Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 18, 2005

Always an Open Thread

[back now - sorry, took a bit longer than expected]

News and views ...

Posted by b on November 18, 2005 at 21:27 UTC | Permalink

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Bookies are always right methinks but these are good odds at 8 to 1 for Bush to not finish his presidency.

PS: Not including death/illness.

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Nov 18 2005 22:28 utc | 1

Sorry 10 to 1

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Nov 18 2005 22:30 utc | 2

GOP pulls tax bill and calls vote on Iraq pullout

House Republicans will call for a vote on the pullout on Iraq this evening after a call from hawkish Democrat Jack Murtha (D-PA) for the U.S. to immediately begin removing troops from Iraq, RAW STORY has learned.

Unlike the resolution Murtha proposed, which called for the removal of troops to begin immediately, the Republican resolution calls for all troops to be pulled out at once. Democrats say this dramatically changes the nature of Murtha's original proposal.

The following email went out earlier from the office of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to members of her caucus. Democrats have now received a copy of the GOP resolution.

pdf file of resolution available thru link

Posted by: annie | Nov 18 2005 22:47 utc | 3

Me thinks they want to process the vote quickly while they have a good chance to kill it before it can gain support. Then they can beat reps over the head with the failed vote the next time 'surrender' is suggested. They are after all on borrowed time acording to all the polls.

Posted by: Outraged | Nov 18 2005 22:56 utc | 4

watching it now live @cspan

they are voting now

Posted by: annie | Nov 18 2005 23:02 utc | 5

yeah, i know what they're doing. i think they may be surprised at the result. very interesting MO. they are taking call ins on cspan while waiting for the votes.

Posted by: annie | Nov 18 2005 23:04 utc | 6

Annie, please keep us posted on the real time C-span vote. I'm working and can't access it right now...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Nov 18 2005 23:35 utc | 7

should be pretty soon, they are showing us the rerun of murtha's speech yesterday while the final votes are coming in.

Posted by: annie | Nov 18 2005 23:44 utc | 8

can't tell from cspan but raw story has this headline w/pdf file i don't know how to link. i read it and it says the resolution passed.... cspan is still showing murtha

can i scream?

"House vote on amended resolution 'relating to US forces in Iraq'
211 yeas, 203 nays; Dems all voting nay...Developing"

Posted by: annie | Nov 18 2005 23:53 utc | 9

@annie, et al...

"cowards cut and run"

Jean Full of Schmidt

Jean Schmidt, who defeated Iraq war veteran Paul Hackett for her seat in Ohio, shut down the House of Representatives by challenging the courage of decorated Vietnam War veteran Jack Murtha, saying "cowards cut and run." The place exploded. It was probably everybody pulling out their Blackberries and Googling Jean Schmidt's war record, where they no doubt found her history as the head of Cincinnati Right to Life. Presumably if Murtha's combat experience had been blowing up local Planned Parenthood clinics, that would have qualified.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Nov 18 2005 23:54 utc | 10


This one? House vote on amended resolution

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Nov 18 2005 23:58 utc | 11

yes, i read it wrong. it's not over til the fat lady sings

Posted by: annie | Nov 19 2005 0:18 utc | 12

Where Are the Pentagon Papers?
Peter Hoekstra , on cue from Rove, Cheney and their sluts at the Weekly Standard are preparing to unload more forged documents to convince us Saddam had WMD.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Nov 19 2005 0:23 utc | 13

Been down>this road before:

Oct 67 - Congressman Thomas P. ("Tip") O'Neill broke publicly with President Johnson and opposed continuation of the Vietnam war. O'Neill supported Senator Eugene McCarthy (D-Minn) for president in 1968

15 Oct 69 - "Vietnam Moratorium" - An estimated 1 million Americans across the US participated in anti-war demonstrations, protest rallies and peace vigils. 50 members of the US Congress also participated

3 Nov 69 - President Nixon says he plans withdrawal of all US troops on a secret timetable

2 May 70 - Senators McGovern, Hughes, Cranston, Goodell, and Hatfield announced they planned to introduce an "end the war" amendment which would work by suspending funds for military operations in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia

31 Aug 70 - During debate over the McGovern-Hatfield Amendment in the US Senate, Senator Eagleton (D-MO) and Javits (R-NY) said that the Nixon policy of gradual de-escalation was leading to a wider war in Indochina. Senator Church said the Congress needed to keep pressure on President Nixon to hasten the withdrawal. Senators Scott (R-PA) and Thurmond (R-SC) expressed concern over the fate of US P.O.W.'s and bargaining pressure if US troops were removed

1 Sep 70 - The McGovern-Hatfield Amendment, providing for the withdrawal of all US troops by 31 Dec 71, was defeated by the Senate now and again later

23 Feb 71 - Senate Democrats voted (38-13) to adopt a "resolution of purpose" for the 92nd Congress to end US involvement in Indochina and "bring about the withdrawal of all US forces and the release of prisoners in a time certain."

17 June 71 - Congressman Charles Whalen, Jr (R-Ohio) co-sponsored an "end the war" bill which was rejected by the House (158-255)

24 Jun 71 - Mansfield Amendment was passed along with the draft extension bill. It was a controversial amendment by Senate Majority leader Mike Mansfield (D-Mont) setting a national policy of withdrawing troops from Indochina 9 months after the bill's enactment (wording was later softened to the "earliest practical date"). It was the first time in modern US history that Congress had urged an end to a war in which the country was actively involved

29 Apr 75 - Last American soldier killed in Vietnam (the first was 8 Jul 59)


Posted by: slothrop | Nov 19 2005 0:25 utc | 14

I watched all of this fiasco. It is a dumb move by the rethugs, they have played a stupid hand, and Smit looked like an idiot. Her words were wrote down because you can't talk badly of another house member. I still can't believe Hacket came as close to beating her in such a rethug district, but, after that outburst I think she's a real dumb ass.

The dems have won this one and they don't even know it. Although, there were some real dipshit callers during the vote on the rule.

Posted by: jdp | Nov 19 2005 0:46 utc | 15

Murtha’s Moment

There is a parallel with Vietnam in the falsehoods advanced by government to rally congressional support and public opinion for war. Take the ongoing controversy over exactly what happened in the Gulf of Tonkin in 1964. Although analysts on the scene radioed back to Washington that there was no cause for alarm, President Johnson and Defense Secretary Robert McNamara glossed over doubts about a second attack on American ships and trumpeted the alleged expansion of the war by the North Vietnamese to rally Congress and the American people to escalate a war that had been losing public support. Sen. William Fulbright, one of only two senators to oppose the Tonkin Gulf Resolution, said in a speech on the Senate floor, “We will rue this day.”

Posted by: Outraged | Nov 19 2005 1:12 utc | 16

I still can't believe Hacket came as close to beating her in such a rethug district,

it's ohio for all we know hacket won.

Posted by: annie | Nov 19 2005 1:14 utc | 17

Hey all,

In keeping with Billmon's reading lists, I'm on the lookout for some good history books. I'm a big fan of narratives about changes in societies, or the interactions between different cultures. Some of my favorites are The Mismeasure of Man, A Peace to End All Peace and especially Jonathan Spence's works on China.

I'm interested in reading the history of revolutions like the French and Russian, Zionism, the evolution of medieval Europe, Africa, and especially Imperial Japan. But my curiosity is boundless and I'm about to get a library card. Consider this a post-your-favorite history invitation.

Posted by: Rowan | Nov 19 2005 1:42 utc | 18

Absolutely amazing! The fire has returned. The congressional chambers have historically been a place of high drama, great debate, and vital emotional expression. The one party lockdown was so bleak, sad, colorless, desolate, and lifeless that I had to get involved. Now I'm glad I did. Friction creates heat and fire. It's essential to life.

The thugs are on a long decline now and they will have to develop some smarts. I agree that they are totally blowing it now. This verifies my belief that they lack agility and cleverness. Brute thuggish force does have its limitations.

Public opinion against this war has now taken over and can't go back. It's firm evidence of the people's power. The rest is detail as this unwinds.

Posted by: jm | Nov 19 2005 1:43 utc | 19

I can't help but feel who won in Ohio is as irrelevant as the charade you have all been witnessing.

Slothrop's timeline neatly sums up the conundrum of 'democracy'. Any conspiracy theorist could successfully argue that everything from Murtha onwards is part of a deliberate ploy to convince citizens 'they were onto it' whilst they ensure the continuation of a war that some many of them depend upon for their pork-barreling power.

Murtha may well have been speaking from the heart, flinty and small as it is but the rest of them have far too much invested in the status quo to want to make any sudden ructions.

A smart responsible demopublican leadership would have called the rethug bluff and hauled everyone home immediately whilst thanking the rethugs for seeing the light. All of the blowback from conservatives and colonialists would have been directed at the repugs who corrupted it's intent by amending it and 'our boys and girls' would be back home.

While all this money is sloshing around allegedly for the emancipation of Iraq, what is it $8 billion a week, there is heaps splashing over the sides and landing everywhere from a bloke's back pocket to Pork Barrel Inc.

Statesmen hate war because it's an admission of failure but politicians love it as an opportunity for self-aggrandisement combined with 'money for old rope'.

If they can quote HST so can we "Oh lord how much longer...?" Surely people are waking from their slumber and seeing how politicians have peverted the people's intent by making the process BE the outcome.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Nov 19 2005 1:52 utc | 20

Guantánamo: the United States’s torture
Isabel Hilton
18 - 11 - 2005

The United Nations has cancelled its fact-finding mission to Guantánamo Bay, citing American obfuscation. Isabel Hilton reports from a London conference where ex-Guantánamo detainees reveal what the United States prefers to hide.

As prisoners in Guantánamo Bay reached the hundredth day of a mass hunger-strike, two United Nations special rapporteurs, who have been denied private access to prisoners in the United States prison camp, spoke out in London against the US’s failure to “meet the minimum international standards of independent fact-finding”.

- snip -

“To those who argue that the detainees are ‘bad people’”, he continued, “I would say that whether they are good or bad, the rule of law extends to them, because they are human beings. That is what distinguishes a system of government based on the rule of law from one based on the arbitrary exercise of power.

The rule of law cannot be applied selectively. A state cannot respect the rule of law in one place and not in another, to one group of people but not another. The rule of law is not to be turned on and off like a tap.”

- snip -

“The tip of the iceberg”

The rapporteurs have also requested access to other places of detention. There has been no reply from Afghanistan or Iraq, Novak said. In April, the US government asked them to concentrate on Guantánamo in order that they be granted access this year. “In the spirit of compromise”, said Novak, “we agreed to concentrate on Guantánamo Bay.” He stressed that the rapporteurs had not lost interest in other places of detention, including the secret places of detention that the CIA has called “black sites”.

- snip -

Listen to testimonies of ill-treatment and abuse from Badar Zaman Badar and Moazzem Begg, two ex-Guantánamo detainees, at the end of this article...

Posted by: Outraged | Nov 19 2005 1:59 utc | 21

I concur debs is dead, Hegelian dialectics is better known as problem-reaction-solution, whereby a problem is created to push people into accepting a rigged solution, they control the problem, the reaction and the solution. Murtha is as full of shit as the rest.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Nov 19 2005 2:04 utc | 22

I believe you're missing some of the point, Debs. It's much more than the war. It's the self expression of all the factions in the country...the politicians, the businessmen, the people and their families. The eerie silence we just experienced was the danger when we came so close to one party rule. No matter if both parties are flawed, it is still essential that there is a sharing of power. You are correct in much of your political view, although I think you inderestimate the portion that the common people possess. You refuse to see it and that's that. But it can be felt.

There is an unmistakable excitement in the air in this country now, even though we know full well what a horrible system we are laboring in. But we will all learn by trial and error and it is essential that we recognize every infinitessimal good thing that happens.

Every moment, every situation is pregnant with good and bad.

Posted by: jm | Nov 19 2005 2:09 utc | 23

they control the problem, the reaction and the solution.

Absulutely false. You're a sucker to believe it.

Posted by: jm | Nov 19 2005 2:11 utc | 24


Posted by: jm | Nov 19 2005 2:12 utc | 25

Murtha is as full of shit as the rest.

Absolutely true.

Posted by: jm | Nov 19 2005 2:14 utc | 26

Murtha could be playing the game and a joint behind the scenes effort may be being made to come to a calmer occupation. But, I would have to say the real answer is it's so partison in DC these days and the rethugs see their hold of the message slipping away, so the fight is on. The thugs will use every underhanded ploy to keep power they can muster.

They've had it great over the last ten years getting rich, running the country, etc, etc. They will only go down with the sound of rethug fingernails scratching across a chalk board.

Posted by: jdp | Nov 19 2005 2:21 utc | 27

Hm, so the represenatives have had nothing more than glossy escorted tours of no substance ... what a basis for all thier ringing endorsements for how it is run ...

US defends Guantanamo decision

Red Cross fears covert interrogations
Nov 19, 2005

The US has defended its decision not to let a UN human rights group talk freely to inmates at Guantanamo Bay.

The UN human rights experts, who had been negotiating for more than three years to inspect the facility decided not to go ahead with a December 6 visit after a US refusal to allow them to speak freely with inmates at the detention centre.

"If they aren't satisfied, well, sorry," said a State Department spokesman, Adam Ereli.

"Frankly, we believe we've been very forthcoming in response to their requests. We have offered them the same access to this facility as we offer elected representatives of the American people," he said.

"Members of Congress have come to visit Guantanamo. And the special rapporteur is receiving the same treatment as members of Congress.

"Frankly, we think that's more than good enough. And it's unfortunate if they don't think so...

Posted by: Outraged | Nov 19 2005 2:24 utc | 28

I can't help but feel who won in Ohio is as irrelevant as the charade you have all been witnessing.

really? the link was not regarding '04 or the outcome of any officials ." Issues Two-Five were meant to reform Ohio's electoral process, which has been under intense fire since 2004. The issues were very heavily contested. They were backed by Reform Ohio Now, a well-funded bi-partisan statewide effort meant to bring some semblance of reliability back to the state's vote count

diebold is holding the voters hostage in ohio.just today diebold went to court in NC to bypass state election transparency laws in that state. i personally don't feel whether my vote counts or not is irrelevant. when exit polls are reversed by 30 points it disgusts me, that kind of blatant theft represents how irrelevant the public has become in national choice or debate.

gruesome election process in ohio
PRE-POLLING: 61% Yes, 25% No, 14% Undecided
FINAL RESULT: 33% Yes, 66% No

Posted by: annie | Nov 19 2005 2:44 utc | 29

Although a belief in an impossible to break oppression, and absolute authoritative hand of power over the individual, is perfectly legitimate for those who need it, it can be like an illness if not contained. The ones who believe in progress and self determination must continue their efforts unimpeded. So we have to exist side by side.

No matter what the belief, there are laws of equilibrium in the universe and a constant shifting and distribution of power. These fools who you think are so much in control of your destiny are doing so only from your perception. It is logistically impossible to possess that much control.

I live in the same world as everyone else, yet I see weakness and strength in others all the time, in a constant battle that no one wins. I have never seen another human as a master of my destiny, although temporary confinement does occur. So who is right?

Everyone. We are fully entitled to our elaborately constructed world views, but they are singularly our own. In that sense, I might find myself in some dark, desperate situation contrary to my world view, but I have been there before, and I have adjusted and emerged. I cannot predict. There is always light. Even when in total darkness and sensory deprivation, the imagination will take over and create it. Where is the source of light in our dreams?

Posted by: jm | Nov 19 2005 2:44 utc | 30

tallying up.....yeahs 210 nehs 202 resolution adopted...

am i ,hearing this right?

Posted by: annie | Nov 19 2005 2:52 utc | 31

yes ! i heard it right rawstory has this headline HOUSE PASSES RESOLUTION, 210 - 202. story not up yet!!!!

Posted by: annie | Nov 19 2005 2:56 utc | 32

Yep, personally I think the electoral process has now become so corrupted, without true independant verification, welcome to a 'banana Republic, the will of the people re voting is pretty much largely a charade now ... the victor is the most underhanded or cunning re manipulation ... and since the Repugs hold most o' the cards ...

Posted by: Outraged | Nov 19 2005 2:58 utc | 33

rowan- one of the best books I ever read about the French Rev. era was The Coming of the French Revolution by Georges Lefebvre

I think he was one of the premiere scholars of the era.

Simon Schama writes popular fiction, and he wrote a book called Citizens, that I never read...I heard both bad and good about it...I'm not a fan of his, but some ppl are.

However, I would recommend Twelve Who Ruled by R.R. Palmer.

(and while you're reading that, rent the dvd, Danton. The depictions of mesmerism and the physical milieu...and the actual speeches Danton gave, orated by Depardieu makes this one worth it.

Robert Darnton is a professor, but he writes engaging cultural history. I've read the following by him and recommend them:

Forbidden Best-Sellers of Pre-Revolutionary France

and The Great Cat Massacre, which I won't link to, but you can get the link above...sorry these are all Amazon, but they give you some idea of some of the content.

also, his The Literary Underground of the Old Regime.

Lynn Hunt raises notes interesting problems in The Family Romance of the French Revolution

Mary Wollstonecraft wrote about her experiences in Reflections of the Revolution in France, and then Edmund Burke is the counterpoint (and the grandfather of George Wills...not literally, but politically.)

One I can't find a good link to include (tho it's online) is Representations of Revolution by Ron Paulson. It combines narrative and art history.

Marilyn Butler is a good author about English reaction to the French Revolution...things like Burke, Paine, Godwin, and the Revolution Controversy.

And Blakemore's Crisis in Representation, about the above figures, plus Helena Williams, who used to dress up like "Marianne" the symbol of liberty, and did theater during the time.

(obviously I think the political factual history is important, but so is the cultural factual put the politics in context..imagine someone trying to understand Bush years from now w/o knowing about the fundamentalist movement in the U.S.)

There's also a new biography of Mary Wollstonecraft that came out this year called Vindiction, by Lyndall Gordon, that's beside my bed but I can't read it till the christmas holidays.

those are some of my favorites that I remember.

Posted by: fauxreal | Nov 19 2005 3:09 utc | 34


Grundrisse and Phenomenology of Spirit

Posted by: slothrop | Nov 19 2005 3:27 utc | 35

Oh, and for the history of Malta: Pynchon's V.

Posted by: slothrop | Nov 19 2005 3:28 utc | 36

Vatican Official Refutes Intelligent Design

Posted by: Outraged | Nov 19 2005 4:06 utc | 37

America the beautiful .


Director and Producer: Frederick Wiseman
Photography: John Marshall

DOWNLOAD (.torrent)
Format: AVI - Size: 371mb

(Note: You need a BitTorrent Client to download)

Runtime: 84 min
Country: USA
Language: English
Color: Black and White
Sound Mix: Mono
Certification: USA:(Banned)
(distribution blocked by legal order, 1967-1992*)

* The only American film banned from release for reasons other than obscenity or national security.

Prisons and mental institutions, where recalcitrant or ill-fitting citizens are put out of sight, are the dirty secrets of civilized society. As they are owned and controlled by precisely those who wish to keep them secret, and are also confined to specific, enclosed spaces, filmmakers are easily kept out. Wiseman's achievement in creating this unique film document is therefore all the more impressive: it is a major work of subversive cinema and a searing indictment -- without editorializing narration -- of the "system". Wiseman (and his extraordinary cameraman-anthropologist John Marshall) officially gained entrance to a state prison hospital for the criminally insane, where the film was shot, and obtained the co-operation of it's psychiatrists, guards, and social workers. Massachusetts, however, subsequently obtained an injunction preventing the film's exhibition, thereby keeping the secret.

This is a gallery of horrors, a reflection of man's infinite capacity to dehumanize his fellow beings. Broken men, retarded, catatonic, schizophrenic, toothless -- many incarcerated for life -- vegetate in empty cells, bare of furniture, utensils, toilets, or beds. They are incontinent, they masturbate, babble, put on a horrifying annual variety show (the "Titicut Follies"), beat against the bars in rage, and scream. They stand on their heads for minutes on end while chanting self-invented hymns, or are force-fed through the nose while a Dr. Strangelove psychiatrist himself (!) pours liquid down the stomach tube. They are taunted or patronized, drink their own dirty bathwater while in the tub (smilingly calling it champagne), and die, ignomiously, their bodies shaved before burial and cotton-wool stuffed into their eyes. The camera flinches from nothing: here it is, it says, and since you are not doing anything about eliminating this, at least have the courage to watch.


Note: Warning, the above offer's a devastating diagnoses of [American]and human soul sickness.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Nov 19 2005 4:12 utc | 38

Pretty cool to watch Rep. Murtha, whatever his agenda, it was the truth he was speaking to, and that's all that matters.

There are only two options:

Refuse to see that Chalabi is another rapturist dreamer, like all the Repug faith healers and snake oil salesmen, a smooth talker. Refuse to read the tea leaves, ignore the body counts, and then let's spend *another* $300B poof! and throw another 150,000 troops to the wolves, and waste another 2050 lives to make sure Chalabi becomes Iraq Prime Minister for all of what, two years, before the place explodes in civil war anyways.

Or, throw away the crack pipe, and redeploy out of Iraq after the upcoming December elections, telling the Iraqi people and the world, you had your chance, and the US did what we could. You gotta pull yourselves up by your own bootstraps.
Nobody gets any more than that in life. Nobody.

Here's the deal, though, with 'stay the course':

There is no way the US can sustain redirects in Fed budget expenditures of yet *another* $300B. Where the h--l would the money come from? SSTF?

There is no way the American people will suffer a military draft without wholesale insurrection and castastrophic domestic acts of terrorism.

But most of all, there is no way the US economy can survive another 1973 recession, not with $8T in budget deficits and global economic meltdown.

Face it Repugs, Rep. Murtha already has. You screwed the pooch. Three strikes, you're out.
There is no longer a viable debate remaining.
Our time on stage ended. Mission Accomplished.

Posted by: tante aime | Nov 19 2005 4:13 utc | 39

The Man Who Sold the War

Stone cold description of NYTimes/Miller, ABC/Moran complicity in the US "privatized" intelligence fraud that brought about the shocking, awful war in Iraq.

Posted by: John Francis Lee | Nov 19 2005 4:14 utc | 40

Cheers, fauxreal, I'll keep those in mind. With so much written about the French Revolution it's hard to separate the wheat from the chaff. On the other hand, it's hard to be interested in any type of history without some interest in that Revolution.

I picked up Pakenham's The Scramble for Africa at a used bookstore last night, which looks promising at least in subject matter.

Posted by: Rowan | Nov 19 2005 4:30 utc | 41


I wasn't fucking around w/ my suggestions.

Somebody tell me, why not read Marx and Hegel? One good reason?

Posted by: slothrop | Nov 19 2005 4:37 utc | 42

Here is the BBC Fallujah/Guernica video segment torrent hash from Dismal Science comments eariler if anyone is interested:

BBC Newsnight Report: The contribution of the blogger to war reporting WP-in-Fallujah
or if you prefer the hash #

Note: My friends at greylodge created the torrent, much thanks to em.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Nov 19 2005 4:37 utc | 43

The lieven and weber books suggested by billmon. Has anyone read them? The strauss and kershaw books? Debunking Economics suggested by deanander? The poulantzes books suggested by rgiap?


In the infamous Strauss thread...did people read leo strauss? really?

I mean, besides the grouchos.


Posted by: slothrop | Nov 19 2005 4:47 utc | 44

Just been swimming with the kids so missed some of this but of course it shouldn't be irrelevant that your vote can be turned around. However if the choice is between Tweedledum and Tweedledee then that needs to be fixed before your vote can be relevant. What I can see tho, is the same thing that makes jm's view of the real conflict between the two parties largely pointless for anyone that isn't wired into one of the two machines.

Yes they both want control and yes they will fight like cats and dogs to get it, but no they won't do anything substantially different apart from put the money in different pockets, theirs.

I didn't follow the link annie which I apologise for but nevertheless I can't help but feel a much more fundamental change needs to occur if the world doesn't end up back in an even worse place in a few years.

Diebold will have a different agenda from either the repugs or the dems. If they can play their cards correctly and abuse the limited power the repugs have already given them, they will very soon be in a position to offer any election to the highest bidder.
That link that Hannah put in the last open thread goes to an article on a bloke called Rendon who 'sold' the Iraqi invasion to the Amerikan people. He started life as a functionary on George McGovern's campaign before becoming a Carter Commissar and then with assistance from Ham Jordan, getting his first CIA contract. But he's not an intelligence specialist; he's a good old inside the beltway demopublican spin doctor.

I wish it weren't so Annie and like anyone I will take a cessation of this current slaughter ahead of just about anything else but although the repugs instigated this horror it was all of them, the whole crew of precious, self regarding, and pompous pricks who approved it and then sought to profit from it.

If we let that be forgotten it will happen again so fast we won't have time to draw breath.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Nov 19 2005 4:49 utc | 45


read nietzsche, marx, hegel, adorno...all online>Hypertext Hegel.

Dig these internetss.

Posted by: slothrop | Nov 19 2005 4:51 utc | 46

Perle says out with the Saudis
Richard Perle (who in 1970 was caught giving classified information to Israel) continues to advance the agenda Israel has for the United States.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Nov 19 2005 4:58 utc | 47

Lol. asking for recommendations on history books is a reason to get defensive?

Marx wrote one of his best texts about the coup d'etat of Eighteenth Brumaire, available via project guttenberg.

following the list above, that would be chronolgically after the Lefebvre and Palmer books.

and, fwiw, yes, I've read some, but not all, and certainly not every work of those philosophers. do I get a prize?

I can't follow Billmon or anyone else's reading list right now b/c I have to/want to read about other things.

This week I had the wonderful opportunity to hold books in my hands that were made before 1500. They weren't made by rich ppl, tho they were often made for rich ppl. But those rich ppl are, for the most part, forgotten, except to establish provenance, while the workers who produced those singular items are celebrated and studied by those who care about this sort of thing.

Posted by: fauxreal | Nov 19 2005 5:22 utc | 48

Slothrop, I tend to read narrative history as primarily entertainment. I enjoy learning and extrapolating without having to puzzle out what the author means. Phenomenology or Hegel...sure, they could be read, but they're not what I'm aiming at.

Posted by: Rowan | Nov 19 2005 5:24 utc | 49

Lawmakers Reject Immediate Iraq

By LIZ SIDOTI Associated Press Writer
The Associated Press

WASHINGTON Nov 18, 2005 — The House on Friday overwhelmingly rejected calls for an immediate troop withdrawal from Iraq, a vote engineered by the Republicans that was intended to fail. Democrats derided the vote as a political stunt.

"Our troops have become the enemy. We need to change direction in Iraq," said Rep. John Murtha of Pennsylvania, a Democratic hawk whose call a day earlier for pulling out troops sparked a nasty, personal debate over the war.

The House voted 403-3 to reject a nonbinding resolution calling for an immediate troop withdrawal.

Posted by: Outraged | Nov 19 2005 5:24 utc | 50


Are you an Iraqi-American?

Posted by: | Nov 19 2005 5:28 utc | 51


LOL, RAOTFL ... Irish-Catholic ... non practicising ;)

Posted by: Outraged | Nov 19 2005 5:34 utc | 52

I am an Iraqi-American. I thought maybe you were. Huge compliment :*)

Posted by: | Nov 19 2005 5:42 utc | 53


I think we are all Iraqi's at this point.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Nov 19 2005 5:49 utc | 54

The captain of the SS Iraq has announced this evening, following urgent telegraph communique with the ship owners in New York, the following terms must be met at the scene of the disaster, before he would issue an order to abandon ship, now lying dead in the water:

[see 'SS Iraq Strikes Iceberg, All OK' earlier]

1) The men demonstrate they can handle security on the stricken ship without any outside aid;

2) Their 'who shall live and who shall die' process of drawing lots must remain strong;

3) All women and children have been relocated
to secure lifeboats, to survive the carnage;

4) The stricken ship show any sign of stability that it will float until salvage vessels arrive late in 2006 to tow it to the oil breaking yard.

Nevertheless, certain of elite passengers were already seen lining their lifeboat seats with gold. There are reports that a Monsieur Chalabi had already abandoned the ship in a private jet
and flown to Washington DC for political asylum.

Marine salvors give the vessel only about a 1% chance of floating through the end of the year.
SS Iran is standing by to purge any survivors.

Posted by: tante aime | Nov 19 2005 5:52 utc | 55

I tried to find the names of the three reps who voted for leaving Iraq immediately with no luck. Anyone know?

Posted by: Rowan | Nov 19 2005 6:04 utc | 56

IIRC, in 'The Devil's Own', a story of doomed fate, societal and personal tragedies, the money quote was, words to the effect:

'Good triumphs, and happy endings only happen in hollywood, American dreams ... the Irish, they are used to tragedies ...

Peace. Salaam. Shalom.


'All wars are civil wars ... for all men are brothers'

Posted by: Outraged | Nov 19 2005 6:11 utc | 57

Rowan....Maybe OT for you but I just read and enjoyed The Troubadour"s Song by David Boyle. It's about the capture and ransom of Richard the Lionheart.

Posted by: R.L. | Nov 19 2005 6:13 utc | 58

I do like the Bob Dylan line:

Something is happening and you don't know what it is

Do you, Mr Jones?

That's exactly how I feel about this country right now. I can't for the life of me, figure it out.

Posted by: jm | Nov 19 2005 6:29 utc | 59

Earlier tonight, jm's line,

These fools who you think are so much in control of your destiny are doing so only from your perception.

sent me off on a tear. There must be some broader examination of this fundamental and predominant truth of political psychology.

What immediately came to mind was a dusty paraphase rattling in the recessess of my brain, I think from Paolo Friere's work:

The ultimate stage of oppression is when the oppressed oppress themselves.

You don't even have to put your boot on my neck anymore, I'm just going grovel here in the dirt, grateful for the scraps. Worse, I might even sing your praise and fight your war. Beat me and make me write bad checks.

How to blow the lid off all of this capitulation?

Went to wikipedia to tumble "oppressed" and so on. Also had Slothrop's "class war" in my head, from an earlier post. Wikied that, and followed many turns there, too.

Rolled back here specifically intending to ask Slothrop to recommend a book. Lucky me. Didn't even have to ask.

Already had a go at Adorno.

Thanks jm, slothrop, and others.

Posted by: manonfyre | Nov 19 2005 6:29 utc | 60


Now, I did read Karl Marx. Specifically, I read Das Kapital (in English) when I was 15 years old. That was 38 years ago, so I am sure that given my youth and the great length of time since reading this, I may be missing some detail. However, IMO, what should have remained with me after the passage of time is the “essence” of the book. What I can remember of Das Kapital is that it is a turgid tome setting out in pounds, shillings, and pence, how the capitalists were stiffing the working class in 19th Century Britain. Of course, coming from a poor working class family, I was reading Marx at this age along with, as I recall, a 3 volume tome on the life of Bronstein, as my education on track for a life as a revolutionary.

It was something simple that a friend said to me that gave me pause to think. Something like “try standing outside the shipyards and talk about this revolutionary crap and see how far you get”.

Thankfully, I am no academic (never finished school), so I was able to continue my education without conforming to any “school of thought”, so I will venture an opinion that is unlikely to be welcome by anyone.

Karl Marx was a bit of a hack and a plagiarizer of Engels. The minutiae of the works of either of them is irrelevant. How many books should anyone read cover to cover – and to what benefit? (At the moment, I am still trying to find time to read Adam Smith cover-to-cover).

Can I ask that we try to keep discussions relevant to ideas. Ideas that can be clearly and succinctly delineated in short posts without the need to buttress the argument by citing authoritative sources. If a discussion on ideas has any merit it should be able to stand by itself. If we have to introduce the works of 19th century dilettantes, can we make them relevant to the real world. Not that you are likely to find any shipyards these days, but maybe a litmus test could be the staff carpark at Walmart. (Can you tell me why someone who has worked hard all his life should support estate taxes so that he gives an inheritance to the state and not to his children?)

Sorry. I don’t like to be long-winded. You asked for ‘one good reason’ not to read Marx and Hegel? How about, life’s too short. You’ve read them. Tell us how their ideas fit with today’s reality.

Posted by: DM | Nov 19 2005 6:45 utc | 61

You're a man after my own heart, manonfyre.

"How to blow the lid off all of this capitulation."

That's what I'm after.

Stand up for yourselves. No one posesses you.

Posted by: jm | Nov 19 2005 6:45 utc | 62


I'm an iconoclst and I agree with you. You can't draft some intellectual construct of governance, try and apply it to reality, and ever expect it to work. Some personal misguided erection. These people were lost. The only political reality today is the system that doesn't exist yet. The one that is being born right now from experience.

Posted by: jm | Nov 19 2005 6:54 utc | 63

McKinney, Serrano, Wexler vote "aye" on H.RES.571.

Posted by: manonfyre | Nov 19 2005 7:02 utc | 64

That's Cynthia McKinney, Georgia 4th; Jose Serrano, New York 16th; Robert Wexler, Florida 19th.

Posted by: | Nov 19 2005 7:08 utc | 65

"intellectual construct of governance" -jm

reading similar critiques of adorno, with "untested" and "impractical" tagged on.

Posted by: manonfyre | Nov 19 2005 7:13 utc | 66

OK time for a slight change of debate. Upthread Unclescam has put a link to a BBC vid of an interview with two media talking heads discussing the role of bloggers and the lameness of the MSM reportage of Iraq.

I don't intend to deconstruct this vid but it's interpretations do nothing but confirm giap's view on the 'new improved bliared bbc'

however a one of the talking heads in particular makes some good points until he is silenced and as bloggers of a sort we should consider what is said then really consider what has been going down in Tunisia last week .

Now the bottled net history I'm gonna try and retell is exceedingly arcane and litigious and I strongly suggest ppl really interested in it do a google or whatever. Thing is there is even more dross than usual thrown up by search engines when you try and get to the bottom of this baby.

The net domain addresses structure is controlled by an organisation called Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)

Originally a non-governmental organisation set up by academics and university librarians and computing buffs to regulate domain name allocations and ensure that IP addresses(which are numbers) and domains interacted seamlessly.

those who spent time on the net in the early to mid 90's will know that despite the obstacles that primitive equipment could engender the net was an anarchic but friendly sort of a joint with ICANN's forerunner contributing cheerfully to the liberation of information. Although the domain name regulation office was located in the US it wasn't a particularly Amerikan construct. In fact it's appeal to many was it's internationalism.

However as soon as the net showed it's true potential for generating a dollar the usual suspects got in Clinton's ear and about the same time as software was placed under the auspices of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) Clinton nominated his choices to the board of the new improved Network Solutions Inc soon to be renamed ICANN, and they set about their work.

The first problem was the issue of provenance. Before google and search machines got so capable domain names were considered the best way to generate traffic and a host of people who wanted a popular website registered domains that shared the same name as a popular brand or trademark.

First thing the new improved Clintonised structure did was strip those names off of the holders who had frequently held provenence for longer than the new claimant was aware of the existence of the internet.

this piracy was supported by the MSM who created the myth of the cybersquatter. The whole thing kinda reminds me of how free grazing was destroyed by the tactics of the large station owners or the way the US banks conspired in the 1920's to take land off the descendants of homesteaders and form it into larger more 'economic' units owned by them and their mates.

As far as I can tell/remember the next step was to sell off Network Solutions Inc along with responsibility for .com addresses to site validators Verisign and rename the rest ICANN

Same old same old but now a number of people are asking why it is that the US controls the internet.

Various models for an independant international body have been suggested but ICANN concerned about their balliwick have been saying that leaving the power with them is the only way to ensure the net is free from political interference.

In fact they appear to mean non amerikan political interference. Most thinking people wouldn't give a toss about the nationality of the agency as long as that didn't impinge upon the decision making.

That isn't the case with ICANN and they are not particularly effective or efficient either as the sex dot com debacle demonstrates.

The blue was on in Tunisia .

If a stalemate has been reached it will be temporary, a lot shorter than 5 years, while the corporatists work out the next strategy and the wannabe information controllers plan their next move.

i can't suggest too stongly that MoA barflies make themselves familiar with all facets of this vital decision because what should be a win/win situation does have the capability of being corrupted into a lose/lose one.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Nov 19 2005 7:54 utc | 67

You don't even have to put your boot on my neck anymore, I'm just going grovel here in the dirt, grateful for the scraps. Worse, I might even sing your praise and fight your war. Beat me and make me write bad checks.

Indeed, the general paralysis of the Panopticon we now live in, having its own aetiology; Institute, institution, institutionalisation. "such Wise, such Rational, such Beneficial Institutions". The major effect of the panopticon of the Repressive State Apparatus (RSA)

* Government
* Administration
* Army
* Police
* Courts
* Prison

is to induce a state of conscious and permanent visibility that assures the automatic functioning of power. The inmate,(you),must never be able to be to see his/her surveillance but always be aware that the possibility of being seen is constant. This is the history of the disastrous attempt of the bourgeois to control insanity. By cruel and inhumane means. These means did not reduce or control insanity, on the contrary it increased it. Hence,this camera obscura, manifests itself so deeply within us, internalized to the point where and average man or woman on the street when assailed by an average police man defaults to guilt. For example, all an athority figure has to do is shout "you there" and 9 out of 10 of us will confirm. Thereby, extending our guilt.

Critical Pedagogy and Class Struggle in the Age of
Neoliberal Globalization: Notes from History's

Within the North American progressive education tradition, critical pedagogy has been a widely discussed project of educational reform that challenges students to become politically literate so that they might better understand and transform how power and privilege works on a daily basis in contemporary social contexts. As a project of social transformation, critical pedagogy is touted as an important protagonist in the struggle for social and economic justice, yet it has rarely ever challenged the fundamental basis of capitalist social relations. Among the many and varied proponents of critical pedagogy in the United States, Marxist analysis has been virtually absent; in fact, over the last decade, its conceptual orientation has been more closely aligned with postmodernism and poststructuralism. This paper argues that unless class analysis and class struggle play a central role in critical pedagogy, it is fated to go the way of most liberal reform movements of the past, melding into calls for fairer resource distribution and allocation, and support for racial diversity, without fundamentally challenging the social universe of capital in which such calls are made.

When a system of power is thoroughly in command, it has scarcely need to speak itself aloud; when its workings are exposed and questioned, it becomes not only subject to discussion, but even to change. -Kate Millett, Sexual Politics 87 (1971)

as, W. Blake said, "One law for the Lion and different one for the Ox is Tyranny."

As our jj say's: Welcome to xUSA, i.e. 'Arbeit Macht Frei' Democracy!

Slavoj Žižek glosses this passage to say "kneel down and you shall believe you knelt down because of your belief. ...that the 'external' ritual performatively generates its own ideological foundation." (Intro, pp 12-13).

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Nov 19 2005 8:12 utc | 68

p.s. while I was constructing the above; debate around all those old german blokes was on and although I can write my share of it I can't read turgid prose, particularly when it is 100 years old and reeks of the values of middle class males

There's probably nothing wrong with Marx, Engels and all the other thick book writers per se but thay lived in a different time and place than me so much of what they say "goes straight through to the 'keeper".

For me being a leftie has always been about ensuring the needs and aspirations of non-elites get a fair go once we know that the needs and aspirations of other non-elites get a fair go as well.
Yeah not very structured but I don't find social structures to be much more than a straitjacket.

And as they say "if the straitjacket fits..."

DM's talk about estate taxes has merit when applied to us mere mortals but a pirate like rupert Murdoch (yeah an extreme example) shouldn't be able to perpetuate his monopoly without having to put a fair whack back into the communities he built his empire from.

this was the original arguement for death duties and they were intended to apply mainly to the rich but as demands of the Keynsian economy became more rapacious and politicians greedier the thresholds weren't bumped up with inflation and everyone got hit.

Don't really have an estate tax here although I think if someone leaves you a big wad of cash less than 6 months before they die it isn't treated as a gift and can attract income tax.

but we don't have any capital gains tax either which is great if you're an ordinary individual in this silly property 'boom' soon to bust. Of course it also means the weasels who have been driving the boom and profiting from it don't pay a brass razoo to the society they are milking.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Nov 19 2005 8:22 utc | 69

Thanks, manonfyre. Heroes each of them, I'd say, or at least demonstrating heroic courage. I am a bit disappointed not to see John Lewis, former chair of SNCC, amongst the names, but it's no surprise to see McKinney. I'll try to keep an eye on Serrano and Wexler (whose name sounds familiar as well).

Posted by: Rowan | Nov 19 2005 8:49 utc | 70

Excellent debs is dead, just excellent,a profound comment that I have been thinking about, but haven't been able to articulate. You just unpacked everything I haven't been able to conceptualize w/regards to the situation we find ourselves in w/regards to cyberspace and who controls it.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Nov 19 2005 9:04 utc | 71

All right, instead of just using this thread as a demand for information, I'll provide a bit: Counterpunch's Michael Neumann has a superb article up over there about the failure of lefties to understand the relation of the US and Israel.

The fact--the fact leftists bust a gut to ignore--is that The Big Corporations would be far, far better off if the US switched sides completely, and supported the Palestinians to the hilt. It is difficult to argue this just because it is so screamingly obvious. The Big Corporations want oil: Israel pisses off the oil producers, bigtime.

Posted by: Rowan | Nov 19 2005 9:11 utc | 72

@Rowan your link is not working, can you try again? Sounds interesting.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Nov 19 2005 9:24 utc | 73

Nevermind just take the / off the end of the http addy grrr, here:
The Palestinians and the Party Line

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Nov 19 2005 9:28 utc | 74

Bring it, Uncle!

Thank you!

The key to resistance, in our view, is to develop a critical pedagogy that will enable the working class to discover how the use-value of their labor-power is being exploited by capital but also how working class initiative and power can destroy this type of determination and force a recomposition of class relations by directly confronting capital in all of its hydra-headed dimensions.

. . . It will not be easy, but neither will living under an increasingly militarised capitalist state where labour-power is constantly put to the rack to carry out the will of capital. Whilst critical pedagogy may seem driven by lofty, high-rise aspirations that spike an otherwise desolate landscape of despair, where pock-marked dreams bob through the sewers of contemporary cosmopolitan life, they anchor our hope in the dreams of the immediate present. Here the social revolution is not reborn on the foam of avant-garde anti-foundationalism, which only stokes the forces of despair, but emerges from the everyday struggle to release us from the burdens of political détente and democratic disengagement. It is anchored, in other words, in class struggle.

Even Marxists, or Post-Marxists, or the "International Makhnovist Support Apparatus of the Einsteinist Tendency" [something I saw at wikipedia earlier] do not expect the masses to bone-up on Marx. Instead, they would replace and supplant the capitalist elites and their functionaries with one sort of "vanguard of the proletariat" or another, with all of its attendant functionaries and pontificants. Not exactly bonafide, truly-democratic "people power" either way.

Call me a counter-revolutionary lacky and put me in line for Slothrop's firing squad. But I just don't see there being any way of hoisting a "vanguard of the proletariat" into power here in the good ol' U.S. of A. anytime soon.

You'd have to hire Frank Luntz and the Rendon Brothers! But even they couldn't put enough lipstick on that pig. Not even with the Chinese Frickin' Army at your disposal -- and you'd need an army to impose it because it ain't going to be "popular" -- is this going to happen.

Can academics develop and implement a liberating pedagogy? I certainly hope so. We certainly need it.

It is going to be a non-violent, grass-roots, popular agenda, eeked-out completely within our existing constitutional and democratic framework, that real reform and change is going to come in our lifetimes. And it's going to be "American-style," red-white-and-blue, balloons, banners, and bunting, too. Sorry, but it's true. Bring your Marx with you, but you are going to have to step inside this box or will only continue to pout and plot and moan on the sidelines.

Theoretical and ideal vs. get real.

Going to go read McLaren and more of Kate Millett. Thanks again, Uncle.

But I am also going to volunteer to work for verified and run-off voting initiatives in my state, and for whichever progressive (even Democratic) candidate who is going up against the "accepted-money-from-Abramoff" Republican in my district.

Posted by: manonfyre | Nov 19 2005 9:47 utc | 75

"I tried to find the names of the three reps who voted for leaving Iraq immediately with no luck. Anyone know?"

According to an AP source: "Three Democrats, Jose Serrano of New York, Robert Wexler of Florida and Cynthia McKinney of Georgia, voted for withdrawal."

Posted by: Monolycus | Nov 19 2005 11:10 utc | 76

when applied to us mere mortals but a pirate like rupert Murdoch (yeah an extreme example) shouldn't be able to perpetuate his monopoly without having to put a fair whack back into the communities he built his empire from.

This sort of conundrum is what any debate about “capitalism” Vs. “socialism” has to address. Just as most neocons have likely never read Strauss, few socialists have actually read Das Kapital. You can forget about this vanguard of the proletariat nonsense (I think the Bolsheviks have had their shot at that). George W should be proof positive that there is no intellectual approach taken by the monied class, so there is no need either for the sneering condescension directed toward the working class, or the arrogance that they need a vanguard.

The “old” Labour Party in Britain had their go at mixed-model socialism (super-tax at 95% etc.) Didn’t take long for that to break down. R-giap would be agog and Mao would be spinning in his grave if they knew how many millionaires there are in Shanghai.

Manonfyre is correct. If America is going to change then it has to be American style. I cringe every time I hear words like proletariat, bourgeoisie, masses ..

Australia used to have a reasonable term. “A Fair Go”. Giving everyone a “fair go” must be the fundamental underlying concept of a fair society.

We can debate Keynesian economics, monetarist policy, whatever. But this has to come back to a “fair go”. How can an economy work with “preservation of capital”, prevention of monopolies, incentive, fairness, compassion. I don’t recall ever having read of, or heard of, anyone even trying to seriously come to terms with some of these issues, let alone come up with a serious model. Although I did see an episode of South Park yesterday, where they all boycotted the “Walmart”, and spent all their money at Pete’s Drugstore, with the inevitable ending.

Can anyone come up with a storyboard for an economic model that they would like to see ? (running time: 20 minutes).

Posted by: DM | Nov 19 2005 11:24 utc | 77

Can anyone come up with a storyboard for an economic model that they would like to see ?

As both left and right appear intellectually bankrupt to me. And I continue to try to work from a maybe logic, one of my fav authors, Robert Anton Wilson writes, "I became fascinated w/ a number of alternatives-or
"excluded middles"- that trancend the hackeyed debate between monopoloy Capitalism and totalitarian socialism My favorite among these were Josiah Warren, S.P.Andrews,Lysander Spooner and Benjamin Tucker".

Wilson doesn't say that these theories or ideals and models will work out in practice, but follows up w/ they certainly can be used to some extent. He, (wilson)in paticular likes Tuckers idea that "land monopolies are discouraged in what (wilson calls) indiviual-mutualist anarchism" by abolishing State laws granting ownership to those who neither occupy nor use the land:"ownership" it is predicted , will then only be contractually recongnized where the "owner" actually occupies and uses the land , but not where he charges "rent" to "allow" others to occupy or use it".

other "systems" he is fond of are
Henry George's theory in which no rent is allowed but free enterprize is otherwise preserved. Or that of Silvio Gesell who would abolish all rent and taxes but one-a demurrage tax on currrency. Wilson also see's merit in the economics of C.H. Douglas, who invented the National Dividend which is a somewhat mutated form of Theobold's Guaranted Annual Wage and/or Nobel laureate Milton Friedman's Negitive Income Tax. I have only a basic knowledge of these people or their theories, but goodess knows we have to do some thing, and soon. Finally, I like Pope Leo XIII Idea that workers should own the majority of stock in their companies.

And most intriguing tessellation to me is the work of John Rawls.

