...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



Intended to be sent to Crooked Timber right after I finished doing this:

Dan Simon-
With all due respect and in all sincerity, are you saying that Ledeen's son's military service means anything in this discussion? Or is the fact that it means something to anyone who cares about the serving military, that it summons honor and respect in most of us, enough to give it weight wherever it goes?
Young Ledeen's on active duty therefore the idea of intentional sacrifice of others is contradicted and made absurd.
I have some other questions that are no more tangential than that and bear heavily on Kristol's stance in American affairs:
How many Israeli soldiers have died in Iraq? Our closest ally in the Middle East.
How many Israelis have operated within Iraq since March 03? None?
How many? What were they doing?
This is, or I've taken it to be, a moderately open forum where issues of the time are discussed, in an academic format with a strong emphasis on etiquette and polite discourse. There are self-identifying Jewish voices here, at both ends of whatever polarity operates. This is a forum in which there are at least four regular contributors who consistently defend the Israeli position on Palestine, and still more who vehemently scorn anything like an accusation of Israeli and American Jewish subterfuge at work in the American presence in Iraq.
There are no identifiable Arab or even identifiably Muslim voices here. There's your iceberg.


Jesus F. Christ:

"If there's a starting point for George W. Bush's attachment to Israel, it's the day in late 1998 when he stood on the hilltop where Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount, and, eyes brimming with tears, read aloud from his favorite hymn, 'Amazing Grace.'

" 'He was very emotional. It was a tear-filled experience,' said Matthew Brooks, a prominent Jewish Republican who escorted Bush, then governor of Texas, and three other GOP governors on the Middle East visit. 'He brought Israel back home with him in his heart.' "
TomPaine < Dan Froomkin


The thing to remember is that everything that Alberto Gonzales signifies, everything he stood for and facilitated, is still in place. He's gone, but the evil is right there, gleaming and radiating its unstoppable heat.


in accordance with the desires of the commanders in the field:

After that last helicopter took off from the U.S. embassy in Saigon 32 years ago, the nasty strategic consequences then predicted did not in fact materialize. The "dominoes" did not fall, the Russians and Chinese did not take over, and America remained No. 1 in Southeast Asia and in the world...
Josef Joffe/WSJ 27.Aug.07
Also Sunday, Maliki lashed out at two Democratic members of the U.S. Senate who have called for his removal, saying that the senators, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Carl Levin, needed to "come to their senses."

Maliki issued a series of stinging ripostes against foreign officials who have recently have criticized his leadership.

He also called on the French government Sunday to apologize for comments reportedly made by the country's foreign minister that the Iraqi leader should step down. In an interview with Newsweek magazine, the foreign minister, Bernard Kouchner, who visited Iraq this month, said he had told his U.S. counterpart, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, that Maliki has "got to be replaced."
IHT 26.Aug.07
What do Clinton Levin Kouchner and Joffe have in common?


O Canada!


on the one hand:

Sen. Carl Levin on Monday called for Iraq's parliament to remove Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki from power, saying that al-Maliki is unwilling or unable to solve the political and religious divisions threatening to tear Iraq apart.

"The Maliki government is nonfunctional and cannot produce a political settlement because it is too beholden to religious and sectarian leaders," Levin said on a conference call after a weekend trip to Iraq for meetings with U.S. and Iraqi leaders. Levin said he hoped Iraq's parliament would vote al-Maliki out of office when it returns next month from its summer recess.

The remarkably blunt assessment from the Democrat from Detroit, who is chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee...
Trowbridge/DetNews 21.Aug.07
on the other hand:
AMY GOODMAN: What do you think of Senator Levin calling for the Maliki and the whole government to disband?

NIR ROSEN: Well, it’s stupid for several reasons. First of all, the Iraqi government doesn’t matter. It has no power. And it doesn’t matter who you put in there. He’s not going to have any power. Baghdad doesn’t really matter, except for Baghdad. Baghdad used to be the most important city in Iraq, and whoever controlled Baghdad controlled Iraq. These days, you have a collection of city states: Mosul, Basra, Baghdad, Kirkuk, Irbil, Sulaymaniyah. Each one is virtually independent, and they have their own warlords and their own militias. And what happens in Baghdad makes no difference. So that’s the first point.

