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Thank Goodness Supervillains Exist Only In Comicbooks

From the Wikipedia entry on Supervillains:

Common Traits

While supervillains vary greatly, there are a number of attributes that define the character. Most supervillains have at least a few of the following traits:
A desire to commit spectacular crimes and/or rule the world or in some cases an entire universe through whatever means necessary.

A generally irritable and spiteful disposition and contempt for heroes, ordinary civilians, lackeys, and anyone else who may get in their way.

A sadistic nature and tendency to revel in their sociopathic behavior and/or supposed intellectual superiority.

An enemy or group of enemies that he or she repeatedly fights.

A desire for revenge against said enemies. The method of revenge often goes beyond simply killing them to making them suffer before death, such as using deathtraps.

A brilliant scientific mind that he or she chooses to use for evil (see also mad scientist and evil genius).

Superhuman abilities or special skills, similar to those of superheroes. Frequently, these skills are gained through selfish (and sometimes foolish) meddling with science as opposed to the "natural" or "accidental" gifts possessed by superheroes. Compare the origin of the Green Goblin and that of his nemesis, Spider-Man.

A dark and threatening-looking headquarters or lair, the location of which is usually kept secret from police, superheroes and the general public. Examples include Magnetos headquarters Asteroid M and The Legion of Dooms Hall of Doom. However, some supervillains who feel secure from prosecution live and work in palatial buildings, such as Doctor Doom's castles in his country of Latveria and the office buildings and research facilities of the Green Goblins alter ego Norman Osborn. Others are mobile and do not have one particular base of operations.

A theme by which he or she plots his crimes. For example, The Riddler plots his crimes around riddles, puzzles and word games and Mysterio plots his around movie special effects. Furthermore, most themed villains will stubbornly keep with their style even when it seems impractical or ridiculous to others in view of their typical lack of success.

Although super villain team-ups occasionally occur and some supervillain teams exist, such as the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants and Sinister Six, most supervillains do not collaborate with one another but employ a team of simple-minded and expendable henchmen to assist them. Some supervillains, such as Darth Vader, Berg Katse and Cobra Commander, control entire armies whose troops are considered equally expendable and subject to murderously draconian discipline.

Due to a cowardly nature or physical inequality to their foes, some supervillains manipulate events from behind the scenes. For example, the physical inequality of Lex Luthor, a man of human intellectual prowress compared to the sun-powered alien physciality of the character of Superman represents the duality of mind versus body. Also see: Ernst Stavro Blofeld of the James Bond novel and film series.

A strong commitment to their criminal profession to the point where they will quickly resume their activities in their favorite area immediately after escaping prison or recovering from serious injury.

A refusal to accept responsibility for personal mistakes and setbacks in favor of blaming their enemies or subordinates.

A back story or origin story that explains how the character transformed from an ordinary person into a supervillain. The story usually involves some great tragedy that marked the change. In the case of many supervillains, including Two-Face, Magneto, Doctor Doom, Mr. Freeze, and some versions of Lex Luthor, this story involves a one-time friendship with their future foe.


'a good serviceable fiction'

Judges 18

Danites Seek Territory

1 In those days there was no king of Israel; and in those days the tribe of the Danites was seeking an inheritance for themselves to live in, for until that day an inheritance had not been allotted to them as a possession among the tribes of Israel.

2 So the sons of Dan sent from their family five men out of their whole number, valiant men from Zorah and Eshtaol, to spy out the land and to search it; and they said to them, "Go, search the land " And they came to the hill country of Ephraim, to the house of Micah, and lodged there.

3 When they were near the house of Micah, they recognized the voice of the young man, the Levite; and they turned aside there and said to him, "Who brought you here? And what are you doing in this place? And what do you have here?"

4 He said to them, "Thus and so has Micah done to me, and he has hired me and I have become his priest."

5 They said to him, "Inquire of God, please, that we may know whether our way on which we are going will be prosperous."

6 The priest said to them, "Go in peace; your way in which you are going has the LORD'S approval."

7 Then the five men departed and came to Laish and saw the people who were in it living in security, after the manner of the Sidonians, quiet and secure; for there was no ruler humiliating them for anything in the land, and they were far from the Sidonians and had no dealings with anyone.

8 When they came back to their brothers at Zorah and Eshtaol, their brothers said to them, "What do you report?"

9 They said, "Arise, and let us go up against them; for we have seen the land, and behold, it is very good. And will you sit still? Do not delay to go, to enter, to possess the land.

10 "When you enter, you will come to a secure people with a spacious land; for God has given it into your hand, a place where there is no lack of anything that is on the earth."

