Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Did LBJ Do It?


No, he didn't.

The great Rob Clark, aka Lone Gunman, with a typically deep and funny podcast on the question.

For all of Rob's priceless casts, go here.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

If Only. . .

Chris Floyd, with tongue in cheek?
WASHINGTON – The White House faces a serious threat from drones, administration officials said today, after a recent incident in which a small, private drone crashed on the lawn near the president’s home. This episode, though minor, has alerted the White House to a wider problem, the official said.

“The drone campaign conducted by President Obama in countries all over world threatens to make the term ‘White House’ synonymous with murder, destruction, violence, terror and cowardly sneak attacks that have claimed hundreds of innocent lives,” said the official.

“Even now, there are many people who, when they hear the words ‘White House,’ immediately think of wedding parties blown to bits, of sleeping children eviscerated by flying shards of burning metal, of farmers in their fields atomized by missiles fired by comfortable suburban soldiers sitting in a wadded armchair ten thousand miles away, wolfing down Doritos while they push a button to kill someone. And hey, we don’t want people thinking that.”

The official said this risk from drones is compounded by the fact that President of the United States actually sits in his office in the White House and goes through checklists of people who are to be murdered that week by imperial fiat, with no charges, no judicial process, no defense, “not shriving time allowed,” he added, apparently making some kind of literary reference.

This association was particularly unfair, the official said. “Some of the people on White House death lists aren’t even murdered by drones! Guns, knives, garrottes, poison, defenestration, old-fashioned, non-robotic bombs and missiles — the White House murders people in many different ways all over the world, week after week. I think we should get more credit for this variety, and not have it all reduced to ‘drone attacks.’ Not only does that put the White House at risk of being identified solely as the center for a particularly hideous technology-driven evil of our times, it also does a disservice to the skills and inventiveness of our death squads.”

The official said the White House is taking urgent steps to protect itself from its association with the murderous state terror of the drone campaign. “We’re going to be stepping up the number of happy, peppy events we have at the White House,” he said, “and making sure they all have a very prominent ‘White House’ label. In the next few weeks, we’ll be having the White House Sweet Ole Granny Quilting Bee, featuring photogenic grannies from all over the country, and the White House ‘Smores and More Weekend, where the President and Mrs. President will gather with kindergarten kids from across this great land of ours to make some simple, tasty picnic treats.

“That will be followed by the White House Gala of Goodness at the White House, a celebration of all that is good and wholesome and right about America. The real coup of that one is that Clint Eastwood is going to be the guest host, and we have a really funny skit with Clint and the President and a chair, in the White House. The week after that we’ll have the White House Shout-Out to Brooklyn and Portland and Seattle, where the nation’s hipster elite will gather at the White House to trade self-deprecating drollery with the Hipster-in-Chief. I’m not supposed to say anything about Lena Dunham being there, so you didn’t hear it from me!”

The official said the White House was confident these measures will help defend the White House from being attacked by drone associations. “I think we’re pushing at an open door,” the official said. “Look at the boffo box office for American Sniper. The American people want — and the American people deserve — to feel good about the murders being done in their name. A few marshmallow roasts, a few poetry readings or ceremonies with national champions of something or other, and the words ‘White House’ will go back to what they’ve always been: a synonym for good, clean fun.”

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Name

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The River


Two young lovers -- Henriette and Henri -- have a brief but intense tryst during a holiday in the country. Years later, for a moment, the two meet again; then she is called back to her real life by her inadequate husband. People do bold things and make mistakes. How can anyone tell which is which?

What is realistic in the story is the basic, pitiless understanding that this is the way of the world. Here the river is so much more than mere radiance. For ships that pass in the night, or in the day, the river is a facilitator without memory or morality. So this 40-minute movie needs only one brief reunion to measure the mistake, and the way in which the girl will never forget it. Jean Renoir's A Day in the Country (1936) becomes a work about memory, destiny, and time -- and a river that is always the same, always transient, like the present tense: beautiful but indifferent. A perfect subject for a moving picture.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

American Sniper

Arthur Silber with the real State of the Union.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Stations of the Cross

Robert F. Kennedy, the day after Martin Luther King, Jr. was murdered.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Unmourned

Four writers on the dead we don't care about:

Rancid Honeytrap.

