Archive for April, 2007

Well, this is creepy.

Friday, April 20th, 2007

I now understand the reason for the suicide of the Larouchite, the, um, guy who apparently ran Larouche’s print-shop. He did it for the Cause. And because he learned that he was less than human… the “beast” of the proverbial “man versus beast” equation.
In the morning just hours prior to the Kronberg suicide on April 11, a daily internal document, the “morning briefing” circulated among members of the LaRouche entities, lashed out, in a paraphrase of LaRouche, at what it called the failures of the “baby boom” generation, including among the entities’ own members, and singled out “the print shop” as “among the worst.” It then went on to state, speaking to the younger generation, “the Boomers will be scared into becoming human, because you’re the real world, and they’re not. Unless they want to commit suicide.”

The “morning briefing” is considered authoritative within all the LaRouche entities that many, including many former participants, contend operate collectively like a cult. The April 11 version, written by Tony Papert of LaRouche’s inner leadership circle, his National Executive Committee, appears to assert that the only way the “baby boom” generation, ostensibly including those among LaRouche’s own associates, can be in the “real world” is through suicide.

Kronberg was among the long-term associates of LaRouche, dating back to the early 1970s, that LaRouche has been claiming in a series of recent statements are responsible, by being typical of the so-called “baby boom” generation, for the ineffectiveness of his movement, despite their decades of personal sacrifices in support of his cause. His appeal has been to the new leadership potential of his so-called “LaRouche Youth Movement.”

I suppose I now have deeper insight into the question from the Larouchite who left a message a couple of months ago — “Do You know the difference between man and beast?”.
Wondering what to make of this, I go off and click “Larouche” into a blog search engine. Lyndon Larouche is thinking about traveling back to India. Bully for him. Bully for this blogger who seems incapable of posting anything other than articles from Larouche’s publications. This guy learns about Larouche’s late 80s early 90s joining of the crusade to change the pitch standard. As for “our very own Lyndon Larouche” — please take him.

Baby Boomers of the world — you know what to do. You must make way for the new generation! It is a ritual cleansing. It is time to purge the old guard.
I don’t know anymore. Next time you see a Larouchite on a street corner or campus corner, just know to yourself the internal struggles of what has produced this garbage. I presume the pamphlets they will be peddling to you, surely for the rest of the school year, will have been handled by the man who was ordered to commit suicide.
Does anybody have any thoughts on fuzzy bunnies?

Alberto Gonzalez’s Big Day

Thursday, April 19th, 2007

One of those weird unverifiable because we have no connections ourselves and are thus relying on journalists who may or may not be connected to the truth stories has been that Alberto Gonzalez has been practicing and practicing and practicing his testimony for his big day before the Senate Judicial Committee.  And that he kept failing and failing and failing in these practice rounds.

After today’s testimony, it is clear this indeed happened.  It was not misinformation bounced from the Bush Administration to lower expectations so that when Gonzalez comes across as slick as velvet, he’ll be hailed as having defeated the controversy making the Democrats look stupid.  Practicing your testimony sometimes clears a liar up, makes him smoother and slicker and better able to evade what is now a hostile jury with non-answers.   And sometimes it just confirms that there is nothing you can do, your non-answers will show you as a fraud and there is no way to polish them.  The latter appears to be what happened.
Years from now we somebody will write the back-stage story of Alberto Gonzalez’s practice rounds, within a volume on the Bush Administration’s troubled final acts.  I imagine a horrified group of Bush accolydes staring at each other as Gonzalez stutters toward explanations.  Tapping fingers across from Gonzalez, flummoxed for a better approach “Okay, Alberto.  Let’s try… um… ‘I do not recall’?  See how that one comes across.”

I look forward to reading that one.

John McCain wants to bomb Iran.

