Sunday, October 23

Terrorism Means Never Having To Say You're Sorry (or Dyslexic)

Even those in the Bush Whiteheouse have come to realize that their rhetorical confections of Orwellian newspeak, wielded so effectively and effusively, have finally, and forever, fallen upon deaf ears.

Even the corn-fed, Heartland, tobacco-spitting Okies have finally twigged to the Pyrrhic fact that "somethin ain't quite right".

Let's look at Bush Whitehouse words and language:

The term WMD itself was a made up term, a bogus acronym, for there is no such military categorization as WMD -- it's either conventional ordinance that includes bunker-busters and fuel-air bombs, or unconventional (chemical), or strategic (biological and nuclear). "WMD" doesn't delineate, or mean a thing. It just sounds scary.

Strategic weapons are independent delivery systems that play solo roles unlike those weapon systems used in combined arms warfare at a tactical level.

Chemical weapons don't make it to strategic either -- they just aren't efficient enough in killing people, or have large enough "killing yields"; "WMD", as a term, means zero: it's a scare tactic word. Rhetorical. It is meant only for effect and doesn't distinguish weapons systems.

Similar rhetoric that doesn't define, qualify, or delineate includes the term "terrorism".

The word is deployed as a rhetorical garnishment and is sprinkled like salt and pepper over the buttered corn of the Republican faithful.

And while it was said that Winston Churchill marshalled the English language and sent it off to war, the same could be said about Bush; but while Churchill was in the gifted class at school, the Bush version comes from Special Ed.

For Bush, dyslexic rhetoric mirrors both policy and Iraqi strategy. It fits. It reads backwards.

Bush would like all Americans to be dyslexic when it comes perceptions. But there are only so many shorn limbs and body bags you can spin before fighting for Iraqi "freedom" becomes obvious code for "we want you to be a Middle-eastern Puerto Rico".

No one went to Iraq because of "terrorism". The insurgency there now (sans George Washington and King George) is an anti-occupier revolt; and an insurgency is an insurgency is an insurgency (just like Gertrude Stein said about roses). So, simply calling an insurgency "terror", or insurgents themselves "terrorists", is a clumsy attempt to denude the insurrection of its anti-occupier political goals.

Indeed, generally speaking, using the label "terror" connotatively dismisses political goals.

Name me one act of political terror that didn't have political goals? Even Anarchists (eg. the Red Brigades, Baader Meinhoff, etc.) had amorphous, grandiose, and unattainable political goals (crazies like doomsday cults don't count).

But when you really think of "terrorism", what comes to mind are defined peoples with a form of political orientation that uses violent expression and tactic: the IRA, the FLQ, the ETA, the Palestinian groups, The Shining Path, etc.

So where did Saddam fit in?

Other than sending cheques to the Al Aqusa Martyr Brigades Saddam has been a non-existent funder of terrorism (you have to go to our "allies" Saudi Arabia for that).

Moreover, Saddam has been a sworn enemy of religious fanatics and fundamentalists.

The Baathist regime itself that Saddam ruled for decades was modelled after Nasser's Pan- Arab Egyptian socialism, a political form derived from Europe.

Secularism, not fanaticism, was a hallmark of Saddam. Women could even drive cars in Saddam's Bagdhad -- and they still can't in Riyad.

Simply put, Saddam was never a state sponsor of terror.

Libya's Khaddafi certainly was, (Pan AM 103 over Lockerbie, a French Airliner over Chad, etc.) Yet, Libya, in another Orwellian twist, is now a Western ally! All is forgiven!

Saudi Arabia has actively funded Al Queda, yet no one invades there. In point of fact, American officials cover up 9/11
linkage.

Bush calls the invasion of Iraq a war on terror now because Iraq has become his "Bay of Pigs".

Like Cuba in the 60's, the good guys have landed but the peasantry didn't flock to them, or greet them as liberators either.

Because the Good Guys never were liberators.

So what else should the Bush folks call those ungrateful Iraqi bastards anyway, except for "terrorists"?

Surely not "freedom fighters".

That term is taken.

And In dyslexic terms, God is dog.

-ak

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Saturday, October 22

Is Wal-Mart Un-American?

The Wal-Mart "business model" is to beat-down local manufacturers to the point where that side of the business cycle goes to China.

The lower prices from Chinese exploited labour then behave like a black hole on the wallets of American consumers who are driven away from local retailers toward Sam Walton and his price-war vacuum.

Being local loses: retailers can't compete -- despite the fact that they've been servicing their local consumer base for eons; local manufacurers get pushed out of operation too.

Wal-Mart claims they save the average American family $500.00 per year. Is this at the expense of America being a service economy only and to the benefit of a foreign economy's GDP?

America developed its economic empire in the 1840's by outproducing England in engineering refinements -- by making, not just selling, products.

What happens to prices when a retail monopoly is gained at the expense of American manufacturing? How about a one-dimensional Colossus that is able to, with impunity, gradually raise prices since local business competition is gone.

It's fair to say that Wal-Mart has a GDP bigger than most countries; and, as a multi-national, it operates upon the principles of its only God: return to shareholders.

But is that enough?

A virus will consume itself and its host. Businesses and organisms, in the process of persuing vertical food-chain gratification, cannot, or do not, always extrapolate or assess changes to their external environment or measure the impact of their actions.

Intelligent, conscious, creatures by contrast, usually react to more than simple biological function.

If you, for example, have an immediate urge/need to crap in your hat, you may, upon reflection, might have to wear it sometime, so you conclude against it -- you don't crap in your hat.

Wal-Mart is increasingly dependent upon a business model that is beyond American control. And, as the economic and local consumer base becomes more mono-chromatic and less diverse, and as the dependence on ultra-cheap, exploited labour increases, the musical chair-ride starts to slow down.

History shows us that you can't have a permanently cheap labour source forever. The lack of diversity, both at home and abroad, eventually catches up to the Big Box model.

Some would argue that if China gets more expensive in 20 years, you just go somewhere else cheaper. Use another labour force.

However, the globalized model, by the standard of its own principles, is supposed to eventiually ensure economic inter-dependency and, with it, money spreading -- globalization's own internal logic.

So, how can you live by global economic principles and then turn around and declare that one labour market will be permanently suppressed somewhere (like an Adam Smith version of Nineteenth Century Southern plantation Blacks)?

American economic inter-dependancy also seems increasingly contradictory, self-defeating, unsustaining, and schitzophrenic as the Pentagon has been seriously War-gaming China since 1992!

On one hand, you have U.S. business models sucking the Chinese teat at the expense of local Americans, and, on the other hand, the military complex is lining up China's head up with a baseball bat: encirclement alliances, anti-missle defence, space weaponization, etc., -- all at the expense of U.S multi-nationals.

In this kind of jungle, is there any law?

Anti-trust laws exist in America because unbridled capitalism is like unbridled Islamic democracy -- you create that which is antithetical.

The ungoverned process, like a virus, can destroy its host. Democracy can elect dictators and Big Business, through monoply and corporate concentration, can destroy market competition -- and with it, real market capitalism.

Gordon Gekko was wrong. Greed doesn't work.

Sometimes you might want to put the hat back on your head -- even if it's label is Chinese.

It's called political will.


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The Life of Brian

The recent don't-kiss-but-tell bio on Brian Mulroney has rankled many Conservatives.

Mulroney's excesses, and personal, beery, comments on everything from "Flora McDonald ("a stupid twat") or Trudeau ("He f**ked up the country"), etc. will not, however, detract from his political record -- anymore than Mckenzie King's exhorations about Jews or King's predilection for seances with his Mother's ghost.

Despite the fact Mulroney and Trudeau came from opposite political camps, they, at least, comprised, expressed, manifested, and excercised their respective visions: Mulroney the Continentalist, and Trudeau the Federalist/internationalist.

Today we have political leaders who are unoriginal, dull, political bureaucrats: high-school principal types and bank manager personalities bereft of political vision or political panache.

Paul Martin? He was dragged into showing political leadership with the economic plight of Canadian cities.

Stephen Harper? He proposes closer ties with China in response to obstreperous American trade; and he, too slowly, and too timidly, recanted kowtowing to the political-cultural core of the antecedent Reform party with its fixation on Alberta Bible belt precepts and its attendant shoulder chip.

Trudeau, who openly told adversaries in the House to "F-off", or "Fuddle Duddle", courted women half his age; opened the West to China before Nixon; maintained independent foreign policy prespectives by having Cigars with Fidel; wrote in "Federalism and French Canadians" that Quebecers need not be the "white niggars of North America"; and went on to pyschologically, and politically, solidifify the "masters of their own house" Quebec longing, and made us, in the process, read French on our Corn Flakes boxes.

Obversely, Mulroney loved America and Americana. He boozily sang with Reagan, fished with Bush senior, and created Free Trade and that surplus creating engine, the GST (like it or not).

As long as America doesn't totally ruin it's economy, continentalism -- long a Canadian incliniation as much as its opposite -- has been rewarding.

Like them or hate them, both Trudeau and Mulroney had vision -- real, actionable, political vision.

Martin, who is more competant than the politically immature, but bright and bland Harper, has no vision at all -- at least compared to Trudeau and Mulroney.

The stuff of arrogance and power-craving without charm, passion, style, or political vision, is just what we have now.

How Canadian.

And how, unlike most Canadians, Trudeau and Mulroney were. They weren't managers, and they didn't play it safe.

History will be better to them than most of us.

Cheers, Brian.

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Panzer Pope



Now that the Papal incense dust has settled over the former Hitler Youth-turned-Pope, Benedict XVI, its time to have an honest, no spin, look at "God's Rotweiller".

Since 99.9 percent of "practicing" Catholics don't practice what the Pope preaches, why the continued acquiescence to such hypocrisy? Why would almost all Catholics still accept the symbolism of a Pope who is so vastly out of touch with reality: condoms, abortion, etc.

Almost all Catholics do not adhere to the notion that sex is only for procreation, or that orgasm has no place in the function of homosapien pair bonding.

Many Catholics also disregard the quaint edict that Priests shouldn't marry. The notion that human love can only be properly devotional by itself becoming incorporeal, unalloyed and unsullied by earthy, earthly love is absolute nonsense: there is room for both God and booty.

Even Hitler, the Pope's former Cub Scout leader, who ascetically pronounced "My bride is Germany", finally, in his last days, with the Russians knocking on the bunker door, married Eva Braun.

Will modernity ever knock on the bunker of Medieval Papal dogma?

Or will our "Panzer Pope", sitting coiled in his Vatican fortress, sealed off from workaday spiritual reality, continue to try and deploy non-existent dogmatic acceptance on the map of Catholicism?

It’s just like those phantom armies in a delusional Berlin bunker end game.

And it's time more Catholics knocked on his bunker door.

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