11 Then from the family of the Danites, from Zorah and from Eshtaol, six hundred men armed with weapons of war set out.

12 They went up and camped at Kiriath-jearim in Judah. Therefore they called that place Mahaneh-dan to this day; behold, it is west of Kiriath-jearim.

13 They passed from there to the hill country of Ephraim and came to the house of Micah.

Danites Take Micah's Idols

14 Then the five men who went to spy out the country of Laish said to their kinsmen, "Do you know that there are in these houses an ephod and household idols and a graven image and a molten image? Now therefore, consider what you should do."

15 They turned aside there and came to the house of the young man, the Levite, to the house of Micah, and asked him of his welfare.

16 The six hundred men armed with their weapons of war, who were of the sons of Dan, stood by the entrance of the gate.

17 Now the five men who went to spy out the land went up and entered there, and took the graven image and the ephod and household idols and the molten image, while the priest stood by the entrance of the gate with the six hundred men armed with weapons of war.

18 When these went into Micah's house and took the graven image, the ephod and household idols and the molten image, the priest said to them, "What are you doing?"

19 They said to him, "Be silent, put your hand over your mouth and come with us, and be to us a father and a priest. Is it better for you to be a priest to the house of one man, or to be priest to a tribe and a family in Israel?"

20 The priest's heart was glad, and he took the ephod and household idols and the graven image and went among the people.

21 Then they turned and departed, and put the little ones and the livestock and the valuables in front of them.

22 When they had gone some distance from the house of Micah, the men who were in the houses near Micah's house assembled and overtook the sons of Dan.

23 They cried to the sons of Dan, who turned around and said to Micah, "What is the matter with you, that you have assembled together?"

24 He said, "You have taken away my gods which I made, and the priest, and have gone away, and what do I have besides? So how can you say to me, 'What is the matter with you?'"

25 The sons of Dan said to him, "Do not let your voice be heard among us, or else fierce men will fall upon you and you will lose your life, with the lives of your household."

26 So the sons of Dan went on their way; and when Micah saw that they were too strong for him, he turned and went back to his house.

27 Then they took what Micah had made and the priest who had belonged to him, and came to Laish, to a people quiet and secure, and struck them with the edge of the sword; and they burned the city with fire.

28 And there was no one to deliver them, because it was far from Sidon and they had no dealings with anyone, and it was in the valley which is near Beth-rehob. And they rebuilt the city and lived in it.

29 They called the name of the city Dan, after the name of Dan their father who was born in Israel; however, the name of the city formerly was Laish.

30 The sons of Dan set up for themselves the graven image; and Jonathan, the son of Gershom, the son of Manasseh, he and his sons were priests to the tribe of the Danites until the day of the captivity of the land.

31 So they set up for themselves Micah's graven image which he had made, all the time that the house of God was at Shiloh.

Judges 18:1-31 (New American Standard Bible)

It is a lie that Palestinians "had their own land, first of all, occupied." This is like saying that Texans had their own land occupied by Hispanics, ignoring the fact that Hispanics were there first. The very word Palestine is a Roman appellation for the people called Philistines, who were not Arabs but red-haired sailors from the Aegean. The Jews were there as well.

In short, first of all the Jews were in the land before the Arabs.

Second of all, the Arabs who inhabited the Palestine Mandate in 1948, at the time of the creation the state of Israel, considered themselves Syrians.

Third, the Palestine Mandate was not created on land taken from the Syrians or the Arabs. It was taken from the Turks.

It was not taken from the Turks by the Jews, but by the British and the French. They took it because Turkey sided with Germany in the First World War and, of course, lost. The Turkish empire had ruled the entire region including Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan for four hundred years before Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan were artificially created by the English and the French. Jordan - a state whose majority is Palestinian - occupies 80% of the Palestine Mandate.

So it is a preposterous lie to say that the Palestinians had their own land and that it was occupied by the Jews.

Fourth, the individual plots of land that Jews now own were in the first instance bought from the Arabs who regarded themselves as Syrians and who lived in the area of Israel. The only property that was confiscated was confiscated as a spoil of the aggressive war that five Arab states waged against Israel from the day of its birth. Five Arab armies invaded Israel, a sovereign state, with the declared intent of "pushing the Jews into the sea." The cry today of the Muslim majority in the Middle East is to "liberate Palestine from the river to the sea." In other words push the Jews into the sea.

By the standards of occupation and legitimacy Jimmy Carter invokes, Israel has more legitimacy as a Jewish state than Texas does as an American state, rather than a Mexican province.

The fifth Jimmy Carter lie in this lone Jimmy Carter sentence is the claim that the Jews have colonized anything. "The Israelis have built more than 200 settlements inside Palestine."

