Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Fallout From the Mesherle Verdict

More Arrests, New Charges 


Approximately seventeen people have been charged over the past three weeks with crimes related to the protests against former BART cop Johannes Mehserle's involuntary manslaughter verdict on July 8th. Some of those recently charged were arrested that night, while others have been identified by police in photos, and have been newly arrested. The latest set of arraignments on Monday morning saw three Oaklanders charged with Unlawful Assembly, Remaining at the Scene of a Riot, and Rioting. They are set to reappear in court within the next month.

Five people arrested on July 8th remain in the Santa Rita County Jail, and at least three who were arrested last week remain incarcerated. Accordingto the Oakland 100 Support Committee, one of the earlier arrestees was held for over 30 days before charges were filed against him. He now faces a slew of charges which include failure to disperse, although, again according to the Oakland 100 Support Committee, he was arrested before the order to disperse was given.

Art Jackson, who spent 45 days in jail after being arrested on the night of the protests has been charged with crimes related to the looting of the Footlocker shoe store on Broadway Avenue by 14th Street. In a recent statement, Jackson explained that he did not commit any of the crimes he is being charged with. Among those charges are second degree burglary, petty theft with a prior, and receiving stolen property.

Soon after the protests, the Oakland Police Department issues a press release explaining that some of the people arrested were taking "advantage of a chaotic situation by looting Oakland businesses." While to some extent this appears true, Rachel Lederman and Walter Riley of the Bay Area chapter of the National Lawyers Guild make it very clear that it was the police forces themselves who made the situation chaotic.

In a statement condemning the police action on that evening, Lederman said that "The aggressive use of police formations, baton beatings and indiscriminate arrests were unnecessary and violated people's constitutional right to protest. To make things even worse, OPD violated state law by jailing people for long periods of time who had been arrested for very minor offenses."

Long time community activist and NLG member Riley agreed that in the protests, which in some cases turned into legal violations, the police, fully clad in riot gear, were not keeping the peace. Soon after the protests he said, "The police were provocative and seemed determined to instigate violence, which of course, served their police contract negotiations with Oakland at a time when they are facing layoffs of 80 officers." He added, "The police helped to perpetuate a narrative of violence by allowing a small number of people to vandalize businesses when they could have stopped it."

On the other hand, however, at a press conference on the day following the verdict, Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums made a statement praising the OPD for restraining itself and respecting the civil rights of community members. The number of people charged with crimes relating to the protests against Mehserle's verdict continues to increase, apparently in relation to responses the police have gotten to a press release pressing community members to "Please take a moment to review the images [on their website] and help us identfy individuals who looted Oakland businesses"—spelling error and all.

The Oakland 100 Support Committee is calling for support from the community to help in the defense of the people who were arrested during those protests. A list of court dates and locations as well as a way to donate to support court and lawyer fees are available on their website.

Jesse Strauss is an independent journalist, born and raised in Oakland,
Reach him at jstrauss (at) riseup.net.

Belief is the death of intelligence--Robert Anton Wilson

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Autumn of the Driveler

CounterPunch Diary


Some world leaders mature as they head into the sunset: Jimmy Carter often makes more sense in his eighties than he did as president nearly four decades ago. Others spare the world their midnight thoughts, not always voluntarily. Ronald Reagan succumbed to Alzheimers; Ariel Sharon is still animate, albeit effectively dead to the world. Alas, Fidel Castro just broke an arm and a kneecap when he tripped on that fateful concrete step six years ago. Would that he had bitten off his tongue and thus spared his erstwhile admirers, myself included, the sound of this once great revolutionary plunging into kookdom.

If President Raúl Castro wants to defend Cuba's record on human rights, all he needs to do point to the fact that his brother has not been deposed from his formal position as First Secretary of the Communist Party, and carted off to an isolation ward in the Casa de Dementes, Havana's psychiatric hospital. Instead he has unstinted access to the state radio and the newspaper Granma.

In both of these media Castro, now 84, has spouted a steady stream of drivel.

Memorable among these forays intonutdom was his outburst of conspiracism on the sixth anniversary of the Trade Center/Pentagon attacks with the whole slab of nonsense read out by a Cuban television presenter.

Castro claimed that the Pentagon was hit by a rocket, not a plane, because no traces were found of its passengers. "Only a projectile could have created the geometrically round orifice created by the alleged airplane," according to Fidel. "We were deceived as well as the rest of the planet's inhabitants." All nonsense of course. There were remains of the passengers on the plane that hit the Pentagon, in the form of teeth and other bits traced through DNA. Hundreds of people saw the plane -- people who know the difference between a plane and a cruise missile. The wreckage of the plane was hauled out from the site.

It's logical that maximum leaders like Castro are conspiracists by disposition. Since they are control freaks, the random and the accidental are alien to their frame of reference. If it happened, it happened for a reason. And if a bad thing happened, it was very probably a conspiracy.

More recently, in early August of this year Castro touted to his audience in Cuba and across the world his sympathy with one of the standard mantras of nutdom, which is the belief that the world is run by the Bilderberg Club.