Thursday, April 19th, 2007

“You know that old Beach Boys song, ‘Bomb Iran’… Bomb Bomb Bomb…”

So goes the John McCain campaign.  John McCain has come out to tell those who responded to this quip aghastly to … “GET A LIFE!”
There appears to be a bit of confusion, found with the Washington Post sentence of While campaigning for president in South Carolina on Wednesday, McCain responded to a question about how to deal with Iran by breaking into the melody of the Beach Boys song “Barbara Ann” but changing the lyrics to “Bomb Iran.”.  While obvious, the song was a popular parody played all over morning drive radio during the Iran Hostage Crisis.  McCain not take credit for “changing the lyrics”, as he was not singing “the old Beach boy song” but was by… who knows who?  Goddamned Wikipedia gives me no answer, except perhaps a flagged for “Check closely” page on “anti-Iran sentiment” which says it is … a Beach Boys song.  Which it can’t be.  Can it?

John McCain is not going to be the next president of the United States.

the price of living in a free society is that we walk around amongst people with holes in their brain

Thursday, April 19th, 2007

Katie Couric just can’t catch a break. When deranged mass murderers want to send their schizophrenic babblings out, they think NBC News. Perhaps that could be a promo?

The basic problem with this news story, which is that it says less about us as a culture than we seem to think it does. The effect to find such leads to the strange Rambo-esque demands by a few right wing pundits demeaning the “lack of manliness” on the part of the students for allowing him to kill them and not being like those “Let’s Roll” guys on the plane that crashed down into Pennsylvania on 9/11.

Likewise the thought that something could have been done about it, which is to say the bars could have put up airtight to stop every senseless act of violence anywhere within the borders of the United States, is audacious. Sure, we notice the “cracks” of the hole he fell through, but that is 20/20 hindsight.  Otherwise we have the great national debate on whether to abridge the first amendment or the second amendment.
Add it together, and there’s no reason for “National healing”, because there’s no reason for anyone without connections to the victim or within the vicinity of Virginia Tech to be horribly psychologically scarred, or worried about your mortality for the coming days. I really probably should not mention this again on this blog here.
My only thought on hearing his screeds last night was “This guy was insane.” That is not terribly deep insight or analysis of his particular psychosis or where it came from. As though that wasn’t established already by the fact that he killed 32 people and himself. Reading his works of fiction, the consensus — this is just juvenile — about sums it up — I probably penned similar things when I was in seventh grade or thereabouts — not auspicious work for a college kid of any mental proclivity. I feel like re-writing his two plays, leaving the same premises, and at least improving their status from ‘juvenile” to “sophomoric”.

Death of a Salesman…

Wednesday, April 18th, 2007

I direct you to this obituary of a suicide in Loudon, Virginia — the link coming from the FACTnet page, and I want to point to the details left out — or rather THE DETAIL.

He was an editor for the American Institute of Physics and for John Wiley & Sons before founding WorldComp(1) in 1978. He had been a member of the National Committee of the National Caucus of Labor Committees(2) since 1974.

Mr. Kronberg also directed amateur theater, and taught poetry and drama classes to children and adults for many years. He edited The Campaigner, a cultural magazine(3), for a number of years. In 1992 he co-founded the quarterly, Fidelio(4), a journal of poetry, science and statecraft, which he edited until 2006.

Maybe he was involved in some other things from this list as well?

I suppose this is what the life’s work of a high level Larouche associate looks like.  I’m particularly impressed by the reference of “The Campaigner” as “a cultural magazine”.  I have the table of contents of the issues of this “cultural magazine”, starting in 1969, at hand.  Yep!  There we see a move from Trotsky-love to Rockefeller-hate.  And love of fusion.  Lots of articles on fusion.  And the Economic Crisis which is coming in 15 minutes.
But you mourn the dead, and can’t trip yourself on the details, which if mentioned wouldn’t garner much sympathy to the casual reader, only embarrassment and maybe pity.

Abortion ruling

Wednesday, April 18th, 2007

There’s this misnomer back in the 2004 election campaign that the American Conservative Magazine endorsed John Kerry.  Indeed, google “American Conservative”, and the second link will be to the Kerry endorsement — ranked so highly because of all the liberal and Democratic bloggers who linked to it proclaiming “The American Conservative endorsed John Kerry!”