Why is it wrong of the Jews to live in the West Bank? (The 7000 Jews of Gaza, of course, have already been expunged as result of the Arabs' genocidal hate.) Why can't Jews have settlements in the West Bank?

The answer is because the Palestinians Arabs are filled with a racist and theocratic hate towards the Jews. They can't tolerate a non-Muslim, non-Arab people — however small a minority — living in their midst. (The 7000 Jews of Gaza - out of a population of 1.2 million - were law-abiding and peaceful and created a horticultural industry that produced ten percent of Gaza's gross national product. But they were Jews. And that was intolerable to Palestine's Nazis. So they had to be removed.)

Contrast Carter's attack on Jews living in the West bank as "colonizers" who must be expelled with the fact that more than a million Arabs live in Israel, where Israel provides them with more rights - including the right to vote and elect Arab members of Israel's government - than any Arab who lives in any Arab state in the Middle East.

There is indeed a wall now between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs. But it is not a wall to keep Arabs out of Israel because they are Arab, as Carter maliciously maintains. There are more than a million Arabs living in Israel. There are indeed checkpoints in the West Bank and into Israel and obstacles to Palestinians crossing them. But this is not because the Israelis discriminate against Palestinians because they are Muslims or Arabs.

It is because too many Palestinians have shown themselves to be bloodthirsty, murderers who have been indoctrinated by their religious leaders and their government to believe in a sick Islamic fantasy that it is their Muslim duty to kill Jews by blowing themselves up; and that, if they do so, they will go to heaven along with 70 members of their family; and, that, if they are lucky enough to be male they will be rewarded by 72 virgins on the other side.

David Horowitz. Jimmy Carter: Jew-Hater, Genocide-Enabler, Liar

—No wait don't not that no I, wait... She caught the corner of the table, flushed, —oh... getting breath, —oh. He'd straightened up with the Natural History magazine.

—I thought you'd thrown it out.

—No that's all right yes, yes for that story about, on the cover? you said they steal cattle? And her sudden urgency seemed to weigh everything on his response, the Masai and their cattle raids, as though right now in this kitchen, clinging to the table corner, nothing else mattered.

—Well, well yes, he said — they, it's their ancient belief that all the cattle in the world belong to them. When they raid other tribes they're just taking back what was stolen from them long ago, a good serviceable fiction isn't it ... He held the magazine out to her —you might want to read it? It's not what I want anyhow, there's a piece here on the Piltdown fraud I can just tear it out and...

William Gaddis. Carpenter's Gothic

etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.


At last, a voice of REASON!

Every so often I come across a hilarious book review at Amazon written by some comic talent who understands the power of satire. The following review for a book written by some FrontPager for the 100% mentality Trogs had me laughing all afternoon.

[Note: I noticed that Amazon has removed the review by "True Christian American" of William Blum's vital book Killing Hope. Hence I will reproduce the following review in its entirety so as to prevent its tossing into the memory hole. I'm sad but not surprised Amazon removes such reviews...]

Here, now, Martin Dawson's 5-star review of How To Be a Good Leftist:

Great book!!!, January 16, 2001

Reviewer: Martin Dawson (Texas, USA) - See all my reviews

I am a radical Rightist. Actually, I consider most Rightists to be too socialistic, big-government commies! I alone and individually am THE TRUE Rightist! The rest of you are wimps!

Rightist believe that their system is inerrant and infallible and that a mysterious superstitious force called (Adam Smith's) "Invisible Hand" will make us all Holy and Pure. Modern Rightists are just out for a power grab like all other political entities. After all the LOGIC is undeniable: If government is SO BAD, then WHY do the Rightists want to be a part of it!!! Why do they run for office??? THEY want power and control and have duped the true "freedom-lovers" like me into thinking that they have all the answers. Just like Newt did, the powers-to-be in the right wing will betray us!!! They don't seem to understand the concepts of PRIVATE PROPERTY.

For example: If I have a cable TV (CATV) line coming on my property, it is MY PROPERTY. The RF signal in the line is MINE. I paid for it and I can do with it what I want! And that includes selling it, giving it away etc. Why should some stupid idea like "Intellectual property" force and create a tyranny on MY personal property? If I sit in my back yard and an RF signal from the Clark Belt falls on my Real Estate I have the right to do with that RF what I want. And that includes decipher and decrypt it and SELL IT, give it away etc. In fact, a few years ago up in the West Virginia Mountains almost all the Satellite guys were just buying One decoder and cloning the EPROM (by burning a new one). What is wrong with that? I wish the Rightists recognized MY liberty to do with MY property what I wanted to instead of supporting big government regulation through ideas of "copyright" and "intellectual property".

