Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 26, 2006

We Are All Targets Now

The White House is further rewriting the torture and self-absolution legislation that is currently sailing through congress.

Now the real targets turn out to be you and me. The new version of the law would allow the CIA and the U.S. military:

indefinite detention of anyone who, as the bill states, "has engaged in hostilities or who has purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States" or its military allies.

With a bit of phantasy, and this administration will come up with a lot of such, one can read quite some doings falling under this wording.

  • A gift to Hizbullah to rebuild a hospital in south Lebanon?  - Material support to hostilities ...
  • Donation of drugs to Iraqi hospitals under al-Sadr control? - Material support to hostilities ...
  • Writing a book arguing against the Worldbank? - Material support to hostilities ...
  • Commenting in a blog against the Saudi regime? - Material support to hostilities ...

Also notice how the tense of the laws wording reaches into the past.

How about people who have acted in support of North Vietnam? Jane Fonda, welcome to Gitmo!

We further learn:

The definition applies to foreigners living inside or outside the United States and does not rule out the possibility of designating a U.S. citizen as an unlawful combatant.

So this will apply to every human being. And, of course, no complaining will be allowed:

Under a separate provision, those held by the CIA or the U.S. military as an unlawful enemy combatant would be barred from challenging their detention or the conditions of their treatment in U.S. courts unless they were first tried, convicted and appealed their conviction.

The White House frames this into the "terrorism" junk:

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said: "We are satisfied with the definition because it will allow us to prosecute the terrorists, and it also has important limitations that say a terrorist must have purposefully and materially supported terrorism."

But that is not what the law says. The law is about "hostilities against the United States and it military allies", not about "terrorism".

With this, the legal fishing net just got a lot larger and the meshes became smaller. Even us small fish may be caught in it.

(Bonus bullshit quote:

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) defended the provision, saying alien enemy combatants are not "entitled to rights under the United States Constitution similar to those accorded to a defendant in a criminal lawsuit."

Mr. Cornyn, maybe not to similar rights, but doesn´t this still apply: We hold these Truths to be self-evident ...)

Posted by b on September 26, 2006 at 8:42 UTC | Permalink


I suspect I will end my days in one of these detention/torture camps! Can't have any of those anti government, Bush hating, terrorist lieberals running around spreading untruths about "our great country" and the assholes running it!

As for that great democratic party, the party that has Rangel and Nancy Pelosi, defending the great leader, our king, from true statements made by Chavez, they can join our great leader in hell, if only there was a hell for these assholes to go to!

I have resolved, as a still registered democrat, to mail back all of my requests for money with a thank you note, thanking them for all the enabling they have done for this "great" country the last six years and more. I'll also be advising them "to keep that powder dry". And as for the torture bill, those senators should just keep on studying, because we all know that there just is no way a country, in todays age, can get by without a little fun for "our good guys" in the CIA and military to let off a little steam when they're having a bad day! And after they pass the torture bill, I'm sure some "so-called" democrat can reach an agreement with one of god's repukes to come up with an execution bill! After it passes, I'm sure they can even get our "LGF" people involved, possibly they can auction them thru e-bay or have one of the many patriots on hate radio give them away as prizes! DOESN'T ANYONE IN THIS GOVERNMENT HAVE ANY MORALS OR COMMON SENSE! HAVE WE NO SHAME!

Posted by: terrorist lieberal craigb | Sep 26 2006 11:28 utc | 1

What I want to know is, can any of this be reversed should sanity ever prevail?

Posted by: beq | Sep 26 2006 11:37 utc | 2


Excellent post and warning. Looks like, according to our leaders, that our rights are no longer unalienable per the Declaration of Independence, but are derived from the state. I feel like I have been in a bad dream, a nightmare, The Twilight Zone so to speak, but I know this situation is real, getting worse with each day, and is going to be so hard to reverse by "We the People".

R'giap's post in the last MOA's Weekend Open Thread comparing many of this century's American leaders operating like the Mafia appears so true. Each successive Administration builds on the last with this final nightmare of Bush/Cheney and all.

Also, as Monolycus so well points out in the same thread, Americans can no longer accept the immoral depravity that our nation has descended into. A small excerpt from one of Monolycus' many good posts on that thread bears repeating:
"But now we come to a point where these evils are openly discussed by former US presidents on news programs. We here at the Moon condemn Bush for trying to break domestic and international law, but have little to say about it when Clinton defends himself by asserting that he tried to break United States laws and have individuals assassinated. Because "realists" excuse abuses as the way "things must be because that's how they've always been", these can now be shamelessly performed in the open... and the ante is upped once again."

Americans need to wake up, get organized, and get to work to start undoing the damage; and most importantly, Americans need to deeply examine our national soul and ideals. Maybe the world populations, acting as supporting individuals and groups independent of any government, can help because I'm begining to have the feeling we will need all the help we can get.

Posted by: Rick Happ | Sep 26 2006 12:54 utc | 3

This reminds me of this haunting poem, written by Martin Niemoller:

Als die Nazis die Kommunisten holten,
habe ich geschwiegen;
ich war ja kein Kommunist.

Als sie die Sozialdemokraten einsperrten,
habe ich geschwiegen;
ich war ja kein Sozialdemokrat.

Als sie die Gewerkschafter holten,
habe ich nicht protestiert;
ich war ja kein Gewerkschafter.

Als sie mich holten,
gab es keinen mehr, der protestieren konnte.


When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

Having spent a considerable amount of time living in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, I know only too well how slippery a slope this is, and how incredibly hellish life can rapidly become once one begins to go down it. In retrospect, I think this course was clearly inevitable from the moment that Bush, just after 9/11, uttered the words, "You are either with us or against us." It is this absolutist, black and white, "us versus them" thinking that will inevitably destroy society every time, because it quickly legitimizes seeing the "other" as less than human, and stripping him of any and all dignity. Ultimately, of course, such deterioration in values cannot but come home to roost... you cannot readily dehumanize one of "them" without, one day, coming home and dehumanizing one of "us." In my mind, it is that simple.

All I could think this morning after reading these posts was Cry, the Beloved Country. I agree that even Clinton's willingness to cavalierly order the "targeted assassination" of a human being is something that a civilized society should reject with all its might. I know that he is not the first American leader to have used/abused such power, but as Monolycus said, it is the boasting of it on national TV, the pointing to it as if it is something great to his credit, that (I think) is new in our society.

So we see all that we cherished here unravelling... what is to be done? Clearly just bemoaning it here is not sufficient.

Posted by: Bea | Sep 26 2006 13:22 utc | 4

Ooops... Mistakenly copied the directions for linking above just a bit too faithfully. I did not mean to link to the ACLU but rather to some background on the Poem.

Still perhaps it was appropriate to link to the ACLU...however inadvertantly.

Posted by: Bea | Sep 26 2006 13:27 utc | 5

Well for anyone who wants to feel a slight bit of uplifting optimism this otherwise grim morning, watch this hard-hitting commentary by Keith Olbermann:

On Shrub, and the "state of the union"

Posted by: Bea | Sep 26 2006 13:53 utc | 6

Torture is now in the mainstream. Many US TV shows - Enterprise, The Unit, Lost and of course 24 - now incorporate it in their storylines. They always have the right person. They never go "too far". They always get the info and it is almost always a 'ticking bomb' situation.

Of course, TV/movies never show what real violence does to the human body/mind/soul.

Hell, my member of parliament wrote a book defending torture and preemptive war as a lesser evil. Using the book as a benchmark, however, shows just how badly the west has failed to hold the higher moral ground it claims to hold so dear. No one occupies it.

Posted by: gmac | Sep 26 2006 14:08 utc | 7

I think this course was clearly inevitable from the moment that Bush, just after 9/11, uttered the words, "You are either with us or against us."

His utterance of those words was the last time I listened to one of his mutterings as I knew at that moment we'd be down this bloody path.

I initially gave Bush the benefit of the doubt, because his first blatherings after 9/11 seemed reasonable. I also knew Bush really only had two choices; the rule of law (now considered quaint)or the god of war. I left the room with expletives trailing as the words oozed from Bush's festering gob.

Posted by: gmac | Sep 26 2006 14:40 utc | 8

"You are either with us or against us"

This was basically Bush declaring war to the whole world. More aptly worded as "Surrender, be our slaves, bithces, or die."
This lateste development is just icing on the cake. If anyone still has doubt that the current regime is the enemy of mankind and should be fought by every means necessary, and that all the fuckheads who voted for him share the collective responsibility of his criminal regime, they're beyond any hope.

Posted by: CluelessJoe | Sep 26 2006 15:37 utc | 9

Keith Olbermann..whew! Where did this come from? For most of his career he's been a sportscaster (not that there's anything wrong with that), although he did win a Murrow award for reporting following 9/11. His "special comments" have even caused my apolitical wife to start watching, although I detect a hidden agenda on her part.

Has he "purposefully and materially supported hostilities"? This is all very distressing; detention without due process is probably the primary feature of an authoritarian regime.

Posted by: montysano | Sep 26 2006 15:59 utc | 10

Every sane person should be frightened. I recall when the "patriot act" was passed. So-called "terrorists" included those who supported the boycott of apartheid S. Africa.

I don't know what's going on w/americans - why aren't there Huge demonstrations in opposition? Perhaps people think they'd be supporting Binny...when in fact it's a law that Pinochet would have written allowing him to kidnap/disappear & torture his opponents...

Amy is discussing it now on D-N- It could include Anyone who opposes their wars..."purposely supported"...

PLEASE EVERYONE CALL YOUR SENATORS, REPRESENTATIVES, ETC. (yes, who knows if it works, but they still have to be deluged.)

Posted by: jj | Sep 26 2006 16:06 utc | 11

Anyone else wonder if billmon retired out of fear?

Posted by: jj | Sep 26 2006 16:08 utc | 12

Bernhard probably knows more, but that kind of laws seem suspiciously akin to stuff that was passed in 1933 in Germany.
Yes, I know, I just stated the obvious.

Posted by: CluelessJoe | Sep 26 2006 16:26 utc | 13

"Anyone else wonder if billmon retired out of fear?"

Seemed like a sudden decision after he went on that talk radio show. Did they nail him and "make him an offer he couldn't refuse?"

He mentioned 'family and employment' Hmmm.

He did however, comment back that he really wanted to apply himself to earning his paycheck. God knows there's no money in blogging.

It is quite possible that the "offer" came from Mrs Billmon. :-)

Posted by: pb | Sep 26 2006 16:38 utc | 14

@ jj

I don't know what's going on w/americans - why aren't there Huge demonstrations in opposition?

Because cable TV still works; there's food on the shelves and gas at the pumps; Walmart still has Everyday Low Prices. Because the mega-churches that rule the landscape are more worried about Adam and Steve than they are about what Jesus said in the Beatitudes.

One day they'll awake, whether it's due to $10.00/gal. gas, or Aunt Edna suddenly disappearing after writing something critical of the regime. They'll awake, and they'll be pissed and looking for someone to blame.

We don't have many chances left to fix this, but Nov. 7 would be a start.

Posted by: montysano | Sep 26 2006 16:40 utc | 15

@ Bea (#6) Thank you very much.

Posted by: beq | Sep 26 2006 16:50 utc | 16

"You are either with us or against us"

This is a gangbanger statement pure and simple. I heard it many times when I was a kid.

Posted by: | Sep 26 2006 16:51 utc | 17

He that is not with me is against me
-- matthew 12:30

Posted by: b real | Sep 26 2006 16:56 utc | 18

."Because cable TV still works; there's food on the shelves and gas at the pumps; Walmart still has Everyday Low Prices. Because the mega-churches that rule the landscape are more worried about Adam and Steve than they are about what Jesus said in the Beatitudes."

Right on.

I know the others do, But, do the 'mega churches' take Visa or Mastercard?

Posted by: pb | Sep 26 2006 16:59 utc | 19

Why are we not arresting President Musharraf of Pakistan? His own Dr. Khan provided serious nucular material assistance to enemies, the whole regime ought to be kidnapped, like the IDF did with Hezbollah leaders, spirited away to some obscure friendly nation and grilled until they crack...

Posted by: ralphieboy | Sep 26 2006 17:00 utc | 20

I'm taking billmon's explanation at face value. His family has to eat after all.

Until they disappear Keith Olbermann, I think billmon's safe to call bullshit on this maladministration for his much smaller audience.

Posted by: ran | Sep 26 2006 17:06 utc | 21

Oh and thanks B for your tireless efforts.

Posted by: ran | Sep 26 2006 17:07 utc | 22

Yep, this could possibly include me. My Palestinian friend who works at the deli around the corner returned from a vacation to Palestine recently and asked me to help him out by dubbing a CD. I did it gladly as a good neighbor (and they are very good to me and my dog at this deli). I didn't listen to the whole CD but one song seemed to be about jihad. I didn't ask when I gave him the CDs.

Bea, it is hard to for me to fathom what living in occupied Gaza or West Bank would be like. But I do know what living in occupied Chelsea was like a couple of years ago when the RNC came to town. I also remember being screamed at by a neighbor when I complained to the police about having to show an id to walk my dog or about them leaving their vehicles idling in the street for hours. I was told that I should be grateful to them for taking over our lives. People really do not get it and will not until it is too late. And then I wonder how many we count on to have the guts to do something about it.

Posted by: conchita | Sep 26 2006 17:13 utc | 23

I know the others do, But, do the 'mega churches' take Visa or Mastercard?

I'm involved in building two right now that have a food court, coffee shop, and bookstore. Our company takes an "as long as the check clears" approach, but it still eats at me.

Posted by: montysano | Sep 26 2006 17:14 utc | 24

@ Bea #6 & montysano #10

What's up with sports writers these days?

Reader DK at>TPM 9/24 picked up the following from Mike Lupica in Daily News sports page.

The government of George Bush, which will leak the name of a CIA operative named Valerie Plame when it suits its purposes, now wants Fainaru-Wada and Williams in jail because they won't reveal the names of the person or persons the government says leaked them grand jury testimony. It is always worth pointing out that if you ran the country the way Bush and his people do, you wouldn't want to encourage whistleblowers, either.
Once George Bush told baseball to get rid of steroids in a State of the Union address. Fainaru-Wada and Williams, through their reporting and later their book "Game of Shadows," did their part. They took the President at his word, obviously unaware that this President will say anything in a State of the Union, about weapons of mass destruction or anything else.
. . .

So now the reporters are the bad guys, not the ballplayers who used drugs and then, most likely, lied about that in front of the grand jury. Get the reporters, not them. It's a variation of starting a war against somebody who didn't blow up two of your buildings and kill 3000 of your people.

Posted by: small coke | Sep 26 2006 17:40 utc | 25

gmac brought up this point: Torture is now in the mainstream. Many US TV shows - Enterprise, The Unit, Lost and of course 24 - now incorporate it in their storylines. They always have the right person. They never go "too far". They always get the info and it is almost always a 'ticking bomb' situation.

alfred mccoy has an article in the progressive, which appears to be taken from his latest book, and again emphasizes the point that condoning the use of torture neccessitates the need for extrajudicial executions. combine this idea w/ the point that bernhard brings to our attention, and, well...
The Myth of the Ticking Time Bomb

Posted by: b real | Sep 26 2006 18:55 utc | 26

What's up w/Sportswriters? Simple, see above...they came for one of them. Those guys, who work for a Hearst newspaper no less, are facing 18 mos. in jail - til the end of the grand jury, for not divulging their sources. At least a dozen sports writers from around the country flew out for the hearing. Everybody supports what they did, and yet...

But just caught bit of Chomsky - here's link (prog. will be posted in 2 hrs. for listening) to full hour discussion. Take Heart. He just got back from speaking on Idaho-Wash. border - very conservative evangelical area. Yet 400 people showed up to hear him. He said there's a sea change in America. He can say things he couldn't even say a few months ago.

Other interesting tidbits. Recall the NYT article from late last week on what Chavez's mention of his book did for sales etc? Not only did they Foxify it, by bringing up Dershowitz yakking about how no one reads past page 16 anyway; but they lied. Recall bit about Chavez saying how sad he was not to get to meet Chomsky before he died? So, NYT even sent photog. to his home to certify he was still alive. What Chavez actually said was he was so sad not to get to meet John Kenneth Galbraith before he died!!! But Chavez wanting to a liberal icon, wouldn't have fit in w/their demonization of him. Even the much-admired Jon Stewart fell in line, calling Chavez "batshit crazy"...

Also, Chomsky agreed they couldn't send the army into Iran, though they may try to "bomb it back to the stone age", but he suggested they might consider splitting off the oil-producing regions by fomenting secessionist movement - also in Bolivia & Venezuela. In Iran most of oil is located in Arab occupied area, which might be motivated to secede from Persian state. Similarly in Bolivia, most of the natural gas is in European dominated area that hates rest of the country now that natives are asserting their rights. Also, in Venezuela populace where most of the oil is doesn't like the central govt. & is adjacent to Columbia, where xUS has large troop presence. So, Chomsky figured planners might foment uprising, then send in xUS troops to "defend them". Losing this area would seriously hurt Chavez.

Speaking of secession & fragmentation, Juan Cole had posts yesterday on how both the Kurdish & Shia areas of Iraq have commissions drawing up programs for federations; leaving Sunnis w/no oil; receipe for endless war & rationale for xUS to keep bases.

Posted by: jj | Sep 26 2006 19:28 utc | 27

He confessed to anything and everything they wanted to drag from his hoarse, howling throat; he invented accomplices and addresses and culprits; and then, when it became apparent that all this was imaginary, he was subjected to further ordeals.

There was no escape.

That is the hideous predicament of the torture victim. It was always the same story, what I discovered in the ensuing years, as I became an unwilling expert on all manner of torments and degradations, my life and my writing overflowing with grief from every continent. Each of those mutilated spines and fractured lives -- Chinese, Guatemalan, Egyptian, Indonesian, Iranian, Uzbek, need I go on? -- all of them, men and women alike, surrendered the same story of essential asymmetry, where one man has all the power in the world and the other has nothing but pain, where one man can decree death at the flick of a wrist and the other can only pray that the wrist will be flicked soon.

It is a story that our species has listened to with mounting revulsion, a horror that has led almost every nation to sign treaties over the past decades declaring these abominations as crimes against humanity, transgressions interdicted all across the earth. That is the wisdom, national and international, that has taken us thousands of years of tribulation and shame to achieve. That is the wisdom we are being asked to throw away when we formulate the question - Does torture work? - when we allow ourselves to ask whether we can afford to outlaw torture if we want to defeat terrorism.(...)

Can't the United States see that when we allow someone to be tortured by our agents, it is not only the victim and the perpetrator who are corrupted, not only the "intelligence" that is contaminated, but also everyone who looked away and said they did not know, everyone who consented tacitly to that outrage so they could sleep a little safer at night, all the citizens who did not march in the streets by the millions to demand the resignation of whoever suggested, even whispered, that torture is inevitable in our day and age, that we must embrace its darkness?

Are we so morally sick, so deaf and dumb and blind, that we do not understand this? Are we so fearful, so in love with our own security and steeped in our own pain, that we are really willing to let people be tortured in the name of America? Have we so lost our bearings that we do not realize that each of us could be that hapless Argentine who sat under the Santiago sun, so possessed by the evil done to him that he could not stop shivering?... (more)

Are We Really So Fearful?

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 26 2006 20:07 utc | 28

jj- yeah, i saw that pointed out last week elsewhere that chavez was refering to not having met JKG. another demonstration that journalism in this country is largely an ideological profession. and the capitalist media has done a bang-up job of ignoring the real substance of chavez's address.
btw, hegemony or survival is still the bestseller at amazon.

Posted by: b real | Sep 26 2006 20:55 utc | 29

Fascism checklist: legalized torture, legalized surveillance

The LA Times article excerpted below is horrifying. So are the views expressed. Amnesty International is 'concerned' about the upcoming bill, primarily because of it's 'ambiguity.' There is 'worry' that the Bush administration 'would use the language to claim approval of tough methods.'

What kind of nonsense is this? Why the soft language? Why the diplomacy? WHERE IS THE FUCKING OUTRAGE? The whole purpose of the new bill is to make legal practices that are currently illegal. That's it. That's why the Bush regime wants it. It wants the power to torture--and it wants the rest of us to know that it can torture and surveill and detain without cause, without explanation, without limit.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 26 2006 22:44 utc | 30

'America paid us to hand over al-Qaeda suspects' -

PRESIDENT Musharraf of Pakistan says that the CIA has secretly paid his government millions of dollars for handing over hundreds of al-Qaeda suspects to America.

The US government has strict rules banning such reward payments to foreign powers involved in the war on terror. General Musharraf does not say how much the CIA gave in return for the 369 al-Qaeda figures that he ordered should be passed to the US.

The US Department of Justice said: “We didn’t know about this. It should not happen. These bounty payments are for private individuals who help to trace terrorists on the FBI’s most wanted list, not foreign governments.”

The revelation comes from General Musharraf’s memoir, In the Line of Fire, which begins serialisation in The Times today and will further embarrass the White House at a time when relations between the US and Pakistan are already strained.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 26 2006 22:49 utc | 31

Fascism checklist: legalized torture, legalized surveillance

uh, maybe the link would help?

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 26 2006 22:54 utc | 32

It's a war on the "left" and "anti-glabalization" folks, especially when they use the Internet. Anyone feeling targeted?

While Iran, and to a lesser extent Syria, remain the most active state sponsors of terrorism, many other states will be unable to prevent territory or resources from being exploited by terrorists.

Anti-US and anti-globalization sentiment is on the rise and fueling other radical
ideologies. This could prompt some leftist, nationalist, or separatist groups to adopt terrorist methods to attack US interests. The radicalization process is occurring more quickly, more widely, and more anonymously in the Internet age, raising the likelihood of surprise attacks by unknown groups whose members and supporters may be difficult to pinpoint.

• We judge that groups of all stripes will increasingly use the Internet to communicate, propagandize, recruit, train, and obtain logistical and financial

From Declassified Key Judgments of the National Intelligence Estimate “Trends in Global Terrorism: Implications for the United States” dated April 2006 (PDF)

Posted by: b | Sep 27 2006 2:36 utc | 33

Negroponte Muddies NIE Waters

When George W. Bush found himself on the defensive over a U.S. intelligence estimate that recognized the obvious -- that the Iraq War had enflamed anti-Americanism and made the terrorist threat worse -- his intelligence czar John Negroponte tried to soften the political impact. In this guest essay, Ivan Eland looks behind the battle over the NIE, September 27, 2006

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 27 2006 12:18 utc | 34

indefinite detention of anyone who, as the bill states, "has engaged in hostilities or who has purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States" or its military allies.

By these standards, they attack not only us, but themselves. No one should expect to be safe by identifying with the Bushman.

Posted by: citizen | Sep 27 2006 13:57 utc | 35

What Chavez actually said was he was so sad not to get to meet John Kenneth Galbraith before he died!!!

Can you prove a source for that, please?

Posted by: heatkernel | Sep 27 2006 15:23 utc | 36

is reuters good enough?

The dark-skinned, mixed race leader told New Yorkers to read Abraham Lincoln and Mark Twain as well as modern thinkers like Noam Chomsky and John Kenneth Galbraith, lamenting he could not meet Galbraith before he died in April at age 97.

Posted by: b real | Sep 27 2006 15:54 utc | 37


Here is one:

For the record: I've checked these repeated allegations to the effect that Venezuela's Crazy so lacking in credibility that he doesn't know whether fellow ZNet blogger Noam Chomsky ranks among the living or the dead, and probably never read Hegemony or Survival, either.

And I am happy to report not only that Noam Chomsky does in fact still rank among the living. But also that Hugo Chavez never stated, suggested, or implied anything to the contrary.

Apparently what happened was this. On Wednesday, September 20, ABC News in the States broadcast a Special Report anchored by a fellow named Ryan Owens. (See at bottom, where I’ll reproduce a transcript of this program in its entirety.) The program aired some time following Hugo Chavez's address before the General Assembly, and documented his meeting with reporters in New York City. As conveyed to ABC TV’s audience via the voice of a translator, at one juncture during this news conference, a question was posed to Chavez, and Chavez answered as follows:

Reporter (through a translator): You made a call to fight imperialism. How can this be achieved? How can a new world order be created, especially for (inaudible) about countries are concerned, which is subject to economic and political pressures? And secondly, we have seen, in the time we have been here, [a] campaign on the media against you. It is said that you are the enemy of North America.

President Hugo Chavez (through a translator): Well, this is part of the imperialist strategy to confuse people, to confuse people. The first enemy of the people of the United States is the government of the United States....The people of the United States are being deceived. My God, how they are being deceived....


...And the heir ()of the empire is coming to an end.

You asked how to achieve the, overthrow the, of imperialism. The political work of Chomsky, which has been very important for many decades. I am an avid reader of Noam Chomsky. An American professor who died some time ago. I wanted to meet that man, but he was aged. He was 90 years old. John Kenneth Galbraith, I have been reading him since I was child, and so Noam Chomsky. They are, these are great intellectuals of the United States. The people of the United States should read what they have written, much more than they do instead of watching 'Superman" and 'Batman and Robin" movies that delve people's and young people's minds. Drugs in this consumer society that does away with human values, with intelligence. So much damage has been done to the people of the United States. There are ways. But the plan is moving along. And imperialism will fall this century.

Reading this transcription of Chavez’s remarks (through the translator’s voice, let us not forget), I believe that we should conclude either (a) that the transcription is flawed or (b) that both the translation and the transcription are flawed.

Translators and electronic translating equipment may contribute to the confusion, but most of the blame belongs to the hostile US media creating a "gaffe" where there was none to make Chavez appear foolish. When he's not evil, he's stupid. Demonization 101.

Posted by: lonesomeG | Sep 27 2006 15:59 utc | 38

From MSNBC on 1 Dec. 2004:

Could a “little old lady in Switzerland” who sent a check to an orphanage in Afghanistan be taken into custody if unbeknownst to her some of her donation was passed to al-Qaida terrorists? asked U.S. District Judge Joyce Hens Green.

“She could,” replied Deputy Associate Attorney General Brian Boyle. “Someone’s intention is clearly not a factor that would disable detention.” It would be up to a newly established military review panel to decide whether to believe her and release her.>MSNBC

Desensitize, habituate, create a lot of argument. Then legislate.

By that time, it is far too late. To do anything.

It is always, always the same. At first, only foreignors, people far away, terrorists, criminals, ‘abusers’, etc. are targeted or discussed. Soon, the category widens - profiteers (historical), people of questionable background (traditional), those who belong to the ‘unfit’ classes of people, those who have some affiliation to whatever ‘suspect’ group, etc. etc.

Posted by: Noirette | Sep 27 2006 18:09 utc | 39


Thanks for the clarification. That's an interesting data point in the sutdy of our media's creation of reality.

Posted by: | Sep 27 2006 19:28 utc | 40

[signing #40].

Posted by: heatkernel | Sep 27 2006 19:29 utc | 41

make sure you don't overlook reuters' refering to chavez as "The dark-skinned, mixed race leader"

Posted by: b real | Sep 27 2006 19:38 utc | 42

I always enjoy this mans POV: PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

Posted by: pb | Sep 28 2006 3:08 utc | 43

The Last Toast

I drink to our ruined house,
to the dolor of my life,
to our loneliness together;
and to you I raise my glass, to lying lips that have betrayed us,
to dead-cold, pitiless eyes,
and to the hard realities:
that the world is brutal and coarse,
that God in fact has not saved us.

Anna Akhmatova, 1934

The Return

The souls of all my dears have flown to the stars.
Thank God there's no one left for me to lose--
so I am free to cry This air was make
for the echoing of songs.

A silver willow by the shore
trails to the bright September waters.
My shadow, risen from the past,
glides silently towards me.

Though the branches here are hung with many lyres,
a place has been reserved for mine, it seems.
And now this shower, struck by sunlight,
brings me good news, my cup of consolation.

Anna Akhmatova, 1944

(trans. by Stanley Kunitz)

over and over and over again...

Posted by: catlady | Sep 28 2006 5:45 utc | 44

from PCRoberts and pb@43 - "Neocons believe that diplomacy is feeble and useless, but that the unapologetic use of force brings forth cooperation in order to avoid destruction."

"No triumph of peace is quite as great as the supreme triumphs of war." - Teddy Roosevelt

Posted by: | Sep 28 2006 13:18 utc | 45

Anna Akhmatova, I'd forgotten her, thanks catlady.

Posted by: Noirette | Sep 28 2006 15:07 utc | 46

to gmac @ #7:

Torture is now in the mainstream. Many US TV shows - Enterprise, The Unit, Lost and of course 24 - now incorporate it in their storylines. They always have the right person. They never go "too far". They always get the info and it is almost always a 'ticking bomb' situation.

I've not seen all of Lost, although I like it a lot, but my recollection of some of the torture scenes in Season 1 (I think) is different to yours:

a) Sawyer is tortured by Sayid, with Jack's permission. Sawyer doesn't know anything about what Sayid & Jack think he knows, hence torturing him is pointless. Sawyer instead uses the situation to get Kate to kiss him, and begins the battle of oneupmanship with Jack as part of their love triangle.

b) In a bout of almost instant karma vipaka, Sayid is captured shortly after by Rousseau and expects to be tortured by her, whereas I think she just gives him a sedative, albeit against his will.

c) Sayid's back story involves scenes where he is in the Iraqi Republican Guard and is instructed to torture a woman he knows, a childhood sweetheart, who he later helps to escape.

None of the storylines involving torture in Lost that I've seen follow the ticking bomb scenario you paint. In fact, I'd say the scenes I've seen have all been critical of the type of thinking that thinks torture is OK.

I've not seen all of Season 2 (where Henry, one of The Others, is held captive in The Hatch), so can't comment about that.

Posted by: Dismal Science | Sep 28 2006 15:34 utc | 47

"Anyone else wonder if billmon retired out of fear?"

Nah, he is already in the public as a dissenter. If you are it is pointless to stop from fear, it is a better defense (and more rewarding) to fight back. I think what he wrote looks like the probable explanation. And might I add, I am glad that he now makes a planned hiatus rather then getting bloggers burnout.

Posted by: a swedish kind of death | Sep 28 2006 16:45 utc | 48

Maybe, billmon got a white powder letter too?

Or maybe, it's all about Tickets:

As civilization has advanced, the pack-bond (the tribe, the extended family) has been broken. This is the root of the widely diagnosed "anomie" or "alienation" or "existential anguish" about which so many social critics have written so eloquently. What has happened is that the conditioning of the bio-survival bond to the gene-pool has been replaced by a conditioning of bio-survival drives to hook onto the peculiar tickets which we call "money".

Concretely, a modern man or woman doesn't look for biosurvival security in the gene-pool, the pack, the extended family. Bio-survival depends on getting the tickets. "You can't live without money," as the Living Theatre troop used to cry out in anguish. If the tickets are withdrawn, acute bio-survival anxiety appears at once.

Imagine, as vividly as possible, what you would feel, and what you would do, if all your sources to bio-survival tickets (money) were cut off tomorrow. This is precisely what tribal men and women feel if cut off from the tribe; it is why exile, or even ostracism, were sufficient punishments to enforce tribal conformity throughout most of human history. As recently as Shakespeare's day the threat of exile was an acute terror signal("Banished!" cries Romeo, "the damned use that word in Hell!")

In traditional society, belonging to the tribe was bio-security; exile was terror, and real threat of death. In modern society, having the tickets (money) is bio-security; having the tickets withdrawn is terror.

Welfare-ism, socialism, totalitarianism, etc. represent attempts, in varying degrees of rationality and hysteria, to re-create the tribal bond by making the State stand-in for the gene-pool.

Conservatives who claim that no form of Welfare is tolerable to them are asking that people live with total bio-survival anxiety and anomie combined with terror. The conservatives, of course, vaguely recognize this and ask for "local charity" to replace State Welfare - i.e., they ask for the gene-pool to be restored by magic, among people (denizens of a typical city) who are not
genetically related at all.

On the other hand, the State is not a gene-pool or a tribe, and cannot really play the bio-survival unit convincingly. Everybody on Welfare becomes paranoid, because they are continually worrying that they are going to get cut off ("exiled") for some minor
infraction of the increasingly incomprehensible bureaucratic rules. And in real totalitarianism, in which the bogus identification of the State with the tribe is carried to the point of a new mysticism, the paranoia becomes total. Real bonding can only occur in face-to-face groups of reasonable size. Hence, the perpetual attempt (however implausible in industrial circumstances) to decentralize, to go back to the tribal ethos, to replace the State with syndicates (as in anarchism) or affinity-groups (Reich's "Consciousness III"). Recall the hippie crash-pad of the sixties, which lives on in many rural communes. Back in the real world, the tickets called "money" are the biosurvival bond for most people.

or none of the above. Just a mere mental sabbatical.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 28 2006 16:58 utc | 49

Military dictatroships always hassle, imprison, torture, dissidents.

The reason is that ordinary people do not generally support war, as they will be the losers.

Somebody pointed out that a consequent slice of the US public does not believe Bush lies, and does not support the Afgh. and Iraq ‘wars’. That they do from the comfortable living rooms (all have fixed phones that they answer during the day) - they do not like US soldiers dying, Iraqi baby girls screaming at their parents’ guts spilled on pavement, and rape and torture at Abu Graib: it is a no brainer. Who could approve of that? That some do - or ignore, gloss over, the horror, serves to muddle...

Every person of conscience is against. And then what? They are also against global warming, thrashing the environment, pedophilia, some kind of abortions, and much more.

Everyone has the right to their opinion. Such opinions are blather, they are like those of the cheerful snazzily dressed corporate worker who disses his boss in the bar after a glass or more and sends secret flaming critical e-mail to a friend yet sits in the meeting looking real serious and taking notes. Making a careful comment. Gotta say something!

(Democrats, anyone?)

What about banging pots with a spoon at 18 00 hours each day? (heh)

Never happen.

beq wrote: What I want to know is, can any of this be reversed should sanity ever prevail?

Probably not. And Europe is now on the bandwagon so it will only get worse.

Posted by: Noirette | Sep 28 2006 17:16 utc | 50

Dismal Science @47

I knew I shouldn't have included Lost. That's why I wrote almost always ticking bomb. Sayeed indeed appears to be tortured by his past and did some work for an American liberator.

I think it still serves to make torture overall less unseemly, more a natural, every day thing.

Posted by: gmac | Sep 28 2006 20:02 utc | 51

and that was me @45

Posted by: gmac | Sep 28 2006 20:22 utc | 52

Anyone want to touch the third rail on a dare, and ask whether the mainstreaming of S&M plus intensifying misogynist sadism in commercial porno have also doen their part to make torture more acceptable to "the average person" -- including the average grunt in Iraq? or should we perhaps ask whether this media/social trend was itself a byproduct of a general decay of empathy, and an appetite for displays of domination and power, that grew alongside imperial misconduct and hubris? chicken or egg?

Torture is nothing new, it happened during all prior US imperial adventurism, make no mistake -- whether done by "wet work" specialists from the US or by client-state thugs trained at SOA or by similar programs overseas; but it had to be kept secret and deniable. The public would have been very upset had they known. The Winter Soldier revelations were politically costly to the establishment of the Viet Nam war era; but nowadays BushCo can weather similar revelations from Abu Ghraib or hellholes in Afghanistan and "outsourced torture centres" with hardly a ripple of outrage or shock from the public or any political consequences for the elites -- not even any serious haymaking from the so-called 'opposition' party.

Has the gradually amplifying cultural drumbeat of sadism-as-entertainment -- from Penthouse photo spreads to Survivor shows and Stern humiliating "guests" on-air -- helped to desensitise the media-consuming public and gradually to defuse any empathic, humane response to the open official practise and defence of torture?

Even the modern version of "Jesus freaks" -- Left Behind readers for example -- are avidly reading descriptions of a Jesus who flays sinners alive with divine laser beams coming from his eyes, chops sinners into bleeding bits with the divine force of his words. A Jesus who crucifies sinners instead of dying for their sake is the centre of this new gospel of cruelty, like a "liberating" US power that destroys nations, disappears dissidents, tortures prisoners; claiming that the inflicting of grotesque pain and humiliation is somehow a form of love... and expecting to be loved for it...

Posted by: DeAnander | Sep 29 2006 1:16 utc | 53

@Uncle $:

I always liked RAW's ticket analogy--Prometheus Rising, right? Also the analogy of ink secretions on paper (i.e. trifles like the Geneva Conventions) replacing shit-flinging in primate societies.

Posted by: catlady | Sep 29 2006 2:14 utc | 54

@ DeA #53

How would one test your thesis? The one person I know who is heavily into S&M claims that it leads to less arguments and aggression in day-to-day life. (For the record, to me S&M just seems plain daft.)

Some of the most emotionally jarring torture scenes I've seen on mainstream tv were in Buffy and Angel. One of the main writers on Buffy, Marti Noxon, was supposedly responsible for the "darker" stuff. The Angel episode (Season 1, Episode 3) In the Dark (which wasn't written by her) also contained an horrific St Sebastian-like torture scene, which also seemed to be a part-pastiche of A Clockwork Orange, in that the "specialist" torturer worked to Mozart symphonies or some such. To me at the time it seemed a lot gratuitous.

One of the Buffy writers, David Fury, was involved in the early eps of Lost, but I think he's left the series now. Again, in defence of Lost, I would say that I think the writers are tackling the torture issue seriously. All the torture scenes I've seen in that show have explicitly posed problematic questions:

-the person you torture may not have the info you want

-if you are prepared to torture someone (i) be prepared to be tortured yourself; (ii) be prepared for those you love to be tortured; and (iii) be prepared to be put in a position where you are the one who has to torture those you love

-if you torture someone, be prepared to have those you love reject you as a consequence.

Posted by: Dismal Science | Sep 29 2006 17:36 utc | 55

Chomsky’s 2003 Book Still on Bestseller List Because of Chavez

A week after the book was cited by Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez in a speech at the United Nations, demand for Noam Chomsky's "Hegemony or Survival" remains strong.


The Venezuelan leader also denied recent news reports, which based on earlier comments concluded that Chavez believed Chomsky was dead.

Chavez said he had been referring to famed U.S. economist John Kenneth Galbraith, not Chomsky.

A review of his comments during the news conference in New York last week showed that Chavez said: "I am a fervent reader of Noam Chomsky like I've been of a North American professor who died a little while ago. Unfortunately, I never was able to meet him. I tried to meet this man, but he was already a little deteriorated at 90 years of age, John K. Galbraith."

Galbraith, a Harvard professor and world renown liberal economist, died in May at age 97.

in addition to the NYT article (among others) disseminating disinformation to make chavez appear stupid, reckless w/ his facts, and maybe not even capable of reading the very book he promotes, bruce jackson, in a article at counterpunch,
points out another dubious tactic on the part the times

About 25% of the New York Times September 23 article on the book's surprising spurt in sales was devoted to Harvard law professor and torture advocate Alan M. Dershowitz, who used the opportunity to badmouth Chomsky's books in general.

"I don't know anybody who's ever read a Chomsky book," Dershowitz said, which is probably more instructive about the range of his own political conversations than Chomsky's readership. "You buy them, you put them in your pockets, you put them on your coffee table," he said. He is confident that the people who buy Hegemony "are not going to get to the end of the book [Chomsky] does not write page turners, he writes page stoppers. There are a lot of bent pages in Noam Chomsky's books, and they are usually at about Page 16."

It's not surprising that Dershowitz-none of whose continuing series of Jack Hornerish autobiographies is exactly a titillating bodice-ripper either-would express that kind of petulant jealousy of a highly-regarded neighbor. He used to insist that his hatred for civil rights attorney William M. Kunstler was simply because Kunstler took on unsavory clients, a few of whom were enemies of Israel, but it always seemed far more likely that the animus came from the fact that Kunstler was recognized everywhere and was liked by almost everyone who knew him, even his legal opponents, while Dershowitz had to introduce himself for people to know who he was and even that didn't make him likeable. So those remarks sniping at Chomsky were just Dershowitz being Dershowitz.

What is is odd is that the Times would quote him at all in this context, let alone at such length. What is his expertise in South American affairs? What is his expertise in Chomsky, whose work, by his own admission, he buys but doesn't read?

Perhaps it's just the Times using Dershowitz as catspaw to help put down Hugo Chávez.

also, i think that a lot of the attacks on chomsky by some of the more sectarian parts of the 911-truth mvmt are deliberately intended to discourage people from reading and/or listening to chomsky.

Posted by: b real | Sep 29 2006 19:10 utc | 56

The one person I know who is heavily into S&M claims that it leads to less arguments and aggression in day-to-day life.

which is kinda what fascists claim about torture and repression, eh? that it leads to more order, i.e. less arguments and aggression, in everyday life? that the trains will run on time? no, I have no idea how to test the thesis... but seems to me there are two "innate" human reactions to the observation of suffering: one is empathy, disquiet, an urgent desire to remedy and comfort, rescue and heal; the other is a voyeuristic fascination, the satisfaction of not being the person being hurt, being safe, perhaps experiencing a thrill of dominance and sense of power over the other person's humiliation or distress, all the satisfactions of bullying and ranking. at present the culture in every realm -- "entertainment", sexual fads, economic theory, vulgar theology, foreign policy -- is fostering and promulgating the 2nd type of response at the expense of the first. which is why I wonder about chickens and eggs.

my buddy Goff writes about the training of SF medics on US bases; they practised on goats. the goats were traumatised in order to be practised upon, in other words they injured the animals and then treated them; a form of torture, despite the pragmatic goal of training. within a few weeks, Goff writes in a passage of memoir, the trainees hated the goats. they didn't hate goats to start with, but after a few weeks of being made to hurt goats they started hating them, calling them names, making nasty jokes about them.

we could speculate until the cows (goats) come home about what this means -- a moral defence mechanism to quiet the uneasy conscience? some kind of repudiation mechanism that enables us hyperconscious predators to eat our prey by vilifying it? -- but it raises questions about the origins of race and gender hatred, oppression of lower castes in complex societies etc. we tend to assume that hatred of the despised Other comes first, and mistreatment/oppression results from it. but it may be that the structural relation of exploitation, force and fraud comes first and the hatred is a rationalisation added by the agile primate brain after the relation of force and fraud is established, cementing it into place, justifying it, rationalising or emotionalising it.

as citizens at the heart of Empire, living in a ruthless profit-driven system on land recently stolen by force and fraud from the original inhabitants, we must constantly be aware -- despite denial mechanisms and ignorance -- that others suffer to keep us fat and happy. that the goats are suffering for our training program. it makes a kind of sense that we learn to hate "losers" -- the poor, the third world, the nonWhite, the female, all those Others whose disadvantage or immiseration benefits us directly or indirectly; that the machinery of voyeuristic satisfaction, schadenfreude and bullyism is more active in our brains than the machineries of reciprocal altruism and compassion. if we were not traumatising the goats daily, we might hate the goats less; we might not call them names and make ugly jokes about them.

much of what the PR agents of the culture are selling us in the last few decades is the disabling of our own empathy and a contempt for empathy and sincerity per se -- "sissy" values for "bleeding heart liberals" out of touch with the 'real' world [the 'real' world being, presumably, the grotesque fantasy life of finance capital, infinite-growth economics and other millennialist cults?]... I keep asking myself whether the cult of the death of empathy is a byproduct of Empire, or a necessary condition consciously engineered by the architects of Empire, or what.

Posted by: DeAnander | Sep 29 2006 19:20 utc | 57

De, nice to hear your voice.

I'm trying to not derail the thread, but some of what you say, "at present the culture in every realm -- "entertainment", sexual fads, economic theory, vulgar theology, foreign policy -- is fostering and promulgating the 2nd type of response [voyeur] at the expense of the first [empathy]. which is why I wonder about chickens and eggs."

I wonder too about the "culture creep" (not a person!) that is going on. Clearly our society continues to evolve, or at least change. Factors include the diminishment of scholarship in terms of books, history, geographical knowledge that has occurred generation by generation -- I recall hearing about the 7th grade education for farm children in the US 70 years ago. Arithmetic, civics, geography, history and latin!

Urban population, mass media, etc. I recall the shock of punk rock music, which like horror films has a great success in mass media since it is shocking. Rebellion being celebrated in our memory of the 1960s (lat 1960 and early 1970s really).

Sexuality becoming mainstream via tv (again the shock factor) and music. Younger generations are more accepting of outre ideas it seems, yet the wisdom seems to take the same time to develop.

Anyway, just a quick post and brain dump.

Posted by: jonku | Sep 29 2006 19:51 utc | 58

To follow on, the law has permitted more "freedom of speech" but unregulated media clearly has a "race to the bottom" effect.

BBC and CBC have controlled their media to a certain extent, yet I identify the same jaded anti-intellectualism here in Canada.

So the laws are one force in the decay, if one assumes that media has a large influence. I guess this seems obvious to many. Of course the consolidation of media (laws again) is another factor at least in terms of central control of the message. Not to mention the concentration of money/power that allows the media to affect the laws (election funding, controlling message) as well as the audience.

Ditto, Stan Goff makes a lot of sense. Like a breath of fresh air sometimes.

Posted by: jonku | Sep 29 2006 19:56 utc | 59

I once saw a videotape of Kurt Vonnegut teaching writing at U of Indiana, I think. He explains that we are culturally evolved to live in societies of some 100 people, so every 100 has one or two good hunters, leaders, storytellers. What happens in mass media is that there is an audience of millions for stories, but one in every 100 is a born storyteller. They are all left out because the audience expects only one or two "stars."

Along the same lines, to break through and be recognized among the many voices competing for attention, shock, violence and sex stand out because they create a visceral response. Not a measured, thinking response. So the instructive, meditative, provocative messages suffer, they are overwhelmed by the scary, shocking, bloody and perverse. "Children learn what they live." QED. (I think that's latin for "point proven."

Posted by: jonku | Sep 29 2006 20:18 utc | 60

From a quick Google search, "- "quod erat demonstrandum" (Latin) This stems from medieval translators' habitual tendency of translating the Greek for "this was to be demonstrated" to the Latin phrase above. This appeared originally at the end of many of Euclid's propositions, signifying that he had proved what he set out to prove."

On the positive side, we do need to read to use the web, and the fingertip-close access to information (not necessarily knowledge) is a strong counterforce to the trend towards illiteracy.

Are we heading for a society of worker bees and technicians, lorded over by the owner class? Maybe we're there already. A science fiction story that is set in such a future society is The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson.

The technician class lives in isolated communes, horse-drawn carriages, hand-pumped water, growing and picking their own food. Interesting contrast to the plastic, instant, high-tech society they tinker with and support.

Back to work now.

Posted by: jonku | Sep 29 2006 20:28 utc | 61

Typing too fast for my mind to keep up -- the previous post was meant to support by definition the use of "QED" in the post above that.

I think the argument runs like this:

Mass media tends to drown out all but the most extreme, since the extreme gets our attention. So media gives us more of the same (it sells well!) and quickly the older ideas become less important. At the same time, reading, storytelling and singing have lost primacy as sources of entertainment and cultural continuity.

The resulting soup of mediated input, dominated by angry, scary, violent or just the maudlin have created a new cultural background. It's no surprise that the results are a populace jaded to violence, perversion and immoral actions, without much ability to think critically.

Posted by: jonku | Sep 29 2006 20:39 utc | 62

yes Diamond Age is a very interesting romp through NS's imagination... dystopian and utopian at the same time, evolving the theme of "franchise cultures" from Snow Crash... very class-conscious... and despite the author's notorious difficulty managing a plot they're both fascinating reads. anyway my lunch break is definitely shot so back to work for me too. I was in Canada working on my boat for a couple of weeks, not happy to be back in the world's most heavily armed loonybin... the Americanisation of Canada is painful to witness but it is not complete yet, I really feel a difference crossing the border...

Posted by: DeAnander | Sep 29 2006 20:45 utc | 63

Gresham's Law of ideas: bad ideas drive out good?

this of course confutes completely the cryptoDarwinian neolib notion of the "marketplace of ideas".

but Tainter has one explanation for the inevitable debasement of currency (Gresham again) in complex hierarchical societies... if currency and ideas work in parallel then the debasement of media would be just as inexorable and for similar structure reasons (false economies of scale and diminishing returns)... argh, can't think about this right now. must compile, must debug.

Posted by: | Sep 29 2006 20:48 utc | 64


it is so good to hear your utterances even if they are necessarily dark

two seperate but colliding events - pass my mind - australian aboriginals have won a victory in australian courts - & have been accepted as the owners of perth - from what i can tell from a french privincial city murdoch & his lapdog govts are in full fury & no doubt what little the australian people have given back to its traditional owners - will be taken back. their sordid inability to apologise for their crimes - just adds one more weight to having once lived there

& in baghda tonigh they will enfore a total curfew - whatever that means under the circumstances - it is so patently ridiculous - general paulus in the green zone weeping

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Sep 29 2006 20:51 utc | 65

oops that was me @64 (will you still need me will you still feed me)

Posted by: DeAnander | Sep 29 2006 21:27 utc | 66

oops that was me @64 (will you still need me will you still feed me)

Posted by: DeAnander | Sep 29 2006 21:28 utc | 67

sorry about the dup. I got a hang and it lasted so long I aborted and tried again... but it looks like the first one succeeded. also got a "please read and transcribe this barely-legible gibberish" challenge, first time I have seen one of those here.

Posted by: DeAnander | Sep 29 2006 21:29 utc | 68

He explains that we are culturally evolved to live in societies of some 100 people, so every 100 has one or two good hunters, leaders, storytellers.

very interesting jonku. someone recently posted about about the emotional trade off of tribes for possesions and money. perhaps our hardwiring is kicking in adding to the anti msm revolt resulting in the popularity of blogging and the attractions towards more personalized storytelling. as we earn less and less relying on our localized 'village' will become more of a necessity.

interesting developement

The shift of budgets from traditional media to more targeted forms of communications is accelerating. Clients seem to be less enthusiastic about mass media overall.

Recent Yankelovich research suggests that consumers are increasingly tired of being marketed to and are looking for new levels of authenticity and openness by the corporations they do business with. Aided by digital tools that allow them to compare products and services instantly, consumers are now in control of the information that leads to their purchase decisions. And this has broad implications for the advertising industry.

Agencies also must broaden their concept of “planning.” Mass-media thinking has dominated how account planning has been conducted. We are moving into an age of micro-targeting and consumer empowerment that changes the nature of the planning function. Needed are people who carefully track the constant movement of markets.

they are chasing us

Posted by: annie | Sep 29 2006 21:41 utc | 69

@ DeA - "please read and transcribe this barely-legible gibberish" challenge, first time I have seen one of those here.

I got that for awhile last week. It'll go away. Hang in there.

Posted by: beq | Sep 29 2006 21:48 utc | 70

Anyone want to touch the third rail on a dare, and ask whether the mainstreaming of S&M plus intensifying misogynist sadism in commercial porno have also doen their part to make torture more acceptable to "the average person"

i must be a little behind the curve because the mainstreaming of S&M just seemed to creep up on my awareness and then, shazam , it was everywhere. i remember watching pulp fiction and thinking how rare the torture basement scene seemed, although the fashion trends were certainly upon us, the leathers and collars, but i was clueless. i thought girls w/whips mostly hung out in dc w/politicians. i remember a few years ago telling my son regular sex (whatever that is) was very normal and alot of people had it all the time, just to sort of counter balance all the media distortions. now, it seems like half the people i know have handcuffs and whips lying around. i can't help but think the desensitization of sex at a time when kids are being introduced to sex will have an impact on society in the long run, kind of like feeding chili to a baby. certainly it affects their taste buds after awhile. the normalization and titillation of torture via our sexuality, well, wouldn't it lend one to crave one side or the other eventually?

Posted by: annie | Sep 29 2006 22:14 utc | 71


i get one that say - "please translate your vulgar & almost analphabet marxism into somthing sensible" - & then i get a small electric charge

so i've been reading more adorno than i would like

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Sep 29 2006 22:22 utc | 72


here's chavez himself
(Video) Se demuestra manipulación del New York Times contra Chávez

"How to achieve the defeat of imperialism... here is a good proposal, Chomsky's most important and original political work in a decade. It has extraordinary ideas. I have been an assiduous reader of Noam Chomsky like I have been of a North American professor who died recently. Lamentably I never got to meet him, girl. I did try to meet that man, but he was already somewhat deteriorated. Ninety years old, he was, John Kenneth Galbraith. I've read Galbraith since I was a child. And, of course, Chomsky. Great North American authors, great figures, intellectuals."

[link via latin america news review]

Posted by: b real | Sep 29 2006 22:54 utc | 73

A republican who is the chairman of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children, no less.
Foley To Resign Over Sexually Explicit Messages to Minors

And lest ye forget the recent Homeland security official Brian J. Doyle charged with seven counts of use of a computer to seduce a child and 16 counts of transmission of harmful material to a minor, Scooter libby's sex w/bears, paid whore reporter Jeff Gannon, the recent Karr case. as I have commented on numerous times, there seems some kind of sadian sexual deviance in the ethereal realm, or some kind of pattern seems to be emerging. It looks as if our whole seat of power in government has been saturated with a hidden socio-sexual deviance in the beltway, leftover from the psychohistory of the Nixon ; of dysfunctional sexual politics of the seventies. Gerald Ford was wrong, when he said, "Our long national nightmare is over", it was just begining.

The next question - is are these people sadian pedophile's or just one of many self-hating Republican homosexuals? Or both.

Title: To amend title 18, United States Code, to protect youth from exploitation by adults using the Internet, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Foley, Mark [FL-16] (introduced 7/10/2006)

* Republican Congressman Mark Foley abruptly resigned from Congress after "sexually explicit" emails surfaced showing him flirting with a 16-year old boy.

* Republican executive Randall Casseday of the conservative Washington Times newspaper was arrested for soliciting sex from a 13-year old girl on the internet.

* Republican chairman of the Oregon Christian Coalition Lou Beres confessed to molesting a 13-year old girl.

* Republican County Constable Larry Dale Floyd was arrested on suspicion of soliciting sex with an 8-year old girl. Floyd has repeatedly won elections for Denton County, Texas, constable.

* Republican judge Mark Pazuhanich pleaded no contest to fondling a 10-year old girl and was sentenced to 10 years probation.

* Republican Party leader Bobby Stumbo was arrested for having sex with a 5-year old boy.

* Republican petition drive manager Tom Randall pleaded guilty to molesting two girls under the age of 14, one of them the daughter of an associate in the petition business.

* Republican County Chairman Armando Tebano was arrested for sexually molesting a 14-year-old girl.

* Republican teacher and former city councilman John Collins pleaded guilty to sexually molesting 13 and 14 year old girls.

* Republican campaign worker Mark Seidensticker is a convicted child molester.

* Republican Mayor Philip Giordano is serving a 37-year sentence in federal prison for sexually abusing 8- and 10-year old girls.

* Republican Mayor Tom Adams was arrested for distributing child pornography over the internet.

* Republican Mayor John Gosek was arrested on charges of soliciting sex from two 15-year old girls.

* Republican County Commissioner David Swartz pleaded guilty to molesting two girls under the age of 11 and was sentenced to 8 years in prison.

* Republican legislator Edison Misla Aldarondo was sentenced to 10 years in prison for raping his daughter between the ages of 9 and 17.

* Republican Committeeman John R. Curtain was charged with molesting a teenage boy and unlawful sexual contact with a minor.

* Republican anti-abortion activist Howard Scott Heldreth is a convicted child rapist in Florida.

* Republican zoning supervisor, Boy Scout leader and Lutheran church president Dennis L. Rader pleaded guilty to performing a sexual act on an 11-year old girl he murdered.

* Republican anti-abortion activist Nicholas Morency pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography on his computer and offering a bounty to anybody who murders an abortion doctor.

* Republican campaign consultant Tom Shortridge was sentenced to three years probation for taking nude photographs of a 15-year old girl.

* Republican racist pedophile and United States Senator Strom Thurmond had sex with a 15-year old black girl which produced a child.

* Republican pastor Mike Hintz, whom George W. Bush commended during the 2004 presidential campaign, surrendered to police after admitting to a sexual affair with a female juvenile.

* Republican legislator Peter Dibble pleaded no contest to having an inappropriate relationship with a 13-year-old girl.

* Republican advertising consultant Carey Lee Cramer was sentenced to six years in prison for molesting two 8-year old girls, one of whom appeared in an anti-Gore television commercial.

* Republican activist Lawrence E. King, Jr. organized child sex parties at the White House during the 1980s.

* Republican lobbyist Craig J. Spence organized child sex parties at the White House during the 1980s.

* Republican Congressman Donald "Buz" Lukens was found guilty of having sex with a female minor and sentenced to one month in jail.

* Republican fundraiser Richard A. Delgaudio was found guilty of child porn charges and paying two teenage girls to pose for sexual photos.

* Republican activist Mark A. Grethen convicted on six counts of sex crimes involving children.

* Republican activist Randal David Ankeney pleaded guilty to attempted sexual assault on a child.

* Republican Congressman Dan Crane had sex with a female minor working as a congressional page.

* Republican activist and Christian Coalition leader Beverly Russell admitted to an incestuous relationship with his step daughter.

* Republican Judge Ronald C. Kline was placed under house arrest for child molestation and possession of child pornography.

* Republican congressman and anti-gay activist Robert Bauman was charged with having sex with a 16-year-old boy he picked up at a gay bar.

* Republican Committee Chairman Jeffrey Patti was arrested for distributing a video clip of a 5-year-old girl being raped.

* Republican activist Marty Glickman (a.k.a. "Republican Marty"), was taken into custody by Florida police on four counts of unlawful sexual activity with an underage girl and one count of delivering the drug LSD.

* Republican legislative aide Howard L. Brooks was charged with molesting a 12-year old boy and possession of child pornography.

* Republican Senate candidate John Hathaway was accused of having sex with his 12-year old baby sitter and withdrew his candidacy after the allegations were reported in the media.

* Republican preacher Stephen White, who demanded a return to traditional values, was sentenced to jail after offering $20 to a 14-year-old boy for permission to perform oral sex on him.

* Republican talk show host Jon Matthews pleaded guilty to exposing his genitals to an 11 year old girl.

* Republican anti-gay activist Earl "Butch" Kimmerling was sentenced to 40 years in prison for molesting an 8-year old girl after he attempted to stop a gay couple from adopting her.

* Republican Party leader Paul Ingram pleaded guilty to six counts of raping his daughters and served 14 years in federal prison.

* Republican election board official Kevin Coan was sentenced to two years probation for soliciting sex over the internet from a 14-year old girl.

* Republican politician Andrew Buhr was charged with two counts of first degree sodomy with a 13-year old boy.

* Republican legislator Keith Westmoreland was arrested on seven felony counts of lewd and lascivious exhibition to girls under the age of 16 (i.e. exposing himself to children).

* Republican anti-abortion activist John Allen Burt was found guilty of molesting a 15-year old girl.

* Republican County Councilman Keola Childs pleaded guilty to molesting a male child.

* Republican activist John Butler was charged with criminal sexual assault on a teenage girl.

* Republican candidate Richard Gardner admitted to molesting his two daughters.

* Republican Councilman and former Marine Jack W. Gardner was convicted of molesting a 13-year old girl.

* Republican County Commissioner Merrill Robert Barter pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual contact and assault on a teenage boy.

* Republican City Councilman Fred C. Smeltzer, Jr. pleaded no contest to raping a 15 year-old girl and served 6-months in prison.

* Republican activist Parker J. Bena pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography on his home computer and was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison and fined $18,000.

* Republican parole board officer and former Colorado state representative, Larry Jack Schwarz, was fired after child pornography was found in his possession.

* Republican strategist and Citadel Military College graduate Robin Vanderwall was convicted in Virginia on five counts of soliciting sex from boys and girls over the internet.

* Republican city councilman Mark Harris, who is described as a "good military man" and "church goer," was convicted of repeatedly having sex with an 11-year-old girl and sentenced to 12 years in prison.

* Republican businessman Jon Grunseth withdrew his candidacy for Minnesota governor after allegations surfaced that he went swimming in the nude with four underage girls, including his daughter.

* Republican campaign worker, police officer and self-proclaimed reverend Steve Aiken was convicted of having sex with two underage girls.

* Republican director of the "Young Republican Federation" Nicholas Elizondo molested his 6-year old daughter and was sentenced to six years in prison.

* Republican president of the New York City Housing Development Corp. Russell Harding pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography on his computer.

* Republican benefactor of conservative Christian groups, Richard A. Dasen Sr., was found guilty of raping a 15-year old girl. Dasen, 62, who is married with grown children and several grandchildren, has allegedly told police that over the past decade he paid more than $1 million to have sex with a large number of young women.

* Republican Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld authorized the rape of children in Iraqi prisons in order to humiliate their parents into providing information about the anti-American insurgency. See excerpt of one prisoner's report here and his full report here.


Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 29 2006 22:56 utc | 74

Meanwhile, we seem to be Making the police State kool. All these events (this one not withstanding) lead to one hell of a psychological impact, I mean, Imagine if a luggage manufacturer ,in the 1940's ,made suitcase ads using pics of people getting onto trains to Auschwitz?
Adverts for shoes showing piles of foot-wear after the bombings in Lebanon?

Tones of Yoav Rinon's academic work on Sadian Reflections?

*My above post should have read: It looks as if our whole seat of power in government has been saturated with a hidden socio-sexual deviance in the beltway, leftover from the psychohistory of the Nixon Nixon regime...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 29 2006 23:28 utc | 75

Sadian Reflections book

Rinon (comparative literature and classics, Hebrew U. of Jerusalem) first concentrates on works by Marquis de Sade (1740-1814) in the context of the time they were written and the biography of the author, drawing on a number of secondary sources to locate them within the political, biographical, and cultural frame. Then, focusing on the thought of Lacan and Derrida, he points out hidden Sadian layers in postmodern thinking, and explores principles rather than specific manifestations of them. The study began as he doctoral dissertation for Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Distributed in the US by Associated University Presses. Annotation 2005 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 29 2006 23:32 utc | 76

Another review:

This study encompasses many aspects of Sade's work: the role of the gaze and its importance, food in Sade's world, connections between literary genres and the Sadian worldview, interrelations of writing and masturbation, the link between sexuality and philosophy (especially in homosexual and lesbian contexts), the Sadian chain of violence, liberty, and happiness, and finally a discussion of love and its place in the savage and free world that Sade tried to create. In addition, the book bridges the gap between Sade's world and ours in a discussion of works by Lacan and Derrida, thus expressing hidden strata of Sadian notions and their critical role in shaping and constructing contemporary thought.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 29 2006 23:36 utc | 77

At this point, the true depravity of Bush followers should surprise nobody. But still, there is something peculiarly revealing and revolting about this disgusting, giggly little chat between Mark Steyn and Hugh Hewitt yesterday. Their topic? The "very enjoyable day trip to Gitmo" which Steyn took, courtesy of the U.S. military. What is there to say about things like this:

Mark Steyn and Hugh Hewitt reveal the true impulses underlying yesterday's vote by Glenn Greenwald

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 29 2006 23:59 utc | 78

Oh, and in light of recent events, I'll post this again...

Sex, Drugs, Mind Control, and Gitmo

Welcome to our living Traumnovelle , aka Eyes Wide Shut.

"This world is all a fleeting show, For man's illusion" given ~Thomas Moore

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 30 2006 2:27 utc | 79

wow... Potemkin La-Z-Boy recliners.

notice the recurrent wingnut theme of "coddling criminals" and "welfare queens" is way outta control here -- the persistent whiny fantasy of wingnut true believers that prisoners are being treated "better than regular folks like you and me," that welfare recipients are driving cadillacs and drinking expensive wine, etc.

Posted by: DeAnander | Sep 30 2006 2:36 utc | 80

Gosh, I thought it was the Straussian notion of Liberalism that was suppose to unleash the great decadence of western civilization. Guess he was clueless to the counter-effects of, that when business is married to politics to culture, to religion, and to history -- that the glorious and heoric offspring might indeed look something like>THIS.

Posted by: anna missed | Sep 30 2006 4:00 utc | 81

from Prison Planet
In section 950j. the bill criminalizes any challenge to the legislation's legality by the Supreme Court or any United States court. Alberto Gonzales has already threatened federal judges to shut up and not question Bush's authority on the torture of detainees.

"No court, justice, or judge shall have jurisdiction to hear or consider any claim or cause of action whatsoever, including any action pending on or filed after the date of the enactment of the Military Commissions Act of 2006, relating to the prosecution, trial, or judgment of a military commission under this chapter, including challenges to the lawfulness of procedures of military commissions under this chapter."

The Bush administration is preemptively overriding any challenge to the legislation by the Supreme Court.

Posted by: Rick Happ | Sep 30 2006 4:05 utc | 82

Kathleen A. Sullivan:Eyewitness to a Remarkable Era in Covert Human History Iraq Revelations Analyzed by a CIA MKULTRA Survivor - Part 1

Part 1 will review common responses to news about the abuse of Iraqi prisoners and detainees, and will present information about how the abuse and torture recently experienced by the prisoners and detainees is similar to abuse and torture reportedly experienced by North American survivors of government mind-control experiments and forced enslavement.

Since April 2004, the U.S. has been emotionally and politically slammed by deeply disturbing reports that are still emerging from Iraq and Afghanistan. We have learned about, and perhaps seen pictures of, sadistic and sexual acts perpetrated against Iraqi prisoners of war by military police, members of our military and intelligence communities, and Pentagon-contracted intelligence interrogators.

Happy Samhain, it's gonna be a blast! It's All Souls Day, everyday now.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 30 2006 5:53 utc | 83

@ DeA #57

I just think it is a very difficult question to answer, and I don't have the first clue about how to do it either. But I am loth to make links without hard evidence - that much I've learned from reading Steve Keen!

Other relations to me appear pertinent - such as that between the growth of supposedly Christian fundamentalism in the US, and the type of acts committed at Abu Ghraib. Because I remember being shocked when I went to southern Europe, particularly Spain and Italy, for the first time as I was used to Church of England blandness, and the bloody Roman Catholic religious iconography totally threw me. (The cross in CoE is "unmanned" so to speak.) The "otherness" of those living in the Middle East as far as I can tell is being emphasized by the religious right in the US - I heard one guy interviewed a while back (?in Texas) saying that Iraqis deserved everything they got because they worshipped the wrong god. How far does that type of thinking contribute to an Abu Ghraib?

The person I know who is into S&M I would describe as a major-league risk-taker above all else, certainly not a fascist, not even a political or social conservative.

And although I am left bemused by S&M, I find it difficult to say that what goes on between consenting adults sexually is any of my business. (I accept, of course, that a lot of women involved in the sex industry, are not there except for economic necessity.)

Time for me to get round to reading Angela Carter, perhaps?

Posted by: Dismal Science | Sep 30 2006 23:15 utc | 84

Just to make clear what I was trying to get at in para 2 of the above (#84):

A lot of the "standard" images of Roman Christian religious iconography (St Sebastian, St Catherine &c) are torture scenes. What effect does this have on "believers"? (Do fundamentalist Christian sects in the US use the same iconography? I have no idea.)

Posted by: | Sep 30 2006 23:22 utc | 85

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