|General Note to
In May of 2003 difficult circumstances in my personal life interrupted my daily work on this weblog. In March of 2004 I recovered the ability to post to it, at least intermittently.
Despite being unable to post after July 17, 2003, web surfing and some writing continued. Material originated during that 'quiet' period will be included separately in the indexes to this weblog, even though it was not posted at the time created. Much of the material originated as email sent to my personal mail list, but some was in the form of notes made for my own record. This material will be indexed as opportunity permits and fortune provides, so the 'corpus' of the overall weblog will grow by backfilling, as well as at the tips of it's various branches.
of this weblog file:
This index is chronological (earliest is first), while the the postings are in reverse chronology (most recent is first).Weblog, 2004-04-20, Tiw's Day
Challenge: Minimizing Win XP for security and speed.Weblog, 2004-04-21, Wodin's Day
Weblog, 2004-04-24, Saturn's Day
Fallujah - The Iron Wall SyndromeWeblog, 2004-04-30, Freya's Day
Alarm growing over bot softwareWeblog, 2004-05-01, Saturn's Day
Fallujah Command ChaosWeblog, 2004-05-04, Tiw's Day
Fundamentalism - "The battle for God" (aka "the dustup over God") by Karen ArmstrongWeblog, 2004-05-13, Wodin's Day
Fundamentalism - The "dispensational" view of historyWeblog, 2004-05-18, Tiw's Day
Challenging Christian Zionism - from Sojourners
Permanent and Draft Materials
For Christians committed to justice and peace, the challenge of Zionism can be daunting. Many Christians support Israeli actions and policies, believing that Jews' status as the "chosen people" of the Hebrew scriptures entitles them to use any means necessary - no matter how violent or oppressive - to occupy the holy lands. Those who question this position may fear being labeled anti-Semitic, but cannot square Zionist theology with God's concern for the poor and oppressed of all nations, the teachings of Jesus, the inclusive nature of the early church, or the present-day oppression of Palestinian Christians.
A new Web site called "Challenging Christian Zionism: Christians Committed to Biblical Justice" is intended as a clearinghouse of information about Christian Zionism and to foster education on this very divisive issue. Articles include: "Christian Zionism: An Historical Analysis and Critique," "The Evangelical-Jewish Alliance," and "Whose Promised Land: Israel and Biblical Prophecy."
Read Sojourners magazine articles on this topic:
Short Fuse to Apocalypse? A look at the political and theological roots of Christian Zionism.
Not a Monolithic Bloc: Many U.S. evangelicals seek an 'even-handed' Middle East policy.How Christian is Zionism? What the Bible says about Israel and the things that make for peace.
Are liberal Christians phony? by David Batstone 05-12-2004 Forgive your enemies? Feed the hungry? Clothe the naked and care for the prisoner? Not a chance; you'd be foolish to adopt these practices in the dispensation in which we live. http://www.sojo.net/index.cfm?action=sojomail.display&issue=040512#3
Is the Bush regency Fascist? Shrubbyism and Fascism compared.Bush 2004 - A summation
"Thanks to some contested ballots in a state governed by the president's brother, a once-proud country has been delivered into the hands of liars, thugs, bullies, fanatics and thieves. The world pities or despises us, even as it fears us. What this election will test is the power of money and media to fool us, to obscure the truth and alter the obvious, to hide a great crime against the public trust under a blood-soaked flag. The most lavishly funded, most cynical, most sophisticated political campaign in human history will be out trolling for fools. I pray to God it doesn't catch you."
I often hear non-Christians ask: How can a person who identifies with Jesus Christ espouse actions that run so counter to peace and justice? This theological device enables many Christians to discount the teachings of Jesus as a guide for living their lives. Forgive your enemies? Feed the hungry? Clothe the naked and care for the prisoner? Not a chance; you'd be foolish to adopt these practices in the dispensation in which we live. Governments must take whatever measures are necessary to defeat evil, and we are commanded to be its loyal subjects.
. . .
If this viewpoint merely represented a crackpot hiding out on a survivalist ranch in rural Texas, I wouldn't bother to publish it. But it unfortunately has significant credibility among a swath of American evangelicals. With my colleague, Mark Wexler, I have just completed an investigative study of the Religious Right (which will come out in the July edition of Sojourners magazine). It was jarring to realize that many American Christians reject the notion of a separation of church and state as a "humanistic secular plot" to obstruct God's proper ordering of U.S. society. They want to see the establishment of a theocracy that puts into place many of the Mosaic laws as established in the Old Testament. At the moment, they are mobilizing a strong cadre of religious leaders and members of the U.S. Congress to rewrite the legal system.
Iraq - Abu Ghraib and Fundamental Bush Policy, cont'd. - "there is a difference between the rage of a people who feel themselves invaded and the contempt of a victorious nation for a civilian population whom it has ostensibly liberated." Luc Sante, "Tourists and Torturers", NY Times, May 11, 2004
And from ABC - Disney's Bush leaning "The Note" (the staffers or their bosses are fans of Bush's "God Squad" orientation to public policy):Speaking briefly on the South Lawn of the White House, Mr. Bush appeared to try to use the beheading of Nicholas Berg, a young Pennsylvania man seeking work rebuilding Iraq, to refocus attention on the nature of the enemy the United States faces rather than on the continuing investigation into the abuses of Iraqi prisoners in American custody.
. . .
Representative Roy Blunt of Missouri, the Republican majority whip, said the televised images of the beheading had a palpable effect both on public opinion and the mood among lawmakers after days in which the focus had been on embarrassment and anger over prisoner abuse.
"If you had your thumb on the pulse of America, that pulse beat changed when Americans heard about the beheading of Nick Berg," Mr. Blunt said in an interview. "It jolted everybody's memory again about why we were there in Iraq and who we're dealing with."
It all begins to make an Oliver Stone kind of sense: How convenient that Nick Berg has been murdered - by a dead man? - just in time for some "news cycle management". After his captivity in Mosul, his parents, frustrated by their inability to find out about their son's whereabouts, filed a lawsuit in federal court in Philadelphia on April 5 asserting that he was being held by the American military in violation of his civil rights. A day later, he was released. He disappeared soon after that.
May 12, 2004
Staying the Course
Dynamics to watch/questions to answer:
1. Will the Berg beheading defuse the American and/or world anger over the prison abuse scandal, and, thus, steel U.S. resolve to win in Iraq, or lead to public opinion turning more against the war?
. . .ultimately, like all ideologies that eschew compromise, fundamentalism is utopian and accepts the morally corrosive proposition that the ends always justify the means.and
History is awash with beleaguered revolutionaries and lunatic extremists who were endowed with enough luck and enough ruthlessness to fill power vacuums. The danger is not that fundamentalism will grow, Armstrong's analysis suggests, so much as that modern, secular society will wither.I had not run across the book until pointed to it by a correspondent today, though I do have a largely unread copy of Ms. Armstong's "A History of God" here. "The Battle for God" was written at the end of the last millenium. I wonder what the author would write today, in the midst of GW Bush's fundamentalist revolution and its consequences?
http://www.dissidentvoice.org/May2004/Stephens0504.htmIraq - Abu Ghraib and Fundamental Bush Policy, cont'd. - Folks, it just isn't getting any better. And it should not, considering these two reports:
Heartland Morality, American Politics
by Gregory Stephens
May 4, 2004
Gregory Stephens has taught at the University of California and the University of Oklahoma, and is currently completing a book called Real Revolutionaries: Revisioning Kinship and Co-Creation. His writings and radio shows are available at: www.gregorystephens.com. Contact: email@example.com.
Saturday May 8, 2004
The sexual humiliation of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison was . . . part of a system of ill-treatment and degradation used by special forces soldiers that is now being disseminated among ordinary troops and contractors who do not know what they are doing . . .
"The crucial difference from Iraq is that frontline soldiers who are made to experience R2I techniques themselves develop empathy. They realise the suffering they are causing. But people who haven't undergone this don't realise what they are doing to people. It's a shambles in Iraq". The British former officer said the dissemination of R2I techniques inside Iraq was all the more dangerous because of the general mood among American troops. "The feeling among US soldiers I've spoken to in the last week is also that 'the gloves are off'. Many of them still think they are dealing with people responsible for 9/11".
http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/world/ny-woabuse0508,0,178681,print.storyThe Rumsfeld assertion that these acts were not coordinated and supervised by people in authority - possibly only apparent authority and outside a chain of command and control that was badly broken - is absurd on its face. The critical issue and questions before us now are how was command authority so thoroughly broken, who was responsible, and how pervasive is the problem.
BY JAMES RUPERT, Staff Correspondent
May 7, 2004, 10:26 PM EDT
U.S. officials in Baghdad and Washington ignored human rights monitors' repeated pleas for official investigations of American abuse, torture and killings of Iraqi prisoners over the past year. . .
. . . Bremer "was made aware of the charges relating to the humiliation" of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison in January, . . .
But the U.S. authorities here had similar information from the International Committee of the Red Cross for at least seven months beforehand. . .
. . .
"Our findings do not allow to conclude that what we were dealing with here in the case of Abu Ghraib were isolated acts ... What we have described amounts to a pattern and a broad system," . . .
The Bush administration and U.S. authority in Iraq effectively stonewalled Amnesty International, . . .
. . .Bremer ignored (U.S.-appointed Iraqi minister for human rights, Abel Basset) Turki's face-to-face request in November for an investigation of human rights violations, "in jails in particular."
This is the new gulag
Bush has created a global network of extra-legal and secret US prisons with thousands of inmates
Thursday May 6, 2004
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=514&e=2&u=/ap/20040508/ap_on_re_mi_ea/abuse_early_accounts_5By CHARLES J. HANLEY, AP Special Correspondent
Early Iraq Abuse Accounts Met With Silence
Saturday, May 8, 2004
Detailed allegations of psychological abuse, deprivation, beatings and deaths at U.S.-run prisons in Iraq were met by public silence from the U.S. Army last October — six months before shocking photographs stirred world outrage and demands for action.
The Empire Strikes Out
By BEN MACINTYRE, Saturday, May 8, 2004
America need only look at Britain's experience in Afghanistan to learn about the hubris and transience of empire.
Arrest in Bombing Inquiry Was Rushed, Officials Say
By SARAH KERSHAW and DAVID JOHNSTON
The authorities arrested a Portland lawyer in connection with the Madrid railway bombings before they had a clear idea about the strength of their case.
[Edit Saturday, May 8, 2004 - The instruction, specifically, may have been in a formal methodology "R2I" or "Resistance to Interrogation" used by US and British Special Forces, according to a report in "The Guardian". ]He also reminds us that Major General Geoffrey D. Miller, the former detention camp commander at Guantanamo Bay who has taken over the military prison system in Iraq is the very general who originally "recommended that military police guards act as "enablers" for interrogations." Correctly predicting that General Miller's real purpose will be to erect a firewall to allow regular military officers knowledge of the more distastefull practices of the intelligence services, he mentions in passing that "He might also want to ban personal cameras." In fact, by the time of the media film crews visits to Abu Ghraib on Wednesday, signs forbidding cameras of any kind within the prison were prominently displayed!
Because the Pentagon, the CIA, and the Bush Administration have made torture an undeniable tool in their all-embracing War on Terror. When Don Rumsfeld repeatedly told us during the Afghanistan War how much the world had changed, torture was one of the post-911 "changes" he was telegraphing.
In fact, there was less change of direction than natural evolution. The CIA and military intelligence began training foreign armies and police forces in torture techniques many years before. Much of what Americans now do in Iraq comes right out of the CIA's KUBARK Counter-intelligence Interrogation Manual, published in 1963, and their updated Human Resource Exploitation Training Manual, published in 1983. Both became public in 1997, when the Baltimore Sun won an epic Freedom of Information battle against the CIA in an investigation of the agency's involvement in Central America.
. . .
Mindful of the Geneva Conventions and other treaties, insiders tried to spin what they were doing as only "torture lite" or "stress and duress." The goal, as the CIA manuals explained, was not to inflict pain, but "to induce psychological regression in the subject by bringing a superior outside force to bear on his will to resist."
Where earlier, more obvious brutality often stiffened resistance by creating a battle of wills between torturer and victim, the new techniques set the conflict within the captive's own body and mind, eating away at his or her adult personality and creating a child-like state of dependence.
"Stress and duress" left few physical scars and baffled casual observers, who saw none of the classic instruments of torture. When those were wanted, the CIA and military intelligence generally flew prisoners to Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, or the Philippines.
"We don't kick the [expletive] out of them," an insider told the Washington Post. "We send them to other countries so they can kick the [expletive] out of them."
"But Bush said...." Bush will say
anything. He was a
"compassionate conservative" for the 2000 election. Lies are a
non issue for Bush. For many people this fact is difficult
to grasp, especially in the light of his religious convictions.
But in truth, the contradiction is only apparent, and the explanation
lies in Mr. Bush's adherence to a latter day form of an ancient theist
The best tool for understanding of this apparent contradiction I
have found is the book "A Substitute for Holiness, or Antinomianism
Revived: The theology of the so-called Plymouth Brethren examined
and refuted" by Protestant theologian Daniel Steele, S.T.D. , published
ca. 1878, I believe. This book addresses the antinomian heresy as
embodied in a body of religious belief known as premillenialist
dispensationalism, and sometimes as Darbyism after its founder, John
Darby. Though this strain of belief has many features
visible in contemporary US and British religious life - including dominionism,
millenialism, predestinarianism, new covenantism, "last days" and
rapturalist fixations, etc. - one peculiar feature is of relevance
here, the antinomian view of the atonement.
