Tag Archives: George W. Bush

New studies: ‘Conspiracy theorists’ sane; government dupes crazy, hostile (aka—I’m not crazy, everybody really does hate me….)

http://www.veteranstoday.com/2013/07/14/whatabout7/

Is this building falling or exploding? If you say “falling” you need to take your meds…..

 by Kevin Barrett

Recent studies by psychologists and social scientists in the US and UK suggest that contrary to mainstream media stereotypes, those labeled “conspiracy theorists” appear to be saner than those who accept the official versions of contested events.

The most recent study was published on July 8th by psychologists Michael J. Wood and Karen M. Douglas of the University of Kent (UK). Entitled“What about Building 7? A social psychological study of online discussion of 9/11 conspiracy theories,” the study compared “conspiracist” (pro-conspiracy theory) and “conventionalist” (anti-conspiracy) comments at news websites.

The authors were surprised to discover that it is now more conventional to leave so-called conspiracist comments than conventionalist ones: “Of the 2174 comments collected, 1459 were coded as conspiracist and 715 as conventionalist.” In other words, among people who comment on news articles, those who disbelieve government accounts of such events as 9/11 and the JFK assassination outnumber believers by more than two to one. That means it is the pro-conspiracy commenters who are expressing what is now the conventional wisdom, while the anti-conspiracy commenters are becoming a small, beleaguered minority.

Perhaps because their supposedly mainstream views no longer represent the majority, the anti-conspiracy commenters often displayed anger and hostility: “The research… showed that people who favoured the official account of 9/11 were generally more hostile when trying to persuade their rivals.”

Additionally, it turned out that the anti-conspiracy people were not only hostile, but fanatically attached to their own conspiracy theories as well. According to them, their own theory of 9/11 – a conspiracy theory holding that 19 Arabs, none of whom could fly planes with any proficiency, pulled off the crime of the century under the direction of a guy on dialysis in a cave in Afghanistan – was indisputably true. The so-called conspiracists, on the other hand, did not pretend to have a theory that completely explained the events of 9/11: “For people who think 9/11 was a government conspiracy, the focus is not on promoting a specific rival theory, but in trying to debunk the official account.”

In short, the new study by Wood and Douglas suggests that the negative stereotype of the conspiracy theorist – a hostile fanatic wedded to the truth of his own fringe theory – accurately describes the people who defend the official account of 9/11, not those who dispute it.

Additionally, the study found that so-called conspiracists discuss historical context (such as viewing the JFK assassination as a precedent for 9/11) more than anti-conspiracists. It also found that the so-called conspiracists to not like to be called “conspiracists” or “conspiracy theorists.”

Both of these findings are amplified in the new book Conspiracy Theory in America by political scientist Lance deHaven-Smith, published earlier this year by the University of Texas Press. Professor deHaven-Smith explains why people don’t like being called “conspiracy theorists”: The term was invented and put into wide circulation by the CIA to smear and defame people questioning the JFK assassination! “The CIA’s campaign to popularize the term ‘conspiracy theory’ and make conspiracy belief a target of ridicule and hostility must be credited, unfortunately, with being one of the most successful propaganda initiatives of all time.”

In other words, people who use the terms “conspiracy theory” and “conspiracy theorist” as an insult are doing so as the result of a well-documented, undisputed, historically-real conspiracy by the CIA to cover up the JFK assassination. That campaign, by the way, was completely illegal, and the CIA officers involved were criminals; the CIA is barred from all domestic activities, yet routinely breaks the law to conduct domestic operations ranging from propaganda to assassinations.

DeHaven-Smith also explains why those who doubt official explanations of high crimes are eager to discuss historical context. He points out that a very large number of conspiracy claims have turned out to be true, and that there appear to be strong relationships between many as-yet-unsolved “state crimes against democracy.” An obvious example is the link between the JFK and RFK assassinations, which both paved the way for presidencies that continued the Vietnam War. According to DeHaven-Smith, we should always discuss the “Kennedy assassinations” in the plural, because the two killings appear to have been aspects of the same larger crime.

Psychologist Laurie Manwell of the University of Guelph agrees that the CIA-designed “conspiracy theory” label impedes cognitive function. She points out, in an article published in American Behavioral Scientist (2010), that anti-conspiracy people are unable to think clearly about such apparent state crimes against democracy as 9/11 due to their inability to process information that conflicts with pre-existing belief.

In the same issue of ABS, University of Buffalo professor Steven Hoffman adds that anti-conspiracy people are typically prey to strong “confirmation bias” – that is, they seek out information that confirms their pre-existing beliefs, while using irrational mechanisms (such as the “conspiracy theory” label) to avoid conflicting information.

The extreme irrationality of those who attack “conspiracy theories” has been ably exposed by Communications professors Ginna Husting and Martin Orr of Boise State University. In a 2007 peer-reviewed article entitled“Dangerous Machinery: ‘Conspiracy Theorist’ as a Transpersonal Strategy of Exclusion,” they wrote:

“If I call you a conspiracy theorist, it matters little whether you have actually claimed that a conspiracy exists or whether you have simply raised an issue that I would rather avoid… By labeling you, I strategically exclude you from the sphere where public speech, debate, and conflict occur.”

But now, thanks to the internet, people who doubt official stories are no longer excluded from public conversation; the CIA’s 44-year-old campaign to stifle debate using the “conspiracy theory” smear is nearly worn-out. In academic studies, as in comments on news articles, pro-conspiracy voices are now more numerous – and more rational – than anti-conspiracy ones.

No wonder the anti-conspiracy people are sounding more and more like a bunch of hostile, paranoid cranks.

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St. George the Anarchist? Adolf the Good Shepherd? St. George of Lydda was not a Good Shepherd, but on AH’s 124th birthday we might well reflect whether Der Fuhrer appealed to the sincere craving most people have for a Good Shepherd, a true leader: meditations at the Cusp of Aries & Taurus: April 20-23, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana

Today is St. George’s Day, the national day of England, Aragon & Portugal, Greece, and Russia (literally the Four Corners of Europe).  The real dragon that the historical St. George slew was not a scaly monster with wings but (in effect) the last gasp of Pagan imperialism and imperial taxation for the ancient Gods in Rome.  He was a nobleman who died a noble death for the highest of all causes: preservation of his own faith, morals, philosophy, and religion.  

George’s father, Gerontios, was a Greek, from Cappadocia, Asia Minor, a high officer in the Roman army of the Eastern Empire and his mother, Polychronia, was a Greek from the city Lydda, Palestine.  George’s parents were both pre-Nicene, pre-Imperial adoption Roman Christians and from noble families of Anici, so their child was raised with Christian beliefs, although it is probably fair to say that Christian beliefs of the late 3rd century might have included a lot of what we now consider “Gnostic” and other heresies.  His parents decided to call the future saint by a rather humble name: Georgios, which in Greek means “earth-worker” or “farmer”.  

No records attest or even suggest St. George’s birthdate or exact age, but “as a young man,” sometime in his early-to-mid twenties, before A.D. 302, George traveled to Nicomedia (now Turkish “Izmit” by the Sea of Marmara), the imperial city of the Eastern Roman Empire (from 284-324, just until the foundation of Constantinople).  There in what was then the Primary Center of the collapsing Roman Empire, George offered his services to the Eastern Roman Emperor Diocletian and applied for a commission in the Roman Army, specifically the late imperial version of the Praetorian Guard. Diocletian welcomed this young nobleman, apparently quite warmly, as the Imperator had known George’s father, Gerontius — one of his finest soldiers.  By his late 20s, George was promoted to the rank of Tribunus and stationed as an imperial guard of the Emperor at Nicomedia.

In the year AD 302, Diocletian (following his junior imperial co-regent Emperor Galerius) issued an edict that every Christian soldier in the army should be arrested and every other soldier should offer a sacrifice (tax or offering of some sort) to the ancient Roman gods still prominent at the time.  A Christian himself, George son of Gerontius objected and with the courage of his faith approached the Emperor and ruler.   Roman Emperors, presumably, did not much like their edicts to be questioned, since their edicts were law.  (The current President of the United States feels much the same way).  