Actually the magazine did a split endorsement between Bush, Kerry, Nader, and the Constitution candidate.  Pat Buchanan, the most ingrained in the Republican party and at times having been somewhere on the edge of the Republican establishment, was the natural Bush backer — even after having backed policy after policy that was anethema to him, the most obvious being the Iraq War.

Nobody, at least in bulk, bothered to link to that piece.  Or the Nader piece, for that matter.  We heard what we wanted to and believed what we wanted, fitting it into our agendas of backing the Democratic candidate.

But it’s difficult to see Pat Buchanan’s endorsement of Bush as anything but air tight, from the point of view of his politics.  It boiled down to the courts in general and the Supreme Court in particular — and indeed Bush appointed two conservatives to the Supreme Court where Kerry would have appointed two liberals.  If Kerry had followed the Clinton pattern, two old liberals.  Whereas Bush appointed two young conservatives, following in the footsteps of his dad who appointed a young Clarence Thomas.  (Also Justice Souter.  The man Nader pointed to as the reason that the Supreme Court doesn’t matter in an election.  Never mind that Souter’s existence merely served as a warning to stay away from and more carefully vet your nominees, making Nader’s “two party duoploy” of the politicized Supreme Court moot.)
Hence Bush rides out in the sunset with a 30 percent approval rating, but leaving behind a court that just ate into Roe V Wade — with two spry young Supreme Court justices who will form a core of a supreme court majority through, let’s pretend that we are in store for a 28 year interim of Democratic majority just for the sake of argument to explain how the balance has been set here.  From Buchanan’s perspective, this outlasts the transitional war policies and trade policies which might be remedied at a later date — perhaps even by Democrats, whose social liberalism is balanced by the Supreme Court.
Oddly enough, Bush did consult democrats in picking a Supreme Court Justice.  Harry Reid said Harriet Miers would be a good decision.  But I think that might have been a clever partisan trap.

Presidential C-list Candidates in the News

Tuesday, April 17th, 2007

Tommy Thompson appeared before the Jewish group the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism and said this:

“I’m in the private sector and for the first time in my life I’m earning money. You know that’s sort of part of the Jewish tradition and I do not find anything wrong with that.”

He later reiterated, after the audience became testy, that “What I was referring to, ladies and gentlemen, is the accomplishments of the Jewish religion. You’ve been outstanding business people and I compliment you for that.”

Tommy Thompson later appeared before the NAACP, where he said, “I want to thank all you nappy headed hos.”  When the audience booed, he gave an annoyed expression, and demanded “What?”


Dennis Kucinich has made it known that he is going to file Articles of Impeachment against Dick Cheney.  I’m afraid that this isn’t terribly uncommon — a lone congressman (someone from Texas, I’d have to look it up) filed one against George Bush.  A Populist Congressman did the same against Grover Cleveland.  I’ve never read or seen the book, but the newly published book The Genius of Impeachment probably has others.  Nobody remembers either one, they were mocked by the media — if mentioned at all — and swiftly disappeared — a footnote to a footnote in history.

The focus on Cheney does solve the stupid question of “You can’t impeach Bush, because then we’d get Cheney!” It is a repeat of the Nixon shield of Spiro Agnew, except that, of course, you never saw Spiro Agnew floating around in the Bushes behind Nixon.

At any rate, this should be enough to catapult Kucinich in those “Presidential Power Polls” from #7 to #5.  But I already had him there anyway.  (Who the hell are Chris Dodd and Joseph Biden?)

no fuzzy bunnies.

Tuesday, April 17th, 2007

About the time of the Columbine shootings, I kept seeing and hearing this comparison between a Bill Clinton speech on the shootings and our “police action” bombing raids of Kosovo.  Clinton said words to the effect of, “we need to teach our kids that violence is the solution to nothing.”  And, of couse, the United States was dropping bombs on Kosovo, signifying that nobody really believes the words “Violence Solves nothing.”

My mind seems to be racing right past the usual debates, and somewhere admist the usual debates that the mass murder at Virginia Tech sparks, I ask a simple question that to answer honestly is to arrive at no answer at all.

