Sunday, February 27, 2011

Furniture

--
Of shipwreck and stranded souls
wishing rescue on distant coasts...
---
Thick with
homicidal natives,
painting pianos,
straight-backed chairs,
and hands that gesture
but never touch...
                our space was found.
----
This bed a gentler shore
bodies bank upon
with no wish of rescue.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Winning the Past, or The New Gilded Age





We are now suffering the wages of Reagan's sins of

debilitating labor value, increased military spending,

and deregulating corporate entities the successive four

Presidents have irresponsibly continued. The American

people have masochistically elected candidates who will

not only continue the sins of Reagan but go further and

usher in the social inequalities of the 19th century.


------------------------Me, 11/03/2010.


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The present financial crisis was entirely created by

private financiers. A collapse engineered by investment

banks utilizing collateralized debt securities to create

a leveraged ponzi scheme that resulted in the public

bailing out these bad actors with trillions. Now the debts

come home. Pensions lost billions through buying these

triple A rated CDS "crap". For years the Right has demonized

Labor as a danger to the Market. It continues this bogus

scapegoating when they pin the present debt crisis on them.


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People all over the US have uncritically accepted the

idea that Labor Unions are an enemy to "American

Enterprise". Nothing can be further from the truth. It is

an essential part of any Market that Laborers can join

together and form Cartels(Unions) to lobby for better

conditions, rights and pay. The interest of Labor has a

right to be heard. It is interesting to note in the past 30

years, as Labor Unions have been considerably weakened,

wages have remained stagnant or went down and income

inequality is at record levels. When tax burdens are eased

for Corporations and the super wealthy who is asked to

shoulder the burden? The economically disadvantaged

are asked to tighten belts they don't have the luxury of

owning. Scapegoating the poor has been a successful

political strategy for 30 years. If Union busting efforts

in the Midwest are granted success the United States will

descend to Gilded Age squalor.

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President Obama's relative silence on this issue is telling.

It's better to shore up Corporate Donors than support Labor.

He's established himself as a lackey for Corporatist and Finance

interests. We're already close to Gilded Age conditions. One
hopes the Union busting effort is defeated and inspires a
backlash.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Diplomatic Immunity and Drone Bombing: Life Can't Get Any Cheaper in Pakistan







"Certainly a dangerous gift, power without kindness, inventive


slyness without understanding. The corruptedly cultivated human


being wants only to be able, to have, to rule, to enjoy, without


considering to what end he is able, what he has, and whether what


he calls enjoyment does not eventually turn into the killing of all


enjoyment."


----Herder, Letters for the Advancement of Humanity, #115.






Recently in Lahore, Pakistan a US private security contractor,


Raymond Davis, was arrested by Pakistani police for the murder


of two men. He was alone with an unregistered gun in a crowded


business district of the city. One of the victims was shot in the


back. The first few days after the alleged crime a tale was spun


that Davis had no connections to the US Embassy in Pakistan and


that he killed the two men out of self defense. When the ballistics


of the event were established and numerous witnesses stepped


forward the self defense argument evaporated. Strangely, after


guilt seemed more likely from forensics, the US Embassy reversed


it's early dismissal of Davis by stating he's a diplomat and deserves


immunity. Yesterday President Obama stated, falsely I might add,


that Davis should not be held for the crime of murder because of


International Standards on Diplomatic Immunity. First, immunity


does not cover all crimes committed by Diplomatic personnel. Grave


crimes, and we believe a double murder reaches this standard, do


not, by those same standards, merit the protections of Diplomatic


Immunity. Second, Diplomatic Immunity can only be enforced when


a diplomat is in the process of performing diplomatic functions. I


doubt Davis was attending a function illegally armed and shooting


two men. Can one foresee the tortuous casuistry in attempting to


state a double murder while alone in a business district was a


Diplomatic Function. Third, since when are private security


contractors labelled "diplomats"? And what of the early disavowals


of the alleged murderer as an "outside actor" not connected to the


US Government?


