...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



Castor beans also were found in the man's room, officials said.


Klinghoffer's murder was properly viewed with horror, and is very famous. It was the topic of an acclaimed opera and a made-for-TV movie, as well as much shocked commentary deploring the savagery of Palestinians – "two-headed beasts" (Prime Minister Menachem Begin), "drugged roaches scurrying around in a bottle" (Chief of Staff Raful Eitan), "like grasshoppers compared to us," whose heads should be "smashed against the boulders and walls" (Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir). Or more commonly just Araboushim, the slang counterpart of "k*ke" or "n*gger."
We can easily assess the sincerity of the sentiments expressed about the Klinghoffer murder. It is only necessary to investigate the reaction to comparable U.S.-backed Israeli crimes. Take, for example, the murder in April 2002 of two crippled Palestinians, Kemal Zughayer and Jamal Rashid, by Israeli forces rampaging through the refugee camp of Jenin in the West Bank. Zughayer's crushed body and the remains of his wheelchair were found by British reporters, along with the remains of the white flag he was holding when he was shot dead while seeking to flee the Israeli tanks which then drove over him, ripping his face in two and severing his arms and legs. Jamal Rashid was crushed in his wheelchair when one of Israel's huge U.S.-supplied Caterpillar bulldozers demolished his home in Jenin with his family inside. The differential reaction, or rather non-reaction, has become so routine and so easy to explain that no further commentary is necessary.
TomDispatch via Antiwar


To subdue the valley

miscommunication and deception:
killing civilians is great propaganda for the Taliban

there’s always a local political story at the root of the killing and dying. That original misunderstanding and grievance fertilizes the land for the Islamists. Whom do you want to side with: your brothers in God’s world or the infidel thieves?

“He’s on medication,” Kearney said quietly to me.
Then another soldier walked by and shouted, “Hey, I’m with you, sir!” and Kearney said to me, “Prozac. Serious P.T.S.D. from last tour.” Another one popped out of the HQ cursing and muttering. “Medicated,” Kearney said. “Last tour, if you didn’t give him information, he’d burn down your house. He killed so many people. He’s checked out.”
As I went to get some hot chocolate in the dining tent, the peaceful night was shattered by mortars, rockets and machine-gun fire

with the promise that they would be going after insurgents who had killed their friends and whose grizzled faces were plastered on their bad-guy family-tree wall
He signed off on collateral damage, and Kearney turned to Caroon: “Take out the compound. And anyone that comes out.”

Flaming rockets flashed through the sky.

the puppy whose ears were chopped off by an Afghan

then Becky, everyone’s favorite Apache pilot, swept in. Not only did she offer the comforting voice of a woman seeping right into their ears, but Becky was one of the most aggressive shooters. She flew up and down the canyon walls seeking out and rocketing insurgents.

The Apaches, Slasher and Bone dropped bombs all night.

The pilot was a woman and, Sandifer later told me, “It was so reassuring for us to hear her voice.” She spotted guys hiding and asked if she was clear to engage. “ ‘You’re cleared hot,’ I told her. And we killed two people together.” But, at this point, the killings were no consolation

The tally was bad — 5 killed and 11 wounded, all of them women, girls and boys.

long passage detailing the sufferings and deaths of American soldiers

“I’m bleeding out. I’m dying.”

“I’m bleeding out. I’m dying.”

“I’ve got too many geeking out, wanting to go off the deep end and kill people,” he said. One of his lieutenants wanted to shoot every Afghan in the face.

He wished he could buy 20 goats and let the boys beat and burn them and let loose their rage.

pain and misery will knock on many doors
Hey dude, ask yourself. Why would I bring you radios and food and shoot at you?

Rubin/NYT 24.Feb.08
Could be the headache I got about three paragraphs in, but this line seemed really exceptionally discordant
Still, he wasn’t going to let himself shoot at houses every time his unit took fire: “I’d just create more people that hate me.”
Not because it's wrong, but because it doesn't work. Having more people hate you doesn't work. And that's it for morality now, according to whoever's running all this.
Nothing is wrong or right by itself, things either work or they don't. Torture is bad because it doesn't work, killing civilians is bad because it doesn't work. Unless they do, then they aren't.

...isolated clashes that point to a looming conflagration
via wood s lot


Obama: Don't equate 'pro-Israel' and 'pro-Likud' > In Cleveland, Obama Speaks on Jewish Issues > Obama Distinguishes Between ‘pro-Israel’ and pro-Likud > Obama defiantly announces...



