Saturday, January 26, 2008

'The whole is the untrue'

Dwarf fruit. – It is the courtesy of Proust to spare the reader the embarrassment of thinking themselves more adroit than the author.

In the nineteenth century the Germans painted their dream, and it always turned into a vegetable. The French needed only to paint a vegetable, and it was already a dream.

In the Anglo-Saxon lands, the whores look as if they dispensed the punishments of hell along with the sins.

Beauty of the American landscape: that the immeasurable size of the entire land is inscribed, as expression, even in the smallest of its segments.

In the memory of emigration, every German venison roast tastes as if it was freshly felled by the Freischuetz.

Nothing is true in psychoanalysis except its exaggerations.

One can tell if one is happy by listening to the wind. This latter reminds the unhappy of the fragility of their house and pursues them in fitful sleep and violent dreams. To the happy, it sings the song of their safety and security [Geborgensein]: its raging whistle registers the fact that it no longer has any power over them.

The silent din, long familiar to us from our dream-experiences, blares in our waking hours from the newspaper headlines.

The mythical message of doom renews itself in the radio. Whoever broadcasts something important in an authoritarian manner, broadcasts trouble. In English solemn [in English in original] means ceremonial and threatening. The power of the society behind the speaker turns by itself against the listener.

That which has most recently happened is always portrayed as if it had been destroyed in a catastrophe.

The expression of that which is historical in things is nothing other than past torment.

In Hegel, self-consciousness was the truth of self-certainty, according to the words of the Phenomenology [of Spirit], the “native realm of truth.” No sooner had they ceased to understand that, than the bourgeoisie were self-conscious at least in the pride that they owned property. Today self-conscious [in English in original] means only the reflection on the ego as an embarrassment, as the innervation of powerlessness: to know, that one is nothing.

With many people, it’s already an exercise in shamelessness, when they say I.

The mote in your own eye is the best magnifying glass.

Even the most impoverished person is capable of recognizing the weaknesses of the most powerful; even the dumbest, the mental errors of the most clever.

The first and only principle of sexual ethics: the accuser is always wrong.

The whole is the untrue.

 

From: Theodor Adorno's 'Minima Moralia', Aphorisms 1-50, 1951

 

Giving the green light to the 'Salvador Option'

" ... The Pentagon's ever-expanding secret armies are deeply enmeshed in such efforts as well. As Sy Hersh has reported ("The Coming Wars," New Yorker, Jan. 24, 2005), after his re-election in 2004, George W. Bush signed a series of secret presidential directives that authorized the Pentagon to run virtually unrestricted covert operations, including a reprise of the American-backed, American-trained death squads employed by authoritarian regimes in Central and South America during the Reagan Administration, where so many of the Bush faction cut their teeth.

    "Do you remember the right-wing execution squads in El Salvador?" a former high-level intelligence official said to Hersh. "We founded them and we financed them. The objective now is to recruit locals in any area we want. And we aren't going to tell Congress about it." A Pentagon insider added: "We're going to be riding with the bad boys." Another role model for the expanded dirty war cited by Pentagon sources, said Hersh, was Britain's brutal repression of the Mau Mau in Kenya during the 1950s, when British forces set up concentration camps, created their own terrorist groups to confuse and discredit the insurgency, and killed thousands of innocent civilians in quashing the uprising.

    Bush's formal greenlighting of the death-squad option built upon an already securely-established base, part of a larger effort to turn the world into a "global free-fire zone" for covert operatives, as one top Pentagon official told Hersh. For example, in November 2002 a Pentagon plan to infiltrate terrorist groups and "stimulate" them into action was uncovered by William Arkin, then writing for the Los Angeles Times. The new unit, the "Proactive, Pre-emptive Operations Group," was described in the Pentagon documents as "a super-Intelligence Support Activity" that brings "together CIA and military covert action, information warfare, intelligence and cover and deception."

