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You have 30 seconds...

—You have 30 seconds...
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—You have 30 seconds...
—You have 30 seconds...
—You have 30 seconds...
—You have 30 seconds...
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—You have 30 seconds...
—(Mr. President.)
—You have 30 seconds...
—Mr. President.
—You have 30 seconds to get your shit together.
—...show is over!
—The show is over!

     —Meat Beat Manifesto, "Mister President" from Armed Audio Warfare

Historic events appeared in mythical disguise, enormously palpable, arousing terror, admiration, yet not understandable as man-made, but endurable only as a more-than-personal power that wanted enthralled, enslaved people galore, though few at the top, who dictated destinies with a mere stirring of the finger.

     —Peter Weiss, The Aesthetics of Resistance, Volume 1

With a heavy dose of fear and violence, and a lot of money for projects, I think we can convince these people that we are here to help them.
     —Lt. Col. Nathan Sassaman

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This fence is here for your protection. Do not approach or try to cross it, or you will be shot.
     —Sign on barbed wire surrounding the town of Abu Hishma

Since Ronald Reagan's daily life while President was effectively determined by an astrologer to the stars (how much effect this had on policy is anybody's guess) I don't see why I can't dabble in some scrying into the future too to see what's in store for us more lowly, if more sentient, mortals. Ok... Tinfoil SquidNet Yarmulke (TSnY™) in place... attach it via the gold cables here... plug into the Darpa funded Remote Viewing Geo-Synchronous Pantelemetric FlexoQuark v2.7... boot it up... Yes, something's coming in... just adjust the Temporal-Flux GravWave Amplifier here a bit... yes, the near future is coming into focus...

My first impression is, to quote Yogi Berra, "It's like deja vu all over again." I mean, come on — this whole Iran thing... Doesn't that feel almost like an instant replay of the runup to the attack on Iraq? Eventually BushCo will claim that Iran is going to kill all of Murka's firstborn sons with invisible nukes and black-market bioterror marmoset flus and the press will dutifully parrot this. In the meantime, however, headlines are buttering us up by screaming out that Iran is a threat to the world, and Ahmadinejad is the new next Hitler. But I knew when I saw the following front-page headline from Canada's daily neoCon propaganda ogan that all the stops are out to make us really hate Iran:

Iran Eyes Badges for Jews

I thought that was pretty telling. In fact, I figured this headline kind of gave the game away, at least for the .1% of us who pay attention. This received even greater confirmation when the link for this article just stopped working after it was completely repudiated in the same paper by an article demonstrating that this story was fabricated. (For those who care, Gordon Fisher, the president of News and Information for CanWest — the owner and publisher of The National Post — was quoted as saying: "Owners have every right to direct their operations in terms of both content and ideology." I guess that includes outright lying — just ask Judith Miller.) Perhaps the most fascinating thing about this article is that it's a perfect living specimen for a black psyop autopsy.

But does any of this matter? Is catching a black psyop red-handed mainstream news? Does it matter that Iran denies it? Is it relevant that the Iranian Constitution officially recognizes judaism and guarantees Jews the freedom to worship? or that Iranian Jews consider themselves relatively safe and happy there? (Though how meaningful such a constitutional promise is is relative, isn't it? Cf: how quickly Murka's constitution has been so easily shunted aside when zealous despots want to declare wars without end, indefinitely imprison then torture people, illegally spy on its own citizens, etc.) Of course not. Those behind the megaphone know that once an accusation plants an association in the mind it's hard to rewire the connections, especially for a citizenry proudly inclined to repudiate critical thinking. (Examples? How many Murkans still believe Iraq was connected with Al Qaeda? or that it still has WMDs? For that matter, how many jealous spouses ever completely stop suspecting their mate of cheating once they're bitten by the green-eyed bug, no matter what the evidence to the contrary? Run into any lapsed fundies lately? They've got a real hard time letting go of all that psychical damage.)

But sabre nuke rattling and disinformation are normal when an empire prepares its next attack. Nothing terribly new or unusually suspicious there. No...what's got my fishy-meter spiking lately are the profusion of other disturbing stories that don't seem related on the surface, but must be. As FDR said: There are no coincidences in politics, if it happens, you can bet someone planned it that way. Perception Management from the Mighty Wurlizter is currently in overdrive about a great many weighty issues, every single one of them intended to conjure up fear, drive people apart, and increase the power of the emperor in the resulting chasms. Iran is only the most obvious tip of the iceberg. The commissars of homeland propaganda are working overtime planting a variety of stories to get us worked up about a great many disturbing things, slipping some through gently, pushing others like oshiyas into our collective (un)consciousness.

Many (most?) of the world's crises are, as Orwell presciently surmised, created so as to give the leaders their justification for leading. After all, that's what a permanent war economy demands. (Cheney admitted as much when he said the war on terror was to be a war without end.) But it's even worse than that. The leaders are, without exception, wealthy businessmen who have amassed their wealth through anti-humanistic endeavors, such as war profiteering. Most modern wars are the result of investment initiatives to pump wealth into these businessmen's coffers. They assume positions of power, create catastrophes, have others go to war for them, and increase the demand for military supplies, creating an enormously profitable economic loop that funnels money from the public into their own pockets.

It's no coincidence that BushCo has assumed imperial power, given that they are at the nexus of an enormous and powerful international complex comprising oil, offense contracting, intelligence agencies, and investment firms. What's transpiring right now in the US, and the world in general, is the result of boardroom decision making enacted by corrupt, amoral, even evil businessmen who have assumed enormous political power. Here is Kevin Phillips from his bestselling book American Dynasty about the origins of BushCo's power:

The power structure that emerged in World War I and reached the height of prestige during the Second World War and the two following decades was obviously far more than just a social phenomenon. Groups like Skull and Bones were a clubby symptom but hardly a driving force. Part of the new establishment came from the organization and hierarchies of national mobilization that had been established during the two wartimes — years that, quite simply, had realigned the world.

These were the broad tracks along which the Walker and Bush families climbed, financially and politically. Over the years they led the family to an involvement with the mainstays of the twentieth-century American national security state: finance, oil and energy, the federal government, the so-called military-industrial complex, and the CIA, the National Security Agency, and the rest of the intelligence community. From just 5 to 10 percent of U.S. gross domestic product in 1914, these sectors' share in 1950 may have reached as high as 30 percent, bringing a parallel transformation of America's interest-group and power structures.

And let's not forget, too, their connections to Big Pharma, the prison-industrial complex, and powerful wacko religious groups yearning for the apocalypse. If one is not cognizant of BushCo's confluent position among all these various streams then one can view the news of late as a bunch of fragmentary, disparate, unrelated pseudo-factoids — which is exactly how the average citizen is trained to view historical events since childhood. But those of us who are accostumed to look behind the screen realize that the modern political-economic reality in which we live is the result of an ecoweb of boardroom decision making emanating from the halls of power. What is considered "news" is only the visible radar blip that we're meant to consume through officially sanctioned propaganda organs, bits of fear-inducing "official" gossip popping momentarily out of the noise before quickly sinking back. But blips are like pixels: put enough of them together, get some distance from them, and they start to form a picture.

When I read in yet another friday night newsdump that Bush announced the possibility of deploying the military to protect Murka's borders from poor Latinos I pulled out my red flag; with this interesting reminder of something else Bush said I hoisted it aloft:

His focus on the military echoes statements he made after Hurricane Katrina, saying the military may need to play a stronger role in disasters. He also later suggested he would consider using the military to enforce a quarantine in the event of a bird flu pandemic.

Well, isn't that interesting? In my opinion, when a tyrant starts talking about deploying the military in his own country — for whatever reason — especially when used in the same sentence as "quarantine"! — anyone who is paying attention ought to get a little nervous.

So the idea is to send some of Murka's precious troops — already stretched to the breaking point committing atrocities for lies in faraway lands — to protect its border against a supposed ally to prevent desperately poor economic refugees from returning to the land stolen from their great great grandparents so they can't work the crappy jobs no one else wants. (FYI: In Mexico the Mexican-American War is known as the War of the North American Invasion.) Doesn't that seem a trifle excessive, like calling in SWAT to quell a middle school food fight? I mean, if a loving parent, to further the fortunes of his indigent family, is so poor and so desperate to risk their life crossing a border to slave away at some horrible job no fat stupid white slob would deign to do, is summoning history's most powerful, high-tech military to stop them at bayonet point really a humane and reasonable response? How heroic, keeping thankless sub-minimum wage jobs safe for Murkans.

It takes a particular mindset to excel at finding ways to turn people against each other. As a one-time avid boardgamer I can attest to the perverse thrill to be had by turning two opponents against each other, thus paving my way to bountiful riches and advancement while they were consumed in their own little battle. I loved fanning the flames of their mutual enmity, and I was seldom caught out. While their resouces dwindled as they faught each other mine would flourish. But that was just an entertaining pasttime played in a nerd's basement — when the game was over I shed my costume. BushCo, however, never stops playing this game. They approach all of life, all of reality as this kind of zero-sum game to be won at all costs. (It's more than a coincidence that international diplomacy plays on a Grand Chessboard.) One thing about BushCo — the great "uniter, not a divider" — they possess a perverse genius for cooking up ways to divide society into passionately opposed camps. They know just which issues are the most viscerally divisive, and have mastered the sociological art of black political acupuncture, knowing just how to find the right social nerve to inflame and prod mercilessly. It's a political strategy as old as human consciousness itself: divide and conquer: get the folks incessantly running around, tending to ever new conflagrations, keeping them so busy and distracted that they'll not have the time nor energy to seek the arsonist himself, who amusedly watches, from across the street, everyone scurrying around trying to quench the blazes while his accomplices ransack their vacant homes. BushCo, being the demagogues they are, excel at the divisive red herring, blaming social ills on easy scapegoats — usually entire demographics of the socially vulnerable who deviate in some way from the schizophrenic "all american" wholesome god-fearing monogamous heterosexual whitebread ideal.

Scapegoating Illegal Immigrants is just the latest Red Herring du jour. I won't get into the issue other than to point out that it's as convenient and divisive an excuse as any other to clench the Iron Fist yet tighter. Does anyone besides me find it a bit over-the-top sending the military to the border to enforce a xenophobic policy, one that hasn't even been passed into law? without the consent of the legislature? The Coward-in-Chief is acting by fiat moving military pieces around the board, in this case to lock down the border. Why?

But, even more to the point, what most people don't realize is that when one locks a door they are locking themselves inside as much as locking out others. Something is definitely a-brewing.

Especially when one considers another little matter that didn't get much press, something about the Army Corps of Engineers awarding Kellogg Brown & Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton (yes, Dick Cheney's Halliburton), a contract to construct detention centers in the US to deal with "an emergency influx of immigrants into the US, or to support the rapid development of new programs." ("New Programs"?!? "Rapid Development"?!? WTF?!? I won't even bother to examine the meaning of the pregnantly worded "emergency influx of immigrants"...)

