Tuesday, June 15, 2004

News from the Happy, Happy, Very Happy Planet
Woof, woof!

I've been reading a little and not writing since the curtain came down on Ronniepalooza here on the Left Coast, in the last moments of the Golden Hour (photographers might check the link).

So either the pressure is on to "produce" (in the publish or perish sense of the word), or I'm healed. Either way, I've compiled a short list of some of the recent glad tidings from the Happy Planet for your reading. Just a sample, and that in and of itself should give pause.

Note that here in California we have the largest prison complex on Earth. And the US is number one now among all "nations" for the per - prosecution and incarceration of said criminals. (dogs) This is that which is done here -- an attitude, a worldview that trickles down, up and sideways in all things governmental, and into our lives through the glass teat (from Harlan Ellison). If they are not locking the dogs up, they are prosecuting them or hunting them down and kicking them like the "criminal dogs" that they say they are. And we all feel so much safer, eh? (Quis custodiet ipso custodes? - which is how my brain remembers the phrase: Who watches the watchers? Apologies to Latin scholars.)

With that in mind, I begin with a short piece from the UK's Guardian. Brig. General Janis Karpinski's statement: here.
Excerpt: " In an interview with British Broadcasting Corp. radio that was broadcast Tuesday, Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski said Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller told her prisoners ``are like dogs, and if you allow them to believe at any point that they are more than a dog then you've lost control of them.''"

Who watches? Some do here.

Since there is always the need to point out to inhabitants of the Happy Planet how their governments are keeping them safe, it becomes daily important to reinforce the fear. The latest from the US DOJ is here: Somali Is Accused of Planning a Terror Attack at a Shopping Center in Ohio (NY Times link). All I've heard on the radio this morning is that the family and friends of the "accused" said he loved "America" and being free here. But you know how AshKKKroft and his gang of thugs are. It's the slammer for you, Bucko! We need incidents...

"All along, along there were incidents and accidents
There were hints and allegations. (Paul Simon - "Call Me Al")

We continue on our tour... It seems the Pentagon has been "spying" on US citizens. Aside from my initial ho-hum response, I wonder how many people understand how this is connected to all things penal here in the US, ... attached to the rulers' mindset -- them and us. Here is the MSNBC link: Intelligence: The Pentagon—Spying in America?. I'm shocked. Deeply, deeply shocked.

Excerpt:"June 21 issue - Last February, two Army counterintelligence agents showed up at the University of Texas law school and demanded to see the roster from a conference on Islamic law held a few days earlier. Their reason: they were trying to track down students who the agents claimed had been asking "suspicious" questions. "I felt like I was in 'Law & Order'," said one student after being grilled by one of the agents. The incident provoked a brief campus uproar, and the Army later admitted the agents had exceeded their authority. But if the Pentagon has its way, the Army may not have to make such amends in the future. Without any public hearing or debate, NEWSWEEK has learned, Defense officials recently slipped a provision into a bill before Congress that could vastly expand the Pentagon's ability to gather intelligence inside the United States, including recruiting citizens as informants.

Ever since the 1970s, when Army intel agents were caught snooping on antiwar protesters, military intel agencies have operated under tight restrictions inside the United States. But the new provision, approved in closed session last month by the Senate Intelligence Committee, would eliminate one big restriction: that they comply with the Privacy Act, a Watergate-era law that requires government officials seeking information from a resident to disclose who they are and what they want the information for. The CIA always has been exempt—although by law it isn't supposed to operate inside the United States. The new provision would now extend the same exemption to Pentagon agencies such as the Defense Intelligence Agency—so they can help track terrorists."
Can you spell "Cointelpro"? ;-) I knew you could.

A long time ago I learned a phrase that I didn't really understand until I was much older. It is: All that which is not forbidden is mandatory. This of course applies to us now ... citizen dogs, under the reign of feeble King George II and his group of power greedy sociopaths.

We've watched for weeks now. Abu Ghraib. (William Rivers Pitt: Nuremburg Revisited) The endless spinning of the abstractions -- torture and humane treatment of "prisoners" (AKA dogs). I think the Wizard of Oz's curtain has been pulled back for some time now, and it's really a hive mind wizard I see, with pus-dripping fangs, and skin covered with festering sores... but that's just me). How much longer can normally reasonable people make excuses for them? I must tell you, this is on my mind here a lot on the Left Coast. Understatement has never been one of my long suits.

Finally, I saw a car on my way home from work on Sunday. On the back were many stickers. The first one that caught my eye said: Tree-hugging dirt worshipper. The other was:

I'll be Post-Feminist when it's the Post-Patriarchy! (The driver and passenger looked like late 20-somethings. It made me smile.)