Using your friend, William of Occam, I do not believe that anything like copyright or patents exist. They are an unneeded abstraction that needlessly multiplies entities. A video tape is a video tape. A book is a book. A CATV box is a CATV box. I own it thus I own it. What kind of superstition and voodoo says that I may own the physical material but I do not own the right to do anything with it that I want to? Let EVERYTHING be in the marketplace. The "free market" is what makes the world work. We wrecked the world in the 19th century when we destroyed the ability of people like me to own slaves. Are you or any of your family for sale?

Slaves were MY PRIVATE PROPERTY. How dare the Republican-Big Government-Liberal Tax and Spend Lincolnites send an army and take MY PROPERTY away from me without paying me? How dare the government steal my Private Property and then TAX ME to pay for the upkeep (welfare) of what was once my private property and what I was doing well with before. What kind of religious superstitious voodoo says that "humans" have certain "rights"? Where did they come from? God? The only "right" anyone has is to be "free" and that means FREE to make YOU a slave and do whatever I want with you. Bleeding hearts say that humans have "rights"! Phooey, show me what the rights look like? WHERE did they get the rights?

Slavery could have been ended if the slaves all would have just bought their own freedom. Why weren't they saving money and making investments and helping themselves buy their own freedom? NOOOO...they wanted some big government internal war program to come and save them. For example, old people on Social Security...Phooey! My 86 year old Grandmother is perfectly capable of supporting herself through prostitution with a few old rich geezers in her rest home. What is wrong with that? If we cut off her Social Security, she would have the motivation to get up off her duff and on to her back. I mean, you gotta give people an incentive to work. You give anybody anything for free and they get lazy and pretty soon start expecting charity. The best charity is to kick the poor in the ass and tell them to "get a job, bum!".

Some bleeding heart is always out there whining about how bad things are. Hey, they are BAD. I make almost $200,000 a year and I am getting robbed in taxes and regulated to death. I am NOT my brother's keeper! I shouldn't have to be. Let him take care of himself. No one promised anyone a perfect world. You gotta work for it. You know that when the doctor jerked me out of my mother's womb, held me up by my ankles and smacked my bare ass I never heard "society" promise me that they would take care of me? What is this place, Russia? Everyone needs to take care of themselves.

Can you imagine taxing the lions to support the gazelle's? It is a jungle. It is a dog-eat-dog world where the strong survive and the weak die. We are punishing the successful rich to support the inferior, unfit, losers and we are going broke doing it.

WHO is smart enough to define "fraud"? (BIG government Rightists?) When a Lion has colors that look like the landscape, is he a "fraud" to the gazelles??? Who died and left Newt Gingrich as God to define, "fraud"? When you start trying to protect people from "fraud" like the Rightists want, you weaken them. You make them too trustworthy. They come to expect big government to always be out there "keeping and eye". We need to have a population that looks out for themselves (Caveat Emptor-Let the buyer beware).

If the entire population is absolutely cynical and skeptical we would have a wonderful economic system. So, you may drop 50 cents into a Coke machine and get a can of nitric acid. That is a good thing. It teaches you to be wary. The word will spread about Coke and pretty soon the marketplace will drive them out of business. Who cares about all the suckers that did drink the stuff and get sick? They provided jobs for Emergency rooms and doctors and hospitals. It is all about business and profits isn't it?

One of the worst things in this country was Socialist Upton Sinclair's book, The Jungle. It forced government meat inspections which don't work anyway. So, a few people get E-Coli. Big deal. The marketplace is at work.

Yea , IT WAS ME who was in Miami after Hurricane Andrew selling water at 10 bucks a jug and generators at $2,500 a pop. I even sold baby formula to mothers at $50 a can. Hey, man, I believe in a FREE MARKET SYSTEM. You know what the State of Florida did? They sent these socialistic commie bleeding heart big-government people down there and wrecked my business! I was making buck fair and square. They accused me of "gouging" Hey man, its a FREE MARKET and I can charge what I can get. Where do the socialists come off telling me that I can't do business?

I believe in a FREE MARKET. I should be able to buy the roads that you drive on from your house to your workplace and CHARGE YOU A TOLL. These damn "public roads" are just the first step toward Communism! I believe in "privatizing" everything and charging user's fees. (Just like the so-called Rightists claim to want) If fact, I should be able to buy ALL the land around your property and charge you a fee to get off your property and to travel on my land. I would only charge you a couple hundred bucks to go to the grocery store. I am just sorry if you can not brew anti-biotic's in your bathtub. It is too bad that you can't drill for gasoline in your backyard. Make yourself self-sufficient and grow your own food. Take care of yourself. Learn to do your own brain surgery on yourself.