There's much talk in conspiracy circles of FEMA's involvement in building homeland concentration camps. Once one enters the world of conspiracy theories it's hard to separate fact from fiction, since a paranoid mindset is hyper-logical and can justify just about any theory. Hence I will not speculate as to the credence of such speculations — I will be a FEMA concentration camp agnostic until more conclusive evidence surfaces. But, as with most conspiracy theories, there is some basis in fact for it. It's a fact that FEMA's powers were greatly enhanced during the Reagan years, and that it was run by a Reagan crony who considered FEMA's mandate to include emergency powers to detain domestic political adversaries: "FEMA, whose main role is disaster response, is also responsible for handling US domestic unrest." Here, in a credible bit of investigative journalism, is a report of a little known gaming exercise called Rex 84 that tested FEMA's newly expanded powers:
The exercise anticipated civil disturbances, major demonstrations and strikes that would affect continuity of government and/or resource mobilization. To fight subversive activities, there was authorization for the military to implement government ordered movements of civilian populations at state and regional levels, the arrest of certain unidentified segments of the population, and the imposition of martial rule.

According to some investigators FEMA will play a major role in maintaining civil order during the coming economic collapse. [Holy Shit! I just went to visit this site again before posting this article — it's an excellent repository of conspiratorial information about FEMA — and the Account Was Suspended!! It was definitely up yesterday! There could be any number of reasons for this so I hesitate to jump to conclusions. But I will say that my heart skipped a beat when I tried to load the page and it was gone! Coincidence, most likely. But maybe not...] And, just perhaps, it is a coincidence that the U.S. Army recently hurried through a major revision of Regulation 210-35: Civilian Inmate Labor Program. (Cf: "Rapid development.")

And then there's the curious matter of the Avian Flu pandemic, which every so often pops up as front-page news. And it seems that whenever Bush talks about it there's some mention of militarily enforced quarantines. Are these the "new programs" they have in mind?

I've speculated elsewhere (with tongue only partly in cheek) about the purpose of the Avian Flu. Whatever else will be the result of it, one thing is obvious — they've latched onto the notion of some impending "pandemic" as an excuse to prepare for civil coordination on a major scale. Their overzealous dedication to gearing up for some fantastical apocalyptic virus is beyond fishy — it's the smoke from a gun that hasn't been fired yet. They're really creating quite a hullabaloo about this so-called Avian Flu, aren't they? All this hype about a strain of influenza that's killing a few 3rd worlders is being used, in a classic PR ploy, as a scare tactic to funnel enormous amounts of money to BushCo's cronies in both BigPharma and the prison-military-industrial companies. It like a series of press releases to drum up anticipation for some product's public unveiling, this one promising big-time Old Testament style entertainment.

And have I mentioned that one of its selling points that Bush reminds us of is the potential for a militarily enforced "quarantine"? He just kind of slips that in there to keep it in the back of our minds.

Just think for a second about this. Since when does BushCo care about helping people? One need only look at the resumes of anyone connected with them and you'll find an assortment of the most brazenly selfish, criminal, greedy sociopaths to rival any in history: white-collar criminals, felons, instigators of torture and death squads, war profiteers, advisors to brutal tyrants, religious fundamentalists, hardcore authoritarians, economic class warriors... basically, a collection of clinically fucked-up anti-humanitarian corporate executive zealots — not exactly the sort of people who care about improving life for the majority of humankind. That's what makes their inordinate attention to preparing for some mysterious super-virus so suspect. These guys are all about money and power. And the only way to understand their interest in some apocalyptic super-bug must be approached from this vantage point.

Well, they're certainly profiting handsomely from it, funneling enormous amounts of taxpayer money to BigPharma and reaping kickbacks and profits from their rising porfolios. That's the money angle.

And they're also mining it to centralize and enhance their power. BioShield, and its super-bug "Avian Flu Pandemic" MacGuffin, are the signposts if one wants to understand what's around the corner. BushCo is like John Doe in Se7en, leaving messages at the scene of the crime. They love leaving clues in the open announcing their intentions. They do this to prove their superiority and thumb their noses at us lower mortals. Then, when they actually commit their crimes, no one can believe it, and they get away with it.

(And we ought not forget the apocalyptic angle of such a super-bug's role in fulfilling God's merciful plan to destroy the world so he can bring a bunch of crazy rich white assholes up to Heaven as His special guests where they'll get front row seats to watch us heathens suffer horribly for seven years before sending us to eternal hellfire. Michael Leavitt, Secretary of Health and Human Services, Homeland Security Council member, Good Mormon: "I have learned the benefit of obedience in her description of an honorable wagon master's promise on the first day of their journey - that those who kept his rules would receive protection in passage, but also a warning - those who did not, would have no promise. I have witnessed gratitude from those who suffered unspeakably along the way, but expressed thankfulness that they found God in their exigence.")

