Monday, October 31, 2011
Friday, October 28, 2011
|Apollonius of Tyana|
"Because Telemachus was young, Homer thought he needed two dogs, and he sends them to accompany the young man to the marketplace of Ithaca, unreasoning animals though they are."
He healed the sick, raised the dead, and ascended to Olympus. Honored the Pagan Gods and quoted Homer, Sophocles, Plato, and Aristotle. Augustine raged against his enduring popularity.
Philostratus' Life of Apollonius reads like an Alexandrian Gospel. The Philosopher Hero harangues Emperors(Nero, Vitellius), toadies up to them too(Vespasian, Titus), and still has time to shoot the breeze with Gymnosophists(Naked Philosophers). Entertaining stuff.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
| We demand your protest be peacefully ineffectual. The smallest violation will be punished with deadly force. We don battle gear to better serve the community. Our aim is true. God Bless America, land of the free.|
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
"But, Karel, history is the memory of a people. You have only to distort that memory and....."
---Hugo Claus, The Sorrow of Belgium.
Would you like popular fascism or oligarchy? How about both? The imperial expansion of "Free Markets" accommodates. NATO weds Metternich's reaction with Napoleon's imperial hubris.
Saturday, October 22, 2011
|This is not music, this is a trip.|
The Market's control of State policy has become more pronounced. Bank Bail Outs, aggressive wars, longstanding occupations, increased military spending, and regressive taxation all remain despite widespread unpopularity. Military operations abroad and surveillance and incarceration efforts within are contracted out to private enterprise. Mr. Paul decries the expense of bases, wars, and occupations but fails to recognize private enterprises are heavily subsidized by these "expenses". There's a reason why Boeing, General Electric, Northrop Grumman, Oil Cartels, Bechtel, XE, and Banks are posting record profits in a recession.
When we turn to the Drug War we see it benefits Alcohol Distributors, Pharmaceutical Co's, and Private Prison contractors. Again, market forces demand state action and reap rewards.
I applaud Rep. Paul bringing attention to costly and insane policies, but Imperialism and the Drug War would not exist without the expanding Market's rule through the State.
(H/T to JCrow for idea of posting about Ron Paul to attract traffic. Bonus posting pic of Prince to perhaps inspire Paisley Park's attention over use of image. JCrow is not responsible for content. I love Prince's music.)
Friday, October 21, 2011
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Gaddafi's fall is a Pyrrhic victory. Unrest will haunt Libya for decades as rival factions vie for Western dollars. Infrastructure was destroyed by US/NATO bombs. Distress and famine will grow as Libyan splinter groups crony up to Energy Cartels. These reservations won't silence the Imperial triumphalism coming out of DC.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
|The New Face of Terrorism|
A Department of Justice press release claims the FBI has unearthed another plot of the Quds Force, linked with a loose network of Central Ohio Marijuana dealers, to recruit Bengal Tigers in a terrorist attack on the Heartland.
An animal trainer was commissioned by a prominent Central Ohio Marijuana dealer, distantly related to an Iranian colonel, to free a force of deadly predators. The animal trainer contacted the FBI and offered to act as an informant. Anonymous sources have confirmed 18 Bengal Tigers aided in the planning and commission of the attack. The source went on to add the lead Tiger's cousin has a plush reserve at the Tehran Zoo.
National security experts state the plot was nearly exposed earlier this year. The execution of 14 Lions at the Tehran Zoo on January 18 may have been a precautionary measure in the early stages of planning.
Celebrity Zoologist Jack Hanna was called onto the scene and described the horrific attack as "Noah's Ark crashing into a city".
(Link to Mass Execution of Lions at Tehran Zoo story: http://globalvoicesonline.org/2011/01/18/iran-14-lions-killed-in-zoo/ )
Monday, October 17, 2011
|Proud Servant of the State|
Pride rises above squalor. Obeisance treasures a kind nod from above. Consuming vicarious majesty, like manna from Heaven. "Man can't live on bread alone."
Moral of History: Kick a man one thousand times, win his fealty with crumbs. Rinse, repeat.