Why should I pay ANY taxes? I provide an income of 8 employees. What needs to happen is for all the very poor people in this country to be heavily taxed and give all the money to people like me. By taxing the poor you would force them to work harder and therefore get out of the low income brackets! Make taxation raise people's standards and not lower them. My principle: A decreasing tax rate! 75% under $6,000 a year to $0 above $185,000 a year.(that is about a thousand dollars less than I make)

If you could tax a guy making, say 45 cents an hour at the 50% rate and give it to me, I could build a bigger factory, invest the money and create more jobs! My slogan "tax the poor and give it to the rich". I mean, Anson, we are the people who are getting the job done! Did you ever see a poor person do anything but be a drag on society? I never took one red cent from the government, I only gave. I am not sitting around loafing or wasting my life away being a drag on society. Society needs to cut me some slack just like they are doing now to the lazy, stupid, uneducated, unmotivated leeches we call the "poor". Yesterday I was on the toilet talking on my cell phone and I shorted the market and made $16,000 in 14 minutes. Why can't the poor do this??? I can make money sitting on the john. Why can't they? I only pay my people the minimum wage and that is too high. If I could get some boat people in her for 45 cents an hour I could really complete with Wal-Mart. Last year I was forced by the government to put in dust fans because they were afraid that my workers were getting damaged lungs.


A Harsh Mirror

Excerpts from Bernard Chazelle's impassioned, cynical, biting, surgically accurate Bush the Empire Slayer:

Historians will ponder how one gangly caveman and nineteen scrawny associates turned America into the land of the kind-of-free (53rd freest press in the world, tied with Botswana) and the home of the petrified. The sons and daughters of the nation that stood up to Hitler and Tojo now file through airport security barefoot, much as they would walk, shoeless, into a mosque — a mosque, they pray, empty of Muslims.

⋅ ⋅ ⋅

Breathtaking as they were, the majestic vistas of Rumsfeld's ineptitude were little more than a convenient excuse for war advocates with egg on their faces. The grand whining parade has already begun, and mealy-mouthed apologists are being wheeled in on bloated floats to proffer lame excuses about inadequate troop levels, insufficient 4GW training, political fecklessness, etc. Eventually, the chest beating will die down as it always does, with the blame for the debacle pinned on the dirty antiwar hippies.

⋅ ⋅ ⋅

Until we whacked them on the head, Iraqis had never expressed much desire to attack us. To the lesser minds, therefore, the idea of fighting them there so we wouldn't have to fight them here always teetered on the edge of insanity. To the neocons' delight, 9/11 came to cleanse the public discourse of the yelpings of lesser minds.

⋅ ⋅ ⋅

The war has given the American mainstream media a brilliant opportunity to prove its essential worthlessness. It has shown itself to be little more than a circus of entertainers and cheerleaders for whom every season is the silly season.

⋅ ⋅ ⋅

Victors are never war criminals. That's because they get to write the history books. Bush won't have that chance. The die has been cast and the hour is too late for him or anyone to alter the unforgiving judgment of posterity. Therein, paradoxically, lies our quandary. For, if freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose, then Bush is a free man — free to pursue the most malignant policies, heedless of the consequences to his unworsenable presidential standing. Beware the desperation of a cornered man.

The apostle of imperial dominance, Bush slew the "last empire." The towering figure of our time, he is a piteously small man. The self-anointed emissary of a "higher father," he is servant to no power but himself. The captain of the sinking ship has laid his command upon his fellow Americans: "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for me." No sacrifice of life shall be too great, no damage to civil liberties too high, no expenses too vast for a vainglorious man deluded by fantastic dreams of redemption by force.

But who besides the bereaved will mourn? Who besides the orphan will whimper? Who besides the humiliated will stare back? Who besides the thugs and the craven will lead? Patriotism is a lovely thing. In its name, some go dying by the side of an Iraqi road in twitching agony; others go shopping in oversized automobiles festooned with yellow ribbons. We all play our part — and nobody else's.

Yeats bemoaned an era when the best lacked all conviction, while the worst were full of passionate intensity. Today, Kristol blusters and hectors, Cheney scolds and forebodes, Bush struts and smirks. Meanwhile, the giant, timid chorus listens politely to the deafening silence of the outraged — and the mad march of war goes on.


An Inspector Lohmann 'Crystal Ball of Prescience' Award Goes To...


Global Research Editorial Note

The US has initiated a new military aggression against a sovereign country, in defiance of international law, using the threat of "Islamic terrorism" as a pretext. The threat of this illusive outside enemy is fabricated. Washington's hidden agenda is to create instability in the Horn of Africa, a region rich in oil resources, with a view to eventually justifying military intervention under a bogus UN humanitarian mandate.