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The President of the United States is now trying to help an alleged


murderer escape due process in Pakistan. Ironic the US denies


due process and all rights of recourse, habeas corpus etc., when


when we suspect a Pakistani may be connected to the killing of


an American. The US drone bombing policy is based on a Legal


Standard that people alleged to be "terrorists" can be killed,


along with innocent bystanders, without any legal process observed.


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US policy explicitly states it can murder suspects in foreign lands


without any judicial consideration while US financed private security


contractors are allowed to murder people in the same land under


the protection of Diplomatic Immunity. This policy is consistent


in its standard of providing impunity for the lawless enforcement of


executions committed by the forces of US empire in foreign lands.


It also exposes the psychotic insistence that the US can murder


suspects without any standard of legality and can also evade any


kind of accountability when a contractor is caught murdering


people. A complete lack of fealty to any standard of International


Law is what the US demands. But when a single actor is caught


committing a grave crime they run for the protections of that


same disparaged International Law.


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Pakistan is on the brink of chaos. Senator John Kerry has been


sent to Pakistan to negotiate for Davis' release. If the Pakistani


gov't succumbs to US pressure there will be riots. Our supposed


ally will suffer a grave debasement in its people's eyes. If he is


released there will be unrest and the likelihood of a Coup by


the military. No future regime will be unable to cool the rage of


the people by aiding US interests concerning AF-PAK efforts.


The people are already deeply enraged by the escalating Drone


Bombing policy of President Obama inside Pakistan. Thousands


of women and children have been killed. Add an American


private security contractor granted immunity from judgement on


a murder charge and one more match will be thrown on dry grass.


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Revolting Myopia

"Liberalism and revolution, restoring Louis XVI with tears
and listening to him(out of goodness)."
-----Dostoyevsky, Notes to The Double.



Western Corpress and their attendant barnacles, think tank
funded pundits , are taken by the Romanticism of the revolts
in Tunisia and Egypt. They chant paeans to Social Media and
Democracy while never stating the clear cause of these revolts.
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Their Myopic predilection for pageantry and aerial view camera
shots of crowds below and "peaceful demonstrations" has taken
up all analysis--except, of course, when one wishes to stress the
threats to our "indispensible friend", Israel. But, even then,
fearmongering falls to the joie de vivre of poor young folks
protesting penury. Who funded this economic inequality? Who
loaded Egyptian leaders and their monolithic Military/Security
State with arms and treasure?
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Western economic policy, feeding the tyrannical state, created
this oppression. Present day US currency policy has also spiked
food prices throughout the world. These rises have hit poor
nations hard. There have been Food and Fuel Price riots in Africa,
Asia, Eastern Europe and South America.
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Revolutions have always found a trigger in rumbling bellies.
Economic inequality and hunger are a recipe for Revolt in all
societies, regardless of political or religious adherence.
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Debasement of currencies coupled with inflating commodity prices
is the underlying cause of these revolts. It is strange none of the
experts mention this. Instead we have ready made villains, Ali and
Mubarak(who, indeed were kleptocratic tyrants). These two tyrants
lasted for decades. Why did they fall now? It's fitting to label them
as monsters, but doing so solely to erase the true trigger for these
revolts does a disservice. Americans are quite happy living under
a Government that rewards Banks that commit larceny on a scale
never seen in human history. At the same time they accept the
continuing destruction of their wealth and rights as the wealth and
rights of corporate entities increase. Why aren't they revolting?--Not
enough rumbling tummies. Commodity inflation has yet to hit US shores
as hard as it has hit North Africa, the Middle East and Asia. When it
does, US Corpress types and think tank lackeys don't want you adding
2+2 to get 4. The US isn't led by monsters like Ali or Mubarak. Why
would their people ever revolt?

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Narrative control methodically keeps silent what's most feared. It's an
elective myopia which displaces the underlying cause of events for a
greater cause.

