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Notes on the works of Arundhati Roy.  "Her newest book, Power Politics: The Reincarnation of Rumpelstiltskin is not the novel her public expected -it is a collection of short essays and a defiant poke in the eye to the Enrons of capitalism, to American foreign policy, and the corruption of Indian democracy. She talks about American power, global dilemmas, and why she got arrested in her native India."
    Church of the Enlightenment
. . . let Occam'sRazor be displayed in its place.  Further, let the Enlightenment and the Works of Thomas Paine, Voltaire, Locke, Hume, Condorcet and their peers (and readings from  Thomas Mertons "Way of Chuang Tzu") be topics of meditation during our schools' "moments of silence".

The Anti-Enlightenment Bête Noire


These movements are mirrors of the Fallwell and Robertson wet dreams for the future of the United States' culture and politics in their own hands.  This is the ambition of the Shrubbyists' political "base"; the source of their hatred of our secular society.  These are Death Worshipers.
If Israel were to be changed into a Christian nation through progressive proselytism, the dispensationalist end times framework would be destroyed.  Without a physical land of Israel containing an unconverted Jewish people, Darbyism would lack a key component in instigating the return of Christ.

EnlightenmentDivide.html   (March 13, 2004)

These growing divisions — over war, peace, religion, sex, life and death — amount to a philosophical dispute about the common origins of European and American civilization. Both children of the Enlightenment, the United States and Europe clearly differ about the nature of this inheritance and about who is its better custodian.

RichMScaife-SteveKangas.html    (March 15, 2004)

February 8, 1999  In a chilling and stunning development, Steve Kangas – former Army intelligence officer (Berlin Soviet eavesdropper/analyst) and proprietor of an excellent and comprehensive liberal site: "Liberalism Resurgent"  (http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/) was shot to death in mysterious circumstances on the 39th floor, outside Pittsburgh offices of Richard Mellon Scaife, the right wing billionaire who spent maybe $10 million trying to destroy Clinton.
   PastisPrologue.html   (February, 2003)  (DRAFT, incomplete)
All that was necessary to destroy what the revolutionaries of the '60s were building (yes, he laid that out, but so framed as to 'restore what they were destroying') would be to encourage them in their most characteristic weaknesses, while providing an authoritative and authoritarian source of relief to counter the difficulties those weaknesses would produce for them.


Lurking in the background behind Bush, his Vice-President, Dick Cheney, and Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld are the people propelling US policy.  And behind them, the masterminds of the Bush presidency as it arrived at the White House from Texas, are Karl Rove and Paul Wolfowitz.  (Ed Vulliamy, for The Observer, February 23, 2003.

Two years ago a project set up by the men who now surround George W Bush said what America needed was "a new Pearl  Harbor".  Its published aims have, alarmingly, come true.  The threat posed by US terrorism to the security of nations and individuals was outlined in prophetic detail in a document  written more than two years ago and disclosed only recently.  What was needed for America to dominate much of humanity and the world's resources, it said, was "some catastrophic and catalysing event - like a new Pearl Harbor".  (John Pilger, in The New Statesman, December 16, 2002)

Shrubbyism and Perpetual War


The Face of Totalitarian Shrubbyism
Shrubbyism might "more properly be called corporatism, since it is the merger of state and corporate power."  This under the management of those who control the corporation and benefit from the accumulation of power and wealth in corporate hands.  (Example)  In its organization of power corporatism  "has the following characteristics: ...
      PerpetualWar.html  (March, 2003)  (DRAFT)
We are becoming in Iraq a despised, and perforce despotic, invading and occupying power, aligned (in fulfillment of  the apocalyptic visions of Perle, Wolfowitz, Rove, and their religious fundamentalist, neo fascist section of the PNAC company) with both the politics and methods of the fascistic Sharon family ruling the once, but no longer, democratic state of Israel.  The signs and portents of their dark vision are manifest; they lead to the death of the vision of human freedom and progress that has been the official public ideology of the "West" since the Renaissance and the Enlightenment.
. . .  all he needs to  sweep away the last vestiges of a government “of, by and for the people” in America is the next Reichstag Fire.
    3rdReich-Mayer.html  May 10, 2003
What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if he people could understand it, it could not be released because of national security.


The Place of Smallpox Vaccination in Biowarfare Strategy:  . . . The Arab Mid-East, especially, sees that Israel, the US, and Britain are preparing for smallpox involved biowarfare, ostensibly due in the first instance to a (always likely non-existent, increasingly evidently so)  threat of the use of smallpox by terrorists or by Iraq against Israel.   Every person in these Arab nations knows, without being told explicitly, that they remain vulnerable to the threat of smallpox in biowarfare, while the peoples of Israel, the US, and Britain are protected.


