Monthly Archives: January 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

November 16, 2001 – Battle of Tora Bora began.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here are some interesting facts:

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

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

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

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

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

Excelsior! and Eureka! 165 Years of California Gold: from Sutter’s Mill to Jennifer Lawrence (January 24, 1848-January 24, 2013)

On January 24, 1848, gold (AU 79 on the Periodic Chart of the Elements) was discovered on the South Branch of the American River at John Augustus Sutter’s Mill in “New Helvetia” (New Switzerland), California.  Sutter’s history kind of set the tone in California for a culture of real estate piracy by “claim jumping” and disregard for any rights except those established by possession of money……

At one time the absolute ruler of what amounted to a private kingdom along the Sacramento River, John Sutter saw his immense wealth and power overrun in the world’s rush to pick California clean of gold.

Sutter was born John Augustus Sutter in Baden, Germany, though his parents had originally come from Switzerland, a lineage of which he was especially proud. In 1834, faced with impossible debt, he decided to try his fortunes in America and, leaving his family in a brother’s care, set sail for New York. There he decided that the West offered him the best opportunity for success, and he moved to Missouri, where for three years he operated as a trader on the Santa Fe Trail.

By 1838, Sutter had determined that Mexican California held the promise of fulfilling his ambitious dreams, and he set off along the Oregon Trail, arriving at Fort Vancouver, near present-day Portland, Oregon, in hopes of finding a ship that would take him to San Francisco Bay. His journey involved detours to the Hawaiian Islands and to a Russian colony at Sitka, Alaska, but Sutter made the most of his wanderings by trading advantageously along the way. When he finally arrived in California in 1839, Sutter met first with the provincial governor in Monterey and secured permission to establish a settlement east of San Francisco (then called Yerba Buena) along the Sacramento River, in an area then occupied only by Indians.

Sutter was granted nearly fifty thousand acres and authorized “to represent in the Establishment of New Helvetia [Sutter’s Swiss-inspired name for his colony] all the laws of the country, to function as political authority and dispenser of justice, in order to prevent the robberies commited by adventurers from the United States, to stop the invasion of savage Indians and the hunting and trapping by companies from the Columbia.” In other words, Sutter was to serve the California authorities as a bulwark against the assorted threats pressing in on them from American-controlled territories to the north and east.

Ironically, as headquarters for his domain, Sutter chose a site on what he named the American River, at its junction with the Sacramento River and near the site of present-day Sacramento. Here, with the help of laborers he had brought with him from Hawaii, he built Sutter’s Fort, a massive adobe structure with walls eighteen feet high and three feet thick. Two years later, in 1841, Sutter expanded his settlement when the Russians abandoned Fort Ross, their outpost north of San Francisco, and offered to sell it to him for thirty thousand dollars. Paying with a note he never honored, Sutter practically dismantled the fort and moved its equipment, livestock and buildings to the Sacramento Valley.

Within just a few years, Sutter had achieved the grand-scale success he long dreamed of: acres of grain, a ten-acre orchard, a herd of thirteen thousand cattle, even two acres of Castile roses. His son came to share in his prosperity in 1844, and the rest of his family soon followed. At the same time, during these years Sutter’s Fort became a regular stop for the increasing number of Americans venturing into California, several of whom Sutter employed. Besides providing him with a profitable source of trade, this steady flow of immigrants provided Sutter with a network of relationships that offered some political protection when the United States seized control of California in 1846, at the outbreak of the Mexican War.

Barely a week before the war’s end, however, there occurred a chance event that would destroy all John Sutter’s achievements and yet at the same time link his name forever to one of the highpoints of American history. On the morning of January 24, 1848, a carpenter named James Marshall, who was building a sawmill for Sutter upstream on the American River near Coloma, looked into the mill’s tailrace to check that it was clear of silt and debris and saw at the water’s bottom nuggets of gold. Marshall took his discovery to Sutter, who consulted an encyclopedia to confirm it and then tried to pledge all his employees to secrecy. But within a few months, word had reached San Francisco and the gold rush was on.

Suddenly all of Sutter’s workmen abandoned him to seek their fortune in the gold fields. Squatters swarmed over his land, destroying crops and butchering his herds. “There is a saying that men will steal everything but a milestone and a millstone,” Sutter later recalled; “They stole my millstones.” By 1852, New Helvetia had been devastated and Sutter was bankrupt. He spent the rest of his life seeking compensation for his losses from the state and federal governments, and died disappointed on a trip to Washington, D.C. in 1880.