So here, lest we forget, are some of the wonderful features of Bioshield, BioShield 2, and the Homeland Security Act:

  • funnel billions in tax dollars to BigPharma

  • prevent generic, low-cost medicine development

  • prevent public sales of certain emergency medicines

  • medicines and vaccines can bypass proper scientific testing to hurry them to people

  • protect BigPharma from lawsuits

  • exempt agencies from public scrutiny

  • nullify Freedom of Information Act requests

  • nullify Federal Advisory Committe Act requests

  • nullify each state's own health laws, putting all health decisions in the hands of the feds

  • no exemptions permitted for receiving medicine (ie: forced vaccinations)

  • the Secretary of DHHS will have the power to call in the military to enforce the vaccinations

  • permit direct military involvement in domestic law enforcement during biomedical emergencies, including forced "quarantine" camp housing

  • effectively overturn the Posse Comitatus Act to permit the creation of a domestic standing army

  • provide the feds complete legal cover for unchecked surveillance of every person's private life

  • create and maintain massive databases of personal information (travel, phone calls, bank stats, medical info, etc)

  • secure (ie: confiscate) public resources and private property as needed during a time of crisis — including merely the threat of some biological emergency

In a particularly telling quote about it, HSA Title III Section 304

grants the HHS secretary extraordinary powers to declare a health emergency simply based on a POTENTIAL threat. This means that a hypothetical threat analysis from intelligence agencies that failed to warn of Sept 11th could be used as a reason to suspend civil liberties and start mandatory smallpox vaccinations

But why? What's the point of all this? BushCo may be all about money and power, but why would they need to go to such extreme lengths to develop such thorough and detailed plans for what would, effectively, be a complete police-state civil clampdown? They've already bankrupted the country's future generations and pocketed the cash, they've pretty much guaranteed their perpetual leadership (once a revolutionary power seizes control they do not willingly cede it), what more do they want?

Maybe Mike Whitney has a clue:

And, what is the relationship between the ocean of debt produced by the Bush team and their strengthening of police-state apparatus like unlimited spying on Americans, the NSS (Bushs new Secret Police), the uniform Federal ID program, the Patriot Act, and Halliburtons $385 million contract from Homeland Security to construct new detention and processing facilities within the United States?

Is the ascendancy of the police-state intended to balance the catastrophic effects of economic destruction? Or, do the new instruments of repression anticipate the political turmoil (Warren Buffets words) that naturally results from financial collapse?

Economic Destruction?!? Financial Collapse?!?

Oh...perhaps he's referring to the Hindenburg-like housing bubble finally exploding. Or maybe China will exit the US bond market and send the economy into a tailspin — especially if Murka pisses them off somehow, like maybe nuking an important ally. Maybe the "endangered" US Dollar will no longer be the world's dominant international currency when foreign banks decide to move away from it because they're sick of its cooked books, and tired of footing the bill for Murka's profligacy Whatever the reason, the coming economic typhoon will not be pretty.

But that won't stop the profits from coming in for the wise investor. Plus, now that Murka is officially a corporatist's paradise, there is going to be a demand for lots of super-cheap labor. That's where you come in.

It's hard for your local multinational corporation to maintain such stellar profits when they need to compete with the enormous darker-skinned labor pool of poor countries where workers are plentiful, super-cheap, and more obeisant to overbearing authority. Plus all those shipping costs, taxes, duties and bribes... How is a poor multinational to compete? And think of all those executives separated so long from their loved ones, travelling around the globe to oversee production in some dirty shantytown — it's downright cruel. The far more humane thing would be to find a way to keep them closer to their families in their gated community, wouldn't it?

Well, soon there's going to be a lot more people competing for jobs and looking for cheaper places to live. This will help corporate profits by driving down wages — a lot. And with a growing class of homeless needing a place to live why not funnel tax dollars into new cheap warehousing for them? And while they're living together in their publicly funded housing why not put them to some useful work? Put these things together and, like chocolate and peanut butter, you've got a tasty solution to everyone's problem!

The prison-industrial complex is one of Wall Street's great success stories, a growth industry with no end in sight. Even though crime is down, jail populations continue to soar. The benefits of prison labor should be obvious: it reduces labor overhead for corporations, thus increasing their profits, while serving as both punishment and reform for hardened criminals (eg: non-violent drug offenders) as they are compelled to be productive members of society; it even eases the burden to the tax payer by having the prisoners paying for their own keep by having their privatized penal provider skim half their salary. Here's Christian Parenti to tell us why such cheap labor is good for America's business class:

In many ways the criminal justice build-up is an organically evolving means of managing the class and racial polarization of a restructured American economy. At the heart of the matter lies a basic contradiction: Capitalism needs and creates poverty, intentionally through policy and organically through crisis. Yet, capitalism is also always threatened by the poor. These surplus populations help scare working people into obedience and keep wages low. But at the same time the poor (who in a white supremacist system are disproportionately people of color) scare the upper middle classes (who are mostly white). At times the impoverished classes, the dangerous classes, even rebel, demanding justice, burning down the ghetto, or worse yet, organizing themselves into coherent coalitions that can leverage the state for economic redistribution and racial equality.

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From capital's point of view government anti-poverty programs were, shall we say, spoiling the working classes.

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Reagan put an end to all that with: severe recession in the early eighties engineered to put labor back in its place; conservative courts, and a mass assault on all forms of government subsidies to poor and working people (from low-income housing programs, to job training to welfare). All this helped to tip the scales back in capital's favor. Now profits are in recovery while the people, particularly people of color, bleed.

But how to control the new surplus populations?

In retrospect the ever evolving answer is clear: Racialize poverty via the code of crime, and then hound the victims with police narc squads, SWAT teams, and quality of life enforcement; send the INS to raid their homes; and lock up as many as possible for as long as possible.

But soon the ranks of the poor are going to swell to numbers that just aren't containable using these traditional measures. It won't be just the poor and non-white that are the surplus populations. Soon the average, well-behaved, god-fearing, law-abiding, middle-class, good citizens (aka "pinks") will wonder where they can receive some help, and you can't simply just criminalize all of them, now, can you? They're going to need some kind of care and housing.