Whitewashing the Shrubbyist "Mein Kampf"
... The campaign continued on Ted Koppel's "Nightline" Wednesday night, with two segments whitewashing  the now famous "Project for the New American Century", which I call the Shrubbyist "Mein Kampf". Exposed by Jay Bookman in the Atlanta Journal and Constitution as early as September, 2002, it is also described in some detail at [McConnell], [Pilger  &], [Floyd&] and [Beeman].   For those who fear to click on links... here is the nutshell: ...
   1992DPG.html      September 17, 2002
The (1992) draft . . .  sparked an intense but fleeting uproar. At the insistence of then National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft and Secretary of State James Baker, the final DPG document was toned down beyond recognition.  But through the nineties, the two authors and their boss, then-Pentagon chief Dick Cheney, continued to wait for the right opportunity to fulfill their imperial dreams.
  HaitiCoupComp-040302.html    (March 3, 2004)
At this critical time in Haiti's history, it's imperative to force the media and Congress to deal with the fact that the United States government engineered a coup against the democratically elected government in Haiti and to hold our "selected" officials responsible.  Please do all you can do to spread the word.  Deaths squads roam the streets, many people have been killed, and the lives of many more, currently in hiding, are at risk.

War as a Weapon of Mass Distraction


Sept. 30, 2002.   It would be a good thing to liberate the peoples of Iraq from Saddam Hussein.  . . .
. . .  action in Iraq, on the basis Bush has proposed, must be opposed.  It can be supported only when the necessary planning and coordination has been accomplished.
Striking in the discussion of the Anglo-Israeli-American assault on Iraq is the absence of historical context. Apparently the only context necessary is the sort of glib and meaningless chatter offered up by president Bush’s advisors such as Condi Rice. In fairness to Rice, however, opposition to the war can be similarly glib and blinkered.


. . . Wolfowitz has been summarily depicted as a hawk (The Economist preferred ''velociraptor''), conservative ideologue, unilateralist, nemesis of ColinPowell's State Department and, sometimes, ''Israel-centric.'' These epithets capture something of Wolfowitz's views and something of the company he keeps.
The most surprising thing about the Bush Administration's plan to invade Iraq is not that it is destructive of international order; or wicked, when we consider the role the US (and Britain) have played, and continue to play, in the Middle East; or opposed by the great majority of the international community; or seemingly contrary to some of the basic needs of the war against terrorism.  . . .  The most surprising thing about the push for war is that it is so profoundly reckless.   (Anatole Lieven, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace)

 From Time: Inside the committee that gave Jimmy Carter a Nobel — and George W. Bush a message

Betraying Democracy


A failure to rid the nation of Saddam and his government will be a betrayal of tragic proportions in most Iraqi eyes.   Kurds, Marsh Arabs, Chaldeans, Assyrians, and to a great extent the Shia Muslims have been economically disadvantaged and oppressed by Saddam's regime.  (These injustices, however are not innovations by Saddam's  regime, and in fact have long historical antecedents which will present significant difficulties in establishing a stable "future ... based on the three principles of democracy, federalism and community rights."  "Declaration of the Shia of Iraq")

But the Shrubbyists are not to be trusted to bring the relief - democracy, tolerance, and pluralism - that the Iraqi peoples want and deserve.  And Shrubbyist policies and strategies are neither designed, nor apparently intended, to do so.

Shrubbyist Fear and Loathing of Democracy in Iraq
But most significantly, these articles point up the fear and loathing of democracy which this White House has exhibited over and over again.   The (un)Patriot Act in the US, the failure to emphasize and support the development of pluralist and democratic institutions in Afghanistan, and now the very overt rejection of both "democratization" and 'federalism' in Iraq show how deeply this White House hates true democracy.
The 'Road Map' for Palestine is not flawed - It is Faked
The so-called 'Quartet' of powers managing the supposed road map to Palestinian statehood have no clear plans for dealing with illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied territories of Palestine...  Dealing with these settlements is a basic requirement for a successful peace.  They are not being dealt with.  There will be no peace.  This is neither a surprise to, nor an oversight by the neo-con Shrubbyists in Washington.