On January 24, 2013 at 8:00 p.m.: I took time off from my somewhat manic-depressive studies of Louisiana Civil Law to  go to the Prytania Movie Theatre for a free showing a a movie “Haiti Redux” where I happened to sit next to an Iranian-American student of Real Estate at New York University named Alexander who identified himself as being from Beverly Hills, California.  It seems that one of the Professors from the Real Estate Department at NYU was one of the co-producers of this movie about the efforts of various small academic and artistic groups to help in the reconstruction of Haiti after the January 12, 2013.  They came to New Orleans as a kind of “study of comparative disaster sites” I guess (seven and a half years after Katrina).  

I have previously commented on how Iranians, especially Iranians of the Jewish Faith and sub-ethnicity, have taken over Beverly Hills, so it was a weird triangulation on the world.  The movie itself was slightly interesting but kind of pointless.  Why a bunch of “do gooder” White people from New York need to go down to Haiti to tell them what their “standards” ought to be for everything in life begged (in my opinion) the question of why Haiti is such a basket case of a country in the first place.  

It makes no sense to say that Haiti is the way it is because of White Oppression of Blacks, because Haiti was the SECOND INDEPENDENT NATION IN THE NEW WORLD, after the U.S., to fight for and win its own Independence.  Basically, after the French Revolution had started in the 1790s, the Black Slaves rose up and either slaughtered or exiled the French landowners, and their country has been a living hell ever since.  Coincidence?  Karma?  Genetics?  Some combination of all three?  The movie “Haiti Redux” did not explain.

January 24, 2013, at 10:00 p.m.: Since I was already at the Prytania, and kind of bored and frustrated by the Haiti Redux movie, I decided to stick around for “Silver Linings Playbook”, not having heard or read anything about it in advance except that it had 8 nominations for Academy Awards.  This is only the third movie of Jennifer’s I have seen, but I’m already quite madly in love with her and I am very happy that she has been nominated for “Best Actress” in this piece.  To begin with, the young Katniss Everdeen, I mean Miss Lawrence, outshines the rather more sensationally ballyhooed Kristen Stewart by a factor of roughly 10,000 to 1, both as a genuine actress and a beauty with sex appeal….well, beyond any effect I can describe without using metaphors of NASA technology and intergalactic astronomical explorations.

But the movie Silver Linings Playbook scores a more important victory.  It turns the past year’s penchant for portraying ordinary Middle-Class White people as insane subjects for clinical analysis and institutional confinement into a marvelous romantic comedy.  So of Jennifer’s three movie’s I’ve seen so far: in the HUNGER GAMES, she is a heroine par excellence, a beauty with skills and brains reminiscent of her own real Kentucky frontier heritage and background.  Katniss Everdeen’s mental strength and character in that movie equate with her physical skill and practical experience.  But then in HOUSE AT THE END OF THE STREET, Jennifer’s character, though still exquisite in every way, was drawn into a tragedy of mental illness and depravity of ordinary middle class White People.  This media theme is part of the Western Power-Elite’s current campaign to destroy all vestiges of the America that was pre-1965, pre-Johnson, pre-Vietnam, pre-Johnson-Nixon, pre-Watergate, pre-Nixon-Ford, pre-degenerate malaise, pre-Carter, pre-fake Neo-Con Restoration, pre-Reagan.

But a stroke of genius—you bring Katniss Everdeen together with “Deer-Hunter” and American Icon Robert DeNiro, and you have a recipe for REGENERATING the American Middle Class Dream.  It all started out, depressingly enough, in a mental institution, no Jennifer’s character wasn’t there but she COULD have been—showing yet another real aspect of modern America that men are treated much more harshly for their transgressions than women.  I thought initially it was going to be yet another—everyone who LOOKS American as Apple Pie is Demented movie.  But the movie totally transcended all that and convincingly showed that “Temporary Insanity” is actually pretty normal and that even people who have taken a sampler of the entire menu of the nastiest psychiatric drug menu imposed by Non-American Non-Whites who have their consciousness completely together.