Herbert Hoover was caught off guard. That's why you had families travelling all around the country, littering parks, selling apples, and being just generally unsightly. But BushCo is prepared. They've got a plan for dealing with the great number of teeming, soon-to-be newly homeless. Those camps that are ostensibly being built to house some "emergency influx of immigrants" can just as easily house others who need assistance. Since the greatest crime in American is being poor it wouldn't do to have so many good citizens suddenly branded as criminals simply because they're poor, though, would it? Hey, how about camps? They're out of the way, they're already built, and, to help relieve the burden of the tax payer, inmates — sorry, citizens — can work there for businesses that need some work done, and this will help pay for their housing. It's a win-win!

That's where the genius of BioShield and the coming Pandemic come into play. Here's a page from BushCo's Final Solution for National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza:

The goals of the Federal Government response to a pandemic are to: (1) stop, slow, or otherwise limit the spread of a pandemic to the United States; (Ie: shut down the borders, close the airports, restrict travel, etc.) (2) limit the domestic spread of a pandemic, and mitigate disease, suffering and death; (Ie: use the military to quarantine citizens and force them to take untested, experimental vaccines; and if the folks in the camps start dying off, well it must be because of the Biblical Flu — it's certainly credible, given all the dire predictions we're getting used to hearing — plus it's a lot cheaper and more environmentally friendly than Zyklon B. Maybe this is where all those billions to BigPharma are going? Cf: federal law also does not preclude the use of the U.S. military to enforce the administration of vaccines or other "substances" to individuals as ordered by the Secretary of DHHS) and (3) sustain infrastructure and mitigate impact to the economy and the functioning of society. (Ie: the rich will continue to profit and move freely while useless eaters — along with hordes of newly poor — work in civilian labor camps)

(As an added bonus, don't be surprised if they find a way to blame the outbreak as a bio-terrorist attack on some enemy du jour...maybe Syria or Venezuela.) One thing is clear — they have put a great deal of money, thought and time into considering their response to such a crisis, far more than into such known potential catastrophes as Katrina.

(Oh yes, remember Katrina? FEMA didn't do such a great job there, did it? Or did it? Their incompetence really helped clear out the city of all those poor darkies, didn't it? Made it much easier to snap up some valuable real estate, and reward their cronies with construction contracts. FEMA came out of it pretty good too: they got to cash in on it a bit and get their funding increased so that next time they'll get the job done right. No...Katrina was a great success for BushCo, a real live test case for what they could get away with. Guess what? They did. 100%.)

Their own agencies alerted BushCo of a coming catastrophe in New Orleans. The warnings were ignored, and agencies that could have helped prevent the crisis were defunded. But some fictional biblical flu is treated as so portentous, and with such impending inevitability, that it must be prepared for ASAP, with billions of dollars funneled into it.

It seems to me that BushCo, being the masterful political black alchemists they are, has found a way to transpose the fallout of the coming economic collapse onto some (potentially made-in-the-lab but for now harmless) Avian Flu "pandemic". Pick any one or more of the following: the housing bubble bursts...; the nukes start flying into Iran...; the world's economy moves off the American dollar as its main reserve currency...; something suddenly goes "boom!" in some Murkan city... Whatever engineered catastrophe happens, don't be surprised if shortly after it there's a sudden outbreak (or, what's more likely, the perception of one) of some Old Testament-style Plague somewhere in the states. Then, to control a society in total collapse, they will use this Red Herring Flu as an excuse to enact Martial Law for the good and safety of its citizens.

That's when things will start getting a little weird.

Eventually the newly-homeless pinks will populate these camps. But not right away, of course. The camps are ostensibly being built first for the "emergency influx of immigrants." Those "new projects" may refer to housing other threats to the safety and security of the country, like those requiring medical treatment and needing to be quarantined... Or maybe atheists, nobody likes them anyways, and they're certainly a threat to the good, God-fearing pinks. Gays, of course. Let's not forget the Islamo-fascists running the corner convenience store. Then maybe the enemy within, those traitorous unMurkan liberals the registered democrats. Will San Francisco be the first hit by the Super Bug? Massachussetts?

Or maybe the SuperBug will start in some red apple-pie state, like Utah or Missouri. With their ingrained respect for authority they'll set a good example for the rest of us by putting up less of a fuss when FEMA, DHS, NHHS and the military come into town to give them a hand when their loved ones are feverish. (And remember, when they come to help try not to get too unruly, ok?)

Maybe the Biblical Pandemic will require everyone receive a VeriChip, former Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson's brainchild to implant every man, woman and child in the country with their own medical microchip that will ostensbily function as a convenient way to permanently carry around their personal identity, and whatever other important information — medical or otherwise — will need to be stored. It's much more convenient than carrying around a card (they can get lost so easily, can't they?), it's far less humiliating than a tattooed Hollerith code or Iran's badges for Jews, and not at all visibly dehumanizing.

Oh, but we're forgetting where all this is leading. Helping house lots of economic refugees and putting them to useful work to keep the economy going may be what the corporate folk are looking forward to, but they're not sharing the long-term vision of their strange bedfellows. It's not all money and power, you know. There's also some religious prophecy to be fulfilled:

These people state from the onset, God's regents should take Dominion of the land and enforce God's Law. They consider themselves God's freelancers. In Revelations, we learn they believe the annihilation of the earth will force the return of the Messiah. All "believers" will rapture up to heaven. Hence, the drive for the lost lambs because they don't think there is much time left.

