Sunday, April 30, 2006

Conceptual Insulin

Conceptual Insulin

After a decade or two of pro-forma numbers,
suck-up-journalism, and war becoming the theater-
of-war, terrorism starts bringing you that old pay-per-view
in sensurround.

And demonstrating the classic symptoms of mind-candy-
diabetes, you start jonesing to shoot up some

The pollution of history surges past like so much
the orthographic complexities of the-"N"-word,
General Baccus' "philosophical-differences" with Guantanamo
"interrogations", EPA hazardous-waste-databases swirling away in some
Koyanisqaatsian twilight-of-the-real.

Despite your mortgaged life's coming with significant
the war-salesmen are still on every channel hawking
an Iraqi Hirohito, or an Iraqi MacArthur,
and name-checking Halabja like one of Aesop's

It out-Orwells
Orwell. It out-Kafkas
Kafka. It simply outs
Pete Williams. Remember the Maine.
Remember the Alamo. Remember 9-1-1. And you say,
what does Allende or Pinochet have to do with anything,
with the price of Baghdad-tea in Pyongyang? With non-denial
denials-of-service? With no-child's-left-
behind? With a dimwit for president single-handedly refuting
by example?

Now that the latest image-campaign has rebranded bribery as a truth-
now that we enforce amnesia to remember only the Passover massacres of our
now that we've accustomed ourselves to the spectacle of the West Bank as a stay-at-home
Palestinians taken-out, a la Ze'evi,
like lice,
who needs to cavil about the innocent few like Daraz Khan,
or Veronica Bowers, shot down by the omniscience of an un-manned-

The Falwell Wahhabi-wannabes preach abstinence-
education, not so much teaching against sex, as abstaining against
teaching. CNN is satellite-bouncing their pedagogy straight
into Castro's kitchen, an NTSC bazaar of rightwing follies, and
lip-synching triple-speak doubletalk decked out in all the
synchronized majesty of a plutogogical
June Taylor Dancers.

Someone is declaring the U.N., declaring international law
irrelevant. Someone is canceling the FBI investigation of
Abdullah bin Laden. Someone at a CIA funded terrorist-
think-tank is lecturing on total-quality-
terrorism and asking, who is
the customer?

And Castro wonders "do they need school vouchers
for this? I mean, call me a neo-Luddite, but since when is murder
an assisted-martyrdom-operation? Preemptive-
counterproliferation, preemptive-retaliation, my Bay-of-Pigs

And from his permanently insecure location,
Saddam Hussein is watching Wolf Blitzer,
and the sentencing of Noelle Bush from his
gold-fixtured toilet,
squeezing his Charmin.
He feels like Peter Sellers, but
isn't certain whether it's Strangelove,
or Chance the Gardener:
either he wants to change the channel,
or blow this whole we'll-meet-again thing
up. But he's 100% sure, George W.
is inspector Clousseau.

And you, me,
etherized like a patient spread out on
300 channels of fiberoptic sky,
glue-eyed to this electronic
civilization, this pyramid of lightbulbs:
industrial-glass surrounding
a flagrant thread of heavy metal,
encased in engineered

Does it shine, does it
go out, does it oppose the current,
does it flicker in doubt?
Does it shatter,
will it burn,
does it electrocute,
can it learn?
Does it persuade,
does it corrode,
does it dream,
ever so peacefully,
or surging with power preemptively,
does it explode?

----- Terry Provost

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Media Crusade Hellfire Misfire

In February 2002 headlines were abuzz with speculation that a CIA Predator drone might have killed Osama bin Laden with a Hellfire missile. (In passing, wouldn’t it be nice, as long as we are fighting a Crusade, not to use religiously tendentious names for our advanced weapons systems?)

As it turned out, it was not bin Laden, but a villager named Daraz Khan.

When this became clear, the headlines disappeared. The murder of Khan was erased. And because the Predator is such a remote control weapon, who even knows who the murderer was?

The thing I find remarkable is how the news media knew this was no longer a story. (There was of course follow-up on the victim. Briefly. But no follow-up, to my knowledge, as to his murderer.)

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Lice takeout

"I believe there is no place for two people in our country... Palestinians are like lice. You have to take them out like lice."
---- Rehavam Ze'evi, Israeli Minister of Tourism, assassinated by
Palestinian extremists in October, 2001.