I have this terribly depressing fear that Obama era politics will lead to an Academy Award going either to “Beasts of the Southern Wild” (which at least is incredibly original) or to “Lincoln” which is anything but original and in fact deserves to be panned on every single historical point contained within it, but I’m casting my vote for Silver Linings Playbook and Jennifer Lawrence as the incomparable Tiffany….  OK, I’ve also confessed in the past that I tend to fall in love with any and every girl I meet named Tiffany, but this is a personal hazard of mine which has no bearing on my evaluation of the movie.  Robert DeNiro is the best I’ve seen him in many years, and this movie has truly redemptive potential at a time when America Desperately needs it.  

Strange to think of the similarities between the California Gold Rush and Hollywood Movies as the parallel and independent but key defining features of California culture…. but there they are, separated only by the difference between Northern and Southern California….

A Prayer for True Memory and History on the 206th Anniversary of the Birth of Robert Edward Lee, Commanding General of the Army of Northern Virginia, President of Washington & Lee University

Since December 9, 2012, I have been staying in the French Quarter, about a 20 minutes to half an hour leisurely walk to Lee Circle where a high pedestal support’s a statute of one of Virginia’s most famous sons, forever looking north because “you never turn your back on the enemy.”  My grandparents raised me to celebrate Marse’ Robert’s birthday and remember and study his life and heroism, both before, during and after the War Between the States.  I have never had any problem keeping his memory because I think he represents all the good values that were and ever could be called “American”—he was an exceedingly intelligent man of principles including loyalty and devotion, hard work, individual responsibility, skill and excellence.

This year I have not yet visited Confederate Memorial Hall, just south of Lee Circle.  It is probably the longest I have ever been in New Orleans without paying at least a quick visit, and there are many reasons for this but one is that it is no longer officially called “Confederate Memorial Hall” but has been recently rechristened “Louisiana’s Civil War Museum at Confederate Memorial Hall.”

Nothing is more insulting to Lee’s Memory or to the Heritage of the South in general and the Confederate States of America in particular than to refer to the War of 1861-1865 as “the Civil War.”  From the Southern adn Confederate standpoints, that War was as much the “American Civil War” as World Wars I and II were the “European Civil Wars.”   The analogy is fair enough only to the degree that after World War II, first the European Economic Community (E.E.C.) and then the European Union both sought to transform Europe into a new, single Continental Nation.  

The first movie ever filmed to be seen commercially by more than a million people was D.W. Griffith’s “Birth of a Nation”, released in 1915, based on a historical novel entitled “the Klansman.”  The new nation born during and after the War Between the States was a centralized Republic with a top-heavy Federal Bureaucracy modeled very generally on the economic controls imposed top down from the Imperial Central in the later Roman Empire in a manner which has come to be known as “Byzantine.”

On this 206th Anniversary of the Birth of Robert Edward Lee, son of  Governor Light Horse “Harry” Lee of Virginia, I pray that the honour and integrity of the South will be properly remembered, along with Lee’s individual, unique and irreplaceable, un-reproducable honour and integrity.  

I pray that people will start learning history more fully and accurately, and above all critically, with the understanding that the victors always write history, but that victory in war is not in fact justice in the eyes of God, despite what many of us, including many of us Southerners, believe about the value of “trial-by-battle” in the Mediaeval sense of “Justice by Duel.”  

Even in Mediaeval legal theory, Duels were ONLY fairly calculated to result in a decision by God when the two parties to the duel are equally equipped, armed, trained and skillful.  The armor and the horses had to be comparable and equivalent, and a weaker person had the right to appoint a “champion” to fight in his or her place, as Ilsa von Brabant famously did in Richard Wagner’s opera “Lohengrin” which even preserved the notion of combat only coming “at high noon” so that the sun would be in neither combatant’s eyes at the outset.   The title of one of the finest Western movies about a duel, Gary Cooper’s “High Noon” (1950) also retains this reference to the equality of the Sun God (Shamash) who presided over such duels (judicially approved and jury-supervised “trials-by-combat”) even in Ancient Akkad, Asshur (Assyria), and Babylon.

I pray that even under the Dark Skies of the Obama Presidency and all the propaganda coming out in this day and age, that a more just and inquiring notion of history will prevail in the collective, cultural memory of America, and that the virtue and dignity of the Southern and Confederate Constitutional position be realized and recognized, and the glory given to the Victorious Yankee North be tempered by the reality that northern industrialism produced the same identical level of misery and deprivation among white workers as was chronicled by Charles Dickens in England and Victor Hugo in France.  

