The River

Monday, February 28, 2005

Nice one from Digby

on the bizzaro world of big media "news."

I don't know about you people, but these days everything in our media just comes off as either painfully clueless, willfully ignorant, or cynically manipulative. I'm talking everything.

The Happy Tutor says as much: Is it News to You that We Are Losing our Freedom in Wealth Bondage?


The truth is usually buried, often on purpose, in a sack of shit filled and mislabeled, and sold as news by professional casters of news. Our job is to root around in the crap they write for hire for the half-digested evidence of what is really going on, the inexorable world-historical change from democracy in America to Wealth Bondage, billed as Freedom. News is new, what changes abruptly against a slowly changing or unchanging background of Wealth Bondage. Our most important job as citizen thinkers is to let the news sink into a singsong, and listen for the drone of the engines underneath it, the money engines, that push news, or war, or legislation, like any other product.

In the post linked at the top, Kabuki Ethics, Digby has the impertinence to ask why the shabby singsong-and-dance has shied away from the Gannon/Guckert fiasco.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Damn, there is a great piece on growing up, music and literary obsessions, and becoming a writer by Jonathen Lethem in this week's New Yorker, but it's not offered online. Catch it if you can. If you go to the library, check for a New Yorker story from a few weeks ago on Hayao Miyazaki, the maker of great Japanese animanted films such as Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, and My Neighbor Totoro.

And, holy shite, look what one can find without even trying: Jonathen Lethem on the book "Dylan's Vision of Sin". I haven't read it yet (I just found it), but it's gotta be worthwhile to The River readers. We can thank the person who did this site

Friday, February 18, 2005

Wait a minute. Whoa.

There is no war on terror
There is no social security crisis
There was no war on (some) drugs
There is no United states
There is no representative Federal government
There is no Left
There is no Right
There is no free press (unless ad-free)
There is no public (unless Left-, Right-, and ad-free)

There is fascism/tyranny
There is freedom (Left-, Right-, and ad-free)

There is you
There is me

(On a good day)

And that’s enough

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Whatever It Is I'm Against It

Good site. Witty.

Also, congrats to Harry on the Menlo mention. Well deserved. Good site. Witty.

As for this site, not so good. Not so witty. Rather dead. Will have to do something about that. Eventually. Thanks for checkin in.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Oh hell yes

Discordian enlightenment

By Harry

Mine came when I woke up one day in the middle of work and shouted, "holy shit! I've been thinking the way I'm supposed to!". It was true because I had to leave in hurry. My colleagues all stood up simultaneously and advanced on me with grim intent. I fled the office habitat, spent the next five hours giggling and crying uncontrollably, dancing down the street and telling the pigeons how much I cared.


(now back to that piece on enterprise-level solutions)

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

A must-read from xymphora


The ghastly acceleration of violent, inexplicable and seemingly 'pointless' crimes by Right Men in this century - and their hideous magnification into mass murders and war crimes by Right Men in governments - indicate the prevalence of this type of self-hypnosis and what Van Vogt calls 'the inner horror' that accompanies it. This 'inner horror' is a sense of total helplessness combined with the certainty of always being Right. It seems paradoxical, but the more totally Right a man becomes, the more helpless he also becomes. This is because being Right means 'knowing' (gnosis) and 'knowing' is understanding The 'Real' Universe. Since The 'Real' Universe is, by definition, 'objective' and 'outside us' and 'not our creation,' we are made puny by it. We cannot act but only re-act - as The 'Real' Universe pushes us, we push back. But it is bigger, so we will lose eventually. Our only defense is in being Right and fighting as dirty as possible.

This, I think, is in succinct form the philosophy of Adolph Hitler. It is the philosophy of the Marquis de Sade, and of any rapist or thug you can find in any prison in the world. Where Single Vision reigns - where The 'Real' Universe is outside us and impersonal - this shadow-world of violence and horror follows in its wake."

"Our only defense is in being Right and fighting as dirty as possible." is as good a summary as any of the Bush Administration world-view of the 'war on terror'...(more)

See also this on the election farce in Iraq.

And this on Israel's willingness to terrorize its own citizens to further its plans for domination.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Highlights from today's Ironic Times

Bush Sets Busy Agenda for
Second Term

“Plunge world into final conflict where righteous ascend to heaven” just one of many ambitious goals.

Study: 9.3 Million Victims of
Identity Theft Last Year

But their increased purchasing helped boost the economy.

More Journalists Reportedly
On White House Payroll

All employees of Fox News, The Washington Times, The New York Post, eighty-nine other newspapers and magazines, plus seventy-seven op-ed columnists, fifty-four political cartoonists, and three hundred and twenty-six radio personalities were paid a total of $13.2 billion to promote Bush agenda.

Homeland Security Drops Terror
Alert Level Chart

“It served its purpose before the election,” says spokesman.


Thursday, February 03, 2005

Children react to the sight of the U.S. President during his State of the Union address.


These are now two of my prize possessions, thanks to the birthday generosity of my wife and two daughters. Even if you don't love the Peanuts, you've got to admire the design, care and attention to detail of these books. That is if you have a thing for books, which I most definitely do.

Schulz was a genius, and probably my first, unforgettable encounter with such. I collected the Fawcett paperbacks as 9-10 year old kid.

I identified a bit too heavily, no doubt, with Charlie Brown. Hey, I was and am the youngest of five kids; losing was my lot, and I just didn't get it. Like Charlie Brown, I was perpetually befuddled by others' behavior.

Owning these books is like finally kicking the football, a reminder that things do take flight, even for Charlie Brown, because he -- and Charles Schulz -- put in the hours, the effort, and against the odds, struck a blow.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Heard Arlen Spector on NPR this morning say the Democrats were trying to make torture a "wedge issue" in the Gonzales AG nomination process.

Does Arlen really want to go there? Does he understand what he's saying? If torture is a wedge issue, then you have to have two sides -- on one side of the wedge would be those who approve of torture and on the other those who do not.

Vote accordingly, Senators. Show us how you feel about torture. Arlen, your statements have already revealed as much.


Gonzales OK could be seen as OK for torture rules

Robert Collier, SF Chronicle Staff Writer


The key document in the case against Gonzales is a memo he wrote Bush on Jan. 25, 2002, advising that the Geneva Conventions were inapplicable to captured members of al Qaeda or other suspected terrorists detained abroad.

Gonzales' legal finding reversed long-standing U.S. policy and military code, and it came to govern U.S. military interrogations in the ensuing two years -- the same period as abuses at Abu Ghraib and by U.S. forces in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. A Pentagon-appointed committee headed by former Defense Secretary James Schlesinger blamed Gonzales' finding for helping to create a permissive atmosphere that led to these abuses.

In the Senate hearings, lawmakers grilled Gonzales on whether it is legally permissible for U.S. personnel to engage in "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment" of noncitizens detained outside of the United States. Gonzales replied that "aliens interrogated by the United States outside the United States enjoy no substantive rights" under the U.S. Constitution or the Convention Against Torture, a treaty ratified by the Senate in 1994 that bans all interrogation methods that cause severe pain or discomfort. In a written response to California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who requested further clarification, Gonzales said, "there is no legal obligation under the Convention Against Torture on cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment with respect to aliens overseas."