George’s actions put Diocletian in a pickle, however.  George was either his best or one of his best tribunes and the son of either his best or one of his best officials, Gerontius.

In what can only be called an act of Anarchism and Defiance of Leadership, George loudly renounced the Emperor’s edict, and in front of his fellow soldiers and Tribunes he claimed himself to be a Christian and declared his worship of Jesus Christ.  Diocletian sought to convert George, to “save” him as it were for Apollo, Jupiter, Juno, and Zeus, even offering gifts of land, money and slaves if George would bow down and sacrifice to the Roman gods.  The Emperor essentially offered George massive and generous bribes and benefits, which the saintly young Christian never accepted.

Recognizing the futility of his efforts, Diocletian was left with no choice but to haveGeorge executed for his defiance.  But, just to make the Emperor’s situation worse, before his execution George gave all his not inconsiderable wealth to the poor and prepared himself. After various torture sessions, including laceration on a wheel of swords from which George survived three times, George was executed by decapitation before Nicomedia’s city wall, on April 23, 303.

A witness of his suffering convinced Empress Alexandra and Athanasius, a pagan priest, to become Christians as well, and so they joined George in martyrdom. George’s body was returned to Lydda in Palestine for burial, where Christians soon came to honour him as a martyr.  So the Dragon that George slew in fact was the dragon of obedience in violation of his faith, of his God and of his Truth.  St. George was a nobleman who followed no leader but Jesus Christ, although he might have been close in wealth to the Emperor had he consented to the bribery and pressure.   So let us feast today in memory of St. George the Anarchist, whose defiant death as an Imperial Tribune, so close to the emperor, brought the triumph of Christianity in Rome one major step closer.  

For all these reasons St. George was truly heroic and a model for our time, and his inheritance of the Ancient Indo-European mythic status as Dragon Slayer is altogether appropriate and fitting (see Calvert Watkins: How to Kill a Dragon Oxford University Press).  It seems particularly appropriate to celebrate St. George one week after April 15, in honor and memory of all who in adherence to their faith in freedom and the Constitution to defy the illegal taxes and sacrifices required of them in these United States today.  

In following Jesus Christ, St. George in fact died more as a Dragon himself than as a sheep—he died with full knowledge of the earthly riches and power he could have possessed, if only he had abandoned his Lord for his earthly leader.  

And all of this happened on the Cusp of Aries & Taurus (Does History Make Myth or does Myth Make History?): Does the following astrological characterization (“randomly” selected not by me but by Google as the first listed) seem at all appropriate for a week commemorating Adolf Hitler, Cannabis sativa L., Earth Day, Good Shepherd Sunday, and St. George’s Day?:

“Often times referred to as the as the “cusp of power”, the Aries/Taurus combination is one you do not want to fight against. I say this because you may never win; a fire/earth combination is never easy to beat. Aries is a fiery and impulsive sign.  They charge forward even where angels fear to tread and have no problem doing what needs to be done to obtain their objective. The Taurus part of this combination grounds the impulsiveness and provides an air of practicality and endurance. It is like a tug of war and the feel of both involved is set in concrete.
The Aries Taurus combination is truly dominant and capable of being a force you cannot control. Make no doubt, they will be a leader wherever they end up being and you will do their bidding. At home or even at work, they are the established principal and do not like submitting to someone else’s authority. At the same time, all of this ‘being the alpha’ of the group can also overwhelm them causing them to lose their drive or ambition. They begin to question if it is worth all their effort and skill. But for as strong as these two signs are, they are also very, very dangerous.
They are the first signs of the zodiac as well as their element and quality. Like many first signs you will always have a fight for lead position. They surround themselves with people who are not afraid to go toe to toe with them and don’t mind going that extra mile. They enjoy a challenge and love to be intellectually stimulated. As someone who loves an Aries Taurus cusp, you will need to be patient with them as they can be quarrelsome and changeable at the best of times, especially if you have their heart. You will get the brunt end of many aggressions because again, they expect you to be able to take it. If you can remember that they are likely to follow their instincts rather than rules, it might help you two get along better.  As a person living within this cusp, you are a bundle of energy at the best of times. The Aries in you is ready to take on the world while the Taurus in you thinks great idea but let’s sit down and plan strategy before you attack. If you are unable to find your own personal balance you are left restless and stressed. Finding the proper balance takes time, trial and error. You have to find your own path, one where you can let your aggressive nature out to play while keeping certain things in life stable and relaxed.”

(http://xstrologyscopes.com/articles/aries/aries-taurus-cusp)

We’ll see what happens today, but so far Sunday, April 21 has been the most dramatic day of this “Cusp” for me, mostly because of what happened at Church.  It was the Fourth Sunday of Easter and “Good Shepherd Sunday”—due to my own schedule and whereabouts on Sunday I ended up going to the evening service at the Trinity Church Chapel on Jackson Street instead of my usual trip to “Real Presence” at the Cathedral.  The 6:00 pm service at Trinity is much more conservative and traditional than the radically “avant guarde” event at the same time at Christ Church on St. Charles.  

The drama started immediately when the opening hymn was (Episcopal) 1982 Hymnal: 522 (Glorious Things of Thee are Spoken–http://www.hymnary.org/hymn/EH1982/522).  The words are almost irrelevant: the tune, the music, is Franz Joseph Haydn Opus 76, no. 3: the world knows this as Deutschland über Alles.  Interesting choice the day after Hitler’s birthday, don’t you think?  To aggravate the complexity of the thought, and the coincidence.  Father Henry Hudon’s sermon concerned “Leadership” concluding “the Good Shepherd is the one who leads his flock, whom his flock will follow willingly.”   The Psalm was 23 of course:

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: 
He leadeth me beside the still waters. 
He restoreth my soul: 
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, 
I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; 
Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: 
Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. 
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: 
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

Historically speaking, Adolf Hitler was not a “Good Shepherd” for Germany or the world.  He did not lead them to green pastures or still waters but led Germany into near total self-anihilation by fighting a war that should never have been fought.  Even if we consider that Hitler had been a Good Shepherd for Germany right up until September 1, 1939, the invasion of Poland ultimately led to the cancellation of any good thing he or his regime had ever done.  Hitler did indeed lead the world into the valley of the shadow of death where everyone, both Germans and non-Germans, had much to fear in those days.  Goodness and mercy were not notable features either of the Third Reich nor the World War, nor of the Allied Occupation of Germany which followed.   The War Crimes Trials held in 1946-49 (and sporadically thereafter) are among the greatest mockeries of justice in history.

But none of this changes the fact that Hitler operated as a remarkably “Good Shepherd” in the sense of a persuasive leader—a man whom his people followed.  Many in the Patriot movement criticize Americans for being “Sheeple”—and yet our religion, or symbolism, everything in Christianity teaches us that the Lamb of God should be the leader of all the sheep.  The Gospel on Sunday was John 10:22-30 “My sheep hear my voice.  I know them, and they follow me.  I give them eternal life and they will never perish.  No one will snatch them from out of my hand.  What my Father has given me is greater than all else, and no one can snatch it out of the Father’s hand.  The Father and I are one.”  

One of Hitler’s Harvard-educated followers Ernst Hanfstaengl once rhapsodized about the Nazi leader, “What Hitler was able to do to a crowd in 2½ hours will never be repeated in 10,000 years,” Hanfstaengl said. “Because of his miraculous throat construction, he was able to create a rhapsody of hysteria. In time, he became the living unknown soldier of Germany.”  Hitler’s sheep knew his voice, but perhaps he did not know them.  Hitler not only gave an early death rather than eternal life to a huge number of his people, especially a near generation and a half of the good-looking young German men pictured in film-clip after film-clip from the 1930s shouting “Sieg Heil.”  What could be more ironic?  Hitler’s personality followed very closely to the Aries-Taurus cusp described above.  Was it written with Hitler in mind?

