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

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Political Kitsch and Economic Crime

It couldn't have happened to a more deserving creep: out of the blue, a month before the elections the airwaves are filled with the stunning revelation that Meg Whitman employed an illegal Latina nanny. ... for nine years. Oh but it gets better. When the Social Security Administration requested she clarify the small matter of a mis-match between name and number. ... Whitman ignored the request ..... for six years. Oh buts it gets even better still. After requiring the illegal Latina to work unpaid overtime, Whitman fired her without cause the day after she declared her candidacy for California's governship.

But that's just the script. As for the drama, the allegations got read to a phalanx of press cameras by a perfectly coiffed and facial'ed Gloria Aldred in tones of aggrieved and outraged victimhood while The Victim herself, all but dressed in sackloth looked on plaintively and providesdsobbing punctuations to Aldred's delivery. When the complaint was read, Aldred turned to the helpless, illegal, victimized victim and hugged her with emotive solidarity as the victim emoted some more. What next? Aldred standing shoulder to shoulder with Oppressed Nanny on the rush hour subway to Brooklyn? It was enough to out-emote the most contrived and collusive trials ever performed in the Roman Forum.

We did some quick calculations. At 15 hours a week, at $23.00 an hour, 15 months lost wages from unlawful termination comes out to $20,700.00. That's less than peanuts for a $400.00 an hour lawyer like Aldred. So Aldred's accountants must have rustled up a hell of a lot of unpaid overtime to beef up the "compensables".

The whole thing has the unmistakeable air of a political contrivance -- a bloody shirt, a "Grover, Grover, Where's my Pa?" We wonder if Aldred realizes that her act has become political kitsch?

But what is not political kitsch or, more importantly, economic kitsch, is that a woman of Whitman's colossal net worth paid another human being spit in the bucket wages of $23.00 an hour.

Of course, the capitalist answer, is that $23.00 an hour was at least, if not more than, the going market rate. But that is precisely the kind of pseudo justification that makes capitalism so disgusting -- it justifies its conduct by the disparity of income it itself creates. It is truly nauseating.

One would think that a person in Whitman's position would want to display her magnanimity, her ability to be over-flowingly generous. A truly generous spirit would say: I have more money than I know what to do with, so I will at least make sure that anyone who is fortunate enough to work for me gets paid more money than they need. This is what it means to "shower blessings" and just as God has showered blessings on Whitman, it was Whitman's Christian duty to shower blessings on people who made her bed, cut her lawn and washed her floors.

Instead, Whitman sees nothing wrong with a system that generates such incredible disparities of wealth and feels no compunction in behaving as miserly and contemptuously as she can get away with. Marie Antoinette paid more for less.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Holocaust Newspeak at BBC

In the Shrieking News department, today's BBC headlined that "British Holocaust denier David Irving has arrived in Poland to lead a tour of sites from the Nazi occupation." The article explains that Irving has written a book containing "the suggestion that Hitler knew nothing of the Holocaust until late 1943, and that he never gave the order for the annihilation of Europe's Jews."

Does BBC know the meaning of its own English? Does it know what an indirect object is? To say that someone knew nothing of something is not to say that the something did not exist or that it did not take place.

For some reason David Irving is intent on exculpating Hitler for the project to annihilate european Jews; but that does not equate with denying that the genocide took place.

By now, it is unlikely that the fervid scriveners in the BBC Ministry of Truth are even aware of the origins of their own taboo. In the 1960's and 70's Germany, France and other european countries passed laws outlawing racism, denigrating an ethnic group and denying or minimizing the holocaust. Irving has not "denied" Nazi genocide, he has "minimized" some aspect of it.

The problem with any law that seeks to curtail free speech is that it inevitably paints with too broad a brush. What does it mean to "minimize" Nazi genocide? At bottom, it means to disagree in some manner with someone else's imposed, mandatory account. Turning disgreement or divergence from orthodoxy into a crime is simply demanding, under penalty of law, mute, subservient and unthinking assent to an official truth.

The resultant absurdities are never ending. Of late, Bishop Williamson was also accused of "denying" {beat your breast and gasp here} the holocaust. Shrieked the New York Times: he denied "that six million Jews were gassed...."

Well, no serious historian had ever claimed that six million anybodies were "gassed". Neither is there any agreement on the precise number of people who were gassed, starved, murdered, or left to die of exhaustion or disease -- i.e. in some sense "killed" in the overall Nazi "cleansing" programme for Europe.

Raul Hilberg, the jewish historian who is responsible for coining the current usage of the word "holocaust" and who is accepted by Jews and the German government as the "chief historian" of the episode, estimated the total number of deaths from all causes at 5.4 million. Has Hilberg therefore "minimized the holocaust" by deviating from the Weisenthal Institute's "official" figure of "six million"? Certainly 5.4 is less than 6.0.

Hilberg also stated that estimating the total number of deaths was a very complex and uncertain task. A thinking person can see why. The genocide of european Jews was not a simple act of "murdering" X number of Jews. The genocide took place through multi-level and permuting programmes and policies over a four year period. At some point, in such a convergence of processes, an ultimate result or threshold is reached at which point one could easonably say "taken all together this amounts to the equivalent of a systematic plan". (In legal parlance this would be called a "constructive conspiracy" FN-1 .) But to say that calculating the number of deaths is "complex" is to admit that what is called "the holocaust" is also complex.

But if an historical event is complex that necessarily means that there is no simple truth about it. Rather it involves equivocal or uncertain facts giving rise to different inferences and implications. In short, a complex event is something over which reasonable men can in good faith differ. But not, apparently, when it comes to a select group. To question (as Williamson did) the number of Jews who were gassed, becomes the crime of "minimizing" which was then equated with the criminal taboo of "denying" the Holy Holocaust.

It is foolish and in any case beside the point to exculpate Hitler from knowledge of the genocide carried out on his watch. It is true that there is no Fuhrer Order or document which clearly and unequivocally connects him to a planned extermination of Jews. So what? History is as much a question of knowledgable and probable inference as it is of so called "hard facts". In all events, to argue that Hitler did not know of the extermination "until 1943" and then did nothing to stop it afterwards certainly qualifies as an unworthy quibble. But a foolish quibble is not the same as blasphemy.

When the State, at its own initiative or upon the initiative of a faction, turns foolish quibbles into blasphemies, then we have all lost our freedom of speech and with it our freedom of thought.


Saturday, September 18, 2010

All the Significance Fit To Print

Although it was symbolic, it was historic. For the first time ever, the Roman Pontiff addressed the English Parliament and then, together with the Archbishop of Canterbury and all Christian leaders assembled, held services in Westminster Abbey. The two prelates affirmed the need for Christian evangelization in society and gave visibile evidence of their inescapable unity in Christ. For those in the English speaking world, it was no small matter, since the planting and then rupture of Christianity among the British people has defined who and what we are.

Not for the New York Times:

Mezuzahs left on people's door jams was evidently more significant.


Monday, September 6, 2010

Social Basics

The Obama Administration announced that it is coming forward with a 50 billion dollar work-fare bill.

Whether Hoover/Roosevelt's WPA or Hitler's Arbeitsdeinst, everyone has understood the necessity and utility of public works projects. The defect in the Administration's policy is that it conceives of such programs as temporary, stop-gap measures. They are not; such programs are only the beginning of economic recovery and stability.

A truly social conception flows from the premise that every citizen is directly entitled to a guaranteed standard of living in terms of: education, employment, housing, health-care recreation and retirement.

This is not a question of "welfare" or "minimal scroungables". It is a question of building a society that has as its broad basis (not as its limit) a soci-economic egalitarianism that protects the integrity and develops the potential of the whole person.

National Socialism understood this from the beginning. FDRoosevelt promoted this concept at the very end in his 1945 speech about an "economic bill of rights".

And of course, economic rights is the social premise of communism and social democracy. Everyone has understood the concpet except for the US ruling caste from and after LBJ. The neo-liberal premise -- espoused by all administrations from Reagan to and including Obama -- is that if we throw enough goodies at the rich enough of it will miss its mark and actually hit the poor...sometimes, maybe. I seem to recall that Eduardo Porter of the New York Times editorial board once wrote an article entitled "Feeding the Rich feeds the Poor."

The time for this kind of thinking has come to an end. It is not necessary to abolish capitalism, but only to regulate so that it becomes the servant of society not its master.


Sunday, September 5, 2010


AP Headline:

Despite Formal Combat End, US joins Baghdad Battle



The Devil in the Drone

It was announced this Monday (Aug 30) that the United States had fully militarized its southern border with predator drones. [ here ]. The Secretary for Homeland Security announced with pride that the border was more secure than ever.

The reaction from "progressive" quarters was predictable. Typical was an opinion piece in Truthout.Org which disclosed that various Congressoids who had been pushing for the militarization were themselves been humped by military contractors.

But paid-for-political whoring is not really the issue. The border is being militarized because that is American geo-political strategy. Drones will patrol the border regardless of whether congressoids get themselves greased.

This Gazette has discussed the issue so many times before, it is pointless to spill more ink on the matter yet again. Suffice to call attention to our latest survey of neo-con doctrine in December of last year [ Obama's Jihad II ]. The issue may be summarized succinctly as follows.

1. United States' strategic thinking is based on the idea of creating concentric defensive perimeters. The sanctum behind the inner-most perimeter is called "the homeland". This is the land of the Folk-Righteous. Beyond the wall of this inner perimeter, American security is carried forth by creating layered "zones of democratic freedom".

2. Zones of democratic freedom are neither democratic, nor free. In fact they are not very secure. They are areas "secured" by so-called "constabulary" or "multi-disciplinary" military forces -- working with or through subservient regimes -- whose task it is to "shape the security environment". The shaping usually takes the form of degrading civil society and making the zone itself less viable and less secure on the theory that a weakened zone presents less of a "potential threat" (as policy pleonasms would have it) than a strong one. Gaza and Afghanistan are good examples of "extended zones of democratic freedom." It is not a coincidence that where American troops go, chaos follows.

3. The outermost cordon sanitaire encirles Russia (remember Georgia?) and skirts along gas pipelines through China's Xianjing province. Ibero-America comprises what might be called an intermediate perimeter with Mexico and Columbia as second and third level moats. Although the police and military-assistance pacts known as the Plan Mérida (Mexico) and Plan Columbia are falsely billed as neighborly help in narcotics interdiction, the real aim is to reduce those regions to ongoing zonal war. This much was admitted when an Air Force doctrine given behind closed doors to congressional committees was leaked to the public. Per the US Air Force document,

“Access to Colombia will further its strategic partnership with the United States. The strong security cooperation relationship also offers an opportunity for conducting full spectrum operations throughout South America to include mitigating the Counternarcotics capability.” [See source "Preparing for War..."]
Although the U.S. press duly (if cryptically) reported that the base at Planquero (Columbia) was in fact to be used for full spectrum ops they did not explain what that term meant. As a result the ever-dumbed American populace got barely a whiff of the cat in the bag. (See here and here if you don't want to take the Gazette's word for it.) Note the word "include". Advertising has acculturated Americans into thinking that "include" refers to the all the goodies you get for the price. But "include" actually points to all the things over, around, on top of the goodies, which you might not want. Full specturm operations refers to the entire range of U.S. military options and operations from targetted assasinations to thermonuclear war. One does not use conventional theatre attacks to fight drug dealers; thus, the full spectrum operations, over and above drug interdiction, also include "shaping zonal security envirionments" as part of an integrated and graduated military responses "in space and cyber-space," contra mundum.

4. What this means is that the United States is getting reading to Iraqify and Afghanisize Mexico. Drones are not needed to protect against ragged immigrants, illegal as they may be. Drones are not really needed to guard against drug smuggling because most smuggling occurs in ways that are impervious to surveillance drones. Drones are needed as inner-sanctum insulation against a break-out of all out chaos in Mexico. Put another way, the border is being militarized for military purposes... in anticipation of full spectrum ooops.

5. Most people are too damn stupid to realize that every wall has two sides. A wall that keeps them out, also serves to keep us in. The "securitization" of Mexico necessarily implies a correlative securing within the United States; "extending democratic freedom" south of the border is the other side of "extending a police state" north of it. We at the Gazette reported this back on September 12, 2001, when we warned that "the 'war on terror; will be used to undo what remains of civil liberty and stampede the populace into a police state." As of 2003, the FBI and US agents were patrolling inside Mexican airports. Perhaps the point needs to be bludgeoned home for those who think "the whole world is a map of America". Mexico is (or ought to be) an independent nation in charge of its own police and security. Once US agents take up securty operations inside a foreign country, such "cooperation" becomes the first step towards "constabularization" of the zone. And so it is that as we yin into them they yang into us.

6. In this way the whole notion of "security zones" becomes a massive, heteronomous self-contradiction. People are suckered into accepting walls because they think that whatever grit and grief it will take to keep the enemy out will at least take place out there. From their arm chairs they smirk, "Yeah well, war is hell...." What people do not understand is that every "extension" of the zone of democratic freedom produces an equalization of functions on both sides of the perimeter. The wall, the perimeter, exist but the "securitization" entails the same modalities and functions on boths sides. Far from having "them foreigners" pay the price for "our peace and freedom," both sides end up loosing both. As we reported back in February 2008, the inevitability of this compromise was demonstrated when CIA Chief, Mike McConnell, told Congress that Al Qaeda had improved its ability to recruit, train and position operatives capable of carrying out attacks inside the United States, with new Western recruits, capable of blending into American society and attacking domestic targets. Blendables. What this meant was that the proverbial “potential terrorist” included people just like you and me, indistinguishable from those other swarthy rag head types. To hell with racial profiling! Scan 'em all!!!! O'Connell entirely confirmed, what we Chipsters said in 2001, that the "war on terrorism" meant

"...the Government will have to presume is that everyone is at least a potential terrorist. In the most fundamental sense that is a presumption that is entirely antithetical to the concept of civil friendship, i.e., societas. "
7. No moat ever protected against anything. It destroys natural life on the inside in pursuit of a vainglorious and inevitably breached protection against the outside. What we witness in Mexico today is merely a harbinger of things to come if this spectral policy is pursued. Americans derisively laugh at Mexico but when American "constabulary" troops are sent into Mexico they will rue their hubris, for the savagery of the natives appalled even Cortez. War in Mexico is and always has been a festival of gore. One way or another, despite drones, the full spectrum of civil chaos and social securitization will recoil on us as on our victims. By pursuing a strategy of layered perimeters the U.S. Government pursues a policy that, by its inherent nature, subverts the very foundations of human civilization and will, in the end, be the funeral wreath for mankind.

You were warned.

©WCG, 2001, 2003, 2008, 2009, 2010