John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt on The Israel Lobby
UC Berkeley Dec 16, 2007
via Fanonite

Resisting the demonological
Clear in-depth Kosovo at Lenin's Tomb


I'm abstaining for the present on direct election commentary. I pulled a piece below that left an unpleasant note in its wake. And repercussions I'm not okay with. It felt unproductive and overly cynical, if not excessively harsh or outright paranoiac. Not that there isn't plenty of material to justify those states of mind. It's about not giving up as much as anything else. runs in fear from what it claimed to love

Muriel Dockendorff Navarrete

We obtained many sworn statements from people who were with her in the DINA's secret torture centres of Cuatro Alamos and Villa Grimaldi.
There is news of her up to 1975, and I have proof that she was in Villa Grimaldi with Sandra Machuco, who is today living in exile in Mexico. Muriel wrote a message to her, together with a poem for her husband in a cigarette packet, before being taken away to an unknown destination. Both the message and the poem were handed over to me in person by Sandra before she fled abroad.


Bent Spear

layers of history, Google, Fanonite

Real News/Pepe Escobar vlogs Sarkozy's Bush-like descent

the eye of the beholden:

The United Nations humanitarian chief today voiced his concern at the impact of indiscriminate rocket attacks against Israel during a visit to the town of Sderot, an area severely affected by bombardments from the Gaza Strip.
“The people of Sderot and the surrounding area have had to live with these unacceptable and indiscriminate rocket attacks for seven years now. There is no doubt about the physical and psychological suffering these attacks are causing,” said John Holmes, who is on a five-day trip to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, his first as Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs.
ScoopNZ 17.Feb.08
Dr. Mohamed Al-Agha, the agriculture minister in the PA caretaker government, warned Sunday that the agricultural sector and food security in the Gaza Strip are facing a disaster after Israel decided to sever its economic ties with the Strip, adding that the situation in Gaza portends real famine.
In a press conference, Dr. Agha called on the UN organizations and the concerned sides to assume their responsibilities and to visit Gaza to see closely the tragic reality there.
The minister explained that as a result of the closure of crossings in the face of Gaza exports and imports, the daily losses of the agricultural sector are estimated at $200,000, adding that the area of agricultural lands deliberately destroyed by the Israeli occupation amounts to 200 square kilometers, where this number does not include the lands which were reclaimed and destroyed again.
The minister also stated that the Gaza Strip suffers a food deficit estimated at 80 percent in fisheries, 90 percent in red meat and 65 percent in dairy products.
The minister pointed out that the poverty rate rose to more than 90 percent, where the unemployment rates rose to more than 75 percent in the agricultural sector alone and 85 percent in the other sectors.
Palestinian Information Center/uruknet 18.Feb.08

...the best justice Cayman Islands money launderers can buy?

...the brand name of is no longer online, due to a Temporary Restraining Order issued by the California Northern District Court in San Francisco, aimed at a Domain Name Registrar, rather than just the actual publishers of controversial material, who happen to be outside of US legal jurisdiction.
Spy Blog
like a sieve:
Julie Turner, an attorney in California who represented Wikileaks prior to this latest litigation but is not counsel for the group on this matter, is surprised that the court sanctioned such a broad agreement.
Turner says that rather than trying to censor the information, the bank could have simply responded to the claims on the Wikileaks site. She also chastised the bank for not having better security over its documents.
"If you're dealing with banking records . . . if your bread and butter is confidentiality in banking, then you’d really better have mechanisms by which you can control documents. The bank itself should have had better security mechanisms rather than allowing employees to take electronic copies of things or make copies of things and remove them. That’s not Wikileaks' fault."
Zetter/Wired 18.Feb.08
Wikileaks at Cryptome
more Wikileaks

Bank of China profits increase "visibly"
China Set to Launch Record Number of Spacecraft in 2008
China "gravely concerned" over Kosovo proclamation of independence



credit where due:

Iraqi authorities have been emphasizing security gains on the anniversary this week of the beginning of a joint crackdown to clear insurgent forces from Baghdad and surroundings with the help of some 30,000 additional U.S. troops.
Rear Adm. Gregory Smith, a U.S. spokesman in Baghdad, also quantified the successes at a news conference Sunday but warned more work remained to be done.
"A year ago, there were an average of 205 terrorist attacks each day across Iraq. Last month, we had tracked 82 — a decrease of over 60 percent," he said. Recently, there have been some days when the total number of attacks dropped below 40, the lowest level since 2004.
AP/google 17.Feb.08
The dramatic decline in bloodshed in Iraq – at least until last week’s terrible market bombings in Baghdad – is largely due to Muqtada al-Sadr’s August 2007 unilateral ceasefire. Made under heavy U.S. and Iraqi pressure and as a result of growing discontent from his own Shiite base, Muqtada’s decision to curb his unruly movement was a positive step. But the situation remains highly fragile and potentially reversible. If the U.S. and others seek to press their advantage and deal the Sadrists a mortal blow, these gains are likely to be squandered, with Iraq experiencing yet another explosion of violence. The need is instead to work at converting Muqtada’s unilateral measure into a more comprehensive multilateral ceasefire that can create conditions for the movement to evolve into a fully legitimate political actor.
ICG 07.Feb.08


watch this:

UN Watch praised French President Nicolas Sarkozy for sending a powerful warning last night to organizers of the UN's "Durban II" racism conference, one that must now be emphasized by other European leaders.

In an address to over 1,000 guests attending the annual dinner of the French Jewish community's umbrella organization, known as the CRIF, President Sarkozy said, "the Durban conference in 2001 led to intolerable excesses from certain states and numerous NGOs that turned the conference into a forum against Israel, and no one has forgotten."
UNWatch press release/ScoopNZ 15.Feb.08
UN Watch at SourceWatch:
UN Watch monitors the actions of UN officials. However the nature of this monitoring is betrayed by the fact that while praise is dispensed freely, the criticism is invariably related to an official's perceived unsympathetic stance towards Israel.
As noted at SW, UN Watch has an agenda which is obscured by its name. It's not about human rights, or any other general campaign. It's another Jewish self-defense outfit.
A lot of people think Sarkozy's Jewish, which he sort of is, the way Rupert Murdoch and Bill Gates sort of are. As contradistinct to the way the illustrious John Negroponte really really is.
All of which is unimportant until someone asks whether Sarkozy's political Anschluss in France might have been backed and promoted by the same guys that gave us the American war in Iraq. Which it was. Thus his being or not being Jewish becomes relatively important, and the fog around that question becomes important as well.
No question about whether Morris Abrams, the founder of UN Watch, who died in 1999, was Jewish, though - before that founding he was the president of the AJC.

Is Obama's Iraq record really a fairy tale?
Not really says Michael Crowley in TNR
Otherwise I do not have any strong feelings about that subject:

"It is wrong that Senator Obama got to go through 15 debates trumpeting his superior judgment and how he had been against the war in every year, numerating the years, and never got asked one time, not once, 'Well, how could you say, that when you said in 2004 you didn't know how you would have voted on the resolution? You said in 2004 there was no difference between you and George Bush on the war and you took that speech you're now running on off your website in 2004 and there's no difference in your voting record and Hillary's ever since?' Give me a break. This whole thing is the biggest fairy tale I've ever seen."

two-thirds the aspartame contained in 8-oz of diet soda

I put NutraSweet in their water starting in March, 2002, and the last of them died in November 2004. The experiment lasted a total of two years, eight months.
Even though I had read the Bressler Report, I was struck by the number and size of the growths. Eleven females and one male developed tumors. That’s 37% of the females on aspartame.
Victoria Inness-Brown:My Aspertame Experiment

bleeding diamonds:

Lev Leviev, through a very close relationship with the Dos Santos regime in Angola, has a monopoly on Angolan diamonds. And so, one of the things that’s so disingenuous about pointing to the Kimberley Process is that the Kimberley Process only refers to conflict diamonds defined as those diamonds that are involved in rebellions against recognized governments. It has nothing to say about recognized regimes, like repressive dictatorships like the Angolan regime. It has nothing to say about the conditions that diamonds are being mined under and processed under and delivered under, under any form of regime. And Leviev has profited immensely off of this relationship with the dictator and off of the oppression of the Angolan people. And human rights activists and journalists in Angola have pointed to the humiliation, whipping and other terrible conditions by the security companies that Lev Leviev’s interests in Angola are paying.
Katie Unger/DNow! 15.Feb.08


widespread illusions:

The Obama campaign is not the vehicle of a leftward movement in the United States — as proclaimed by liberal groups such as and publications like The Nation. It is a preemptive attack by the ruling class against such a movement. Its function is to delude the American people and divert their growing opposition to war, economic crisis and attacks on democratic rights back into the dead-end of the Democratic Party.
Martin/WSWS 04.Feb.08
via cryptogon
comment at 3QD:
One reason for "...two communities — joint conscience-keepers — so set in competition..." is they're both carrying near-majorities of shallow self-interested membership. The warning bells were ringing back in the early 70's when one group after another took its turn at the podium, each with its own description of what was wrong. I kept seeing blacks and women in the boardrooms of General Everything, back when they weren't there yet, because that was the concrete dream, to be there, of the largest and most audibly front-line troops. When those corporate abstractions themselves were more of a problem and danger than economic misogyny and flat-out racism, awful as that gets.
For more than two decades you could hear sensible intelligent people stumbling through the space in the English language where a gender-neutral pronoun should be. While the corporate mass kept right on eating the world, and growing in size and power.
We got, eventually, Condi Rice in the Bush White House. I like Condi Rice as a person, but where she is is not anywhere near what I wanted to see as progress this far down the line.
A light-skinned black woman, will wonders never cease, as Secretary of State in the bloodiest and least noble administration in the history of the US.
Obama is a player first, before he's anything like a statesman, a Chicago player. Clinton in her own way is as well.
It's redolent of the sterile smell around the set-up as the Abu Ghraib image scandal broke. Lynndie England, hillbilly, spawn out of the last identifiable American minority it's still okay to ridicule publicly. She was held up to the public right after the horrifying pictures were held up to the world, and she became the face of it. As cause, as perp, as villain. As responsible.
On the other side, amongst the turbo-confident rich white men Bush rode in with, prominent and playing visibly active roles were Rice, and Colin Powell, and later Alberto Gonzales. An achievement with a politically-correct dynamic that can seem from some angles to have been cast to align with old-guard Hollywood's idea of American tolerance in action.
There they were, two women in the highest profile, neither one in a role assigned by the old patriarchy.
Condi v. Lynndie.
Us v. them.
Obama's face and body in the front runner's spotlight are a refutation of the almost-extinct old social order, just as Hillary Clinton's face and body are. This can sidetrack, because it seems to say so much while saying nothing tangible about their souls. Electing either of them simply because of what they represent at their most essential and least volitional would be a mistake. The same mistake a lot of us have been making all along.


r.e. Ron Paul:
"the falcon cannot hear the falconer", etc.

"In biological natural selection, the prime architect is death. Death powers evolutionary selection. Death is one binary bit. Either off or on. What's dumber than that? So the hive-mind of evolution is powered by one-bit intelligence. That's why it takes millions of years to do much."
"...never before have we been able to make systems with as much "hive" in it as we have recently made with the web. Until this era, technology was primarily all control, all design. Now it can contain both design and no-design, or hive-ness. In fact, this Web 2.0 business is chiefly the first step in exploring all the ways in which we can combine design and the hive in innumerable permutations. We are tweaking the dial..."
"...the bottom-up hive mind will never take us to our end goal. We are too impatient. So we add design and top down control to get where we want to go.
The systems we keep will be hybrid creations. They will have a strong rootstock of peer-to-peer generation, grafted below highly refined strains of controlling functions. Sturdy, robust foundations of user-made content and crowd-sourced innovation will feed very small slivers of leadership agility."
Kevin Kelly
which dovetails with this here

bad things happen everywhere, all the time


o'er the land of the:

...within months the US department of homeland security is to impose a new permit system for Europeans flying to the US, compelling all travellers to apply online for permission to enter the country before booking or buying a ticket, a procedure that will take several days
Traynor/GuardianUK 11.Oct.07

the whole thing was started when someone was a bit upset about a dream they had

a grinding campaign that will require more:

The deadliest bombing on Sunday was near Balad, 50 miles north of Baghdad, against a checkpoint manned jointly by Iraqi police and members of an awakening group.
AP/Yahoo 10.Feb.08
awakening group


"The US media system is corrupt, and it is harming and sometimes even killing us."
"Then they said when-not if-martial law is declared, it was our responsibility to protect our portion of the infrastructure, and if we had to use deadly force to protect it, we couldn't be prosecuted," the informant claimed.
233 million for a bridge to nowhere
the world's ‘youngest political prisoner'
World Press Photo of the Year:

Congo in Limbo
Battle Company, Afghanistan
Afghan women
Assassination of Benazir Bhutto, Rawalpindi, Pakistan
Evacuation of dead Mountain Gorilla, Eastern Congo
Childhood sex abuse
The Improper, Anti-religious Use of Secrecy by the Church in Child Sexual Abuse Matters
Burmese blogger Nay Phone Latt, who was arrested at an internet cafe in Rangoon on January 29, has been charged under article 5(J) of the Emergency Provision Act
U.S. Indirectly Subsidizing Iranian Nuclear Plant
Symbolically ominous changes are under way
via CD