And herein is the deep and troubling problem: people crave leadership.  They long for a “Good Shepherd.”  This is not merely a feature of the German people at all.  The Americans since at least 2000 have recently been led down several paths by two good and persuasive leaders whom they did not question.  The paths on which the United States of America has walked since 2000 are clearly paths to tyranny, despotic dictatorship, and one form or another of Socialism or Communism which will be utterly incompatible with the Constitution of 1787, or its ten 1791 Amendments known as “the Bill of Rights.”  

The comparisons between Bush, Hitler, and Obama may get tiresome, but they are not pointless.  Very few people in the world are actually capable of living as true leaderless “anarchists.”  I fancy that I am one of the few who can manage, in large part because I am my grandparents’ grandson, and I know a few other true “anarchists”, but most people long to be told what to do.  While teaching I learned this: most students hate a professor who encourages them to go their own way and be creative.  They want strict instructions and stricter guidelines.

Prior to the Sunday of the Good Shepherd, I had spent parts of Saturday meditating as I always do on the horrible incongruity of 420 being Adolf Hitler’s birthday and International Marijuana-Pot, “Cannabis sativa culture” day.  I don’t smoke pot anymore (never did very much) but almost everyone else in the world does or seems to.  I last smoked in July 1991, right here in New Orleans in fact at a party my wife Elena and I threw in the Mary Martin suite at the Pontchartrain Hotel, within a few blocks of where I’m sitting writing this in fact.   Elena’s little sister Alex and a bunch of Maya archaeological luminaries attending the International Congress of Americanists including Clemency Chase Coggins, Merle Greene Robertson, David H. Kelley, Edward B. Kurjack, Norman Hammond, and Harriot Topsey, were having a great time lighting up in one of the rooms while others were sitting “talking shop” in another.  Elena made a gigantic scene when she found her (underage) sister smoking in a room full of adults and told everyone the horrible study of her brother George and his decline due to drug addiction (he died nine years later in January 2010, at the ripe old age of 51).  It was the beginning of the end for me and Elena but it was absolutely the last time I ever touched Pot.  

Still, as an anarchist I believe in Freedom and the right of each individual to choose his way, and for that reason I support the 420 movement to the extent that it proposes an abolition of all government interference with both the production, sale, and distribution of whatever people really want, even if they are led to destructive habits by bad shepherds….. Yes, I do think part of freedom is the freedom to follow even Bush, even Hitler, even Obama, even Stalin, but it is the duty of every Anarchist to try to turn sheep into wolves…..

Earth Day has never been that “big” a day in my life.  I was President of the Environmental Law Society at the University of Chicago and have always fancied myself an environmentalist.  But in recent years, I have become extremely uncomfortable with the Environmental Movement largely because of its alliance with “Agenda 21” and what Obama Czar “Cass Sunstein” (my former professor for both Environmental and Administrative Law at the University of Chicago) calls “Command and Control” state action.  “Command and Control” over the economy under PRETEXT of environmentalism is to my mind, totally wrong.  

I submit that sound money is the best guarantor of sound economic policy.  But for ludicrously extravagant government expenditures in the 1920s-1930s, none of the gigantic dams could ever have been built along the Colorado River and, without that hideous diversion of water, the ecological fiasco known as Southern California suburbia could NEVER have come into existence.  Los Angeles might have remained a small railroad town.  Although, pushing the model back further, the great railways of the 1860s-1890s which created (among other things) Los Angeles and Pasadena, would likewise never have happened if government had stayed limited and constrained by sound monetary policy and the Constitution of 1787, limited by the Bill of Rights.  Dams are the greatest ecological and environmental curses known to the Planet, yet they provide short term comforts which people love.  As I have often written, Dams are just the latest manifestation of “Oriental Despotism” which is the original form of state-based welfare, the original basis for welfare-based “command and control” over large populations.  Ecologically speaking, NOTHING is more wasteful, destructive, and against nature than the water-redistributive policies which have transformed Southern California, Southern Nevada, and most of Central and Southern Arizona into suburban wastelands.  Abolish the free credit easy money economy, restore gold and silver as the only lawful currency, and the dams will soon cease to function, have to be torn down, and the Southwestern Deserts will reclaim the suburbs, slowly but surely.  That is MY dream for Earth Day.

But finally, will it take a real St. George to achieve such an ecological turn around?  A modern St. George might well be the man who dismantles the dams.   St. George, the Patron Saint of England, Greece, Aragon (Catalonia), Egypt, Lithuania, Serbia, Ukraine, and Russia.   St. George, by all accounts, was a leaderless Anarchist.  He was NOT a Good Shepherd.  He apparently did not lead people at all, but acted alone and set an example.  I think this is why St. George is such an appropriate Patron Saint for England, and Americans would do well to think more of his example as well.  

Patriot’s Day 2013—April 15 Ennui in Boston—why I feel numb and no longer care (I hadn’t even notice four and a half months had already gone by again….)

Of course it’s a sad thing when anyone dies….. except, exactly why is it sad? Death is, after all, absolutely the only, the one single thing that all of we sons of Adam and daughters of Eve know for sure that we have in common.  Why should we be sad about that which is certain and inevitable?  Are we sad when the sunrises or sets?  

Nihil nisi bonum de Mortuis, wrote Marcus Tullius Cicero (without explaining how he felt about death after they posted his head on a spike in the Forum Romanun after Julius Caesar’s Assassination—it makes no sense to me why Mark Anthony and his allies wanted to killed Cicero—the great orator was basically critical of everybody….equal opportunity negative rhetoric was quite his specialty “Cicero was a real pompous ass” as top Newcomb Classics scholar Sarah Willard used to say back in my undergraduate days… To which my aunt Mildred replied, “what a marvelously astute young lady.”)  Cicero clearly was a pompous ass, but I wish we had just a few like him around these days….

To say that death comes too early to some—well, the miseries of old age don’t come to them at all.  Perhaps they are saved from betrayals by those they love, who instead of turning against them from greed or boredom will remember them fondly if they died young.  John F. Kennedy was simply not destined to become a grumpy old man.  Marilyn Monroe never had to worry about wrinkles or men not asking her out anymore…. Princess Diana never lost her saintly regal aura as she almost certainly would have had she actually settled down to live (in sin or otherwise) with Dodi Fayed.  An early death surely saves some people from fates much worse than death and thereby grants them imperishable fame.

But “terror” in the United States has become mind-numbingly tiresome and dull.  Thirty years ago, “domestic terror” basically didn’t exist—the occasional postal worker would “go postal” (= go berserk), riots would happen from time to time.

But every four months now, or so it seems, it’s time for another “tragedy” and we are expected dutifully either to ululate in public or at least go about wailing and gnashing our teeth in private.  July 2012—Batman in Aurora, December 2012—Newton School Children—April 2013—I can’t believe I hadn’t gotten the rhythm of it—every four and a half months we need a terroristic event, don’t we?  

I guess it keeps the blood circulating for some people, but not for me anymore.  It’s just a crashing bore: another chance for police to “boost security worldwide”, engage in “clamp down” in every city, and be extra-vigilant in their surveillance of the ignorant masses.  And talking of ignorant masses: did you hear that George W. Bush is now taking painting lessons in Dallas?

The newspapers from Paris-to-Portland talk of the tragedy, tragedy, tragedy, the pain and the tears—but who can cry for Argentina or America anymore?  I cannot.  I absolutely know that all these events are staged theatre and the use of real blood instead of ketchup or some other red tint on the sidewalks doesn’t make it any less theatrical—just a bit more primitive and sacrificial, perhaps, “Blood of the Lamb” and all that.  