 Old Conservatives

     disenchanted conservatives.html

"I am one of liberalism's secret new allies. There are many of us; millions of us in fact. We are denizens of the Right... the true Right - the Third Party Right.  . . . and we have more in common with you now than we ever will with the loathsome imperialist jackboots who are squatting in our White House.
 Anti-War Politics


Not In Our Name - Sept 19th full page New York Times ad.   "Let it not be said that people in the United States did nothing when their government declared a war without limit and  instituted stark new measures of repression."
Fortunately, there are still a few progressives who can pat their heads and rub their stomachs at the same time, who can criticize Bush's single-minded push for war without becoming simple-mindedly soft on Hussein.  And it is these people who should now step into the forefront of the peace movement and displace those who can only see evil in America.

   WhoseAntiWarMovement030205.html  (February 5, 2003)

I would  support a move to "purge" certain ultra leftist organizations' representatives from the top leadership of the anti war movement, if by purge is understood "contain the influence and visibility" and not "remove".  The presence, let alone the preponderance of some of these figures on the podium at the demonstrations in Washington in November and January has been profoundly disturbing to me. 

The Exonomy



links to Readings in International Finance - Plus a review of a book which "tells the story of how the money masters have shaped vast, secret pockets of power, through a network of banks, to control the economies, and governments, of the world."
    Betraying Adam Smith:  Corporate Libertarians and Runaway Capitalism

    Doris Haddock, a real, Honest to God, anti Corporatist, Progressive Populist!

    Fiscal and Budget Policy

     2003FiscalDisaster.html     ca. February 5, 3003

Bush's Only Economic Plan is War!  (It's his only political plan as well.)
I know, because David Gergen told me so.  On the Charlie Rose show.  Nixon famously said "What this country needs is a good depression", but (busy with Watergate) ended up settling for stagflation.  Reagan's tax and spending policies impoverished the public sector - it looked like a permanent condition, but Bill Clinton and Bob Rubin spiked that - which earned them both the rightists' hatred and their fearful pseudo contempt.  (That last is a natural for rightists.)  ...  more!
Domestic stealth bombs - from "The Phoenix.com" by KRISTEN LOMBARDI
While we stockpile supplies and wrap our windows in duct tape, the Bushies are quietly advancing a frightening domestic agenda that amounts to a far-right ideological assault on our civil liberties and social protections — and threatens to turn the clock back decades. Here are five Bush-administration domestic policies of enormous consequencethat have been overlooked in this time of impending war and national-security crises.
Oil prices, interest rates, and inflation - facts and fictions
. . . the recent increases in oil prices are not driven by the dollar's slight decline in exchange rate.  It is economic expansion in developing countries, not a decrease in the value of the dollar, that is driving their demand for oil.  And it is the war in Iraq, and political uncertainties in Russia and Venezuala, that undercut the perceived reliability of oil supplies and add that very high "uncertainty premium" to the price.

Finance and Taxation


. . . we can cut taxes for our wealthiest class, increase defense spending, and the resulting budget deficits will not be inflationary so long as other economies are less desirable as places  to invest than is the US.   Under these circumstances, stability and economic growth in these economies would be markedly disadvantageous to the Shrubbyist originators of our economic policies.
Wall Street Week w/f.  Sept. 20, 2002


Links to charts and statistics for economic and financial data, including interest rates, household and government debt, and money supply.   Annotation and interpretation for some.

Culture and Society


LA CROSSE - A Rush County company that started 40 years ago in a farmer's garage has built the burner for New York City's Sept. 11 eternal flame memorial.
When the World Trade Center was hit, thousands of birds fell to the ground, their wings burned off and their bodies still on fire joining the other trapped spirits in debris that extended for blocks


. . . when it comes right down to it, that's why so many online services are censoring sex-related groups. They are deleting dissent, not debauchery.
. . . he wrote that the "party was filled with a mix of ravers, computer geeks, and Dungeons and Dragons types." Ah, I thought to myself, the humans are living here again.
. . . Among the outside organizations seeking to intervene in this year's Sierra Club Board election are several associated with the right-wing anti-immigration movement.   . . .  the Sierra Club's Board voted, in late January, to append an Urgent Election Notice to this year's ballot. Citing "an unprecedented level of outside involvement and attention to the Club's Board of Director's election" from "non-environmental organizations," the Notice calls on members to "cast your vote in this year's election as a means of demonstrating to outside groups that they cannot influence our organization."
Where there is a well founded intellectual basis for a moral position, the intellectual basis does not need to be reiterated, nor the moral position justified.  It can be simply, directly, and powerfully stated.  If it is disputed, then it can be defended, and the argument for it made with appropriate nuance and detail.  In the absence of such a clear statement of position based on core attitudes about a thing, addressing detail and nuance does worse than confuse the audience, it leaves an impression of a lack of coherence, integrity, and vision. 

May 10, 2003,
Revised August 11, 2004