These "Rapturists" are energetically trying to force their angry and murderous God's hand by creating the destructive, life denying conditions on Earth to force their god to act and destroy the world utterly by their promiscuous use of radioactive uranium. It is an orgy of violence as they scatter disease, death and wanton destruction throughout the world in the form of unending imperial wars.

They are working backwards to engineer a gigantic Holocaust killing billions of people and destroying the planet on purpose. The idea is that the sooner the earth is destroyed, the sooner the return of Jesus and the Kingdom of God. Therefore, it makes no difference if we use up all of the resourses of the planet since God is returning. (And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches toward Bethlehem to be born? Yeats, "The Second Coming.")

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Ever wonder why George Bush looks so proud, smug and arrogant in the face of his current 70% disapproval rating? The bible writes in its own free ticket to be happy if people yell at you. From the bible one is instructed to expect persecution. It is the religious right's loophole from accountability for the rising tide of distress the public naturally exhibits in response. Justified fingers are pointed at "evildoers", while military "solutions", pushing Armageddon, are pursued.

Every good fundamentalist authoritarian state worth its unique and Absolute take on the Truth requires the kids to take an active role in helping preserve the purity of that state. So like the Khmer Rouge Kids batting homeruns with the heads of urban four-eyes, or the Nazi's own starry-eyed Hitler-Jungend, get ready for Murka's own homespun, uniquely twisted flavor of homegrown child stormtroopers to help enforce the purity of their xtian motherland.

(Here's a friendly word of advice: if you see a coterie of starry-eyed, clean-cut kids marching down your street wielding cross-shaped baseball bats, take off your glasses, put on your WWJD t-shirts, and pray.)

Well, when this coming Depression hits they're going to have to invent a new word for it, just like the word Holocaust was devised to uniquely distinguish it from other genocides. I vote for The Stupendous Depression. Conflagression sounds pretty good too, better than Dark Ages v2.0 Chapter 1.

Those who believe BushCo's days are numbered are mistaken. BushCo's popularity may have achieved parity with lime-green phlegm, but let's not forget that anyone who disagrees with BushCo and their policies can be summarily dismissed as belonging to one focus group or another. You see, when one is the sole possessor of the Truth, one need not entertain falsehoods. It's just like Stephen Colbert said in his sardonic encomium to the president:
The greatest thing about this man is he's steady. You know where he stands. He believes the same thing Wednesday that he believed on Monday, no matter what happened Tuesday. Events can change; this man's beliefs never will.

Colbert understands the way BushCo thinks. And part of that thinking is a hermetic belief system that stipulates that they alone deserve to run the country, proven by the fact that God Himself put Bush in power. More and more people are starting to wise up to BushCo and are starting to get inklings of what these guys are capable of, but they still haven't come anywhere near grasping what these guys are about and how far they are capable of going. BushCo is not leaving. They've got other plans. And some of them involve you. Probably in the very near future.

The list of scandals besetting his coven of neocon acolytes is long and serious. But until recently their hermetic bubble has been preternaturally resilient in fending them off. It was inevitable that there would be cracks in their armor, and that's why people mistakenly foresee their downfall. But the various swords and pikes poking at it still fail to penetrate in any hurtful way. If Reagan was the teflon president, then BushCo is the Plasma Window Force Field Administration. No matter how cowed the media and how gullible the citizenry it was only a matter of time before the tide would turn against them; but that doesn't matter to them one iota: it just necessitates implementing new strategies from gameplans, which, like BioShield and the National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza, they have been developing in great detail for a long time. And like any insane zealot, when the tide turns against them they will embrace their faith in their Absolute Truth all the tighter and willingly, even joyfully, don the mantle of Martyr to the Cause. In their worldview there are Believers, Traitors, and Henchmen. Given the state of the economy there will be no dearth of henchmen to guard the camps Halliburton is building, and there will be no dearth of cheap labor to fill them. Plamegate, Katrina, Iraq — you name it, they get away with it. There's really nothing short of Providence that can curtail their plans at this point, and Providence, if you believe them, is on their side.

Well, the Merry-Go-Round of American monopolistic multinational consumer capitalism was fun for a while (in a mindlessly hyper-indulgent psychotic sort of way), but the increasingly hellish ride is spinning out of control. Soon the bubble will burst in some spectacular way and the ride will grind to a halt — which appears to be happening much sooner ("rapid development") than anyone thinks. Fortunately for BushCo the vast majority of the country's population are docile and listen to authority (even if they don't necessarily respect it). This, combined with the public's helplessness in the face of whatever engineered catastrophe makes it biblical appearance, will guarantee the hordes' easy cooperation. No one wants to be tarred with the feathers of treason during a time of national crisis by asking embarrassing questions or getting out of line. So board the buses without complaint. Don't make waves. Don't make a fuss. Don't ask questions. Don't be too loud — in fact, maintain a respectful quiet. Don't lose your place in line. Pull up your sleeve and take the shot without complaint. If they ask you to take a shower, get undressed with the others and put your clothes on the hooks.

The unruly ones will be an embarrassment to everyone else. Look away, shush them. Listen to the men in uniform, and trust the man with the clipboard — they all have your best interests at heart.


A Deep and Timeless Truth From Hell

"In Iraq, our descent into hell, our 'Apocalypse Now' moment, has begun."

The narrowness of his vision is exactly how even the best and most humane soldier unwillingly becomes a monster, and the people who create war know this. Out of grief and rage, with the stench of his buddy's shredded flesh in his nostrils, the soldier stops asking questions and then begins making up his own rules with a rifle. He has touched the heart of darkness and there's no going back ever. Embracing the whore called war destroys morality, and doing all this in a dishonorable cause compounds the damage.