I read with almost dull non-challance that the Boston Police had tweeted an announcement in the Boston Globe that there was going to be a “Bomb Explosion Exercise”, just as there was a North Atlantic Air Exercise on 9-11-01, just as there were tunnel exercises in London 0n 07-07-05.  Who cares?  

We who are awake and alert know that the government makes up the news as it goes along to suit its own purposes and those who have not realized or accepted this by now are free to cry for the runners of the Boston Marathon if they want to. 

In 1992, I thought that Ruby Ridge was a terrible tragedy—my wife was pregnant and my son was born so I was somewhat distracted that month, but I thought it was a terrible thing that the government had done.  And the conversations of just a couple of years ago with friends in Washington about how domestic terrorism was the next big threat now that the Cold War was over never entered my mind at that point.

I was likewise mesmerized in front of the TV at Judge Kenneth L. Ryskamp’s West Palm Beach chambers in April 1993 during the Mount Carmel/Branch Davidian Crisis as we all watched Waco waft up in smoke fanned by ATF flame-throwers.  Judge Ryskamp had been involved in the Miami legal scene for several decades and he had absolutely nothing good to say about then Attorney General Janet Reno…. but she was not prosecuted.  Only the “little people” who survived the government onslaught were ever accused of any wrongdoing, naturally.  Little people always get in the way, you know… of big projects.  Although what the big project was in Waco in April 1993, I’m still not sure.  Perhaps it was sowing the seeds of that much needed campaign of domestic terrorism which would reshape and sustain the government after the cold war….

Two years later, the explosion and collapse of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City was shocking.  I was attending a Rotary Meeting luncheon at the time and it was so utterly boring the news from straight up north on I-35 was almost a relief….much as I hate to say so.  Maybe that goes back to the whole “we need terrorist attacks to keep our blood circulating” concept noted above.

My mother, I guess, was perhaps wiser than I was, or at least more jaded.  Her question was: if they’re going to be anti-government terrorists, why couldn’t they do something useful, you know, like blow up the IRS?  It doesn’t help anything to blow up a Federal Building.  What happens in a Federal building anyhow?  (I hate to say it but I have only the vaguest notion myself…they apparently have child care facilities there is all that came to like after OKC).  I guess the answer to my mother’s question became fully apparent only after 9-11-01: real terrorists would take out real targets, but phony fake false-flag government terrorists only take out buildings that no one really cares about anyhow….

With a hey, ho, the wind and the rain for the rain it raineth every day…

In the summer of 1998, my son and I were on Holiday in Chicago.  We had a fantastic suite at the old Chicago Hilton on Michigan Avenue overlooking Grant Park and the Lake.  It was really one of the best suites I’ve ever had anywhere—tons of space for a five year old to run around and play in, and a three way view of Michigan Avenue North, East, and South.  So when the news of the bombings in Nairobi and Dar Es Salaam detained us in the room, and we had to explain to Charlie why we were glued to the tube….it was hard to explain to a little boy what it was all about.  It’s hard to explain to anyone what it’s all about, isn’t it?

September 11, 2001, was an epic day for me in many ways.  It started out with…well, some evidence of paranormal phenomena in my home and family life, progressed to a long drive listening to Lohengrin, and I only became aware of what was going on when I arrived at my destination at the Southwesternmost “Pinnacle” Campus of Austin Community College…. (The ACC Pinnacle Campus, 7748 Highway 290 West, Austin, Texas 78736, is one of eight campuses in the ACC District service area).  I was supposed to teach something about Political Anthropology and Cultural Evolution, but the television screens taught us all much more about those subjects.

I didn’t exactly know why but from the very moment it all started I could not think of anything except that Osama bin Laden was going to be the new Guy Fawkes…. this was all well over four years before V-for-Vendetta came out—it was originally scheduled to be released on Guy Fawkes’ Day in 2005, but it was delayed until the Spring of 2006 I think.  

By noon of 9-11-2001, I suppose my destiny as a “9-11 truther” was already fixed in stone—although I didn’t become aware of the movement or actively involved until 2003-2004.  But by noon of 9-11-2001, I knew I could see no aeroplane wreckage at the Pentagon.  NOT A SCRAP, and I knew it was quite simply physically impossible that an aeroplane actually hit the Pentagon, so what happened?  By that afternoon, when Building 7 came down—I was deeply puzzled but I didn’t know anything about controlled demolition…..so I couldn’t form the scenario in my head completely.  

By that evening I could tell that George W. Bush’s reelection campaign had already started.  I later found out my mother had come to exactly the same conclusion.  To paraphrase both Winston Churchill and Franklin Delano Roosevelt simultaneousely, the 43rd U.S. President George W. Bush had nothing to offer except Fear Itself, and nothing to fear except blood, toil, sweat, and tears….  And I suppose that’s why a couple of months later GWB went on television to tell everyone to go have a Merry Christmas and be “patriotic” by going out and doing lots of Christmas shopping.  I think my grandfather would have dropped dead, had he not died 21 years before that… he was always scandalized by America’s “crass materialism in time of war”, having been for a couple of years in charge of regional gas rationing and similar forms of organized, Patriotic, sacrifice during World War II, in which he heartily participated although he had not initially believed War was necessary—and his elder sister Marguerite was  an “active pacifist” associate of the anti-war Bund.

I guess the last time I was sad about any of these events was after the Madrid train bombing mostly because I had taken the exact same route and knew how beautiful the train route was and how completely unwarlike the Spanish people were, whatever their ancestors in the 1930s or 1450s-1590s might have been like.

So 7-7 in London was just “predictable” as were the bombings in Djakarta and I didn’t even bother to keep up, honestly.  2011 rolled around and I just commented to my friends, including William Rodriguez, a former janitor/custodians at the World Trade Center whom I had gotten to know through the Truther movement and from working with Philip J. Berg, “Well, Norway can expect to have it’s own Patriot Act within about 60-90 days, want to make a bet how long it will take?”  

Quite simply, it has become absolutely impossible to believe ANYTHING the government or mainstream media says.  “You got the CBS, and the ABC, you got Time and Newsweek, they’re the same to me—-PUZZLING EVIDENCE, PUZZLING EVIDENCE” to quote from the wild-eyed Texas Pastor in “True Stories” (David Byrne & the Talking Heads’ 1986 masterpiece, the clarity and depth of whose brilliance has only grown with time, even as the Texas Sesquicentennial of Special-Ness has receded into dim memory).

So, sorry folks: here are my great hopes about the possible results of the 15th of April in ’13:  (1) I hope that the commemorations of Paul Revere’s Ride on the 18th, and of the Battles of Lexington & Concord on April 19, will go ahead as normally scheduled, because THOSE were all very important events, (2) I hope that as a real result of the “tragedy” of the Boston Police Department’s Bomb Explosion Exercises which took place yesterday (whoever they decide to try to pin the blame on eventually—I wonder how much they have to pay to Patsies or their families these days???? I hope it’s a lot—I hope they pay in Gold and Silver in fact…), I do hope that as a real security measure, they will now forever BAN Urban Marathons.

Urban Marathons really have no purpose except to create traffic congestion and major driving problems for ordinary folks, whether it’s Boston or LA or you name it.  Healthy, safe MARATHONS could and should be run WAY OUT IN THE COUNTRY.  In rural agricultural areas or forests or on seaside roads snipers will have to hide behind trees or in cornfields or rocks and will be easily visible. Any potential attackers will be all the more visible and apparent because  very small (if any) crowds will ever assemble to watch, so that if bombs are set off, they may disturb the vegetation, but little else.  Now THIS (the abolition of Urban Marathons) would be a REAL security improvement AND a real advance in Urban life in America generally.

Here endeth my most severely curmudgenous meditations on this most solemn day.  To the victims of the Patriot’s Day Marathon “terrorist attack” in Boston, and their families, I’d say: “You got a lucky break—yesterday you were absolute nobodies, today you’re either the ‘honored dead’ or the ‘worthily wounded’ and you can count on a lifetime of government honors, support, and assistance—just like the victims of 9-11” (oh, uh, er, um, well, uh—maybe you’ll do better than they did, actually, I’ll give you a thumbs up on that one—the victims of 9-11 (see, e.g. the “Jersey Girls/Jersey Widows”) for the most part got screwed).