I pray that people will understand that if we weep for Fantine and her plight in Les Miserables (published precisely in 1862, during the first full year of the War Between the States), we must also recognize the condition of “Free” labor in the North and Europe was in a hundred ways worse and more depraved than the plight of black slaves in the South.  If in no other, this is true in one major regard: only an insane slaveholder would really work his slaves to death, without caring for them as human beings, in that slaves were wealth and capital, and senselessly to destroy the life or health of a slave was like throwing gold into the sea or burning paper money backed by real gold (unlike the trash Federal Reserve Notes we use today).

By contrast, as shown in Dickens’ writings and Hugo’s, and as analyzed by Karl Marx and Frederich Engels and their followers, “free” laborers in the mid-19th Century in the North had no life-long security whatsoever.  

As soon as the “free laborer’s” strength or health should start to fail, that free laborer’s productivity declined or perhaps he was eaten up by the very machines he tended due to “assumption of the risk” by accepting employment.  The “Free Labor” capitalist therefore had a strong motivation to dismiss his worn out workers and throw them into the streets, a version of the “hellish life” captured in Les Miserables was worse than death itself. This reality was revisited (1998) by Joss Whedon in an Episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer called “Anne” in which the residents of Hell work in a 19th Century style factory until they are exhausted and old (in just a short time as it turns out) and thrown back out on the streets of modern Los Angeles to live as homeless derelicts.

All these realities need to be weighed against the supposed virtuous abolition of slavery. And accordingly, I pray that people will begin to think and remember and reflect not only about the history of the 19th century, but of the 20th and even our own times.  Were we the victors REALLY the more virtuous parties in World Wars I and II, for example?  In World War I, the answer is a fairly certain absolute NO.  In World War II, the mythology has grown into a reality and even a political constitution and ecumenical social theory so thick that it is almost impenetrable.  

But if we look, again, at the details, and if we dare to compare the early German rockets or “Buzz Bombs” sent by Wernher von Braun against London in 1944-45 with the American A-Bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, I think we will see that the American weapons were a far more sinister manifestation of technology.  What about the senseless fire-bombing of Dresden in 1945 when the war was almost over?  

Then if we look at the Soviets, whom we supported, and what they did to their own populations (Stalin’s purge of “the Kulaks” for instance, beginning in 1928), was our side as a whole really better than the Germans?

Even if the worst stories are true about German antisemitism, “ethnic cleansing”, and other population reorganizations and purges, no one can state that the Germans actually moved or relocated anywhere nearly as many millions of people as the Soviets and their allies forcibly relocated from the German sectors of East and West Prussia, Silesia, Posen, Danzig, and Eastern Pomerania, even as millions of Poles were uprooted and moved East to replace the Eastern quarter of Germany, after 1945-46.  

The Germans of the Sudetenland were also expelled from their homes of time immemorial.  The thousand year old Eastern boundary of the German people was moved back across Poland and Czechoslovakia to fit Stalin’s plans.  Again, who was guilty of greater genocidal crimes?  Or did Stalin’s relocations of the Poles, the Belarus, the Ukrainians, and the Germans count for nothing?

An since the war, have not the Allied Powers faithfully reenacted the predictions of perpetual war as framed by George Orwell in “1984“?  Have not the Communists become indistinguishable from the Corporate leaders they supposedly fought to overthrow as Orwell similarly predicted in “Animal Farm“?  Is there not evidence that, at least since Pearl Harbor and possibly since the explosion of the Battleship Maine, the United States Government has staged more than a hundred years of False Flag attacks against its own people to make certain that this condition of perpetual warfare exists and that there are more and more justifications (like the Sandy Hook shootings in Connecticut most recently) to curtail the fundamental freedoms and liberties for which George Washington, and Robert E. Lee, spent their lives fighting?

I pray that Americans will start waking up and thinking about reality, and observe the contradictions inherent in all things, but especially in our official versions of history, and that we will work to examine our past, our present, and our futures to discover and establish deeper and more meaningful truths about the sad story which is the epic of human history.

May everyone in the World in fact look to Robert Edward Lee and the Confederate States of America as emblematic of justice defeated, of liberty lost, and of the dangers of using imbalanced thinking and propaganda as tools of social change. 