Of course many of the picture testimonials are fake. Still, the message begs obedience. Petit-Bourgeois proud of being exploited and living up to their masters' ideal. There are a million MBA's who are similarly inspired.
Saturday, October 15, 2011
"That he defends the supreme powers, as the Geese by their cackling defended the Romans, who held the Capitol; for they favored them no more than the Gauls their Enemies, but were as ready to have defended the Gauls if they had been possessed of the Capitol."
---Thomas Hobbes, Epistle Dedicatory of the Leviathan.
(feel free to replace "o" in Capitol with "a" in translating to present)
Friday, October 14, 2011
"In those years only the dead smiled,
Glad to be at rest:
And Leningrad city swayed like
A needless appendix to its prisons."
---Akhmatova, Requiem, Prologue.
1: Historical Background
Cornelia Africana bore two sons as martyrs to Republican Rome. They attempted to legally end iniquitous land distribution as Tribunes of the Plebes. Wealthy Romans(mostly Patricians) were buying up enormous tracts of lands and evicting peasants from their small holder farms. The dispossessed peasantry poured into the city as a "classical" version of a trouble making and unsightly lumpen-proletariat.
Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus were part of the establishment. Their father was a Censor, a scion of the Sempronia line. Mother was the daughter of Scipio Africanus.
In the struggle against iniquitous land distribution and urban blight they both exploited the sacrosanctity of the Office of Tribune of the Plebes to pass legislation favorable to small landowners. Their efforts were rewarded with assassination. They became martyrs to a cause that was merely reformist and only attacked a symptom of inequality while leaving the true institutional malady untouched. Such is the fate of most reformists.
After their deaths Rome quickly descended into an increasingly overt violent Oligarchy fostering Civil Wars against slaves, local Italian towns, and finally ending with concentration of all power in military leaders as Consuls(Marius, Sulla, Pompey, Caesar). The Gracchi served as martyrs in the propaganda of populist Imperators like Marius and Caesar. Sulla and Pompey upheld the Senatorial Oligarchy. Caesar vanquished Pompey in their struggle and the Oligarchy surrendered itself, and the Senate, to Patristic Fascism. Caesar was assassinated before he had a chance to fully implement his Tyranny. It took his nephew Octavian, as Caesar Augustus, after defeating Marc Antony, to assume the title Princeps Senatus and use the facade of the Senate to mask his absolute rule.
2: Contemporary Application of Model
Liberals often dream one of their class will take up the mantle of dispossessed peoples. Only they can rescue them by reforming hallowed institutions of Democracy corrupted by evil doers(Partisans point at the other side). A new Lex Hortensia based upon an arcane precedent(like the Licinian Law)must be passed. They believe individual actors, if brilliant enough and divinely favored, can work wonders within powerful Institutions. Their call for "real" leadership in contemporary protests begs the masses to adopt new Gracchi as leaders. Read establishment Liberals on the Occupy Wall Street protests. Always the same tepid support anchored by "serious reservations".
These pedantic pipe-dreamers forget the Gracchi, though heroic and with "their hearts in the right place", were assassinated by representatives of the Institution they attempted to reform. Furthermore, their martyrdom was exploited by Fascists to create populist support for Dictatorship as an antidote to unjust Oligarchy.
Perhaps the modern Liberal secretly hopes a few of their own sacrificed for the change he or she, deep in the shady copses of their heart, desires is "worth it"? Only then will the masses demand an "effective Leader" who can "cut through" bureaucracy and "get things done"?
This is a recurring dream of "enlightened" minds throughout history. It is also an enduring nightmare for those who can't afford the luxury of dreaming.
I do not believe contemporary Liberals, as a type, actually think much, if at all, about the Gracchi. I am using the Gracchi's failed reform efforts as a timeless model Liberals always propose to escape the horrors of social unrest and reinstate their disturbed repose.
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
"Before being discovered, the savage was first invented."
--Giuseppe Cocchiara, Il Mito del Buon Selvaggio.
After the failure of security institutions on 9-11 the FBI had to implement more aggressive forms of combating "terrorism" to regain legitimacy. Of course it is just to state it, as a National Law Enforcement institution, has a rich history of failure.