Washington's justification for bombing two sites in Somalia is that members of Al Qaeda were allegedly "fleeing" through Somalia, when we know for a fact that Al Qaeda, which is a creation of the US intelligence apparatus, has consistently, throughout the post-Cold war era been covertly supported by US intelligence and its Pakistani counterpart, the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) The White House has not confirmed the attack and nobody in Washington is asking questions.

Who could have foreseen such an out-of-the-blue attack?

Here, now... The Winning Entry:

December 13 2001
January 10 2007

Will Somalia be next? U.S. targets another poor country

U.S. forces pummel al-Qaeda targets in Somalia

An article filed with the Telegraph of London by Robert Fox and Jessica Berry on Dec. 2 reported "Britain has been asked by America to help prepare military strikes against Somalia in the next phase of the global campaign against Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda network. ... A team of senior British military officers who visited U.S. Central Command in Tampa, Fla., last week was asked to prepare the strategy for attacks on sites in Somalia."

The rationale for all these military preparations is said to be Somalia's harboring of terrorists. But a report by BBC Africa analyst Elizabeth Blunt on Dec. 4 said "Somalia may still be a patchwork of feuding factions, but when a BBC team visited Mogadishu last week it found everyone united in asserting that there were no terrorist training camps in the country and that any American attack would be a great mistake."

⋅ ⋅ ⋅

If Bush spreads his war of exploitation and plunder to Africa, he will only further antagonize another huge section of the world's people, including many millions of workers here in the United States. That is probably why Washington is asking London to do some of the dirty work. But for the U.S. to get Britain, the world's biggest former colonial power, to attack Somalia only exposes both imperialist ruling classes as robbers bent on world domination.

The strikes appear to mark a very public escalation of U.S. military involvement, previously limited to tacit support of Ethiopia's December invasion of Somalia. It also underscores the willingness of U.S. President George W. Bush to wage war wherever a possible terrorist emerges.

⋅ ⋅ ⋅

After weeks of staying determinedly in the shadows while its ally Ethiopia invaded Somalia with thousands of troops, tanks and helicopter gunships, the sudden decision by the Bush administration to publicly raise the profile of its operations in the country suggests a deliberate change in policy.

U.S. Special Forces and the Central Intelligence Agency have paid close attention to Somalia since 2001, and Washington is believed to have provided covert intelligence assistance to Ethiopia's military effort over the past few weeks.

Congratulations to
Deirdre Griswold, and Michel Chossudovsky and his Centre for Global Research
for their intelligence, realism, and foresight. Their deep understanding of how the world really works has easily earned them this award.

Want to understand what's going on? I can't think of a better book than Michel Chossudovsky's America's "War on Terrorism" to help you fill in the pieces of the puzzle.

Here's a nice excerpt from pages 116-117. Hopefully it will be enough to whet your curiosity so you'll buy the book with all speed.

The American Empire

The onslaught of the US-led war also coincides with a worldwide depression, leading to the impoverishment of millions of people. While the civilian economy plummets, extensive financial resources are funneled towards America's war machine. The most advanced weapons systems are being developed by America's military-industrial complex with a view to achieving a position of global military and economic dominance, not only in relation to China and Russia, but also in relation to the European Union, which Washington considers as an encroachment upon America's global hegemony.

Behind America's "war on terrorism" is the militarization of vast regions of the world, leading to the consolidation of what is best described as the "American Empire". Since the 1999 war in Yugoslavia, an Anglo-American military axis has developed, based on a close coordination between Britain and the US in defense, foreign policy and intelligence. Israel is the launch pad of the Anglo-American axis in the Middle East. The objective behind this war is to "re-colonize" not only China and the countries of the former Soviet block, but also Iran, Iraq and the Indian peninsula.

War and globalization go hand in hand. The powers of the Wall Street financial establishment, the Anglo-American oil giants and the US-U.K. defense contractors are undeniably behind this process, which consists in extending the frontiers of the global market system. Ultimately, the purpose of "America's New War" is to transform sovereign nations into open territories (or "free trade areas"), both through "military means", as well as through and imposition of deadly "free market" reforms.

Defined under Washington's 1999 SRS [the Silk Road Strategy "outlines a framework for the development of America's business empire along an extensive geographical corridor" through Central Asia and the South Caucasus], America's war is intent upon destroying an entire region, which, in the course of history, was the cradle of ancient civilizations linking Western Europe to the Far East. In turn, covert support to Islamic insurgencies (channeled by the CIA through Pakistan's ISI) in the former Soviet Union, the Middle East, China and India has been used by Washington as an instrument of conquest — ie, deliberately destabilizing national societies and fostering ethnic and social divisions.