As I have written a thousand times if I’ve written it once: Chattel Human Slavery was abolished everywhere in the world (as an openly and officially legal institution, anyhow….) between 1790 and 1930. ONLY in the United States of America did the abolition of legal chattel slavery result in war, and what a coincidence that this happened 13 years after the Communist Manifesto, in a Republican Administration with so many German Communist refugees from Europe in charge, and with Karl Marx’ official blessings and endorsements—none of facts which are EVER taught in American Middle or High School history classes…

Historical Notes for January 17, 2013

Today, January 17, 2013 is a day with historical relevance to many schisms. In A.D. 395, the Emperor Theodosius died in Milan (then known as Mediolanum). His two sons Arcadius and Honorius split the Roman Empire (whose capital was no longer “Rome” but Milan and Constantinople). Then on this day in 1377, almost a thousand years after the division of the Eastern and Western Empires), Pope Gregory XI moved the seat of the papacy back from Avignon to Rome. In 1648, the Roundheads in the Long Parliament voted to terminate negotiations with Charles I, leading to the English Civil War, and one year later, on January of 1649, the execution of King Charles “the Martyr” Stuart. Finally, today is two days before Robert E. Lee’s 206th birthday (January 19, 1807). When Robert E. Lee was my age, 52, he had not yet arrested John Brown or gone to Texas to command Fort Mason, which was to be his last active post as an officer of the United States Army before his major role in history really began after the secession of his native Virginia.
Today is also a day of infamy in two regards: on this day in 1946 the United Nations Security Council held its first session, building towards the establishment of World Government with effective force and power. In a not entirely unrelated event, 45 years later in 1991, President George H.W. Bush, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and head of the C.I.A., falsely elected Vice-President with Ronald W. Reagan who had promised to get the U.S. out of the United Nations in 1980, launched what H.M. King George Bush I had expressly designed as a “New World Order” War with United Nations approval: the Gulf War Desert Storm in Iraq. I was totally opposed to that war and remain totally opposed to all its results and derivatives over the past 23 years of U.S. Empire Building in Western and Central Asia.

The Simple Truth about Congress (and the American Dilemma 2013)

http://unifiedserenity.wordpress.com/2013/01/14/the-truth-about-congress/

The Truth about Congress

Let’s be honest.  Almost nobody approves of Congress.  They have the lowest approval rating of all time, and they should.  This is a great final article by a columnist who recently retired.  It says it all.

Charley Reese’s Final column!

A very interesting column. COMPLETELY NEUTRAL.
Be sure to Read the Poem at the end..

Charley Reese’s final column for the Orlando Sentinel… He has been a journalist for 49 years. He is retiring and this is HIS LAST COLUMN.

Be sure to read the Tax List at the end.

This is about as clear and easy to understand as it can be. The article below is completely neutral, neither anti-republican or democrat. Charlie Reese, a retired reporter for the Orlando Sentinel, has hit the nail directly on the head, defining clearly who it is that in the final analysis must assume responsibility for the judgments made that impact each one of us every day. It’s a short but good read. Worth the time. Worth remembering!
545 vs. 300,000,000 People
-By Charlie Reese

Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.

Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits?

Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?

You and I don’t propose a federal budget. The President does.

You and I don’t have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does.

You and I don’t write the tax code, Congress does.

You and I don’t set fiscal policy, Congress does.

You and I don’t control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does.

One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one President, and nine Supreme Court justices equates to 545 human beings out of the 300 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.

I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central bank.

I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or a President to do one cotton-picking thing. I don’t care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator’s responsibility to determine how he votes.

Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.

What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits.. ( The President can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it.)

The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes. Who is the speaker of the House?( John Boehner. He is the leader of the majority party. He and fellow House members, not the President, can approve any budget they want. ) If the President vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to. [The House has passed a budget but the Senate has not approved a budget in over three years. The President’s proposed budgets have gotten almost unanimous rejections in the Senate in that time. ]

It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted — by present facts — of incompetence and irresponsibility. I can’t think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.

If the tax code is unfair, it’s because they want it unfair.

If the budget is in the red, it’s because they want it in the red.

If the Army & Marines are in Iraq and Afghanistan it’s because they want them in Iraq and Afghanistan ..

If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it’s because they want it that way.

There are no insoluble government problems.

Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power.
Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like “the economy,” “inflation,” or “politics” that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.

Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible. They, and they alone, have the power.

They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses. Provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees… We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess!

Charlie Reese is a former columnist of the Orlando Sentinel Newspaper.

What you do with this article now that you have read it… is up to you.
This might be funny if it weren’t so true.
Be sure to read all the way to the end:

Tax his land,
Tax his bed,
Tax the table,
At which he’s fed.

Tax his tractor,
Tax his mule,
Teach him taxes
Are the rule.

Tax his work,
Tax his pay,
He works for
peanuts anyway!

Tax his cow,
Tax his goat,
Tax his pants,
Tax his coat.

Tax his ties,
Tax his shirt,
Tax his work,
Tax his dirt.

Tax his tobacco,
Tax his drink,
Tax him if he
Tries to think.

Tax his cigars,
Tax his beers,
If he cries
Tax his tears.

Tax his car,
Tax his gas,
Find other ways
To tax his ass.

Tax all he has
Then let him know
That you won’t be done
Till he has no dough.

When he screams and hollers;
Then tax him some more,
Tax him till
He’s good and sore.

Then tax his coffin,
Tax his grave,
Tax the sod in
Which he’s laid…

Put these words
Upon his tomb,
‘Taxes drove me
to my doom…’

When he’s gone,
Do not relax,
Its time to apply
The inheritance tax.
Accounts Receivable Tax
Building Permit Tax
CDL license Tax
Cigarette Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Dog License Tax
Excise Taxes
Federal Income Tax
Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel Permit Tax
Gasoline Tax (currently 44.75 cents per gallon)
Gross Receipts Tax
Hunting License Tax
Inheritance Tax
Inventory Tax
IRS Interest Charges IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
Liquor Tax
Luxury Taxes
Marriage License Tax
Medicare Tax
Personal Property Tax
Property Tax
Real Estate Tax
Service Charge Tax
Social Security Tax
Road Usage Tax
Recreational Vehicle Tax
Sales Tax
School Tax
State Income Tax
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
Telephone Federal Excise Tax
Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax
Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Taxes
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
Telephone Recurring and Nonrecurring Charges Tax
Telephone State and Local Tax
Telephone Usage Charge Tax
Utility Taxes
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax

STILL THINK THIS IS FUNNY?
Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago, & our nation was the most prosperous in the world. We had absolutely no national debt, had the largest middle class in the world, and Mom stayed home to raise the kids.

What in the heck happened? Can you spell ‘politicians?’
I hope this goes around THE USA at least 545 times!!! YOU can help it get there!!!

GO AHEAD. . . BE AN AMERICAN!!!

The Power of Monsanto over State Legislatures: Why would Louisiana Enact a Statute Specifically to Criminalize “Damage to Genetically Engineered Crops”—ordinary Trespass, Theft, Criminal Mischief Laws were not enough? 5 years hard labor away anyone who damages even “Genetically Engineered Crop Information”—whatever that means

Louisiana Revised Statutes                RS §14:56.3 Criminal damage to genetically engineered crops, genetically engineered crop facilities, or genetically engineered crop information

§56.3.  Criminal damage to genetically engineered crops, genetically engineered crop facilities, or genetically engineered crop information

A.  As used in this Section, the following words and phrases shall have the following meanings ascribed to them:

(1)  “Crop” means any product which is grown for food or fiber, and includes food intended for human consumption, food intended for animal consumption, fiber intended for any purpose, and any other agricultural, silvicultural, or aquacultural crop.

(2)  “Crop facility” means any greenhouse, enclosure, building, or other structure which is used in the production of crops.

(3)  “Crop information” means any information about crops and includes records, documents, education materials, or other information concerning research on crops, testing of crops, and production of crops, whether the information is in handwritten, typewritten, printed, or in electronic form.

(4)  “Genetically engineered crop” means any crop which has been altered genetically through selective breeding, interbreeding, crossbreeding, exposure to radiation, exposure to chemicals, introduction of genetic material, or by any other means or process.

B.  Criminal damage to genetically engineered crops is the intentional damaging, by any means, of any genetically engineered crops which are owned by another person, without the consent of the owner.

C.  Criminal damage to genetically engineered crop facilities is the intentional damaging, by any means of any facility used in the production, or storage, or analysis of any genetically engineered crops which are owned by another person, without the consent of the owner.

D.  Criminal damage to genetically engineered crop information is the intentional damaging, by any means of any information concerning the production or analysis of any genetically engineered crops which are owned by another person, without the consent of the owner.

E.  Whoever commits the crime of criminal damage to genetically engineered crops, or the crime of criminal damage to genetically engineered crop facilities, or the crime of criminal damage to genetically engineered crop information shall be fined not more than ten thousand dollars, or imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for not more than five years, or both.  In addition, the court may order a convicted defendant to pay restitution to the victim.

Acts 2001, No. 1081, §1.