Teju Cole.

Sassy Sourstein.

Arthur Silber.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Battling Wall Street


The best book yet written on John F. Kennedy's economic and domestic policies is Donald Gibson's Battling Wall Street. Out of print for 20 years and very hard to find, Progressive Press has just brought out a new edition (along with Gibson's superb sequel, The Kennedy Assassination Cover-Up). The book makes it clear: in the context of post-World War II US economic philosophy, JFK was a radical, a President who sought to circumvent the private money power by going beyond a Keynesian focus on demand by a dramatic industrial policy strengthening supply, not only within the United States but around the world as well -- a policy seeking to build-up national economies rather than destroying them, in order to retain a public / governmental control over each country's wealth. Post-Dallas, it moved entirely in the opposite direction, leading to the supranational world of vampire capital now destroying us all.

The great Len Osanic and Jim DiEugenio spoke with Donald Gibson for a brilliant 90 minutes. Grab the mp3 here.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Flip It

by David Swanson

Some killings are reported on in a slightly different manner from how the Charlie Hebdo killings have been. Rewriting a drone killing as a gun killing (changing just a few words) would produce something like this:

Freedom Fighters Gun Strike in Europe Is Said to Have Killed 12 Militants

PARIS, France — At least 12 foreign militants were believed to have been killed in a freedom fighter gun strike in the North Paris tribal region on Wednesday morning, a Liberation security official said.

The Liberation official said guns fired 128 precision bullets into a compound in the Cafe Au Lait subdistrict at 6:40 a.m. The area is close to the headquarters of numerous French businesses.

“The guns targeted a base of a French commander known as Francoise, killing 12 French militants. Two militants are wounded,” the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the news media.

It was unclear whether Francoise was there at the time of the attack. The local news media has reported that he is allied with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and engaged in plans to ship troops and weaponry to Western Asia.

Gun strikes in France, often attributed to Muslims, prompt regular diplomatic protests from the entire Western world.

Separately, the Liberation military said four terrorist hide-outs and a training center for bombers were damaged by gun strikes late Saturday in a remote suburb of the nearby South Paris tribal region.

In a brief statement, the military said that “6 terrorists, including some bomber pilots, were killed in precise gun strikes.” There was no independent confirmation of the military’s claim.

Last summer, the Liberation military launched a long-awaited offensive against French and foreign militants holed up in the Western Europe region. The military claims that it now controls 0.4 percent of the region.

NATO attacks in recent years have left hundreds of thousands dead.

*****

In contrast, rewriting a Charlie Hebdo report as a drone report might produce something like this:

Drone attack on Pakistani house kills 12

Drone pilots have shot dead 12 people at the home of their grandmother in an apparent militant Imperialist attack.

Four of the family’s youngest generation, including its new-born infant were among those killed, as well as two friends visiting at the time.

A major police operation is under way to find three drone pilots believed to be hiding out in Langley, Virginia.

President Mamnoon Hussain said there was no doubt it had been a terrorist attack “of exceptional barbarity”.

It is believed to be the deadliest attack in Pakistan since last Tuesday, when another drone — or possibly the same one — sent a missile into a picnic killing 18.

The distant faceless attackers opened fire with hellfire missiles in the sky above the family’s home and faced no opposition. They later flew the drone higher in the sky, presumably recording video footage, the buzzing of their deadly machine still audible below as rescuers waited for it to leave before daring to search for survivors.

People had been “murdered in a cowardly manner”, presidents and leaders around the globe remarked in unison. U.S. President Barack Obama has condemned the “horrific shooting”, offering to provide any assistance needed “to help bring these terrorists to justice”.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said: “It was a horrendous, unjustifiable and cold-blooded crime. It was also a direct assault on a cornerstone of democracy, on the safety of a family in its home.”

UK Prime Minister David Cameron said in a tweet: “The murders in Pakistan are sickening. We stand with the Pakistani people in the fight against terror.”

Eurocentric clubs and Christian churches around the world rushed to condemn the killing.

Footage shot by an eyewitness outside the house shows scattered rubble and what appears to be bits of flesh and clothing hanging from a nearby tree.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Charlie Hebdo = Gladio Redux?

Pray for this horrible century. Then please click on the emblem.

(Daniele Ganzer's complete masterpiece.)

Monday, January 5, 2015

Last Stand



A very sad start to the new year.

Mario Cuomo was the last man standing, the last still alive American political hero I had. What other post-Sixties American politician asked where had the sweetness and tenderness gone from American life, the compassion and modesty and earnestness?

Had Cuomo been elected in 1992 instead of Bill Clinton, he would have made an enormous difference on the spirit and future of the country, much as FDR and JFK did. He would have tried to take the post-Cold War United States in a very different direction. He would have saved us from ClintonBush and Obama. (With lots more ClintonBush to come.)

Of course they would have tried to Carter-ize him, or worse. (Look what they did to someone as harmless as Bill Clinton.) But I think Cuomo would have beaten them. I think he may have become as big as Lincoln. That would really have been something. I remember very clearly where I was when he announced his decision not to run in '92. I was stunned and heartbroken. He was far ahead in every poll for the Democratic nomination and well ahead of incumbent President Bush in the head-to-heads. We still don't know what happened there, but let's assume the Clinton gangsters and those anti-Catholic Italian "family" rumors had something to do with it.

Mario Cuomo, 1932 - 2015, RIP.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Herbie

Happy 96th Birthday to the most beautiful pianist of his time.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Some Advice for the New Year



Have a Happy One. . . .

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Walking Dead


"Modern" "Family" . . . My gosh, do folks actually watch this thing every week? And now in re-runs too!

Guess so. It's the number-one viewed American "comedy" show and the winnah of the last five Best Comedy Show Emmys. Really? The program -- and never before has that word been more applicable -- is like something created by the Stepford Wives or Donald Sutherland after the ending of Body Snatchers. The lighting and colors are the lighting and colors contained within every suburban shopping mall ever entered. While every possible identity-politics "character" moves through the zone of sterility like the zomboid he/she/it is. And such fresh ideas! The idiot dad. The over-sexed grumpy grandpa. The kids who are always smarter than their parents. The spunky soccer mom. The always-more-sensitive-than-the-straights gay guys. The crazy koochie-koochie-koo woman who gets all her laughs by not being able to pronounce correct English. The "realistic" whining direct into the camera. And no blacks or working-class stiffs to upset the stomach. The series reminds me of those movie shorts produced by Goebbels in the mid-1930s showing happy, beautiful, industrious, healthy Germans. Watching this corporate narcotic, one would never know that the US has been taken over by the military and the police, that it's conducting aggressive war all 'round the world, that everyone is spied upon, that every American-made product is a piece of shit, that corporations have their fists up everybody's bums, that half the country is unemployed or underemployed, and that most every citizen is a meth or a coke addict.

'Course the same hypnosis can be said to be laid on the self-regarding office posers and social parasites who feed off neo-liberal hate-fests such as House of Cards, Game of Thrones, or Seth MacFarlane's latest bowel movement. Ladies and Gentlemen -- your New Golden Age of Television!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Welcome to Pig City

Flags flying half-mast all over the Apple for names such as Ramos and Liu. Yet no lowering of anything official -- EVER -- and never prosecutions -- for murdered names such as Akai Gurley, Amadou Diallo, Eric Garner, Sean Bell, Abner Louima, Tamir Rice, Timothy Stansbury, Nicholas Heyward, Ousmane Zongo, Iman Morales, Darius Kennedy, James Young, Shereese Francis, Shem Walker, Ramarley Graham, Anthony Baez and many others.

Patrick Martin on the latest descent into class war.