More generally, war and "free market" reforms destroy civilization by forcing national societies into abysmal poverty.


A Ricercare of Random Quotes of No Particular Consequence

In his tour de force Planet of Slums, Mike Davis observes, "the Pentagon's best minds have dared to venture where most United Nations, World Bank or State Department types fear to go [T]hey now assert that the feral, failed cities' of the Third World --especially their slum outskirts -- will be the distinctive battlespace of the twenty-first century." Pentagon war-fighting doctrine, he notes, "is being reshaped accordingly to support a low-intensity world war of unlimited duration against criminalized segments of the urban poor."

The military system that Rumsfeld and his precursors created is increasingly dysfunctional and meant only to suit the expensive demands and pretensions of the powerful companies in the military-industrial complex. The emphasis on expensive weaponry is good for the American economy; successful counterinsurgency war costs too little to maintain full employment. It bears scant relationship to the political problems that the U. S. has confronted for decades-and more now than ever.

In other words, for Bush and his friends, defeat really is "unthinkable", just as it was to Kaiser Wilhelm when Wilson proposed a "victorless Peace" to Germany in 1917. Unless there is victory, the entire NeoCon world gets swept away, as do the Likudniks.

For that reason, expect a savage campaign to clear Baghdad of insurgents - which will fail with the loss of a great deal of American and Iraqi blood, followed by an all out bombing attack on Iran.

For the NeoCons, there is no other choice available to them, that is the tragedy.

Washington's Hidden Agenda

US foreign policy is not geared towards curbing the tide of Islamic fundamentalism. In fact, it is quite the opposite. The significant development of "radical Islam", in the wake of September 11, in the Middle East and Central Asia is consistent with Washington's hdiden agenda. The latter consists of sustaining rather than combatting international terrorism, with a view to destabalizing national societies and preventing the articulation of genuine social movements directed against the American Empire. Washington continues to support—through CIA covert operations—the development of Islamic fundamentalism, particularly in China and India.

Throughout the developing world, the growth of sectarian, fundamentalist and other such organizations tends to serve US interests. These various organizations and armed insurgents have been developed, particularly in countries where state institutions have collapsed under the brunt of IMF economic reforms.

The application of IMF economic medicine often breeds an atmosphere of ethnic and social strife, which in turn favors the development of fundamentalism and communal violence.

These fundamentalist organizations contribute by destroying and displacing secular institutions.

In the short term, fundamentalism creates social and ethnic divisions. It undermines the capacity of people to organize against the American Empire. These organizations or movements, such as the Taliban, often foment "opposition to Uncle Sam" in a way which does not constitute any real threat to America's broader geopolitical and economic interests. Meanwhile, Washington has supported their development as a means of disarming social movements, which it fears may threaten US economic and political hegemony.

A RAY gun that makes people run off because they think they are on fire could be in use by early next year.

The Active Denial System - dubbed the Goodbye Gun by US military chiefs - fires a harmless beam which causes an intense burning sensation.

It will be used to disperse large crowds and is set to be deployed in Iraq.

Tests showed a person can withstand the beam for up to five seconds before wanting to step away.

Documents acquired for Wired News using the Freedom of Information Act claim that most of the radiation (83 percent) is instantly absorbed by the top layer of the skin, heating it rapidly.

The beam produces what experimenters call the "Goodbye effect," or "prompt and highly motivated escape behavior." In human tests, most subjects reached their pain threshold within 3 seconds, and none of the subjects could endure more than 5 seconds.
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The beam penetrates clothing, but not stone or metal. Blocking it is harder than you might think. Wearing a tinfoil shirt is not enough -- you would have to be wrapped like a turkey to be completely protected. The experimenters found that even a small exposed area was enough to produce the Goodbye effect, so any gaps would negate protection. Holding up a sheet of metal won't work either, unless it covers your whole body and you can keep the tips of your fingers out of sight.

Public Law 109-364, or the "John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007" (H.R.5122) (2), which was signed by the commander in chief on October 17th, 2006, in a private Oval Office ceremony, allows the President to declare a "public emergency" and station troops anywhere in America and take control of state-based National Guard units without the consent of the governor or local authorities, in order to "suppress public disorder."

President Bush seized this unprecedented power on the very same day that he signed the equally odious Military Commissions Act of 2006. In a sense, the two laws complement one another. One allows for torture and detention abroad, while the other seeks to enforce acquiescence at home, preparing to order the military onto the streets of America. Remember, the term for putting an area under military law enforcement control is precise; the term is "martial law."