— Tony Swindell, "Our Descent Into Hell Has Begun"


A Bait and Switch Selling Colbert

Chris Dols nicely captures the reason why people are cheering Colbert so much:
...his satire showed each one of them — from the scrappiest press correspondent to the president himself — what they look like to the rest of us. That's why they weren't laughing at his jokes.

That's why so many of us are honoring Stephen Colbert at thankyoustephencolbert.org. Colbert has done all of us who live in the reality-based community a tremendous favor.

Those of us in the reality-based community have grown numb and angry from the incessant and blatant falsehoods constantly force-fed to us. The reality on display that we are meant to consume is patently false, and we've grown both embittered and resigned that our reality will never break through the seemingly impenetrable wall of obvious and manufactured illusion. So it's no wonder that when Colbert "drew back the curtain" and reflected back our reality to those who create false ones there would be an outpouring of gratitude. He has resoundingly confirmed on our behalf for all to hear — especially those who wish to deny it — "See! The world is round! It revolves around the sun!" The peasants finally got a chance to tell their terrible king and his courtiers just how ugly, stupid and evil they are as we laugh with gusto at them, and they were powerless to do anything about it. For one brief moment the peasants had the upper hand and were heard.

That's why I and over 45,000 other people (so far) have left messages at Thank You Stephen Colbert. This was a historic occassion, one that the peasants will celebrate for a long time. We want to pay homage to the man brave enough to speak on our behalf to the terrible tyrant child emperor and his genuflecting sycophants.

And then I saw that I was used. It turns out that all this outpouring of sincere thanks and appreciation is a shill. Some hucksters are using our feel-good humanity to get a few bucks from us when we visit to leave our thanks. Not only that, but they waited to put out their collection plate until thousands of us had already left our message of thanks, giving the impression that we tacitly support whatever cause they're selling.

I feel had. I feel like I signed a group thank you card for someone who then used those signatures to forge a bunch of blank checks to donate money to the 700 Club; or discovering my name in a baptist church roster because I signed a congregant's wedding book.

How dare the sponsors of thankyoustephencolbert.org do that to us! Not only was that a shabby thing to do, it's patently offensive. It has turned a wonderful and generous monument to a man's historic courage into a huckster's shameless scam to score a few bucks for their pet political cause. There's no way I would have left a thank you note had I known they would do this.

Though presumably well-meaning, the greeters at thankyoustephencolbert.org pulled a bait and switch on us, drawing us in with something great to shill their own meagre product. It doesn't even matter if the product is worth buying or not (fyi: it's not). It's just another example that no good deed goes unpunished, or at least for free. After all, in our wonderful "everything for sale" culture, if you can exploit something for some cash then it's your duty to do so, right? They took something historic and good and beautiful and wonderful and put it up for sale next to the shotglasses and t-shirts. They painted Stephen Colbert on black velvet and want me to buy it from them as a way to honor his great deed.

Nice job, pimps. You made me feel like a whore being summoned for sloppy seconds.

Stephen Colbert — Thank You Very Much!

thankyoustephencolbert.org — Fuck You Very Much!

Update: This comment over here is very much in line with my thinking about what's coming down the pike:

In the aftermath of the dinner reports are emerging that Bush is on the warpath. "He's got that look that he's ready to blow," one aide told US News and World Report. Those familiar with Bush's tantrums and swearing fits will not be shocked to hear that the 'Commander in Chief' has once again reverted to the behavior of a 6-year-old in the face of criticism and lack of fealty.

But if Bush is the 6-year-old with a temper problem then the media is the younger kid that he bullies. The yellow streak witnessed at Saturday's dinner mirrors the standard of journalistic integrity these whores uphold. Prostrate and kneeling before their imperial master, they once again fall in line to sell another war without end.

When a satirical routine that mocks the President is treated with hushed tones and darting glares from the very supposed guardians of free speech, it spells danger for the ability to dissent in America without being castigated as a misbehaving gadfly.


Crisis Time: Should We Bomb BushCo?

Questionnaires often (usually?) reveal far more about the questionner than they do about the respondent. As is obvious from the title of this post, asking seemingly neutral questions creates a framework in which opinions are formed, and which, if asked in political contexts, determine (or, more likely, mold) public opinion.

My eyes were assaulted when Capitol Hill Blue fully loaded into my browser: I beheld one of the most frightening, horrific, and ugly pictures Ugly Nightmare I've ever seen. It was a link to a questionnaire about "Hillary or Condi in 2008?". While there I came across another, even more interesting questionnaire.

There's a whole science of asking questions, and it's fairly easy to get the answers you want by phrasing questions a particular way. It's too easy, in fact. One method is called push polling where the goal is to plant thoughts in the respondent's head so that they'll reach the desired opinion. ("Would you vote for Fred Smurd if you found out he raped his son, embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars from the taxpayers, beat his wife, eats puppies, and called your wife a cunt?") But more subtle methods exist to frame questions in order to manipulate opinion.

Here's a great example of subtle push polling from wingnut central's mothership. The topic:
Crisis Time: Should We Bomb Iran?
Here's the first question:

Do you believe U.S. efforts to contain Iran's nuclear weapons program are working?

This question single-handedly frames the issue with a glaringly obvious and biased premise: it assumes that the US is called upon to contain Iran's nuclear weapons program. (Actually, it makes the even deeper assumption that Iran even has a nuclear weapons program. (Which it may very well have, but it's still an assumption.)) That's the given, the place from which all further discussion begins. It also begins a path of inquiry that logically leads to a certain conclusion: well, obviously the US must do whatever it can to contain Iran's nuclear weapons program. The premise demands the conclusion. Questioning the premise is not even a possibility.

This is exactly how mainstream reportage frames policy debates in a nutshell. Here's a debate on the issue between a couple of official suits with talking heads appended to them:

—The topic today: Should We Bomb Iran. With us today is Frank Hedges and Noel Conman. Frank, when should we start bombing Iran?

—I don't think we can afford to wait. We need to bomb them now.


—I think Frank is wrong. I think we need to wait a little while first.

—There you have it. Thank you, gentlemen.

I also particularly like question 5:

Who should undertake military action against Iran first?
U.S. Israel Neither country

This implies military action is a foregone conclusion, whether or not either or both US and Israel engage in an attack. Someone's going to bomb them first — get used to the idea. The question makes an assumption to frame the way you think about it.

Just for fun I'm going to try my hand at it. Here, then, is my questionnaire modelled after theirs.

Crisis Time: Should We Eliminate BushCo Before They Strike Again, Possibly Bringing About The Armaggedon They Long For?
  1. Do you believe the international community should be working harder to bring Bush and his administration before the International Criminal Court to face charges for crimes against humanity?
    Yes No

  2. Should the international community rely solely on Bush to voluntarily stop his crimes against humanity?
    Yes No

  3. Do you believe Bush poses a greater threat to world peace than Hitler did before WWII?
    Yes No

  4. Should the international community find an extra-judicial way to stop Bush and his administration from pursuing their genocidal policies?
    Yes No

  5. What sort of extra-judicial policy should be pursued?
    Assassination Other

  6. Who did you vote for in the 2004 election?
    Nader Badnarik Other

Hey, you know — it's really easy and fun to come up with these bullshit questionnaires! No wonder there are so many of them.

For the sake of completion when their questionnaire eventually goes away, here are all the questions:

  1. Do you believe U.S. efforts to contain Iran's nuclear weapons program are working? [Working; Not Working]

  2. Should the U.S. rely solely on the U.N. to stop Iran's nuclear weapons program? [Yes; No]

  3. Do you believe Iran poses a greater threat than Saddam Hussein did before the Iraq War? [Yes, greater threat; No, a lesser threat]

  4. Should the U.S. undertake military action against Iran to stop their program? [Yes; No]

  5. Who should undertake military action against Iran first? [U.S.; Israel; Neither country]

  6. Who did you vote for in the 2004 election? [Bush; Kerry; Other]

Note: I was originally going to entitle this post "Crisis Time: Should We Assassinate [you know who]" but I don't have Colbert's cast-iron balls. It also seemed more prudent to censor myself given the enormous capacity to be misunderstood, no less officially investigated. But it would have been a wonderful counter-example to bring the point home...


Colbert's Thank Yous

It's a tedious day at work so I've been hitting the refresh button far too much at Thank You Stephen Colbert. I'd say a full third of the comments pertain to the enormity and/or material composition of his gonads.

This is one time when I delight in the fact that the enormity of the support completely overwhelms the few sniggling and pathetic negative comments. The man, after all, has tapped into a mother lode of discontent, and the outpouring of gratitude feels akin to the Parisians welcoming their Allied liberators. Every time I click the refresh once the page loads there's anywhere from one to seven new responses. I'm amazed by the deluge of support. It's a phenomenon. History has been made. It's no wonder the media silence about it is deafening.

Anyhoo, I wanted to share my two favorite comments (so far), both of which made me laugh, though in very different ways.

Peter Says:
May 2nd, 2006 at 4:13 pm

Id like to thank you for exposing the liberal press and those who criticize the president for what they are - anti-American. I long for the day when we can talk openly about the underlying reasons for the decisions the administration makes, unfortunately, that kind of freedom of speech has been squelched by the liberal spin-doctors who try to twist our words and mis-characterize our intentions. Patriotic Americans should not need to have everything spelled out for them. We are a people of faith and we have placed that faith in our president because he has placed his faith in our Savior. That should be good enough for us. On the day when He returns in His glory do we want to say we supported the mob of fornicators and abortionists, or that we supported those who prepared for that day and helped fulfill the prophecies?


Ryan Says:
May 2nd, 2006 at 4:24 pm

It was like you were in prison and Bush was your new cellmate and all you had to say was "it ain't gonna suck itself"

Stephen Colbert, You Da Man!

Personally I would be very surprised if at this point in his faltering imperial rule Bush doesn't quietly make an example of Colbert somehow, say by some mysterious accident. I'd say it's about that time in the tyrant's playbook where the mask needs to come off and the hammer needs to come down. Maybe lob a nuke at Iran? Introduce some local plague? Need something to distract the rubes to make it easier to round them up...


Adamantium Balls Indeed

I don't watch TV, but I read the transcript.

I left a message at Thank You Stephen Colbert. It was dashed off, but it captures my thinking.

Could Stephen Colbert be our Joseph Welch telling Dear Naked Leader and his roomful of lackeys, courtiers, and henchmen "Have you no sense of decency, sir?" — but delivered with the surgical wit of a Swift?

Time will tell, but for now the world (the sentient denizens of it, at least) says "Thank you!" Times such as ours demands courage such as yours. May you provide the kindling for the fire under our feet.

via Tutor

Update Mar 07: Finally watched it here.