The 84-year-old former Cuban president published an article on August 18, spread across three of the eight pages of the Communist Party newspaper Granma, quoting in extenso from the Lithuanian-born writer Daniel Estulin's 'The Secrets of the Bilderberg Club,' (2006) alleging the Bilderbergers control everything, which must mean that they pack a lot in to the three-day session the Club holds each year as its sole public activity. Of course they probably skype each other a lot too and rot out their brains plotting and planning on their cell phones.

Followers of the Alex Jones (Radio) Show, a sanctuary of conspiracism, no doubt remember Estulin's claim in 2007 that he had "received information from sources inside the U.S. intelligence community which suggests that people from the highest levels of the U.S. government are considering an assassination attempt against Congressman Ron Paul because they are threatened by his burgeoning popularity." The bits of Estulin's book reverently quoted by Castro, who called Estulin honest and well informed, retread some of the doctrines of Lyndon LaRouche, one of the most lurid conspiracists in political history, (though I do have affectionate memories of LaRouche's claim in 1984 in a ad running on the CBS network that former vice president Walter Mondale, then running against Ronald Reagan for the Oval Office, was an "agent of influence" of the Soviet Intelligence services. At the time LaRouchies were in close contact with the Reagan White House.)

On the evidence of his quotes from Estulin, Castro is much taken by Estulin's view that members of the Marxist Frankfurt School such as Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer, who fled to the US from the Nazis before World War Two, had been recruited by the Rockefellers to popularize rock music to "control the masses" by seducing them from the fight for civil rights and social justice. According to Estulin, reverently quoted by Castro, 'The man charged with ensuring that the Americans liked the Beatles was Walter Lippmann himself.'

So Fidel Castro believes that the Beatles were invented by the Rockefellers, and that Walter Lippmann, the pundit who drafted President Wilson's Fourteen Points in 1918, crowned his literary/political career in 1968 by sending John Lennon the lyrics for "Revolution", with its demobilizing message: "You say you want a revolution /Well, you know /We all want to change the world /… But when you talk about destruction /Don't you know that you can count me out." (In fact I seem to remember that Lennon actually wrote the song as an answer to my friends Tariq Ali and Robin Blackburn, who as members of New Left Review and the Fourth International had suggested to Lennon that the Beatles pony up some dough to finance the revolutionary cause.)

And now Castro's latest outing into political asininity has been to give an interview to Jeffrey Goldberg, of the Atlantic, allowing the man Castro cordially describes as "a great journalist" to cite Castro as saying that the Cuban economic model has been a disaster.

Goldberg is an appalling journalist, whose most notable achievement was to run an enormous piece in the New Yorker in the run-up to the attack on Iraq in 2003, which was one of the most effective exercises in disinformation designed to stoke up the Congress and public opinion in favor of the war. The piece was billed as containing disclosures of "Saddam Hussein's possible ties to al Qaeda."

This was at a moment when the FBI and CIA had just shot down the war party's claim of a meeting between Mohammed Atta and an Iraqi intelligence agent in Prague before the 9/11 attacks. Goldberg saved the day for the Bush crowd. At the core of his rambling, 16,000-word article was an interview in the Kurdish-held Iraqi town of Sulaimaniya with Mohammed Mansour Shahab, who offered the eager Goldberg a wealth of detail about his activities as a link between Osama bin Laden and the Iraqis, shuttling arms and other equipment.

The piece was gratefully seized upon by the Administration as proof of The Link. The coup de grâce to Goldberg's credibility came on February 9, 2003 in the London Observer, administered by Jason Burke, its chief reporter. Burke visited the same prison in Sulaimaniya, talked to Shahab and established beyond doubt that Goldberg's great source is a clumsy liar, not even knowing the physical appearance of Kandahar, whither he had claimed to have journeyed to deal with bin Laden; and confecting his fantasies in the hope of a shorter prison sentence. Needless to say, Burke's demolition was not picked up in the U.S. press, nor has the New Yorker ever apologized for Goldberg's story, certainly as pernicious as anything offered by Judy Miller in the New York Times.

Since Castro has been sounding tremendous alarums about a possible attack on Iran, it's bizarre to find him lofting Goldberg, a former member of the Israeli Defense Force, to the journalistic pantheon and taking pains to paint his fellow 9/11 conspiracist, president Ahmadinejad of Iran, as an anti-Semite.

Some on the left see Castro's deprecating remarks about the failure of the Cuban economic model as part of a tactical maneuver to help his brother institute the "reforms" that will see somewhere between half a million and million Cubans lose their jobs. I see it as a spectacularly foolish misjudgement by Castro, who told Goldberg "The Cuban model doesn't even work for us anymore" and later said he was misinterpreted and that he meant the exact opposite, which is obvious nonsense.

Then Castro took Goldberg to – of all disgusting things – a dolphin exhibition. Lock the old fool up I say, free the dolphins and turn the exhibition into a theme park for all the CIA's efforts to kill Castro, including booby-trapping a coral reef. The ironies of history: the CIA failed, and here's Castro taking up the task, methodically assassinating his reputation, week after week.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Glenn Beck Channels Lunatic, Disassociated Rage Into a Quasi-Movement...

By Wallace C. Turbeville, NewDeal 2.0

A little over a week ago we were treated to Glenn Beck's quasi-religious extravaganza on the anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech. I have had a gnawing sense that there was some greater meaning to this event, despite the absence of any apparent substance in the messages delivered.