To illustrate the antinomian view, Dr Steele quotes
Dr. George S. Bishop:
"From the moment we believe, God looks upon us as if we were Christ .... We then are saved, straight through eternity, by what the Son of God has done in our place .... Other considerations have nothing to do with it. It matters nothing what we have been, what we are, or what we shall be. From the moment we believe on Christ, we are forever, in God's sight, AS CHRIST. Of course it is involved in this that men are saved, not by preparing first, that is, by repenting, and praying, and reading the Bible, and then trusting Christ; nor the converse of this, that is, by trusting Christ first, and then preparing something -- repentance, reformation, good works -- which God will accept; but that sinners are saved irrespective of what they are -- how they feel -- what they have done -- what they hope to do -- by trusting on Christ only, that the instant Christ is seen and rested in, the soul's eternity, by God's free promise, and regardless of all character and works, is fixed."Dr. Steele summarizes, stating:
In short, the creed of the Antinomian is this: I was justified when Christ died, and my faith is simply a waking up to the fact that I have always been saved -- a realization of what was done before I had any being; that a believer is not bound to mourn for sin, because it was pardoned before it was committed, and pardoned sin is no sin; that God does not see sin in believers, however great sins they commit; . . .Justified by faith alone, a true believer such as GW Bush needs pay little heed to small matters such as lies. Especially when the lies pertain not to personal conduct and moral duties but to the great issues of public policy and human affairs, and the the person dissimulating is responsible for the care of the nation - and even of all humanity's spiritual fate and conversion to a one true faith! GW Bush, Saddam Hussein, and Osama bin Laden, it seems to me, all carry the immense burden of this deeply felt messianic calling.
The history of premillenialist dispensationalism, and its relationship to postmillenialism and the 'established chruch' as well as to the rise of fundamentalism, after Dr. Steele's analysis, is treated by Stephen J. Lennox in his essay "The Eschatology of George D. Watson"
Another Christian mens' religious study group, made up of powerful Washington politicians is described by Jeffrey Sharlet in Harper's Magazine, March, 2003; an interview with the author was published at Alternet.org on June 30, 2003.URLs:
Not bad. Good news during a week of very bad news, and with significance likely to be both overlooked in the media and swamped in its real world effects by that bad news. It has the potential of making Paul Bremer, Generals Sanchez and Abizaid, Condi Rice and even George Bush look like geniuses. I would hope none of this rubs off on Rummy, Gen. Myers, and Wolfie, as they seemed to me to be doubtful about and even attempting to undercut the approach being taken by the people on the ground in Iraq as things developed last week.
In near 100-degree heat in the late afternoon, few of the Shiite speakers stirred much enthusiasm. But the strongest murmurings of the meeting came when Taqlif al-Faroun, a tribal leader from Najaf, said Shiites should give the American forces a green light to go after Mr. Sadr in the holy cities. "Najaf is not Mecca," he said. "The Americans don't want to go into the shrines. They want to get rid of criminals and thieves. So what if they enter the city?" Across the roof, dozens of men responded approvingly. "Yes, yes!", they said.
It was not until April 24 that the Army began to investigate possible involvement by military intelligence units and contractors working with them in Iraq in any abuse, including the 205th Military Intelligence Brigade; employees of CACI, a private contractor; and the Iraqi Survey Group, a unit of the Defense Intelligence Agency. . . NYTimesAlready, Rummy and Myers have focused their statements on and misdirected the attention of the media onto the conduct of the individual soldiers involved, and not on the culbability of the military intelligence officers and paramilitary apparatchiks who led and fomented the violence! This strategy is typical of the NeoCons. That it consitently succeeds, despite its obvious duplicity, is a commentary on our media.