Oz: Mythic Power in the Power of Mythic Deception

Ok, my not so amazing prediction: “Oz, the Great and Powerful,” will not be nominated for any academy awards next year.  The new Oz comes out just over 11 and under 12 months after The Hunger Games (premiered March 23 2012) which is its ideological opposite: Hunger Games is a movie of the people against the government crowds are shown, but closeups of faces in the crowd are not cartoon snapshots of stereotypes—in the new Oz, all the common people are cartoon snapshots). 

Oz is a movie which not only glorifies but presumes that monarchical government and autocracy, a government of “Archons” is both natural and essential.  In Oz: the Great and Powerful, we see only the cartoonish choice between good dictators/kings and bad dictators/kings (reminiscent of the 1939 Glinda’s question to Dorothy: “are you a good witch or a bad witch?”)

“Oz, the Great and Powerful,” may neither be certainly a great or powerful cinematic event, but it is not a bad movie.  It is more than worth seeing and thinking about.  As a statement of political power mythology, it is closest (but superior both as a movie and as a dramatic contribution to mythic evolution) to “Batman, Dark Knight Rises”.   

As a Disney Production and product of the Magic Kingdom, Oz finds pro-monarchist, elitist ideological common ground with The Lion King (June 15, 1994).  But whereas world of Simba and Mufassa was elegantly pure Dumézilian structuralist mythology in support of the absolute monarchy of the lions, Oz merely celebrates Bush-Cheney-Obama low-brow dictatorship by deceit.  

Fair to say I enjoyed Oz: the Great and Powerful more than I thought I would given the almost universally disappointed/disappointing reviews.  It is true that the three witches are pretty much flat, two dimensional, and on the dull side even if they are more conventionally attractive than even Glinda was in the 1939 Classic and each is more beautiful possessing more sex appeal than Elphaba in “Wicked.”  But Elphaba is a MUCH more interesting character, developed with oh so much more depth and dimensions.

“Wicked” has ten to a hundred times more lasting mythological power as a post-modern statement of relativism than anything in “Oz, the Great and Powerful.”   But on the other hand, James Franco’s Oz is more realistic as a portrayal of conservative, monarchical values than Batman or Bruce Wayne was in the last installment of the Dark Knight Trilogy.  Oscar Diggs is not exactly Scar from the Lion King either.  He is really closest to any of the past four U.S. Presidents Bush-Clinton-Bush-Obama.  His personality comes nowhere close to as engaging as Ronald Reagan or as articulate and humble as Carter.

There are really only three ways to portray political power in a story:  (1) as natural and necessary—so that the struggle is between good and bad “rulers”, (2) unnatural and not only unnecessary but oppressive and therefore evil—so that the struggle is between the people and the power structure, and (3) natural or at least “a given” —“always with us” (kind of like “the poor”) but essentially trivial and irrelevant.

Movies of the third type used to be fairly common in the American cinematic repertoire, but they have all but vanished in modern times.  The third type of movie was the “heroes ride off into the sunset” variety of “Western” or “rugged individualist” myth embodied and exemplified seriously as in (1) Casablanca, (2) High Noon, and (3)  The African Queen or comically as in (4) Cat Ballou.  

Recent years have seen Hunger Games and Serenity in the “Government is the Enemy” category pitted against Batman: Dark Knight and now Oz: the Great and Powerful.  Oz and Batman presume the paradoxical necessity of autocratic rule in society, with “Good” Autocrats guaranteeing “Freedom & Justice” while “Bad” Autocrats are just like the Good Autocrats only “Bad.”   Television series such as “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,”, “Angel”, and “Dexter” tend to vacillate between “Government as the Enemy” and “Government is always there but Irrelevant.”  

In “Oz: the Great and Powerful”, we see a very specific “real world” dramatic retelling of the story of the disembodied leader becoming more powerful after death, as an Icon and a Myth, than he ever could have been as an earthly individual.  The Character of the Wizard Oscar Diggs is not even “intriguingly” Banal and Ordinary.  He is really kind of uninspiringly banal and ordinary—much like the real life Bill Clinton or George W. Bush.   Like George W. Bush, Diggs is a master of illusion and deceit, and that is his primary qualification as a leader.  Like Clinton, Oscar Diggs’ “Oz” is attractive to the ladies and that makes the movie at least somewhat pleasant to watch.  But as with last year’s somewhat deadly dud “Dark Shadows” with Johnny Depp, stories involving beautiful but jealous witches are really so awfully unoriginal as to be boring—and I’ve not only watched too many I’ve lived the story in real life just several too many times….ahem, but I digress…

Unlike the stories of both Dorothy Gale (or her as yet cinematically almost unknown friend and colleague in adventure in most of L. Frank Baum’s later stories, “Ozma”) and Elphaba, there is hardly a hint of feminism or “girl power” in any of the three witches.  (No “Buffy” or “Willow” or even “Anya” on the scenes of this Oz).   Even Glinda (Michelle Williams) is at best a kind of exquisitely delicate, weak, very pretty and attractive but only marginally talented “second rate” witch outshown and outperformed by Oz’ mechanical illusions which ultimately succeed in vanquishing and exiling the evil sisters to the East and West of the Emerald City.  [It made sense to see Oz on St. Patrick’s Day weekend since Oz, like Ireland and Ancient Maya Yucatán, is a magic land divided into four color-coded cardinal direction (NSEW) quarters of the world with Green at the Center—the Emerald City = the Yaxché at the Center of the Maya universe and Tara at the cosmic and ritual center of the Emerald Isle itself].  

[The beautiful witch who turns green and ugly (the future W.W. West, Mila Kunis) reminds me ever so much of my own former wife Elena K….. beautiful and ambitious in the beginning, looked really good in red, but ultimately deadly and green   for all the wrong reasons (Elphaba was green for “good” reasons).]

What are interesting from the standpoint of mythic deconstruction in “Oz, the Great and Powerful” are Oz’ assertions that he is more powerful as a disembodied image than as a man, that illusion is more powerful than reality.  This IS a valid post-modern deconstruction of the American Presidency, and of Institutional “Corporate” government and economy in general.

Does the generalization apply to the life of Julius Caesar, or merely to the post-mortem TITLE of Caesar, which endured for a thousand years as the Supreme Emblem of “Imperial” Authority in the non-Latin monarchs (Kaisers & Tsars) of Germany, Austria, and Russia?  

A certain kind of post-modern deconstructionalist will tell you that Jesus Christ and Julius Caesar both planned their deaths for the purpose of Apotheosis and Institutionalization of Power.  This is exactly what Oscar Diggs does in “Oz: the Great and Powerful.”  

Power by deception and illusion is the political science of Machiavelli’s Il Principe and Cardinal Richelieu’s dictum “to dissemble is to rule” as well as the apparent embodiment of the theory underlying American foreign policy probably since the sinking of the Battleship Maine. Power by deception and illusion is a very anti-democratic theory of the origin and nature of power, totally opposed to the Katniss Everdeen or Buffy Summers schools of “Divine Kingship through Combat and Sacrifice.”  Katniss and Buffy were both pitted against dictatorships built on bloody lies and concealment of the truth, as were the “Wild West” type heroes on the Crew of “Serenity” (paired with Buffy and Angel, also by Joss Whedon).  As I have been writing for more than ten years, Buffy Summers’ death in Season Five of her series was a classic “Golden Bough” moment, though after Buffy’s resurrection in Season Six she was not quite “divine” after all.  Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark in Hunger Games together played the game of the Rex Nemorensis in Diana’s Wood at Aricia very well as a team (a wonderful team unprecedented in history or myth).

