourse:

Shaul talks about incidents of looting and destruction of Palestinian properties; of driving over private cars with armoured vehicles for fun; about the practice of leaving handcuffed and blindfolded Palestinians to "dry out" for hours in the sun, merely "because they smile too much at a checkpoint" and about indiscriminate shelling of a Palestinian neighbourhood with grenades in response to Palestinian gunfire. "After a while, being part of this makes it impossible to continue viewing Palestinians as equal human beings."
"The Israeli public wants to maintain at any cost this image of the Israeli military as the most moral army in the world and of our operations in the Palestinian territories as 'enlightenment occupation'. Checkpoints are in fact designed not to keep terrorists out but to prevent the realities of the occupied territories from entering Israel. It is as if the Israeli people are saying: 'We know that some shit is going on out there, but please don't tell us about it!' Reports of abuses against Palestinians are regularly dismissed as 'extreme cases', not representative of the general situation."
MichelHoebink/RadioNetherlands 02.Jun.06
Breaking The Silence


A concerted effort to get the children to go back to sleep:

The first detailed analysis of an extraordinary climatic and biological record from the seabed near the North Pole shows that 55 million years ago the Arctic Ocean was much warmer than scientists imagined - a Floridian year-round average of 74 degrees.
AndrewC. Revkin/NYTimes/IHT 01.Jun.06
The Arctic was once a balmy subtropical paradise with palm trees, alligators and an average temperature of 74F, scientists revealed yesterday.
Core samples dug from deep beneath the Arctic Ocean floor have shown that an area near the North Pole was much warmer 55 million years ago than first thought.
The research has also given scientists the idea that a simple fern may have helped prevent the Earth from turning into a blazing hothouse and allowed it to develop into the more habitable environment found on most of the planet today.
StephenMcGinty/Scotsman 01.Jun.06

Because he was there:

"You have to sacrifice a few fingers to get to stand on top of Mount Everest as a double-amputee. So for me it's not a biggie to lose some fingers," he [Mark Inglis] says in a booming voice.
"The people just want to get to the top," Hillary raged, referring to Inglis and other climbers. "They don't give a damn about anybody else who may be in distress and it doesn't impress me at all that they leave someone lying under a rock to die."
In his day, Hillary added, such behavior would have been inconceivable.

"The American people admire the Rwandan people for their efforts at rebuilding and we look forward to being a good partner with Rwanda, both in terms of building a strong and prosperous Rwanda and also a stronger and more prosperous region.

Thank you. I'm sorry. I have to go. I have to catch a plane."
Remarks With Rwandan President Paul Kagame
Secretary Condoleezza Rice 31.May.06


Turgid, purple, ranting, venting:
An essay, in which the author, having changed brands of coffee and not slept adequately for more than a week, gives free rein to the logorrhea that was, and is, his birthright

As the details spill out into the living rooms of the indefinable American public - Haditha, Kabul, these latest straws on the buckling camel's back - just like with Abu Ghraib there'll be an almost residual twitch toward some kind of cathartic "justice"; it's an open file until something happens, something official and authoritative. The P.R.'s too thin, it won't cover enough of what's clearly present now.
The constipatory aspects of undeniable atrocities - committed by our troops, with our bullets, in wars and engagements we flew the flag in support of - the way they get in the way of people trying to imagine a better future, the way they back up and clog the system - that needs relief, release.
Someone has to "pay". The way people have been trained to think criminals "pay" for their crimes by doing whatever it is they do behind bars.
Another Lynndie England won't get it. Trailer-trash hillbillies won't serve as permanent scapegoats for all this, not any more, and there will be at least a modicum of clamor for accountability, possibly an outright strident demand - for someone to blame, for a face to put in the news next to reminders of the horror.
Children were executed gangland-style in their family homes by American soldiers because...
Bush of course, but that's a done deal, he's virtually the official moral punching bag of the USA now.
Optimum continuity: blame it all on him and cheer the new "liberal" alternative leader as soon as she's anointed by the same obscure hand that placed Bush before the wrong-footed electorate. Not going to happen.
We need someone to blame more specifically, closer to a real causative actor - Bush is too obviously not in control of anything, too obviously never has been.
Probably at least a few dozen top brass in the military and the DOD should catch the spotlight and its dessicating heat for this - this being not just Haditha and Kabul, but Fallujah, Al-Latifya, Samara, and all too many other My Lai analogs.
Not to mention illuminating the heck out of the doings of those scuttling figures in the shadows and margins of what naive folks still call the "Bush Administration", the men who arranged the big strings into bundles, and hid the friction as they were pulled.
But none of that has the ceremonial tang of a good auto-da-fe, a good town square hanging - the purpose of public executions isn't to impress the criminal mind with the consequences of bad behavior, the purpose of public executions is to make the public feel good about itself for not being executed.
Lynndie England was an attempt to manipulate that phenomenon, but it wasn't as effective as its delusional creators thought it would be. And no one currently in the pipeline for accusation and shame has the merit, or the power and glory, to really move the public through the maze of this moral nightmare.
We need a surrogate for our crippling greed and delusions, for our addictions and the submission to them that got us stumbling into the quicksand of Iraq in the first place.
Nobody's yet been mentioned as culpable who could really catalyze the public's imagination, and none of the currently possible playlets-of-justice have that certainty, that definitive exactitude that will relieve the building pressure of guilt and shame, and the confusion that follows right after them, as we go from being defenders of freedom to pea-brained thugs in the eyes of the world and ourselves.
None of it has that cathartic rush of the moral pivot, when things really do change and one individual carries the weight of the old world away on his back, leaving us free to enter the new one.
The place where the buck stops should be at the top of the chain, shouldn't it?
Even if it's not precise, even if the real culprits are near legion and mostly invisible, we need a symbol to bear the burden of this feral degradation, to wear this moral breakdown like sackcloth and ashes, out of the village and back into the wilderness.
Send Rupert Murdoch to the Hague for war crimes.

Blog Archive