Then it hit me: I recalled that, in a 2009 New York Times interview, Glenn Beck compared himself with Howard Beale, the character portrayed magnificently by Peter Finch in the 1976 film "Network." The metamorphosis of Beck into a self-proclaimed prophet of an ideologically conservative God suddenly made complete sense.

In Paddy Chayefsky's screenplay, Beale was a newscaster who suffered a psychological break when informed that he was to be fired because of low ratings. He wandered into the studio wearing his pajamas, drenched from walking in a thunderstorm, and delivered the famous speech urging viewers to throw open their windows and scream, "I'm as mad as hell, and I am not going to take it any more." Of course, the viewers complied en masse and Beale was given his own show that featured his lunatic rants. Ratings soared.

Before his famous exhortation, Beale recounted a list of problems plaguing society and admitted that he was totally clueless as to any solutions. Chayefsky was unsympathetic with Beale's audience. He brilliantly described the mass insanity of a public willing to follow a prophet with no inkling of a way to address problems, based only lunatic, disassociated anger. Chayefsky intended that "mad" be read as having both of its meanings. He was appalled by the public's self-indulgent eagerness to transform the immediate gratification of a primal scream into a social movement.

It is instructive to recall how Beale met his end. Network management found it necessary to restrain Beale when his rants put corporate strategy at risk. In redirecting Beale, they inadvertently reattached his mind, however tenuously, with rationality. Beale started speaking (quite eloquently) about the dehumanization of society, advising his viewers to make the best of the situation because the trend was irreversible. Ratings plummeted, not because the public disagreed, but because they became bored. As the film's narrator put it, "No one particularly cared to hear that his life was utterly valueless." The amoral head of programming, Diana Christensen, arranged to have Beale gunned down on live TV by the Ecumenical Liberation Army (they also had a prime time reality show, "The Mao Tse-Tung Hour"). That final show was a great success for the Network, if not for Beale.

Glenn Beck proves that Paddy Chayefsky's observations of American society in the 1970's are just as valid today.

I have often wondered whether Beck is a lunatic, exploited by Fox News and deserving of our sympathy. After all, he suffers from macular dystrophy, an inability to focus vision on the real world. (Chayefsky would have loved the irony.) But I now believe that he is sane (and I suppose deserving of no sympathy). He understands that disassociated anger is cathartic for today's public. Nonsensical conspiracy theories and baseless ridicule are entertaining fillers, but his real stock-in-trade is the public's rage at a "system" that must have betrayed them because their dreams have not been fulfilled. People are angry because they feel powerless to change conditions that they dislike. They cannot even describe what the problem is because no leader has articulated it. A rational explanation would at least mitigate the rage by calming anxieties. But no progressive leader has the courage to try it, and it is not in the conservatives' interest to do so. You might say that the public's experience is dehumanizing (but if you did, you would bore the audience).

The facts suggest that Beck is more Diana Christensen than Howard Beale. Like her, he understands that news, in the sense of events and public policies, cannot contend with entertainment in a world dominated by fear and uncertainty. He has simply chosen to be his own prophet. His claim to be a mouthpiece of God appears cynically calculated to complete the construction of a modern-day equivalent of Chayefsky's Network. As Max Schumacher, the only principled character in the film said of Christensen: "You are television incarnate, Diana [read, Glenn] — indifferent to suffering, insensitive to joy. All of life is reduced to the common rubble of banality."

This is all far more important than Glenn Beck. I believe that this disassociated rage has been an important characteristic of American society for at least 40 years. It is a product of the self-important and self-indulgent baby boomers (like me), who have always been susceptible to the message that they should hold on to their own money rather than sharing it, in the form of taxes, in pursuit of the greater good. The anger and cynicism, initially directed at the "system," was eventually turned on the government. The only leader whose message resonated in this era was Ronald Reagan — "Government cannot solve the problem; it is the problem."

Ideological conservatism has ruled the day for 40 years. The genius of the New Deal, in retreat throughout this period, was not ideology. It was the pragmatic observation that the only way to achieve long-term prosperity is for the government to draw the weak and less wealthy into participation in the economy. Left to their own devices, the strong and wealthy will rationally act in their own short-term interests. Only government can act in the collective long-term interest. The unbridled free enterprise and deregulation advocated by conservative ideologues can make a few people wealthy in the short-run, but it is unsustainable because middle- and lower- income families will inevitably be left behind.

What has been missing is a progressive leader willing to risk telling the public the truth. The middle- and lower-classes have been getting poorer. The quality of their employment in good times has deteriorated; and progressively, in each downturn, unemployment persists for longer and longer periods after the economy improves. As high school and college graduation rates have stagnated, the American dream of boundless opportunity has withered away, even for their children. Even the apparent success of the wealthiest is unsustainable unless increasing income disparity is reversed.

What an opportunity for progressives to redirect this anger toward conservative ideologies that have decimated the American Dream! For Mr. Obama, the path to a transformational presidency was, and hopefully still is, to channel this energy into an all-out effort to restore balance to the economy.

