Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Limits of Evil

This is a remarkable document, wherein leading Americans push the idea of "America good, Communists bad."  While this may have been plausible, if believable, when the document was made, what is remarkable that from point to point this could be a critique of the USA.  The on-air personalities extol freedom, but each is smoking a cigarette (social conditioning).  They claim communists kill unliked leaders (just after showing Kennedy) which in this era of "We came We saw He died" might be a bit much.  They condemn election fraud.  Sheesh!

Their definition of what is bad about communism sounds spot on regarding the current American project.  this is a useful watch.

Why has USA changed so much?  Pope John Paul II wrote a book that might relate to this a while back, called Memory and Identity.  For a man who saw both Nazism and Communism, and worked under both, resisted under both, he has plenty to say.  The limits of evil are the good.  And what is good?  This Pope was no friend to tyrants, although tyrants strain to call him friend.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

My First Time In Vietnam

In April 2010 I took my first visit to Vietnam.  Everywhere I went, people would ask "Is this your first visit to Vietnam?"  I would reply "Yes.  My government offered to pay my way for a visit in 1973, but I declined."

In one conversation a fellow nodded with a grin and said "Draft dodger.  Canada?"  I quickly corrected him.  "No one is forced into the military.  Anyone who is a conscientious objector does not have to go.  No prison, no Canada."  This he found quite disturbing.  "They just do not know..." I said.

Vietnam is much better now that the American invaders are gone.

Saigon, 2nd Sunday of Easter, April 2010
Readings: Acts 5:27-32

Monday, February 27, 2012

هدف قرار دادن ایران

Iran has no nuke weapon program, according to USA intelligence agencies.

Casual conversation that goes unchallenged in USA...

And what is curious is the idea that USA has no hegemonical interests in maintaining troops in over 150 countries around the world.

Here is the people he wants to ethnically cleanse...

And see how tense situation between the dreaded police and pro-freedom protestors is sorted out...

They seem so rational.  I'd rather trade with them than kill them.  I bet they would like to trade with us.  But not missiles.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Manufactured Consent

Noam Chomsky has written a fine book on manufactured consent, wherein we are manipulated into thinking things are one way, when they are not.

Here is a Iraqi veteran taking on warmonger John Bolton.  Bolton responds that people who commit war crimes are prosecuted among the USA forces.  This is demonstrably not true.  But set that aside, and watch the video to the end.  There is a surprising element...

As to Chomsky, here is his book...

Saturday, February 25, 2012

War on Syria

Since the false information running up to the USA unprovoked invasion of Iraq worked so well, the USA Government is actively doing it again, this time in Syria.  The USGovt has manufactured false evidence and put it out there.  Some people in a bar took it apart, and proved it nonsense.  How long will google earth be tolerated by the powers that be?

Friday, February 24, 2012

Marching On Iran Via Syria

Time to check in on conscientious objection,  cuz the draft is getting closer...

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

ProWar Catholics

Christopher Manion does a splendid job putting the Bishops' pickle in perspective over at Crisis magazine. I even say so in the comments, and then noted the pass prowar Catholics get... which in turn brought an instant troll response, see here:

    • Absolutely splendid... but they will divide and conquer us over war... the church is clear, although heretofore ineffective, on abortion, but gives politicians a complete pass on war.  The argument is abortion is always wrong, and war is a matter of prudential judgment.  Catholics at the social justice picnic went from the tendentious prudential judgment abortion (indirect, non-intended death of a child to save a mother) to total license.  So it is with pro-war Catholics: from tendentious prudential judgment exceptions to total license.  Until his Bishop denies Santorum communion, the battle will not be engaged.  (And note, Santorum does vote for taxpayer funding of abortifacients, but being prowar, he gets a pass.)  Bernardin had it right, and he also had the fight.  Unless we confess all of our sins, we'll lose.
    • Carl
      Your post is so absurd. 

      Then our US Constitution is "prowar" too.
      *  Article I Section eight gives the power to Congress to declare and fund wars
      *  Article II Section two gives the President the title of Commander and Chief

      *  abortion is  non-negotiable
      *  The  Church respects the right of the state to declare war---self defense
    • Carl
      Really, and Iran has no history of being provocatively hostile to the US and it's  neighbors?
      *   It hasn't called for the destruction of Israel
      *   Nuclear Energy for consumer use is their only purpose? LOL
      *   What about the Nuclear arms race?  It's OK, for Arabs?
    • john

      You could not have done a better job of illustrating exactly what I am saying.