    Later, in August 2004, then deputy Pentagon chief Paul Wolfowitz appeared before Congress to ask for $500 million to arm and train non-governmental "local militias" to serve as U.S. proxies for "counter-insurgency and "counterterrorist" operations in "ungoverned areas" and hot spots around the world, Agence France Presse (and virtually no one else) reported at the time. These hired paramilitaries were to be employed in what Wolfowitz called an "arc of crisis" that just happened to stretch across the oil-bearing lands and strategic pipeline routes of Central Asia, the Middle East, Africa and South America.

    By then, the Bush Administration had already begun laying the groundwork for an expanded covert war in the hot spot of Iraq. In November 2003, it created a "commando squad" drawn from the sectarian militias of five major Iraqi factions, as the Washington Post reported that year. Armed, funded and trained by the American occupation forces, and supplied with a "state-of-the-art command, control and communications center" from the Pentagon, the new Iraqi commandos were loosed on the then-nascent Iraqi insurgency - despite the very prescient fears of some U.S. officials "that various Sunni or Shiite factions could eventually use the service to secretly undermine their political competitors," as the Post noted.

    And indeed, in early 2005 - not long after Bush's directives loosed the "Salvador Option" on Iraq - the tide of death-squad activity began its long and bloody rise to the tsunami-like levels we see today. Ironically, the first big spike of mass torture-murders, chiefly in Sunni areas at the time, coincided with "Operation Lightning," a much ballyhooed effort by American and Iraqi forces to "secure" Baghdad. The operation featured a mass influx of extra troops into the capital; dividing the city into manageable sectors, then working through them one by one; imposing hundreds of checkpoints to lock down all insurgent movements; and establishing a 24-hour presence of security and military forces in troubled neighborhoods, the Associated Press reported in May 2005. In other words, it was almost exactly the same plan now being offered as Bush's "New Way Forward," the controversial "surge."

    But the "Lightning" fizzled in a matter of weeks, and the death squads grew even bolder. Brazen daylight raids by "men dressed in uniforms" of Iraqi police or Iraqi commandos or other Iraqi security agencies swept up dozens of victims at a time. For months, U.S. "advisers" to Iraqi security agencies - including veterans of the original "Salvador Option" - insisted that these were Sunni insurgents in stolen threads, although many of the victims were Sunni civilians. Later, the line was changed: the chief culprits were now "rogue elements" of the various sectarian militias that had "infiltrated" Iraq's institutions.

    But as investigative reporter Max Fuller has pointed out in his detailed examination of information buried in reams of mainstream news stories and public Pentagon documents, the vast majority of atrocities then attributed to "rogue" Shiite and Sunni militias were in fact the work of government-controlled commandos and "special forces," trained by Americans, "advised" by Americans and run largely by former CIA agents. As Fuller puts it: "If there are militias in the Ministry of Interior, you can be sure that they are militias that stand to attention whenever a U.S. colonel enters the room." And perhaps a British lieutenant colonel as well .. "
 

Hillary's Bush Connection

Bush's mystery money man becomes Hillary's
by RUSS BAKER and ADAM FEDERMAN
18 Oct 2007

" ... IN THE CLINTONS' PURSUIT OF POWER, there is no such thing as a strange bedfellow. One recently exposed inamorata was Norman Hsu, the mysterious businessman from Hong Kong who brought in $850,000 to Hillary Clinton's campaign before being unmasked as a fugitive. Her campaign dismissed Hsu as someone who'd slipped through the cracks of an otherwise unimpeachable system for vetting donors, and perhaps he was. The same cannot be said for the notorious financier Alan Quasha, whose involvement with Clinton is at least as substantial--and still under wraps.
Political junkies will recall Quasha as the controversial figure who bailed out George W. Bush's failing oil company in 1986, folding Bush into his company, Harken Energy, thus setting him on the path to a lucrative and high-profile position as an owner of the Texas Rangers baseball team, and the presidency. The persistently unprofitable Harken--many of whose board members, connected to powerful foreign interests and the intelligence community, nevertheless profited enormously--faced intense scrutiny in the early 1990s and again during Bush's first term.
Now Quasha is back--on the other side of the aisle.
Operating below the radar, he entered Hillary Clinton's circle even before she declared her candidacy by quietly hiring Clinton confidant and longtime Democratic Party money man Terry McAuliffe at one of his companies. During the interregnum between McAuliffe's chairmanship of the Democratic Party and the time he officially joined Clinton's campaign, Quasha set McAuliffe up with a salary and opened a Washington office for him ... "
 