Chayefsky also created a character, Arthur Jensen, who was the head of the Network. Assuming his best voice-of-God tone, he tried to convince Beale to proclaim a utopian world view in which businesses roamed free of government interference, his "corporate cosmology." When Beale nervously asked why he should be the chosen prophet for this new world order, Jensen answered: "Because you are on the television, you dummy." Glenn Beck needs to be reminded that Arthur Jensen was not God; he was just a character in a movie.

Wallace C. Turbeville is the former CEO of VMAC LLC and a former Vice President of Goldman, Sachs & Co. He is Visiting Scholar at the Roosevelt Institute.

Monday, September 13, 2010


William K. Black, Naked Capitalism - The Supreme Court's Citizens United decision allows businesses to make unlimited political contributions to judges and politicians. When judges are elected, the need for these contributions inherently turns judges into politicians. Sympathetic judges are corrupt businesses' most valuable allies. Corporations and their senior officials can commit civil or criminal wrongs with impunity if their case is assigned to a friendly judge. The Robber Barons often had judges on their payrolls. Judges can serve a corporation as both a shield and a sword. They can declare statutes and regulations unlawful. They can issue favorable decisions when corporations sue their critics, which can intimidate, tie up, or even bankrupt the critics.

The fact that corporations are "investing" so heavily in getting pro-business judges elected demonstrates that their CEOs believe that the election of friendly judges will increase their incomes and decrease the risk that they will ever be sanctioned.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Heart of Corporate Darkness

By STEPHEN MARTIN, Counterpunch

'Mistah Kurtz, he dead'
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness.

It really is so very difficult to attempt to understand what is going on in the World today, though perhaps the point as made by Karl Marx; that the priority is not to understand the World but to change it is valid - and we certainly live in time of change - sense of 'Sic Transit Gloria Mundi'?

This small article seeks to examine what amounts to Political horror; that horror which is Corporatism become synonymous with 'Ecocide', and describable as 'Heart of Darkness'.

These small quarters write as a 'Prole', sense of George Orwell's abbreviation of 'Proletariat'; and it is certainly the case that Orwell had a sublime consciousness. His concept of 'Inner Party, Outer Party and Prole' holds approximate sense of Gini Co-efficient today in most parts of the Western World - as does his vision of 'Geopolitical Power Block' as 'supra National'; sense of 'Eastasia, Eurasia and Oceania', express prescience?

The Proletariat, and indeed the 'Lumpenproletariat' or 'Proletariat in rags', are growing in number daily in the Western World given the shrinkage of the middle classes under the onslaught of Economic Depression - and are increasingly liable to be viewed as 'superfluous' accordant the growth of power of 'Inner Party' as 'Masters of the Universe' or '?bermenschen'?

'Population Control' is a euphemism as can be employed by 'Philanthropists' who see themselves as '?bermenschen', and to whom 'Genocide' concerning the elimination of 'Prole' as '?ntermenschen' is but only a further step along the Corporate line in an Orthodoxy demanding seeing others as less worthy of Life - and as to be so 'constrained'?

So it goes.

It is a questionable proposition that the engineering of an Economic Depression constitutes Population Control?

The horror!

These small quarters write expressive of a psychophysical consciousness which is reflective of a neurophysiological integration, involving an 'anamnesis' as put by Socrates, and within context of a 'Paradigm' as would be determined by Empiricism. It is ultimately through Empiricism that Corporatism as an Orthodoxy has been spawned, much along the lines of 'Dialectic' as enumerated by Marx concerning relationship to means of Production determined by Science as a fruit of Empiricism - as it is also through same Empiricism as paradigm Corporate that a mere Prole is not 'meant' to use words such as 'psychophysical' or 'neurophysiological' - as Orwell in his concept of 'Newspeak' acknowledged?

The point being made is that the 'Heart of Darkness' is not only 'out there' in Cartesian sense of particular best laid scheme being played with 'matter', but is also 'in here' sense of best laid scheme being played with 'mind'?

The point is also that the 'Inner Party' as Stateless Bastards imposing Orthodoxy for gain 'Utilitarian' have a variety of ways of 'grinding' Man down through the imposition of illusion directed at destroying Hope; or at the very least rendering it capable of being described as 'audacious'?

Asking the 'right questions' in a Panopticon comes with the risk of being 'unintelligible' or labelled 'derogatory' - such the control as they who would have wrong questions asked have attained – never mind the truth that 'hope springs eternal in the human breast' as Pope stated?

The pragmatism of the Corporatist Age in which we currently 'live' will surely be viewed in the future as being 'Dark' as Lichtenberg proposed; and in such illumination the Horror of the Age as illusion imposed will necessarily be faced and recognised for the denial it was?

'Grundrisse' as outlines critique of Political Economy is Marx's prescience concerning the inevitable effects of concentration of wealth as a polarisation of power- and the degeneration of Capitalist Democracy to Corporatism?

That 'History is written by the 'Victorious' was illustrated through alternative interpretation expressing a transcendence of such 'paradigm' by Howard Zinn - as an iconoclast concerning Orthodox American History?

For as there are certain Men as cannot be 'ground down' sense of Illegitimum non carborundum, and who retainthe right to have own opinions, idiosyncratic or offensive as they may be, but whose consciousness constitutes the attempt at 'CounterPunch' against Corporatist illusion in the denial of denial; so there is orthodox propaganda founded in a cynical pragmatic of the materialism which Corporatism has come to represent at the level of hegemony?