When Israeli's recently stormed a jail in Jericho, forcing prisoners to come out in nothing but their underwear, it was to seize Palestinians accused of assassinating Ze'evi.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Margulis, Einstein, Darwin, and Newton

Darwinism is a lousy theory, and not particularly scientific. One of the worst things about the theory of “intelligent design” is that it distracts attention from far better alternatives to Darwin. The best is biologist Lynn Margulis’ theory of endosymbiosis. Not only does it refute Darwin, it has been verified, and pertains to very nearly every plant and animal cell on the planet.

Although her groundbreaking work is accepted in the scientific community, it is little known in the broader culture.

This may be because our culture wants to believe that women can’t do science (for convenient sexist reasons Larry Summers): that there can’t be a female giant of science on a par with Newton, Einstein, and Darwin.

It may also be that the message of Margulis’ theory is inhospitable to dominant dogma about economic competition and survival of the fittest: Margulis believes that cooperation is the dominant force at work in evolution.

In passing let us observe that theories of intelligent design are insults to religious belief: only a theory of omniscient design would be compatible with an omniscient creator.

In the human realm it is not so much intelligent design or survival of the fittest as survival of the witless that dominates survival chances, as witness his Cluelessness-in-Chief.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Ex nihilo, ex post facto casus belli

Whereas the U.S. had dubious pretexts for war with Spain, (the Maine), and Vietnam (the Maddox), it had no pretext at all for the invasion of Iraq save perhaps Saddam’s nonexistent WMD and Saddam’s nonexistent connections to 9-1-1. (Saddam had about as much to do with 9-1-1 as Salvador Allende and Augusto Pinochet who overthrew him on 9/11/73 in a U.S. backed coup).

Then came the ex nihilo, ex post facto casus belli of “democracy promotion” in the Middle East.

Quite a trick, ex nihilo, ex post facto casus belli.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Hirohito does Iraq

Does anyone remember the Bushies planning for postwar Iraq to be governed by an Iraqi MacArthur and an Iraqi Hirohito? Guess Allawi and the dog-gone generals of Abu Ghraib (Miller, Sanchez, Karpinski) didn't measure up.

And while we’re on the subject of phony war crimes tribunals, what’s wrong with this picture? What was Rummy doing in Iraq anyway? Maybe selling Saddam the chemicals for his poison gas attack on Halabja.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Koyaanisqatsi, industrial terrorism, and the twilight of the real

Shortly after completing his Qatsi film trilogy, (Koyaanisqatsi, Powaqqatsi, and Naqoyqatsi), Godfrey Reggio said in an NPR interview that he looked “at the world from the point of view of we’re in the twilight of the real.” This as the U.S. staged (theater of war, theater of cruelty, theater hospital) its real invasion for unreal reasons in Iraq.

The real keeps disappearing, like documents being secretly removed from the national archives and “reclassified”. Like EPA hazardous waste databases,(see March 2002 at link) meant to provide localities with information to protect themselves from industrial poisons, but disappeared to protect people from terrorism (not, of course, chemical industry terrorism, or to protect chemical industry profits.)

Friday, April 14, 2006

"Philosophical Differences" over Torture

My understanding is that all of the interrogation(torture) techniques that were approved at Abu Ghraib were also approved at the U.S. torture facility at Guantanamo Bay. I remember thinking at the time that the departure of General Rick Baccus (October 2002) amid reports of his “philosophical differences” with the new direction at Guantanamo... that those reports were a pretty sure sign that there was torture going on at Guantanamo (final confirmation of this is abundantly clear from Alfred McCoy’s “A Question of Torture”.)

Officially Baccus left because of the "merging of detention and interrogation missions" which in turn was what General Antonio Taguba called "doctrinally unsound" at Abu Ghraib, and what he credited with leading to "sadistic, blatant, and wanton criminal abuses" there.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Mind candy diabetes

Eye candy. Ear candy. Nose candy. What about mind candy?

The mass media menu is full of mind candy. And too much sugar does lead to diabetes.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Pro forma war numbers

It should be remembered that the costs of the Iraq war are being kept “off-budget” through the use of “emergency supplemental appropriations”, and so do not contribute to the officially reported totals for the budget deficit. The process is akin to the use of “pro forma numbers” by WorldCom and others to defraud billions from markets: a process that ended with the biggest bankruptcy in history.

Giving intellectual-head

In his book “Second Front”, John MacArthur quotes Dan Rather to the effect that “suck-up journalism” had aided and abetted the selling of Iraq War I.

To state the obvious, the underlying metaphor is of intellectual prostitutes giving intellectual-head.

Sunday, April 09, 2006


"There's a front row seat,
for the chosen few.
The latest war,
as a pay-per-view.
Famine and disaster
right in front of you,
and the more you watch
the less you do."

----- Jackson Browne, Information Wars