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Friday, October 26, 2012

The Twisting Of The American Mind II: Black Helicopters Vs. American Eagles

Predator Drone
American Eagle soars lovingly over a protected world, captured by Kirsty Wigglesworth - AP. From The Guardian

Update: Link to Part 5 of The Archdruid's speculative odyssey added below.
As an "American," one is simply not permitted to entertain the simple thought experiment of considering what U.S. policy looks like to non-Americans. Any attempts to do so in what is considered "polite" cocktail chatter is sure to invite angry, accusatory, even eliminationist backlash.

It is easy to demonstrate....
- Me,
The Twisting Of The American Mind: Shorter Noam & The Patriot's Toll
It is save to assume and predict that reactions to this might also serve as "demonstration":
The United Nations is to set up a dedicated investigations unit in Geneva early next year to examine the legality of drone attacks in cases where civilians are killed in so-called "targeted" counter-terrorism operations...

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Capitalism Corrupts Absolutely: The Caution Of Thomas Jefferson

Master of the Mountain
Jonathon Yardey reviews Henry Weincek's book, Master of the Mountain: Thomas Jefferson and His Slaves at Truthdig ("The Revolutionary Refused the Torch").

If anything clarifies the corruption that a culture that extols capital accumulation brings, it is this remarkable tale of, of all people, the writer of the Declaration of Independance: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal..." (all emphases mine):

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Twisting Of The American Mind: Shorter Noam & The Patriot's Toll


...The events of October 1962 are widely hailed as Kennedy’s finest hour. Graham Allison joins many others in presenting them as “a guide for how to defuse conflicts, manage great-power relationships, and make sound decisions about foreign policy in general.”

In a very narrow sense, that judgment seems reasonable. The ExComm tapes reveal that the president stood apart from others, sometimes almost all others, in rejecting premature violence. There is, however, a further question: How should JFK’s relative moderation in the management of the crisis be evaluated against the background of the broader considerations just reviewed? But that question does not arise in a disciplined intellectual and moral culture, which accepts without question the basic principle that the U.S. effectively owns the world by right, and is by definition a force for good despite occasional errors and misunderstandings, one in which it is plainly entirely proper for the U.S. to deploy massive offensive force all over the world while it is an outrage for others (allies and clients apart) to make even the slightest gesture in that direction or even to think of deterring the threatened use of violence by the benign global hegemon.
- Noam Chomsky -
The Week the World Stood Still
So writes the "subversive" and "un-American" Noam Chomsky, in one of the more accessible paragraphs in his essay, originally hosted at

Thursday, October 11, 2012

My Modest "Big TOE"*

Petri Dish Mold
Random petri dish image discovered at Wiggy's Words of Wisdom

(Post title a reference to - and yes, a dig at - Thomas Campbell's My Big TOE*)
[Biological systems] are sustainable, each organism exhibiting bounded growth up to an optimum size. (Yes, yeast can't handle vats of concentrated sugar-water without a population explosion followed by collapse, but then vats of concentrated sugar-water are not their natual habitat—or anyone else's!)
- Dmitry Orlov, In Praise of Anarchy, Part II
As I sit here in Phoenix reading Dmitry, head baking in the sunny climate of the Arizona Kookocracy, it all comes together - a Big Theory of Everything. OK, not everything, but a nonetheless a sizeable chunk of all things political, sociological and bacteriological.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Marc Maron And Raymond Lambert On Contemporary Racism

Maron & Lambert

Above find a short clip from this Monday's WTF podcast from Marc Maron. It's focused on a segment of his talk with comedy club operator Raymond Lambert (some excerpted quotes below). Catch the whole show (with, incidentally, much better audio quality than the clip), which includes Ali LeRoi and John Davies, on the making of Phunny Business: A Black Comedy. Here's the link: Episode 322 - Phunny Business
Lambert: If there was a broken bottle in the street - which we had absolutely nothing to do with - we would get blamed for that broken bottle being out there. So we had to clean the street for one block. When we left, at the end of the night, we examined the whole street.

Maron: you were always conscious of the fact, that if something goes down, in a one mile radius of a black owned business, the whole community's going to get blamed for it.

Lambert: You need to be thinking about it.
Also, catch Raymond's take on the special... ah... circumstances in which a Black President is situated.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Creationism By Any Other Name: Decrying Intelligent Design, McIntosh Sells It Anyway

Un-inspirational Poster
Image from Understanding Creationism, another unscientifically aspirational site

Steve McIntosh, in an essay promoting his book, Evolution's Purpose: An Integral Interpretation of the Scientific Story of Our Origins:
...the stark facts of the ubiquitous evolution of everything point nonetheless to a universe with a purpose.
That is a hell of an assertion, and it reveals more of the structure and inclination of human thought than of the objective reality thought struggles to observe.