In these perilous times, when income inequality is at a record high, and the Federal Government is buried, like a Titan, under a mountain of debt, an institution must strain to justify increased funding for its practices. In the past few years we have seen the FBI "discover" outrageous plots concocted by its own agents posing as Al Qaeda, Al Quds, et "Al"(humor) operatives. They provided material and funds to the would be terrorists, and ran entire operations until the glorious moment of discovery. This process was witnessed in the alleged Al Qaeda operation to bomb the Sears Tower in Chicago by some poor Haitian Americans in South Florida, and once again in the Portland Christmas Bombing plot(A 17 year old Somali American was given money for rent, provided a plan, and a detonator).
Oddly the informants' activity in these operations are cloaked in impenetrable mystery. We know they selected the patsy, planned the operation and provided material. Oddly, their statements under oath were not recorded(per usual practice), and are heavily redacted. Details of their participation are not shared with the public or with the Courts. The FBI cloaks its entrapment schemes under a cover of necessary secrecy justified by "National Security Concerns".
Rest assured alarmist stenographers of the Corpress in the United States, with its battalion of "National Security Experts", rush to exaggerate the grave danger our heroes in the FBI thwarted. "Al Qaeda", "Terrorists", "Attacks on Civilians" run in caps just under a "Breaking News" title across television screens. The Director of the FBI and the Attorney General hold a solemn press conference and reassure the nation all is safe despite the "immense danger" averted.
The latest in this series of quashing deadly plots beggars credulity and has effectively "jumped the shark" for any future "entrapment production". We're told two Iranian nationals(linked with Al Quds) were connected, through an FBI informant, to a Mexican Drug Cartel, and adopted a plan concocted by another informant to acquire explosives and bomb a fictional restaurant to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador to the United States. Furthermore, bonus #1, they planned to take out a few unnamed Senators and, bonus #2, bomb the Israeli Embassy. A plot arcane and implausible as a Gothic Novel has to be credible! One hilarious detail: the "plotters" allegedly used JPMorgan Chase bank to wire money from Iran to the United States(illegal under present sanctions) to fund operations.
It is well known JPMorgan Chase was fined earlier this year(August) for wiring transactions from Iran. It is also well known major banks launder billions for Mexican Drug Cartels.
Strange how this all came together! Strange how Iran has been happy with the present cooling of relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia! Strange how the FBI is continuing, with the aid of Big Banks, DEA and Drug Cartels to entrap foreign nationals into implausible intrigues which damage its home country's interests.
The Rebirth of Security Out of the Spirit of Entrapment is an arcane endeavor. It appears foolish to the world, like all deep wisdom. Such mystery bewitches Congressional committees to zealously defend more tax dollars to security institutions to help "keep America safe". Complete secrecy is justly warranted by
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
I hope the above does not offend Net sensibility via similitude. Fascism is a dirty word these days. Can't imagine why. Bulletins in Public encouraging citizens to report "suspicious types"(collaboration) are a leitmotiv of Fascist states.
"Terrorists", Muslims resisting bombs, torture, occupation, sanctions and resource looting(highest forms of terrorism), are Neoliberalism's version of "the mongrel race".
Won't be long before Americans in the "Homeland" resisting plutocrats and their political lackeys become "suspicious types". They're already treated like mongrels--prisons, military.
Monday, October 10, 2011
"Launch not beyond your depth, but be discreet,
And mark that point where sense and dullness meet."
---Alexander Pope, An Essay on Criticism, lns-50-1.
Admiring Pope's comme il faut poesy and proudly thinking, I am not ashamed to admit, how far we've come electing an African-American President. Albeit, his rhetoric's a smidge too leftist, but still, in action, he asserts values that have made our nation a global beacon. (Long drawl from pipe, deep furrowing of brow) He's taught medieval savages in the Middle East a thing or two about civilization. Like my dear old Father, he never spares the rod. (Air of melancholy) Alas, someone has to take up the burden of destroying those who threaten our liberty with anarchy.