How the war powers clause in the US Constitution relates to Catholic moral teaching is hard to perceive, but what is certainly clear is, whatever Iran's sins may be, under no circumstances is one ever allowed to do evil in response to evil.

So Let's look at Santorum in his own words...

"From a governmental point of view, I vote for contraception."  He repeats his support of abortifacients, in violation of church moral teaching, in which he is automatically excommunicated.  Santorum knows the church teaching on abortifacients, and he has voted for billions on this.  So far Santorum gets a pass, along with the liberals, on this point.

So let's go to Santorum on war -

He repeats his support of murder, in violation of church moral teaching, in which he is automatically excommunicated.  He hides behind tendentious arguments, just as pro-abortion people do.   But note here, what the Chairman of the joints chiefs of staff, among others, has to say about the Iran "threat."

Wow.  There is no threat.  But people have been conditioned to believe otherwise, and politicians come along and position themselves to feed off ignorance and selfishness.  The people in Pennsylvania got to know Santorum and overwhelmingly rejected him.  His Bishop ought to get to know him.

If the Bishops are going to clean house, then they ought to take care of this other mess at the same time.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Another Film Reality

It is important to note that once war is gotten into, the getting out of it is very hard indeed.  Americans ought to consider long and hard these wars they are initiating, because ending them is nasty business indeed.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Better Than Spielberg

Here is a movie made right after WWII, focussing on the rapid, opportunistic espionage advanced by the USA forces.  The movie is extremely well made, although I've need heard of anyone listed as involved int he creation.  Since the movie starts and ends with a tribute to spies, and deals with, among other things, loyalties, I suspect it was a CIA creation.  If so, good work, boys.

Conversations in the movie get to loyalties and motivations, always an interesting topic.

The "production values" are superior to Saving Private Ryan since the producers had the actual bombed out buildings in German cities and plenty of real tanks and trucks and countless extras who were actually there and knew what it was like.

Probably unintended is how the movie shows the very people who ruined Germany, the security services, were active until the very end, and still shooting and hanging up to the last minute.  Both sides had officers willing to sacrifice people because it was necessary in war. Something to keep in mind as we create more and more security services in USA.

I don't want to be a spoiler, but there is a tension in the movie that is superbly delivered.  I spent the time watching the movie experiencing this tension, which no doubt well suggests the tension spies experience.  Youtube, 1.5 hours, enjoy.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Dorothy Day Catholic Worker Anarchists

Here is a website with a clip of an interview with Dorothy Day mentioning nonviolence, cooperatives, anarchy, peace movement and, don't miss it, avoiding the charging of interest.

Here is another, by way of introduction.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A General Who Is On Your Team

Note the point at which this General talks about the state having a monopoly on violence (Weber's definition).  This is not in any constitution of any state, but it is a guiding principle of those who command in the name of the state.  Ultimately, the answer is violence.  People applaud because his violence is on their side.  How about government without violence?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Life of a Slave Girl

Dover has put out a reprint of an 1861 book by a former fugitive slave, and her life.  It does tell a story of horror, and she takes you there where she was, and how she lived.  How to live and the choices made in such horror, and how other people behave in such a malformed society is especially good in this book.

She goes on to talk about the harm done to the slave holders, how the very fact of owning slaves causes rot within the families of the slave holders.

Her observations on the Nat Turner episode are a caution for today.  Slavery concentrated power in the hands of a few by taking the earnings of the slaves and giving it to the master.  This wealth was dissipated on malinvestment, and eventually war (but this whole story is before the civil war.)  The poor whites who could find no work, for slaves did it all, lived in misery in the backwoods.  If and when there was a uppity slave, or even a hint of rebellion, they would pour out of the woods to punish the blacks and defend the system that keeps them in poverty.

We see this today in the TSA, the victims supporting the system that traps them.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Meet My Daughter, Razia

Mahatma Gandhi had a nice teaching: treat every female as a sister, a daughter or a mother, depending on her age, except for your wife, who is unique among all women.  That rather clarifies relationships.

So this girl is my daughter.  I've never met her, but my tax dollars paid for the phosphorus rocket that entered her house as part of the USA-led criminal invasion of Afghanistan, for oil.

Phosphorus will not quit burning, so once it was on her, the burning continued all the way to the her bones, and all the way to the hospital.

Naturally, those who fired the weapon are not about to take responsibility.

A U.S. military spokeswoman with NATO's security force said military officials can't be certain whether it was their own round or an enemy round that hit Razia's house.
"Either scenario is possible, and equally regrettable," Maj. Jennifer Willis said. "One thing is certain: Razia will have the best care that we can give her."

Read more:,2933,528504,00.html#ixzz1mNaStdtf

Guess which side has phosphorus rockets, and which side does not...  And note there is no reflection on the question as to why we are in Afghanistan.  But gee, isn't this girl lucky to have USA on her side?

We are in Afghanistan so women can go to school and, ummm.. a, for the children.  That's it.  And oil.  We could just buy the oil, but then there would be no conflict, and with no conflict there is no command, and no command there is no army, etc...

Because this man's daughter is not safe, mine are not safe.  As the American bishops teach us their role is  to advance the democratic party agenda, they fail to notice the two Catholic candidates are calling for war, more war, in violation of church moral teaching.

I doubt God-became-man, was betrayed, crucified, died and was buried, and rose again so we could have single-payer health care.  I think He died because there are people in the world who set little girls on fire and then call themselves good.  I think He died to give an example of how to live and what is good. He clearly said no to all of this war. In His case, He did care about the children.  And the adults.

I was in Vietnam in 2010, where I met many daughters, although I'd never been there before.  My government drafted me to go, but I declined on conscientious objection grounds.  Daughters were not safe when the USA military was in Vietnam.  In 2010, with no USA military, daughters were safe.

In 1 Samuel 8, God tells the Israelites if they demand to have a king, their daughters will not be safe.  They reject God's advice, and things go bad.  God advises no-king (an-archy) and the Israelites reject it.

That may be the first recorded instance, but it is a common event in history.

So meet my eight year old daughter Razia.  She was not safe. That's me, her father taking care of her after he could not stop a US-delivered phosphorus rocket came into her home.  I have many daughters in Afghanistan, although I've never been there myself.  They are not safe either.  And as long as these daughters are not safe, mine are not safe either.  Psalm 146, put not your trust in princes...

Monday, February 13, 2012

It Already Begins...

Congress passed, and the president signed, a bill that allows the military to arrest and indefinitely detain, gitmo style, USA citizens las New years Eve.

This of course puts the army in the position of the Roman legions who could then, as is the case now, take over the government.

Now comes an article form an active duty mid-level officer, telling us who the good generals are, and who the bad ones are.  He names names as to "who lost" Iraq and Afghanistan.  Wow.  That did not take long.  The soldiers are calling for who they want to lead us.  Lead us all.

Note he does not say our invasion of those countries are wrong, he is just mentioning his fave generals.

Nor does he note where we get our generals.  The president nominates who he wants, and the congress either confirms or denies them.  Our generals are political appointees.  The president can fire any general he has appointed. Any time he wants.  That is civilian control.

The officer above names current good-guy generals.  What about the past good guys?  There has never been a Bush war where the standing general for the given theatre did not object to the war plans of a Bush.  In every instance that general was relieved of command.  Congress ought to have called those generals in and asked "how come?" Note the officer above is not talking about generals to smart to get into stupid wars, the officer want generals who win wars.

Note he also presumes we would have won those wars if we just had the right generals.  Where have we heard that before?

Nor does he note the founders of this country were against a standing army, because, umm... inevitably, in history, there comes a military takeover.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

War, Spies and Cultural Understandings

Here is episode 7 of a 12 part series on Soviet TV from 1973 telling a story of a top Soviet Agent working in Hitler's secret service. being Russian, and 1973, it is black and white and in Russian, but it has English subtitles.  The entire thing is fascinating, but episode 7 is particularly good as people argue politics, right and wrong, from various viewpoints.  The Soviet view of USA is especially good, and the perfidy of USA CIA, the story of which must be classified in USA but not in Russia, is very uninteresting, but not surprising, if true. Even Switzerland neutrality figures in.

One aspect is just how much harm is done by so many competing factions, especially as they get closer to losing.  A cornered dog, and all that.  It's a little over an hour, but worth the4 viewing.  This was put out by the Russian Communist party in 1973, which gives you a good sense of their view of the world at that time.  I was visiting Soviet ships visiting Seattle circa 71, 72, 73... and this seems more liberal than I recall...  but them the sailors were surprisingly liberal, in any case not as USA media portrayed them.  Of course.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

King of the Raft

Nonviolence does not mean inactivity, and pacifism does not mean passivism.  Robust activity among willing participants is nonviolent, and when someone initiates aggression often this just means "game on."

When the younger set is disrespectful of their elders at say a family reunion, then it is incumbent on the elders to pacify the young.  Even if it means throwing them all off the raft.  Then anarchy is not necessary, because if you are the only one, then, sure, you can be king.

Of course the little snots may take your swim trunks with them as they retreat to bind their wounds, but there is no doubt as to who has pacified whom.