Essentially, the lesson we should learn from “Oz: the Great and Powerful” is that all institutional (aka “Corporate” = permanent but impersonal, perpetual) government originates in and works best when founded on lies. In this political theory, lies and falsehood and illusion are sources of strength, and the secrets must be kept by those in the “inner circle” of government, even by China Dolls….(a reference to the “Dainty China Doll” in L. Frank Baum’s original book “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” which did not make it into the 1939 Judy Garland “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” musical movie).

Batman: Dark Knight surely reflects the same ideology, but never states it quite so bluntly.   So Oz now joins with certain deconstructionist interpretations of the lives of Julius Caesar, Jesus Christ, Abraham Lincoln, and John F. Kennedy…. in articulation the rule by deception explanation of the origin and nature of political power.  I can only pray for the ultimate triumph of the poor man’s “Divine Kingship” model of weak government, an essentially anarchical theory of government as a model of or metaphor for nature red in tooth and claw…. wherein the King (or Queen) is normally only a symbol of nature rather than an actual wielder of power.  

In which connexion, long live Buffy Summer & Katniss Everdeen.

CASTRATING THE CONSTITUTION and THE AMERICAN PEOPLE TOO! The World Stripped of Rights and Justice: the Bushes & the Clintons, Clarence Thomas & Sonia Sotomayor, Democrat & Republic, Liberal and Conservative, no longer mean anything….

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HkSkQgnEV-Q
What liberal commentator Rachel Maddow in the above Youtube Video does not want to admit is 
that Obama was selected to be President PRECISELY because he was the ONLY person who could implement the full extent of the Bush boys’ plan for dictatorship in this country.  The first three presidential votes of my life were disastrous denials of reality.  In 1980 and 1984 I voted for the lies of Ronald W. Reagan.  Then I voted for George H.W. Bush against Michael Dukakis in 1988 and I still regard these as one of the worst moral judgments of my life.  The Bushes paved the way for the Mule Obama Presidency by appointing the Vietnam Era Mi Lai Massacre Apologist Mule Colin Powell to ever higher positions of authority in the military, finally to Secretary of State, succeeded by “Auntie Tom” Mule Condoleeza Rice.  Mules are infertile animals, but the Mules in this case are actively castrating the American people and their constitution.  There is nothing uglier in the history of the world than the controlled deception that has been going on for the past 33 years……. ever since (again I am one of those at fault) the election of Ronald W. Reagan as false prophet for an American Restoration…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z48s0-vubUI&feature=player_embedded&noredirect=1

“Conspiracy Theories” are widely portrayed in the mainstream media as signs of weak minds or mental illnesss—yet “Conspiracy” means “Breathing Together” and again I ask:

Does Anything Ever Happen in Political Society WITHOUT Conspiracy?   The question is not whether the Assassination of John F. Kennedy (the last defender of legitimate currency and honest credit to sit in the Oval Office), the bombings of Oklahoma City, 9-11, 7-7 in London, Andreas Breivik’s shooting in Norway, the Batman Shooting in Colorado and Sandy Hook in Connecticut are “conspiracies”–the question is whether the US Government and allied governments are the AUTHORS of those conspiracies or merely the coincidental Beneficiaries….. Anyone who does not believe our constitutional freedoms are under attack by the United States Government is simply not paying attention.

http://unifiedserenity.wordpress.com/2013/03/12/skull-bones-322-georgia-guidestones-erected-3221980-33-yrs-ago/

http://unifiedserenity.wordpress.com/2013/03/11/obama-poised-to-carry-out-hostile-military-takeover-of-us/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrXyLrTRXso

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIpfFXux-bg

We as a nation and people are simply too “beaten down” to pay any attention at all; beaten down by the corrupt banks and financing system, beaten down by the corrupt courts and police and the complete evaporation of cultural values and social norms in every field of life.

If Zero Dark Thirty Gets An Academy Award—Terrorists Might Want to Consider Bombing the Academy Next…..

Five Oscar Nominations!?!?!?!   They don’t even have a category for cardboard actors speaking cartoonish lampoon stereotyped lines.  

OK, I went to see Zero Dark Thirty at Canal Place last night.  I had not expected to be impressed but I had not expected such a completely mangy dog of a movie could have gotten such glowing reviews.  Oh well, I should have remembered—it’s hard to tell a lie that is so incoherent you almost laugh while telling it with a straight face, much less with an extremely long two hour movie.  NO character development, NO realistic dialog, NO insight, nothing.  I felt I had to give the movie a chance, but basically…..if the American people really believe this story, so devoid of factual plausibility and with NO new details of any kind (and a lot of the same details, such as how they identified Osama bin Laden’s body, completely omitted), well…..the American people deserve the government they’ve got I guess.  “Nobody EVER went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public” as P.T. Barnum is alleged to have said….

I would not rate Zero Dark Thirty a C-.  It was all lies and propaganda designed to bolster the government’s completely unbelievable story.  Reviews in the New Yorker and New York Times describe it as tense and suspenseful—they either saw a different movie or they were playing propagandistic caricature roles themselves—I suspect the latter.  EVERYTHING I would have written about Zero Dark Thirty (aside from my criticisms of the acting, scriptwriting, continuity, total lack of plot integration–the superficially similar Ben Afleck movie—Argo—was a real masterpiece in all those departments) has to do with my complete disbelief of the government lies.  So I will refer my readers simply to a different source: “Zero Dark Thirty”: The deeper, darker truths | Veterans Today.  I have often referred to my extremely educational but all too brief association and involvement with the 9-11 investigative and study group that met near my flat on Denman near Stanley Park in the west end of Vancouver, British Columbia, in 2007, but they have without any doubt one of the finest organizations anywhere, a far larger attendance, for whatever reason, than you can get in Los Angeles on the same topics—and they recently produced a true masterpiece which should be required reading in every American High School, College, and Sunday School: 911 Vancouver Hearings.

Of course the media has been full of a totally off-target debate and discussion concerning this effectively content-free movie.  The “public controversy” of Zero Dark Thirty is itself a just another major distraction: “Was torture effective in obtaining information leading to Bin Laden’s Death?”  This issue is now being manically revisited everywhere from the floor of the United States Senate to horribly dull pre-Oscar parties all over Southern California.  But this debate is intended to draw attention away from the complete lack of plot continuity or explanatory power in the government story or the movie.  The plot is RIDICULOUS and the images of torture are so sanitized as to shock absolutely nobody.  I have personally witnessed worse treatment of prisoners in Williamson County, Texas, and in fact all over California, Florida, Texas and Oklahoma than was shown on the screen in Zero Dark Thirty.  None of the prisoners in the movie were bleeding or bruised even, none were drugged, none appeared to have been genuinely broken—but these things DO happen in the jails and detention centers of the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave…..EVERY DAY.

Still, I don’t know—was torture ever effective in revealing the truth?  Did torture help fanatically dogged CIA agents to find and corner Osama bin Laden (finally!) in May of 2011 so that Obama could take credit and thereby advance the confusing similarity between his two names (Hussein Obama) and the Bush administration’s intentionally selected “great enemies” for the first decade of the 21st century: Saddam Hussein and Osama.  (I was always fond of the bumper stickers and campaign slogans: Hail to the de facto 44th President: “Obama’s been Lyin'”).

Perhaps we should convene a seance and ask the spirit of my dear old Harvard condiscipula, the late great Benazir (“B.B.” or “Pinkie” Bhutto…whom I had the privilege of meeting and getting to know even though she was technically several years ahead of me in school and was returning from Oxford when I knew her.  The history was that we met when she effectively saved my pet coatimundi’s life and even played with us around Harvard Yard and North Yard and Law Yard after “Theresa” bit “Pinkie’s” bodyguard and the Pakistani ambassador in a single episode on Everett Street where I used to live….international incident avoided by fairly massive girl-power, I guess you’d say…).  