Squeezed out to the margins through technologically enhanced Hegemony of Orthodoxy; the narrative of those as are able to refuse reduction to the cynicism of pragmatism and deny imprisonment within the paradigm of illusion yet remains a vital sign of 'Political Life on the Planet' -though there exists an ongoing effort to render such not only 'illegitimate' but 'unintelligible'? Corporatism 'works' by means of invisible restraint as of 'unwritten rule' concerning what is palatable, what is acceptable, what will be 'rewarded' - and in the final analysis what is comprehensible?

As Orwell put sublimely in 1984:

"Don't you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought?… Has it ever occurred to you, Winston, that by the year 2050, at the very latest, not a single human being will be alive who could understand such a conversation as we are having now?…The whole climate of thought will be different. In fact, there will be no thought, as we understand it now. Orthodoxy means not thinking—not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness."

For we all exist in a 'cage' do we not, such as 'Yellow Submarine' as song sung of represents 'imprisonment' of sensibilities, and for some such a 'tubular cage' is more constraining, and not just in the singularity of 'One Dimensional Man', as Marcuse put, but also by way of multiplicity; as in the context of 'Realpolitik' the imperative exists of division, as of by way of the Roman maxim which has rationale of 'conquering', by way of illusion become as between 'Republican' or 'Democrat' concerning the power of 'Inner Party' - and as there can be 'cages within a cage'?

The Corporatist Orthodoxy demands a uniformity which has the inevitable developmental line of marginalising Humanity through abrogation of Life as denial of Truth in the propagation of Death - as the acceptance of Lie as an unconsciousness; as in 'no need to think'?

The tragedy of such Darkness' as would be even at 'Noon' sense of Koestler, is that such cage will become ever more confining but yet would be 'unseen' under the illusion which is expressive of 'power of mind over mind'.

The tragedy of America contemporaneous is of the Darkness of a Panopticon, such as the Heart of Corporatism would 'pump up the volume' to point of incapacitating level; as in where Man cannot hear himself or herself think – and so gives up the ghost' concerning the imperative of consciousness?

Concerning Politics as 'moral economics', there is a Manichean aspect; given the acknowledgement of 'morality'?

These small quarters seeing the trend contemporaneous in Western World as being primarily evil, as evident in the infliction of sufferance epitomised by Corporatism.

At present these small quarters can only speak as a 'mushroom' kept in a particular darkness the intent of power of mind over mind. In such darkness there exists as 'foodstuff' a certain kind of 'shit' which defines the demanded illusion of 'geopolitical power block'. The unity of such power block is expressed in the currency, or money which is believed in, and controlled as of the exercise of a hidden taxation - to the 'wetting of the beak' in Mafia parlance by the 'Inner Party' as International Financier?

That 'The Heart of Corporate Darkness' is to be found within a 'Continuity of Memoranda' relating to identifiable horrors is the proposition of this small article.

In mind here is the 'Ford Pinto Memo' as real and demonstrable - and a Memorandum as must exist somewhere concerning the 'Gulf of Mexico', which summates the mechanics of deliberation concerning disaster as a series of pragmatic calculations within an obscene and warped Orthodoxy, realised in the denial of Life?

Increasingly mere 'Proles' such as these small quarters are being 'asked' to 'suspend disbelief' in the face of a crafted illusion which is wreaking 'havoc!', given 'unleashing' of the Corporatist 'Dogs of War'; where 'War', as in the multiplicity concerning context of restraint apropos 'cage' above, is a polymorphous horror: ranging from a wrought Economic Depression with its 'collateral damage' of millions impoverished, to the abuse of military force against Nation with its 'collateral damage' of millions killed, to the destruction of Ecosystem with its 'collateral damage' of millions of lives lost - as considered across a wondrous diversity of species.

America, Iraq and the Gulf of Mexico exemplify respectively.

The horror!, the horror!, the horror!

Yet the manifold forms of Warfare as 'Racket' are not just for Mind, they are ultimately for Soul, such the 'what it is all about' concerning the pump of the Heart of Darkness - as every beat of dark bastard heart leads to further sufferance reflecting breakdown of 'Life'; which in the case of America means making a mockery, to point of tragedy, of the best Political Constitution which the World has yet seen, through the destruction of 'Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness' evident through impoverishment of the Citizenry - and the diversion, under Orthodoxy, of precious resources to a Military Industrial Complex which projects 'Empire' fearful to point of 'shock and awe' under such pitifully perverse illusion as the imposition of Democracy by force in an Irony far from sublime as the grubby racket it represents by way of expropriation?

The horror!

Americans need not look far to see what such horror as irony means; for every American Citizen reliant on Food Stamp to survive, every American Citizen under threat of foreclosure and homelessness, every American Citizen living in fear of losing livelihood, is a testimony to the Obscenity of the Orthodoxy of Corporatism which would continue to propagate cruel illusion denying the horror of such actuality?

Welcome to the 'Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave' - such the 'Doublethink'?

It is not without meaning that the last two published articles by these small quarters this exemplary Journal of Democracy have ended with one particular extract from the Political Constitution of the United States of America as an understanding of what Corporatism represents way of what it can deny - and what is held to be self evident.