The neoconservatives who have taken us down this path are actually very few in number. It is a small pack of zealots whose dedication has spanned decades, and that through years of selective recruitment has become a government cult with cells in most of the national security system. Among those cells are the secretive Office of Special Plans in the Department of Defense (reportedly now disbanded) and a similar operation in the State Department that is managed in the office of Under Secretary for Disarmament John Bolton.The existence and power of these independent, ideologically extremist cells within the government accounts for much of the failure of US intelligence about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, linkages with Al Quaeda, and the rest of the falsehoods on which the need to invade Iraq precipitously and without adequate planning and coordination with allies was based. It is not at all difficult to believe that the weaknesses in our intelligence capabilities created by this "boring from within" also led to the misperception and misinterpretation of available intelligence information that left us vulnerable to the hijacking and use as missiles of domestic airliners. It is almost certain that the infection of the intelligence community by these cells accounts for the abuse of prisoners in Iraq, and probably in Afghanistan and at Guantanamo.
On Sunday, March 16, 2003, Vice President Dick Cheney emerged from his cave to appear on the NBC News "Meet the Press" show, for a one-hour interview with Tim Russert. . . . On the pivotal issue of preventive war, Cheney was lying, willfully. But that was just the tip of the iceberg.It is a shame that it has taken the press and public so long to see what has been so obvious for so long.
Cheney's extraordinary hour-long pronouncement was composed, almost exclusively, of disinformation, which had either already been publicly discredited, or would soon be exposed as lies.
What can you say about a deputy defense secretary so eager to invade Iraq he was nicknamed Wolfowitz of Arabia, so bullish to remold the Middle East he froze the State Department out of the occupation and then mangled it, who doesn't bother to keep track of the young Americans who died for his delusion?
Those troops were killed while they were still trying to fathom the treacherous tribal and religious beehive they were never prepared for, since they thought they'd be helping build schools and hospitals for grateful Iraqis.
Asked during a Congressional budget hearing on Thursday how many American troops had been killed in Iraq, Mr. Wolfowitz missed by more than 30 percent. "It's approximately 500, of which — I can get the exact numbers — approximately 350 are combat deaths," he said.
As of Thursday, there were 722 deaths, 521 in combat. The No. 2 man at the Pentagon was oblivious in the bloodiest month of the war, with the number of Americans killed in April overtaking those killed in the six-week siege of Baghdad last year.
This is, of course, an administration that refuses to quantify or acknowledge the cost of its chuckleheaded empire policies, in bodies, money, credibility in the Arab world, reputation among our allies or the reinvigoration of militant Muslims around the globe. Duped themselves, they duped Americans into thinking it would be easy, paid for with Iraqi oil. But Donald Rumsfeld's vision of showing off a slim, agile military was always at odds with the neocons' vision of infusing enough security into Iraq to turn it into an instant democratic paradise.
Crushed in the collision of these two grandiose dreams are all the smaller dreams of fallen soldiers, to raise kids and watch baseball and grill hot dogs on the Fourth of July.
Bill O'Reilly suggested that CBS, by breaking the news of the grotesque pictures of American soldiers gaily tormenting Iraqi prisoners, had put American lives at risk.
Unhealthy control leads to more unhealthy control. Managers at Microsoft seem to be trying to create a situation in which Microsoft operating systems are not independent software, but are dependent on Microsoft computers. They apparently feel that there is no limit to the control they should have, and are strongly determined to extend that control.
The attempt to take more control, and to take more control without adequate explanation, is a huge gamble with investor's money. If it strongly alienates people from Microsoft, there may be a time when the company has difficulty selling even good products.
Wanting more control, and a desire for control that cannot be controlled, is a common psychological problem. For example, dictators of governments often test the limits until they destroy themselves.Design effective resistance to abuse. Human society in general is not effective at stopping abuse. People have a difficult time being clear about abusiveness, and therefore about protesting it and stopping it. It is especially difficult for the average person to feel clear about something technical like software. People tend to blame themselves rather than the software that should serve their needs.
Instead of efficiently moving to limit the destructiveness of the abuser, the abused people often begin to attack each other. Often technically knowledgeable people have the presumption that, if they know something another person doesn't know, that gives them a license to attack the other person, or to feel superior. The fighting among themselves of people knowledgeable about computers is part of the reason there has been very little effective resistance to Microsoft's abuse.
Microsoft's self-destructiveness does not mean that the user should be self-destructive. There is no need to apologize for using Microsoft software, as many people do who know a lot about computers. The correct solution to abuse is persuading the abuser to stop being abusive. Rather than feel embarrassed because Microsoft is abusive, action needs to be taken to prevent the abuse. If you protest effectively against Microsoft abuse, you are not against Microsoft; you are more pro-Microsoft than Bill Gates.
