Cartel of Defiance

cartel of defiance (noun): 1. In medieval combat, a formal declaration, delivered by herald, of a combatant's intention to fight and refusal to submit. 2. An electronic assemblage of engaged and enraged citizens. 3. An intertextual mode of reading, writing, and thinking that puts the current political, cultural, and personal moment in dialogue with text/art from the past in counterargument to the ahistorical Memory Hole into which America seems to have slipped.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

"Wheels within wheels"

"After this introductory preface, the three chums informed Mr. Pickwick, in a breath, that money was, in the Fleet, just what money was out of it." -- Pickwick Papers, Chapter 42

[the following selections all taken from today's San Jose Mercury News]

"The cost of the war in Iraq is skyrocketing, largely because tanks, trucks, helicopters and other military gear are wearing out in Iraq's harsh climate and have to be replaced faster than ever before, a review of military budgets shows. The Pentagon's cost for new weapons and equipment has risen sharply since U.S. troops entered Iraq, from about $8 billion in 2003 to more than $24 billion this year, according to statistics compiled by the Congressional Research Service. As a percentage, new equipment now accounts for 20 percent of military expenditures in Iraq and Afghanistan. The cost of replacing equipment is one of the factors likely to make Iraq one of the costliest military engagements in U.S. history." ("Fresh Military Gear Drives Up War Costs: Iraq's Climate Hard on Equipment")

"With oil prices above $70 a barrel fouling the world economy, dismay is focusing on Iraq, whose exports have slipped to their lowest levels since the 2003 invasion. Contrary to optimistic expectations, Iraq's oil production has slipped further and further since the U.S.-led invasion, to an average of 2 million barrels a day. . . . Those figures suggest misplaced optimism by Iraq's oil ministry, which in 2005 predicted crude production would reach 2.5 million or even 3 million barrels a day by the end of 2006. Analysts have called that prediction a pipe dream. Insurgents have been so deft at shutting down the pipelines from the giant fields aroud the northern city of Kirkuk that Iraq authorities tried to move crude by truck to its refineries and crude-burning power plants. But after insurgents attacked the trucks, drivers became difficult to recruit and the oil ministry was forced to cut production." ("Iraq's Failure at Oil Exports a Key to Crunch")

"The U.N. food agency said Friday that it is cutting rations in half for about 3 million refugees in Sudan's war-ravaged Darfur region because of a shortage of money, calling it 'scandalous' that it has to stretch out supplies while it pleads for funds. The World Food Program said it would reduce food handouts to 1,050 calories a person starting Monday -- down from the 2,1000 calories that is considered the daily mininum requirement, meaning some of those being helped could eventually face starvation. . . . Donor governments have given the World Food Program only $238 million of the $746 million the agency needs this year for the whole of Sudan, said WFP official Christiane Berthiaume." ("Money Shortage Forcing U.N. to Cut Food Aid to Sudan by Half")

"Lt. Col. Steven L. Jordan faces six charges, including allegations that between September 2003 and December 2004 he oppressed Iraqi detainess 'by subjecting them to forced nudity and intimidation by military walking dogs' and later repeatedly lied about his knowledge of any such abuse, according to the Army. Jordan would become the highest-ranking Army officer tried in the abuses at Abu Ghurayb. . . . Unrelated to the prisoner abuse, Jordan was also charged with fraud for submitting receipts for car repairs that were several hundred dollars more than the actual cost of the repairs." ("No. 2 Interrogation Officer Charged in Iraq Prison Abuse")

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Fixer

"Sometimes con mobs operate through one fixer who buys protection wholesale, so to speak, for all types of criminals. This is likely to be the case in cities under 30,000 in population, where one man handles all types of protection for a price. More often, however, they locate the big store in a community permanently, say, as a merchant might locate a dry-gods store there. This means that they must have sound connections with the forces of law and order--connections which can be depended upon to withstand stormy times. It also means that often the fixer must have a specialized technique for this type of work--fixing con touches. Hence, con men sometimes depend upon one powerful fixer who works constantly in their interests for a stipulated percentage--usually fifty per cent of the insideman's share after he has paid off the necessary expenses incidental to playing the mark."

-- David W. Maurer, The Big Con, Ch. 7 (1940)

Sunday, April 23, 2006

real horrorshow

a clockwork orange

"Nobody likes to see violence on the TV screens. Nobody wants to see little children blown up when a U.S. soldier is trying to give them candy. Nobody likes to see innocent women die at the hands of suicide bombers. It breaks our heart." -- George W. Bush, "President Bush Discusses Global War on Terror" 4.6.06

"It's funny how the colours of the real world only seem really real when you viddy them on the screen."-- Alex, A Clockwork Orange (1971)

Thursday, April 20, 2006

freudian slip?

MCCLELLAN: You have accomplished a lot over the last several years with this team. And I have been honored and grateful to be a small part of a terrific and talented team of really good people. Our relationship began back in Texas, and I look forward to continuing it, particularly when we are both back in Texas.

BUSH: That's right.

MCCLELLAN: Although I hope to get there before you. (laughter)

--AP 4.19.06

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

all work and no play

here's donny!
"Here's Donny! In His Defense, a Show Is Born," NYTimes, 4.19.06

here's johnny!
"Here's Johnny!" The Shining (1980)

murdeR was the Case

WENDY: Danny? Hon?
TONY: Danny's not here, Mrs. Torrance.

-- The Shining (1980)

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

a right witty scholar

Hoopsa boyaboy hoopsa! Hoopsa boyaboy hoopsa! Hoopsa boyaboy hoopsa!
--James Joyce, Ulysses, "Oxen of the Sun" 14.5-6

in a world of shit

what is your major malfunction?

Colonel: Marine, what is that button on your body armor?
Private Joker: A peace symbol, sir.
Colonel: Where'd you get it?
Private Joker: I don't remember, sir.
Colonel: What is that you've got written on your helmet?
Private Joker: "Born to Kill", sir.
Colonel: You write "Born to Kill" on your helmet and you wear a peace button. What's that supposed to be, some kind of sick joke?
Private Joker: No, sir.
Colonel: You'd better get your head and your ass wired together, or I will take a giant shit on you.
Private Joker: Yes, sir.
Colonel: Now answer my question or you'll be standing tall before the man.
Private Joker: I think I was trying to suggest something about the duality of man, sir.
Colonel: The what?
Private Joker: The duality of man. The Jungian thing, sir.
Colonel: Whose side are you on, son?
Private Joker: Our side, sir.
Colonel: Don't you love your country?
Private Joker: Yes, sir.
Colonel: Then how about getting with the program? Why don't you jump on the team and come on in for the big win?
Private Joker: Yes, sir.
Colonel: Son, all I've ever asked of my marines is that they obey my orders as they would the word of God. We are here to help the Vietnamese, because inside every gook there is an American trying to get out. It's a hardball world, son. We've gotta keep our heads until this peace craze blows over.
Private Joker: Aye-aye, sir.

--Full Metal Jacket (1987)

Saturday, April 15, 2006

In Two Acts

Office of Intelligence and Analysis

Homeland Security Assessment

(U-FOUO) Preventing Attacks by Animal Rights Extremists and Eco-Terrorists: Fundamentals of Corporate Security

13 April 2006


(U) Scope

(U-FOUO) Attacks against corporations by animal rights extremists and eco-terrorists are costly to the targeted company and, over time, can undermine confidence in the economy.

Your commie has no regard for human life, not even his own.

Within this context, the goal of eco-terrorists and animal rights extremists is to disrupt and ultimately shut down corporations that are perceived to violate the ideology of the terrorist organizations.

That's the way your hard core commie works.

Although we have no specific, credible information at this time suggesting animal rights extremists and eco-terrorists are planning to target known corporations, ...

The enemy may come individually, or he may come in strength. He may even come in the uniform of our own troops. But however he comes we must stop him.

... we encourage private sector owners and operators to remain vigilant, report suspicious activity, and continue to enhance protective measures.

Now, I am going to give you three simple rules. First, trust no one, whatever his uniform or rank, unless he is known to you personally. Second, anyone or anything that approaches within 200 yards of the perimeter is to be fired upon. Third, if in doubt, shoot first, and ask questions afterwards. I would sooner accept a few casualties through accident than lose the entire base and its personnel through carelessness.


DHS document (at the TPM Document Collection)

Dr. Strangelove script

Learn more about how you can help stop the terrorists and extremists.

UPDATE (4/17/6) by &y:

Thursday, April 13, 2006

homeland security

homeland security

ATF agents are always on alert for anything suspicious — including ninjas.

Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearm agents, on campus Tuesday for Project Safe Neighborhoods training, detained a “suspicious individual” near the Georgia Center, University Police Chief Jimmy Williamson said.

Jeremiah Ransom, a sophomore from Macon, was leaving a Wesley Foundation pirate vs. ninja event when he was detained.

After being held in investigative detention, he was found to have violated no criminal laws and was not arrested.

“It was surreal,” Ransom said. “I was jogging from Wesley to Snelling when I heard someone yell ‘freeze.’”

Ransom said he thought a friend was playing a joke before he realized officers had guns drawn and pointed at him.

ATF agents had noticed Ransom’s suspicious behavior and clothing and gave chase, apprehending him, Williamson said.

“Agents noticed someone wearing a bandanna across the face and acting in a somewhat suspicious manner, peeping around the corner,” said ATF special agent in charge Vanessa McLemore.

Ransom was wearing black sweatpants and an athletic T-shirt with one red bandanna covering the bottom half of his face and another covering the top of his head, Williamson said.

“Seeing someone with something across the face, from a federal standpoint — that’s not right,” McLemore said, explaining why agents believed something to be amiss.

Agents noticed Ransom peering around a corner and said when police sirens sounded, he took off running.

After chasing Ransom and identifying themselves, ATF agents detained him, turning him over once University Police arrived, McLemore said.

Ransom said Williamson told him the incident should not have been handled in such a manner and he would file a complaint with the ATF.

“I was in shock, to say the least,” Ransom said.

--"ATF rids Univ. of ninja threat," The Red and Black, 4/12/06

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

8 little words (or, "Back! Caught You Looking For the Same Thing")

Hey, how do you like this? A whole front page expose by the Washington Post on "we have found the weapons of mass destruction" (my dkos signature).


Sunday, April 09, 2006

interior monologue 4.09

Observing me, the young lady came over and asked me did I wish to buy anything. The tone of her voice was not encouraging; she seemed to have spoken to me out of a sense of duty. I looked humbly at the great jars that stood like eastern guards at either side of the dark entrance to the stall and murmured:

'No, thank you.'

The young lady changed the position of one of the vases and went back to the two young men. They began to talk of the same subject. Once or twice the young lady glanced at me over her shoulder.

I lingered before her stall, though I knew my stay was useless, to make my interest in her wares seem the more real. Then I turned away slowly and walked down the middle of the bazaar. I allowed the two pennies to fall against the sixpence in my pocket. I heard a voice call from one end of the gallery that the light was out. The upper part of the hall was now completely dark.

Gazing up into the darkness I saw myself as a creature driven and derided by vanity; and my eyes burned with anguish and anger.

--James Joyce, "Araby"

Friday, April 07, 2006


a blue French telegram, curiosity to show: Nother dying come home father.
-- James Joyce, Ulysses

"The attacks came as the American ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, said in an interview with the BBC that if a unified government was not formed soon, a sectarian war could erupt in Iraq and that such a war could engulf the entire Middle East."
-- Edward Wong, "Suicide Bombers Kill at Least 71 at Shiite Mosque" NY Times, April 8

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Orwell #11

In the case of a word like democracy, not only is there no agreed definition, but the attempt to make one is resisted from all sides. It is almost universally felt that when we call a country democratic we are praising it; consequently the defenders of every kind of regime claim that it is a democracy, and fear that they might have to stop using the word if it were tied down to any one meaning. -- "Politics and the English Language"

world leader pretend

world leader pretend

Needling press and politicians goes over well, of course. But there are moments when audiences are left wondering just what he's talking about. At Freedom House, Bush called on a member of the audience, then, before the man could ask a question, segued into his plans to leave for a summit in Cancun, Mexico.

"No Speedo suit here," Bush declared. "Thankfully."

The questioner, unsure if Bush was done, waited patiently. "Ready?" the man finally asked.

"Yes," Bush said. "Sorry to interrupt you. Just testing your concentration."

--Washington Post, "The President as Average Joe" (4/1/06)

Saturday, April 01, 2006

cry, the beloved country

"One of the great things about America, one of the beauties of our country, is that when we see a young, innocent child blown up by an IED, we cry."
--George W. Bush, 3/29/06

Man (1938)

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