As a result, I came to believe that Benazir Bhutto was one of the foremost leaders of the modern Islamic world, and I think it’s very significant that she (either inadvertently or purposely) on November 2, 2007, told David Frost (or someone very much like him) that Bin Laden had died in December 2001, and been buried just after Christmas that year…..  But Pinkie was not the only one who believed that Osama was dead, as a matter of fact, only the Bush-Cheney propaganda machine kept him alive (for Obama’s ultimate benefit).  Here is the reality of the situation: There are a few reports from around the world that I found that indicated that Osama bin-Laden had indeed died when Pinkie Bhutto said he died.  Omar Sheikh has been in Pakistani police custody since February 2002 for the murder of Daniel Pearl.

However, some other reports, which seem to make some sense, indicated that Osama bin-Laden died in December 2001. An Egyptian newspaper called al-Wafd published the following article (Volume 15 No 4633) on December 26th, 2001:

A prominent official in the Afghan Taleban movement announced yesterday the death of Osama bin Laden, the chief of al-Qa’da organization, stating that binLaden suffered serious complications in the lungs and died a natural and quiet death. The official, who asked to remain anonymous, stated to The Observer of Pakistan that he had himself attended the funeral of bin Laden and saw his face prior to burial in Tora Bora 10 days ago. He mentioned that 30 of al-Qa’da fighters attended the burial as well as members of his family and some friends from the Taleban. In the farewell ceremony to his final rest guns were fired in the air. The official stated that it is difficult to pinpoint the burial location of bin Laden because according to the Wahhabi tradition no mark is left by the grave. He stressed that it is unlikely that the American forces would ever uncover any traces of bin Laden.

If the funeral took place 10 days before this article was published in al-Wafd and The Observer of Pakistan, this would put the death of Osama bin-Laden around the 16th or 17th of December 2001. Israeli intelligence officials also told reporters in October 2002 that they and United States officials believe that Osama bin-Laden had been killed in December 2001.

If you look at a timeline of events involving Osama bin-Laden, ignoring the questionable videotapes, there is a noticeable shift in the type of communication Osama bin-Laden has with the world and the rhetoric used by Bush Administration and Pakistani officials in regards to the threat Osama bin-Laden poses starting in the middle of December 2001. Some highlights:

September 15, 2001 – 
President Bush said of bin-Laden, “If he thinks he can hide and run from the United States and our allies, he will be sorely mistaken.”

September 17, 2001 – President Bush proclaimed loudly and vigorously (and as about as articulately as he ever got), “I want justice. And there’s an old poster out West, I recall, that says, ‘Wanted: Dead or Alive.’”

November 7, 2001 – Pakistani reporter Hamid Mir interviewed Osama bin-Laden in person.

November 16, 2001 – Battle of Tora Bora began.

November 25, 2001 – Osama bin-Laden gave his last known public speech to his followers in Milawa, Afghanistan, a village located on the route from Tora Bora to the Pakistani border.

November 28, 2001 – Osama bin-Laden reportedly escaped from Tora Bora.

December 15, 2001 – Osama bin-Laden’s (authenticated) voice was reportedly intercepted for the last time communicating with his fighters in Tora Bora via his shortwave radio.

December 17, 2001 – US Intelligence and Pentagon officials admitted that they had “lost Osama bin-Laden.”

December 17, 2001 – United States declared victory at Tora Bora

December 26, 2001 – An article about Osama bin-Laden’s funeral was published in Pakistan and Egypt. The funeral allegedly had taken place about 10 days earlier. The article was also discussed by Fox News.

December 28, 2001 – President Bush said (for the first time), “Our objective is more than bin-Laden”

January 18, 2002 – Pakistani dictator Pervez Musharraf told CNN that he believes Osama bin-Laden to be dead

January 27, 2002 – Vice President Dick Cheney said that Osama bin-Laden “isn’t that big of a threat. Bin Laden connected to this worldwide organization of terror is a threat.”

January 27, 2002 – White House Chief of Staff Andy Card told CNN, “”I do not know for a fact that he’s alive. I happen to believe he’s probably alive… Our overall objective is to defeat terrorism, wherever it is around the world. And so, our objective is not to get Osama bin Laden.”

January 29, 2002 – President Bush delivered his first State of the Union address since 9/11. While he labels Iraq, Iran, and North Korea the “axis of evil”, he fails to mention Osama bin-Laden at all.

March 13, 2002 – President Bush said, “Deep in my heart I know the man is on the run, if he’s alive at all… He’s a person who’s now been marginalized.… I just don’t spend that much time on him.… I truly am not that concerned about him.”

April 4, 2002 – Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Richard Myers said, “The goal has never been to get bin-Laden”

October 14, 2002 – President Bush said, “I don’t know whether bin-Laden is alive or dead”

October 16, 2002 – Middle East Newsline reported that Israeli Intelligence officials confirmed that Israel and the United States both believed Osama bin-Laden was killed in mid-December 2001 during the Tora Bora bombing campaign.

This timeline, with Osama bin-Laden’s death allegedly occurring in the middle of December 2001, makes it possible that Omar Sheikh could have committed the murder. From October 2001 through January 19, 2002, Omar Sheikh was living openly in his home in Lahore, Pakistan. His positions as leader of Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (a Taliban and Osama bin-Laden partner) and ISI agent (the source of funds for Harkat-ul-Mujahideen) would also have given him means for access to Osama bin-Laden.

While it was disturbing that Benazir Bhutto may have revealed that our government has been (and continues to be) lying to us about Osama The Big Bad Wolf, his life, death, now only awaiting his resurrection, the revelation that his supposed killer was Omar Sheikh raises even more questions than the obvious ‘Who the hell was making and releasing all those Osama bin-Laden videos and for what purpose?’.

Here are some interesting facts:

  • Daniel Pearl was investigating, among other things, connections between the Pakistani ISI and terrorist groups when he was kidnapped and killed.
  • On February 5, 2002, before Daniel Pearl’s body was found, Omar Sheikh turned himself in to ISI officials. ISI kept Omar Sheikh (one of their agents) in custody for a week before turning him over to Pakistani police. What happened during that week is unknown as Omar Sheikh wouldn’t discuss the details fearing his family will be killed.
  • The trial of Omar Sheikh in Pakistan, the result of which was a death sentence, was held entirely in secret and with questionable evidence. According to The Guardian, both US officials and Marianne Pearl (Daniel Pearl’s wife) have concluded that Omar Sheikh is not guilty.
  • Before Omar Sheikh’s trial had concluded, Pervez Musharraf publicly declared that he wanted the trial to result in a death sentence, leading many to believe he effectively ordered the courts to render that verdict.
  • Condoleeza Rice and Alberto Gonzales told Marianne Pearl (Daniel Pearl’s wife) that Khalid Sheikh Mohammad confessed to the murder of Daniel Pearl. Daniel Pearl’s family and former CIA investigators doubt that the confession, received only after Mohammad was tortured, is true.
  • Khalid Sheikh Mohammad is the so-called “9/11 mastermind” whose identity was supposedly provided by the interrogations of Abu Zubayda and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri. The tapes of these interrogations were the ones famously destroyed by the CIA in 2005.
  • On October 7, 2001 General Mahmood Ahmad was replaced as the head of the ISI at the request of the United States due to numerous reports that he had ordered Omar Sheikh to transfer $100,000 to Mohammad Atta before 9/11.
  • ISI director General Mahmood Ahmad was in the United States during 9/11. In the days preceding the attacks, he met with CIA director George Tenet and US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Mark Grossman. During the attacks, we was meeting with Senator Bob Graham and Representative Porter Goss (who will take over as CIA director after George Tenet leaves). After the attacks, Graham and Goss will co-head the House-Senate investigation  into the 9/11 attacks.
  • The previous time the director of the ISI, Ziauddin Butt, came to the United States was a few days before Pervez Musharraf took over control of Pakistan in a 1999 military coup (Benazir’s Zulfikar was assassinated and his government overthrown a full two decades earlier in 1979, derailing modernization in Pakistan at exactly the same time as the Islamic Revolution in Iran did the same to the Shah’s ambitious programs of Westernization.  Coincidence????
  • General Mahmood Ahmad received his position as the director of the ISI after helping dictator Pervez Musharraf claim power.
  • Benazir Bhutto said that a “key figure in security” (ISI?) would be on the list of people who would want her dead.
  • The ISI has been in existence since the 1980’s due to the financing of the CIA and according to The Guardian “it has long been established that the ISI has acted as go-between in intelligence operations on behalf of the CIA.”