The patch model for Internet security has failed spectacularly. To remedy this, there have been a number of suggestions for ways to try to shoehorn end users into becoming security experts, including making them financially liable for the consequences of their computers being hijacked by malware or miscreants. Notwithstanding the fundamental inequities involved in encouraging people sign on to the Internet with a single click, and then requiring them to fix flaws in software marketed to them as secure with technical skills they do not possess, many users do choose to protect themselves at their own expense by purchasing antivirus and firewall software. Making this choice is the gold-standard for end user behavior -- they recognize both that security is important and that they do not possess the skills necessary to effect it themselves. When users participating in the best security practice that can be reasonably expected get infected with a virulent and damaging worm, we need to reconsider the notion that end user behavior can solve or even effectively mitigate the malicious software problem and turn our attention toward both preventing software vulnerabilities in the first place and developing large-scale, robust and reliable infrastructure that can mitigate current security problems without relying on end user intervention.That paragraph is dramatically re-emphasized by this note, which describes how Microsoft's MS04-11 patch for the LSASS vulnerability has caused problems on some machines including losing the ability to login or failure to respond after rebooting. I have applied the MS04-11 patch and have not experienced the reported problems. However, based on MS's write-up , my good fortune may be due to having disabled IPSEC services.
American vows to destroy the insurgents and "kill or capture" Mr. Sadr and his black-clad militia - groups that were once marginal, at best - are feeding increasingly wide support among Iraqis, and turning Fallujah into a new anti-US rallying cry.My response: A new version of "loose lips sink ships" is damaging the credibility of the US, and interfering with the accomplisment of strategic objectives. The military and civilian officials who emit these utterances should be sharply and visible disciplined.
"In Fallujah [Americans] are acting out of proportion to [the deaths of four US contractors]. I understand their anger, but they get poor marks," says Gailan Ramiz, a Harvard-educated political scientist in Baghdad. "I am convinced now, they created a situation where Iraqis are in total psychological revolt."My response: US strategic objective have been made hostage to the need by US managers' of the war effort to appear in their own eyes and the eyes of one another "macho" and fearsome. The US public, and more responsible public officials, should hold these irresponsible and childish people accountable for the harm they have done to the Iraqi people and to US goals and objectives for the war effort overall.
Mr. Bush last week declared that there was "no safe alternative to resolute action" to regain control. But as US troops dig in, Middle East history shows that total control often comes at a very high price.My response: The US does not need, and will not benefit from an Iraqi version of the debacle at Hue. The officers and officials who led us and permitted us to be led into the blind alley in Fallujah are guilty of criminal negligence and self indulgence, and should be cashiered. That includes Bush, but especially "General Bluster", Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmit, and whoever is responsible for his continued presence as a spokesman for US policy in Iraq.
Americans should be mindful of this lesson, for what it says about Iraqi standards of intimidation. "Iraqis are used to being punished," says the officer. "They are used to fear."
Active ConnectionsI'd like to know if anyone has a machine running fewer processes and connections under comparable circumstances. Write me!
Proto Local Address Foreign Address State PID
TCP 0.0.0.0:1025 0.0.0.0:0 LISTENING 4 System
TCP 0.0.0.0:1211 0.0.0.0:0 LISTENING 732 browser application
TCP 0.0.0.0:1241 0.0.0.0:0 LISTENING 1096 security application
TCP nn.nn.nnn.252:1241 nnn.nnn.203.172:80 ESTABLISHED 1096
TCP 127.0.0.1:1210 0.0.0.0:0 LISTENING 732
TCP 127.0.0.1:1210 127.0.0.1:1211 ESTABLISHED 732
TCP 127.0.0.1:1211 127.0.0.1:1210 ESTABLISHED 732
of prior weblog file: (Archived)
This index is chronological (earliest is first), while the the postings are in reverse chronology (most recent is first).
Contents of Prior Weblog File (Archived)Weblog, 2004-03-24, Wodin's Day
NeoMedieval Dominion (cont'd.)Weblog, 2004-03-27, Saturn's Day
The Liberal Philosophy of Personal ResponsibilityWeblog, 2004-03-29, Moon Day
The Iraq War - Situation and Prospects = No improvementWeblog, 2004-04-12, Moon Day
The Man Who Knew - John O'Neill and bin Laden's Al Qaeda
The Daily Kos http://www.dailykos.com/ has been named the "Best Warblog" by Forbes Magazine - and it is not even a Warblog, as they note.
http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/ Most highly recommended, with built in BS detection and disclosure.
http://www.johnbrownlow.com/unintended/ An excellent source. More on unintended consequences.
http://sgtstryker.com.cr.sabren.com/sparkey.htm Tactical news, but well selected and informative.
http://www.singmind.com/singleminded/home.htm has a much more strategic and political view.
