Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Memorial Day

I've conversed a bit with some folks in the past couple of days, and with others I haven't bothered.  I'm impressed with the real insanity.

There's all kinds of sentimental claptrap about our heroes that have given their lives for our freedom.

Well, I think it's a pretty bad thing for people to get killed for nothing, so in my view, if you actually care about the lives of American soldiers, wouldn't you really care about not having them sent off to die doing useless or even evil things?  But the ones most full of how they love the troops and honor their sacrifices are the most resistant to thinking straight about anything.

Isaiah 14 identifies Satan as the one who weakens the nations, but how does he do that?

By lying.  All lying, including ostensibly patriotic lying, weakens the nation. 

To say that American invaders, occupiers, bombers, and drone assassins are fighting for our freedom or anyone else's is lying.  We clearly understand that Chinese troops doing the same things here would not be fighting for our freedom or for the freedom of their countrymen back home in China.

To say that propping up a corrupt puppet government in Afghanistan keeps Americans free or secure is lying.  The whole thing is so absurd that it would be hard to make it up.  They pay the Taliban and others not to blow up American supply convoys - which is to say that the American taxpayers are paying the Afghan resistance to fight the American occupation army.

To say that TSA checkpoints and other such security protect us from terrorism is lying.  Any terrorist realizes that trying to get past airport security would be much less effective than just blowing up the crowd waiting at the checkpoint.  Nobody is blowing up these wholly unprotected people because nobody wants to.  Indeed, why would terrorists want to blow up airplanes today?  There are all sorts of unprotected targets in the United States of far greater value to a terrorist.  Airport security is like that toll booth in Blazing Saddles.  The movie was kidding.  It was a comedy!  Who knew that America would do the same, in all seriousness?

To say that killing Osama bin Laden was of any use is lying.  If they were concerned about terrorism, they would have hauled bin Laden away and squeezed out of him whatever they could.  Instead, they made sure to kill him immediately, obviously to make sure he DIDN'T talk.  Putting a bullet in bin Laden to make sure he couldn't talk makes no sense if terrorism is your concern.,  It makes a lot of sense if bin Laden's information would have been bad for our rulers.  In fact, it has turned out that bin Laden was in Abottabad because al-Qa'eda's leadership had fouind him to be a nuisance and wanted him out of the way.  Killing him simplified things for his colleagues and shut his mouth for good, and it stirred up trouble for the Americans with Pakistan - and whose interest was served by all of that, exactly?

To say that our enemies are abroad and not at home is lying.  The Constitution has no foreign enemies.  All its enemies are domestic.  Trashing the Bill of Rights, spying on us, groping us at airports, and authorizing the President to grab anyone he wants and lock him up forever without proving anything - Afghan fighters freeing their own country from invaders are doing none of that.  It's the American people and their rulers, and those who purchase them.  The bankers and other financial system crooks have trashed the American economy, causing people to lose their jobs and homes - not people around the world resisting conquest by American troops.

So this Memorial Day, Americans would be wise to remember the obvious things, and repent.  But Memorial Day today is all about forgetting - forgetting reality, forgetting the millions murdered by the imperial war machine, forgetting the American soldiers and their families that have been played for suckers - slopping a lot of sentimental blather on them in order to forget that the war machine that supposedly protects us punishes female soldiers for reporting when they're raped, and drugs up the troops and throws them back in the meat grinder.  And then they dump them in the streets, homeless and jobless.

These truths bear remembering this Memorial Day.  Instead, it's all about lying, and as Isaiah said, lying weakens the nations.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

"Counterfeit Philosophies"

In the days of his wisdom, in Slow Train Coming back in 1978, Bob Dylan said it just right - "Counterfeit philosophies have polluted all of your thoughts."

Like General Motors, the world has a counterfeit philosophy for every taste.  Back in the day in the Soviet Union, Marxist-Leninism was the ideology into which everything needed to fit.  Alexandr Sozhenitsyn has a great dialog on a prisoner transport in The Gulag Archipelago with a faithful Communist who had been flung into camp with all the other politicals.  This - being only real experience - in no way shook his "faith:"

"Have you been in the jug a long time?"
"Long enough."
"Are you past the halfway mark?"
"Look over there: how poverty-stricken our villages are - straw thatch, crooked huts."
"An inheritance from the Tsarist regime."
"Well, but we've already had 30 Soviet years."
"That's an insignificant period historically."
"It's terrible that the collective farmers are starving."
"But have you looked in all their ovens?"
"Just ask any collective farmer in our compartment."
"Everyone in jail is embittered and prejudiced."
"But I've seen collective farms myself."
"That means they were uncharacteristic."
"Just ask the old folks: under the Tsar they were well-fed, well-clothed, and they had so many holidays."
"I'm not even going to ask.  It's a subjective trait of human nature to praise everything about the past.  The cow that died is the cow that gave twice the milk.  And our people don't like holidays.  They like to work."
"But why is there a shortage of bread in many cities?"
"Right before the war, for example."
"Not true!  Before the war, in fact, everything had been worked out."
"Listen, at that time in all the cities on the Volga there were queues of thousands of people . . ."
"Some local failure of supply.  But more likely your memory is failing you."
"But there's a shortage now."
"Old wives' tales.  We have from seven to eight billion poods of grain."
"And the grain itself is rotten."
"Not at all.  We have been successful in developing new varieties of grain."
":But in many shops the shelves are empty."
"Inefficient distribution in local areas.":
"Yes, and the prices are high.  The workers have to do without many things."
"Our prices are more scientifically based than anywhere else."

And on it went.  As Solzhenitsyn explained, the armor-piercing shell to penetrate iron heads has not yet been invented.

In that spirit, I present one of the sharpest pins to puncture one of America's controlling delusions, free market ideology - in biblical terms, the idolatry of free markets - that I have seen to date: