"If the language of politics tends to become that of advertising, thereby bridging the gap between two formerly very different realms of society, then this tendency seems to express the degree to which domination and administration have ceased to be a separate and independent function in the technological society. This does not mean that the power of the professional politicians has decreased. The contrary is the case. The more global the challenge they build up in order to meet it, the more normal the vicinity of total destruction, the greater their freedom from effective popular sovereignty. But their domination has been incorporated into the daily performances and relaxation of the citizens, and the "symbols" of politics are also those of business, commerce, and fun."

marcuse - one-dimensional man (1964)
In Continental Philosophy Since 1750: The Rise and Fall of the Self, Robert Solomon argues that German idealism represents a premature [what, better next week?], presumptuous and ultimately inhumane attempt to identify necessary and universal -- i.e. transcendental -- conditions of human existence. The tradition of 19th-century idealism is characterized by what Solomon calls "the transcendental pretense," which, he suggests, "is a political weapon of enormous power".


"I'm glad ['shrooms] are against the law, 'cause you know what happened when I took them? I laid in a field of green grass for 4 hours going 'My god.. I love everything...!' now if that isn't a hazard to this country" hicks
Iraq's Oil Contracts: Artificial Selection? [pravda]

The USA wants to check whether oil contracts concluded under Saddam Hussein are legitimate

The USA wants to verify oil contracts signed in Iraq under Saddam Hussein. The American government is going to recommend that the prospective Oil Ministry of Iraq to check up oil contracts concluded with companies from Russia, France and China. Former Chief Executive Officer of Shell Philip Carroll, now picked to run Iraq's oil industry, said in an interview to the Financial Times: "Each of the contracts must be investigated for the legitimacy of its status." The newspaper thinks that the check may result in cancellation of contracts.

Philip Carroll thinks that some of the contracts are dubious, as "one party of such contracts enjoys more advantages as compared with the other." He hasn't yet studied the contracts himself and has no intention to. Philip Carroll says his main objective is to deal with the petrol deficit in Iraq and to raise oil production levels.

and then there's DU..

"Arbuthnot writes: "Death stalks Basra's children from the moment of birth. . . Cancer, leukemias, and malignancies have risen up to 70% since the Gulf War, increases linked to the depleted uranium weapons used primarily by the US and UK, leaving a radioactive dust throughout the country, which according to experts has entered the food chain via the water table and the soil. . . The unimaginable can also be found in Basra. One doctor's thesis compares abnormalities since the Gulf War with Hiroshima. Dr. Jenan Ali's photographs for 1998 show full term babies undeveloped, the 'bunch of grapes' syndrome reminiscent of the Pacific Islands after the 1950's nuclear testing. Others--no face, no eyes, twisted limbs, no limbs, no brain."

and the other side: gulf war syndrome II..

"Mr Keetch has written to Mr Hoon demanding clarification about the reports of multiple vaccinations being administered to soldiers. He has also written to the Speaker of the Commons requesting an urgent debate on the matter.

'It is unbelievable that the government may have made the same mistake again,' he said yesterday. 'Avoiding multiple vaccinations was a key lesson from the first Gulf war. These soldiers were in different regiments in different places. Either the defence secretary misled parliament or the MoD is incapable of following orders.'"

vaccines? you just wait for DU generation II

Child born to US veteran of Gulf War

"In November 1995, Life magazine ran an article titled 'Tiny Victims of Desert Storm,' which raised the possibility that DU was implicated in these children's otherwise unexplainable deformities. For those who had the heart to look, there were photos of the children of American soldiers, some with with no arms, no legs, or misplaced inner organs, some without thyroids, with two hearts or hearts on the wrong side, enlarged heads and abdomens, and abnormal blood vessels. A presidential panel recently absolved DU of any responsibility for the catastrophic health problems faced by thousands of veterans after the Gulf War. Its guess? Certain soldiers must have had a genetic predisposition. Why doesn't it surprise me that they blamed the victims?"

dirty dirty dirty!
In recent weeks, a number of apparently unrelated news reports have, in sum, told a truth that is never reported. According to Human Rights Watch, thousands of British and American cluster bombs were fired at and dropped on civilian areas in Iraq. British artillery fired more than 2,000 of them at Basra. Each shell scatters bomblets over a wide area, and many fail to explode. Their victims are "not known", says the Ministry of Defence. They are known. They are often children; Iraq's population is almost half children.

enter iraqi resistance

In Falluja yesterday Iraqis with rocket-propelled grenades attacked a unit of American armoured vehicles. The troops returned fire, killing two men and capturing six.

"Initial reports indicate the attackers fired from a mosque in the city," the US military said in a statement. But Iraqis in Falluja insisted the attack had taken place far from the town's mosques.

Many in Falluja, 30 miles west of Baghdad, are still sympathetic to Saddam Hussein and are deeply resentful of the US presence. Last month, shortly after the end of the war, American troops fired into crowds of protesters on two occasions, killing 18 people and injuring at least 78.
history and critique of michael moore's life and work

None of what I've discussed here would matter if Moore's techniques didn't symbolize bigger weaknesses in the American left today. Moore is not just a quirky guy with enough talent and dough to reach a wide audience. His political criticism signals problems faced by the left more generally: marginalization, a tendency to seek the purity of confrontation rather than to work for long-term political solutions, a cynicism about the possibilities of politics today, and questionable political judgments. Moore exhibits all these weaknesses. Unfortunately, an effective left cannot draw energy or inspiration from a deeply cynical view of politics that blurs entertainment and argument. Moore takes short-cuts when it comes to politics. He entertains, but he doesn't always do much more. That speaks to the state of the left; we are angry and sometimes vocal, but we have too little to offer those looking for or needing social change. Meanwhile, the entertainment industry chugs on, denigrating serious political argument and avoiding deliberation. That is the depressing world Michael Moore has broken into.

quite weak argument actually- of course moore is a post-modern performer and enertainer, but he certainly gets bit of information in that the "poor marginalised left" has not managed to get to such audiences. branding him a "sell-out" is quite poor. article nonetheless reasonably interesting if only for an honest summary of his biography and achievements hitherto
re: nexus II

>> As to whether a mysterious investigations mag has any place in our dialogue, I would say it does - if only to help keep us intellectually honest. I would hope that one of the things we foster here is not only critical analysis, but also open minds. Being dismissive of any thought without giving it the proper study is the path to intellectual snobbery and isolation. This is one reason I do tend to intro material which is more contentious than most (within our far-left framework). Even if we study it and find it wanting - as will often be the case - it still is worth the study.

this is all viddy well ryan. the reason why i am conducting critical analysis of this "mysterious investigations" material has nothing to do with not wanting it to be posted here- it's rather that enlightenment requires monopoly on a certain type of truth claim (the transcendental pretense if you want)- that there is always a "means" of assessing data that is sexiest in terms of approximation to truth. that's why "dangers of conspiracy T" is an important topic, as is the post-modern mess (to ethical stance possible with relativism as in "all claims to truth are equal") weak analysis of power structures can lead us to. this is by the way true of any belief system, whether it be "religious" or "scientific" in outlook. my favourite example of this is foucault, who's archeology of knowledge (modelled on FN archeology of morals), and excellent work of reflection re: knowledge production and interests, falls into a hideous dark fucker of a hole when he attributes resistance to be part of the overall system (death of hegel, end of progress). hence discussion, hence challenge.

if there are therefore two truth claims around 9-11, namely institutional and conspiracy type enquiry, i will certainly favour the earlier over the latter for the very reasons outlined at length below. the search for truth (such as with the dialectic of historical materialism) is an endless process of eliminating contradictory theories. and the two sets discussed below cannot co-exist unless we're going for "discourse" banter here (end of history and eternal nodding). regarding the brain- and earthwaves material, i can't really see how one would conduct research and to what extent this research would provide a framework for action. what's being propagated here is that "there's something wrong" in terms of obscure scientific language with a number of odd abbreviations- without any links to material relations where one would be able to discuss possibilities for change and is therefore irrelevant to discussion of praxis. if i was involved in this sort of ball game i'd probably end up recommending meditating until brainwaves are adjusted to P-alpha-3 pulse waves or whatever and then sell it on tape, make a mince and call the whole thing scientology (the pseudo-scientific language is in fact reminiscent of their material).


erm benji.. posted that a couple of weeks ago.. collection of declassifieds here. this is at the high peak of kissinger's involvement, who declined 9-11 commission membership due to (financial) interest with his consultancy group, rambling on about "how can someone earn living" etc.. this guy has sucked satan's cock so hard [cf hicks].. from cambodia to east timor.. legendarily promoted vietnam extension during nixon election (68), private foreign policy engagement (unconstitutional) with south vietnamese embassador.. well.. some will have to be shot during the revolution.. if he doesnt do everyone "involved" a favour and just dies...
A while ago, I mentioned Colin Powell´s reference to the 1972 coup in Chile that the US government had `nothing to do with´ as an interesting development of these `conspiracy theories´ that become true with time. It is becoming more and more normal to accept that perhaps the US government has had some involvement with most of the coups, wars, civil wars, and other generally unpleasant stuff over the last 50 years. Anyway finally I have found the article which was delivered to my e-mail by a friend...

April 16, 2003 By GEORGE GEDDA, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - When a student asked Secretary of State Colin Powell about the 1973 military coup in Chile, the retired general turned diplomat made no secret of his deep misgivings about the U.S. role in that upheaval.

"It is not a part of American history that we're proud of," Powell said, quickly adding that reforms instituted since then make it unlikely that the policies of that Cold War era will be repeated.

The matter might have ended there had not Washington operative William D. Rogers taken notice of Powell's televised comment. Rogers served under Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in 1975-76 as the department's top official on Latin America and maintains a professional relationship with Kissinger.

In a highly unusual move, the State Department issued a statement that put distance between the department and its top official. The statement asserted that the U.S. government "did not instigate the coup that ended Allende's government in 1973" — a reference to the elected president, Salvador Allende.

Rogers was concerned that Powell's comment was reinforcing what he called "the legend" that the Chile coup was a creation of a Kissinger-led cabal working in league with Chilean military officers opposed to Allende. He called the department legal office to point out that there was a pending law suit against the government and Powell's comment was not helpful.

"I also called Kissinger," said Rogers. "I talked to him about it. I wouldn't say he was upset. ... I told Henry I think this is bad stuff. It
doesn't help the U.S. legal position."

Rightly or wrongly, Kissinger has been linked to the coup that brought Gen. Augusto Pinochet (news - web sites)'s military government to power.

Rogers said the Chilean military acted not because the United States urged it to do so, "but because they believed that had the Allende regime continued much longer, Chilean liberties would be irretrievably lost."

Peter Kornbluh, a student of Latin American issues, whose book, "The Pinochet File," will be released in September, disputed Rogers' account. "The U.S. government carried out a clear effort to undermine and destabilize Allende's ability to govern, creating the climate necessary for a coup to take place," Kornbluh said.

Rogers insists Kornbluh overstates the case. "Climate is one thing. Instigating a military attack on the civilian regime is quite another."

Kornbluh said the perceived U.S. role in Chile did not end with the coup. He added that the U.S. government helped the Pinochet regime consolidate its power with overt and covert support, "despite the full knowledge of its atrocities."

The notion of Nixon administration involvement in the post-Sept. 11, 1973, period was reinforced last November when 11 residents of Chile filed a complaint against Kissinger and the U.S. government seeking damages for deaths and other rights abuses by the Pinochet government.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, also names Michael Townley, a U.S.-born former Chilean intelligence agent.

Under the long-standing rules, Rogers said Kissinger's role as defendant is assumed by the U.S. government on grounds that Kissinger was not acting as an individual but was carrying out government policy.

Rogers said his main concern is not the court proceeding but the perception that the U.S. government was working hand in hand with Pinochet and his allies to oust Allende.

"The accusation that the U.S. is morally, legally or factually responsible for the coup is a canard," he said. "This is the issue raised by Powell's comment."

The State Department statement that the U.S. government "did not instigate" the coup is more in line with Rogers' view than with Powell's.

As for the suit against Kissinger and the U.S. government, the plaintiffs are seeking compensatory damages "in excess of $11 million" for rights abuses committed in the post-coup period. They also asked for punitive damages in an amount "at least twice the compensatory damages."

from kissingerwatch
EDITOR'S NOTE — George Gedda has covered foreign affairs for The Associated Press since 1968.
May 26, 2003

THE US has floated plans to turn Guantanamo Bay into a death camp, with its own death row and execution chamber. Prisoners would be tried, convicted and executed without leaving its boundaries, without a jury and without right of appeal, The Mail on Sunday newspaper reported yesterday. The plans were revealed by Major-General Geoffrey Miller, who is in charge of 680 suspects from 43 countries, including two Australians. The suspects have been held at Camp Delta on Cuba without charge for 18 months.

General Miller said building a death row was one plan. Another was to have a permanent jail, with possibly an execution chamber. The Mail on Sunday reported the move is seen as logical by the US, which has been attacked worldwide for breaching the Geneva Convention on prisoners of war since it established the camp at a naval base to hold alleged terrorists from Afghanistan. But it has horrified human rights groups and lawyers representing detainees.

They see it as the clearest indication America has no intention of falling in line with internationally recognised justice. The US has already said detainees would be tried by tribunals, without juries or appeals to a higher court. Detainees will be allowed only US lawyers. British activist Stephen Jakobi, of Fair Trials Abroad, said: "The US is kicking and screaming against any pressure to conform with British or any other kind of international justice."

American law professor Jonathan Turley, who has led US civil rights group protests against the military tribunals planned to hear cases at Guantanamo Bay, said: "It is not surprising the authorities are building a death row because they have said they plan to try capital cases before these tribunals.

"This camp was created to execute people. The administration has no interest in long-term prison sentences for people it regards as hard-core terrorists." Britain admitted it had been kept in the dark about the plans. A Downing St spokesman said: "The US Government is well aware of the British Government's position on the death penalty."

from the Herald Sun
Yep, agree whole-heartedly w/ crit of Pye - it's pretty much what I said in original post. My only interest in him is that skull he's got, and what it's about. Doubt it'll be as he hopes it to be, but I do think there is something unusual about it, and I'm curious what that is.

Those two articles both have many holes. I'm most curious about the electromagnetic wave one, tho - it does dance around some conspiracy subjects (like HAARP) but aside from all that, it has some interesting things which I'd not known about before, such as the Schumann waves that propogate in the atmosphere (and fit alpha wave patterns of the brain). If there is truth to any of the things proposed in the article, then I think it would be a promising point from which to jump off and do some research. Thoughts on that one?

As to whether a mysterious investigations mag has any place in our dialogue, I would say it does - if only to help keep us intellectually honest. I would hope that one of the things we foster here is not only critical analysis, but also open minds. Being dismissive of any thought without giving it the proper study is the path to intellectual snobbery and isolation. This is one reason I do tend to intro material which is more contentious than most (within our far-left framework). Even if we study it and find it wanting - as will often be the case - it still is worth the study.
nexus II

i think the interesting point with the argument "institutional vs conspiracy type analysis" is that collins is precisely not galileo, but rather a contemporary of his pointing the wrong, namely the way of possible reconciliation. it will also always be NC rather than him who will be at the receiving end of nasty stick from officialdom. evil people analysis does not hurt anyone. bad ideas analysis is quite rightly deemed dangerous to the dominant system of values (although the refutation of conspiracy T is not by NC incidentially, if written in defense of him and against someone like our dear collins). the whole concept of a "mysterious investigations" magazine just strikes me as ludicrous- there are no "ends" which are of such importance to us- as you quite rightly say, anyone could read this without seeing their position challenged. there's no critical stance, or indeed any stance- it's just white noise.

the reconciliation job brings me to nexus II, the interventionism "thing". of course darwinian theory requires paradigmatic change within the frame (crichton's second paradigm is pretty much dead, raising questions around the viability of genetic modification!) although our dear mr. pye deems these problems of internal incoherence an opening for cosmological speculation, his "you know what" leaving the path open to reconciliation with any of the "you know whos" he's seemingly working in partnership with, including the creationists, who's successful lobbying work have exposed the u.s. intellectual culture to much ridicule around the world.

"Plants and animals evolve, eh? Alright, how do they evolve?

By gradual but constant changes, influenced by adaptive pressures in their environment that cause physical modifications to persist if they are advantageous."

[language! jesus h. christ!] its actually specifically the "gradual change" bit thats under heavy fire. the other half is, of course, mutation and dominance of emergent gene.

"Really? But wouldn't the overall population have a gene pool deep enough to absorb and dilute even a large change? Wouldn't a small change rapidly disappear?

Well, yes, it probably would. But not in an isolated segment of the overall population. An isolated group would have a much shallower gene pool, so positive mutations would stand a much better chance of establishing a permanent place in it.

Really? What if that positive mutation gets established in the isolated group, then somehow the isolated group gets back together with the main population? Poof! The mutation will be absorbed and disappear."

well dear pye, with genes, nothing "disappears". the interesting point with his later bits on "genetically identical cheetahs" and the (overdue) refutation of paradigm II (due to industrial interests!) is that RNA reproduction in the protein replicators are an additional source of reproductive specifics.

"Future editions of Icons of Evolution will discuss the current era when scientists ridiculed, ignored or simply refused to deal with a small mountain of direct, compelling evidence that outside intervention has clearly been at work in the genes of domesticated plants, animals and humans. You Know What has left traces of their handiwork all over our bodies, all through our gene pools. All that will be required for the truth to come out is for a few "insiders" to break ranks with their brainwashed peers."
Phil, love your link on conspiracy theories. This is just what I've been looking for.
The point I was basically trying to make is that, regardless of the who-knew-what-when, who-did-what-to-whom, NC and Collins are both agreeing on US reaction. They are disagreeing on the means, and tho I think the means are important, they are converging on the ends. In the context of personal activism, it is the ends of our political foes that we must focus on, and our means of interrupting those ends. In the underlying causes they are disagreeing, but in the overall patterns of US action they agree. When I say we must not get caught up in deductive as opposed to inductive reasoning, what I refer to is not squabbling over the differences in those subterranean motives, but that we should instead focus on the emergent patterns. Of course Chomsky does use deductive reasoning - he culls events, numbers, uses them to create a framework. In fact, deductive and inductive reasoning is truly a false dichotomy, as one cannot exist without employing the other. The only point I tried to make is that, regardless of starting point, the patterns are the same. In truth I guess I misspoke separating them in the categories I did, but anyway that's what I was getting at.
One note on the conspiracy theories - they can be a useful lens for viewing certain events in the world, but as soon as they talk about the future they lose most if not all of their validity. As a good example, check out this site, the home of a conspiracy-minded shock jock in America. He has some good political analysis despite the fact that he has some wacky ideas about who commited all sorts of the atrocities in the states and abroad (hint: he's a New World Order sorta guy). Our job is to separate his often wrong views of the cause of events, and use the patterns he legitmately sees growing out of the events in question. Regardless of the causes, his interpretation of the drifts in political discourse is not bad. However, as he's using false assumptions regarding motivations, he goes to strange places in his predicted future. Hence, he's got a New World Order enslaving the population, enforced id chips in arms, etc the whole nine yards. One just shouldn't follow his reasoning in that direction. Indeed, I would posit that one should never follow another's reasoning in predicting the future. All we can do is observe the patterns and decide for ourselves.
To use another example from history, let's take the emergence of the belief that the earth orbits the sun. At the time, had there been widespread discourse of the type that is now available, you would have a bunch of theories about why the church was against it. Some would argue straight down the line that the church simply couldn't believe it due to their interpretation of the bible. Others would argue it was the church's fear of a loss of face. Some would say the church was much more worried about a loss of power and control. Probably there would be some who say the church knows all this and more, but if information gets out then there's gonna be a major paradigm and power shift, and the church won't allow that.
As an observer at the time, I would listen to all those various theories and, in the end, not care about those motivations. I would (hopefully in this disgustingly hypothetical world of rationalist thought applied to a completely different culture) simply observe Copernicus and Galileo have got an idea, the church doesn't want us to hear it and is suppressing it, and we should try to reverse that. I wouldn't listen to all the predictions of what's to come, tho. I would develop my own theories, certainly, but I wouldn't worry about tales of a vengeful God or a genocidal pope. Oy, this analogy has gotten quite out of hand, but do you see what I'm driving at? It's the patterns that emerge from the convergence of many theories that we should concern ourselves with. Only thru finding the things that all sides are agreeing on can we hope to approach an objective truth. Sometimes the objective truth we can be sure of will be simple and small - ie Kennedy was killed - and sometimes we wil be able to get larger patterns - ie the US is turning into an imperialist power. This is the point I clumsily approached on the last post.

As to the link from the list of the Reaction Paradigm page, I don'y know what to say about that. My reason for introducing that page was not to say "Look, this guy's got it all figured out" but merely to show the objective truths of political reaction and the turning of tragedies to other ends. The cause of the tragedy is not the important piece - nor is the dialectic mangling - but the list has good uses in observing just what it is all concerned parties are agreeing on. That's the important stuff. That's the path out of the victor's history - for even the victor's history will have kernels of truth that can be more correctly interpreted if we listen to all sides of the story, including the conspiracy nuts. Thus, when I say we gotta be inductive, what it truly means is deducing the overall patterns from the multiple theories out there, and then inducing the causes and reactions after we've decided on the larger picture. If we won't listen to the larger structures a theory posits because we quibble with the smaller parts, then we're gonna end up with solipsism owing to the fact we will always start with the same building blocks, some of which are likely to not fit objective truth. We need to listen to everything in order to cleanse our hermaneutic.
Now, one could argue that if the initial building blocks are false, then the larger patterns will be even worse. This is, of course, true. But as I think every single theory out there is gonna have false building blocks, we must absorb them all and see where they all agree. Only after doing that can we go back and see which building blocks are likeliest to be true from each theory. Repeat the process an infinite number of times, and you will arrive at a place which subscribes to no one theory, but which hopefully merely exposes the truth of the situation. Chomsky does this - he, like everyone else, rejects certain "facts" because they don't make sense in the framework he's discovered, or they make more sense reinterpreted with truer unstated goals in mind. That's part of his process of uncovering propaganda, as it is for us all. He's great at it too, of course. I think we all pretty much agree with nearly everything he has had to say. However, we shouldn't blindly follow any one person's reasoning; we must collect all, and reason for ourselves. Likewise, we shouldn't reject all of what someone says just because we disagree with much of it - the truth hides in the funniest of places.
crucial distinction I - material

Conspiracies Or Institutions: 9-11 and Beyond

z-mag: institutional vs conspiracy-type analysis

"Conspiracy theorists rarely have a vast amount of evidence confirming the conspiracy with only a little detail or two that doesn't quite fit and can reasonably be set aside. Quite the contrary, conspiracy theories are often strung together from the thinnest reeds of evidence and the counter-evidence is often an irrefutable negation of the very piece of evidence that the conspiracy theorist previously claimed was decisive.


Conspiracy theorizing that highlights individuals is the modus operandi of prosecutors, of course. After all, they must identify proximate causes and human actors to punish. But why does conspiracy theorizing appeal to people concerned to change society? Many possible answers arise.

First, the evidence conspiracy theories reveal can identify actual events needing other explanation. More, describing the detailed entwinements can become addictive. We find one puzzle and then another and another to uncover. The appeal is of the mysterious. It is dramatic, vivid, and human. And we can make steady progress, like in a murder investigation. Finally, the desire for retribution fuels forays into personal detail. It is a journalistic task with clear parameters and obvious satisfaction to be had, unless, of course, one rejects the entire premise, logic, method, and prioritization.

Second, conspiracy theories have manageable implications. They imply that all was well once and that it can be okay again if only the conspirators can be removed. Conspiracy theories explain ills without forcing us to disavow society's underlying institutions. They allow us to admit horrors and to express our indignation and anger or undertake vendettas, but without rejecting the basic norms of society. We discover that a particular government official or corporate lawyer is bad, but the government and law per se remain okay. We urge getting rid of bad apples, but leaving the orchard intact. All this is convenient and seductive. We can reject specific candidates but not government, specific CEOs but not capitalism, specific writers, editors, and even owners of periodicals, but not mainstream media. We can reject vile manipulators, but not basic institutions. And we can continue to appeal to the institutions for recognition, status, or payment.

Third, and least likely among Leftists, conspiracy theory can provide an easy and quick outlet for pent-up passion withheld from targets that seem unassailable or that might strike back. This is conspiracy theory turned into scapegoat theory. Some minority, some enemy, is tarred, and the talons are unleashed. Racism and conspiracies have long gone together, if not universally, certainly frequently.

Evaluating all this, it would be bad enough if conspiracy theorizing just attuned people to search after coteries while ignoring institutions, thereby reducing energies applied to useful ends as in the wasteful misallocation of energies of the many Kennedy assassination theorists of past decades. At least in that case the values at play could be progressive and we could hope, however faintly, that people involved would in time gravitate toward real explanations of more structural and important phenomena. But the sad fact is that the effects of adopting a conspiracy theory orientation can be and often are still worse."

more excellent news over on inquiry- enjoy!
Go here to view the pdf of the declassified Northwoods papers.
crucial distinction I

well ryan. i was primarily upset with the weak interpretation of NC discourse- he is writing for a high-school educated target group and one would expect paul collins to read the whole thing and understand what chomsky was in fact trying to do (see comment below). and the distinction made is crucial. with the northwoods material, contrary to what collings is writing, the interests represented by the military with respect to the cuba crisis are very clear and is easily situated within the cold war anti-communist hysteria.

"that certain factions in the United States government created the bin Laden menace and actually desired the attacks"

now the case he's trying to make here is a bit more far-fetched- considering bin ladin sponsoring started in the 80s. a two-decade project, across several administrations?

which brings me to the reason for rejecting the material in question: nexus consistently stays away from analysis that might implicate any political stance- the rejection of a theoretical paradigm that may allow the interpretation of such seemingly out-of-the-ordinary plans (n.b not acts) within an institutional environment that permitted, if not fostered the occurrence of such daydreaming. without the introduction of predictability or any sort of causal pattern, the analysis becomes reductionist to the point of gloryfying power! his extensive quotations from a far-right paranoid idiot [content?] are telling enough:

information regarding the dangers of conspiracy T to progressive work here-

"Not only is it a way to rationalize horrible injustices and suffering without calling basic institutions into account, it is part and parcel of thinking that injustice is an inevitable part of the human equation. Some folks are bad, so we get lots of bad outcomes. We can't do anything beyond having a good district attorney and going on about our business. If everything is under the control of immensely powerful and incredibly evil forces, there is no point in fighting injustice."

i was in fact familiar with this material in connection with the one major 9-11 conspiracy theory. i do not think it is necessary to go as far as rejecting this theory as i have no interest in critical engagement with any of the other nexus magazine topics of concern ("Health Alternatives; Suppressed Science; Earth's Ancient Past; UFOs & the Unexplained; and Government Cover-Ups" [sic]). its interesting, but essentially misguided in nature ("wrong question"). what we need is interpretation of the best empirical evidence we can locate (and there certainly is material superior to fox news out there)- and to make out, as far as possible, the very real and often equally sad material outcomes- based on a theoretical framework that is reflective of knowledge production by bringing the question of interest into it. "It's all a goddamn fake. Like Lenin said, look for the person who will benefit."

and that's the crucial distinction. both types of analysis may correctly identify "abuse of power" as the enabling mechanism. next, either systemic outcomes are recognised for what they are, with a critical account challenging underlying ideas in the name of certain ideals, or it's all down to "evil people" and we end up with precisely the sort of language of nichomachean ethics that Bush is so famous for.

coincidence? (i'm joking now)

"Crop Circle Season Has Begun"

These are times of induction, not deduction, as facts are unreliable. [...] the induction of Chomsky and our author are roughly parrallel, tho emphasizing different aspects.

erm i don't really understand that induction/deduction bit, sorry. must say have never seen distinction made along those lines. i can tell you that the chomsky's interpretative method is based on deductive reasoning though. different aspects? i certainly concur.

"In the last four years while covering the United Nations, I have come face to face, on a regular basis with communism, fascism, and socialism. I found, as a result of my own ignorance, that I could not identify them and therefore not identify the true meaning of what was being put forth in all of the documents I was reading. While I understood the goal of world government to be behind everything the United Nations was doing, I did not know how -- what modus operandi -- they would use to convert people from a capitalistic system where the individual is the master and molder of his own destiny undergirded by personal property rights reinforced his claim to that destiny, to one of complete control where man did what the State directed, when the State directed, and in the process gave up his freedoms and private property so the State could better direct its use. I then found that the "modus operandi" being used for this transition was called the "Hegelian Dialectic" which is comprised of three parts: the thesis, antithesis, and synthesis."

what in the name of history is this? (link on bottom of "problem reaction paradigm", next to his disclaimer:

When reviewing this subject, keep in mind that The Hegelian Dialectic is the cornerstone of the Marxist interpretation of history and played a major role in the development of Marxist Communism. In every case when Communists seized control of a government, the Hegelian Dialectic principle was used.

popular movement? ding-dong? anyone in?
Phil, you make very good points. The author does deliberately re-interpret the original passage in order to make his case - that said, we shouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater. The US has a rather extensive history of creating terror when there is none, i.e. knowingly blaming the wrong people for atrocities. A number of wars were entered into by the U.S. around the turn of the last century (and including WWI) thru diliberate propoganda, most often over sunken ships. The Maine is mentioned in this article, and most every expert at the time and especially in later times believed it wasn't sunk by the Spanish (with whom relations were becoming quite good - and it would have been madness on their part to provoke the states in 1898) but by an internal explosion. No one posits that the U.S. did it themselves - they just took advantage of it to really start up the empire (acquiring the Phillipines, Guam, Cuba, Puerto Rico...) aided by Hearst, the Rupert Murdoch of the day.
It is indeed much sexier to use only what is publicly available to prove a point - for one thing, there is pretty much no argument that can be made. However, I think it is slightly naive to believe that there isn't anything else under the surface going on. Of course the burning of the Reichstag is the perfect example of a government "harming" itself in order to further an oligarchic or fascist cause, but there are others... Here's a page which lists a number of confirmed or suspected cases of what the author labels "The Problem Reaction Solution Paradigm" that deals with manipulation of events and the twisting of them. Personally, I doubt some the items on his list - specifically the more recent ones (i.e. what did the gov't gain thru the Oklahoma City Bombing?) but I think the important thing here is not to attempt to assign blame for the events that have happened, but to use the hermaneutic presented as a means to examine the manipulation of information and propaganda. The responsibility for many of these things will never be fully assigned to most people's satisfaction, but that aspect isn't nearly as important as the reaction and provocation of governments. This shall prove a salient point soon, as I'm sure Ashcroft is waiting on the next large terrorist attack to slide thru his bill, the unofficial Patriot Act II, which he won't even show members of Congress (we only know of its existence due to internal leaks).
In short, I agree that our author has garbled Chomsky - but that does not negate the value of his observations. And of some of his investigative journalism - Operation Northwoods gives me the willies. Living in a time - as we do - when facts are routinely distorted and lies are passed as truths, I think it is more useful to observe the patterns of action than argue the initial culpability. These are times of induction, not deduction, as facts are unreliable. Thru induction we are likely to make good guesses as to which facts are true and which aren't, but if we rely on deduction, then we are at the mercy of the machine (ie deduction - Saddam has WMD, he harbors terrorists, he must be stopped v. induction - Saddam is not aggressive now, has never been aggressive without the approval of the US (tho sometimes misinterpreted), the terrorists hate him as much as us - he's no threat, the US wants an empire).
And the induction of Chomsky and our author are roughly parrallel, tho emphasizing different aspects.
re: nexus I

"In November 1989, Father Ignacio Martín-Baró, a social psychologist, delivered a speech in California on "The Psychological Consequences of Political Terror". In his speech, Martín-Baró gave a much more precise definition of terrorism, one that is ignored only at great peril. Noam Chomsky provides a synopsis of this speech (p. 386):

He [Martín-Baró] stressed several relevant points. First, the most significant form of terrorism, by a large measure, is state terrorism--that is, "terrorizing the whole population through systematic actions carried out by the forces of the state". Second, such terrorism is an essential part of a "government-imposed sociopolitical project" designed for the needs of the privileged.

Disturbing though it may be, Martín-Baró's definition is one validated by history. The majority of terrorism throughout history has found its sponsors in the hallowed halls of officialdom, in the entity known as government. Terrorism is surrogate warfare, a manufactured crisis designed to induce social change. Its combatants consciously or unconsciously wage the war on behalf of higher powers with higher agendas. Whether its adherents are aware of it or not, terrorism always serves the ambitions of another."

this is an absurd misunderstanding of chomsky's speech- this "point" made in passing has a crucial impact on the rest of the argument. the phrase "systematic actions carried out by the forces of the state" is a reference to to the high prevalence of direct interventionism abroad- whether it be use of the u.s. military or selective exporting/giving away of the more advanced weaponry. this goes hand in hand with the increasing use of paramilitary force in proxy warfare- columbia is a beautiful example. chomsky is reappropriating the term terrorism- the sexiness being due to the inverted symmetry he uses here. this is essentially linguistic reconstruction of the thouroughly idologically tainted word "terrorism", popularly used to denote desperate suicide attacks (anti-power), which no doubt exist very much independently of systemic violence. at the end of chomsky's essay the reader should feel aware that violent death is more likely to be caused by "systematic", i.e. large-scale, pro-systemic action, with the linguistic distortion cleansed. Chomsky is talking vietnam here.

with afghanistan and the bin ladin the plot gets a bit more complicated than the author recognises. although u.s.-trained forces have turned against foreign policy motives at various points (panama- noriega; iraq- saddam) this is not an example of a self-conscious policy of sponsoring terrorist force against the u.s. populous, but is easily attributed to the dilletantish efforts ("we don't speak arabic") of the u.s. beaurocratic apparatus- or the famous principle of short-terminism in a decision-making frame guided by capitalist imperatives (namely the famous military-industrial complex). as with any "theory" around the jfk incident, the identification of "shady characters" involved in essentially anti-systemic ploys with "interests... [being] unclear" [nexus], with outcomes being supposedly incidential to the guiding principles, will just hinder historical interpretation of the causal links involved. discovering truth re: "what's actually going on" does not require exposing some sort of hidden agenda, but rather the reinterpretation of factual information that is already widely available, if in distorted form. conspiracy theory means being naive about the principles underlying systemic outcomes.

Considering the current situation in Central Africa, a look back at the 1994 Rwandan genocide might be a timely reminder. The National Security Archives have an electronic briefing pointing to evidence of US inaction, letting the slaughtering happen. Of course no sane human being would expect the US to intervene in Central Africa. But maybe this is a good starting point in order to question the humanitarian rhetoric abused to manufacture consent for imperialist ventures.

In this context, also read Power's "Bystanders to Genocide".

"In this notorious “genocide fax” (originally published in The New Yorker), Gen. Dallaire warns UN peacekeeping officials—Maj. Gen. Maurice Baril, the military adviser to Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, and Kofi Annan, who at the time was Under Secretary General for PKO (peacekeeping operations) and is now UN Secretary General—of the existence of arms caches, a plot to assassinate Belgian UN peacekeepers and Rwandan members of parliament, and the existence of lists of Tutsis to be killed. Dallaire informs New York of his intention to raid the caches, but foreshadowing later developments, Annan and DPKO official Iqbal Riza refuse the request, citing UNAMIR’s limited mandate. Instead, they order Dallaire to apprise the president of Rwanda of the informant’s allegations, despite the fact that the arms caches and assassination plan are the work of those close to the president. On April 7, the day after the shoot down of the President’s plane, members of the Presidential Guard carry out this plan, torturing, killing, and mutilating 10 Belgian soldiers in the UN contingent protecting the Prime Minister, who was also their target. As foreseen by the plan’s authors, Belgium quickly withdrew their contingent from UNAMIR, breaking the backbone of the force. Within two weeks, the UN Security Council voted to reduce UNAMIR to a token presence, removing the last impediment to the slaughter."

"A product of an intra-agency process comprised of working level Pentagon action officers with expertise in African affairs, humanitarian and refugee affairs, public affairs, and special operations, and also officials of the Joint Staff’s Strategic Plans and Policy division, this memo for the record provides an inside glimpse at the various goals, options and tactics discussed at a meeting of officials charged with day-to-day responsibility for the Rwanda crisis. It is filled with cautions against the US becoming committed to action. Genocide comes up in the discussion: “Be Careful. Legal at State was worried about this yesterday—Genocide finding could commit USG to “do something”.
Some news that may have escaped mainstream attention:

Information Clearing House publishes 'The Evidence File' pertaining to the court case against Tommy Franks in Brussels, including a wealth of picture and video evidence. All whilst Franks is announcing his retirement.

Also, The Observer and nobody else it seems, reports that the Red Cross is denied access to PoWs - Up to 3,000 Iraqis - some of them civilians - believed to be gagged, bound, hooded and beaten at US camps close to Baghdad airport.

Then, you will have heard about US plans to convert Guantanamo Bay into a 'death camp', complete with death row and execution chambers. Detainees will be tried, sentenced and executed without leaving the grounds.


This one is great too - also from Nexus, which should be bookmarked by all from here on out it seems to me. This article is about how human brain waves have evolved and are currently matched to the Earth's electromagnetic frequencies (due to evolving on Earth, of course). However, with the electromagnetic pollution currently occuring everywhere, we're fucking with the distance of the ionosphere to the Earth, changing the frequencies and patterns. This article goes into some of the possible consequences evolving from this (and explains such things as, for instance, why there are more incidents of cancer near large electromagnetic sources). My suspicion is that it has been reverse-engineered, which helps things fit very nicely into the theme, but it is well written and researched and I think it is exactly places like this where the crossover between east and west are happening today.
Read this fascinating article which not only goes into states as the major source of all terror throughout history, but also has some information I've never heard before. Has anyone ever heard of Operation Northwoods?

"According to James Bamford, former Washington investigative producer for ABC, the Joint Chiefs of Staff planned to engineer several terrorist acts to instigate war (p. 82):

According to secret and long-hidden documents obtained for Body of Secrets, the Joint Chiefs of Staff drew up and approved plans for what may be the most corrupt plan ever created by the US government. In the name of anticommunism, they proposed launching a secret and bloody war of terrorism against their own country in order to trick the American public into supporting an ill-conceived war they intended to launch against Cuba.

Codenamed Operation Northwoods, the plan, which had the written approval of the Chairman and every member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called for innocent people to be shot on American streets; for boats carrying refugees fleeing Cuba to be sunk on the high seas; for a wave of violent terrorism to be launched in Washington, DC, Miami and elsewhere.

People would be framed for bombings they did not commit; planes would be hijacked. Using phony evidence, all of it would be blamed on Castro, thus giving Lemnitzer and his cabal the excuse, as well as the public and international backing, they needed to launch their war.

Northwoods even called for the military to turn on itself (p. 84):

Among the actions recommended was "a series of well-coordinated incidents to take place in and around" the US Navy Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. This included dressing "friendly" Cubans in Cuban military uniforms and then have them "start riots near the main gate of the base. Others would pretend to be saboteurs inside the base. Ammunition would be blown up, fires started, aircraft sabotaged, mortars fired at the base with damage to installations".

Operation Northwoods would draw upon history as well, using the 1898 explosion aboard the battleship Maine in Havana harbour as inspiration (p. 84):

"We could blow up a US ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba," they proposed; "casualty lists in US newspapers would cause a helpful wave of national indignation." "

Found this at Nexus Magazine, a very open-minded alternative magazine that deals with many issues, politics just being one (this is the magazine mentioned in passing where I found articles from our interventionist friend, arguing against evolution).


Decoding the Media Fixation on Terrorism - "In mid-May, the internationally syndicated columnist Gwynne Dyer wrote a piece noting that the previous week had brought news reports of terrorist attacks in Chechnya, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Morocco and Israel, resulting in a total of 153 deaths. He observed: "Last week was the worst for terrorist attacks since Sept. 11, 2001. ... Yet there were no headlines last weekend saying '750 people dead of gunshot wounds in the U.S. since Monday' or 'Weekly traffic death toll in India tops 2,000,' and only small headlines that several thousand people had been massacred in the eastern Congolese town of Bunia."


Russia after perestroika- "right back to third world where it came from" (NC):

"Something -- in fact, a lots of things -- went terribly wrong during the early 1990s transition of Russia from State Communism to a supposed free market economy. Many others detailed the problems of transition in detail as they were happening, but Satter maps the contours of the debris that was left.

Without any stable legal structure governing the owning and trading of property and wealth or the regulation of business transactions in the decade after the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Russian society became totally criminalized, not merely in its day-to-day dealings but in the widespread existential consciousness of its people. Russia's newly emergent oligarchs have often been nicknamed "Robber Barons" after the Gilded Age plutocrats of late 19th-century industrial America, but the term is a misnomer in all too many ways. Industrial titans like John D. Rockefeller in oil and Andrew Carnegie in steel built huge business empires and acquired enormous power. But they did so within an ordered society, built tremendous industrial infrastructures that generated wealth for generations after them, and felt obligations towards it. Rockefeller and Carnegie, like the Ford family after them donated hundreds of millions of dollars to enormous, organized philanthropies that immeasurably boosted education, health and culture, first across the United States and then across the wider world. The Robber Barons of President Boris Yeltsin's Russia really were that. They created an industrial and socio-economic desolation and called it peace."
genocidal sharon, another pleasing flash movie, and top gun, pisstake on bush's aircraft carrier landing- in the light of his AWOL history at texas air guard
the history according to fox news- collection on critical popperian

[mjm!] LA Times columnist Robert Scheer with a progressive (i.e. truthful) message to the U.S. public- also, i suspect, the first to provide the u.s. public with Lynch Rescue- Take 2.. this iraqi arms - u.s. arms analogy v sexy-

"On Sunday, the Washington Post wrote the obituary for the United States' effort to find Saddam Hussein's alleged weapons of mass destruction. "Frustrated, U.S. Arms Team to Leave Iraq," read the headline, confirming what has become an embarrassing truth — that the central rationale for the invasion and occupation of oil-rich Iraq was in fact one of history's great frauds.

The arms inspectors "are winding down operations without finding proof that President Saddam Hussein kept clandestine stocks of outlawed arms," reported the Post, putting the lie to Colin Powell's Feb. 6 claim at the United Nations that Iraq possessed a functioning program to build nuclear bombs and had hoarded hundreds of tons of chemical and biological materials.

Unfortunately, this does not necessarily mean the world is a safer place. The deadly weapons of mass destruction have proved phantom in Iraq, but the Bush administration is now doing its best to ensure that the world becomes increasingly unstable and armed to the teeth. Although the nuclear threat from Iraq proved to be nonexistent, the United States' threat to use nuclear weapons and make a shambles of nuclear arms control is alarmingly vibrant."
One Paragraph Review of the Presidency of George W. Bush

Let's see if we can get this straight? Bait the country during elections by promising programs that add value to our society and then switch them during appropriations for military & contributor kickbacks. When a terrorist flies planes into the World Trade Center during a meeting with your investors and the cover for you're energy scam is blown, then tell everyone that we are being attacked by a country with a lot of oil and invade it. When they don't believe your reasoning, make it up. Declare all civilians combatants, shoot any that get near you (feeding them will be a pain in the ass anyway), and then take the country's oil. When you have liberated the people from their U.S. backed dictator, have made billions on the defense contracts, you then pay yourself and your friends to rebuild the country. Finally put a new dictator in charge that will do your bidding (who cares if the Iraqi people don't like him) and give a chunk of the profits to the financial backers of Osama bin Laden, the terrorist that created the opportunity for you. That about right?

from the critical popperian
check out animated "anti-ads"- best enjoyed with sound

*u.s. war crimes

information clearing house provides a couple of pages of fotos "depicting the horror and reality of operation iraqi freedom". i advise you all to spend some time specifically looking at the younger and youngest liberated- that feeling of rage has nothing to do with dark side, you are merely getting a bit closer to truth past that protective mtv.com layer that seperates us from iraq beyond the mere geographic factor

i was familiar with some of the al-jazeera on the last page from mexican public tv where this information was generously provided. if you don't feel any imperatives coming up when you're through this, check pulse, you must be dead. or maybe you've just seen too many bruckmayer movies.


The oil from postwar Iraq was expected to start flowing to the world's markets after the UN security council yesterday gave America the legal cover to occupy the country and control its resources.

"u.n. approved"


first major trilateral commission study (1975, founded by rockefeller himself) in response to 60s cultural revolution as published on their very own website! this is beautiful.. enjoy.. as NC refers to it in benji's post below:

"What happened in the 1960s was extremely frightening to international elites. You see this very strikingly, and perhaps most strikingly, in The Crisis of Democracy.

They were deeply concerned about what happened in the 1960s around the world. What they were concerned about was an increase in democracy, that is, through the 1960s parts of the public which had usually been apathetic and passive began to get organised and began to enter the political arena and press their demands and so on. That included women, working people, minorities, the elderly, in general the large part of the population which was usually passive. They began to enter and to encroach on forbidden territory. The way the thing’s supposed to work is that the political system is supposed to be in the hands of private tyrannies, private power, and that was beginning to erode. That’s the crisis of democracy."

love those lyrics:

"At the present time, a significant challenge comes from the intellectuals and related groups who assert their disgust with the corruption, materialism, and inefficiency of democracy and with the subservience of democratic government to "monopoly capitalism." The development of an "adversary culture" among intellectuals has affected students, scholars, and the media. Intellectuals are, as Schumpeter put it, "people who wield the power of the spoken and the written word, and one of the touches that distinguish them from other people who do the same is the absence of direct responsibility for practical affairs," In some measure, the advanced industrial societies have spawned a stratum of value-oriented intellectuals who often devote themselves to the derogation of leadership, the challenging of authority, and the unmasking and delegitimation of established institutions, their behavior contrasting with that of the also increasing numbers of technocratic and policy-oriented intellectuals. In an age of widespread secondary school and university education, the pervasiveness of the mass media, and the displacement of manual labor by clerical and professional employees, this development constitutes a challenge to democratic government which is, potentially at least, as serious as those posed in the past by the aristocratic cliques, fascist movements, and communist parties.

[the anti-education stance is fucking dark.. authors obv daydreaming re: medieval hayday.. "ius primae noctis- just imagine.. etc"]

In addition to the emergence of the adversary intellectuals and their culture, a parallel and possibly related trend affecting the viability of democracy concerns broader changes in social values. In all three Trilateral regions, a shift in values is taking place away from the materialistic work-oriented, public-spirited values toward those which stress private satisfaction, leisure, and the need for "belonging and intellectual and esthetic self-fulfillment." These values are, of course, most notable in the younger generation. They often coexist with greater skepticism towards political leaders and institutions and with greater alienation from the political processes. They tend to be privatistic in their impact and import. The rise of this syndrome of values, is presumably related to the relative affluence in which most groups in the Trilateral societies came to share during the economic expansion of the 1960s. The new values may not survive recession and resource shortages. But if they do, they pose an additional new problem for democratic government in terms of its ability to mobilize its citizens for the achievement of social and political goals and to impose discipline and sacrifice upon its citizens in order to achieve those goals.

[its getting telling.. giggle.. liberal rights "don't work" once people make use of them]

Finally, and perhaps most seriously, there are the intrinsic challenges to the viability of democratic government which grow directly out of the functioning of democracy. Democratic government does not necessarily function in a self-sustaining or self-correcting equilibrium fashion. It may instead function so as to give rise to forces and tendencies which, if unchecked by some outside agency, will eventually lead to the undermining of democracy. This was, of course, a central theme in de Tocqueville's forebodings about democracy; it reappeared in the writings of Schumpeter and Lippmann; it is a key element in the current pessimism about the future of democracy."

[nobodys voting culture obv wet dream for legitimised thieving]

spirit of resistance lives on.. going stonethrowing at G8 mv?
This site is very interesting. The guy who's behind it has some out-there ideas - he's an interventionist. If you follow some of the links to his nexus articles, you'll see what I mean. He attempts to punch a bunch of holes in the Darwin evolution theories, and he is rather successful with the gradualists. However, all of his arguments against the believers of puncuated equilibrium are pretty weak (that's the school advocated by Stephen Jay Gould, saying evolution takes place when a vacuum is created, whether by comet or climate change or, say, humanity (that last one's mine)). While there isn't too much you can directly refute in his interventionist argument, it doesn't hold up to Occam's Razor (which he purports to use to arrive at his conclusions). What I think is very interesting (and telling) is he most vehemently attacks creationists and intelligent design proponents, when they are the ones he most resembles. He calls them crazy for saying God (or an undefined higher intelligence) did it; they say he is crazy for saying Aliens did it. But the basic underlying arguments are identical.
All that aside, he has got a very interesting find. It is a skull found in South America that has extremely unusual features. Check out the skull - he is pretty sure that it is an alien hybrid, but he is using good science to get at it (he is a scientist who has extensive background in this field - it is unclear whether he was an interventionist before or after this find). Currently the skull is undergoing DNA analysis, and it has been determined that the bloodline is European! That's a very interesting thing to find, as it was found in Mesoamerica and is from around 1100, thereabouts. So, regardless of his views, his methodology seems sound and it looks like something of import might come out of this, tho I doubt it will be exactly what he's looking for. More likely to rewrite some history. Regardless, it's something that bears watching. The press on this will probably start to grow soon - he has been doing some work in the mainstream press already. I don't know what to make of it, I just think it's something that is worth checkin on occassionally, even if only to find it a hoax (frankly, I'm gettin very interested in the concept of hoaxing and trying to figure out a good methodology for weeding out well-crafted hoaxes from true unconventional finds, other than thowing up the hands and saying "too far-fetched", for many of the larger turning points of humanity have come from things that initially seem too far-fetched. With the internet and various technology becoming available, faking evidence is becoming a simpler thing, so this is something that I think is worth studying. For resources arguing the sceptics side of things, check out this site, and especially this one. Very useful for eliminating some of the more plausible chaff from the wheat...

Howard Dean is an interesting democratic candidate. The interviewer here is quite liberal and doesn't have much pretense of objectivity here (grinds an axe or two) and tries to steer the conversation in that manner, but Dean might be the best of the bunch, from as much as I've gleaned thus far. He proclaims himself as a straight-shooter, and aside from rhetoric he does seem it. If you research him, it seems plausible - at the very least, I trust him a lot more than the other politicians who've already thrown their hats in the ring. He is my dark horse candidate - look for him to suffer a major smear campaign at some point, likely from the White House (with subtler ones emanating from fellow Dems, who have to be careful because everyone is pushing for them to present a united front against the GOP - and indeed, if they are to have a hope, that's what it'll take). Dean is doctor, not a lawyer - like him already. He's done good things in his state, and might end up the best hope of dethroning King George. That said, it's likely he won't survive the primaries - straight shooters rarely do. He doesn't have the machinery of more embedded candidates, and at his best would probably end up like Dukakis - a liberal dude who has little appeal outside the Northeast. Still, one can hope... and who knows: nothing like an evil on one side the aisle to galvanize the opposition and create grassroots movements. I think Dean is probably the best hope of that, which makes him the best hope. I still cling to the fantasy that Bush's reign will, in the long run, be a good thing - if it inspires activism and a changing of the order of things.

While you're at truthout, check out the letter coming from France regarding American propoganda directed against it, and Rober Byrd's thoughts on the state of things...
In the Words of Pablo Picasso
What do you think an artist is? An imbecile who has only eyes, if he is a painter, or ears if he is a musician, or a lyre in every chamber of his heart if he is a poet, or even, if he is a boxer, just his muscles? Far from it: at the same time, he is also a political being, constantly aware of the heartbreaking, passionate, or delightful things that happen in the world, shaping himself completely in their image.

How could it be possible to feel no interest in other people, and with a cool indifference to detach yourself from the very life which they bring to you so abundantly? No, painting is not done to decorate apartments. It is an instrument of war.



this and the links below, I found at this site which has some interesting stuff.
'In the most advanced, more democratic societies, there is good reason to believe that as a society gains more freedom, propaganda takes the place of violence as a means to control people.'


check out this interview with NC, "deterring democracy in Italy: a key case of thought control"... about Berlusconi amongst others.

'In 1990, Berlusconi was found guilty of perjury for denying his membership of the P2 Masonic lodge, an anti-Communist organisation which used Italy’s security services for political ends.'


It get´s worse...

Pacitti: There’s more than a suspicion here in Italy that Berlusconi obtained heavy backing from the Sicilian Mafia at national elections.

Chomsky: Yes, but where did the Sicilian Mafia come from? It didn’t arise from nothing. The Mafia was, as you know, destroyed by Mussolini. And how did the Mafia get reconstituted? It got reconstituted as the American and British armies moved first through Sicily and then southern Italy and the same in southern France and it was reconstituted as an agency to undermine the resistance and undermine the Left.

there is a lot more good stuff in this article...
from this on-line magazine, "justresponse"... not bad


The subpoena duly arrived. I knew that perjury traps would be set for me. I knew that I would be asked about my grand-jury testimony. And I knew that if I deviated from it, I would open myself to perjury charges. So I memorised it.

I stood in the Senate hearing room, raised my right hand, and was sworn in. "The president never instructed you before your testimony before the grand jury not to relay his false account of his relationship with Monica Lewinsky?" asked Rogan.

"We didn't speak about anything."

Once the hearing had come to an end, that, I thought, would be the end of my part in proceedings. Then I got a call from my personal attorney, Bill McDaniel.

"There's an affidavit from a British journalist claiming you committed perjury," he told me. What lunatic twist was this? I couldn't imagine who or what he was talking about. "Who is this person?"

hitchens IS an arsehole!

his excuses for fucking over a friend- "I warned you that this might be trivial"
Now even the positivists agree; the Buddhists hold key to happiness
Spain - another human rights hero a la Turkey/US? Following below comments on Egunkaria, here is a report about the torture of its chief-editor.


Why does the Independent not show it´s articles free on line? I found this one about a squatted social centre near my house, which I really like, the article is quite good, unfortunately I can only get the introduction on line.

Basicincome.org an interesting site with some good arguements, studies and statistics for you economists out there.

The Basque Nationalists fight to use democratic means to manifest their political beliefs goes on. AuB, a Basque party made up of left wingers and Basque Nationalists- basically totally opposed to the current government has been made illegal and a meeting of theirs was broken up by masked riot police yesterday. Here is a posting on Indymedia about this and the closure of a Nationalist newspaper `Egunkaria´.

This is the new paper that has been formed (English edition) which is only available on line at the moment due to shortage of funds, it seems quite interesting.

The elections going on here are regional elections, but have assumed alot of importance as it looks like it will be very close in many places. The two main Parties are the PP (Partido Popular or in English terms New Conservatives/Labour) with the deeply religious and unpopular Jose Maria Aznar at the lead and the PSOE (Socialists) who have been remodeled after their long and astonishingly corrupt term in the 80´s with a much more young and beautiful cast. Things look close due to the War effect, which has now had reprecussions in that Marrocans have started killing Spanish people in Morrocco and that Spain is now a terrorist target. It was also pointed out recently that the USA is not much help fighting ETA and that France have historically been much more useful (part of the Basque Country is in France). France is now part of the "friends of the Axis of Evil" for the US government who apart from the famous renaming of french fries, have according to the French Ambassador in Washington been doing a `smear´ campain against France in leaked lies to the press, the ambassador is reported to have made an official complaint to the US Government. I am currently searching for a link on this one... I read it in El Pais which is quite respectable, but another of those newspapers which does not publish it´s articles on line.
For critical analysis of US foreign policy, read this week's Progressive Response, Volume 7, Number 15.

A lawyer in Belgium attempts to bring Tommy Franks before a war crimes tribunal. On behalf of 17 Iraqis and two Jordanians, the charges go from use of cluster bombs, to failure to prevent hospital looting. Monbiot has more.

14 German attorneys follow suit and sue Bush for Iraq war.

El Baradei warns of nuclear contamination in Iraq. There are over 1000 unsecured radioactive sources in Iraq and there have been clear symptoms of radiation sickness.

Ari resigns. Veteran White House correspondent Russell Mokhiber, author of the "Ari and I" column, wonders why.


Boycott the war! Takes a look at the largest and most lopsided contributors to the Bush campaign - ie Exxon, Pepsico, Walmart etc - and organizes a very focused boycott. Provides contact details for the scoundrels, a letter template, and some facts and info...

Paths of Glory You know things have gotta be really wrong if you're gettin this kind of critism in the mainstream. Some very interesting points about Senator (and Candidate) Graham's accusations that al Queda was greatly strengthened and nursed back to health by America's focus on Iraq.

This is a must read. A speech, but it touches very intelligently on almost every subject up for grabs regarding the "Instant Mix Imperial Democracy."

Humor helps as right-thinkers in the states get scared. Yet I'm seeing a lot of "speak up!" stuff which is very heartening. I fear that the end of the war would pretty much be the end of the activism, at least until the next invasion. Doesn't look that way - people seem galvanized.

The nukes, the nukes, I can't believe this world. What this brief editorial doesn't tell you is that the stated purpose for having these tactical nukes - like busting bunkers and burning bio labs - well, nukes actually are very bad at this. The nuclear scientists think this is hogwash. Why the hell are we pursuing it? Guess it can't get much more shocking or aweing then a coupla mushroom clouds, eh?

Good stuff from the New Republic on the coming Civil War in Iraq. This is now the second place I have heard mention of Hezbollah forming a party in Iraq - first I heard about it at Where is Raed One of my friends believes that all this will be worth it in that it is the first step - and base - from which to wage war on the terror groups responsible for the Palestinian intifada. I wonder if they will be surprised to hear that it has instead helped those some groups?

God I hope they keep this up. The Dems ain't so great, but they sure are better than King George and his Machiavellian court.

They're building the case... My question is, will the states survive long enough to stop buying into these boys crying wolf?

A conspiracy theorists blog which goes the 9/11=burnin of the Reichstag route, but with some good links.

Probably mostly true and very sad. 8 million people over 50 years...

One could argue that this is worse than anything Saddam did. I mean, after all, at least he was involved in war and rebellion when he used his bioweapons. We have no such excuse. The left toolbar on this site has a wonderful array of links to underground sites...

This one's hilarious. Another conspiracy site, but actually some of the points it brings up are very intriguing. If you looked around on the 9-11 conspiracy site above, you probably found the seismic records, which are also rather mysterious... assuming of course it ain't all just hoax, which it very well might be. Tho I gotta say, the more I listen to the present American government, the more willing I find myself to consider other possibilities. I just don't trust those guys one bit.

Ok, there's plenty more - go check out this site for some interesting links. A lot of it is leaning towards the hysterical, but there's a lot of good stuff in there too. Many of the above articles I found there...
Belgium's far-right breaking through with questionable and unprogressive visions: "One, entitled Realities, includes a cartoon strip called "the adventures of an honourable taxpayer". The main character, a white Belgian dressed in tweeds, has his car vandalised by immigrants, is fired because of immigrant job quotas, is beaten up by masked foreigners and is then let down by a powerless police force. One image shows the "hero" having his pocket picked on the metro by an Arab immigrant."

A view from the Middle East. Interesting critique of American 'democracy'.
"This substitution of science for religion accounts for some of the salient traits of American ideology. It explains why philosophy is so unimportant, because it has been reduced to the most impoverished empiricism. It also accounts for the frantic effort to reduce the human and social sciences to "pure" (that is, "hard") sciences: "pure" economics thus takes the place of political economy, and the science of "genes" replaces anthropology and sociology. This last unfortunate aberration provides another point of close contact between contemporary American ideology and Nazi ideology, which has doubtless been facilitated by the profound racism that runs through all American history. Another aberration stemming from this peculiar vision of science is a weakness for cosmological speculation (of which the "Big Bang" theory is the most well- known example)."

The preventive war policy and Iraq packed into a categorical imperative vs. utilitarianism scenario. Kant vs. Mill in Iraq. If only this were what it is... 'Fasc' remains the only suitable 'ism'.

MK-NAOMI - I just stumbled across a load of information postulating the possibility of HIV being man-made, some of it invariably extending into the world of conspiracies and illuminati. Here also a history of AIDS development.


I'm back online, and with a fancy shmancy 12 mbps connection. Thought I would share a smattering of interesting and/or odd sites, not all politically motivated, but what the hell...

This site is a spoof written by, from what I can tell, an actual law firm. They got balls, eh?

The Webby Award Nominee list. This has got a top five in 30 categories, lots of fun browsing. Some are quite good, many are just silly. Some I don't think I can resist and will link below...

Good news site that covers journalism itself. Does a good bit of collecting from other sources, a la truthout.

Media Whores Online. The title gives you a pretty good idea what this site is like - somewhat nasty, but usually from a good starting point. Don't know that I'd put my eggs in their basket (I'm more of an 'other cheek' kinda guy) but some interesting stuff.

Counterspin Central. A fellow blogspotter who seems to have views which are sympathetic to ours.

Demographia. All things demographic. I just think this stuff is very cool, and a great research tool. If people start throwing around numbers, very useful to be able to convert raw data into percentages and get at the truth, f'rinstance.

All Africa Good news site, focus on Africa of course.

This one is just a special kinda hilarious I think these people are serious. Live in the 20th century's castle - an underground missile silo! Very limited supply! Be the only kid on the block with this collector's property!

Anyway boys, I'm back and I'm startin to get some ideas...
The Monthly Review, the oldest and, as ZNet's Michael Albert has said, possibly the most consistent leftist publication in the US brings this Chomsky interview. The Iraq war identified as a test case for the establishment of new norms for the use of military force.

And the future?

"[The Bush administration] have to pull it off for about another six years. By that time they hope they will have institutionalized highly reactionary programs within the United States. They will have left the economy in a very serious state, with huge deficits, pretty much the way they did in the 1980s. And then it will be somebody else's problem to patch it together. Meanwhile, they will have, they hope, undermined social programs, diminished democracy, which of course they hate, by transferring decisions out of the public arena into private hands. and they will have done it in a way that will be very hard to disentangle. So they will have left a legacy internally that will be painful and hard. But only for the majority of the population. The people they're concerned about are going to be making out like bandits. Very much like the Reagan years. It’s the same people, after all."


Just noticed, Amnesty is to release a report accusing coalition troops of torturing Iraqi POW's.

Then, Ray transmitted his weekly round-up. Hopefully we'll get more of this when he's back online - to me personally, an example of great weblogging. Enjoy.

Ranger's Commentary


fas-cism (fash’iz’em) n.

A system of government that exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with belligerent nationalism.

** More PNAC

** On “half-hearted empire”

** Some of the joining of business and politics, tho a fairly tame look at it, actually, compared with many things I’ve seen.

** An angry writer that lets out some of the truths of the war that aren’t covered in the states too much, but again just a quick gloss. This writer actually argues for bringing Bush to a war crimes tribunal (along with Saddam); I know many people think these are crazy thoughts, but personally I think we’re going to live in constant war until we establish a supra-national body that can break through the sovereignty shield when great wrongs are committed. That’s exactly what America says it (and it alone, empty promises aside) has the right to do - only problem being, America doesn’t represent morality, it simply represents America (and not even that - it represents the wealthiest sliver of a percentile while actually playing fast and loose with the lives of the masses, the ones most likely to get hit when the next bomb goes). I’ve come to believe that nationalism has no place in a peaceful world - it creates false distinctions and lends itself to jingoism. Just as we had to grow from city-states to nations to end the majority of civil war, we now must grow from nations to The World in order to end the majority of our current fratricide (and the sister equivalent, I’ve been over here too long, forget the word). As long as people can look at Nazism and excuse it as a German quirk, they gain no lesson from it. It is a human quirk, and possible in any place, any society. Separating it from ourselves and sidestepping the necessary introspection is dangerous - it is how history repeats.
People used to like to talk about the evil Japanese, but just 70 years before their great war of conquest it was a very peaceful nation, a Buddhist nation in fact (albeit a rather corrupt form of Buddhism). It’s surprisingly easy to hijack nationalism. And people are shockingly blind to the errors inherent in themselves, as long as they are able to project it forth onto the ‘other.’
Tom Paine said, I believe, something along the lines of “My country is the world. My countrymen are all mankind.” Well, until we get closer to that, we ain’t gonna go anywhere but stay stuck in this cycle. I’ve said before that if we are ever to have hope of a peaceful world, it will take a massive power surrendering part of its sovereignty to a supra-national power. All others will follow. The institutions are in place. All America needs do is rethink the world, and we could do it. What a pity that instead America is descending into the familiar pattern of jingoism, conquest, overreaching, and eventual implosion. At this pivot point, we are turning the wrong way.

** I do enjoy all the comparisons between Clinton and Bush that come up these days... how everyone got so incredibly mad and outraged when Clinton lied about his personal extramarital affair, yet don’t blink an eye at Bush’s lies concerning national affairs (and the deaths such large decisions affect) are basically ignored, or jocularly referred to as necessary fictions to get the dander of Americans raised high enough that we’d go for their war(s).

** It speaks the feelings of some people that [this] site is becoming quite popular.

Many of you are likely familiar with Ramsey Clark, former US Attorney General. He’s the author of the impeachment.
Personally, I think it’s somewhat hypocritical to threaten Bush with impeachment when we have let other presidents go who have committed crimes of equal repugnance (Reagan in South America comes to mind, or even Clark’s former boss, Johnson, in Vietnam) and certainly the dirty side of politics has long been an acknowledged part of American politics. However, if we ever hope to end this particular brand of blandicized ugliness, we’re gonna hafta make an example of someone, someday.

** This lady is pretty upset about the lies of the administration, and throws in a coupla interesting tidbits - like the recent march of 1 million shi’ites in Iraq chanting “No to America!” How many papers reported that one?

** Ah, this one I really like. Looks a bit at the bin Ladens and Saudis and some of those connections. It’s funny that it is absolutely true - everyone knows where the truth will lead, and everyone admits that you can’t go there. Isn’t politically allowed. What a farce.

** Ah yes, the balancing act. Do nothing, and the city’s museums are robbed of millenia of culture, smashed or stolen. Do too much, and we are the worst version of Big Brother. It’s tough to do the right thing in this situation, maybe impossible. Which again begs the question, why are we in this position? PS This is a NY Times article, for those to whom that still equates with respectable journalism.

** This one is saying something I have been saying for a long time - wars of national and international proportions do nothing to stop terrorism. If anything they increase it, both by providing newly bitter foes and creating the chaos in which terror-type violence can thrive and grow. Trying to sell Iraq in this way - or the future wars in the mid-east if Bush wins 2004 - just makes me sick. Those who think that the Israeli-Palestinian problem can be solved thru removing regimes friendly to Hamas et al don’t get what Hamas is. Such wars will only strengthen said guerilla movements. America probably never would have been incited to full revolt if the crown hadn’t fired on innocent crowds all those centuries ago (it barely had enough support as it was, with Tories basically equalling Patriots in number). Nothing is different now. The more force we use, the worse the acts we invite.