I was watching a news program just yesterday and witnessed the most amusing spectacle. Slovenly attired and poorly groomed citizens were camping out in public space to protest various issues. How preposterous? How can these ingrates fail to appreciate and treasure the glory of Universal Suffrage?(Shakes pipe at imaginary audience in reproval) If I had time to so easily dispose of I'd walk down to these mobs and, braving the lack of refinement and rudeness, freely convince them of their good fortune. No catering to underachievers from me. I'd refuse to champion their muddled divisiveness like the radical Lawrence O'Donnell has(two angry puffs billowing like steam from engine)! This nation has handed the gift of liberty to them. How dare they spurn such sacred largesse?
At times it dawns on me that most Americans are spoiled(sighs and taps pipe crisply three times). All the things we've accomplished. Civil Rights Legislation, American investment wealth lifting people up from poverty in third world nations, and protecting, with our valiant men and women in the Armed Services, peaceful protest movements in foreign lands from the genocidal aims of well armed and ruthless dictators(adjusting Jacket to accommodate puffed up chest). If I wasn't so Stoic about the failings of human nature I'd be incensed(benign gaze through smokey haze).
Be thankful Americans. This rough patch is transitory. Good times are ahead. We won't let you down. As one great man said, "The arc of history bends towards liberty." Do not allow that Progress to be stymied by strife. Markets lose confidence and people go tribal. We can't have that. As a polite man of the world, I'd never create strife or sow division so close to home. It's poor form(dusts invisible motes off jacket with left hand).
Saturday, October 08, 2011
To her imperial couch the stink of the whorehouse."
---Juvenal, Satires, VI, lns. 131-2.
A career of fellating the world of finance has earned Ms. Burnett a Wall Street Prince. She is this generation's Andrea Mitchell. There are tons of excellent women journalists. The Corpress pushes brainless eye candy like they're Pimps of the Principalities. We know whose interests they serve.(Commercial Break)
The same interests Ms. Burnett has engaged.
Thursday, October 06, 2011
The orgy of grief over an Asian slave master, offshorer of labor, and exploiter of copyright laws is nauseating. His products are merely diversionary and in no way did they "change the world". He used his financial clout to bring about favorable conditions through legislation(Apple was heavily subsidized by US government) for the corporation he headed to not only profit immensely from advantageous copyright laws but also to proliferate slave labor(including children) in foreign labor markets. Chinese workers(again, many children) were subjected to inhumane labor conditions by Apple. The obscenity of American corporations exploiting slave labor production in Asia is a physical, and enduring, mark of the bigotry of NeoLiberal "Globalism". To them Asian laborers are still "coolies". Steve Jobs eagerly practiced this shameful exploitation. Celebrating his life is tantamount to celebrating the "wonderful talent and innovation" of a Southern Plantation Owner in 1850's America.
Wednesday, October 05, 2011
The Establishment Left: "It's wonderful to indiscriminately rain death from the heavens upon foreign ragheads, but please respect legality when targeting American citizens."
"As for mankind, if anyone in the pride of his power treats you with disrespect, you have all the future in which to take your revenge. You are free to please yourself: act as your heart directs."
---Homer, The Odyssey, Bk. 13, lns. 144-147.
Liberal establishment loyalists are torn. Obama has drone murdered two American Citizens! They are harried by Erinyes of legal ambivalence. On one side they praise the toughness Obama continues to show in murdering Muslims afar, BUT they have misgivings about the awesome power to smote mortals from the heavens used on citizens of the greatest nation forever, the United States.
Yes, the War on Terror must grant sacrosanct, Tribunician, legal status to all, even Muslim, Americans. I find their "legal" uncertainties tragic. It's obvious an American is, per War on Terror legal calculus, worth about 1,000 times a "barbarous" Muslim. When it's an American Muslim the ratio changes. Ah! To have such refined minds attuned to finding petty faults in mass murder based solely on legal chauvinism. American Exceptionalism extends to tender hearted "Liberals" too!
There is good news. Many have overcome legal uneasiness through Faith. Obama the Thunderer said he was guilty of treason. No need for evidence. He has two Jars at his side, an endless supply of bolts, and a splendid view from Olympus.
Sunday, October 02, 2011
"...violence has been used again and again to support the structure of authority in American society. We are only puzzled when violence is used to attack that structure."
---John William Ward, "Introduction to Alexander Berkman's Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist".