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

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Faux Again

From the New York Times:

"[T]he question [is] how far governments must bend or even bow to the power of markets.

"Mr. Obama sees retaining the stability of markets and the confidence of investors as a primary goal of government and a prerequisite for achieving any major changes in public policy.

"Mrs. Merkel views the financial industry with profound skepticism and argues, in almost moralistic fashion, that real change is impossible unless lenders and borrowers pay a high price for their mistakes." [ 1 ]
Simple and candid truth; from the Times nonetheless! There is a Santa Claw after all.

We had thought there was something faux about Obama's rediscovered "New Nationalism". Herber Croley's "The Promise of American Life (1909), from which Theodore Roosevelt cribbed the main points of his Osawatomie Kansas speech (1910), had been inspired chiefly by the Great Otto von Bismark's progressive social compact which put in place the foundations for the present European social state.

The essential idea of that compact is that the two principal economic classes of the state must be coordinated for the good of the whole social fabric. Bismark's compact did not abolish private property, nor did it suppress labor; it imposed social responsibility on Capital and Labor, requiring both to work cooperatively for the good of the State.

Because it steered a course between free-market Liberalism and proletarian Socialism, Bismark's compact has been described as the "Third Way". It has also been called "fascism," "state-socialism," "national-socialism," and "social-democracy." As Bismark famously said, "Call it socialism or what you will, it's all the same to me."

In the United States, thanks to a cunning equivocation by Franklin Roosevelt, half-steps down the third way is called "liberalism" (as in "generous") -- which is why Americans are the most politically disoriented people on Earth. But, whatever it is called, the idea is the same: social and economic discipline is required of the worker; social and economic responsibility are imposed on corporations. As Herbert Croly put it,

"The national economic interest demands, on the one hand, the combination of abundant individual opportunity with efficient organization and, on the other, a wholesome distribution, of the fruits."
In Croley's view the French and American notions of "autonomy" and "souverainité" and "individualism" led to disintegration, inequity and chaos. "American, democracy," he wrote, "needs above all to be thoroughly nationalized."

Croley went on to found the Atlantic and the so-called "Progressive Movement;" Theodore Roosevelt went on to play the Bull Moose who roared in Osawatomie Kansas,

"The New Nationalism puts the national need before sectional or personal advantage. It is impatient of the utter confusion that results from local legislatures attempting to treat national issues as local issues. . . . It is still more impatient of ...[the] legal cunning, hired by wealthy special interests, to bring national activities to a deadlock. . . . [T]his means that our government, national and State, must be freed from the sinister influence or control of special interests."
T.R. went on to decry corporations "who twist the methods of free government into machinery for defeating the popular will." He called for "prohibition" of all corporate funding of political purposes, for the "publicity of corporate affairs" and for "a graduated income tax on big fortunes". TR concluded,

"The true friend of property, the true conservative, is he who insists that property shall be the servant and not the master of the commonwealth; who insists that the creature of man's making shall be the servant and not the master of the man who made it."

Does this sound like Obama?

In Osawatomie, Obama cribbed copiously from Roosevelt's "fair shake" and "fair deal" rhetoric; but he studiously omitted even the contours of Roosevelt's Bismarkian New Nationalism.

At least the Times got it right, albeit mirabilis dictu. Obama sees the role of government to be the assuaging of Capital and the coddling investor interests. The real "progressive" (or whatever name you choose au gout) believes that private capital is the "servant" of the commonwealth.


Saturday, November 26, 2011

An Act of Assymetrical Caution

It was reported today that Venezuela's president, Hugo Chavez, has ordered the repatriation of his country's gold from storage in European vaults.

No doubt scrinched up sphincters like Senator Mitch McConnell will decry the act as the dastardly deed of an asymetrical terrorist, lunatic. But we wonder...

It certainly seems beyond the pale of short term probability that the United States is intending to invade Venezuela. So why would Chavez apprehend that the world's Righteous Constable would bring intense pressure to bear on its European allies to embargo Venezuela's gold, as they recently embargoed Libya's? One word: Iran.

Is this a whiff in the wind of Zio-Con desires to invade Iran? We hardly need clues from Chavez as to that; and that can hardly have been news to Chavez. But Iran and Venezuela do have commerical and military ties, agreed upon several years back. Of course, we can count on the U.S. press (and its stepinfechts in Europe) not to connect the dots. They, along with the senatorial sphincter, will palaver hotly about what a crazy man Chavez is.... made crazier of course by the chemo... But given the sanctions and pressure that have been brought to bear on Iran and which were this past week announced by the Great Obambi himself, the level-headed man in the equation is in Caracas.


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Blundering Goons Strike Again

One good outcome of the Occupy Wall Street protests is that Americans are (dimly) coming to understand the true face their rulers. This weekend another video went viral, as it showed a cop in riot gear blasting pepper spray into the faces of seated protesters at U.C. Davis, California

Explaining the use of chemical force, Charles J. Kelly, the lieutenant who wrote the department's use of force guidelines, told CBS News that pepper spray was a "compliance tool" that can be used on subjects who do not resist, and which is preferable to simply lifting protesters. "When you start picking up human bodies, you risk hurting them," Kelly said. "Bodies don't have handles on them."

Where exactly on the DSM-IV axis does Kelly’s mental disorder fall? What would anyone call a parent who used a “compliance tool” on a child that was not “non-compliant”? “Sack of Shit” is what comes to my mind, although it doesn’t sound very clinical.

To make matters worse, Kelly blandly proffers up a “rationale” that itself qualifies as pure bullshit. Does Kelly think normal people will fall for this crap? He does. Why not? Judges lap it all the time, in case after case on a daily basis.

Anyone who has any doubts need only attend a Fourth Amendment suppression hearing, (if any are being held anymore). If sober minded, impartial, professionally trained magistrates and Supreme Court justices find such justifications to be “reasonable” why shouldn’t the public?

One of the most constitutionally destructive statements ever uttered was Justice Cardozo’s moronic statement that excluding illegally seized evidence means "the criminal is to go free just because the constable blundered." (People v. Defore (1928) 242 N.Y. 13; 150 N.E. 585.)

There was no “blunder” in Defore. In that case, the officer arrested defendant, in a public place, on suspicion of petty theft (for which he was later acquitted). Without a warrant, he then entered and ransacked defendant’s private quarters as a result of which he seized an illegal blackjack.

Although intoned in the context of an illegal search, Cardozo’s Stupidity quickly entered American lore. Our police, ever valiant and ever true, don’t do evil or sadistic things ... they just ...uh... blunder.

They blunder on the stand. They call it “testilying”. They blunder in sworn affidavits. It’s called “mis-omissions.” They blunder into murder, “confusing” the grip of their gun for their tasers.

And when they cannot think up of a blunder on their own, the appellate courts of the country are there to help them conjure up fantasy “safety rationales” and other excuses aimed at justifying unrestrained police prerogative and brutality.

The public lapped it up too, never missing a chance to jump for a hobgloblin which proved the cheapest way for politicians to gain votes. The cry went up: “Don’t shackle the police!” After all, the Constitution is too good to “waste” on criminals.

A culture of indulged and excused brutality permeated our para-militarized police forces which increasingly saw themselves as a society unto themselves. Even judges, who ought to have known better, didn’t bat an eye as police referred to ordinary, lesser citizens as “civilians”.

Here’s a clue: police are civilians too. When they cease to be civilians, society is ruled by de facto martial law. That day already arrived. The grunts doing their basic “full spectrum” training in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, who do not succumb to PTSD, will be tomorrow’s “blundering constables” kicking ass on American streets.

The corporate-bankster police state is prepared. Although the snivelling, stepinfechit press doesn’t report on it, police departments around the country are armed with spy and killer drones. They are armed with slippery goo that reduces all friction and makes it impossible to stand or even sit. They are armed with sonic cannon that make such brain blasting sounds you can’t control your own bowels. They are armed with laser beams that cause “intense” agonizing burning sensations. And if anyone thinks that cops have a shred of even animal decency that would embarrass them from using these “compliance tools” on you, think again.

Photo: AP/Thomas K. Fowler

Friday, November 4, 2011

Our Daily Belt

A very disturbing video circulating on YouTube captures a Judge William Adams, of Rockport Texas beating his then 16-year-old daughter with a belt, apparently, for violating house-rules on computer use and internet browsing. The video has been handed over to Federal prosecutors who have yet to comment on the matter.

In actuality, the video does not show anything more unusual or outrageous than what takes places cuotidianum hodie in the ordinary, average dysfunctional family unit: Dad wallops shrieking, crying, pleading daughter while a hubby-supportive and self-exculpating wife looks on and explains that daughter has brought this all upon herself.

Speaking to reporters, Judge Adams, says that the video "looks worse than it is." He should know. It's the sort of excuse he must hear every day from criminals up for sentencing.

Plus... we should not forget that supposedly innocent daughter was the one who secretly stashed away a camcorder so as to capture the whole scene... no doubt including her knowing and well-effected dramatic skills. Some victim!!

So Judge Adams yells and screams at his daughter for seven minutes straight and tells her repeatedly to lie on her stomach and (as mother puts it) take her punishment "like a grown up woman." You earned it, now take it. We all get what we deserve. Even Jesus.

Clearly, children can be disobedient, deceptive and manipulative. And when they are so chronically, what's an exasperated parent to do? What judge dipshit doesn't seem to understand is that children are just that: dependents. They are not autonomous. Everything they need, are and habituate to is a reflection of the Dominus Domi. However things got to the point where daughter felt the need to secretly tape dad reacting to whatever violation of house rules took place, the responsibility must of necessity return to source. In law, Judge, it's known as respondeat superior.

The well advised angel hesitates to tread into anyones domestic affairs; and, it is perhaps the case, that the thwacking looks worse than it really was. But it's the ice-berg beneath the surface that is causes the shudders.

If Judge Adams does this to his daughter, what must he do to his dogs?



Friday, October 28, 2011

Flash-Banging the Right to Peaceably Assemble

Scott Olsen, 24, served two tours of duty in Iraq as a U.S. Marine. In July 2011, after returning Stateside, he moved to the San Francisco Bay Area where he worked with a software company. He also became active with Iraq Veterans Against the War.

On Tuesday, October 26, Olsen joined approximately 1000 other “Occupiers” marching on Frank Ogawa Place, in Oakland.

Earlier in the day, the police had “cleared” the two-week long encampment at the Plaza. At 4:45 AM (Tuesday) hundreds of multi-task force officers marched on the Plaza and ordered to Occupiers to disperse. Five minutes later, the police lobbed “flash-bang” grenades into the crowd

Speaking in de rigueur mili-cop speak, Oakland city spokesperson, Karen Boyd, said "We have contained the plaza, we are in the process of mobilizing the clean-up phase."

Boyd went on to say that “it was apparent that neither the demonstrators nor the city could maintain safe or sanitary conditions, or control the ongoing vandalism" and that "those arrested now face charges for camping or assembling without a permit".

Throughout Tuesday, police and demonstrators contained one another on the streets leading to the park. At this time, protestors splattered the police with paint.

The confrontation continued on into the night at which time things had more or less lulled into a standoff. Videos taken at the scene show protestors standing about in an intersection with the police aligned behind metal barricades drawn across the street leading to the park.

(video by vimeo.com/31187119)

At this time, and without any provocation, the police fired tear gas cannisters and a flash-bang into the crowd hitting Olsen in the head. Olsen fell to the ground and the police continued firing as other protestors rush to his assistance. Olsen is carried away with a bloody gash in his forhead and taken to hospital where he was listed as being in critical but stable condition.

As Olsen was being carried off, President Obama was being broadcast on the Jay Leno Show. Obama says that the protests indicate people are “frustrated”.

The following day (Wednesday) Oakland officials start the usual cover up.

Police Chief Howard Jordan said at a late afternoon news conference that the events leading up to Olsen's injury would be investigated as vigorously as a fatal police shooting. (Yawn)

"It's unfortunate it happened. I wish that it didn't happen. Our goal, obviously, isn't to cause injury to anyone," the chief said. (Yeah, "obviously". )

"We are committed to allowing free speech," he said, "but the First Amendment doesn't allow violence or endangering the public or property." (What "violence"? The potential violence that might have occurred had police not fired into the crowd to prevent violence from occuring?)

As it emerged, on Thursday, that the police had in fact lobbed a flash-bang, officials began back pedalling further.

City officials claimed that the plaza was damaged by graffiti, litter and unspecified vandalism. Police officials implied that perhaps non Oakland police units were responsible for the projectile that hit Olsen, although they did not deny having used flash-bangs earlier in the day.

In a news conference, Oakland major, Jean Quan sought to distance herself from the police action, saying she was away in Washington at the time and had not expected it to unfold the way it did.

The New York Times opined that “stressed out cities” around the country were having difficulty containing the protests. Speaking on the Jay Leno Show, on the night Olsen was hit, President Obama said that while he understood the “frustration” felt by many people he could not condone lawlessness.

The “frustration” people feel is at a corpocracy that does not minimally meet the needs of ordinary people. Democrats and Republicans can log-jam one another all they want neither party meets the needs of ordinary people. President Obama can understand all he want, he chose to help out banks instead of ordinary people.

What stresses out cities is non-existent revenues which are the result of non-existent economies. Last, but not least, what is “lawless” is police firing at people as if they were targets in some cop joy-shoot. No action of the protestors damaged much less “endangered” property. Since when does marching down a street put property “at risk” other than in a fevered imagination? It is precisely to foreclose that kind of repressive excuses that the Constitution guarantees the right to peaceably assemble.

For exercising that right, Scott Olsen was almost killed by a “non-lethal” projectile fired at close range.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Half a Percent for Ninety Nine Percent!

In the news today, it was reported that President Obama once again used his executive authority to implement a legislative change -- this time, to ease the debt burden on student loans.

According to reports, the executive order moves up the effective date of a previoulsy enacted law which reduced maximum required repayments from 15 to 10 percent of annual discretionary income. Under Obama's order, the law will take effect in 2012 instead of 2014. Obama's executive action will also allow student-borrowers to consolidate their loans into a single government debt, carrying an interest rate that is half a percent lower than at present.

Obama's move is such patent financial demagoguery it is hard not to laugh. Obama is obviously feeling the heat of his own betrayal of the 99 percent. His answer? Shave off half a percent!

This is the third time within the week that Obama has announced an executive action which bypasses the congressional dead end. Earlier in the week he announced a housing re-fi plan and a job-training program for veterans. Needless to say, the Republicans are huffing indignantly about constitutionalism and the End of the Republic!

In all honesty, it would be unfair to accuse Obama of "currying favor" with the demos like kings scattering coin to the jubilant throng or would-be emperors promising donatives to the Praetorian Guard in quid pro quo of electoral support. It would be unfair because such transparent skullduggery is exactly what American democracy is all about. Getting some change to the Code of Federal Regulations is what a thousand-bucks-a-plate is for.

What is scandalous is how cheaply Obama seeks to buy student support. Big Bank, Big Pharma, Big Inc., big anything get small, teensy changes in the law through which billions in profits are siphoned. Rope through the eye of a needle? No problem. But when it comes to buying the support of ordinary people, the small change produces small change.

According to the WSJ, Julie Margetta Morgan, a policy analyst at the liberal think tank Center for American Progress, called the Obama plan a step in the right direction, but said that without Congress on board, the White House can't advance "the kind of really big changes we want to see."

The really big change would be for Obama and Congress both to stop thinking in terms of leveraging the profit generator to gear-in some small social or economic change. What students need is European style merit-based university education that taxes only the brain.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Official Bullshit and Twin Hole Memorial

But lo! On closer inspection, all the skillfully "angled" photographs were not able to hide a salient fact: virtually no one showed up for the events, and those that did were mostly in some sort of uniform or married to a uniform. The number of people surrounding the massive Twin Hole Memorial, could not have numbered more than 1000 and was more like 500. And this despite the Real Presence of two Presidents!!

What was the rest of the country doing? Around here, at least, they were strolling babies, walking dogs, necking in woodsy nooks and splashing into water holes, on a lovely bright day.

As for "the News".... it was all Official BULLSHIT.


Friday, August 26, 2011


Headline (August 22): Rebels Enter Tripoli. (ABC News)

News story shows fresh-faced Twitterites rejoicing.

Headline:(August 23): The Scramble for Access to Libya's Oil... Begins. (NYT)

"Colonel Qaddafi proved to be a problematic partner for international oil .... A new government with close ties to NATO may be an easier partner for Western nations to deal with."

Headline (August 25): European Firms Hoping for Big Business in Libya (Spiegel)

"[Under Qadaffi] it was a difficult country to do business in. State-owned companies dominated most markets,... Now, though, companies are hopeful that the incoming government -- however it might ultimately look -- will provide better conditions for doing business. During [a] meeting with the transitional council, the German economic leaders were assured that the private economy would be strengthened, ..."

Headline (August 26): United Nations unfreezes Libyan Assets (NYT)

"The Obama administration is working to find ways to provide financial assistance to the rebels in Libya, officials said Monday ..." and as a result "[t]he Security Council committee that monitors sanctions against Libya agreed on Thursday to unfreeze $1.5 billion in Libyan assets for emergency aid to the country, where rebel forces that have ousted Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi are confronting a humanitarian crisis as they attempt to establish security and form a new government."

We previously wrote that the Obama Administration had successfully roped in NATO as an adjunct partner in the U.S. global war against terrorism.

We recently wrote that the core strategy of the U.S. "security wars" is to promote chaos and civil degradation so as to create perpetually fluid conditions for exploitation and control of resources. The strategists and leaders of the "First World" have realized that it is no longer necessary to go through the trouble and expense of installing despot puppets like Augusto Pinochet. It quite suffices to destroy whatever national authority exists and to negotiate contracts with whatever tribal or urban gangs (passing off as a "transitional government) are nearest to the bananas we want to pick.

©Woodchip Gazette, 2011.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Obama's Stunning Hypocrisy

In his Monday night Address to the Nation (July 25) [1], Obama called upon Americans to contact their representatives and rally around his “balanced approach” to reducing the budget. Obama’s speech was littered with fair sounding sound bites but he was in fact asking ordinary Americans to pay for corporate tax breaks with cuts to Social Security and Medicare.

The President has himself stated that Social Security is not a cause of the deficit. (April 2011 White House “Fact Sheet”) [2] If Social Security recipients are not the cause of the either the debt or deficit why should they pay for it at all? How “balanced” is that?

The President’s illogic is stunning. The purely tactical justification for his four trillion dollar “Grand Plan” was that Republican support for “tax increases” on wealthy Americans and corporations could only be teased out by offering matching cuts to entitlements. In other words, unfairness is the price struggling Americans have to pay for getting the richest elements in society to pay their so-called fair share. What kind of logic is that?

Obama’s Oxymoron is tissued over with ambiguous weasel words. In his Monday night address Obama first spoke of “modest adjustments” to entitlements such as Medicare. He then turned around and spoke of the “painful cuts” needed to make sure “the burden is fairly shared.” Which is it?

Although disguised in a morass of legerdemain, the “modest adjustments” are, in Senator Bernie Sanders’ (Ind-Vt) words, “horrendous.”

Worse than the double-talk on the entitlement side is Obama’s outright obfuscation on the revenue side. Not once has Obama ever called for an increase in tax rates for the wealthy. In fact, in his April 2011 Fact Sheet, the President spoke glowingly of his plan’s lowering of the corporate tax to the lowest level in 25 years. [2]

What “revenue increases” really means is asking wealthy speculators and corporations “to give up some their breaks in the tax code and special deductions.” While this may be a step toward fairness, it is basically small beer.

Over the weekend, Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid (Dem Nev) put forth a 2.7 trillion dollar plan that balanced the budget with somewhat fuzzy cut backs to discretionary spending coupled with an end to the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. Tax rates were not raised, but entitlements were not cut. [3]

The White House at first praised the plan, but later in the evening, the President himself took to the air to champion his Grand Slam to the elderly, sick and disabled. Obama argued,

“So the debate right now isn’t about whether we need to make tough choices. ... The debate is about how it should be done. Most Americans, regardless of political party, don’t understand how we can ask a senior citizen to pay more for her Medicare before we ask a corporate jet owner or the oil companies to give up tax breaks that other companies don’t get.”

Actually, most Americans don’t understand why a senior citizen on a meager fixed income and barely getting by should pay at all for a deficit he or she did not cause. (See Fauxbama Strikes Again)

Obama's hypocrisy is stunning. Republican intransigence and the Reid Plan, put forth by Senator Harry Reid (Dem Nev) gives Obama a political out by opting for a more than patch- piece budget that does not penalize entitlements while still being able to shift blame onto the opposition. And yet Obama still pushes for a plan that imposes cuts on Social Security.

In other words, Obama’s tactical justification for offering up Social Security sacrifices was and is simply a ruse. The President wants cuts to entitlements whether or not they are needed to get the Republicans on board.

Obama's Grand Slam is wrong and unfair. Of course, a long term deficit and debt reduction plan is desireable. But desireability is not an alchemy that turns unfairness into justice. Yes, Americans should contact their representatives and tell them: Thou shalt not offer up the aged and the orphaned as sacrifices to Moloch.

©WoodchipGazette, 2011.

[1]http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press office/2011/07/25/address-president-nation

[2]http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press office/2011/04/13/fact-sheet-presidents-framework-shared prosperity-and-shared-fiscal-resp

[3]http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/173445-reid-unveils 27t-debt-cut-plan-dares-the-gop-to-vote-no

[4]http://wcg-features.blogspot.com/2011/07/fauxbama strikes-again.html


Friday, July 22, 2011

Another Reason to Avoid Supermarkets

The Food and Drug Administration today published new rules that would require meat vendors to specify how much water and brine their T-Bones and chicken breasts contain.

As it turns out, much of the so-called "meat" offered to the American public for sale contains up to 40% of salt-water. This is particulary true of products such as "Teriyaki Chicken" or "DownHome Mesquite Flavored Steak", but "plumping up" meat with water is not apparently limited to pre-flavored products. Who in the world wants to pay $4.99 a pound for a product that is 40% water?

Just as pertinently, is there anything in the United States that is not a money-grubbing scam?


Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Shadow of a Past Betrayal

The mainstream mudia reported this week that President Obama had put Medicare and Social Security on the "chopping block" in an effort to reach a budget consensus with the Republicans.

As usual, the mudia does its best to obfuscate rather than to inform. What do the Republicans want? Any imbecile knows that the pet rock and wet dream of the Republican Party is to abolish, kill off, destroy, repeal Social Security and Medicare. Given that fact, words like consensus and compromise have no place in the report. Try this,

Obama has put Medicare and Social Security on the chopping block in order to reach an agreement with those who want to put Medicare and Social Security on the chopping block.

Uh huh....

We at the chip stack, never put much stock in Fauxbama. But it ought to be clear by now to even the thickest block of wood that Obama was simply a false flag operation -- a put up job, a mole, a swindler and a fake.

What is stunning is the extent to which so many still don't get it, arguing that what we are seeing is an Obamian Gambit which aims to paint the Republicans into a corner. Bullpucky. What we are seeing is a classic Mutt and Jeff routine, in which Obama plays the consoling good guy to a totally battered middle class America. "Stick with me. I'm doing the best I can."

This is not some unexpected turn of events. Goldman Sachs was a major bankroller of Obama's campaign. Was it any surprise that as millions lost their savings and livelihood, Obama took to the podium to declaim that he did not begrudge Blankfein his millions?

There are some who speak of a "looming" sell out. Nah. What we are witnessing is simply the shadow of a past betrayal.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Another After Dinner Illness?

It was reported today that Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez had gone to Cuba for medical treatment of an undescribed intestinal treatment.

Eh quoi? Venezuela has no hospitals of its own? Venezuela is not exacty the Ivory Coast, after all. So the question that leaps to mind is: why Cuba?

The evident answer is that Chavez does not trust medical treatment elsewhere. Certainly Paris or the Mayo Clinic are world famous medical facilities that are at the disposal of the famous of the world; why would Chavez not go to such a facility? The only inference is that, because such facilities are all within the long arm of states and interests hostile to Chavez's administration, he does not trust them and prefers treatment at the hands of tried and true ideological comrades.

But is it truly necessary to fly to Havana for a more or less routine procedure? Certainly any doctor anywhere has the means and the skill to kill any patient within his reach. A jab or a swab with any number of known substances will do. In fact, to put it simply, some state's secret service can certainly find a susceptible chamber maid to slip arsenic into a bottle of aspirin.