Google some of these names and check out the ideals, cause American style or not we sure need some new thought.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Nov 19 2005 12:45 utc | 78

Somebody tell me, why not read Marx and Hegel? One good reason?

You're not Prussian, and this is not the 19th century. Marx and Hegel are required reading in college because their view of dialectical history is widely accepted. That's why we talk about left and right, hawks and doves, gay and straight -- as if all knowledge consisted of bipolar dissonance.

Posted by: Wolf DeVoon | Nov 19 2005 13:28 utc | 79

And on an entirely different note:
While you were distracted with your willful servitude....

A few things you might have missed:

Oh, this is good!

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Nov 19 2005 14:20 utc | 80

The debate over the use of white phosphorus in the battle of Fallujah took a new twist when it emerged the US Army teaches senior officers it is against the "laws of war" to fire the incendiary weapon at human targets.

A section from an instruction manual used by the US Army Command and General Staff School (CGSC) at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, makes clear that white phosphorus (WP) can be used to produce a smoke screen. But it adds: "It is against the law of land warfare to employ WP against personnel targets."

US Army rules say: 'Don't use WP against people'

Posted by: GM | Nov 19 2005 14:43 utc | 81

wolf de vroom

you haven't read em. very obviously, or you've forgotten.


whatever you're aiming for, "narrative history" will not take you there. history is not just a story as we like to tell it, but it is just that as well, and that's too bad for us.

see citizen k's posts for a primer how this "history teaches" as g. stein would say. ugh.

Posted by: slothrop | Nov 19 2005 16:50 utc | 82

slothrop- what makes you assume any of the historians listed above are conservatives who promote a view of history approved by them? that's a false assumption on your part.

and again, fwiw, the "left" and "right" constructs stem from the french revolution and where ppl sat during the debates about the future of France...the radicals sat on the left side of the hall while the conservatives sat on the right.

as far as history as narrative...of course that's what it is...and it is many different narratives, not just one.

Marx had a narrative of history and a theory about its progression.

Marx and Hegel are part of the history of ideas. It is important to acknowledge their views in order to understand history, but it isn't necessary, and I would argue it's simplistic to put them upon a pedestal as tho they are the only voices that have anything to contribute to the ongoing, constantly revised thinking according to, as Althusser understood in his writings about ideology, where someone is in time and place.

in the future, hopefully the ideas about what women are about will be understood differently, as it is now understood differently, depending upon the ideology to which you subscribe, rather than it was in other eras.

try to imagine a world in which women's sexuality, for instance, is not a source of anxiety for fathers because females have as much access and control over resources as do males...and a world in which childcare is as important as bombing a nation to ruin...and in which a group of people can care as much about the survival of your child as you do, just as you care about theirs.

imagine if males and females could have sex because they loved each other, not because the male owned Trump towers and the female had silicone implants and made that old man feel like he had value other than the bucks in his pocket.

imagine a world in which the elderly were valued because of their wisdom derived from experience, where advertising didn't drive the idea of important issues...

Posted by: fauxreal | Nov 19 2005 17:31 utc | 83

Marx had a narrative of history and a theory about its progression.



no. all social science writes in reaction to those wily germans. I'm simply encouraging people to read the source material, that's all.

feminism is not incompatible w/ socialism, because rule of law in socialism is substantive and aims for distributive justice.

Posted by: slothrop | Nov 19 2005 17:43 utc | 84

no? what was Marx's interpretation of the progress of history, if not a narrative?

good of you to encourage primary source material...but it's not necessary to debunk other sources. and primary source material, such as the Bible as a way to understand America's puritan culture, needs to also be understood in its historical context...the narrative of protestantism vs catholicism in the west, for instance.

btw, a wonderful aside...the Attis myth, mentioned above, is related to the Phygrian cap...the red cap that looks like a flaccid penis and became a symbol of a freedman (from slavery) in Rome, and was adopted by the sans-culottes in France during the revolution to show their identification with liberty, equality and fraternity.

"Regeneration" rather than life/death/rebirth per se, was also a big topic in the debates over the revolution in France.

You could also see the adoption of that symbol of a castrated god/human as a symbolic move toward accepting the assassination of the monarcy in France.

to me, this is like seeing The Nation's cover of Bush as Alfred E. Newman, with the button "worry" on his lapel, as a way to make visible what the elite, including media would like to obscure about Bush...and to empower Americans to cast Bush as unworthy of respect or the office of prez.

Posted by: fauxreal | Nov 19 2005 18:07 utc | 85

please read grundrisse,. and then tell me marx offers "narrative history."

Posted by: slothrop | Nov 19 2005 18:26 utc | 86

The work Thom Hartmanns has outliined in Unequal Protection is a viable avenue of reform. And William Greider's Opening Paths to a Moral Economy. Both "from the belly of beast" initiatives.

Posted by: manonfyre | Nov 19 2005 18:34 utc | 87

Diebold will have a different agenda from either the repugs or the dems.

the ceo of diebold is a solid republican.

Debs, yes i read the rendon article hannah posted w/much interest because i have a theory about nick berg so my ears perked up w/ the mentioned The Office for Strategic Influence which also coordinates its work with the WH's counterterrorism office, run by Downing, a retired general who was head of the Special Operations command, which oversees the military's covert information operations. One of the military units assigned to carry out the policies of the OSI is the army's Psyc Ops Command. frankly the scene after noriega named himself 'maximum leader' and bush 1 decided to remove him from power in which Gang members grabbed the bodyguard of Guillermo Ford, one of Endara's vice-presidential candidates, pushed him against a car, shoved a gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger. With cameras snapping, the Dig Bats turned on Ford, batting his head with a spike-tipped metal rod and pounding him with heavy clubs, turning his white guayabera bright red with blood -- his own, and that of his dead bodyguard. i found all to convenient, kind of like berg, 9/11 etc

Within hours, Rendon made sure the photos reached every newsroom in the world.

especially when combined w/this revelation "But Rendon's new assignment went beyond simply manipulating the media. After the war ended, the Top Secret order signed by President Bush to oust Hussein included a rare "lethal finding" -- meaning deadly action could be taken if necessary.
i am all to aware of the implications . honestly i don't see how we can budge one iota out of the fascist state until the hypocrisy of our election process is flushed. at a local level assuming voters cannot even pass measures for transparency and any/every measure goes to the highest bidder imagine the empowerment people might feel by exposing the lie. the absurdity of whats going at the trial in new mexico, the in your face theft of votes thru out minority precincts (think reservations.) they didn't even try to hide it. and this is coming to trial right now and getting no press. well, i understand this is all small potatoes compared to the more weighty issues pondered here on MOA but these jerks running the show didn't get there by one big leap. they chipped away day in and day out making incremental little footsteps while manipulating the perceptions of society sos anyone doubting the process is considered a 'moonbat'. it's not going to be one big sweeping housecleaning. empowering a society used to sitting on it's ass while the elite are satisfied the little people are under control while the busy bee activists at places like votersunite act like davids aiming slings fighting our battle. what's the use of throwing up your hands and saying "rendon, bush, cheney society is so corrupt even our murthas are corrupt what's the point." rant rant rant. it's exhausting . what's a bar fly to do?

also, sorry about my feeble attempts at following yesterdays vote. apparently the vote i was hearing was the vote on whether to vote. if that makes any sense. jeez. happy weekend all.

Posted by: annie | Nov 19 2005 18:45 utc | 88

As per usual I sleep while the debates are ragin'.

How about this there are no bad books that shouldn't be read because even a low life like Hitchens can let you see how a sicko mainchancer's mind works.

But there are also no great 'bibles' that MUST be read because all of us are human and fallible so we need to apply our own scrutiny to others thoughts to ensure that we aren't taking on any more biases than we already have.

I have slowed down a lot on all forms of reading off line because I am finding the printed word just too fixed. The subjective nature of a writer's opinions means that the printed word holds onto it's prejudices for the whole time it exists.

On the other hand online people's words shift as time and circumstances change, just as their opinions and beliefs do.

How can we know that Karl Marx would still believe in 2005 that which he was so certain of in 1870?

A simple numerical momentum re-assures me that at least some of what I take in from the interweb will be wheat and not all chaff.