Second of all, who can he put in instead? What does he think he’s going to put in? Allawi or some secular candidate? There was a democratic election, and the majority of Iraqis selected the sectarian Shiite group Dawa, Supreme Council of Islamic Revolution, the Sadr Movement. These are movements that are popular among the majority of Shias, who are the majority of Iraq. So it doesn’t matter who you put in there. And people in the Green Zone have never had any power. Americans, whether in the government or journalists, have been focused on the Green Zone from the beginning of the war, and it’s never really mattered. It’s been who has power on the street, the various different militias, depending on where you are -- Sunni, Shia, tribal, religious, criminal. So it just reflects the same misunderstanding of Iraqi politics.
Nir Rosen/DemocracyNow! 21.Aug.07
via Uruknet
What matters is Levin's seen posturing for change. While nothing changes. He's the "chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee". Dude is in charge and has been since a while. He's part of it, has been all along, accomplishing the mission. Getting it done. But the mission isn't what it seems to be.
Levin and his brothers and sisters need to appear to be opposed to things as they are, even as Rove drops from view over the shallow horizon. So that the unseen can gather the resentment and still unfocused rejection of "whatever-this-shit-in-Iraq-is" the American public's now carrying more of every day. So the same guys who did it can then be seen as against it - just like you. Hey! We're all in this together!

all eyes on Chinese sushi:

I trace the birth of modern sushi to the day in the summer of 1972...consumption of sushi has turned out to be a pretty good indicator of full participation in the global economy
Issenberg/Stewart/ATol 22.Aug.07

If I had one:

“Providing children with health insurance and college tuition should be the responsibility of their parents. It's something that they can do with hard work, sacrifice, and good money management. Disrupting terror networks and depriving them of bases of training and operations in the Middle East so that they can't come over here and kill American citizens is the responsibility of the federal government. That's something no individual or family can do on their own. It sounds to me like they are spending the money right where it needs to be spent. Instead of looking at what that money could have bought, let's look at what that money has bought – $4,100 per American household for the good work done in Iraq over the last 4 years. That's $1,025 per year to kill terrorists so that they don't kill my family. I'd pay that and more in a heartbeat!”

Michael J.
Leesburg, VA
Letters/CNS 21.Aug.07

Indonesia Still Tortures Moluccans And The Whole World Is Still Watching And Do Nothing About It

We, the Moluccan community, firmly object

"It's a community urinalysis," said Caleb Banta-Green, a University of Washington drug abuse researcher

rural voters :

Marty Kaplan identifies and nails the true enemies of American Democracy in The Truths Rove Told


I hope I can say:

But I do think I can say on behalf of the association that we can all agree it is a step in the right direction.
Dr. Stephen Behnke/APA/DemocracyNow! 20.Aug.07


we never lost the battle of ideas:

What was failing and collapsing when history was declared over was something very specific in 1989, when Francis Fukyama made that famous declaration
when he actually said -- and it seems so strange to read it now -- in his famous 1989 speech, that the significance of that moment was not that we were reaching an end of ideology, as some were suggesting, or a convergence between capitalism and socialism, as Gorbachev was suggesting, it was not that ideology had ended, but that history as such had ended. He argued that deregulated markets in the economic sphere combined with liberal democracy in the political sphere represented the endpoint of mankind's ideological evolution and the final form of human government.