The fact that Chavez has flown to Cuba implicates a more serious condition, with potential complications and which -- like the intestinal ailment that afflicted Castro -- Cuban facilities have experience dealing with.

Ah, Lucretia, Lucretia - where art thou?


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Burnt Toast

Obama toasted the Queen today. No doubt years of practice has endured Her Majesty to sitting through exquisitely embarrassing moments, but it was painful to watch all the same.

The unravelling began at the beginning when President Obama raised his glass to propose a toast “to the Queen” and then, as the anthem was struck, rambled on to praise the vitality of the special relationship and “in the words of Shakesepare, this blessed plot, this earth, this realm this England.” Obama was left standing with his glass in the air as the Queen stared straight ahead and the guests stood like pillars of salt.

Obama can hardly be faulted for the triviality of his remarks. As with petite fours, it is expected that dinner will end with a confection of platitudes. But what the mis-toast revealed was that Obama had no idea of whom he was addressing.

It would be too fine a point to complain that Obama’s remarks treated Her Majesty as some species of civil servant about to receive a gold watch for years of faithful service. After all, such expressions were the essence of Archbishop Carey’s sermon at the Queen golden jubilee.

The difficulty on this occasion was that the comments came from a guest and, as such, stood at the very line between gratitude and condescening commendation. This was, after all, a state dinner and it was not entirely beyond question that the head of one state should be grateful for the “service” rendered by the head of another. If there was redemption here it came from the fact that Obama had just previously belittled himself to the level of a prime minister.

But what Obama most evidently did not get, is that he was not talking to a person but rather to the personification of the state. The United Kingdom is precisely that: a monarchy. What does Obama think “Her Majesty’s Government” means? In speaking to her, at a state dinner, he speaks “to England”.

Because under God the monarch is the next highest thing, a toast cannot begin but can only end with “to the Queen”. She is the sum of the parts, the ne plus ultra -- which is why the musicians were correctly on cue. Who would have expected that after raising a toast to the country as a whole he would then go on to extol polo ponies and the various parts?

Obama may have gone to Harvard, but he does not come from a coherent tradition. Couldn’t the State Department have prepped him? After all that’s what eunuchs are for.


Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Indignation in Spain Rises Gently from the Plains

For the past week, in anticipation of local elections this weekend (May 21-22), Spanish students and young people defied legal injunctions and held protests in the country’s major cities. An estimated 10,000 “indignados” (indignant ones) crowded into Madrid’s Puerta del Sol plaza and published a co-ordinated Communiqué or Manifesto [1] on line.

The protests and the expected defeat of the “socialists” at the polls highlights the international nature of the economic crisis and the ideological challenges facing the would-be left.

The effective cause of the protests is Spain’s high unemployment and the government’s austerity program pushed through in response to the global recession which ensued in the wake of 2008's burst financial bubble.

On average, unemployment in Spain hovers around 20 percent; however among 20-somethings it reaches a staggering 44 percent. Spain was particularly hard hit because much of its vaunted “economic miracle” was built on “housing starts” engineered by now familiar Greenspanian wizardry. Now that the erector set has collapsed, jobs have vanished, vast tracts of real estate lie unoccupied and foreclosure agents have come a knocking.

Spain’s pseudo-socialist government (Partido Socialista del Obrero Español or PSOE) has met the crisis with the by now predictable austerity measures. Limping on after nearly two years of recession, the Government wants to slash its deficit from 11.2 percent of GDP in 2009 to within the EU limit of 3 percent by 2013.

To this end, Zapatero's “socialist” government has sought to cut wages for civil servants by 5 percent, reduce unemployment benefits, abolish maternity grants, freeze pensions, raise the retirement age to 67, raise the value added tax and revise regulations so as to make it easier and cheaper for companies to lay people off. The package of cuts, which was first floated in May 2010, hopes to save $21 billion over the next two years so as to meet the EU’s “austerity target” and avoid the necessity of an IMF or EU bailout which would impose much the same cuts in any event.

However, the package is not limited to cuts. It includes capital-friendly measures such as granting pardons and favorable rates to tax-evaders in order to entice them to repatriate 50 billion euros held offshore. It also includes anti-labor measures such as a “reform” of collective bargaining rights so as to “loosen the link between inflation and wages” as one pro-business rag put it.

Reviewing the proposals last May, the IMF’s “rutting chimpanzee,” Domnique Strauss-Kahn, the Fund’s putatively socialist managing director, told the Spanish conservative daily 'ABC' that Zapatero’s measures were “strong” and would help “recover” confidence. "The issue now is to see how the measures will be implemented,” Strauss-Kahn said, “especially those concerning the labor market."

Contemporaneously with DSK’s pronouncement, Santiago Lopez Diaz, an analyst with Credite Suisse stated, "Once the economy recovers the structural profitability of the system is unlikely to return to the levels witnessed during the boom years in spite of excellent efficiency levels."

In plain Spanish, the austerity measures are not a temporary cure on the road to prosperity but rather a “discipline” to get Spaniards re-accustomed to a replay of the lean and lackluster economy of the Franco era. With socialists like Zapatero and Straus-Kahn, who needs capitalists?

Anyone who does not by now understand what is at work probably does not have sufficient cranial capacity to be part of the species known as homo sapiens.

The pattern in Spain falls into a global paradigm that applies to Greece, to Ireland, to Portugal, to France, to California, to Wisconsin - to everywhere. The mantra is the same everywhere: In order to “reassure financial markets” and “calm investor fears,” governments need to reduce their budget deficits to minimal levels by reducing social expenditures.

However, in order to reduce expenditures, it is also necessary to destroy the ability of workers to demand expenditures on such things as a living wage, pensions, secure and safe working conditions, and health care. The goal is not just balancing books, but rebalancing the equilibrium between capital and labor so that labor is destroyed as a political force and rendered incapable of demanding better living standards.

In other words, “recovery” depends on “impoverishment” or, in the Newspeak of the New World Order,


The pseudo-science behind the slogan is the same in Spain as in Seboygan: Once “spending” is reduced to minimal levels, investor confidence will return and re-stimulate the economy with new job-creating investments, although admittedly never again to the good ol’ levels of before. Workers will worker harder than before (“excellent efficiency”) but get by on less. As for the millions who don’t get by at all -- “structural unemployment” is the price “we” pay for a free market.

American exceptionalism includes the bizarre and baffling notion that what goes around somehow doesn’t come around here. But what goes around has come around.

This past month the I.M.F., declared war on the American worker by announcing that the U.S. deficit was “unsustainable.” As working men and women around the world know, such “findings” are the opening salvo before imposing “austerity measures.” Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner understands and agrees. His disagreement with the “investor class” which the socialist chimp represents at the IMF is over what might be called the 'rate of impoverishment ' Geithner wants a “soft landing” -- one that takes place as slowly as possibly so that the never very acute American public does not realize that it has been boiled into frog-meat.

Along with the slow boil comes the Big Diversion. It is absolutely essential that the American public be kept as stupid as possible. The successful restructuring of the New World Economy is too important to be left to chance stupidity. And so, for the entire past week, while thousands of students and young people were protesting in Spain, the pages of the U.S. mainstream tabloids were packed with titillating column inches on Straus-Kahn’s rutting after a chambermaid and Sperminator Arnie’s siring of a “love child” with his other child’s nanny ... or whatever. As usual, Arnold came out ahead, preserving at all costs his macho image and covering his truer persona as Blue Shield’s Girlie Boy.

The students and youth in Spain have seen past such distractions. Their web site [2] proclaims: “We want a new society that gives priority to life over economic and political interests. We advocate a change in society and in social consciousness.”

Their specific priorities were published on line in a manifesto or “comuniqué of the assembly.” Although the manifesto includes demands which are specific to Spain or to the European Community, its general contours are applicable to all countries which are being attacked by the New World Order.

In summary fashion, the students demand a political economy that is democratic, transparent and which subsumes the demand of “business” to the welfare and needs of people. The manifesto’s demands are the mirror-opposite of the IMF’s standard “prescription.” They include a stiffening of labor protections, an extension of social benefits, re-nationalization of previously privatized industries, non-market driven academic autonomy, taxes on speculative financial transactions, an end to tax-havens and to anti-immigrant discrimination, the use of renewable, non-nuclear energy, and unweighted, proportional representation at the ballot box.

The manifesto avoids the ideological stamping which is so characteristic of European political movements and specifically states that the it is not associated with any current political party or social or syndical organization. In true "anarcho" tradition, the “tomalaplaza” web site announces, “We are a spontaneous movement configured in an Assembly.”

In their aggregate, the students’ positive demands are neither liberal (capitalist) nor socialist but rather fall into a category that might be called neo-syndicalist. They point to a middle path of mitigated and regulated capitalism that had been the program of Europe’s social democrats. In other words, the students are demanding that Spain’s “socialist” government be what it purports to be.

However, they avoid saying even that. It is evident that the “movement-in-assembly” wants to avoid falling into the trap of political sectarianism and, rather, to appeal to as many people as possible on “positive” singular points. There are perils and advantages to this approach.

However, an accurate characterization of the student demands in tandem with the expected electoral results is important because the mainstream media both in Europe and the United States will blandly announce that Spain has rejected and repudiated Zapatero’s “socialist” government, when in fact it will have rejected a government that merely labelled itself socialist and was hardly even social-democratic. But from their false premise, the organs of popular disinformation will then argue that voters are in favor of free market “austerity” when in fact just the opposite is the case.

Distilling ideological essences is an academic exercise; but identifying those who bear false label is not. From Greece to California, the working class in the Western World has been betrayed by those who claim to have spoken for it, by the Democrats in the U.S., the Labor Party in the U.K. and by the “Socialists” or “Social Democrats” on the Contintent. In all countries ordinary working men and women must oppose compromising with their own defeat. Poverty is not Prosperity.

[1] http://madrid.tomalaplaza.net/category/comunicados-de-la asamblea/

[2] http://madrid.tomalaplaza.net/

20 MAY 2011

1. Electoral reform by which representation is made proportional to votes received.

2. Safeguarding fundamental and basic rights such as:
(a) the right to decent housing
(b) free and universal public health
(c) right to a free and secular education (free from credal influences or church control)

[In particular, the manifesto demands that the law be changed so that foreclosure cancels the mortgage debt in its entirety. Currently, in Spain (as similarly in Canada) the borrower remains liable for the face value of the note and/or interest even in the event of sale or foreclosure.]

3. Repeal of unjust and discriminatory laws such as the Bologna Plan for educational reform, anti-immigrant reforms and the “anti-download” law known as Ley Sinde.

[Three complex and controversial topics in one sentence. Along with a unified currency, EU states enacted the “Bologna Plan” providing for uniformity, inter changeability and open access among educational requirements, degrees and institutions. While the reform seems desireable in theory, in practice it makes education more costly, subjects university education to the demands of the market and subordinates curricula to corporate needs.]

4. Fiscal reform including: lowering low income tax rates; revision of inheritance taxes; institution of a Tobin Tax on speculative financial transcations and abolishing tax havens.

5 & 6. Enactment of various anti-corruption and political transparency laws.

7. Regulation of banking and financial market pratices in conformity with Article 128 of the Constitution which provides that “all wealth, in whatever form, remains subject to the general public interest.” Including
(a) reduction of IMF and World Bank influence
(b) immediate nationalization of those banks which have been “rescued” by the State.
(c) Stiffening of financial controls over financial entities and their operations.

8. Effective separation of Church and State as required by the Constitution

9. Promotion of direct, participative democracy as well as popular access to media and means of communication.

10. Effective enforcement of laws regulating working conditions.

11. Shutdown of all nuclear plants. and promotion of renewalbe sustainable and free sources of energy.

12. Re-nationalization of public enterprises which were privatized

13. Actual separation of powers between three branches of government.

14. Reduction in military spending and shut-down of arms factories.

15. Revindication of historical memory with respect to the fight for democracy in Spain.

16. Total transparency of the financies of all political parties.

©Woodchipgazette, 2011


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Straus-Kahn Arrested for Doing what the IMF does Best

Dominique Straus Kahn, head of the IMF, was arrested for rape-assault on a Chambermaid! -- But for a chambermaid, Dominique, a chambermaid? Couldn't it at least have been Argentina?


Monday, May 2, 2011

Now We Know

So... Now we know the real reason Obamasama was not invited to the Royal Wedding. He had a Murder to attend to!!!!!


A True National Security Moment

"If there is a normal order in societies, it must be the fruit of an anterior crisis." -- Rene Girard.

On Sunday evening, regular programming and routine weekend affairs were interrupted so that the Commander in Chief could announce the successful murder of Osama Bin Laden, the alleged evil mastermind of the despicable terrorist attacks of 9/11.

It was a classic “National Security Moment” that bespoke the Orwellian demi-monde into which we have sunk. In modern times, lazy Sunday mornings or uneventful weekday nights are typically interrupted to announce some kind of actual national emergency such as the attack on Pearl Harbor or the events of September 11th. Other happenings of less immediate impact and consequence have been allowed to wait until morning. Thus, the immediate reaction to the White House announcement that President Obama would address the Nation within moments was necessarily one of intense apprehension. Like Winston, arrested by the blare of loudspeakers, we were left to wonder worriedly what dread and dire result loomed over us now.

With relief we soon learned that the announcement would deal with the locating and killing of Osama Bin Laden. We could return to our fourth beer, to making the kids’ sandwiches or to twittering with our myriad faceless friends as our glow boxes were filled with all the chirping chatter one ever needed to hear about Osama.

The moment shortly dragged on into minutes and to near an hour. Apparently the president was ensuring that he was the last person on the planet to actually give the news. Perhaps he was waiting for a “consensus” to emerge.

When he finally did take to the podium he had nothing to add except a lot of political hay. But the hay is worth weighing because it reveals the Administration’s utterly deceitful cynicism. Obama began,

"It was nearly 10 years ago that a bright September day was darkened by the worst attack on the American people in our history. The images of 9/11 are seared into our national memory ... The worst images are those that were unseen to the world. The empty seat at the dinner table. Children who were forced to grow up without their mother or their father. Parents who would never know the feeling of their child's embrace. Nearly 3,000 citizens taken from us, leaving a gaping hole in our hearts."

Surely tears must have rolled down the eyes of those assembled outside the White House bearing lighted candles and yellow ribbons. But any rendition of Amazing Grace would have to wait a little longer as the President continued,

"On September 11, 2001, in our time of grief, the American people came together. We offered our neighbors a hand, and we offered the wounded our blood. We reaffirmed our ties to each other, and our love of community and country. On that day, no matter where we came from, what God we prayed to, or what race or ethnicity we were, we were united as one American family."
What Obama served up was paradigmatic scapegoating; pure and simple, no more and no less.

As everyone knows, “scapegoating” consists in arbitrarily blaming someone or something else for a problem that afflicts a society or group. However, as theorized by René Girard [1], the French professor of literature turned anthropological philosopher, the process begins in what he calls 'mimetic desire.'

According to Girard [2], human desire is learned through imitation. We see another person desiring an object, we imitate him by desiring the same object. Advertisers make great and profitable use of this principle.

However, this imitation soon snowballs into personal antagonism. In a kind of integral psychological calculus, the more we imitate another person’s desires for various things, the more we come to imitate him himself. In this way, envy for things turns into personal jealousy so that the person we imitate becomes our competitor and, ultimately, our enemy.

The only way to break the cycle of 'mimetic violence' into which we have become trapped, is to transpose our hostile urges onto a sacrificial victim -- to desire to have, and thus to share, the same enemy. The inversion is key. As we once competed for the same desireable object, we can now join in hating, fighting and destroying the same loathsome object. The brutal elimination of the victim assuages the appetite for violence and leaves the group suddenly and miraculously appeased and calm. Peace and Unity have been restored.

And so, the Fifteen Minutes of Hate end with the soothing voice of Big Brother telling us,

“Justice has been done... Tonight, we are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to. That is the story of our history, whether it's the pursuit of prosperity for our people, or the struggle for equality for all our citizens; our commitment to stand up for our values abroad, and our sacrifices to make the world a safer place.

"Let us remember that we can do these things not just because of wealth or power, but because of who we are: one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

"Thank you. May God bless you. And may God bless the United States of America.”

Girard’s theories open up a fascinating origami of anthropological, historical and theological implications. But, at a purely material level, mimetic desire is simply another way of describing class conflict. What happens between individuals happens in the aggregate when two classes desire the same objects like food, shelter and... well... gasoline. In one way or another, the class conflict must be resolved.

Today, the United States stands at the precipice of a Great Depression. Its credit rating has been down graded by Standards and Poor’s, the International Monetary Fund has sounded the tocsin for “belt tightening,” Bernanke’s quantitative easing has all but trashed the ever-sinking dollar, the housing slump deepens and unemployment continues substantially unabated. As ex Senator Simpson put it with inimitable vulgarity, “there are too many pigs at the sow's teats.” Move over People, there is not enough milk for General Electric and Bank of America.

There are solutions to the economic crisis, but they will not be found in Obama’s neo-liberal incantations and ministrations. Prosperity for all is not, never has been, and cannot be achieved by shovelling wealth at the wealthy. Security for all is not achieved by endless war.

But war and poverty are all Obama actually proffers, now and for the foreseeable future.

In the Futurological Congress, sci-fi writer Stanslaw Lem describes a destitute world where “atmospheric hallucinogens” have deluded people into thinking that a dim bulb is a chandelier and that a tin of mush is roast goose. Big Pharma may get us there yet, but for the moment, we will have to rejoice in the killing of Bin Laden.


[1] Rene Girard:- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ren%C3%A9_Girard

[2] La Violence et le sacré (1972); English translation: Violence and the Sacred. Translated by Patrick Gregory. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1977.

[3] Futurological Congress :- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Futurological_Congress

© Woodchip Gazette, 2011


Monday, April 18, 2011

Moral Hypocricy & The Wrong Kind of Magnification

The report of the cold-blooded massacre of Palestinian prisoners by Jewish guards raises two principle questions, the first of which is the black out of the story in the U.S. and Western press. Of course, the story will be reported in small print somewhere so that there can be a tenuous claim of deniability. But what cannot be denied on any substantial and good faith basis is that the murder has been censored from the news.

The reason is clear. Had Chinese or Arab or Balkan guards committed the atrocious murder, the story would be all the headline. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would be out front declaiming and hectoring. Even President Obama would muster the courage to denounce (in slightly hedged terms) the "inappropriate" conduct. Had Arabs or -- god forbid -- Iranians murdered 200 Jews, the wailing board of the American press would resonate for weeks with indignation and demands for nuclear wasting of the culprits -- all of them, let Jehova sort 'em out!

The patent moral hypocricy is simply a manifestation of the underlying fact that our policies and public awareness are formed and informed by interested parties who seek only their own advantage and whose every word drips with dishonour.

But worse than hypocricy is the moral decay which the event reflects. This second question is of broader scope because it cannot be said that Israeli guards are the only thugs who get a "morale boost" from murdering other human beings. Just last month the press was obliged to report on the leak of American soldiers ghoulishly grinning, posing with and mutilating the cadavers of young men they had "wasted" in a lethal carnival game-shoot.

Depraved cruelty is nothing alien to Man. The walls of the Louvre and the Uffizi hang with the resplendant spectacles of sadism. The museums ought to remind us what a thin tissue keeps us from falling into the pit. But they have failed to do so. A kind of reverse Magnificat has been gestating in society's womb, as if we have been nursing a little, repugnant, oozing monster that has now blasted out with blackened gore to see the light of day.

What was the poisoned seed that gave this malformed creature birth? It began as a culture of bravado and hardness that despired gentility and softness as weak and faggy. It progressed to a culture of grit, grunge and grunting hardness that proved itself both in taking it and dishing it out. Bruteness was made a sport until we made a sport of brutality.

In 2005, American soldiers strung up a 22 year old Afghani cab driver and beat him to death over a period of four days, amusing themselves by thwacking his legs with sticks to make him jerk in pain and cry out "Alla Akbar". After days of this sporting treatment, the "interrogee" went into coronary arrest. The coroner reported that his legs had been "pulpified" into the consistency of juice. Not a peep of indignation was heard from any quarter in the United States: not in the press, not from the pulpit, not from the stinking pit that calls itself "Congress" and certainly not from the likes of President "SockJock" Bush.

Brutality has been building up for quite some time accompanied, in tandem, by an official culture that displays its "fairness" with displays of cold, indifference. Us, hate? Oh no! Far be it from us. We just don't care! For us, a suspect, a prisoner, an enemy is just an object! Can't get more impartial than that.

The kernel of cruelty subsist in every human heart as a kind of original sin. Instead of restraining this impulse we have done everything we could to cultivate and unleash it. But alongside cruelty, in every heart there is also a "conscience" --- an equally primal awareness of basic moral axioms. In a curious dynamic the impulse for cruelty against others gets restrained by an awareness in self that juxtaposes self with other. It is this tense balance between opposites that makes us exclaim "What am I doing?" and stop, provided we at least retain our alertness to what we are about.

But the Evil One knows this and fights conscience with all tools at his disposal.

"Future soldiers may operate in encapsulated, climate-controlled, powered fighting suits, laced with sensors, and boasting chameleonlike “active” camouflage. “Skin patch” pharmaceuticals help regulate fears, focus concentration and enhance endurance and strength." (Rebuilding America's Defences, P.N.A.C. Report, Sept. 2000.)
Yes! Performance enhancers and murderous morale boosters to create moral monsters. And the Good News is that one day -- oh happy day! -- we won't even have to be hypocritical about it anymore!

©Woodchip Gazette, 2011

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Nix Son?

It was reported in Canada this week that a brownish, non-european student was evicted from a Harper campaign rally after a "background check" [sic] uncovered that she had attended opposition party rallies as well. All a-fluster, the Harper campaign staff issued an apology, stating that anyone with a red & white maple leaf balloon was welcome at the prime minister's campaign events.

Trish & Steve

What is it about Harper that seems deja vú?


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Nukular Keystone

Finally, after three weeks of antics worthy of the Keystone Kops, the Japanese company which owns the Fukushima nuclear plant has admitted that it will need to permanently shut down three of the reactors. "Permanently shut down" means burying the whole irradiating pile under a massive pile of sand, concrete and -- who knows -- maybe even a huge lead dome. Bye, bye investment.

The denouement was completely forseeable and indicates, once again, why nuclear power simply cannot be entrusted to private enterprise.

As we Chipsters noted the day after the tsunami, the situation at Fukushima had the unmistakable aura of the Titanic. The casual, reassured under-reporting was itself a symptom that spoke volumes. Where have we hear this sort of talk before? we wondered. "Oh, there's talk of an iceberg, ma'am."

The ostensibly trivial mishaps and breakdowns likewise spoke volumes. It is always the small things that cause the big bangs. It is obvious in a way, once one thinks about it. A chain breaks on account of the weakest link; and, in most systems of one sort or another, the weakest "link" is very often the smallest. In Fukushima's case, electrical cables to critical cooling pumps.

In the ensuing weeks, we have watched as the "news" reports unfolded like some very macabre origami. With stunning consistency, every daily report was exactly one day behind the actual reality. With the critical acumen of lemmings the world press followed suit ending each successively reported disaster with an assurance (to be superseded the following day) that no harmful radiation was expected... beyond the immediate confines... within 10 km.... in Tokio's drinking water... Yesterday, the press was finally reduced to blatant euphemisms: there had been a "containment breach" at the reactor. What the hell is a "containment breach" ? Try: gaping hole.

Needless to say, anti-nuclear activists are using the disaster to push their agenda. But it seems to us that this is the wrong lesson to learn. What is an electro-gadget nation like Japan to do? Burn coal? The fact is that, for the foreseeable future, there is little alternative to nuclear energy that does not itself bear heavy adverse consequences. If we are to maintain our current demographics and consumer-oriented society (and this not to say that we should) then recourse to nuclear energy is unavoidable.

If we must use nuclear energy, then the issue becomes how best to use it. What the Fukushima disaster shows is what we stated at the very beginning: the management of nuclear "incidents" simply cannot be left to private corporations or even individual governments. The reasons is simply that both corporations and whatever government is in power at the time have strong incentives to cut corners and to cover up negligence or malfeasance. Even assuming that corporations and local governments were to act with unimpeachable civic responsibility, the fact of a natural disaster usually means that the ability to respond is hampered. The funny thing about earthquakes is that they have this habit of cracking up roads, knocking down powerlines, breaking sewer mains and stuff like that. What Fukushima showed us was a nation reeling from a disaster and a company, rife with malfeasance and incompetence, in charge of a containing (as if) a nuclear crisis.

Nuclear energy, as we said, simply cannot be left to such loose and unrealiable managements systems. Every nuclear plant in the world must be brought under international supervision and control adhering to strict international standards that are totally unembarrassed by either profit incentives or political gain.

This means that when a plant like Chenobryl or Fukushima starts going south, the buck passes immediately to the International Response Team (IRT) -- period. They fly in with their inspection team and with all necessary and up-to-date equipment and take absolute charge -- period. The prime directive: contain any breach, at any cost. If the IRT is able to fly in and hook up generators and pumps that can stabilize the situation, all fine and well. If, on the other hand, the IRT determines on day four that the plant has to be buried under a mountain of sand, then so be it.

In our view, current demographics and consumption are simply unsustainable and human kind will have to rethink the scope and role of its existence within Creation. But absent such a reassessment, the use of nuclear energy is unavoidable. What is avoidable are disasters due to avarice and venality. Every nuclear plant on earth needs to be constructed and safeguarded by a completely disinterested body with plenary powers in emergency situations. Keystone follies should be left to the movies.


Sunday, March 20, 2011


Knut, the world-beloved star bear of the Berlin Zoo, died suddenly yesterday, at age four. Observers stated that as Knut was coming out from the rear of his den he suddenly keeled over into the moat.

Knut's saga was a story of human compassion and scientific stupidty. The Zoo Authorities have ordered an autopsy but for those with eyes to see the cause is already known.

It is time to end the barbaric practice of animal concentration camps. Creating wild-life preserves where animals can be sheltered from our deplorable ecological devastations is one thing. Treating animals as objects in cages for our amusement and curiousity is inexcuseable. Stupid beyond belief is forcing an animal to behave as we think he ought to "naturally" behave after we have changed the terms of existence.

Knut was a majestic bear-boy whose adaptive existence gave him and us delight. As for the expertly-stupid zoo keeping that killed him, at least he suffers no more.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Meltdowns and California Dreaming

For those had read Walter Lord’s famous account of the Titanic’s last night, the first news out of Japan after the tsunami hit the Fukushima Daaiichi nuclear plant was anything but reassuring. The reports had all the quiet, near-indifference that characterized the crew’s casual assurances to the luxury liner’s passengers -- “There’s talk of an iceberg ma’am.

Over the ensuing days, the world was treated to a succession of gradually escalating assurances each one wrapped around troubling weasel words: “no significant levels or radiation” and “no immediate threat to....” There’s talk of a meltdown but it is not cause for alarm at this time.

The Titanic sank because the iceberg's gash extended a piddling two feet into Compartment Five. The gash occurred because, just at that level from the waterline, the ship’s builders had switched to lighter rivets than the heavier ones used on the keel. The gash was critical because the back bulkhead to Compartment Five did not rise as high as the first four bulkheads. This meant that, once the compartment filled up, the in-rushing water would spill over into the next compartment, and the next, and the one after that. All of which was tragic proof of the adage that for want of a nail, the battle was lost.

The Titanic’s builders had done nothing unreasonable. It was highly unlikely a collision would rip so long a gash. It was hardly likely that stronger rivets would be needed in the hull at that level. And yet a two-foot gash into Compartment Five meant that, over time, the pumps would not be able to pump water out faster than it was rushing in.

The builders of the Fukushima plant did not think it was likely that a tsunami would swamp over the coastline, above the sea-wall that protected the generators used to pump water into the reactor. This was not an unreasonable evaluation. Even so, there is no way to “turn off” glowing hot, irradiating rods. Without water to cool them down, they simply get hotter and hotter causing explosions and the eventual rupture of the layers of containment structures around them. As a result of an otherwise reasonable decision, the Japanese government is now in the unenviable position of water bombing what can only be assumed to be broken and breached containers. For those who have electric water-boilers, this is like turning on the coil while you tablespoon water in. Who knows, they might pull it off.

But the Titanic’s story has another message for us as well. All throughout the ship’s frantic last hours, the S.S. California lay asleep in the waters a mere 10 nautical miles away. There wasn’t much to do at night in the mid-Atlantic and so the ship’s radio-shack had shut down just minutes before the Titanic struck the berg. As for the curious white flares, perhaps they were having a party. It was a luxury liner after all and, besides, the California’s captain did not like his sleep disturbed.

What really happened on that fateful night was that social mechanisms had not kept pace with technological developments. People were still thinking in terms of little boats “out at sea” when in fact the sea had become part of an inter-urban mass transport system.

The Titanic was not some 16th century caravelle. It represented a vast integration of functions, from the myriads of materials and trades that went into its construction to the vast array of services and goods that were entailed in its operation. The Titanic was not just a “boat” but a city at sea.

Marvelous as that might be, that meant that its citizens - all near three thousand of them -- were at risk without a backup support system commensurate with the nature of the enterprise. The same coordinated support and emergency systems that existed for a land-city were also necessary for a sea-city.

This was the lesson learned and, after the Titanic sank, such systems were put in place. Radio shacks stay open 24/7. There are enough life boats for all. Most importantly, responsibility for response is global. No one in their right mind today thinks that because a ship may be of Panamanian or Liberian registry, it is up to Panama or Liberia to mount rescue operations while the rest of the world looks on curiously.

And yet that has been exactly the character of the response to the Fukushima catastrophe. The world has simply sat back and watched Japan try to handle the emergency on the theory that this is a Japanese issue concerning a Japanese plant.

What this laissez faire attitude overlooks is that Japan itself is hampered by a quake that has disabled its infrastructure. It also over looks the fact there is no such thing as Japanese radiation. A nuclear plant anywhere in the world is everywhere in the world. When technology reaches a certain level, social and political responses for managing and dealing with that technology must reach a corresponding level. It is absurd to espouse a technology which has global consequences while adhering to 18th century notions of sovereignty and responsibility. Even more criminally insane is to leave the issue and the outcome to the private company that owns the plant.

Seeing as a meltdown in Japan can forseeably affect health in Russia or the West Coast of the United States or Australia, there ought to have existed coordinated emergency response teams ready to intervene by default with necessary equipment and expertise. To sit around “monitoring” the situation while awaiting a formal request for assistance before deciding how best to respond is simply California Dreamin’.

©2011, Woodchip Gazette


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Simple Solution to the Libyan Crisis

As oil prices rise, Western politicians are wringing their hands over whether to impose a "no-fly" zone over Libya or, even worse, to "peace-keep" the damn place. Needless to say, uncertainity is to speculation what moisture is to mold, and the rot at Wall Street threatens to undermine the world economy's fragile recovery from Wall Street scams.

Of course, there is no real uncertainty. No one in Libya is going to blow up the country's one and only golden goose. The conflict will be over in a matter of weeks and, assuming there is any actual problem in pumping now, the pumps will be up and pumping again then. The only thing that can insure that oil production will be destroyed would be another American-led, Iraqi "liberation".

But assuming, just for the hell of it, that the West needs to do something to "stop Khadaffi" now, the solution is very simple: offer every Libyan jet fighter one million dollars if he lands his plane in Cyprus. If there is any doubt as to the sufficiency of such an offer, the pot could be sweetened with a bonus of 72 live virgins, easily procurable from the white slave trade being run out of Tel Aviv.

Why no one in the ministries of the West has come up with such a simple exepdient (we are referring to the million dollar reward) makes one wonder if there is any brain power in the corridors of power. Or do they want the price of oil to continue to rise on the tides of uncertainty?


Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Worm in the Core - A Worm in the Brain

It was reported today taht Iran had run into a serious problem at its newly completed nuclear reactor in Bushehr, which required the removal of the reactor's rods. Prattling to the New York Times, David Albright, president of the Institute for Science and International Security, a private group in Washington that tracks nuclear proliferation, said that the shutdown "raises questions of whether Iran can operate a modern nuclear reactor safely.” “The stakes are very high," he added, "You can have a Chernobyl-style accident..."

Actually, the question the incident raises is the extent to which Israel is willing to jeopardize the region in order to insure its self-differentiated security.

It is no secret that Israel was involved in the Stuxnet Worm which recently required Iran to shut down its reactors. Basically the worm short-circuits safety mechanisms which are designed to shut down the reactors when the plutonium rods "get too hot". If the shut down does not work, then rods overheat and the felicitious result is a nuclear meltdown. Or, as Albright puts it, a "Chernobyl-style accident".

Now, a few months later, the Iranians have had to shut down their premier nuclear plant just as it was about to go on line and provide power to the country's electric grid. Is there a moron standing that requires a smoking memo?

But just to make extra sure that no one draws the correct conclusions, Israel shill par excellence, the New York Times, quotes Albright who raises questions about the competence of them Ayraps or Persians or who- cares-what-they-are. You know.... can we really trust these lesser menschen with such an dangerous thing as nuclear anything? Strike one for another zionist worm in the brain.

Needless to say, Albright himself is a walking-talking black face for Israel. The self-founding head of the so-called Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), Albright trots the globe declaiming against nuclear proliferation but never once manages to mention Israel's nuclear program.

According to a comprehensive review by Scott Ritter, David Albright has a track record of making half-baked analyses derived from questionable sources seem mainstream. He breathes false legitimacy into these factually challenged stories by cloaking himself in a résumé which is disingenuous in the extreme. Eventually, one must begin to question the motives of Albright and ISIS. No self-respecting think tank would allow itself to be used in such an egregious manner.

Hey... "But I read it in the Times!"


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The State of a Sinking Feeling

President Obama gave his second State of the Union Address to the nation tonight. After 65 minutes, the sum and substance of all that needs to be noted is that we've sunk from "Hope is on the way" to "Dare to Dream."


Sunday, January 23, 2011

UK Guardian Puts the Lie to the Lies

The Palestinian Papers have been published. For those into diplomatic porn, the accounts of Israeli thrusts into ever more craven PLO deep butt will prove an irresistable read. But is any of this really news?

Did anyone think that a U.S. leashed to AIPAC was a "fair broker" in the peace process? Did any one think that Israel entertained any intent to use the process as anything but war by other means? Did anyone remotely imagine that the PLO was anything but a bunch of sorry assed Quislings who -- as Quislings always do -- were selling their people out (and turning them in) for retirement cushions deposited in Swiss bank accounts? If anyone did, he was living on a moon.

Does anyone doubt the news-to-come? The "oh-shit" looks on the faces of Mubarak and the King of Jordan? The outrage among ordinary Palestinians? The now absolutely unimpeachable credibility of Hezbollah and Hamas? And does anyone doubt that the United States has absolutely none?

The duck and weasel mavens at the Ministry of Hasbara will be spinning sophistries in high gear overtime, but the plain truth is out and perhaps ... only perhaps... this truth will make the Palestinians free.


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Blame the Goy

In our posted news-link, Mya Guarnieri, an Israeli journalist notes the rise of xenophic violence and ethno-religious discrimination in Israel. She concludes by writing that "that Israel offers the Western world a reflection of itself."

Absolutely not. Israel is a reflection of Israel, and it is an old game to blame the goy.

Guarnieri goes on to write that the Israeli reflection " is a picture of nationalism gone wrong. It is a picture of what can happen when a state believes that its very survival depends on maintaining a certain demographic balance." Indeed; but that is the very essence of Zionism, which is precisely why Zionism is criticised.

The premise of Zionism -- aptly and correctly embodied by Israel's present government -- is that Jews needed living room for a Jewish state; and by "jewish" they meant a 'people', a demos. They wanted a state where the demographic balance was 100% jewish and 0% anything else. And every Zionist, revisionist or otherwise, has -- when being candid -- confessed that fact. It was precisely for the sake of this "demographic" raison d'etre that the Zionists fought tooth and nail to have the Allies list Jews as a separate and distinct category of victim of Nazi genocide.

Of course, the "returning" Jews were not able to get a whole loaf in 1947 and so they had to compromise and accomodate their summum bonum. But these strategic adjustments have nothing to do with the essential nature and ultimate purpose of the creed.

One ought not to minimize the "existential dilemma" posed to by Nazism nor the existential catastrophe that resulted to European Jews. But imitating the very same principle of racial exclusivity was not the answer. Blaming the "Western world" for a choice Jews made is not the solution.


Friday, January 21, 2011

Health Care for the Entre Nous

Congresswoman Gifford's Medical Transport

We wish the congresswoman a speedy recovery. But the notion that she needs UltraMax Security at this point is hysterical. Once again we are left to behold the wealth that is poured out for the HinWis and the EntreNous while the nation as a whole seeks deeper and deeper into poverty and desperation.


Who's Who Entre Nous

Under cover of New Year’s and minutes before he left office, Governor Arnold (“Terminator”) Schwarzenegger, commuted the sentence of Estaban Nuñez, son of State Assembly Speaker, Fabian Nuñez.

Nuñez fis, 21, was sentenced to 16 years prison for the manslaughter stabbing Luis Dos Santos during a frat-spat at San Diego State University in 2008. In commuting the sentence to seven years (not including good-time behavior credits), Schwarzenneger said that “given Nuñez’s limited role in Santos’ death and considering ...[he]..had no criminal record..., I belive Nuñez’s sentence is excessive.”

Awwwww. Surely it must warm the cockles of all our hearts. We all know that Arnie takes a stack of sentence reports to bed at night and pours over them looking for “excessive” sentences. Our Arnie, the same Pump King that vetoed the People’s initiative that corrected the Three Strikes Law so it would not wreak such outrages as life sentences for pizza stealing.

So, some wrecked, over-the-hill ex-con, is found passed out at 5 a.m., in a parking lot. Because he has some meth and a syringe, a felony, he is sentenced to 25 years to life, at a warehousing cost to the taxpayer of $35,000 per year. (People v. Lee A085239.) In contrast, young Nuñez participates in the homicide of just-as-young Dos Santos, and Arnie feels that 16 years (excluding half time credits) is too much.

In commuting the sentence, Arnie noted that Nuñez was not the actual stabber of Dos Santos. No...no... He only stabbed another guy who managed not to die. But according to Terminator, Nuñez only played a “limited” role in the actual homicide.

To those familiar with California’s aiding and abetting laws, the excuse is nauseating. Virtually all states punish aiders and abettors as if they themselves actually did the shooting, stabbing, robbing or whatever. The issue hangs on the aider’s knowledge and intent. Under California’s extremely sloppy application of the rule, if you were present when the crime was done, you can kiss your sweet self goodbye. Nuñez pled guilty to a reduced crime of manslaughter because, his well paid, high powered attorneys knew that there was no way he could avoid conviction as a principal.

Nuñez had not just been present. He and his cohorts, pissed at being turned away from a party, went out, got knives and came back looking to settle scores. They then came upon an unarmed group that included Santos.

The only “mitigating” factor in this case is that Nuñez pere now works with Adam Mendelsohn, Governor Schwarzenegger’s former communications director. It’s an entre-nous kinda thingie.

As entre-nous as Blue Cross Girlie Boy's veto of California's single payer bill, so that he and his dearests could enjoy all-expenses taxpayer paid health care while the actual people of the State groan under unsustainable premiums or are given to choose between bankruptcy or death.

As entre-nous as Lloyd Blankfein’s grinning attendance at the swankie pankie for Premier Hu at the White House.

If there is a surveyor’s target for disastrous Great Recession and for a culture of callous anti-social corruption that makes Attila look like a social worker, Blankfein and the Goldman Sachs he heads is it. Worse than a common criminal, Blankfein is the primum mobile behind the destruction of entire sectors of the global economy. But Obama doesn’t just begrudge him is ill-gotten billions. No! No! Obama works with him on destroying social security; and to betoken their collaboration invites him to a dinner designed to show off Who’s Who Entre Nous.

Jaded cynics will smirk that “entre nous” is harly news; and that is indeed a fact. But the acceptability of corrupt back-scratching is assessed in relation to the welfare of the rest of us slobs.

Let it be premised that all human government is more or less corrupt. When the corrupt government provides well for the people corruption can be passed off as the “price” of doing business. But when corruption becomes the business and when government at the same time fails to provide for the common welfare, then, as in pre revolutionary aristocratic France, it is time for a cleaning out of the Augean Pig Sty.