Friday, February 11, 2011

A Peaceful Transition No One Can Believe In


“To ask a dictator to implement democratic measures
after thirty years in power is an oxymoron. It will not
end until he leaves."
-----------Mohamed ElBaradei.
--------------------------------------------------------
Expecting time to peacefully usher in meaningful reforms while
an autocrat clings to his throne is exemplary of either extreme
naivete or blithe calculation.
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Knowing US policy in the Middle East hinges on Israeli concerns
one would choose the latter. As I have written before, the US is
publicly extending and pretending bland support for "the people"
while secretly hoping Mubarak or his chief torturer, Suleiman,
remains and the world's attention span decamps.
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Incremental reform is an insult to people who have lived under
oppression for three decades wholly financed by US leadership.
The longer this crisis goes the worse the outcome will be for
US interests in the Middle East. By dithering and riding the fence
to look "correct" the world sees fumbling calculation. Obama's
administration is being too clever by more than half. Mubarak
is openly defying US demands with their own "stability"
rhetoric. He has learned well from Netanyahu. You can openly
insult the hypocritical and corrupt US government with impunity.
Look at the War Criminals of our previous and present
administration. Our leaders mouth fine phrases and endorse
the rule of law but grant implicit pardon for all crimes with the
bromides "looking forward" and "change we can believe in".
How do the empty phrases "peaceful transition" and "stability"
sound any different to Mubarak? He hears, much like the Bankers
did when Obama vowed "to allow markets to sort out results" in
foreclosure fraud, carte blanche permission to crack down on the
people regardless of tough rhetoric. Obama's policy is an inverted
form of Theodore Roosevelt's:
He speaks harshly but carries no stick.
-------------------------------------------------------
President Obama and the US State Department clearly show
more concern about Public Relations than the Egyptian
people and, ironically, their own interests. All easily see
post festum palliatives of a bankrupt empire straining to be
meaningful and "stately" in all the official announcements of
Obama, Biden and Clinton. Like a surprised autocrat they
miss a clear and present truth by seeking shelter from the
fear of being on the wrong side of a popular movement.
Power is always terrified of change and over-promotes
stability and peace in defense.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mubarak and his US paymasters are caught colluding openly
to save face by attempting to maintain previous conditions
under a new name. This rebranding of oppression is doomed.
The Egyptian people, and every sane person on this planet,
sees through the comical disconnect of rhetoric from action.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

City of Victory

"One is an illusion."



The river runs from us.
Above it's hum
our cries lift up to
take the false one.

We gather like grass
along the banks
and stretch green limbs
to the sun.

In measured light
we take given right
and claim ourselves
over the false one.

We fashion crowns
in the pressing square
and perfect our share
in equal victory.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

"Let Them Eat Massacre"




"I don’t like to use labels for folks. Mubarak is a good man.
He has done good things. He has maintained stability. We
will continue to support him. He is a friend."
--U.S. President Obama before Cairo Speech, June 2009.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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The US Gov't's fence-riding on Egypt allows time and space for
Mubarak to call out henchmen to create violence as a pretext
for a crackdown in the interests of "stability". It is a cynical
approach that awaits the failure of state sponsored violence
or its success. In essence, President Obama and Secretary of
State Clinton are allowing their friend Mubarak some time to
kill and maim enough people to quell a revolution to rid Egypt
of his tyranny. Maybe he can outlast the uprising with
intransigence. Clearly the US wants Mubarak or someone like
him, General Suleiman, to keep US friendly "stability" in place.
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The latest State Department trial balloon of suggesting Mubarak's
torture master, General Suleiman, take over and Mubarak leave
insults anyone who knows Egypt and likely infuriates Egyptians.
It is a clear sign the US is not interested in democracy for Egypt.
And the Corpress alive with fearmongering about the Muslim
Brotherhood shows the elite are terrified of Egyptian people
choosing their own rulers.
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US folks sould take notes about how Mubarak is cracking down
by shutting down the internet and then turning it back on as
he brutalizes protesters and assaults journalists. The same may
occur within a few years here in the land of "freedom".