Guns, politics, engineering and the miscellaneous pursuits of my life.
Email Mike: m_hanson76 [at] hotmail dot com
Email Me! m_hanson76 [at] hotmail dot com
Thursday, October 31, 2002
Even if your head is in the sand, it can still get blown off.
Alternet has an ‘interesting’ take
.on the one year anniversary of 9/11. And what is even more ‘interesting’ is that it took me this long to find it.
One reason why our expectations post-9/11 were distorted is that the act was falsely framed. A singular and unbelievably "lucky" criminal act carried out by a small group of fanatics acting on behalf of no government was declared an act of war by Bush, Cheney and the mainstream media. Viewed in this lens, 9/11 created an opportunity to initiate the perpetual war against terrorism that we have been fighting ever since.
As John Tirman, program director of the Social Science Research Council, writes, "It is conceivable -- likely, even -- that the atrocities of Sept. 11, 2001, were a one-time catastrophe; if there is a determined network of terrorists ready to strike again, expect them to set forest fires, not to ram a truck into the Lincoln Memorial....The plain fact is that not a single, credible threat has been revealed by the U.S. government since that sad day...The thought that we need to spend $100 billion of tax money annually, and much more in private funds and opportunity costs, to 'protect' against such a threat is, at the least, questionable."
I see, so they made their point and are satisfied that we ‘got their message’. So what happened in Bali? Or what about other ‘isolated’ incident like Mogadishu , the World Trade Center , Kobar Towers , the US embassies in Kenya Tanzania , and the USS Cole ? Were these too just ‘singular and unbelievably "lucky" criminal acts’, or were they battles in a prolonged war?
Is there a pattern or is John Tirman, program director of the Social Science Research Council, correct?
This was not the first attempt by them to send us a message and it will most certainly not be their last.
One of the most disgraceful consequences of post-9/11 hysteria was a rash of hate crimes directed against people from the Middle East and South Asia. Overnight, simply looking Arab created the suspicion of guilt. Anyone wearing a turban or a scarf was a target not just for enraged citizens but also law enforcement.
A rash of hate crimes? Certainly there were incidents of attacks on Arabs after 9/11, but unlike the attacks themselves, these were isolated incidents, and the numbers back it up.
One astonishing post-9/11 phenomenon has been the popularity of radical authors like Michael Moore and Noam Chomsky, who have each sold hundreds of thousands of books highly critical of Bush and the war on terrorism. The popularity of these writers "as dissenting authors has extended beyond the liberal fringe and represents the fruits of a grassroots movement that corporate America and potentially the government can no longer ignore," writes Eric Demby in the Village Voice.
Ooh, the Village Voice, now there is a finely calibrated barometer of popular thought. These ‘radical’ authors have always been popular with certain segments of the population. All 9/11 did was give them a reason to write another diatribe against capitalism and the United States, and, without fail, their regulars ate it up.
Noam Chomsky's book "9/11," in which he calls the U.S. one of the world's leading terrorist states, has passed the 200,000 mark, and has also sat on a number of bestseller lists, surprising even Chomsky.
So what? Hitler’s Mein Kampf has sold over 60 million copies since 1946 [35 million of them have been sold in the Middle East]. All that proves is that there are assholes everywhere. And speaking of support for ‘terrorist sates’, I seem to recall one Noam Chomsky rallying around Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge deflecting criticism of the regime.
This article is nothing more than a plea, a cry for people to ignore what they saw last September. Just close your eyes, imagine it never happened [or that it was an ‘isolated’ incident], and continue the progressive fight. If we can be convinced that there is no threat, then logically we can cut funding to the military and the CIA, freeing up more money for social programs. If there is no threat, or if this was an isolated incident, then we can still claim multiculturalism is valid. After all, if there were a sustained and conspiratorial effort by fundamentalist Islamic societies to attack Western society then we have to admit that some societies are truly inferior to ours.
In other words, if ‘progressives’ admit this is so, they would then have to abandon a pillar of their political ideology [multiculturalism].
And we couldn’t have that, now could we?
Wednesday, October 30, 2002
Bowling for Jackasses
Michael Moore asked everyone a question in Bowling for Columbine: Why does the US have such a high rate of gun crimes when nations like Canada, which has just as many firearms per capita, Japan, which watches just as much violent programming, and Switzerland, which has an assault rifle in every home, have such low firearm crimes?
He points not to the usual suspects, like violent programming or accessibility, but to our culture of violence.
Honestly, I don’t think, ultimately, getting rid of the guns will be the answer. I think if we got rid of all our guns in the U.S., we would still have the psyche problem-the problem that says we have a right to resolve our disputes through violence. That’s what separates us from these other countries.
All those countries you just mentioned, Phil, have all banned the death penalty. They believe it’s immoral to execute other human beings. There are so many other things you could go through and point out, about how they structure their societies.
I mean, think about Japan, first of all. One-hundred-and-twenty million people, 39 gun murders a year. That’s almost unfathomable to us. I mean, we can’t even imagine-that would be like us having 89 gun murders a year in the entire country.
But they work it out differently. You know, the Canadians, they believe that if you get sick, you should have the right to a doctor. They believe if you lose your job, you have a right to get help.
If you were poor in Canada, or in these other countries, the majority of the country wants to embrace you. They want to help you. What we want to do is, we want to beat up on the poor.
We want to say you’re poor? We’re going to make you suffer even more. And I think that that leads to a lot of violence, especially in our inner cities, because you’ve got these state acts of what I call state-sponsored terrorism and violence against our own people: Welfare to Work, et cetera, et cetera. It’s all...
Those Canadian kids are riding the little pony, firing their little guns, too. And they’re watching violent movies and they’re listening to Marilyn Manson, they’re doing all those things, but they don’t kill each other because they’re brought up from a very early age to believe that they’re all in the same boat, that they have a collective responsibility toward each other, not every man for yourself. You know, “Me, me, me, me.” That’s the American way. That’s what’s got to stop.
The great thing about you Canadians is that you’ve decided a long time ago that you’re going to be responsible for each other. Do you know what the-the country I live in, we won’t even put it in writing that a child has a right to a doctor. A child! We won’t even-that’s what we do for our own children! We won’t even do that slight little bit, universal health care for kids. If we would treat our own children that way, and you must think this about us...
[excerpts from Donahue]
Is that really the difference? Is it because we do not provide extensive social services, like single payer health care and massive welfare benefits that we have a high firearm homicide rate? Is it because our society stresses individualism that we kill more eof our own? Does the death penalty [which by the way is supported by a majority of British and French] or the United States’ job as ‘global cop’ means we encourage a more violent attitude in our own population?
Or if, as Moore claims, a ‘so-called’ brutal foreign policy is to be blamed, why does not the former Soviet Union, or China, or Cuba, or France have this same problem?
Or is it something different, something Michael Moore and his noble leftism would never dare touch upon?
I am speaking of race. The ultimate leftist taboo.
When you look at the demographics of Canada, one thing strikes you: its homogeneity. Not so much on a whole, they do have a sizeable group of French Canadians who would just love to suceed but that is limited to Quebec. Ninety two percent of Canadians share one thing in common, they are white Europeans.
When you look at the demographics of Japan you will also notice a similar trend: 99% are ethnic Japanese.
Switzerland: 94% ethnic Europeans.
Homogeneity like that simply does not exist in the United States. We are comprised of approximately 72% European, 12% African, 8% Hispanic and 8% Asian, Indian and Middle Eastern.
Now normally, the less uniform a society is the more violent it is. One has to look no further than Rwanda, the former Yugoslavia, or Lebanon to see what large ethnic division can lead to: civil war. Now granted, we are a melting pot where people for the most part assimilate into the common culture and leave their own impression on it, and although no melting pot is perfect, but we do a pretty damn good job at it.
About forty years ago President Lyndon Baines Johnson began the great society. Programs like Medicare, Medicaid, welfare, affirmative action, WIC, AFDC, and a whole host of new government programs were going to lift the poor out of their poverty and make them productive citizens. It was seen as the last part of the post Jim Crow, post segregation attempts at righting what had been a true historical injustice.
It was a noble idea but it had a fundamental flaw, you cannot do for others what they are not willing to do for themselves.
What was the outcome of the Great Society? Former welfare recipient and drug addict Star Parker [author of “Pimps, Whores and Welfare Brats”] calls it the 20th century plantation.
A former welfare mother and drug addict turned Christian fundamentalist and conservative Republican activist, Parker sees herself as living a modern version of the life Booker T. Washington advocated 99 years ago in Up From Slavery. And in Parker's view, the situation of blacks in America has not changed much since Washington's years as a slave. Many of today's blacks remain enslaved, she says, but there is a new master: the government. She maintains that government hurts the poor, through anti-poverty programs that don't work and break up families, schools that don't teach, economic regulations designed to prevent poor people from moving ahead, and laws intended to exclude religious organizations from fully stepping in to help.
"I'm telling you anybody that votes Democratic today is an absolute fool. They want to live on a poverty plantation and have their kids controlled," she said, adding that blacks have long been taken for granted by the Democratic Party. "White, liberal elitists say, ‘Keep them [blacks] ignorant, so they'll stay with us.' The black ones [liberals] – they're whores."
Since the inception of the Great Society illegitimacy, drug use, and crime have skyrocketed in the black community.
The road to hell is often paved with good intentions. But what were good intentions 40 years ago have been capitalized upon by certain people as avenues for control. You make certain people [the poor, mainly black and Hispanic] dependant upon you and they will have no where to turn to except you.
Now wait, I know what some are going to say: haven’t we been trying to do to our society the very thing that Moore points to as being the solution in Canada and Europe, so how could this be the cause? What we managed to do with the Great Society, was to pour aid disproportionately on one segment of society. Granted more whites are on welfare and public aid, but per capita, minorities receive far more public aid. While Europe and Canada have made everyone an equal laborer on the plantation, we have managed to do it disproportionaly to one group.
So while one group has to make it on its own, another is subjugated to another kind of slavery.
The reason we will not be able to get down to the root of gun crime is because when it comes to matters of race, we are cowards, and too afraid to offend people feelings to have a real debate about the subject.
Until we can grow up and have an adult conversation about these things nothing will be solved [and yes, that will things will be said that will hurt everyone’s feelings]. Until then people like Moore will give us fanciful bullshit excuses that will be easy to swallow and make everyone feel better, but will evade the real issue.
Source: Conservative Attacks "Welfare Plantation" Africana.com
Here is a cute one:
While commenting on charges that local Republicans wanted equal time on the air because they believed that the Wellstone funeral turned into nothing more than a political rally [even Jesse Ventura thought so and walked out of the service], Michael Malloy countered by saying:
Well of course it was a political rally. You can have equal time when you kill one of your own. Go out and kill Trent Lott, or Ronald Reagan or one of the tops in the Bush administration. Then you will get equal time.
Michael Malloy- October 30, 2002
Talk about a low class asshole.
Check out Rick Heller’s Smart Genes weblog
Be sure to check out the Camberwell Tales.
What the left considers ‘domestic dissent’
To say that Russian authorities seriously fucked up the hostage standoff outside the Moscow theater would be a fair charge.
According to the New Scientist
, the gas used to sedate the terrorist was a combination of fentanyl [a narcotic] and halothane [an anesthetic]. The reason so many died, was likely due to either an overdoes of the cocktail or the poor health of some of the hostages.
Needless to say, this was a tragic end to horrific act of Chechen Islamic terrorism.
As usual, one of the faithful over at Counterpunch [Anthony Gancarski] has an ‘alternative’
take on the story.
In the US, it is expected that most who make a living as media personalities will espouse the Washington Consensus, which is that since Russia and Putin are US allies in the Terror War, it follows that the Russian government is justified in using all available means to quash domestic dissent.
Domestic dissent? Is that what he calls he taking of over 1000 hostages [many of whom were children] and the execution of several of them to show the Russians they meant business? Is it also an act of domestic dissent to then strap bombs to scores more threatening to execute all of them if their demands are not met?
Is this what passes for domestic dissent these days?
Yet another ‘quality’ piece of journalism from Europe
It would seem as if the Daily Mirror never runs out of arguments that we in the United States are nothing more than war mongering, savage cowboys. And they call trash like this
By Richard Wallace, US Editor
Inexplicably America's masochistic love affair with the gun continues.
There are 200 million guns in private hands in the US - more than all the guns in all the armies in the world.
Well, I don’t see a problem with this, but then again it is me.
For many Americans, including the 4.3 million members of the National Rifle Association (NRA), which has a $180million (£120million) annual war-chest, the right to bear arms is not only enshrined in the constitution, it is a key civil liberty.
The right was born out of the War of Independence when armed militias had the right to protect property and people.
But that was more than 200 years ago.
I see, so constitutional liberties that were deemed important in 1776, are no longer relevant. Seems reasonable. I suggest that freedom of the press is also a ‘dated relic’ that should be done away with. With this minor inconvenience out of the way, we will be able to detain and flog idiots like Richard Wallace until he passes out from the intense torture he will undergo.
While 80 per cent would like to see tighter controls, only 36 per cent would back a move to outlaw guns completely.
The old credo: "When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns," is redundant. The guns bought legally are sold or stolen, and can then be used for crime.
If those 340,000 guns were never sold or owned in the first place, there would be 340,000 fewer weapons in the hands of criminals every year.
But logic has never driven the argument in this most controversial of issues.
I guess Wallace would like to see the US become more ‘civilized’ and pass a gun control measure similar to the one that Britain passed. This sounds like a fine idea considering how well it has worked over there.
The recent International Crime Victimization Survey, which provides a good indication of overall crime levels around the world, shows that, while crime fell dramatically during the 1990s in the United States and most of the rest of the world, it has remained steady in Britain and Australia (which also enacted a gun ban during the late 1990s).
Meanwhile, gun crimes in Britain are increasing. According to London's authoritative Sunday Times, the number of firearm offenses in Britain increased almost 40 percent from 4,903 in 1997 to 6,843 in 2000.
It does not seem that Britain can be said to be a safer place as a result of the gun ban. The police there have traditionally gone unarmed, but the number of incidents in which police officers have had guns issued to them in recognition of potential danger increased from about 6,000 in 1994-95 to over 12,000 in 1997-8.
Nor has strict control had much effect on the number of guns available to criminals. British police estimate that there are nearly 300,000 illegal guns in circulation there -- one for every 200 people.
To put that figure in perspective, the leading U.S. authority on gun numbers, Gary Kleck of Florida State University, estimates that only 180,000 guns are used in crimes in the United States each year.
So despite the strict gun control laws, there are more than enough illegally held guns in Britain to allow gun crime there to reach U.S. proportions.
These figures speak for themselves. Britain enacted strict gun control laws and has achieved a rise in gun crime, a decline in safety and a position where access to firearms among delinquent children seems commonplace.
Yep, sounds like strict gun control laws have made a real difference in the amount of gun crime in Britain, and is a sound blueprint for us cowboy savages in the US to follow.
Since yesterday, I quoted some ‘cowboy savages’ thoughts on why the right to keep and bear arms is essential, lets look at what some more civilized people have to say about gun control:
Mao Tse Tung: All political power comes from the barrel of a gun. The communist party must command all the guns, that way, no guns can ever be used to command the party
Adolf Hitler: The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that the supply of arms to the underdogs is a sine qua non for the overthrow of any sovereignty. So let's not have any native militia or native police. German troops alone will bear the sole responsibility for the maintenance of law and order throughout the occupied Russian territories, and a system of military strong-points must be evolved to cover the entire occupied country.
Vladimir Lenin: One man with a gun can control 100 without one. That is why the state must control every gun.
Heinrich Himmler: Germans who wish to use firearms should join the SS or the SA -- ordinary citizens don't need guns, as their having guns doesn't serve the state.
Tell the American people never to lose their guns. As long as they keep their guns in their hands, what happened here will never happen there."
—A Chinese student describing the last words of her parents, both killed in the Tiananmen Square massacre in Beijing, China, June 6, 1989
And so I will end with one last quote for Richard Wallace:
Sigmund Freud: A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity.
Or in plain English, get some fucking balls and grow up.
Tuesday, October 29, 2002
An introduction Journalistic impartiality
How I Was Smeared
[a brief portion of the entire article
When I called him, Mike Lee got right to the point. They had reports that I’d made racially inflammatory statements, he said. What did I have to say about that?
I replied that it was absurd and explained in some detail exactly what the speech had been about.
Well, might I have inadvertently made offensive remarks?
Look, I told him, starting to get seriously upset but trying to hide it, it’s not the first time I’ve given this speech. I know what I said. It’s based on my book: why don’t you take a look at that?
But my heart was sinking further by the second. Clearly, I thought, the story was essentially pre-written. I was about to be accused of racism. To be smeared on this of all subjects! I’ve cared passionately about racial justice as long as I can remember—every bit as much today as when I was a teenage civil rights worker, picketing and singing “We Shall Overcome.” Would it have been worth bothering to explain that to this guy? Or, indeed, that my ideological shift was brought on in part by my belated recognition that liberalism’s feel-good, shopworn approaches to the race question, so reliant on the proposition that you can solve discrimination by discriminating against someone else, could only increase racial animosity?
No, none of that mattered. “This is disgraceful,” I told him instead. “It’s Kafkaesque, and I want you to quote me on that.”
For just a moment I thought I might have actually gotten through. Well, he allowed, he was still trying to track down those who’d attended the session; he’d call to give me a chance to respond to any complaints before he wrote up the piece.
Early the following week, I heard from a friend who lives in Dallas. “What the hell did you say down here?”
Well worth the read.
Note To Saddam Hussein
That’s right, he is talking to them about kicking your
And all the little Saddaministats who met on Saturday to protest this cant do damn thing about it.
The Wiener Factor: The Nations Magazine’s attempt to defend poor scholarship
Fire at Will
by JON WIENER [Wiener, how oddly appropriate]
Well, its about God damn time the Nation magazine came around to doing a sham piece defending historian Michael Bellesiles author of the now discredited “Arming America”. Interestingly enough, Wiener never actually defended Bellesiles just slammed his opponents.
The book argues that our picture of guns in early America is all wrong: the picture where America is settled by men with guns, hunting game and fighting Indians; where, in 1776, militiamen grabbed their guns to go fight for independence; where the Founding Fathers protected individuals' right to own guns. Bellesiles argues that instead, gun culture is a fairly recent development in American history--that for two centuries before the Civil War, few Americans owned guns; that the guns they had were unreliable and didn't shoot straight; that few people hunted with guns, instead relying on trapping and animal husbandry; that even in battle, even in the Revolutionary War, swords, axes and fire were more deadly than guns. Not until the Civil War put guns in the hands of millions of men did gun culture flourish.
The political implications are significant for the National Rifle Association and others: The Second Amendment, this suggests, was not adopted to protect the widespread ownership or popularity of guns--it was instead intended to address the inadequacy of the weapons in the hands of local militias, on which the early nation relied in the absence of a standing army
Interestingly enough, many authors of the Constitution would disagree with that assumption:
John Adams: "Arms in the hands of citizens may be used at individual discretion in private self defense."
George Mason: "To disarm the people is the most effectual way to enslave them."
Noah Webster: "Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed, as they are in almost every country in Europe."
George Washington: "A free people ought to be armed."
Thomas Jefferson: "No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms."
James Madison: "Americans have the right and advantage of being armed, unlike the people of other countries, whose leaders are afraid to trust them with arms."
Richard Henry Lee, Virginia delegate to the Continental Congress,
: "To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them."
Patrick Henry: "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined...The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able might have a gun."
Thomas Paine: "...arms...discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property. ...Horrid mischief would ensue were (the law-abiding) deprived the use of them."
But enough with historical ‘frivolities’ such as that, let us look at the rest of the article.
The attack against Arming America actually started well before its publication two years ago. Bellesiles's research on the subject stretches back for years; he won an award from the Organization of American Historians in 1996 for an essay on the origins of American gun culture. It's natural that his work would attract both attention and vitriol from the gun lobby. After reading a summary of Bellesiles's research in The Economist, NRA chief Charlton Heston wrote in the December 1999 issue of Guns & Ammo that "Bellesiles clearly has too much time on his hands." By the time Arming America came out, complete with a fiery introduction that mentioned the gun lobby, Heston was telling the New York Times that Bellesiles's work was "ludicrous."
The charge made by the critics is an extremely serious one: not that the book contains errors and mistakes but rather that Bellesiles has faked evidence to support an otherwise untenable argument. The charge, in other words, is fraud. (The NRA uses quotation marks when it refers to his "research," and suggests that the book has been "moved to the fiction aisle in most bookstores.")
Well I hate to point this out to Mr. Wiener, but fraud is exactly what Bellesiles is guilty of. This is not just the opinion of myself or the NRA, but is the opinion of the Emory investigation committee.
“The best that can be said of his work with the probate and militia records is that he is guilty of unprofessional and misleading work. Every aspect of his work in the probate records is deeply flawed."
Emory Investigation Committee Executive summary
This Bellesiles has admitted, and he's offered an explanation: that a flood in April 2000 at the history office building at Emory destroyed his notes on the probate records (and also seriously damaged most of the rest of the offices--the university says the damage totaled almost a million dollars). Bellesiles's book manuscript was safe, but his probate notes were on yellow legal pads on a chair--admittedly an archaic mode of record storage--rather than on computer, and were turned to "unreadable pulp." After the flood he went to work trying to re-create the notes, and when his book was published a few months later, he posted notices on several history websites warning that his original notes on the probate records had been destroyed. (The lengths that critics will go to discredit Bellesiles are at least creative: Professor Jerome Sternstein of Brooklyn College put a dozen legal pads in his own shower for thirty minutes and reported to the world that they survived "intact and virtually unscathed"!)
Ah yes, the flood. The Emory Report (May 8, 2000, Volume 52, No. 32), which is published by the administration of the University, says, in part: "On the evening of Sunday, April 2, a connector on a sprinkler main broke on the building's third floor. Contractors had been working on the plumbing. When the flow of the water was finally cut off about 25 minutes later, standing water was two inches deep in some places, and practically no part of Bowden Hall escaped completely dry.
It might also be interested in noting that not one other person who shared an adjacent office with Bellesiles needed any document restoration.
But the campaign against Bellesiles has demonstrated one indisputable fact: Historians whose work challenges powerful political interests like the NRA better make sure all their footnotes are correct before they go to press.
It has always revealed one other fact: the quality of writing at The Nation magazine has been and always will be horse shit. The only thing Wiener could do to defend Bellesiles was not actually try and defend him but attack and belittle his critics and point to the awards Bellesiles received for his book. Hardly a good defense for a purposefully misleading and fraudulent book.
The Anti-War Rally
I do not know how many of you caught the rallies on C-Span over the weekend, but if you did not, you missed some great entertainment like the ‘bomb Texas, not Iraq’ sign.
Of course there were the usual cries for ‘Free Mumia’ but I never expected to get such an eye opening history lesson on the Korean War [or is it herstory, I forget].
We Koreans know the sting of US imperialistic aspirations and the repression of genuine people movements all over the world. Fifty years ago a sincere, genuine people’s movement in the Korean peninsula was brutally crushed by US imperialism. This act needlessly killed millions of Koreans, mainly women and children, for US corporate interest.
Yoomi Jeong, Congress for Korean Reunification & Korea Truth Commission
What an eye opener that was! With thought like this, I am surprised he is not teaching in one of America’s finest universities. Something tells me he would receive a very warm welcome with thoughts like this.
Genuine people movement my ass.
Friday, October 25, 2002
Must Reads of the day
The Politburo has two excellent pieces today.
is on The Gaurdian’s review of Bertolt Brecht’s play The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, premiering in New York City. Moynihan manages to effectively expose the Guardian’s failure to point out that this ‘anti-war’ play was written and directed by an unrepentant Stalinist who worked with both the Stazi and the KGB to quell anti-Communist dissent in 1950’s East Germany.
details roots of European anti-Americanism and how left-wing American intelectuals [Chomsky, Zinn, Pollit, and all the rest] drive it.
Well worth a read.
Paul Wellstone 1944-2002
Although I would never agree with his politics, needless to say he will be missed and my condolences go out to his two surviving sons.
Thursday, October 24, 2002
Well, I ain’t Creskin, but I was close
So my predictions were a little off. Six days instead of five.
Today police arrested John Allen Muhammad, 42, and his 17-year-old stepson John Lee Malvo, a Jamaican citizen. They were fond parked at a rest stop off of I-70 in Maryland.
They have not given motive for the shootings yet, so I will not speculate either.
But like always, the tots at Indymedia have this all figured out.
Here are some of the more choice comments from the fine boys and girls at Indymedia:
I just watched these two poor souls being taken into custody, thanks to CNN.
The commentator said "We've heard the names of one of these men all day". Well, since you're the media, whose fault is that? Would it have been so if the man's name was not MOHAMMED?
This very well may be the classic fascist ploy of creating chaos as a means for shutting down democracy. Even if they're not creating the chaos, there can be no justification for using these incidents as such.
Remember that you are not alone. An anti war movement is growing exponentially and the work of anti capitalism continues to flourish. Its time for us to use every thing we can to disrupt this foul system and send toward its demise.
I once researched serial killers for a project I did in college. They are almost exclusively white. The same goes for mass murderers. Of course, whoever conducted the D.C. sniper attacks were neither -- they were terrorists and/or hired assassins.
Its like I say, you can lead a horse to water, but sometimes it’s easier to shoot them and buy a car.
Wednesday, October 23, 2002
You WILL Fall in Line Comrade!
U OF TEXAS STUDENTS PASS RESOLUTION CONDEMNING WAR ON IRAQ...
Student Government passed a resolution Tuesday condemning any attack on Iraq by the Bush administration after a heated debate and a narrow vote.
The assembly of hundreds roared as the 20-17 vote was read by Vice President Stacey Kounelias.
"This makes the statement that the student body of the nation's largest university and in Bush's hometown feels that an unprovoked war is wrong," said SG two-year at-large Representative Jordan Buckley, author of the resolution and a key mediator in the evening's debate.
The anti-war resolution, thought by most representatives to stand little chance of passing, condemns Saddam Hussein but opposes any pre-emptive attack against Iraq.
"For those of you who feel it is inappropriate to debate foreign policy within the Student Government institution, please realize that it is more inappropriate that people die at the hands of the United States," said Amber Novak, a journalism graduate student.
The vote set a precedent for the assembly, said Buckley, who rallied support until minutes before the meeting's start.
Ben Durham, a liberal arts representative, said supporting a preemptive strike against the Iraqi people directly involved the University. Durham cited the U.S. Energy Department's Academic Strategic Alliances Program, which involves universities, he said, in the production and research of weapons of mass destruction.
Advocates for the resolution argued that the United States has supported Saddam previously, and a hunger for control of the world's oil supply weighed heavily in its push for war.
Representatives would be held accountable for their vote, said Andrew Dobbs, a communication studies freshman.
"We will make sure that whoever votes against this resolution will be out of this room next year
," Dobbs said.
Where the fuck do you thin you are? This is an institution founded on academic freedom and expression, therefore WE WILL NOT TOLERATE DISSENT!
The resolution also condemned any racial backlash against persons of Middle Eastern decent that might come as a result of war.
Which, I might add, never did materialize after 9/11.
But don’t bother these kiddies with facts, its clear they already have their minds made up.
When lovers turn enemies.
As many of you know, Christopher Hitchens has had a dramatic change of heart over the past several years. Mabey the term ‘change of heart’ is not appropriate, it might be something more like growing up, but whatever, its all semantics anyway.
The renouncing of his socialism
began the traditional left’s disenfranchisement with him. He finally realized that for all the left’s talk of anti-authoritarianism, authoritarianism was all they craved and advocated for.
Now, to add insult to injury, he has come out as a very vocal supporter of waging war
against Islamic fundamentalism [both secular and religious].
I can only hint at how much I despise a Left that thinks of Osama bin Laden as a slightly misguided anti-imperialist. (He actually says he wants to restore the old imperial caliphate and has condemned the Australian-led international rescue of East Timor as a Christian plot against Muslim Indonesia). Or a Left that can think of Milosevic and Saddam as victims.
Instead of internationalism, we find among the Left now a sort of affectless, neutralist, smirking isolationism. In this moral universe, the views of the corrupt and conservative Jacques Chirac -- who built Saddam Hussein a nuclear reactor, knowing what he wanted it for -- carry more weight than those of persecuted Iraqi democrats. In this moral universe, the figure of Jimmy Carter -- who incited Saddam to attack Iran in 1980, without any U.N. or congressional consultation that I can remember -- is considered axiomatically more statesmanlike than Bush.
The attacks on Hitchens have been quite vicious; lambasting everything from his character, intelligence, physical appearance and even his sexuality.
This little ditty
from Alexander Cock-burns [who had some very unkind words for Hitchens when he resigned from The Nation Magazine] Counterpunch:
[Remember this is an article, not a letter.]
Letter to a Lying, Self-Serving, Fat-Assed, Chain Smoking, Drunken, Opportunistic, Cynical Contrarian (AKA C. Hitchens)
by JACK McCARTHY
Hitchens, you fucking fat-assed drunken slut.
You lying sack of shit.
Sir, have you no sense of personal integrity whatsoever?
Mother Theresa might have been in the "Missionary Position," but you are taking it every which way from people who make poor old Charles Keating look like Kris Kringle.
But I digress--already.
I just read your latest, self-serving Orwellian rewriting and distortion of recent history published in last Sunday's Washington Post, "So Long, Fellow Travelers."
First observation: It appears to be modeled on David Horowitz's and Peter Collier's treacherous, "Lefties for Reagan," published in the early 80s on those same pages. And for good reason.
Like those two self-serving jackals you aren't promoting a future war on Iraq--and the Left-- for any real principle other than personal gain.
Like Horowitz and Collier you are using the Left--and even more pathetically--the people of Iraq to justify the selling of your most pitiable soul.
Your dishonest posturing here is not only contrary to the spirit of the Orwell of your alcohol tinged imagination, its an abomination worthy of Saddam Hussein or Osama bin Laden.
But let's get to the nub of the issue fat boy. Like another windy fat ass, Al Franken's Rush Limbaugh, you are a big fat liar.
After 20 years as a columnist for The Nation, rather than thank the readers who have read and supported you over the years, you made the most graceless exit from an uncomfortable scene since Adolph and Eva.
Rather than say a few words about your tenure at The Nation, in one short paragraph you all but pulled your pants down, stuck your fat ass in the face of your many readers and said: "I'm out of here."
Adding insult to injury you claimed you were leaving because you had just discovered that the editors of "The Nation" were taking sides in the Iraq debate. Are you nuts? Do you for one minute think anyone believed such tripe?
Perhaps you think your readers also wake up swigging Johnny Walker? What a joke. What an insult to your reader's intelligence. Were you serious? Or just drunk again?
But I digress. Let us return to your silly, sorry posturing on Iraq and the Left in the Sunday Washington post. Boy, you must have been sloshed when you wrote this. I mean this is pink elephant shit.
Linking all the Left with the Workers World Party was a piece of sly, red-baiting propaganda worthy of Orwell's worst nightmare.
What a foul act you are. "A right wing porker," indeed Alex.
Your lowest moment, however, was when you solemenly declared at the end of this abominable paean to your fat-assed self-- that once Iraq was liberated you would go to Baghdad to apologize to old "comrades" for the actions of the Left.
Tsk, tsk. I mean didn't it occur to you there was a paper trail indicting you in the Lefts thought crime?
Hitch, you lying slut. Are you going to apologize as well to your newly freed Iraqi "comrades" for opposing Bush Sr's war on Iraq in Gulf War 1?
Did you think for that matter that your old comrades here forgot your many writings against that war?
Do you recall chiding Bush Sr for turning a "regional war" into a "global war?"
Did you think we forgot your infamous pasting of poor befuddled( now we know why) Charleton Heston on CNN?
Hitchens: You are a Big Fat Liar and a Right Wing Porker.
And a fat assed fucking bore who deserves a good ass kicking.
And to think that people like Jack McCarthy say the only thing I know how to do is make slanderous personal attacks.
Mabey Jack should take a cue from Hitchens and grow the fuck up.
Reason 98,421 that John Pilger needs one of these
BALI? BLAME 40 YEARS OF US STATE TERRORISM
Last week's atrocity in Bali, like the September 11 attacks on America, did not happen in isolation. They were products, like everything, of the past. According to George W Bush, Tony Blair and now Australia's prime minister, John Howard, we have no right to understand them. We must simply get the criminals, dead or alive.
State terrorism, backed by America, Britain and Australia, has scarred Indonesia for the past 40 years. For example, the source of the worst violence is the Indonesian army, which the West has supported and armed. Today, troops continue to terrorise the provinces of Aceh and West Papua, where they are "protecting" the American Exxon oil company's holdings and the Freeport mine.
The Australian Prime Minister at the time, Harold Holt, quipped: "With 500,000 to a million communist sympathisers knocked off, I think it's safe to assume a reorientation has taken place." Holt's remark accurately reflected the collaboration of the Australian foreign affairs and political establishment. The Australian embassy in Jakarta described the massacres as a "cleansing process". In Canberra, officals in the Prime Minister's department expressed support for "any measures to assist the Indonesian army cope with the internal situation".
Odd for 'Comrade Pilger', himeslf a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain, to shed tears over all the innocent souls lost in a brutal purge. After all, the Communist Party of Great Britain has archives of glowing works on Joe Stalin [here is one rather cute example cute example
Who was responsible for the Bali bombing? We do not know, but Indonesia's generals have plenty of motives to destabilise the elected government of President Megawati. A number of them are implicated in war crimes, and, unlike the Balkans, there has been minimal pressure from the West for the guilty to be tried. Democracy has ended important army privileges, including a block of guaranteed seats in the parliament. Last month, the army appeared to be sending a message that it is now targeting foreigners when troops in West Papua staged an "ambush" they claimed was the work of local guerrillas and two Americans were murdered.
Lets see if I have it right Comrade John; It is doubtful if Islamic Terrorist had anything to so with this, and if they did it was mostly the fault of the US/Australia/UK for not stopping Suharto from killing all your ideological fellow travelers.
For people like Pilger [whom the European press adores by the way] there is always one evil which every problem in the world can be pinned on: capitalism and the United States.
Muslims fly planes into buildings, capitalism and United States to blame.
Muslims blow up tropical resort, capitalism and United States to blame.
Woman raped in park, capitalism and United States to blame.
Child fails alegebra exam, capitalism and United States to blame.
Cat falls from tree outside Soho apartment, capitalism and United States to blame.
I lost my car keys, capitalism and United States to blame.
John Pilger nearly beaten to death in Afghanistan
in Afghanistan [unfortunately it was only nearly], capitalism and United States to blame.
Here is a tip for Pilger and those who subscribe to his school of 'journalism', get anew fucking line. Be creative for a change and use that million dollar degree that mommy and daddy paid for.
Now class, repeat after me: "Cheese eating surrender monkeys"
France Praised for Iraq Stand
by Joseph Coleman [AP]
PARIS -- It sounds like political suicide: alienate your most powerful ally, risk looking soft against an aggressive dictator, argue for bureaucratic deliberation over decisive action.
But French President Jacques Chirac's strident stand against a unilateral U.S. strike to topple the Iraqi government is making strong progress internationally -- and winning Chirac points at home.
Paris' policy, backed by fellow permanent U.N. Security Council members Russia and China, has had an impact in Washington. A revised U.S. proposal ensures there will be "consequences" if Iraq fails to comply with weapons inspectors, but stops short of directly calling for military action.
It was far from clear on Monday whether France and the United States would agree on the compromise resolution, but Paris' success in positioning itself into a pivotal role was praised domestically.
"France has played its game quite wisely," said Jean-Francois Daguzan, a senior researcher at the Foundation for Strategic Research, a think-tank in Paris.
Paris has won the backing of war skeptics Russia and China, making it the central player among the five permanent members of the Security Council. Britain, the other member with veto power, supports the U.S. position.
"France has managed to optimize the leverage that U.N. Security Council permanent membership gives her," said Bruno Tertrais, a senior research fellow at the Foundation for Strategic Research.
Some French were triumphant.
"While annoyed by the unruliness of its ally, the Bush administration was forced to beat a retreat and come closer to France's position on Iraq," wrote Journal du Dimanche editor Jean-Claude Maurice in an editorial Sunday.
"We have rediscovered the voice of France," he wrote
Oh Christ, who really believes this bullshit?
The Real reson France opposes action against is purely economic
The volume of French exports to Baghdad reached $2 billion dollars through the oil-for-food program, making France the largest European exporter to Iraq.
Formal Iraqi statistics said that French companies received contracts worth $2.193 billion during the last stages of the oil-for-food program that were used in developing the basic infrastructure for petroleum projects, maintaining medical devices and importing medication and medical equipment
The statistics said that French companies participated in activities of the recent Baghdad International Fair with the largest wing for non-Iraqi companies, aiming at developing joint cooperation between the two countries.
Couple this with the Fact that Saddam has given Total and ELF exclusive development rights
in many of Iraq's most prime oil field.
It would have been nice for the AP to point any of this out.
"When (former President) Bill Clinton left office, we were on the verge of solving the problem of North Korea,"
N.Y. Rep. Maurice Hinchey
Hinchey then went on to say that North Korea violated the 1994 agreement with the United States because it was upset that it had been lumped into the 'Axis of Evil'.
Two things illustrate that Hinchey does not have a clue what he is talking about.
1. Korea admitted to never being in compliance with the agreement in the first place.
2. It would take more than 8 months to develop a nuclear weapon.
It just goes to show that the shit piles high around election time.
Tuesday, October 22, 2002
I don't know why I listen to Mike Malloy. I remember calling into his show so often when he was in Chicago to correct him, that it got to the point where he would cut me off as soon as he heard my voice and knew I was going to debunk 85% of what he had said and humiliate him in front of thousands of listeners.
And then I remember why I tune in from time to time, to hear gems like this:
"All we need is a right-wing purge to save this nation"
Mike Malloy, October 22, 2002.
An abandoned guard tower in one of hundreds of gulags (prison camps) across the Soviet Union, remains as a symbol of profound human suffering. First instituted by Lenin to imprison priests, political opponents, and common criminals, Stalin was then responsible for sending 12-15 million people to these camps. The prisoners were used as forced labor to work on massive industrial projects. As more laborers were needed for bigger projects and those falling behind schedule, Stalin justified the arrests of more people to be sent to the gulags. Millions were executed in these camps or perished as they labored on massive modernization schemes. It is said of the Siberian railroad project that the work was never done, nothing was achieved and it went nowhere. (credit: Jonathan Lewis)
And believe you me, if you listen to him you will understand that the above scenario is exactly what he is referring to .
Weblogers Have the Day!
Poor Garry Trudeau
He is so angry that he has become insignificant.
Have a look at his lateset whine piece.
Earth First! goes orbital
I found this article
by Glenn Harlan Reynolds at Tech Central Station.
It would be funnier if it was not true.
In folklore, the moon has long had a reputation for bringing on craziness. And in a way, it does. At least, space and the moon seem to have agitated the loonier parts of the political left into, well, raving lunacy.
Exhibit one is the response to the U.S. government's approval of TransOrbital's commercial moon mission. TransOrbital plans to launch a space probe that will return HDTV images of the Moon (including some of the Apollo landing sites, thus exploding conspiracy theories that the landings were faked) and deliver payload to the surface of the moon (you can send a business card for $2,500).
The reaction was swift. The website Democrats.Com (which is not officially connected to the party of JFK) responded with this rather alarmist take:
Like all the other international laws, Bush is now ignoring those pertaining to space. As America is distracted by 9/11 remembrances and warnings of new threats, His Heinous has turned the moon over to a private, for-profit corporation called TransOrbital that has a far-reaching, frightening agenda for the corporate domination of space. All TransOrbital had to do was promise not to contaminate and pollute the moon - yeah, right. That's what the oil companies say about ANWR. There was no Congressional vote - not even any consultation. Bush simply acted as if the moon were his to give away. The TransOrbital venture could be disastrous for the globe - no scientist today could predict yet how adding mass to the moon via human infrastructure or removing mass, via mining, will impact the delicate gravitational interplay between Earth and its only satellite. The moon belongs to all the people of the Earth - not to George. W. Bush or his friends at TransOrbital.
It's hard to know where to start with such silliness. The part about ignoring international law is just wrong, as is the part about Congress not acting. Actually Congress acted back in 1984, when it passed the Commercial Space Launch Act (here's a link to the current version) that provides for such regulation. Commercial space activity is regulated (as it was under President Clinton) by the Federal Aviation Administration's Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation, whose duties include determining, in consultation with the State Department, whether a licensee will be acting in accordance with the international law obligations of the United States.
As for the notion that lunar mining will impact the "delicate gravitational interplay" between the Earth and its "only satellite," well, that's not true either. (If I'm not mistaken, this idea appears to have come from the recent movie "The Time Machine.") Actually, the "gravitational balance' isn't all that "delicate." The Earth and the Moon weigh (well, technically they don't "weigh," but "mass") as much as, well, planets, and the few hundred pounds involved in Transorbital's plans - or even the larger quantities from long-term plans for Helium3 mining - won't disturb anything. The Earth and Moon each experience substantial influxes of mass on a regular basis - the Earth receives about 100 tonnes of interplanetary dust per day. Yet somehow, the "delicate balance" remains intact.
Sadly, this isn't the only space-related lunacy. The Berkeley City Council has endorsed Rep. Dennis Kucinich's (D-Ohio) "Space Preservation Act," which bans any sort of military presence in space (including satellite-based "mind control" devices). But on Earth First! email lists, some environmentalists aren't happy with Kucinich's bill, because it would still allow commercial activity in outer space: they want to see space kept as a "wilderness" area, completely off limits to human activity.
In their dystopian novel Fallen Angels, science fiction writers Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle created a future world in which environmentalists played on the fears of a public ignorant of science, frightening people with absurd claims that orbiting spacecraft were somehow causing a new ice age. That's not quite the same as satellite mind control or delicate gravitational balances, but Niven and Pournelle's future seems more plausible after the past couple of weeks' developments.
It is tempting to respond to this silliness with derision: tempting, and worthwhile, since such absurdities should never go unchallenged. One might even be tempted to respond the way Buzz Aldrin recently responded to a moon-landing conspiracy theorist: with a punch in the nose. But however appealing such responses might be, they don't address the core problem: a public ignorant enough of science that absurd claims might actually find some traction. Instead of introducing legislation to ban space-based "mind control" beams, members of Congress should take the lead in encouraging people to actually learn about science. "Mind construction," instead of "mind control." The only question is, does Congress think it's better off when the American public is knowledgeable, or ignorant? I'm afraid I know the answer to that one, too.
The Ramadanistas Strike Back
– (noun) – an individual, usually Marxist (hence the Sandinista suffix) , who has managed to convince him/herself that Islamic extremism and terrorism (hence the Ramadan suffix) is more about their pet cause of ‘anti-imperialism’ (whatever the fuck that is) rather than the true goal of regional dominance of Islamofascism. First coined by Christopher Hitchens in 2001.
I read quite a bit. I spend about 45minutes to an hour a day reading from many many outlets. Some conservative, some mainstream, some liberal and then there are the Indymedias of the world. On a typical week I will read the following online publications: Frontpage, National Review, Worldnet Daily, Newsmax, The New Republic, Salon, Reason Magazine, Commondreams, The Nation, In These Times, The Village Voice, Wall Street Journal, NY Times, News From Babylon and probably a dozen others.
Once in a great while I find a gem of an article. So full of bullshit it will make me salivate at the thought of trashing it and tearing it to pieces. It does not happen often, but I think I have found another.
William Blum, former U.S. State Department official, gave a speech at the University of Colorado in Boulder [shocker!], and this speech was reposted in the Yellow Times
Good evening, it's very nice to be here, especially since the bombs have not yet begun to fall; I mean in Iraq, not Boulder; Boulder comes after Iraq and Iran if you folks don't shape up and stop inviting people like me to speak
This has always upset me. People like Blum are constantly making the allegation that ‘dissent’ is being stifled and that people like him are only breath away from the ovens. I have asked on several dozen occasions what ‘dissent’ has been stifled since 9/11, and few can give me an answer, and the answers they give make very little sense. They whine about illegal immigrants being deported and secret military tribunals, but I hardly think that constitutes the allegations of Gestapo like tactics.
Mainly, what they consider ‘repression’ is primarily ordinary people and pundits not allowing their bullshit to go unanswered like it was in the past. It really scares them that people are starting to challenge them in the lecture rooms of Americas universities. After all, how dare we, sign petition of protest; how dare we send conservative speakers to college campuses and then complain about the abuse they receive.
This is our house!
The first time I spoke in public after September 11 of last year, I spoke at a teach-in at the University of North Carolina.
Right here this should have thrown up some red flags.
As a result of that I and some of the other speakers were put on a list put out by an organization founded by Lynne Cheney, the wife of you know who. The organization's agenda can be neatly surmised by a report it issued, entitled "Defending Our Civilization: How Our Universities are Failing America and What Can Be Done About It." In the report and on their website they listed a large number of comments made by mainly faculty and students from many schools which indicated that these people were not warmly embracing America's newest bombing frenzy and were guilty of suggesting that some foreigners might actually have good reason for hating the United States, or what I call hating U.S. foreign policy.
Because of that listing, as well as things I wrote subsequently, I've gotten a lot of hate mail in the past year, hate e-mail to be exact. I'm waiting to receive my first e-mail with anthrax in it. Well, there are viruses in e-mail, why not bacteria?
The hate mail almost never challenges any fact or idea I express. They attack me mainly on the grounds of being unpatriotic. They're speaking of some kind of blind patriotism, but even if they had a more balanced view of it, they would still be right about me. I'm not patriotic. I don't want to be patriotic. I'd go so far as to say that I'm patriotically challenged
I know for a fact that this is another load of shit, because I have written at least three emails to Blum which politely dissect his writings and theories. I also know that several people I personally know have done this as well.
Needless to say we still await our reply.
Many people on the left, now as in the 1960s, do not want to concede the issue of patriotism to the conservatives. The left insists that they are the real patriots because of demanding that the United States lives up to its professed principles. That's all well and good, but I'm not one of those leftists. I don't think that patriotism is one of the more noble sides of mankind. George Bernard Shaw wrote that patriotism is the conviction that your country is superior to all others because you were born in it. And remember that the German people who supported the Nazi government can be seen as being patriotic, and the German government called them just that.
Two things here:
1.Shaw, while on a tour of the Soviet Union in the early 1930’s [Stalin often entertained prominent Westerners sympathetic to him for propaganda purposes], had an interesting take on the Soviet Famine: “"Famine? What Famine? Just look at all this food provided by my gracious hosts. Certainly if there were people starving in the Ukraine they would not be able to feed me so well”.
2.I am sick to death of all the Hitler comparisons. Does every one of these fucking pricks have to make bullshit comparisons with everything they disagree with? By their logic, if that’s what one would call it, I am a Nazi. After all Hitler liked dogs and I like dogs, Hitler like beer and I like beer, Hitler liked classical music and I like classical music.
It is called a straw argument, and if they are truly the intellectuals they claim to be, they would have no need for it.
The past year has not been easy for people like me, surrounded as we've been by an orgy of patriotism. How does one escape "United We Stand," and "God Bless America"? And the flag - it's just all over - I buy a banana and there it is, an American flag stuck on it.
The term TFB [too fucking bad] comes to mind.
Although I'm not loyal to any country or government, like most of you I am loyal to certain principles, like political and social justice, economic democracy, human rights.
Certain principles? Like the fight for an international Marxism? Do not kid yourselves, people like this use certain buzzwords designed to anesthetize the ignorant to their real meaning.
It is always easier to convince someone that you are for ‘political and social justice’ than to sell the idea of a liquidation of the bourgeoisie.
It is always easier to convince someone that you are for ‘economic democracy’ than to sell the idea of abolition of private property.
The moral of my message to you is this: If your heart and mind tell you clearly that the bombing of impoverished, hungry, innocent peasants is a terrible thing to do and will not make the American people any more secure, you should protest it in any way you can and don't be worried about being called unpatriotic.
No, the moral of his message is this: If you support military action than you are clearly a murderer of poor black and brown women and children and that patriotism has no place in the stateless neo-marxist society I have spent my whole life trying to build, so do not worry about it.
The whole thing had been a con game. The Soviet Union and something called communism per se had not been the object of our global attacks. There had never been an International Communist Conspiracy. The enemy was, and remains, any government or movement, or even individual, that stands in the way of the expansion of the American Empire; by whatever name we give to the enemy - communist, rogue state, drug trafficker, terrorist.
Even though the KGB archives have been open to scholars for over 10 years now and dozens of authors have written hundreds of books about the many revelations in these documents, Blum will never be convinced. With the flood of information that has become available, only the purposefully ignorant could deny that the there was no International Communist Conspiracy against the west.
Only true believers can not admit that the Soviets armed and fought besides [in the air at any rate] the North Koreans in 1951, or had hundreds of operatives in the US government/media/military. Only the blind cannot see that the Cubans were directly involved in every insurgency in Central and South America over the past 40 years.
Those MI-24 Hinds in Nicaragua could never have been supplied by the Soviets.
The hundreds of Soviet SA-2 surface to air missiles found over North Vietnam cannot be considered evidence that Moscow had and influence in Indochina.
The fact that Peruvian President Salvador Allende’s daughter, Beatriz, married a high-ranking DGI [Cuban KGB] officer is also not evidence that there were ties between Allende and the Soviet block.
P.J O’Rourke once said “some things are so obvious, even an academic can see it”.
But If the people like Blum admitted that Marxism was wrong, they would have to re-evaluate their entire analysis of US foreign policy during the Cold War. They would have to admit that the US was right in opposing and seeking to destabilize Marxist-Socialist and Communist leaning governments all over the world. Ex. Chile, Indonesia, Iran, Nicaragua, etc.
Right now they won't quite argue that those governments were good, but they'll argue they were "democratically elected", and therefore should be sacrosanct. However, whether the actions of the Allende, Sukano, and Sandinista governments were "democratic" in the period just prior to their downfall is highly questionable, if you look at the situation objectively. So the "democratic" position is a compromise. A bit of sleight of hand meant to avoid having to confront the lefts historical misjudgement.
In the meanwhile, Marxists are becoming the creation scientists of economics.
They have the same relationship to economic debate that creationists have to biology. They are external bystanders who have no viable theory of their to offer and can only work to poke holes in the modern day neoclassical consensus. The market is to economics what evolution is to biology. Without it, nothing in economics makes sense, nothing works.
But the Left keeps Marxist theory around for political reasons also. The discredited Labor Theory of Value in particular is kept on life-support in political circles, because without it, much of the left's political program loses it's logical foundations. (Much like how fundamentalist Christians insist on the creation story).
If I were the president, I could stop terrorist attacks against the United States in a few days. Permanently. I would first apologize - very publicly and very sincerely - to all the widows and orphans, the tortured and impoverished, and all the many millions of other victims of American imperialism. Then I would announce that America's global interventions have come to an end and inform Israel that it is no longer the 51st state of the union but - believe it or not - a foreign country. I would then reduce the military budget by at least 90 percent and use the savings to pay reparations to our victims and repair the damage from our bombings. There would be enough money.
Blum’s advice for us: beg for forgiveness and hope that a policy of appeasement will keep the wolves at bat. After all, they are reasonable enough people who would see this not as an act of weakness, but as compassion which would be repaid in kind.
That's what I'd do on my first three days in the White House. On the fourth day, I'd be assassinated.
Well Hopefully you would be assassinated before you ever got there.
William Blum encourages your comments: BBlum6@aol.com
[but do not hold your breath waiting for him to respond]
Monday, October 21, 2002
Another Fine Piece of Journalism from the Gaurdian UK
US Anti-War Groups Flex Their Muscle
by Duncan Campbell in Los Angeles
anti war movement flexing its muscles
Wow, I don't even know where to start with this piece of shit.
"Opposition to the war seems to be mushrooming," said Ms Benjamin, founding director of Global Exchange, the San Francisco-based rights group and a Green party candidate for senator.
Ms Benjamin, who was also arrested when protesting in California during a presidential visit last month, said yesterday it was significant that the movement was gaining support at such an early stage: "We don't have a draft and there aren't any body-bags coming home.
Ahh yes, our old favorite, Global Exchange. Aside from finding time to protest any military or diplomatic action they deem to be imperialistic or promoting capitalism [that would be any action really] they hold junkets to such wonderful places like Iran, Cuba and North Korea, which they refer to as 'Reality Tours'. Another pillar of the community joins the anti war crowd.
There has been a remarkable coming together of groups that normally wouldn't work together.
The protesters hail from ad hoc peace groups, student and religious organizations, liberal Democrats, leftwing parties, pacifist groups, relatives of September 11 victims and remnants of the anti-Vietnam war movement, including Ron Kovic, now 62, the paralyzed Vietnam war veteran who became a leading anti-war activist in the 1970s and whose story was told in the film Born on the Fourth of July, starring Tom Cruise.
Jesse Jackson, the former US attorney general Ramsey Clark and Scott Ritter, the one-time UN weapons inspector in Iraq who is vociferously opposed to a war, will address the Washington rally
Jesse Jackson: Opportunistic camera whore
Ramsey Clark: Stalinist who proclaimed the righteousness of the Tiananmen Square massacre back in 1989.
Scott Ritter: Traitor who has taken money from Saddam boosters and had reversed his position on Iraqi WMD's in the past 3 years.
Something tells me Ritter wont be well greeted at the Marine Corps birthday party this year [hint: if you do, wear a cup Scott].
Some well-known names are involved. A whole-page ad in the New York Times last month placed by Not In Our Name was signed by Jane Fonda, Susan Sarandon, Robert Altman, Marisa Tomei, Oliver Stone, Kurt Vonnegut, Alice Walker, Steve Earle, Claes Oldenberg, Gore Vidal and hundreds of others from the arts and academia.
I am truly shocked that all these fine outstanding pillars of the community signed the petirion [although I am surprised my Marisa Tomei]. Thier credibility and overall credentials [why the fuck does that has been cunt Susan Sarandon think her opinion means a God damn thing anyway?] will most certainly convince people like me to join them in smashing the slave wage labor system.
I heard that if hostilities break out, Jane Fonda will lend her experience at manning North Vietnamese anti-aircraft guns to Hussein.
More surprisingly, Business Leaders for Sensible Priorities, which includes Ben Cohen, co-founder of ice-cream company Ben & Jerry's and dozens of company presidents and chief executives, took a whole page ad in the New York Times. It showed President Bush, his vice-president, Dick Cheney, and Mr Rumsfeld under the slogan, "They're selling the war . . . we're not buying."
Now, why the fuck is that surprising? Ben Cohen used to donate a portion of Ben and Jerry's proceeds to Earth First! and the Progressive Labor Party.
I hear so often that media outlets in Europe are far more balanced and even handed than over here in the states. Articles like this, whcih are typical of what I read in the Guardian, Independent, Der Spiegel, Le Monde, Daily Mirror etc..., tend to persuade me to believe otherwise.
Friday, October 18, 2002
Memories of the way we were ........
Gary Leupp, Associate Professor of History at Tufts, is what I would classify as the dogmatic faithful of the left. His latest piece in Counterpunch, Talking to Your Kids About Fascism
, is another pathetic attempt by him to defend the legacy at communism while simultaneously taking a swipe at the current war effort.
The Soviet Union was led by communists----people who were trying to create a society in which people were equal, and where there wouldn't be rich and poor. (The fascists hated the communists; they were actually their main target. Hitler thought Jews and communists were pretty much the same, and he planned early on to invade the Soviet Union and get rid of them.) The Soviets thought the governments in the U.S. and Britain and other countries that called themselves 'democracies' weren't really democratic, because the rich people, the big companies, basically controlled them.
The Soviets thought people in those countries should do what they themselves had done in 1917---overthrow their governments in revolutions. But as they saw fascism getting stronger, the Soviets started thinking that to protect the world from this horrible thing, they should work with anybody and everybody who could be organized to fight it, including Western governments, whom they wanted to 'just say no' to fascism. So communist parties all over the world, who got leadership from the Soviet Union, tried to create a 'United Front Against Fascism' including everybody disgusted by Hitler, Mussolini and their allies. As part of this, almost three thousand Americans, including the famous writer Ernest Hemingway, went to Spain to fight fascism in a group called the 'Lincoln Brigade.' Too bad that lots of powerful people in the so-called "democratic" countries actually liked Hitler and Mussolini and thought that the Soviets were the real problem. So they didn't really try to stop fascism. At least not very hard.
Well that would be nice if Prof. Leupp had not forgotten to mention Stalin’s real motive in creating and supporting organizations like the ‘Lincoln Brigade’. The Soviet’s real reason for being in Spain was not to preserve the existence of a democratic Republic under attack, but to gain control of the Spanish government in order to set the stage for what would have become, had the Republic won, the first successful “People’s Republic”. A large portion of the Lincoln Brigade was anarchist, and Stalin wanted nothing to do with them, but he figured that they could be useful.
Much of the chaos in Europe shortly after WWII in places like Greece and Italy were based on experience the Soviets gained in fighting a proxy war in Spain.
The U.S. did most of the fighting against the Japanese; the Soviets did most of the fighting against the Germans, and in one of the greatest battles in history, turned the tide of the war at Stalingrad, and chased the Nazis all the way back to Berlin. The Russians still call World War II their Great Patriotic Anti-Fascist War. That's how they see it, and it really makes sense to put it that way.
And although Leupp would love to reminisce on the noble Soviet stand against Fascism in the entire article he never once mentioned the Non-Aggression Pact Signed by Stalin and Hitler in 1939. You know, when the Soviets and the Nazi’s were the bestest of buddies?
In fact, the only reason that the Soviets lost 20million of its citizenry was because Stalin’s love fest with Hitler blinded him to the hundreds of intelligence reports warning him of Operation Barbarossa. Over 3 million German soldiers and 3300 tanks massing on the Russian-Polish border, and Stalin still thinks he can trust Hitler?
But Prof. Leupp’s hard on for Marxist should not surprise anyone. Earlier this year he wrote an article warning that the war on terror was nothing more than an attack on ‘genuine Maoist people’s revolutions’ as he sang the praises of groups like the FARC, the Shining Path and North Korea.
It was for the spin-doctors and commentators to explain the logic of the formulation apparently penned in by the President at the last minute. North Korea had sold ballistic weapons technology to Iraq and Iran, and was, like the other two, itself (perhaps, at some point) capable of producing weapons of mass destruction that might target the U.S ……. as for weapons of mass destruction, the U.S. had already negotiated, in the 1994 Agreed Framework nuclear deal, an arrangement whereby North Korea had suspended its nuclear program in exchange for the Western-financed construction of reactors producing little weapons-grade material. (The "experts" have viewed this as a very successful program.)
Ooops! Looks like the Professor spoke a little too soon!
Simply put, despite having extensive degrees, an education from some of the finest universities on the planet, sky-high IQ’s and warehouses of information at their fingertips, people like Leupp are so enamored with the glory days of the left, that they just cannot see through their own bullshit.
And to think, this guy is teaching college students?
Thursday, October 17, 2002
The Price of Appeasement
In 1994, in return for a freeze on its nuclear facilities, the U.S. promised to build Pyongyang "proliferation-resistant" nuclear reactors and supply North Korea with 500,000 tons of fuel oil annually. The North Koreans promised to open their facilities to international inspection and get out of the nuclear weapons business altogether.
The aim was to take a diplomatic approach to what was and is the most brutal, dictatorial, and aggressive regime on earth. It was thought that Pyongyang could somehow be softened and reformed. It was thought that if we extended a carrot without a big stick, that they would see our attempts at negotiation and would acquiesce.
Well now we see what this has gotten us. Pyongyang took the carrot [food aid and nuclear reactors] and simply ignored their end of the deal.
Now we are in a much worse situation than we were in 10 years ago. North Korea has a robust ballistic missile program which has already shown a capability to hit anywhere in mainland Japan, and they also have nuclear weapons to crown these ICBM's with. Had we dealt with Pyongyang aggressively ten years ago, letting them all starve from the failures of collectivized farming until the ceded unconditionally to our demands, this could have been avoided. But now we have to deal with a regime which believes it has outsmarted the world and now has the firepower to project its demands more forcefully.
You only negotiate from positions of strength. Negotiations that offer generous rewards for compliance are seen by states like North Korea as signs of weakness.
So tell me again how the North Korean strategy is supposed to work in Iraq?
Wednesday, October 16, 2002
When Larry King asked Harry Belafonte what he though about the public backlash regarding Belafonte's comparison he made between US Secretary of State Colin Powell and a house slave, he had this to say:
"The public does not come from the same kind of a sophisticated sense of history and all the different things that I've been exposed to." -- Harry Belafonte on CNN's Larry King [10/15].
Well I guess all I can say is that when people crack open history books in a few hundred years they will see Powell's record as a decorated Vietnam War veteran, fist black Secretary of State, head of the Gulf War coalition, respected diplomat, and dozens of other major personal and professional accomplishments.
When the read about Belafonte's life, it will be summed up in a song about day laborers picking bananas.
Socialists Sending People to MN to illegally vote for Wellstone...
Directly from the Democratic Socialists of America's website
Send A Student To Minnesota!
DSA’s national electoral project this year is the Minnesota Senate Election. Together with YDS, DSA’s Youth Section, we are mobilizing to bring young people to Minnesota. Minnesota is one of the few states that allow same day voter registration. We will therefore focus our energy on registering young Minnesotans. Wellstone will need a high percentage of young people to register and vote for him if he is to stave off the campaign that Bush, the Republicans and the Greens are waging against him. He is the Right’s Number One electoral target.
Do I smell voter fraud? Of course I do, but something tells me people like Greg Palast and Jim Hightower are not going to touch this.
Prediction of the day
The "Beltway Sniper" will be caught within 5 days. Mabey caught is a bad term, because he will most likely die in a shootout with law enforcement.
Monday, October 14, 2002
Todd Gitlin's latest piece in Mother Jones
calls for anti-war types to disassociate themselves from the fringe lefties that have overtaken the movement.
I spoke at an antiwar rally outside the UN on September 12, the same day that President Bush, inside, addressed the General Assembly. The turnout was ragged, 300 or so. But the numbers weren't the most dismaying aspect of that gathering. The signs were.
Most of the printed placards held by the protesters said 'NO SANCTIONS, NO BOMBING.' The international sanctions against Iraq have been a humanitarian disaster for the country's civilians. But doesn't Saddam Hussein bear some responsibility for that disaster? Must that not be noted? The bombing -- US and UK attacks in the no-fly zones of northern and southern Iraq -- are taking place under the auspices of a mission to protect Iraqi Kurds in the north and Iraqi Shiites in the south. Again, the Iraqi leader bears responsibility; Washington and London have made a credible case for the no-fly-zone sorties because and only because Saddam Hussein has trampled these long-suffering people in more ways than there is room to describe in this space.
Those picket signs are emblematic of a refusal to face a grotesque world. They express a near-total unwillingness to rebuke Saddam Hussein, and a rejection of any conceivable rationale for using force. The left-wing sectarians who promote 'NO SANCTIONS, NO BOMBING' don't want the US, or anyone, to lift a finger on behalf of the Kurds -- to whom you might think we have a special responsibility, since our government invited them to rise up in 1991.
Now, those same cynics of the hard left have moved to the front of the current anti-war movement. The sponsors of what's being billed as a national anti-war demonstration in Washington on October 26, and their eminence grise, Ramsey Clark, express no displeasure with Saddam Hussein. Their world is two-toned and, as with the Old Left at its worst, it's always clear who's wearing the black hats. (Ramsey Clark belongs to the International Committee to Defend Slobodan Milosevic, after all.)
Clark and others of his mindset are not only morally tainted, they're doomed. And the antiwar movement is doomed if they are allowed to lead it. Liberal-left antiwarriors need to be out-front patriots if they expect to draw the attention and the support of Americans at large.
Right now, the hard left is in charge by default, and the antiwar movement is lame on arrival as a result. If sensible antiwar forces make a valiant effort to speak outward to the American public, not upward to the gods of the hollow left, then and only then will we stand a chance of usefully weighing in against the rush to war.
Not that I agree with Gitlin's dovish stance on Iraq but his approach does sounds fair enough, I guess. Gitlin is still trying to avoid war with Iraq and thinks that we should exhaust all avenues before we give up on it. He thinks if you really want an anti-war movement to flourish, then it would be a wise idea to take it back from those radical elements which always manage to co-opt it as an avenue to advance other issues [think Ramsey Clark].
So what does Mother Jones do? They put a link for Not in Our Names on the same page as Gitlin's article.
What does that have to do with the price of tea in China, well nothing, but it seems to fly in the face of what Gitlin was getting at in his article.
Michael Tremoglie made a number of observations
about NION [Not in Our Names] which seem to point to exactly the type of people Gitlin thinks the peace movement should disassociate themselves with.
Clark Kissinger, the “spokesman,” as the Hartford Courant referred to him, is a board member of NION and is a member of the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP). The RCP is an organization that wants to replace the democratically elected government of the United States of America with a Communist dictatorship. The RCP is affiliated with such philanthropic groups as the Shining Path of Peru and the Communist Party of Nepal -so you can get an idea of what they have in mind. Their leader, Bob Avakian, is in France avoiding the FBI ( I wonder if he knows Ira Einhorn?).
Kissinger is not the only RCP member affiliated with the ad. Mary Lou Greenberg the NION national organizer is a member of the RCP as well. Several signers are either RCP members or members of their proxy group Refuse & Resist (founded by Clark Kissinger). In fact, the Philadelphia contact for NION is the RCP proxy group.
Among the other NION signers are Matef Harmachis of the All African People’s Revolutionary Party (founded by Ghanian president and Marxist Kwame Nkrumah), members of the National Lawyers Guild, International League of People’s Struggle, MeCHa, the Black Radical Congress, Ramsey Clark (I have already detailed his affiliation with the proxy of a communist terrorist organization), Noam Chomsky ( an objective voice), Mumia Abu Jamal (the great cop-killing humanitarian), Ed Asner and Barbara Ehrenreich of the Democratic Socialists of America, and the usual collection of entertainers, academicians and journalists.
So I have to ask the question, did the editors of Mother Jones not know this information when they provided the link in Gitlin's article, or do they just not care?
Wednesday, October 09, 2002
Hate Mail Grab Bag
This is in response to one of my most recent postings at Indymedia, or as Bill Herbert calls it, Nazimedia [although with posting names like 'Nazi Punks Fuck Off, that could never
From : Kirk Simon firstname.lastname@example.org
Date : Wed, 9 Oct 2002 22:22:01 -0400 (EDT)
Man, you really have to be ignorant to be that much right-wing!! And, like your good old president, you ask:"why do they hate us?" Damn I hope a lot of the capitalists in the WTC were like you, 2800 down and 300 million to go :o)
You must be 12 years old or something. Fuck you, fuck your country
good day asshole xxx
Lèche-vitrine ou lèche-écran ? Yahoo! Magasinage.
Man, that was one of the most well written, intellectually rousing rebuttals I have ever gotten. No doubt this fine young scholar studied at one of Canada finest institutions [and to make matters worse I think the fuck is even French Canadian].
So, everyone out there let Kirky ol boy know what you think, and if you don’t have the time to e-mail him, at least sign him of for some porno-spam.
Kirk Simon email@example.com
Still no word from Carlos Latuff [if that is indeed his real name] on my e-mail to him regarding ‘solidarity’ with Amiri Baraka.
Should have figured the little pussy didn’t have the sack to come out and play.
Best Indymedia Comment Ever!.
[you have to say it like Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons to get the full effect]
"Er, excuse me. No banging your head on the display case please, it contains a very rare Mary Worth in which she has advised a friend to commit suicide."
Stop wasting your time. (english)
None More Black 4:07pm Wed Oct 9 '02
WTGN gets the most replies of any poster on this website. Don't you think it's his mission to turn this website from indymedia.org to whitetrashgunnutwatch.org? Stop wasting your time on him. Who wants to bet that Nexus is the guy who sits at the next desk from WTGN at the Heritage Foundation?
whitetrashgunnutwatch.org, that would be sweeeeeeeeet!
Being a good leftist means never having to say you are sorry ..... or an asshole for that matter
A great article by Ron Rosenbaum, a New York left leaning liberal, in the New York Observer on his take of the 'peace' marches last weekend. He comments on how the marches are run by, organized by and filled with the most radical fringes of society.
Like these to lovely ladies below:
Seriously, I doubt even my most desperate of friends would do either of these two
A movement of Marxist fringe groups and people who are unable to make moral distinctions. An inability summed up by a man holding a big poster that proudly identified him as "NYC TEACHER." The lesson "NYC TEACHER" had for the day was that "BUSH IS A DEVIL : HANDS OFF NORTH KOREA, IRAQ, AFGHANISTAN".
Yes, Bush is "a devil" compared to those enlightened regimes that torture and murder dissidents (like "NYC TEACHER"). Bush is certainly "a devil" compared to enlightened leaders like Kim Jong Il, who has reduced the North Korean people in his repulsive police state to eating moss on rocks; or to Saddam Hussein, who tortures and gasses opponents, and starves his people to fund his germ-war labs; or to the Taliban in Afghanistan, who beat women into burqas. Yes, surely compared to them, Bush is "a devil." Thank God New York’s schoolchildren are in such good hands.
read the rest here: http://www.observer.com/pages/edgy.asp
Tuesday, October 08, 2002
This is Priceless
From the NRO Corner:
PAYBACK TIME [James S. Robbins]
Very sad news about the Marine casualties in Kuwait today I'm sure that whoever was technically behind the attacks, Iraq will and should blamed, at least by the guys on the ground. And I don't think Iraqi border troops should sleep very soundly tonight. Force Recon is out there somewhere, and payback is a bitch.
Yes it is, payback is a bitch
To the Euroweenies: Either wake the fuck up or stay out of the way
AP-October 7, 2002 -- PARIS - A Muslim man, accused of stabbing Paris' gay mayor, told interrogators yesterday he did it because he disliked politicians and homosexuals.
Mayor Bertrand Delanoe is expected to remain hospitalized for at least week to recover from the single wound to his abdomen. His office had initially described the injury as minor. He had surgery for three hours after being rushed to Pitie-Salpetriere Hospital.
The unidentified suspect, who was arrested immediately, told authorities he was a devout Muslim and had acted out of opposition to politicians and gays. Investigators don't think he's linked to any fundamentalist groups.
The attacker, who has been hospitalized previously for psychiatric treatment, comes from one of the tough neighborhoods in the Paris suburbs.
Delanoe, 52, was attending a lively, all-night party at City Hall as part of Paris' first-ever "Sleepless Night" festival when he was attacked.
He never lost consciousness, and even gave the order for the party to continue as he was being taken to the hospital.
Delanoe disclosed his homosexuality on a television program in 1999.
Not that this comes a any suprise to me (well mabey a little)
Although Yemeni officials have been trying to downplay reports of a
in the French oil tanker, it seems that the US Navy thinks this was just bait to lure more US Naval warships into the region
These warships would be the real target of any future attacks.