Section 1076 of the massive Authorization Act, which grants the Pentagon another $500-plus-billion for its ill-advised adventures, is entitled, "Use of the Armed Forces in Major Public Emergencies." Section 333, "Major public emergencies; interference with State and Federal law" states that "the President may employ the armed forces, including the National Guard in Federal service, to restore public order and enforce the laws of the United States when, as a result of a natural disaster, epidemic, or other serious public health emergency, terrorist attack or incident, or other condition in any State or possession of the United States, the President determines that domestic violence has occurred to such an extent that the constituted authorities of the State or possession are incapable of ("refuse" or "fail" in) maintaining public order, "in order to suppress, in any State, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy."

For the current President, "enforcement of the laws to restore public order" means to commandeer guardsmen from any state, over the objections of local governmental, military and local police entities; ship them off to another state; conscript them in a law enforcement mode; and set them loose against "disorderly" citizenry - protesters, possibly, or those who object to forced vaccinations and quarantines in the event of a bio-terror event.

The law also facilitates militarized police round-ups and detention of protesters, so called "illegal aliens," "potential terrorists" and other "undesirables" for detention in facilities already contracted for and under construction by Halliburton. That's right. Under the cover of a trumped-up "immigration emergency" and the frenzied militarization of the southern border, detention camps are being constructed right under our noses, camps designed for anyone who resists the foreign and domestic agenda of the Bush administration.

The greatest danger in every democratic community has always arisen from the tyranny of the majority which asserts itself most strongly when the respect for free expression of opinion becomes weak and demagogues lustful for power, or when privileged minorities turn the ignorance of the masses to their own advantage.

Here's the evolution of the Democrats' war platform since November 7, 2006, the day the voters presented a clear mandate: "End the war! Get out of Iraq!" and took the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives away from the Republicans.

So somewhat to their surprise the Democrats recaptured both the Senate and the House. Then they went to work--to obliterate the mandate.

WASHINGTON [AP] - The first of up to 20,000 additional U.S. troops will move into Iraq by month's end under President Bush's new war plan, a senior defense official said Tuesday. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pledged to hold a vote on the increase, which many Democrats oppose.

Our democracy is but a name. We vote? What does that mean? It means that we choose between two bodies of real, though not avowed, autocrats. We choose between Tweedledum and Tweedledee.

[Never] will the vicious control without the aid of law. Society ever has and must ever have a very large majority who naturally fall into order, social adjustment and a rational, permissible means of life. The disorganized vicious would be far less powerful than the organized vicious, and would soon disappear.

...murder, robbery, pillage, rapine, have often been commended by the ruling powers, not only permitted, but under certain conditions that seemed to work to the advantage of the ruler, this conduct has been deemed worthy of the greatest praise.

The rulers make penal codes for the regulation and control of the earth and all the property thereon — the earth which was made long ages before they were evolved, and will still remain ages after they are dust. Not only do they make these rules to control the earth for their brief, haughty lives, but they provide that it may pass from hand to hand forever. The generations now living, or rather those that are dead and gone, fixed the status of unborn millions, and decreed that they shall have no place to live except upon such terms as may be dictated by those who then controlled the earth. To retain all the means of life in the hands of the few and compel the many to do service to support these few requires the machinery of the state. It is for this that penal laws are made...

The public functionaries are not, as is commonly believed, the guardians of order. Order, which is harmony, doesn't need guardians, precisely because it is order. That which needs guardians is disorder and a disorder which is scandalous, shameful, and humiliating to those of us who weren't born to be slaves, a disorder which reigns over the political and social life of humanity.

To maintain disorder, that is, to maintain political and social inequality, to maintain the privileges of the ruling class and the submission of the ruled, that is why governments, laws, policemen, soldiers, jailers, judges, hangmen, and the whole mob of high and petty functionaries who suck the energies of the humble people are needed. These functionaries don't exist to protect humanity, but to maintain its submission, to keep it enslaved for the benefit of those who have contrived to retain the land and the factories for themselves up to this moment.

...General Tira proposes an even more aggressive political tactic, "We must clandestinely cooperate with Saudi Arabia so that it also persuades the US to strike Iran. For our part, we must prepare an independent military strike by coordinating flights in Iraqi airspace with the US. We should also coordinate with Azerbaijan the use of airbases in its territory and also enlist the support of the Azeri minority in Iran. In addition, we must immediately start preparing for an Iranian response to an attack."

Based on the urgency of General Tira's extraordinary pleas, it is immediately apparent that he has been shocked by the turn of political events inside America. By this time, he has learned from official US sources that the long-anticipated attack against Iran has been shelved because of tectonic shifts in American politics.

Now that the Democrats are back in power, the American public can finally exhale. Bush is doomed. Cheney is on the ropes. Condi is updating her resume while Rove prepares his exodus. Well, such an optimistic outlook is boldly misguided...