• "God invented war so Americans could learn geography" -- Mark Twain.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Our Status as A Free People

The News
: England's Home Secretary has put forth a proposal to have the private sector manage and run a communications database that will keep track of everyone's calls, emails, texts and internet use 24/7. The proposal's proponents said that it included "tougher legal safeguards to guarantee against leaks and accidental data losses." (But not to safeguard privacy.)

The Note in the News: Sir Ken Macdonald, the former director of public prosecutions, said the proposed database would be "an unimaginable hell-house of personal private information," "It would be a complete readout of every citizen's life in the most intimate and demeaning detail. No government of any colour is to be trusted with such a roadmap to our souls." McDonald added:

"The tendency of the state to seek ever more powers of surveillance over its citizens may be driven by protective zeal. But the notion of total security is a paranoid fantasy which would destroy everything that makes living worthwhile. We must avoid surrendering our freedom as autonomous human beings to such an ugly future. We should make judgments that are compatible with our status as free people."

The Woodchip Gazette wishes its readers the courage to stand for a Free and Autonomous New Year.

©WCG, 2008


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Holiday Bashing

The News:
Gay and transgender groups in England and Italy have bashed Pope Benedict for bashing gays. According to the Guardian and BBC News, in a Christmas address to the Roman Curia, the Pope allegedy "said that saving humanity from homosexual or transsexual behaviour was as important as protecting the environment." Gay groups denounced the comments as "unacceptable" and "unscientific."

The Note: The Pope said no such thing. The word "homosexuality" does not appear in the address at all; and one is left to wonder why the BBC feels compelled to concoct quotes out of whole cloth. In response, Father Federico Lombardi, a Vatican spokesman, said that the pope had not wished specifically to attack homosexuality or sex change operations in his speech. "He was speaking more generally about gender theories which overlook the fundamental difference in creation between men and women and focus instead on the role of cultural conditioning,"

Not surprisingly, the press does not provide any link to the actual text of the address; however a James Crossley's blog provides the following unofficial translation:

Eminent Cardinals,
Venerated brothers in the Episcopate and the Priesthood,
dear brothers and sisters!

The Nativity of the Lord is at hand. Every family feels the desire to get together in order to enjoy the unique and unrepeatable atmosphere that this feast is able to create.

Even the family of the Roman Curia finds itself gathered today, according to a beautiful custom thanks to which we have the joy of meeting together and exchanging best wishes in this special spiritual climate.

To each of you I address my heartfelt greeting, with full acknowledgment of the much appreciated collaboration that you render to the Successor of Peter.

I sincerely thank the Dean of Cardinals Angelo Sodano , who has spoken in behalf of all who are here and those who are at work in the various offices of the Vatican, including the Pontifical Representatives.

I have referred to the special atmosphere of Christmas. I like to think that it is almost a prolongation of that mysterious joy, that intimate exultation, that was felt by the Holy Family, the angels and the shepherds in Bethlehem the night when Jesus was born.

I would call it 'the atmosphere of grace', thinking of the expression St. Paul used in the Letter to Titus: "Apparuit gratia Dei Salvatoris nostri omnibus hominibus" (The grace of God has appeared, saving all men)(cfr Tt 2,11).

The Apostle affirms that the grace of God manifested itself 'to all men'. I would say that this also shows the mission of the Church, and in particular, that of the Successor of Peter and his co-workers, namely, to contribute so that the grace of God, the Redeemer, may be ever more visible to everyone, and may bring salvation to everyone.

The year that is about to end was rich in retrospective looks at significant dates in the recent history of the Church, but also rich in events which brought with them signs of orientation for our path towards the future.

Fifty years ago, Pope Pius XII died. Fifty years ago, John XXIII was elected Pope. Forty years have passed since the publication of the Encyclical Humanae Vitae and thirty years since the death of its author, Pope Paul VI.

The message of these events has been reported and meditated in many ways during the course of the year, so I will not dwell on them again at this time.

But memory looks beyond just those events in the past century, and in this way, also brings us to the future.

On the evening of June 28, in the presence of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, and the representatives of many other Churches and ecclesiastical communities, we inaugurated the Pauline Year at the Basilica of St. Paul outside the Walls to commemorate the birth of the Apostle of the Gentiles 2000 years ago.

For us, Paul is not a figure of the past. Through his letters, he still speaks to us today. And whoever enters into contact with him is impelled by him towards the crucified and resurrected Christ.

The Pauline Year is a year of pilgrimage not only in the sense of a visit to the Pauline sites, but also and above all, a pilgrimage of the heart, along with St. Paul, towards Jesus Christ.

Paul teaches us definitively that the Church is the Body of Christ, that the Head and the Body are inseparable, and that one cannot love Christ without loving his Church and her living community.

Three specific events of the year drawing to a close stand out particularly.

First of all, World Youth Day in Australia, a great feast of faith, which gathered together more than 200,000 young people from all parts of the world, bringing them together not only externally - in the geographic sense, but, thanks to sharing the joy of being Christian, bringing them together interiorly.

Alongside WYD, there were the two trips to the United States and to France, in which the Church was made visible before the world and for the world as a spiritual force that can show ways of living that through the testimony of faith, brings light to the world. These were, indeed, days that radiated luminosity. They radiated confidence in the value of life and in the commitment for good.

Finally, we must recall the Bishops Synod - pastors coming from around the world met together about the Word of God which they exalted together, around the Word of God, whose great manifestation is found in Sacred Scripture.

That which we often take for granted daily, we grasped freshly in its sublimity:

- The fact that God speaks to us, that he answers our questions.

- The fact that he, using human words, speaks to us in person and we can listen to him, and in listening, learn to know him and to understand him.

- The fact that he enters our lives to shape it, and we can step out of our life in order to enter the vastness of his mercy.

Thus we realised all over that God in his Word addresses each of us, speaks to the heart of every being. If our heart is awake and opens itself to listen, then everyone can learn to hear the Word that is addressed specifically to him.

But only when we hear God speaking to each of us in such a personal way, then we can also understand that his Word is meant to bring us each closer to one another, so that we may find the way out of what is only personal.

This Word has shaped a common history and will continue to do so. And so we realize all over that precisely because the Word is so personal, then we can understand it correctly and totally only within the 'we' of the community instituted by God - always conscious that we can never exhaust it completely, that it always has something new to say to each generation.

We have understood that, of course, the Biblical texts were written in specific times, and therefore constitute in this sense a book from the past. But we also saw that their message does not remain in the past nor can they be kept there. God fundamentally always speaks in the present, and we will have heard the Bible fully only if we discover the 'present' of God, which calls to us now.

Finally, it was important to experience that in the Church, there is a Pentecost even today - that the Church speaks in many tongues, and this, not only in the external sense that all the languages in the world are represented in her, but in an even deeper sense: in her are found the multiple ways of experiencing God and the world, the richness of different cultures, and only thus can we see the vastness of human existence, and because of this, the vastness of the Word of God.

We have also learned that Pentecost continues to be 'under way', it is still incomplete. There are a multitude of languages which still await the Word of God in the Bible translated for them.

And it has been moving to see the multiple testimonials of lay faithful who in every part of the world not only live the Word of God, but suffer for it.

A precious contribution was the address of a rabbi on the Sacred Scriptures of Israel, which are our Sacred Scriptures too.

And an important moment for the Synod was when Patriarch Bartholomew, in the light of Orthodox tradition, and with penetrating analysis, opened for us another way of access to the Word of God.

Let us now hope that the experiences and acquisitions of the Synod may effectively influence the life of the Church: on personal relations with Sacred Scriptures; on their interpretation in the liturgy and in catechesis as well as in scientific study - so that the Bible does not remain a Word of the past, but that its vitality and actual relevance may be read and disclosed in the vast dimensions of its meanings.

The pastoral visits this year also had to do with the presence of the Word of God. Their true meaning can only be in serving that presence.

On such occasions, the Church makes itself publicly perceptible, and in this way, the fact that faith is at least the question of God. This public manifestation of the faith calls out to all who seek to understand the present and the forces which operate in it.

The phenomenon of the World Youth Days, particularly, has become increasingly an object of analysis, by those who seek to understand this particular species, one might say, of youth culture.

Before this, Australia had never seen as many people from all the other continents as during the last World Youth Day in Sydney, not even during the Olympics. And if earlier, there had been apprehensions that the appearance of such great numbers of young people would represent a threat to public order, paralyze traffic, block daily activities, provoke violence and make room for drug use, all such fears were proven to be unfounded.

It was a feast of joy - a joy that ultimately involved even those who were reluctant. Ultimately, no one felt it as an annoyance or a disturbance.

The days of the youth became a feast for everyone. Or rather, it was the first time everyone realized what a feast is, a celebration - an event during which everyone is, so to speak, outside himself, beyond the self, and therefore, truly with oneself and with others.

What then is the nature of what takes place during World Youth Day? What are the forces that act? Fashionable analyses tend to consider WYD as a variant of modern youth culture, as a type of rock festival modified in the ecclesial sense, with the Pope as somewhat of a star; and that with or without faith, these festivals would basically be the same thing. In this way, such analyses would do away with the question of God.

There are even Catholic voices who share this tendency, seeing WYD as a great spectacle, beautiful even, but with little meaning for the question of faith, and on the presence of the Gospel in our time. They would consider them days of festive ecstasy which, in the end, would leave everything just as before, without making any deep influence on life. Thus, they can find no explanation for the specialness of those days and the particular nature of their joy, the creative power of communion.

But first of all, one must note that the World Youth Days do not simply consist of that one week during which the events are publicly visible to the whole world. There is a long exterior and interior path that leads to them.

The Cross, accompanied by the Icon of the Mother of the Lord, goes on pilgrimage through the countries of the world. Faith, in its own way, needs to be seen and touched.

The encounter with the Cross, which is carried and touched by the faithful, becomes an interior encounter with Him who died on the Cross for us. The encounter with the Cross inspires within the hearts of young people the memory of the God who made himself man and suffers with us. And we see the woman whom he has given us to be our Mother.

The solemn WYD days are only the culmination of a long road along which young people proceed to encounter each other and to encounter Christ.

In Australia, it was not by chance that the Via Crucis through the inner city became a climactic event of those days. It synthesized once more all that had happened in preceding years and called attention to him who brings us all together - the God who loved us to the point of death on the Cross.

And so, the Pope is not the star around which these events take place. He is totally and only the Vicar [of Christ]. He points to the Other who is among us.

Finally, the solemn Liturgy is the center of all the celebration, because in it, what we cannot realize takes place, that for which we are always in wait. He is present. He is among us. He has torn open the heavens and this makes the earth bright. It is this that makes life joyous and open, and that unites us with one another in a joy that cannot be compared to the ecstasy of a rock festival.

Friedrich Nietzsche once said: "The question is not how to organize a feast, bit to find the persons who are able to derive joy from it". According to Scripture, joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit (cfr Gal 5,22): this fruit was abundantly perceptible in the days at Sydney.

Just as a long road precedes every World Youth Day, another long road follows. Friendships are formed which inspire a different lifestyle that is interiorly sustained. The great World Youth Days, not least of all, have the purpose of inspiring such friendships capable of making new places of faith emerge in the world, which are also places of hope, and of charity that is practised and lived.

Joy as a fruit of the Holy Spirit - thus we come to the central theme of Sydney which was, in fact, the Holy Spirit. In this retrospective, I wish once more to point out in summary the orientation that was implicit in the theme.

1. First of all, there is the affirmation that comes to us from the start of the story of Creation, which tells of the Creator Spirit that moved over the waters, created the world and continuously renews it.

Faith in the Creator Spirit is an essential element of the Christian Creed. The fact that matter has a mathematical structure, is full of spirit (energy), is the foundation of the modern science of nature.

Only because matter is structured intelligently, our mind is able to interpret it and actively remodel it. The fact that this intelligent structure comes from the same Creator Spirit that also gave us our spirit, implies a task and a responsibility.

The ultimate basis of our responsibility towards the earth is our faith in creation. The earth is not simply a property that we can exploit according to our interests and desires. It is a gift of the Creator who designed its intrinsic order, and through this, has given us the orientative indications to follow as administrators of his Creation.

The fact that the earth, the cosmos, mirror the Spirit Creator also means that their rational structure - which beyond their mathematical structure, become almost palpable through experimentation - carries in itself an ethical orientation.

The Spirit that shaped them is more than mathematics - it is Goodness itself, which, through the language of creation, shows us the road to correct living.

Since faith in the Creator is an essential part of the Christian Creed, the Church cannot and should not limit itself to transmitting to its faithful only the message of salvation. She has a responsibility for Creation, and it should validate this responsibility in public.

In so doing, it should defend not just the earth, water and air as gifts of Creation that belong to everyone. She should also protect man from destroying himself.

It is necessary to have something like an ecology of man, understood in the right sense. It is not metaphysics that has been overcome by time, when the Church speaks of the nature of the human being as man and woman, and asks that this natural order be respected.

This has to do with faith in the Creator and listening to the language of creation, which, if disregarded, would be man's self-destruction and therefore a destruction of God's work itself.

That which has come to be expressed and understood with the term 'gender' effectively results in man's self-emancipation from Creation (nature) and from the Creator. Man wants to do everything by himself and to decide always and exclusively about anything that concerns him personally. But this is to live against truth, to live against the Spirit Creator.

The tropical rain forests deserve our protection, yes, but man does not deserve it less as a Creature of the Spirit himself, in whom is inscribed a message that does not mean a contradiction of human freedom but its condition.

The great theologians of Scholasticism described matrimony - which is the lifelong bond between a man and a woman - as a sacrament of Creation, that the Creator himself instituted, and that Christ, without changing the message of Creation, welcomed in the story of his alliance with men.

Part of the announcement that the Church should bring to men is a testimonial for the Spirit Creator present in all of nature, but specially in the nature of man, who was created in the image of God.

One must reread the encyclical Humanae vitae with this perspective: the intention of Pope Paul VI was to defend love against consumer sex, the future against the exclusive claim of the moment, and human nature against manipulation.

2. I would like to add some more brief observations on other aspects of pneumatology [knowledge of the Holy Spirit]. If the Creator Spirit manifests itself above all in the grand silence of the universe, in its intelligent structure - faith, beyond this, tells us something unexpected: namely, that the Spirit speaks, so to say, in human words; it has entered history, and as the force that shapes history, is also a Spirit that speaks. It is the Word which comes to us in ancient Scriptures and in the New Testament.

What this means for us was expressed wondrously by St. Ambrose in one of his letters: "Even now, as I read the Divine Scriptures, God is taking a walk through Paradise" (Ep 49,3).

Reading Scripture, even today we can ourselves almost roam the garden of Paradise and meet God as he walks there. Between the theme of World Youth Day in Sydney and the general Assembly of the Bishops' Synod, there is a profound internal connection.

The two subjects "Holy Spirit" and "Word of God" go together. Reading Scripture, we also learn that Christ and the Holy Spirit are inseparable.

When St. Paul with surprising synthesis says, "The Lord is the Spirit" ( 2 Cor 3, 17), we see not just the trinitarian unity between the Son and the Holy Spirit, but above all, their union with respect to the story of salvation.

In the passion and resurrection of Christ the veils of purely literal sense are taken down, making visible the presence of the God who speaks.

Reading Scripture together with Christ, we learn to hear in human words the voice of the Holy Spirit, and we discover the unity of the Bible.

3. We come now to the third dimension of pneumatology which consists, precisely, in the inseparability of Christ and the Holy Spirit. It is perhaps most beautifully manifested in St. John's narration of the first apparition of the Resurrected Christ to his disciples: the Lord breathed on his disciples and thus gave them the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Just as the breath of God at the dawn of Creation had transformed the dust of the earth into living man, thus the breath of Christ welcomes us to ontological communion with the Son - it makes us new creatures. And this is why it is the Holy Spirit that makes us say with the Son, "Abba, Father!" (cfr Jn 20,22; Rm 8,15).

4. Thus, as the fourth dimension, there emerges spontaneously the connection between the Spirit and the Church. Paul in 1 Corinthians 12 and Romans 12, showed how the Church as the Body of Christ is thus an organism of the Holy Spirit, in which the gifts of the Holy Spirit merges all individuals together into a single living organism.

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the Body of Christ. In the entirety of this Body we find our task, we live for each other and each one dependent on the other, within the depth of him who lived and suffered for all of us, and through his Spirit, draws us to himself into the unity of all the children of God.

"Do you, too, want to live in the Spirit of Christ? Then, be in the Body of Christ", Augustine says in this respect (Tr. in Jo. 26, 13).

Thus with the subject of the Holy Spirit which oriented World Youth Day in Australia, and in a more hidden way, the weeks of the Bishops Synod, the entire breadth of Christian faith is made visible, a breadth which leads, from responsibility for Creation and for man's existence in tune with Creation, through Scriptures and the story of salvation, to Christ, and from there, to the living community of the Church - in its structure and responsibility, as in its vastness and freedom, expressed as much in the multiplicity of charisms as in the Pentecostal image of the multitude of languages and cultures.

An integral part of celebration is joy. The feast iself can be organized, but not joy. This can only be received as a gift. In fact, it is given to us in abundance, and for this, we are grateful.

Just as St. Paul describes joy as the fruit of the Holy Spirit, so too, John in his Gospel, links the Spirit and joy closely. The Holy Spirit gives us joy. He is joy itself. Joy is the gift in which all the other gifts are contained. It is the expression of happiness, of being in harmony with oneself, which can only be achieved by being in harmony with God and his creation.

Part of the nature of joy is to radiate itself, the need to communicate itself. The missionary spirit of the Church is nothing but the impulse to communicate the joy that has been given to us.

That such joy may always be alive in us and thus iraddiate the world in its tribulations - that is my wish at the end of this year. Along with a sincere gratitude for all your efforts and work, I wish that this joy which comes from God may be given to us abundantly in the New Year.

I entrust these wishes to the intercession of the Virgin Mary, Mater divinae gratiae, asking her that we may experience the Christmas festivities in the joy and peace of the Lord.

With these sentiments towards all of you and the large family of the Roman Curia, I impart the Apostolic Blessing from my heart.

Translated by Teresa Benedetta (Papa Ratzinger Website)



Monday, December 15, 2008

Shoeless in America

The News
: Enraged by Bush's smirking arrogance, Muntader al-Zaidi, an Iraqi journalist for Al-Baghdadia television, hurled his shoe at the ducking president and then the other, calling Bush a dog. He was immediately subdued and severely beaten by security thugs. Almost immediately, thousands of supportive Iraqis took to the streets demanding al-Zaidi's release. According to the New York Times, a "thinly veiled glee" pervaded the Arab world.

The Note: And doubtless beyond.

©WGC, 2008


Saturday, November 15, 2008

New York Times Shields U.S. from Incoming Truths

The News:
In an article headlined "Russia Backs Off on Europe Missile Threat," the New York Times reported that "President of Dimitri Medvedev of Russia retreated Friday from his threat to deploy missiles on Europe’s borders, ... if President-elect Obama joined Russia and France in calling for a conference on European security by next summer." The Times continued that "at a meeting in Nice hosted by President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, Mr. Medvedev backed away from the bellicose speech he gave last week." According to the Times, Sarkozy "helped ease the way for Mr. Medvedev’s retreat" by supporting "the idea of talks" on a new security architecture for Europe to be held this coming year between the United State, Russia and European states. The Times added that "Mr. Sarkozy made clear that he wants the United States to think again about the missile defense systems that it plans to build in Poland and the Czech Republic."

The accompanying photo showed perturbed Medvedev standing at attention looking like an oversized schoolboy being admonished by Sarkozy.

The News: In an articled headlined "Sarkozy backs Russian calls for pan-European security pact," the UK Guardian reported that "President Nicolas Sarkozy of France joined Russia in condemning the Pentagon's plans to install missile defence bases in central Europe yesterday and backed President Dmitri Medvedev's previously ignored calls for a new pan-European security pact." The article went on to say that "Both presidents concluded a Russia-EU summit... with an agreement to convene a major international conference next summer at which the Americans, Russians and the 27 countries of the EU should come up with a blueprint for new post-cold war "security architecture" in Europe.

The accompanying photo showed a smiling and assured Medvedev shaking hands with a determined looking Sarkozy.

The Note: Thank God we can count on the flagship of U.S journalism to do what's right by the country.

©WCG, 2008

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


MEXICO CITY -- Scientists at the National Autonomous University of Mexico announced today that they had discovered how to make diamonds from tequila. The discovery comes as the world recession is hiting Mexico. A happy president Felipe Calderon, announced that the discovery had solved Mexico's endemic liquidity crisis.


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Delirium Tremens

So, Barack Obama has been elected president by a hefty margin.   Liberals and Progressives are overjoyed and are vociferating as if (a mere eight years late) the New Millenium has indeed arrived.

I am sorry to rain on the party, but Obama is not going to introduce any fundamental change to the neo-liberal regime which has gotten us to where we are. Nor is he going to reverse the irreversible course of history, which is that all empires have to rise and fall.

A neo-con is simply a neo liberal gone punk. Domestically and diplomatically Obama will provide some emollients and better manners, but I doubt little else. He may take a few paltry steps towards realizing Bismarckian social benefits and he may go back to an Eisenhower-esque diplomacy of working "through" allies and international institutions. Otherwise the Flush Democrats are already "warning" us not to expect a new New Deal (i.e. a new faux social democracy) and the New York Times is peddling its usual demented ravings telling us it's time to leave off the "folly" of Iraq and focus on the "necessary" war in Afghanistan. No you dimits!!!! I am not Jove, I am Neputne!!!!!!

I admire Obama. He is likely the most intelligent president we've had since that racist bastard, Woodrow Wilson. Obama is engaging, informed and in control. I am glad most Americans showed that they could overcome their obsessive compulsive disorder over skin hue. But, to paraphrase Tolstoy, politics is something more than personality. Americans' disastrous propensity for exceptionalism has blinded them both to understanding the true nature of the country and to thinking that historical laws do not apply to us.

Like all leaders, Obama is constrained by his context and the material he has to work with. It may be that, far from being a creature of his time, he stands outside it at some Archimedean Point and understands that neither the actual nor the merely possible reflect the ideal. But assuming that to be the case, he is still constrained by the calculus of history. I fear his options are limited. I wish I were wrong.

©WCG, 2008

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Sodom & Gomorah

The News: Bank of American and JP Morgan/Chase are seeking to stem the tide of foreclosures by renegotiating the terms of a select number of at-risk mortgages. Chase officials said their effort was not an act of charity or a response to government pressure. By renegotiating loans with borrowers, the bank is hoping to reduce the losses it incurs in the foreclosure process.

The Note: Charity!??? Perish the thought! God forbid that as we enter the Advent Season we should be mindful of widows and orphans or the humble and distressed. How repugnant to think we should incur some loss to help out our neighbor.

What a radically perverted culture we have become. The Fetish of the Commodity has devoured us.

©WCG, 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

World Condemns U.S. Unilateral Blockade of Cuba

The News: With three dissents and two abstentions the World Community in General Assembly voted near unanimously to condemn the U.S. blockade of Cuba. The three dissents were: the United States, Israel and Palau. The two abstentions were Micronesia and the Marshall Islands.

The Note: In other words, the United States and Israel stood alone against the entire rest of the world except for three welfare States totally dependent on US aid. The US media, of course, did it's dutiful best to insulate the American public from the opprobrium of the rest of humanity.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Extending Zones of Democratic Peace

The News: U.S. Blackhawks and special forces attacked the village of Sukkariyeh, Syria, on the border with Iraq, and claimed to have killed a “top” Al Qaida operative during a gun fight at an alleged terrorist “compound.” Syrian officials said that the attack killed eight people including four children. U.S. military spokesmen denied that any“women or children” had been killed and said that “"American troops [i.e. the attackers] put themselves at risk to ensure children and women would not be killed in the Syria incident." Another spokesman told the Associated Press that "This operation is just part of a wider campaign to take the fight to (al-Qaida in Iraq) not just inside Iraq but to other areas."

The Note: What needs to be understood is that this small village raid is not simply “an incident” in the evolving chaos of the Iraqi war but rather an essential and integral component of the neocon policy of homeland security-through-war. To understand how this is so, it is necessary to see how this policy evolved from the broader tradition of U.S. hegemony.

In the early days of the Cold War, various policy wonks (mostly neo liberal types) concocted a theory to the effect that global peace and prosperity could be promoted by setting up zones of democratic peace around the world. The nearly absurd premise was that “democracies” don’t wage war against one another but are rather naturally inclined to do nice things such as engaging in commerce and cultural exchanges. Western Europe was such a zone, and the goal was to establish such zonal outposts until the world become one happy network of prosperous democracies.

Alas! The theory’s definition of “democracy” all but crashed on the rock of absurdities. An early definition held that a democracy was a country that held periodic elections in which at least 10% of the population voted. Later definitions argued that democracy existed when 30% of the males acquired the franchise. Virtually all definitions have equated democracy with market and free trade economic policies.

Of course, it was all just pamphletering in the cause of American hegemony. As against this onslaught on credulity, one would rather the up-front honesty of the ancient Athenians who said simply enough: We have the best way of life and we are going to make sure you share in it.

The inspiring thing about Jack Kennedy was his essentially Athenian spirit. There could be no question that he espoused the aims of “zonalism” but pursued these goals by dressing them in altruism and appealing to youthful enthusiasm, as was the case with the Peace Corps and the Alliance for Progress. The essential feature of such programs was simply that they propagandized our way of life through peaceful (and often helpful) means. It is difficult to fault an empire for pursuing it’s imperial aims by peaceful means.

To be sure, Kennedy zonalism was not all wine and roses. The other side of his policy was confrontation with the Soviet Union, the Bay of Pigs, the assassination of Diem and the establishment of “special forces” -- the first open and institutional acknowledgement that the U.S. was prepared to engage in dirty war for the sake of democratic peace.

We shall never know how Kennedy might have balanced light and dark. Under Johnson and McNamara, Vietnam became our first modern zonal war, waged disgracefully and ending in defeat. Nixon ended the “police action” disaster by, in effect, turning it into a full-theater regional war which we won for a sufficiently decent interval to wash our hands and claim that the denouement was none of our affair. Thereafter Nixon and subsequent US policy contented itself with a lower profile zonalism based on routine black ops, such as assassinating elected leaders or assisting in remote jungle brush battles and the occasional sabre rattling.

Putting aside the First Gulf War as a basically exceptional international police action against Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, U.S. zonal policies became more ostensible and pro-active under the Clinton Administration. The fall of the Soviet Union enabled us to throw our weight around more easily and we did, most particularly in Yugoslavia and later in our ongoing aerial degradation of Iraq. It is not necessary to review the heap of lies and excuses smothered in the smarmy sauce of hypocritical hortatory that was served up to justify these policies. The basic fact is that the United States reverted to a more proactive zonal policy which did not shy from the overt use of force to establish puppet states around the world.

Enter the Ghouls of Neoconservatism, whose contribution to U.S. foreign policy was clearly and candidly set forth in September 2000 in a document entitled Rebuilding America’s Defenses. While this document’s protocols drew quick attention abroad, even today, eight years on, they remain effectively ignored in what passes for American public discourse. Back in 2002, the Moscow Times called the document an “American Mein Kampf” And with reason

In summary essence, what the neocons argued was that the use of force was “nothing to be ashamed about” (their words). The United States should dispense with elaborate justifications and intricate diplomatic dances aimed at achieving some facade of multi-national cooperation and international legality. If we could “use” diplomacy to get other nations or institutions to subserviently tag along with the shots we were calling, fine. If not, to hell with them. The means and goal of American policy should be to “project” our power around the world. To this end, the United States had to have the ability to: (1) wage multiple simultaneous full theater wars; (2) control space and cyberspace and (3) engage in ongoing “constabulary” actions designed to “secure and extend zones of democratic peace.”

Under these geo-military protocols, the concept of zones of democratic peace was metamorphosed from a network of allied client states to what the neocons called the Homeland’s forward based “security perimeter.” In the immediate near term, this so-called security perimeter was to extend from the Baltic States, through the Balkans, to the Caucasus and South Central Asia. It also included converting Iraq and Afghanistan into “zones of democratic peace” which were to be secured by “constabulary” actions.

In neocon jargon, “constabulary” actions are not traditional peacekeeping operations which are explicitly rejected. Constabulary operations are those which meld isolated special forces operations with traditional military engagements so as to carry out hybrid military-police actions in regional areas. These forces are to be equipped with blackhawks, missiles and drones on the one hand, and “intelligence” units, the aim of which is to “penetrate” local society so as to “shape the security environment”.

The key to understanding constabulary operations lies in a conjunction. Under neocon doctrine, the overall mission of constabulary forces is to “secure and extend” zones of democratic peace.

Thus, given that Iraq and Afghanistan are each zones of democratic peace, the goal is not simply to “secure” them (that is to destroy civil society and reduce them to exploitable and rubble) but also to “extend” them. The only way to extend a zone is to incur and invade into the neighboring zone, which is precisely what the U.S. is currently doing in Pakistan and now Syria and which it tried unsuccessfully this summer in Georgia. The perverted theory behind these “actions” is that “the Homeland’s” security (and that of our “key” regional allies) is promoted only by degrading and rubbelizing our regional neighbours.

In short, everything we see happening in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere has gone exactly according to neocon plans -- first drafted by Cheney in 1991 and ultimately published by the P.N.A.C. in 2000. What is important to grasp is not simply the evolving genesis of this execrable doctrine, but also not to loose sight of the substantive alteration of policy embodied in the changes of means and degree. When all is said and done, American hegemony in the Fifties and early Sixties did in fact seek to “build up” liberal societies around the world and this involved appreciable degrees foreign aid and other essentially constructive measures. Neocon policy could give a damn. It is only interested in destruction and despoliation and seeks only to metastasize itself around the world in an ever spreading stain.

In its waning days, the neocon Bush Administration is adhering to its protocols with iredentist mindlessness. It will be up to an Obama Administration to put an end to this psychotic derangement masquerading as policy and to return us to the happier cold war policies of the Eisenhower years.

©WCG, 2008


Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Woodchip Gazette Endorsement for President of these United States of America

The present election has presented the American People with a stark choice between marching forward toward a new vision for the future or holding fast to half-baked measures rooted in the policies of the past.

On the Homeland Front, the presidential contest has presented Americans with a choice between economic policies aimed at feeding the rich in the hope that more crumbs will thereby fall to ground or using extended powers of government to insure equitable and secure allocations of wealth through direct jobs creation, progressive taxation and guaranteed livable minimum wages. Likewise, it has confronted Americans with a choice between health insurance for profit or true universal health care for all; between higher education that provides a true start in life versus crushing indebtedness; between retirement programs managed by the same banksters that have brought us global financial collapse or government guaranteed social security for all.

On the issues of civil and constitutional rights, the campaign has confronted Americans with a choice between limiting the intrusive powers of government to regulate personal choices and to spy on personal activities or allowing the bogus threats of "terrorism" "drugs" and "pornography" to intimidate them into accepting the dubious security of a police state.

On the foreign policy front, the presidential race has offered Americans a choice between pursuing by "adjusted" means essentially the same unilateralist and aggressive policies of the Bush Administration or fundamentally altering our policies so as to end a bankrupting war, restore our trashed diplomatic standing and work toward reestablishing cooperative international institutions focused on maintaining peace. Similarly, the campaign has given the American electorate a choice between sticking with trade policies that were designed to promote corporate plunder at the expense of the environment and ordinary people at home and abroad or between radically reoriented policies designed to promote real environmental protection as well as sustainable and equitable economic development.

In short, the election cycle that is at last coming to a close has offered the Country a choice between true and fundamental change or sticking with the same old free market, free trade and free-fall ideology of the past albeit with some minor readjustments and cosmetic refurbishments. The importance of the election cannot be understated and the Editorial Board of the Gazette has given the utmost thought and attention to its all important endorsement.

But as the old adage has it, "politics is the art of the possible" and, on balance, as much as we woodchippers favor radical and fundamental change, the likelihood of a massive write-in for Dennis Kucinich is not in the cards and so, in the alternative,  the Gazette endorses Barack Obama in the belief that rehashed acorns are better than none.

©WCG, 2008

Friday, October 17, 2008

Murkan Mantra, Bimbo Bugaboo & Robinson Crusoe

The News: Speaking for millions, Joe (Wurzelbacher) the Plumber has denounced candidate Obama's plan for a 3% tax rate increase on incomes over $250,000 as "un-American". According to Joe, Obama “wants to distribute wealth. ... that’s kind of a socialist viewpoint. You know, I work for that. You know, it’s my discretion who I want to give my money to; it’s not for the government decide that I make a little too much and so I need to share it with other people. That’s not the American Dream.”

The Note: Actually Joe, it's known as "society" and all societies are "socialist" to the extent that every single society that has ever existed has depended on distributing wealth. Society could not exist otherwise. Building a road, setting up a school, providing for fire-brigades, doing any of the thousands of things societies do, all require "distributing wealth" -- taking wealth from some people and distributing it to others for other purposes.

The knuckleheadedness of Joe the Dumber and fellow-travelling morons is beyond belief.... In fact, beyond belief of even the average, hard-clobbering Neanderthal.

Joe's "Socialism Bugaboo" is the correlative of a deeper dementia -- what Karl Marx called Robinsonades, the mythical capitalist apology which foists the notion that every man is his own Robin Crusoe as if "society" were no more than a collection of islands.

The core fallacy of the Robinsonade is to confuse self-reliance with self-sufficiency. Self-reliance is a good thing. All animals practice it; man should do no less. But unless man is to live like an animal, sheltering under a bush and cracking nuts with his teeth, self-reliance is not sufficient. To enjoy even the most minimal tools, shelter, clothing and simple variety of food-stuffs requires the time, talent and treasure of others. No man could possibly do it all himself; not even Robinson Crusoe who survived only because he was able to salvage a treasure trove of tools and basic supplies from the wrecked ship -- tools and supplies which had been provided by none other than society.

The vast and bountiful expanse of a continent that helplessly awaited the rape and plunder of English settlors gave rise to the Robinsonade's aura of self-evidency. Anglo-Americans eagerly swallowed the lore that all they had to do was Go forth and chop. It was as if the Pioneer on the Hilltop, basking in God's silvery rays, became the illusion we used to hide our sins of despoilation, aggression and plunder.

Of course, it was all utter nonsense because the Robinsonade is nonsense. If this continent was settled and civilized it was not through individual effort but through social organization. The earliest colonial settlements, both in Massachusetts and Virginia, were chartered affairs -- complex social contracts which, particularly in the Bay Colony, regulated every aspect of social and economic life. ... to say nothing of mandatory tithes. The early push West, through the Cumberland and Altoona passes and via the Eerie and Baltimore-Ohio canals, were municipal enterprises, organized and underwritten by the governments of Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York. The long caravans of wagons, winding their way West were likewise ad hoc cities on wheels, drawn up by charter, requiring subcription and above all highly regulated norms of conduct. In short, nothing was possible and nothing is possible without social division of labor and allocation of value -- without a distribution of "wealth" in its various forms.

And yet despite this obvious social fact, evident to the first jungle-men and to all men ever since, the Republican Party repeatedly sounds the Robinsonade as millions of mindless morons like Joe the Dumber reflexively jump to the call. "It’s not for the government decide that... I need to share [my wealth] with other people."

If Joe allocated a tenth of the energy he spends on egotism to taking a look about, he would realize that the government is always deciding how much he must share; and that what the government under successive neo-liberal administrations has done, is to share his wealth upwards towards Big Plunder and Big Hoard and Big Hedge. Sometimes government does this by regressive tax policy and at other times through complex "unseen" financial manipulations that devalue the worth of Joe's dollar.

Of course, the malevolents that run the Republican Party understand which way is up, even if Joe doesn't and the only thing more nauseating than Joe's stupidity is their venality, cunning and hypocrisy.

©WCG, 2008

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Joe The Dumber Accuses Obama of "Tap Dancing" -- NAACP Demands Tattoo Check

October 16, 2008 - Buelah, Ohio -- Joe "Skin Dude" Plumber -- McCain's poster-boy for the average Murkan Neanderthal, accused Obama of "tap dancing" like Sammy Davis Jr., in front lawn comments made to a throng of Fourth Estate lemmings. Wilbur C. Jackson, president of the Cleveland chapter of the NAACP, responded by demanding that Joe Wurzelburger submit to a tattoo check. "We need to see up front exactly where Joe's been plumbing around," Jackson said.


Thursday, October 9, 2008

McCAIN Vows To Create New Department of Filth

October 9, 2008 - Grand Rapids, MI. -- Republican presidential candidate John ("Crashboy") McCain vowed today to set up a new Department of Filth & Mud Resources, if elected. It was time, he said, for government to step in a coordinate shit- flinging and dirt-scooping in public life. Speaking to a cheering crowd of Country Firsters, the candidate said ""We also need a standard, national code for racist slurs

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Voice of Respectability Shrills Again

The News: Cook County Sheriff, Thomas J. Dart, announced that he will refuse to carry out foreclosure evictions in his bailiwick. Dart explained that too many of the evictees were innocent rent-paying tenants of landlords who had failed to pay their mortgages. Although landlords pocketted the rent money, they never bothered to inform their tenants who remained unaware of the foreclosure suits until deputies showed up with a Get-Out-Now order. Under Illinois law mortgage companies are supposed to advise the court of the building's occupants before asking for an eviction, but of course hadn't bothered to do so.

The llinois Bankers Association is outraged. Simply outraged. The Association declaimed that Dart "was elected to uphold the law and to fulfill the legal duties of his office, which include serving eviction notices." Getting haughtier still, the Association chastised the sheriff for "ignoring the law and his legal responsibilities" and indulging in "vigilantism at the highest level".

The Note: This is why it is easier to thread a rope through a needle than for a rich man to get into heaven. They will not part with a penny out of sufferance for the poor and they parade the corpse of oppression in the mantel of justice. It is also why, on the latter day, it is a comfort to knit and drink wine while the blade chops.

©WCG, 2008


Friday, October 3, 2008

These Empty Times

The News:
Judith Warner, an op-ed contributor at the NY Times writes that the (alleged) Sinking of Wall Street is no time for schadenfreude.

"Schadenfreude is impossible (she writes) because the fat cats — the ones who bent the rules, the ones who pushed the envelopes, ... the ones who opposed regulations on the banking and mortgage industries — are taking us down with them."
No... Instead, according to Warner, "A great emptiness — and a gnawing kind of fear — has taken its place"

Yes, it's so true. A great, great emptiness, as when Marie Antoinette looked at her silver breakfast platter and realized there was no more brioche!!

This is the kind hollow, self-absorbed kitsch-angst that ranks the Times as All the News that's Fit for the Litterbox. Has it ever ever occurred to Warner or anyone on the Times that while they "made do" in Manhattan the GREAT EMPTINESS of HUNGER filled the bellies of children from the heart of Africa to the heights of the Andes?

No ... it never occurred to these toney-trendies. It never occurred to the likes of Warner, writing books about the travails of life on the Upper West Side (or was it East?), that some people were being gnawed at by more than fear... that the neoliberal policies of the Times had already taken down millions of the truly poor the globe over.

For them... for those on empty stomachs, sleeping on cold door stoops, schadenfreude is the only satisfaction they have left.

©WCG, 2008

Palin Bats Eye Lashes in Triumph

The News
: The Great Veep Debate was held yesterday evening, billed as "Palin vs. Biden" as if it were some World Federation Wrestling match. When it was over, most of the insta-comment called it a draw, although most of the insta-polls gave it to Biden 65-35 or thereabouts.

The Note: Given that these debates are Non-Substantive Occasions (NSO), Palin clearly won; not simply because she "held her own" without making a complete ass of herself, but because she is a great communicator, a runner up to the Great Ronnie himself.

First off, Palin had culled and organized her bumper stickers. That's more than anyone can say for Bush who simply blabbers sound bites with little regard for consistency and coherence.

Second, Palin's sound-bites resorted to tried and tested clichés that sell-well with the American demos. Bush's sound bites have largely resorted to unfamiliar themes of fear and revenge that most Americans feel vaguely uncomfortable with once the Yeeehaw Moment has passed. Palin reverted to the Golden Granola Morning motifs of the Great Ronnie. To the extent that there was an edge, it was the ol' "... if Govmint caint help it can at least git outta da way..." What can be more American than, "Awwwww Mom... I can do it myself."

Third, Palin "connected" with her audience, with her twinkle eye-lash batting, teasing smiles and little bang-shakes of the head. She came across as "genuine," and "earnest" and -- this is key -- not self-important. In fact, her presence had an aura of self-humour about it that said "this is totally crazy for me to be here, but heck it's fun." Not since Ronnie has anyone been able to connect with the Vast of America in this down home, upbeat way.

I should be clear, that if a woman or a job applicant came on to me the way Palin was coming on to Us Folk, I'd say, "Save your time, honey, save your time." But then again, Ronnie never did much for me either. Hell, I couldn't even sit through Kings Row without reaching for the Bromo.

©WCG, 2008

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Pig Sings

The News: In her first interview without training wheels, Sarah ("Piglips") Palin demonstrated that she is an ignorant idiot.

Ignoring Georgia's assault on S. Ossetia, Palin, accused Russia of having initiated an "unprovoked" invasion of a smaller democratic country. She asserted she understood U.S. relations with Russia because "they're our next-door neighbors, and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska ..."

Palin asserted that US troops in Iraq are "on a task that is from God," although in the same breadth she humbly confessed that she "would never presume to know God's will."

But she would never "second-guess" Israel if it decided to bomb Iran. Presumably she would continue not to second-guess nothing as oil soared past $200.00 a barrel, the dollar's value sank to less than a peanut, and the world (including Alaska) plunged into a depression.

The important thing is "that you can't blink, you have to be wired in a way of being so committed to the mission, the mission that we're on," And that mission is? " "To rid this world of Islamic extremism, terrorists who are hell-bent on destroying our nation. "

"It is for no more politics as usual, and somebody's big fat resume that shows decades and decades in that Washington establishment"

The Note: Yeahuh... who needs big fat resumes with degrees in stupid shit like international law and relations, economics, political theory, compartive cultural studies, and all that pointy headed librul crap. Hey!!! One pig's squeal is as good as another's.

Sad thing is must Uhmurkans would agree.

©WCG, 2008

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Power of the Boot

The Note: Counterpunch, remembers how how a member of Bush’s inner circle (Karl Rove?) told the New York Times’ Ron Suskind in summer 2002 the “the reality-based community” had it all wrong, that the world doesn’t “really work anymore” on the basis of “judicious study of discernible reality.” “We’re an empire now,” he boasted, “and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

The Note: This is purely and simply Orwell's "Image of the State in 1984".

©WCG, 2008


Saturday, March 15, 2008

Pictorial "Balance"

The News: BBC pictures from Gaza show one Israeli woman being led away on a stretcher in bloodless stomach pain agony. (I.e. the theatrics of agony). It also shows one neat and clean rubbelized building with absolutely no photos of maimed children's bodies although it does bother to show one Palestianian funeral where the sand has covered the body so that it looks like a gardening exercise.

The Note: What fucks. This is what passes for "pictorial balance" in the USUK press.

©WCG, 2008

Monday, March 10, 2008

Bread Today, Hunger Tomorrow

The News: Explaining why she voted for the communist party in Spain's general election, Gloria Perez chastised president Zapatero for not having done enough "to bring down the price of rents, control mortgage costs, help young people and get us workers better salaries.”

Perez expressed contempt for so-called "tax incentives" and Zapatero's promise of a 400-euro ($620) tax rebate. “That’s bread today, hunger tomorrow. We need reforms that will help us in the long term: better work contracts, better salaries, less inflation.”

The Note: Wouldn't it be nice if workers in the United States had a fraction of Perez's brain power? If they would the "Times" report it?

©WCG, 2008

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

U.S. Claims Asserts Rights to Space and Cyberspace

The News: The US has released a report criticising China's military spending, and voicing concern over advances in space and cyberspace. China rejected the Pentagon report as a "serious distortion of facts" that could harm its relations with the US. "We do not pose a threat to any country. The US should drop its Cold War mentality," the foreign ministry said in a statement. In the report, Washington claimed that the real Chinese defence budget for 2007 was at least double the stated amount.

The Note 1: It never ceases to amaze how diligently the press works to cover Uncle Sam's shame. How come BBC fails to note that the U.S. military budget exceeds by several fold the Chinese and Russian military budgets combined ?

The Note 2: "Space and Cyberspace" -- where have we heard that phrase before? Indeed! in Billy Kristol's zio-con Project for a New American Century. The U.S. had to project its power and be prepared for the new battles in "space and cybespace". So what this means is that the U.S. is upset someone else might get a leg up into the U.S. owned ethers.

©WCG, 2008


Monday, March 3, 2008

The Next Israel?

The News: Both Ecuador and Venezuela have shut down their embassies in Bogota to protest Colombia’s violations of Ecuador’s territorial sovereignty. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa ordered troops to Colombia’s border. Chavez warned Colombia never to carry out such a raid in Venezuela.

Hugo Chavez: “This could be the start of a war in South America, because, for example, if they ever think of doing something like that in Venezuela, President Uribe, I will send my jet fighters. We are not going to accept that Colombia become the next Israel in our land.”

The Note: Chavez is alluding to Israel "advisors" helping out the Columbian military and Israel citizens illegally selling arms to the Columbian paras

©WCG, 2008

Zionist Math

The Headline:
Israel: “No Moral Equation” Between Palestinians and Israelis

The News: Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livini called on the international community to support Israel’s actions. Said Livini: “The world should respect any action taken by Israel in order to defend its citizens. I would like to say that I cannot accept condolences saying that there are victims, both sides. Well, yes, there are victims both sides, but there is no moral equation between these terrorists who are looking for civilians to kill and between the Israeli soldiers who are looking for the terrorists.”

The Note: Nor is their any moral equation between a hand held stick of dynamite and a Jumbo Depleted Uranium Block Buster.... now is there? The United State has been totally moronized by AIPAC, but I wonder how long the rest of the world will continue to respect anything Israel does or palavers.

©WCG, 2008

Cultural Metastasis

The Headline:
Utah Boss Accused of Waterboarding Worker

The News: The Salt Lake Tribune is reporting a supervisor at a motivational coaching business in Utah has been accused of waterboarding an employee in front of his sales team. According to a lawsuit, the supervisor poured water from a gallon jug over the mouth and nostrils of one of his workers. At the conclusion of the waterboarding, the supervisor allegedly told the sales team that he wanted them to work as hard on making sales as their coworker had worked to breathe while he was being waterboarded. David Ellis, the president of the company Prosper, defended his staff. Ellis said, “It was meant to be a team-building exercise. Everybody was . . . involved and enthusiastic.”

The Note: A perfect of example of the the Bush Cancer metastasizes throughout society

©WCG, 2008

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Mothers for Perpetual Safety Strike Again

The News: It did not take long after the latest “senseless high school killing” for the harpies on the False Issue Left to raise their quills and voices to demand more effective gun control. Leading the charge for Perpetual Safety were: John Rosenthal of the Christian Science Monitor (”Had Enough Gun Violence? 20 Feb 2006) and New York Times (“Packing Heat in the Parks” Editorial 20 Feb 2006)

The Note: The United States doesn’t need more gun control but less. In case anyone hasn’t figured it out yet, the Second Amendment was designed to insure political empowerment (the one and only true kind). Simply put, it enshrines the right to revolt. This was understood quite clearly at the time. In fact, it almost went without saying.

The Bill of Rights of 1688, had guaranteed the right of all Protestants to “have arms for their defence suitable to their conditions and as allowed by law.” The right was enumerated in order to guard against catholic subversion which, from the protestant perspective, was a true and real threat.

Before that suffice to say the barons at Runnymede (1215) sure as hell were not leaning on their quills when they forced King John to cease and desist from undermining the independence of the English Church and courts,

Understanding the purposes of the Second Amendment leads to the ineluctable conclusion that rather than limiting the types and circumstances under which arms can be borne, the Amendment needs to be expanded so as to cover as broad a range of armaments as is reasonable for the purpose intended.

The plain fact of the matters is that hunting rifles and .45’s really won’t do much against the array of armaments in possession of the Government. Waco was a demonstration of the kind of armaments which are adequate to intimidate and oppress ordinary citizens. Since then, the Government has elaborated even more sophisticated “crowd control” armaments including: Mass-tasers, Sonic Beams and Slippery Jelly.

The tasers are laser beams that create excruciating “burning sensations” in the “subject” . Like waterboarding which only “simulates” drowning, these beams only “simulate” burning. Only a few old folks who were going to die anyway would croak.

The sonic beams are the auditory equivalent. They fill the air with such stunning hyper sound that you literally cannot think, but simply fall to ground in paralyzed stupefaction.

Lastly, in case you could possibly get up...there is Slippery Jelly which makes it impossible to do so. So... in mind-numbed stupor and excruciating burning agony, you will meekly allow yourself to be cuffed and carted off by some State Thug encased in Kevlar.

Hollywood fantasy? Nope. Your Total Safety Society brought to you by the Mothers of Perpetual Safety -- senawhores, congressoids and their pimps in the press whose vision of US-America is a “secure” camp -- from sea to shining sea.

The Second Amendment at the very least, protects the right of every citizen to possess and bear his own Slippery Jelly dispenser.

There will doubtless be those who will make the usual argumentum ad horibilis. ... trucking out a parade of horribles, all of which, when stripped of code words, boil down to: Eeeek! You mean let the Darkies have MORE weapons?

In fact, your average, road-raging suburban Blimp-in-a-Ram-Charger is probably more of a real and present danger to most people than your ghetto rapping crack dealer, who after all is really just in the “business-decisions” business.

But either way, the other cardinal fact to remember, just in case anyone forgot, is that the Bill of Rights and Our Form of Government presuppose a certain level of social sophistication and circumstance. Madison said as much in Federalist Ten. The bottom line is simple: the Constitution is a magnificent legal edifice but it is not free standing. In the last analysis, law stands or falls depending on the social subsoil. Simply put, the Constitution is meaningless among apes.

The right the bear arms presupposed a certain level of burgertum: a, broadly speaking, literate, more or less “liberally educated”, society of middle class farmers and homeowners and merchants none of whom were too different or distant from one another culturally or economically. You didn’t fear your neighbor owning a weapon because he was not likely to use it against you any more than he would come at you with his scythe, or axe, or any other number of ordinary deadly household utensils in use at the time.

If we trash the Second Amendment because we fear our neighbors and fear our own fellow-citizens having weapons, then we have simply confessed the utter failure of US-American society. And, if US society is dysfunctional, then the Constitution is irrelevant anyways.

©WCG, 2008

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Why Hispanics Should Despise Clinton

The News: The wisdom floating on the pond of public discourse is that "Clinton has the Hispanic Vote." As surface sheen goes, the wisdom is true enough. The more important question is: why? Why would any self respecting, non-Cuban Hispanic slurp up to Clinton?

The Note: I recently copied an old news-clip video of Clinton to DVD. The clip was shot shortly after NAFTA had been approved and while Poison Pete Wilson was whipping his jingoid base into an anti-immigrant fervor. Currying favor with the rabble that passes for the California electorate, Clinton came to town -- San Diego to be precise -- stood on the border, wagged his finger and said in all piety that we had to do something "to stop these illegals from coming here and taking jobs away from Americans."


More than anyone else, Clinton can take the shameful credit for dismantling the U.S. industrial infrastructure and shipping jobs out to Mexico, San Salvador, Thailand and China. For this pious panderer to blame hungry Mexican campesinos for stealing our jobs, is an hypocritical outrage .... surely sufficient to earn him an English knighthood but not one iota of approval from any self-respecting Ibero-American.

Doubtless, those who acquire their consciousness from the US mudia will scratch their heads, call me nuts and think that Clinton's Big Handout of Good Paying Jops to Mexicans explains why they love the Clintons. It's all a question of lick yer chops jops. Actually not.

Yankee Americans stuck into their self-righteousness that most of them haven't a glimmer of a notion as to what the neo-liberal agenda has done to Mexico and other Hispanic American countries. The general opinion in the US is that them illegals are overcome with near-religious adoration of our way of life and that's why they are coming here to steal our goodpayingjops. What these folks are oblivious to is that NAFTA has actually destroyed towns, families and sustainable jobs in Mexico.


Well... it might not be found in "All the News that's Fit to Print" but the "other part" of NAFTA is that the US gets to dump agri-industrial maize on the Mexican market, prohibiting Mexico from providing agricultural supports for its peasantry while allowing the same (under another name of course) for Big Food. The result? US Big Food has destroyed the economy of countless villages. When the economy of villages is destroyed so too are "family values." Demoralized men, turn to drink or wander the continent away from their families looking for same piece-of-scrabble-job to survive. The Mexican countryside is fast acquiring the spectre of the deserted panorama of the 16th century.

No doubt, Mr. Cheez-O, will munch his petroleum based snax, and "think" to himself that, the destruction of the Mexican peasantry is no doubt the result of good-honest-market-forces in that Big Food can provide Lots of Corn on the Mega Cheap and therefore "the average Mexican" comes out ahead. Yuk Yuk. What else more could they want aside from cheap tortillas? Crunch munch. Again, actually not.

Big Food does not provide Lots of Corn on the cheap... quite the contrary. NAFTized market forces being they are, the price of tortillas has soared.

Nor did NAFTA provide such "goodpayingjops" to Mexicans as would make up the difference. The plague-like effect of NAFTA is not limited to the countryside. It has wrought devastation on the entire economia politica of Mexico. It has done so, because trashing labor laws, skirting environmental protections, forcing reductions in government subsidies to people while mandating them for business is the entire rotten core of so-called "free-trade." (See e.g., the linked articles by David Bacon, at end). The entire maquiladora regime was nothing but a government paid bonus to Big Business allowing them they can set up shop on the other side of the border, getting all sorts of tax breaks while paying hapless workers some pathetic sub-survival pittance.

The only beneficiary of this satanic scheme, is Big Plunder ... and if Monica was sucking off Bill, we know whose dick Bill had in his mouth.

The neo-liberal regime has been a disaster for the ordinary people of Ibero-America. It was that disaster which was the subject of protest and condemnation from presidents Daniel Ortega (Nicaragua), Rafael Correa (Ecuador), Evo Morales (Bolivia) and Hugo Chavez, at the Ibero American Summit late last summer. Of course, what the US mudia reported on was the King's Short Fuse... The dismal reality of so-called "free market" plunder was buried under a ton of titillation.

The New York Times intones loftily that Hugo Chavez's reforms lack transparency. But when it comes to reporting transparently on the effects of NAFTA on Mexico, the Times suddenly acquires a penchant for black cloth shrouds, and now reports (matter of factly and as if it were obvious why) that Hispanics Luv Hillary.

Putting aside the Elian-obsessed, there is absolutely no reason why any Hispanic should react to the Clintons with anything other than nausea. They are subservients to am economic regime which has brought misery on a macro-scale to ordinary people on both sides of the border.

But the Clintons are not alone, proving that in politics, at least, every whore has her own minions -- like the Hispanic DNC party leadership in California... the Art Torreses, Fabian Nuñezes, Villraigosas, and host of other crypto-Republican Taco Bell Chicanos that support insurance company withheld health "care" . . . and Hillary.

On the issues, Obama is not that much better than Clinton. His main advantage is that he might be do whereas we know how little a Clinton will do for ordinary people. But whatever Obama's defects might be, they are not sufficient to warrant affirmative support for the Clintons who have done nothing for Hispanics north or south of the border.

©WCG, 2008

Links to article by David Bacon


Monday, January 28, 2008


The News: Der Spiegel reported that "some commentators" were questioning whether Bill Clinton's hawking for Hillary was beneath the appropriate dignity for an ex-president.

The Pause: Dignity? DIGNITY? D*I*G*N*I*T*Y ????? Bill Clinton !?!?!?!?!?!?!?



Oh gawd that was a bellyfull....


Sunday, January 27, 2008

Rambo Endorses Wacko

The News:
it up on Fox Sylvester Stallone spouted: “I like McCain a lot. A lot. And you know, things may change along the way, but there’s something about matching the character with the script. And right now, the script that’s being written and reality is pretty brutal and pretty hard-edged like a rough action film, and you need somebody who’s been in that to deal with it.” John McCain chimed in: “I’m going to Philadelphia and running up the steps.”

The Note: Well that pretty much sums up the Amurkan mindset. A bankrupting trillion dollar debt for a trumped up and useless war is a brutal-script and we need a brute who’s been there to tough it out with some hard-on action tracking down a diabetic rag head for the next 100 years as the economy and civil liberties and the environment go down the toilet. Awwww fuck man.... only wussies worry about shit like that.


©WCG, 2008

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


The Blurb: Written by Helen Berr, the daughter of a wealthy French Jew. According to Der Spiegel “It has been described as a publishing sensation. Helene Berr was a young French student murdered in a Nazi concentration camp....” [¶] ...” Helene died of typhus at Bergen-Belsen in April 1945 just a few days before the camp was liberated.”

The Huh? Since when the fuck dying of disease = being murdered? Well Der Spiegel could care less, lurid tales from the Nazi past is all they care about. The rag is little more than an historical crime blotter.

©WCG, 2008

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Hillary Clinton's False Promise

The Speech:
"Making change is not about what you believe,” Hillary Clinton said. “It’s not about a speech you make. It is about working hard.” And in a direct attack on Mr. Obama’s theme of inspiring hope in Americans — and perhaps on Mr. Edwards’s many promises of reforming government — she said, “We don’t need to be raising the false hopes of our country about what can be delivered.”

The Translation: Hillary will work for that kind of change that does not involve delivering more than the system currently delivers.

Lesseee.... take health care. At present it is a private-for-profit business, the lion share of costs (in your premiums and cost of treatment) goes to pay insurance companies. There is NO dispute as to that core fact by anyone. So...... Edwards and Obama propose a modest change by (1) requiring everyone to buy private insurance, and by providing some measure of government help for those who can’t afford it; i.e. extend a bad system to everyone in the hope it will somehow work better that way. There is virtually no regulation of the medical/insurance industry. No cap on premiums, no requirements as to what has to be covered, and so on. It is a very very very very modest proposal that some might rightly call bullshit. But for Hillary this minimalist “reform” is a false promise of what can be delivered. What can be delivered then? Nothing.

One can only wonder what is too much to expect concerning planet-survival (the "environment") Iraq and homeland liberty ("Patriot Act")

©WCG, 2008