For what is held as self evident these small quarters is the destruction of America by an enemy within as would be unseen; the takeover of power to issue money as a 'permit' being as a fatal blow to Democracy, as cannot be hidden despite the truly expensive efforts of Corporatist illusion to deny what is become so clear as it is so tragic, - and given awareness of the concept of 'opportunity cost'?

It is become inevitable, such the Dialectic as reflecting the mechanics of deliberation as can be epitomised in a Memorandum; and as continuity demands consideration of Memoranda, that in America today there is a tragedy of homelessness, a tragedy of businesses closing, a tragedy of immiseration through impoverishment as unemployment and dependency upon food stamp represents; a tragedy which is of the 'cages within cage' of Corporatism - given the prevalence of fear, almost Universal such context as the beat of a 'Heart of Darkness' inevitably pumps out sufferance form of the destruction of Constitution by way of a Panopticon condemned to destroy Truth?

The horror!

It is a tragedy as would be unseen, unmentionable to the pathological state of 'mind' become dominant which is as Corporatism representing the 'ascendancy' of an Orthodoxy through which an Oligarchic Collective 'survives', as within such 'Gutenbergian Galaxy' become digitised, as per McLuhan, such medium contains a message indeed, and it is fearful as it arises from 'Darkness' - as of 'enough never being enough', such the greed as driven maniacal as abrogative of Humanity - or as Satanic as would destroy the Joy which the 'Gift of Life' represents?

'Less than Zero' such the 'Luciferian Burn' as the avoidable death of People in a Ford Pinto become magnified in the avoidable death of Life in the Gulf of Mexico as vehicle of the 'buy in' to illusion - form of trust extended or as permit granted? It is a tragedy of continuity as in a denouement expressive of the degeneration of 'Citizenry' and 'Democracy' by a 'Coterie' as constitutes Oligarchic Collective; it is a tragedy of the slow but sure strangulation of the breath of Life to the point beyond whimper whence last gasp of despair concerning materialism exists; at the end of the 'day' sense of the termination of the period of sunlight direct, such tragedy is of 'cide' can be summative; as in the ascending scale of obscenity represented by, 'sui, ethno, geno, eco' to such suffix.

Rather than 'side' as within humane context of debate as prefix of 'for' or 'against', the ubiquity of 'cide' as a suffix context of inhumane Warfare is a tragedy of expropriation, arrogation and abrogation, such the sadness that mere Corporatism can eliminate Democracy in the marginalisation of Humanity to point of 'hollow man' become dominant - such the 'patter of rat's feet over broken glass'. -T.S. Eliot was in his own way above and beyond the mechanics of deliberation?

Corporatism is a tragedy because it is unnecessary; because it is an avoidable abrogation of potentiality, because as simply put in colloquial vernacular: 'it don't have to be this way'?

The challenge for Corporatism is to sustain and perpetuate a life denying illusion which calls into ever greater question the ability of Man to refuse to believe the evidence of his or her own eyes. The dynamic or dialectic is of the suspension of disbelief given a growing disparity between the illusion as would be imposed, and the day to day reality for the ever growing Majority as truly suffer 'impoverishment Utilitarian'. Orwell saw within such challenge a form of illusion he described as 'Doublethink', encapsulated within the slogans:

'War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, andIgnorance is Strength.'

The motivation for adoption of life denying illusion is as simple as the biological 'rationale' for the diversity of parasitical life; it is material gain and the occupation of a comfortable niche with minimal expenditure of effort and provision of return. It is 'survival' as an imperative experienced as 'superseding' the need to speak up, sense of as Neimöller wrote - for all those who give up the right to 'speak up' experience an inevitable execution through joining the 'chorus' of a Moritaten, or 'Ballad of Death' concerning 'consciousness'?

If humble parasites such as leeches could speak and dream, such would tell of Corporatism as a 'rise' above mere hematophagy and the feed upon lifeblood of an individual host; such would tell of money and power and corruption, and control and manipulation towards the end of ever greater expropriation from a greater diversity - as of all other life become as 'host'?

Such a horror of the Necrotrophy as has destroyed the American Dream?

The Ford Pinto Memorandum is a testimony to the mechanics of deliberation which epitomises Corporatism as Orthodoxy. ' It is 'Life', Jim, and just as we have come to know it'' more the horror, such as a 'Trek amongst the Stars' it is not; but closer to the scatological ravings of perverse degenerates such as coprophagiacs become as Hegemony; such the 'existence' for Man when lunatics take over an asylum. Because the reduction of any life to mere dollars and cents in concept of 'worth' is obscene, and reflects a level of perversity to which the sadness of Coprophagia as a state of perverse degeneracy could represent 'improvement'?

The irony being that Corporatists exist on the premise of People 'eating' the shit of Propaganda; sense of illusion being swallowed as Orthodoxy accepted - and evidence of Man as has own eyes denied?