Is humanity by nature violent or not?  Take your time in answering.  Throw up two ledgers, and when confronted with contradictory evidence, slide it into both ledgers.

In the spring of 2001, after a school shooting, I sat in a college class with a large number of international students of different cultures.  We discussed the shooting, and it degenerated into a debate between two individuals over the very narrow topic of the supposed sickness of videogames.  So it was that a student from India who looked at “first person shooters” aghast and saw it as contributing to a numbing effect among youth was against someone from remote Alaska who had little else to do during his adolescence but play a whole lot of First Person Shooters.  I cannot say I blame the Indian woman — media undeniably alters our  vision, and witness my continued assertions that the show 24 is Homeland Security propaganda to dessensitize us from the uglier sides of our “War on Terrorism”.  So it is.  First Person shooters are training manuals for mass murder, the effect of which is a visceral thrill from pummeling away anything that blips onto the screen.  The first person shooter was understandably defensive as hell about the insinuations from the attack on his favored activity: witness the same when the discussion goes to guns and somebody laden with guns is confronted with arguments about a persistent Gun Culture, whatever the merits are about its effect in general on the populace and in specificity on the subjects we’re forced to look at. 

BUT… The ratio between the number of people who play “first person shooters”, quite often at rather impressionable ages — meehaps isolating, and the number of people who commit acts of violence in real life is… I don’t know… millions to one.

So, conditioned to kill, — shooting fictional one dimensional character (simulations of real people, right?) at any rate.  AND… Don’t. 

Which reminds me: the percentage of members of any army unit that are something on the order of deadweight and useless– meaning that they are unreliable to fire a shot when needed — is about 33 percent, or thereabouts.  This is a statistic that I’ve kept running into.  After all that
conditioning for this express purpose, the thought of dropping the enemy to death — whatever his threat to the Free World may or may not be — is stalled, the mental process freezing the soldier.  This washes away the bravado that we need to “Why can’t we arm the entire faculty and students at Virginia Tech?”

Thinking about the late, great Kurt Vonnegut and his novel  “Slaughterhouse Five” — which concerns the psychological effect of the bombing of Dresden in what the author himself considers a “Just War”, and the moral agony of killing even for the cause of toppling the Nazis.  Psychologically we cannot rationalize it. 

Except, apparently, we can rationalize… if we are in that culture at that time… well, in any election held during Hitler’s reign in Germany by a Secret Ballot and with the assurance that no retribution will be meted — Adolf Hitler would win it.

So it is.  The famous experiments shows that we obey authority in inflicting pain (screw the dial up further)  The History Channel is the Hitler Channel Hitler supposedly modelling his genocide after American extinguishing of the American Indian and with a nod to the KKK, lest we excuse our nation from the equation.  Serial killers are the topic of
jokes, apt to appear in staylized movies.  We eat ceral based on the murderous Vlad the Impaler in the form of Count Chocola, still my favorite bizarre factoid.

Actually the contradiction comes into play with how we have  administered the Death Penalty, visa vie the Electric Chair.  Three switches are flicked by three different people simultaneously, one of them connected to the chair.  Which leaves a sense of doubt that we might have contributed directly to the death of … well, a murderer.  Indeed, there’s  only a one in three chance.  But even so, he’s a murderer, right?  Who I, myself did not kill.  Right?  Is that a Kafka parable, somewhere next to the “Penal Colony”?  Because
if it isn’t it should be.

Perhaps the answer is that as a species we can rationalize our death and destruction if we can shuffle it onto others — and ignore the unpleasantness.  The effect of the Virginia Tech Shootings (again, multiple by two or three and you have a typical day in Iraq) is… ambiguous again, actually: are we repulsed and numb to the effect, or are we tuning into the 24 Hour News shows (ratings have to be up — a better draw than the Don Imus controversy) for a viscareal thrill and desire to believe “That could be Us!”

I don’t know.  Though I should probably not think about it too much.  It’s draining.  And it probably reads badly as a reflection of myself.