A mildly blasphemous letter, lightly edited for publishing
to Sir Tom the JSTOR-slayer:

For the believers, the credules, everything earthly is about the survival of the spirit beyond the body and its terran home, but then they need the body to get through that, therefore everything is really about the survival of the body moving toward the survival of the spirit beyond the body.
Their owners, the company of invisible directors, the originators of the dark script, don't believe that, they believe solely in the survival of the body plain and simple.
And hey by the way all things static we're now about 20 years away from access to physical immortality, and closing fast with unexpected leaps of exponential progress expected that will shorten that magnificently - in the "we" sense of a shared general phenotype if not immediate shared production and reward. Like how "we" live longer now already than ever before. Unless the reader is an Iraqi or Kenyan teenager or etc mortuus etc. Not a "we".
Why are there so many stupid credulous people around, if that is not an evolutionary trait of much goodness? Where's Darwin on that?
Because it 'is' an e.t.o.m.g., just not for our ilk.
Credulous stupid people make wonderful slaves, and that's what that is all about.
Slaves out of Egypt, slaves out of Birmingham, slaves out of Detroit Michigan, slaves out of work, begging for bread for their children, willing to do anything.
The story as it's published has some narrative errors.
Follow the lyrical dot along the lines and verses of the Passover tale.
Lamb's blood cast on the lintels of the doorways of the Chosen. Why?
Because the angelofthelord needed a sign to differentiate the the elect from the plague-bound preterite.
This is the seemingly myopic angel of the one true almighty all-seeing all-knowing one true divine whatam. But Egypt was dim in them days, what? Murky. No streetlights, no headlights. So significators were required.
Unless there's a more mundane explanation, unless it was closer to an act of bio-war than genuine divine retribution, unless that angelofthelord was more human than celestial.
My guess is there's a neo-Passover in the works.
Everybody has the concept of footprint now, carbon or what have you. Globalwarmingcarbonfootprint-ohdearguilt.
Even the relatively dull can then jump from the print back to the descending foot. Many have. But it is taboo to discuss publicly, even as it drives much of the geo-political day-to-day in one squalid form or other.
Too many feet work as terms in that equation way more snugly than reduction of consumption in an exponential growthrate population and its gimme-that economies..
Too many feet? Slice. Pare. Trim. Viola!
Plenty of fuel real estate air water and if you hit the demographic numbers just right the economies scale back down to the reasonable. And more or less sustainable.
So the contest will be, and has been for centuries, for position going in to the cull. Nice guys don't even finish in that scenario. Unless they're malleable enough and unimaginative enough to serve the Next Iteration of Human. The New. Vicit Keani.
A small minority of chauvinist arrogant delusional bastards whose moral valence is always and only themselves, accompanied protected and surrounded by, served semi-unwittingly by, a self-maintaining mass of dim-witted credules who are easily directed by relatively low-tech sign and wonder.
Sound anything like US political reality?
Who needs anybody else? Say the aforementioned and their domestic help.
A bunch of slaves and a ruling elite of the Chosen and Chosen Again.
And us, the erstwhile campaigners, the resistant and unbowing, we're all fragmented up now, clotted into affinity groups of handfuls of this's and that's with unalignable nebulosities of goal and purpose.
Spartacus where are you?* Vercingtorix! William Wallace! Sitting Bull! Geronimo! Chief Joseph!
Shit I'd take Attila even, against the hidden sycophancy that leads us now.
All those lovable manly losers replaced by grovelling duplicitous assholes. The meek, generally, the vicious bloodthirsty meek.
Darwin don't mind, says, "Hey. Whatever works, man."
Where are the heroes we need and right now? Genetically manipulated out of the social genome. Bred out of the stock. Buried in past and legend and myth.
*Not to mention the real Jesus, the one who was killed for rocking the boat. Not the one who was broadcast like a hologram against the walls of Europe posthumous decades later - and shines these still millenia later through the stained glass of fantasy and cathartic entertainment - after the lions had their surfeit and exeunt omnes, after the aforementioned finally realized that co-option would be a way more likely strategy than persecution, which just keeps creating those damned pesky martyrs. No, you need to get out in front of the wave and ride it like you owned it all along.
Paul of Tarsus and the Great Switcheroo.
That is what looks to have happened.
Ever contemplate the statistical reality of most if not all of us having names which are essentially Hebraic prayers?
An accident of history. Or possibly not.

Convincing the dog you really are a god isn't hard, because he already believes it pretty much.

and that's how I'm doing
how about you?


I thought it was strange

including Jesus

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