Now, what was interesting and never quite stated in this formulation was that you basically had two streams: you had democracy, which you can use to vote for your leaders, and then you had a single economic model. Now, the catch was that you couldn't use your vote, you couldn't use your democracy to reshape your economy, because all of the economic decisions had already been decided. There was only -- it was the final endpoint of ideological evolution. So you could have democracy, but you couldn't use it to change the basics of life, you couldn’t use it to change the economy. This moment was held up as a celebration of victory for democracy, but that idea, that democracy cannot affect the economy, is and remains the single most anti-democratic idea of our time.
Naomi Klein speech at the American Sociological Association /DemocracyNow! 15.Aug.07


Britanny Spears is still the focus of a lot of attention:

The papers were served by Aaron Cohen, who owns IMS-Security, an elite Hollywood security firm made up of Israeli Counter Terror commandos.
In other venues the story was edited differently and reads:
The papers were served by Aaron Cohen, who owns IMS-Security, an elite Hollywood security firm .
The "IMS" in IMS-Security stands for "Israeli Military Specialists".
Speaking of Israel, there's this from Raw Story:
"In my view," he added, "it's time to learn from history and take steps to ensure the American Republic is the first to stand the test of time."

America's top government inspector didn't stop there. He also bemoaned US fiscal policy, underfunded healthcare, poor public schools, lack of retirement benefits, a worsening environment, Iraq, aging infrastructure and immigration policy. His remark about "aging infrastructure" came just days before the Minneapolis bridge collapse.

"Simply stated, America is on a path toward an explosion of debt," he added. "And that indebtedness threatens our country's, our children's, and our grandchildren's futures."

"Long range simulations from my agency are chilling," he continued. "If we continue as we have, policy makers will eventually have to dramatically and/or slash government services the American people depend on and take for granted.
Wait that wasn't about Israel at all, this is what I meant, from YahooNews/AP, Benjamin Netanyahu's on his way back.


August 2004 was a fairly articulate month around here. Blogger somehow went backwards in font-progress terms. The larger hypheny character, the em-dash(—) I think , which I was so fond of back then because it could make a seamless line from the keyboard without html coding, became in I believe late 2005 a question mark(?), what Windows uses when it can't decipher a particular char. Which since I was using it for paragraph breaks and all kinds of other stuff, means now a lot of my archived writing from then is filled with goofy-looking clumps of interrogatives that wreck the urgency and drama of the writing. Not always a terrible thing, but irritating nonetheless.
I could go back through and fix each one, I realized that almost immediately when it happened, but then again at the time I was changing out the header images with their linked-to images in train on a regular more than-weekly basis, and blogger had already proven itself incapable of sustaining a re-edit for archived posts without re-archiving all the header images and links. So stayed my hand. An option now made even more meaningless by Blogger's re-vamped insistence on one header image for all posts at all times. And I don't think the Internet Archive has those images+links either. Gone, gone away. The question mark thing though is actually disruptive of whatever sense and meaning the posts still carry.
Oh well.


conspiring to cause a public nuisance:

Armed police will use anti-terrorism powers to "deal robustly" with climate change protesters at Heathrow next week, as confrontations threaten to bring major delays to the already overstretched airport.
GuardianUK 11.Aug.07
via NewsTrust


13 to go


Motome Chijiiwa

5 Suicides and counting:
The first one is mine. A lot of people, most in my experience which yes has to be colored by my own lead-ins and bearings and comportment still most of the people I've had recourse to mention this to, to say well yeah you know I once tried to do that, most people assume you were an attention-getter and not seriously trying to leave or you would have left. And the fact of your being there means it failed anyway so it was weak in addition to being the weakness of suicide in most people's minds.
There was a movie on tv back in the early 80's called "Shogun" this white guy goes to Japan in the early days of white people going to Japan and at one pretty gripping moment there's this hari-kiri re-enactment, a Japanese samurai ritual suicide which when honorably accomplished is called seppuku. And after the movie I tried to tell this guy I was watching it with drinking beers and getting stoned that I had done that, and I inspirationally started to tell him by saying see this and lifting up my shirt where the scar is so there would be that to start from rather than the pills and wrists aspect and he thought I was showing him or about to be showing him my dick so he got real superior and distant but the scene had been so intense for me I had to tell somebody and he was there but because of that misapprehension and the subsequent closing down of formerly open channels it just dissipated before any resolution happened.
Right after it happened and just after I was out of the hospital at home mending up I sat down to watch some television on the Stromberg-Carlson and it was a choice between Vincent Bugliosi's oddly proprietary tv-docudrama treatment on the Manson Family or a Japanese flick called "Hari-kiri" by Masaki Kobayashi. I was an Akira Kurosawa fan even then so it was the deciding factor even though I was temptedly drawn to the authoritarian serving of evil Bugliosi's flic represented.
Just the other day which is many years later I was watching "John From Cincinnati" on HBO with a roommate and the lead character picked up a knife and stabbed himself with it. I didn't say anything.
Another time a long time ago an elder beat of my acquaintance took an immediate attitude before anything about how or what and why came up when the subject arose and so assumed I'd tried to slit my wrists or taken too many pills or something. The old cry for help thing. Well no I said I put a four inch hunting blade into my upper abdomen just grazed the interior side of a vertebra as it hilted having missed every vital organ on the way in and then with it in all the way with both hands pulled the knife straight down hard the idea being you make a crossed pair of incisions opening the bowel entirely guaranteeing death but I only went down a half inch or so even less and hit my belly button which is very hard as are most people's and the knife would not go through so I sat there after trying actually I was kneeling in front of the heater and sat there crying a little and then took it out and then after a little while put it back in the same opening and shoved it around sideways. That caught a few things and did some damage.
Later the doctor who sewed things back together who saved my life in every way including the attachment of a kind of guilt to the question of whether or not to continue to carry the impossible burdens of a singular life told me that the first wound was virtually harm-free except for the opening itself, that going in the first time I'd missed every organ that was in the way and all major blood vessels. Eventually not having died yet I got up and went outside.
I kept bleeding and got in the truck all covered with blood and drove downtown which took about twenty minutes. I obeyed all traffic laws and drove slowly and carefully shifting gears where appropriate. I pulled into a space and sat downtown by a park and a theater in the cab of my truck for a while feeling very strange then some street chick panhandled me at the driver's side window but I didn't have my wallet or any money so she started yelling at me for being tight and ungenerous because she could only see my upper shoulders and head which was a blue work shirt unstained by my eventful preceding moments and my face somewhat pale but calm. After that I drove out to the airport thinking now someone who knew of my plight would be there when I got there to put me on a plane and out of this predicament but by the time I drove through North Portland traffic and out to the airport parking lot I was too weak to do much. I may have driven somewhere else beforehand and not remembered for instance back toward home then changed my mind. That's possible, I have a dim recollection of having done so. Still strength returned in small waves.
I went in from the parking space I'd found toward departures and arrivals and the airline counters where surely someone would be but there was construction then and a long temporary passage made of plywood leading obscurely into the terminal. As I walked up to it I saw a rank of cabs on the other side of the access road their drivers sitting on the fenders of the cabs smoking and talking one of them saw me and then they all turned or most all of them turned and stared at me I walked into the terminal kind of holding my stomach area the passengers and relatives would notice me or not when they did they'd start what my older relatives called that when something shocks you suddenly you start people would start and move quickly away I got a length or two up the plywood corridor leading into the terminal and realized it was no go and turned around and headed back toward at least my truck which was at that time a 1948 GMC waiting out there in the October sunlight I got out to the arrival curb and the cabbies continued to stare at me as I got progressively then rapidly light-headed and sat down peaceful and feeling very insubstantial and nearly free of the bonds of gravity after a while of indeterminate length this sort of chubby sort of gay guy and a sort of skinny sort of gay guy came up and one said are you alright with a lot of genuine concern in his voice and I responded as honestly as I could that no I wasn't doing all that well right then and eventually the larger of the two said he would wait there with me that his friend would go to call an ambulance and then the ambulance got there quickly I was in it and the siren and the engine and then the kid riding in back with me yelling at the driver that he was losing me and the driver was reassuring him the idea being among people in those conditions that no matter how bad it is staying calm is bound to be preferable. Before that they had asked me where I wanted to be taken "Providence or Emmanuel" two hospitals we were almost equally near and me being indigent or close meant insurance didn't dictate one or the other and under Oregon law either would have to take me and I had chosen Emmanuel out of not knowing which to choose and out of reasons of religious delusion. A decision which changed my life.
The second suicide would be that of a girl named Polly, daughter of my mother's next door neighbor, a year or two after the preceding event. She used a derringer and while inside the building in her mother's bedroom was physically about 8 feet from where I was sitting in the sun playing my guitar outside in the courtyard of the apartment complex our mothers lived in and we were both staying in. I heard the sound it made.
This event will be enlarged upon as the next part of a series.


Duncan and Blake - "life imitates art" which in turn imitates journalism, which generally these days and especially in this instance appears to be doing whatever the fuck it's told:

Schlei, who had tried to persuade Blake to direct a film for him even after the artist accused him of being in on the conspiracy, has a theory about what compelled them to take their lives.
"I think Theresa, in one of her rare moments of self-reflection, recognized she had burned all of these bridges in Jeremy's career with the paranoia," Schlei said. "Jeremy was her creation. And she was killing the thing she created, this great, terrific artist. She realized what she had done. To let him live, she had to go. But in a symbiotic relationship, one couldn't last without the other."
Chris Lee,/LATimes 03.Aug.07
He's not crazy, he's clear.
That's evil talking, whether because it's just some heartless goon or something worse doesn't even matter.
The narrative doesn't close, even as the drones attempt careful and patient suturing. Nothing that's come up in the mainstream reporting I've seen closes it. And this just rips it back wide open and ghastly. Theresa Duncan alienated Bradford Schlei, by his own testimony, therefore she gains in believability.
The LATimes quotes him evidently unchecked, repeating the word "delusional" without any substance other than his speech. A man who would allow the things he says in this article to go out into the world has no discernment, no subtlety of the required kind. In this time, in this country, to dismiss someone's insistence on being fucked with, or harassed or stalked or whatever, out of hand, without any qualifications, without acknowledging the high weird nature of the contemporary moment is complicity with the dark, whatever the immediate circumstance.
Duncan may have been and done everything just the way Schlei portrays it, his gross and disgustingly ungallant ineptitude, at its least-condemned it's void of gallantry, make that nearly immaterial. Whether or not Scientology was stalking Duncan, whether or not anyone was, now or ever, they have stalked others, and there are plenty of living witnesses to the provable fact of this kind of behavior.
Buzzing insects, writhing larvae, stinging drones...big clusters of the inhuman exist and function daily now with the same impunity as mercantile corporations. Ask the Rev. Moon about that.
The great gift of these hive minds is their lack of human character. They can't see it in us, so they can't imitate it. Most zombies don't realize they're zombies.
Stay human children, it's all we have.

A train crash in the Democratic Republic of Congo has killed at least 100 people and injured more than 200.
Divers searched the Mississippi River for bodies today among the submerged cars and twisted steel left by a deadly interstate bridge collapse, their hopes of finding survivors having dimmed.
Authorities early today lowered the death toll to four but warned the final number could change as divers comb the wreckage for as many as 30 people still missing.

The Second Great Awakening (1800–1830s) was the second great religious revival in United States history and consisted of renewed personal salvation experienced in revival meetings.
For three days and well past midnight, a crowd estimated to be between twenty and thirty thousand sang and shouted with a great noise that was heard for miles around. Worshippers transported by extreme emotion jerked, writhed, fell to the ground in convulsions or went catatonic. This Kentucky Revival, called the Second Great Awakening, spread through the inland regions of the South and eventually reached western Pennsylvania. But the movement never flourished in the North because of its harsher weather.
Camille Paglia/Arion
Point Paglia.
The mindlessness of that first sentence in the wikipedia entry is what a lot of the rejecting criticism of that and other online resources comes out of. That's zombie-cult gibberish masquerading as speech. People with minds like the one that wrote that shouldn't have the access or the ability to be destinations on wikipedia. But how to fix that?

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