The Ford Pinto Memorandum concerned Corporate product as designed, built, marketed and branded which had a design flaw which meant an increased risk of the product bursting in to flames in a collision. Given recognition of this flaw, some sad bastard of Corporatist Orthodoxy sat down and ran calculations of contingency within margins of levels of confidence, ultimately expressed in levels of 'bottom line' of dollars and cents reaching a conclusion in terms of 'EMV' or 'Expected Monetary Value' concerning 'recall and replace' or 'recompense for fatality/injury' as part of a 'decision tree'. The answer being as History demonstrates, such the discovery of what 'life' can mean in a paradigm of Obscene Orthodoxy.

Every person burned to death - or lucky enough to escape with 'degree of burn' - in such a product of Corporatism contributed to a profit as would be maximised under costs minimised - so the Orthodoxy goes.

The hypothetical 'Gulf of Mexico Memorandum' posits a development of the above horrific obscenity, written by an even sadder bastard than the author of the Ford Pinto Memorandum.

Why sadder?

Because the calculations concerning the ongoing tragedy of 'Deepwater Horizon' would have to reflect an even greater 'incorporation' of diversity of life denied, evidenced in bigger figures concerning dollars and cents, such the scale of obscenity as 'Homicide' can be represented as 'mere' when it comes to 'Ecocide'; such the failure, such the Denial. We are not just talking of children as passengers or drivers as parents burned alive as the Ford Pinto Memorandum 'incorporated'; we are talking of the diversity of species encompassed by an ecosystem 'incorporated' as a cost, sense of dollars and cents, and as can determine the choice between a number of courses of action -where 'denial' is the inevitable outcome of obscene Orthodoxy.

The hypothetical Gulf of Mexico Memorandum represents the 'Big League' of Corporatist Orthodoxy; commensurate with resonance of the illusion as to 'Where has all the money gone?' realising Genocide in an Economic Depression as disastrous illusion become 'Where has all the Oil gone? in an Environmental Catastrophe of Ecocide as illusion would seek to deny – such the 'Too big to fail' premise as the illusion of Corporatism demands the inevitable imposition of sufferance and denial, variant only the prefix of the 'cide', such the obscenity.

But yet the failure of Corporatist Orthodoxy is all too evident, sense of the loss of life, sense of the magnification of expenditure of resources gone in to the support of illusion, sense of the Depression being as denial of Life - and of the Joy which it is as a wondrous gift.

The horror!

To reiterate a point made in a recent article by these small quarters, the drill of Corporatism as an Orthodoxy died in the Gulf of Mexico, and that is not tragic, but long overdue. What is truly tragic is the horror of the sacrifice it has taken to bring about the death of such Orthodoxy as an assassin of consciousness; for it is a sacrifice which many lives, and not just of Man, have yet to 'enumerate' - sense of acknowledgement of Truth as the absence of denial?

Citizens as People of America, particularly in the Gulf of Mexico, are beginning to open their eyes to what this current 'evolutionary trajectory' represents - as they are beginning to see the illusion of Corporatism for what it represents as the denial of Life?

At a pragmatic level given sense of horror reflected in ability to hypothesize, concerning the continuity as of 'Memoranda', what this means for Orthodoxy is that People have to be eliminated – and for People read Citizenry; read Majority; read 'Prole'?

To parallel of a journey to the Heart of Darkness, way of the river of the Mississippi rather than the Congo as in Conrad's Novella, and as in a Memorandum as somewhere exists as parallels 'Ford Pinto Memorandum':

'The Gulf of Mexico. It Dead'

-How such horror expressive of an Obscene Orthodoxy such as Corporatism has come to prevail in a Nation which has a Constitution enshrining:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

is a right question, as 'they', sense of Inner Party, would have not asked – as they indeed would not have the consequences of such truths as above find meaning in 'Right to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness'?

As a fact becoming increasingly self evident, such the horror of the pump of the Heart of Corporate Darkness.

The horror! The horror!

-Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness is available here, superb example of consciousness concerning horror still unfolding as 'slow violence' of Orthodoxy revealed concerning the Gulf of Mexico is to be found here.

Stephen Martin can be reached at: stephenmarti@yahoo.com

Belief is the death of intelligence--Robert Anton Wilson

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Dear Tea Partiers, Let's Get Mad Together

Disturbing Truths About Our Government

Not because the government does too much. But because it's done too little.

Consider a few disturbing truths:
-- We cry 'socialism!' at the mention of higher taxes, but we allow a
businessman to make enough money to pay the salaries of every police
officer, firefighter, and public school teacher in the city of Chicago.

-- The richest 1% had a big slice of the American income pie in 1980.
Since that time, they've cut a second piece of the same size for
themselves, and then a THIRD piece! Three times as much in 25 years. They
got this extra pie not from being good hard-working little boys, but from
tax cuts and deregulation.

-- As Howard Zinn argued, low-income people go to jail for thefts of a few
hundred dollars. The people who take BILLIONS from society by calling
their income "carried interest" instead of income are considered shrewd

-- And how about corporations, the driving force of a 'revitalized'
economy? Right now the 500 largest non-financial corporations are sitting
on $1.8 trillion in cash instead of investing in people. And they're not
paying much in taxes. The portion of federal revenue derived from
corporate income tax decreased from 33% in the 1950s to 12% in 2005.
Companies have saved billions by moving their headquarters to tax havens
such as Bermuda or the Cayman Islands. Business-backers claim that the
U.S. has one of the highest corporate tax rates among OECD countries, but
the U.S. is actually the fourth lowest among OECD countries in the
collection of corporate taxes as a percentage of GDP.