They even quote Lord Melbourne "Nobody ever did anything very foolish except from some strong principle."
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/world/2003/reporters_log/ BBC war reporters' log.
http://www.agonist.org/ "Thoughtful, Global, Timely" Actually quite good.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A42614-2003Mar28.htmlis a Washington Post summary of Warblog activity
The Enlightenment and US Politics (Draft, March, 2004)
Perpetual War! A political agenda motivates the drive to perpetual war.
The Past is Prologue: Resistance, Rebellion, Reaction - Viet Nam and its Aftermath
The Face of Totalitarian Shrubbyism
Whose anti war movement is it, anyway?
|Nader (aka "Barf Nadir" in
some quarters) is probably not an elitist, a
Straussian NeoCon plant, who ran last time in
order to get Bush elected, and is attempting the same thing this
time. But he might as well be.
( http://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/23/opinion/23MON1.html ,
After the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago, and two years of student action at Universities culminating in the May 4, 1970 Kent State killings, it was clear something had to be done. Two tools were devised and used to divert the energies, physical and intellectual, of the people who made up the anti Viet Nam war movement. One was New Age spiritualism. The other is "(Don't) Think Globally, Act Locally" Environmentalism. For three decades both tools (together with splinter parties) have been used to chip away at the people's political will and ability to accomplish any populist and progressive program.
That form of spiritualism called "New Age" induced us to reject commitment to politics and the political process as meaningless or, worse, a source of troubling thoughts and emotions. Local action "environmentalism" told us that we were to focus on recycling our trash instead fighting corporate polluters, reading history and being politically aware, committed and involved. Broader action to influence policy would, in this version of movement politics, be dissociated from real politics. Instead, we would work through special interest organizations, which apply 'pressure point' lobbying to gain their objective. Enthusiasts of both could drop out, and go back to the land - where they managed, some argue, to both start a process of gentrification in rural communities and to get a head start on the resulting boom in real estate values!
Politics - real politics which focuses on the needs and aspirations of the the people and polity and on securing votes for bond issues, tax levies, and candidates - was, supposedly, irrelevant. In this strange new world there was no difference between the political parties, and Al Gore and George Bush were viewed as clones. But the corporatist and fundamentalist Right not only knew better, it funded - even created - much of that anti-political consciousness.
In this brave new century, both movements have aged, weakened, and deteriorated to the point that they are no longer a threat to either the fundamentalists or the oil companies. The religious right is taking control of our free public school system or supplanting it with fundamentalist madrassahs to be supported with NCLB mandated vouchers. Recycling programs are being found too expensive and being abandoned across the nation. The post Viet Nam diversionary movements and their duped adherents can be dispensed with, and our government be put in the hands of Straussian Neocons. All this WWW3 stuff, the MacNamara revisited stuff (you notice it is all recollection - no analysis, not guilt, no apology), is to keep "movement" people stuck in self analytical and self congratulatory mode while the stage is set for Act 3 of the NeoCon putsch.
Now a similar tactic is distracting the remnants of Governor Dean's campaign support organization. In large part it has already lost sight of the need to remove the Shrub NeoCon regime from power and reform the Democratic party. Even as Shrub uses recess appointments to install far right wing judges, agents of disinformation and agents provocateur are working in Governor Dean's blog and forums to convince his supporters that they should let the 2004 election go and focus on "stopping Hilary" in 2008; that there is no difference between the toothless, failed liberalism of John Kerry and the aggressive, very sharply toothed extreme right wing NeoCons who occupy the White House and the Pentagon.
If this tactic, in conjunction with Nader's candidacy, works "(T)hen, as Clint Eastwood gets to say in Don Siegel's Coogan's Bluff, "You won't believe what happens next, even while it's happening." " We are living at the foot of a huge dam, and we are blind to how near it is to overtopping, failing altogether, and washing away 500 years of progress in human welfare and freedom.
Jared Diamond's Lewis Thomas Prize Lecture: "Why Do Some Societies Make Disastrous Decisions?"
The threat originally comes, not from the arc of impoverished and desolated peoples running from Morocco to the Indonesia, but from worms boring away within the body of and consuming the heart of European civilization's greatest gift to humanity, the legacy of the Enlightenment. This parasitic infection has, of course, broken out of the bounds of European intellectual life and infected the rest of the world, from where it is reflected back, in the forms of terrorism and fundamentalism, onto the "West".
Birth of the Enlightenment
The elements which were brought together in the creation of the broad and revolutionary cultural transformation known as the Enlightenment were not the sole possession of Europe. Most were held in common with other civilizations, some older and more sophisticated in many ways than was Europe. For the greater part of the period after the breakup of Mediterranean civilization at the end of the Roman Empire, so-called "Latin Christendom" was the least advanced of the three successor cultures, after Byzantium (Eastern or Orthodox Christianity) and Islam.
There is no substantial agreement about why the outcome of a series of cultural trends in Northwestern Europe in the 14th through the 17th centuries was so dramatically different than in other parts of the world which were at a similar or more advanced state of development at the beginning of that period. However, three distinguishing factors are suggested:
The impermanence of state and empire. Maritime Norse raiders who had only a few centuries earlier flooded into every part of the continent bounded by ocean or sea, and even into Asia Minor and Russia carried a tradition of loose and democratically organized confederations antithetic to central control, culminating in the freehold. The sufficiency of this tradition alone in providing the roots for democracy is demonstrated by the evolution of Icelandic governance.
In Europe Norse influence was coupled with repeated fragmentation and reconstitution of the Holy Roman Empire and its loosely coordinated component states, which itself resulted from the Frankish tradition (contra primogeniture) of dividing the kingdom among the sons of the king. This combination inhibited the growth of stable large states and centralized authoritarian control.
Norse decentralization and Frankish inheritance practice were later coupled with the mythos of Greek Democracy and the Roman Republic rediscovered during the Renniassance. All these together provided the historical and cultural basis for the creation of open and pluralistic societies and democratic forms of governance in Northwestern Europe.
The secular preoccupations of the Church in Rome: An historical antipathy of much of Christian tradition toward the state also limited the degree of coordination between the state and religious authority and discouraged the development of stultifying theocratic social organization. (With a nod to a current cultural phenomenon - March, 2004 - it is necessary to note that, although this tradition originates in the persecution of the Christian churches by the Roman Empire, after the sudden conversion of the Emporer Constantine to Christianity a new tradition, which "washes the hands" of Rome and assigns "blood guilt" for the crucifixion to the Jews, appears in Christian culture. How convenient for Rome and the Emperor!)
For centuries the Holy See in Rome, P0pe and Curia, had been preoccupied with regional politics in the Western Mediterranean. Charlemagne had institutionalized the Church in the North in the form of the Holy Roman Empire, and until the Reformation there was little reason for Rome to concern itself with political or doctrinal matters there. The relative freedom of this secularized environment that developed in Rome permitted the rise of the Italian Renaissance, and its export to the rest of Europe, where it merged with other cultural bases supporting the Enlightenment.
After the Roman church's powerful reaction to the Reformation at the Councils of Constance and Trent, and the creation of the Counter Reformation, it turned its attention to the suppression of these secular tendencies by blood and fire. States in Catholic Southern Europe dealt with irregular books and people in the same manner - by burning - and from the time of the Council until the 20th Century Southern Europe declined relative to the North in thought, governance, invention, the arts, and economic vitality.
Fortunately, the political structure if Northern Europe could not support such a monolithic response to the Reformation, and despite the desire of its initial creators to enforce various forms of doctrinal totalitarianism, the ferment of novel religious ideas there continued pretty much unabated until the mid 19th Century.
The printing press. The invention (1436) of the mechanical printing press made possible the rapid reproduction and wide distribution of old and new knowledge and thought throughout European civilization. This possibility, which could have been aborted in circumstances of centrally coordinated authoritarian government, was fully exploited in Northern Europe, though aborted in the South after the Counter Reformation. The tensions among varied branches of Christian religious thought both increased the demand for printed materials and created religious justifications for their free availability - a pattern in sharp contrast to that experienced where ideological conformity was enforced by strong, empire wide government authority.
In sharp contrast to the Enlightenment in Northern Europe, in the Eastern Empire of Byzantium and - after the fall of Constaniople and the rise of the Ottoman Empire in Istanbul - in the Islamic world a pre-existing tendency toward empire building, and the strongly centralized and authoritarian religious and governmental structures required to support empire (esp. Ottoman and Mogul) aborted further development of once vital cultures there.
By the end of the 17th century the Enlightenment had come to dominate the intellectual and cultural life of Northwestern Europe, and for the next 400 years it permitted the advances in science, technology, economic organization, governance, and military power that created the hegemony of the so-called "West" over the entire planet.
Every part of the Shrubbyist domestic and international
on perpetual war.
Shrubbyist Lust for War
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:
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