 

Pastafar-eye and the Noodly Universe

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_Spaghetti_Monster

. . . The Flying Spaghetti Monster (also known as the Spaghedeity) is the deity of a parody religion[1] called The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and its system of beliefs, "Pastafarianism".[2]The religion was founded in 2005 by Oregon State University physics graduate Bobby Henderson to protest the decision by the Kansas State Board of Education to require the teaching of intelligent design as an alternative to biological evolution.

In an open letter sent to the education board, Henderson professes belief in a supernatural creator called the Flying Spaghetti Monster which resembles spaghetti and meatballs.[3] He furthermore calls for the "Pastafarian" theory of creation to be taught in science classrooms.[4]

Due to its recent popularity and media exposure, the Flying Spaghetti Monster is often used by atheists, agnostics (known by Pastafarians as "spagnostics"), and others as a modern version of Russell's teapot . . .

 

http://www.venganza.org/about/open-letter/

I am writing you with much concern after having read of your hearing to decide whether the alternative theory of Intelligent Design should be taught along with the theory of Evolution. I think we can all agree that it is important for students to hear multiple viewpoints so they can choose for themselves the theory that makes the most sense to them. I am concerned, however, that students will only hear one theory of Intelligent Design.

Let us remember that there are multiple theories of Intelligent Design. I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. It was He who created all that we see and all that we feel. We feel strongly that the overwhelming scientific evidence pointing towards evolutionary processes is nothing but a coincidence, put in place by Him.

It is for this reason that I’m writing you today, to formally request that this alternative theory be taught in your schools, along with the other two theories. In fact, I will go so far as to say, if you do not agree to do this, we will be forced to proceed with legal action. I’m sure you see where we are coming from. If the Intelligent Design theory is not based on faith, but instead another scientific theory, as is claimed, then you must also allow our theory to be taught, as it is also based on science, not on faith. . .

 

http://www.wired.com/culture/education/news/2007/11/flying_spaghetti_monster

. . . They use words like "didactic device" to describe the beloved but carb-heavy god of Pastafarianism. They say the FSM is cloaked in a "folk-humor hybrid body," and reveals a web-fueled movement toward "open source theology" that challenges existing beliefs.

Pastafarianism is "quite clearly confronting order with disorder, a profound kind of religious activity that we often overlook," said religious-studies professor and author David Chidester on Monday during a panel discussion about the belief system at the American Academy of Religion's annual conference in San Diego, which drew 9,000 attendees.

Sober words for a male deity made of two meatballs and a "noodly appendage." The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster has largely been popularized through the internet. The church boasts of a long history and "millions, if not thousands of devout worshippers," according to its website. But it only entered the public sphere after self-described prophet Bobby Henderson, an unemployed twenty-something physicist from Phoenix, demanded in 2005 that the religion receive equal time in Kansas schools.

At the time, education officials in the state wanted to raise the profile of "intelligent design" in public schools and offer it as an alternative to evolution.

Henderson says Pastafarianism -- the official religion of the Flying Spaghetti Monster -- is as serious as the religious-studies wonks are taking it. "The Church of FSM is real, totally legit and backed by hard science," Henderson writes on the site. "Anything that comes across as humor or satire is purely coincidental." . . .

 

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