That is that there are as many people alive on this planet right now as the sum total of all the people who have lived and died up until this point. It is numerically certain that there must be at least one person out the with the linguistic ability of Shakespeare or the critical thinking of Hegel or the sense of light of van Gogh.

Although the chances are only certain numbers of them will ever be acclaimed, just as in the past, that doesn't put any aspersion on their ability. But best of all they will be operating from a frame of reference that I will more likely to understand than someone who died a hundred years ago simply because they will have shared some of the experiences I have and will have witnessed some of the same events I have.

And no I'm not saying don't read dead poets I'm saying at the moment I am getting more out of bouncing ideas around the ether than I am out of the fixed ideas in books.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Nov 19 2005 18:47 utc | 89

Congress Helps Self to $3,100 Pay Raise then the
House votes to cut $700 mln in food stamps
get it yet serf?

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Nov 19 2005 19:19 utc | 90

The Rolling Stone Story on Rendon's PR campaign to sell the invasion of Iraq and the slaughter of it's citizens to Amerikans really got to me.

The bit which hurt the most was the revelation that a lot of the grunt work was done by Paul Moran described by Rolling Stone as an Australian Broadcasting Corporation journalist. Others who have lived in OZ may feel the same sense of betrayal as I because the ABC is a publically funded organisation that provides a really diverse range of Radio and TV programming to all parts of Australia and not just those deemed by the private media to be 'economically viable'.

I have had friends who were/are ABC employees and I know that to a person they would all be appalled by this revelation.

I was so angry I wrote to a close family member who doesn't work for the ABC but does spend a lot of time covering 'news' for another TV network, basically saying C'mon! Who do ya really work for?. He answered, unfortunately confirming Moran's duplicity and giving some indication of the depth of penetration of the media by the security services:

"Yeah Aussies who worked with Moran told me his spy status was an open secret before the war.
Moran was hanging round the ABC office before the war and I vaguely remember him. As I recall he was a cameraman though, not a reporter.
Apparently a lot of the techos who work with satellite uplinks (which Moran often did) are in fact intelligence personnel, although you might never know it. Moran's wife was a serb. A friend of mine brought Moran's body back from northern Iraq and is convinced, however, the bomb which killed him was an accident. He had been about to leave the area but stayed back for just one more shot when the car came down the road and exploded. It's ironic the trouble he helped to cause came back and killed him however.
Interestingly, one of our managers worked as a techo with uplinks in Asia. he made my life difficult in London and nobody seems to be able to get rid of him."

The really sad bit is despite all the evidence to the contrary Moran's family combined with factions within the ABC continue to deny his double life

Posted by: Debs is dead | Nov 19 2005 20:27 utc | 91

I'm pretty much finished with this. Potato potahto, I suppose.

But here's a quotation from the intro to Grundrisse, and it reads like a narrative to me.

The more deeply we go back into history, the more does the individual, and hence also the producing individual, appear as dependent, as belonging to a greater whole: in a still quite natural way in the family and in the family expanded into the clan then later in the various forms of communal society arising out of the antitheses and fusions of the clans. Only in the eighteenth century, in 'civil society,' do the various foms of social connectedness confront the individual as a mere means toward his private purposes, as external necessity..."

I never said that feminism cannot be connected to Marxist critiques...take the example of the Lynn Hunt book I linked to above, for instance...

...and, tho I'm not a social scientist, it is my understanding that people like Pierce and ideas like eco-theory and issues of cognition are other areas of exploration within various disciplines.

of course people respond to the theories put forth by the 19th c. philosophers in the west...b/c we're western centric, and because they are part of the narrative of the history of western thought...but you can just as well argue that everyone should read Aristotle and Plato because they also influence all of western ideas, and the Bible, too, and I don't disparage reading any of these things.

afaik, Hegel was pretty much dismissed, tho, by the time the existentialists came along.

Posted by: fauxreal | Nov 19 2005 21:27 utc | 92

"What is required is NOT to force liberal pluralism, conservative values, multiculturalism, or holistic ideas on anybody, but to foster the conditions -- both interior and exterior -- that will allow individuals and cultures to develop through the [developmental] spiral at their own rate, in their own way."

~ Ken Wilber, "A Theory of Everything"

Posted by: manonfyre | Nov 19 2005 21:29 utc | 93

As per usual the surfacing of the household combined with my efforts to clear the accumulated garbage build up by posting meant I didn't get a chance to read your post till now.

I don't really think our views are that divergent it's just that I believe the action that needs to be taken should exclude all of the hacks parading as politicians. That people such as yourself who have no 'agenda' other than trying to make the world more bearable for those around you should be the ones leading the charge.

The best anyone can hope from all of these revelations is that the US voters will 'wake up' and recognise that the criteria they have been using to assess their community leaders is fundamentally flawed.

As far as Diebold goes the CEO may well be a republican which would give them their entree into vote rigging, however if he is any sort of a CEO at all his first loyalty will be to his corporation.

This means that remaining the captive vassal of just one side of the two party one shared reality system won't benefit his corporation nearly as much as having the two factions bid against each other for Diebold services.
We also need to remember that votes can really only be successfully stolen in a close race. Whenever it is attempted in a big way blatantly against the public will eg Ukraine the voters get a bit hot under the collar. For me yes it is important to eventually fix the corruption in the system but to flog an overused cliche, doing it before some of the other diasters are remedied seems a bit like re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Nov 19 2005 21:55 utc | 94

On our current and near term history:

The Collapse of Globalism and the Reinvention of the World, by John Ralston Saul

Just caught this guy on CSPAN. Pulls the wool from our eyes.

Posted by: manonfyre | Nov 19 2005 22:52 utc | 95


What is required is NOT to force liberal pluralism, conservative values, multiculturalism, or holistic ideas on anybody, but to foster the conditions -- both interior and exterior -- that will allow individuals and cultures to develop through the [developmental] spiral at their own rate, in their own way."

Hallelujah, brother.

Yes, the debate rages on.
The class struggle, ideological struggle, hysterical historical struggle is a given. Instead of whimpering and running from it all, or trying to control it mercilessly, we can participate and understand ourselves within it.

Procreation itself is based on friction. After our glorious conception, we are trapped in another's body which is lovely when we are sloshing around like little tadpoles, but after nine months we are so stuffed inside this cubicle we can barely move. Them we are mega-forced into this life through a ten centimeter hole, whereupon we are slapped and tortured. Not an auspicious beginning. I became an anarchist at the age of 30 minutes.

Posted by: jm | Nov 19 2005 23:27 utc | 96

We also need to remember that votes can really only be successfully stolen in a close race.

i absolutely agree w/you about dumping all the hacks parading as politicians. unfortunately some of these latest numbers are anything but close,maybe it will take more 'staggering' revelations like these to turn the tide. btw scoop out of NZ has been leading the pack on our election screwups.

For the official vote count to square with the pre-vote Dispatch poll, support for the Issue(2) had to drop more than 22 points, with virtually all the undecideds apparently going into the "no" column.

Issue Three going down to defeat in perhaps the most astonishing reversal in Ohio history, claiming just 33% of the vote, with 67% opposed. For this to have happened, Issue Three's polled support had to drop 28 points, again with an apparent 100% opposition from the previously undecideds.
The reversals on both Issues Two and Three were statistically staggering

The Dispatch poll showed it with 31% support, 45% opposition, and 25% undecided. Issue Four's final margin of defeat was 30% in favor to 70% against, placing virtually all undecideds in the "no" column.

for an afternoon breathalyzer

Posted by: annie | Nov 19 2005 23:37 utc | 97

Spiral Dynamics®


Posted by: slothrop | Nov 19 2005 23:40 utc | 98

crooks and liars has got video of some highlights in the house yesterday "order in the house , order in the house" includes jean schmidt.

hm, my breathalyzer link and text about the atheist suing to get in god we trust off the $'s didn't show up.

Posted by: annie | Nov 19 2005 23:51 utc | 99

Correction: not exactly a cubicle. More like an Edgar A. Poe type container with contracting walls.

Posted by: jm | Nov 20 2005 0:18 utc | 100

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