I don’t really know what to make of these facts and don’t even know if all of them are now or ever were relevant. But I do have some questions to which I for one demand (if not answers then at least) serious discussion:

  • Is it possible that Daniel Pearl had found out that Osama bin-Laden had been killed during the course of his investigation, leading him to be kidnapped one month after the alleged murder?
  • If Omar Sheikh did kill Osama bin-Laden, could that explain why he was falsely accused and convicted of the murder of Daniel Pearl? (Another movie was made to promote this fraud). To shut him up? Is he still alive, as believed, because of his ties to Pakistan’s ISI?
  • (One uncomfortable question) How much do CIA and Bush Administration officials know about the murder of Daniel Pearl? Did they have an interest in the silence of both Daniel Pearl and Omar Sheikh? Why hasn’t the Bush Administration demanded that Pervez Musharraf allow the United States to question Omar Sheikh, since he was still alive and in their custody?
  • (Some much more uncomfortable questions, damning in fact): How deep and how sinister was the alliance of the Bush government and the Musharraf government? How interconnected were (are?) the ISI and CIA and could the ISI have assisted Osama bin-Laden, Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, and the Taliban without the knowledge of the CIA?
  • (But above all else:) Did the Bush CIA want Benazir Bhutto gone?  Pinkie was useless to the Bush Administration—she was not playing her role to justify interventionism and imperial expansion.  Benazir Bhutto presented the west with the totally wrong image for Pakistan (from the Bush administration’s imperial perspective)—she was so lively, so articulate in English, so completely modern, such an uncompromising advocate for the sovereignty of her homeland.
  • Why did the Bush Administration want us to think Osama bin-Laden was still alive? How did they personally benefit from this deception more than they would benefit by publicly taking credit for catching Osama bin-Laden?  I think they were saving a moment of glory for Barack Hussein Obama, their hand-picked stealth-bomb of a successor (who looked so different, he was the obvious choice to continue all the same policies…it’s called “hiding in plain sight”)

I understand how some people might think or feel that Benazir Bhutto’s statement in November 2007 was largely uncorroborated and might not be immediately believable or subject to unquestioning acceptance.  But what was her motive to lie?  I can imagine none. The lively woman I once  knew who liked to hang around the Peabody and Semitic Museums on Divinity Avenue, play with my coatimundi, hop on the train and go to New York every other weekend, and drink café au lait by the gallon in Harvard Square was by then the Prime Minister of Pakistan twice.  She was a glorious symbol of Islam in the modern world—a fearless female leader against both the reactionary Imams and the invading oil companies.  

And given her position and family heritage, she was unquestionably privy to more information than any reporter, especially reporters working for the American press. Also, it’s the word of a dead heroine of genuine, civilized, modernization and progress in the Islamic world against those of the hopelessly corrupt and discredited Bush Administration, the CIA, Pervez Musharraf’s government, and the American and British mainstream press. Who was more deserving of our trust in 2007?  Who is more deserving now?  Let’s have that seance….

Is “the Master” a Metaphor for all modern Politics? It is modern art in its purest form: no plot, no purpose, no meaning, no message, no class, no character development, no clue why they made it at all….

Happy Election Day!  May the People of the United States one Day, Finally, AWAKE and “throw the bastards out.”  We need an imaginative leader, not just a “Master” or….Master….”baiter”….

Aside from the title of this post, I can think of very little to say about “the Master” except that I wanted to walk out of it during most of the movie, but I stuck it out, out of a combination of curiosity and stubbornness.   On the way home it occurred to me that “the Master” was a story about a person with no real personality, no real knowledge, ability, or skills of any kind, who appealed to a lot of people either in spite of or because of his complete vacuity.  In other words, “the Master” (Philip Seymour Hoffman as the fictitious “Lancaster Dodd”) could have run for President as the candidate of a major party in 2012 and had an excellent chance of winning. 

As for Joaquin Phoenix’ part—well, his story was at least kind of a story about a World War II Veteran who drank a lot and was anti-social, stupid, and boorish.  The moral of his story, I think, if you can call it a “moral” is simply this: even if you are completely anti-social, stupid, and boorish, if you look like Joaquin Phoenix attractive women will still be attracted to you and you will eventually get laid at least once in your life by some woman other than your Aunt Bertha….. and even if you have previously had to make do with sand silhouettes of women as your primary sex-partners (this may inspire a new drink, possibly modeled on the  paint-thinner poisons served in the movie, called “Sex WITH the Beach” instead of “Sex ON the Beach.”

Dear GOD this was a horrible movie.  Aside from the story about Joaquin’s character Freddie Quell’s Aunt Bertha, another moral low point of the movie is when “the Master” is inexplicably surrounded at a party by a bunch of relatively attractive naked women and fully dressed men.  This all took place in a nice Victorian House with colonnaded southern style porch in suburban Philadelphia.   IF this was supposed to be a dream sequence, it was not obvious.  IF this was supposed to be real, it was simply inexplicable.  

In another notable scene, removed from that same nice Victorian House in Philadelphia, Joaquin Phoenix and “the Master” share adjoining cells when he and the “Master” are arrested for fraud and misappropriation of a completely unsympathetic but wealthy woman’s money, and Freddie kicks the prison toilet to smithereens and they tell each other to go fuck themselves….. and they don’t say “Argo fuck yourself” either….

“Rotten Tomatoes” incomprehensibly gives this (to my mind, total turkey of a cinematic production) a 4 1/2 out of 5, and writes:

“A striking portrait of drifters and seekers in post World War II America, Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master unfolds the journey of a Naval veteran (Joaquin Phoenix) who arrives home from war unsettled and uncertain of his future – until he is tantalized by The Cause and its charismatic leader…”

I disagree with this review only to the extent that I did not find the movie “striking” except to the degree that it was neither “a portrait” of anything or anybody at all, and that I did not see any coherent “journey” unfolded at all.  I suppose it is fair to say that Freddie Quell was “unsettled and uncertain of his future”—in exactly the same way that I am “unsettled and uncertain” of why Rotten Tomatoes would give this movie a 4 1/2.

All I can say is: it’s a perfect movie for a society that neither impeached nor then immediately hanged either Barack Hussein Obama OR his predecessor George W. Bush and today will vote either Obama back into the White House or replace him with the miserable dud Mitt Romney.  

If early 21st century American society had any collective intelligence or personality, none of these things would be possible.

It is such a sad day for America.  Such a sad day for the world.  Barack Hussein Obama is a Communist and he is now our “Master” and President, but the Republican alternative, Mitt Romney, is a Socialist whose election would amend or alter very little, if any, of the “change” Obama has advanced in this country—precisely because most of “Obama’s” policies are just extensions of George W. Bush’s policies.   We desperately need a new revolution in this country—I wish it could be peaceful, but whether peaceful or not, we need a new revolution in this country.   We the people, the founders and framers, the heirs and carriers of Western Civilization, need to take our country back, take our position in the world back.  We cannot afford another defeat.  It’s time to call for a new Ragnarok, a new Gotterdaemerung for the Brave New World.  If Jesus Christ cannot appear now and take back this earth for God-the-Father, it is time for a return of King Arthur, or the rise of a new Confederacy, or perhaps the rebirth of Thor or Odin, Donner or Wotan…..  I pray that Americans will have the strength to rise up and peacefully retake this country, but whether peaceful or not, we just have to rise up and wipe out all traces of this horrible status quo…..