Tea Partiers, we should get mad together at government, because they've
done too little to correct these injustices. It is not in their own best
interests to raise taxes on the rich.

And we should get mad together at the mainstream media for not reporting
on the abuses of the small percentage of very wealthy people who make it
so hard on the rest of us.

Paul Buchheit teaches in the School for New Learning at DePaul University.

Belief is the death of intelligence--Robert Anton Wilson

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

History According to Beck and Palin

The Myth of the Founding Fathers


Led by Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin, Tea Party worshippers of the Founding
Fathers want to return to the "good ol' days" of 1787, when most
African-Americans were slaves, many poor whites were indentured servants,
and women couldn't vote. At the time the Founding Fathers wrote the
Declaration of Independence and Constitution, Native Americans were being
slaughtered for their land, and Mexicans who were indigenous to the
Southwest and the West coast of what became the United States were
included in the genocide.

None of the ancestors of the African American, Native American, or Latino
speakers addressing the mostly white Tea Partiers at the Lincoln Memorial
on the 47th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech
would have been among the Founding Fathers. No women, Jews, Muslims, poor
people or non-land owners were numbered amongst the Founders who were rich
white men.

Conservatives have trouble seeking sensible solutions to our present-day
problems of poverty, violence, and perpetual war that make rich folks
richer while poor people suffer and weapons makers and war profiteers make
big bucks while killing and injuring innumerable innocent people. The
problems are caused by big moneyed interests with the help of simple
minded sycophants like Beck, Sarah Palin and the Tea Partiers. Their
answer is to look backward to the wealthy Founding Fathers for guidance.
The Tea Partiers believe the mythologized Founding Fathers are more
intelligent and moral than anyone today except maybe radical right-wingers
like Beck and Palin.

While hosting the Glenn Beck Program, a nationally syndicated talk-radio
show and the Glenn Beck Show on Fox News Channel, Beck has been promoting
conspiracy theories and delivering incoherent diatribes against socialists
and environmentalists. Beck has called President Obama a Marxist,
communist, and socialist who is taking America down the road to fascism.
He has accused Obama of being a racist with a "hatred for whites", and
alleged that the Obama Presidency is like evil gorillas, endangering
humankind and compared Obama's America to "the Planet of the Apes". He
said that Al Gore wants to create a new "Hitler youth" because he promotes
environmental awareness among young people. Beck doesn't believe in global
warming, but loves guns and militarism.

In Washington Beck did not mention Obama or Gore, but rather, assumed the
role of an evangelist, presenting a religious theme of "Faith, Hope and
Charity" which was a lame attempt to mask his worship of Mammon, the God
of big business. Beck's big show "just happened" to be at the Lincoln
Memorial where Martin Luther King II made his iconic speech 47 years ago
to the day. Beck said he was totally unaware it was the anniversary of
King's address when he scheduled his event and he believes the Lord led
him to schedule the event at that time and place. He also boasted that the
right wing rally had "reclaimed the civil rights movement." Beck said he
heard the voice of God while addressing his flock, a symptom
characteristic of schizophrenia. He and his far right friend and probable
Republican Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin repeatedly mentioned King's
legacy, as giant screens carried King's image and brief excerpts of his
1963 address. Earlier this year Beck denounced King as a "radical
socialist" and questioned why a national holiday had been named in his
honor. Beck was born in a Roman Catholic family, but converted to
Mormonism. He says he "found the Lord" who saved him from his alcohol and
drug addiction and his channeling the voice of God sounds like the faith
required in a 12 steps effort to stay on the wagon.

In his rambling speech Beck gave several quotes from the Declaration of
Independence, recited the Gettysburg Address, invoked trite clichés of
Americana and read bible verses. Palin said she was the mother of a
"combat vet" and led a chant of "USA, USA, USA."

In the past other extremist populist movements in America also wrapped
themselves in the cross and the flag, but espoused some social and
economic policies that appealed to the common man. Father Charles Coughlin
and Rev. Gerald L.K. Smith were demagogic leaders in the depression days
of the 1930s, who at least talked about the dangers of capitalism, with
Coughlin advocating a guaranteed annual wage and nationalization of some
industries and Smith calling for income limits for the wealthy and old age
pensions for everyone.

When he announced the rally, Beck promised to present a plan which would
provide "specific policies and action steps" to found "a new national
movement to restore our great country." Instead, in his speech on
Saturday, he said he decided to not reveal the plan, because of a
conversation he had with God. Rather than explaining his plan "to restore
our great country", Beck said that people should turn to the Lord by
praying on their knees and leaving their doors open so their children
could see them doing so. Could it be that the billionaires and corporate
entities who fund the tea party movement nixed the plan that might help
poor and working class people at their expense?

Beck, Palin and their fellow Tea Partiers worship the rich white men and
moneyed interests who fund their movement and their politics. Their gods
are 21st century manifestations of the rich white men who were the
Founding Fathers.

Tom Turnipseed is an attorney, writer and peace activist in Columbia, SC.
His blog is http://tomandjudyonablog.blogspot.com

Belief is the death of intelligence--Robert Anton Wilson