Tuesday, April 28, 2009

You Can't Fly Over a Turkey Farm

Predator over New York? No, just a stupid decision.

Turkeys have an innate fear and instinctual reaction to shadows form things flying over them.

In the wild, poults (youngens) will run into the bushes or under a tree and hide from the predator that the shadow indicates. When you create an artificially dense population like a turkey farm they do the same thing. Problem is there are hundreds of them doing it. So they mass together and squash each other.

Thus poultry farms are noted on flight maps for air planes. A turkey can't tell the difference between a raptor, a sack floating in the wind, a small plane, a kite, or any other shadow producing phenomena.

Us humans have an innate fear of the unknown agent. The rustle of the bushes in the night might mean tiger. Lighting striking you flock might mean a god is angry. Politicos and demagogues have played on this weakness for thousands of years. For the last decade we have had more than our share of the misuse of this fear.

So when some dumb ass, unthinking, asshole authorized a low level fly over ground zero for 9/11 of a 747 being chased by an F-16 the city was ripe to react to the unknown agent fear in us. OK , we all are turkeys in the sense that threatened we run for cover. You should have seen me diving for cover because of my startle response after I got back from Nam.

We have been condition by real events and the use of the real events to scare us by thugs. It will take time to recover. It doesn't help that Idiots float those shadows over us out their ignorance.
Yesterday's dumb trick could have killed people. Run down 50 flights of stairs and see if you die. I would. It seems it didn't cause death, but it could have.
Mr. President, fire the bastard.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Higher Crime

Finally the pieces are assemble into the picture.

The torture of the high value targets was not to gain intelligence.

The torture was not to save souls.

The torture was to save their collective adminstration ass.

The torture of the high value targets was to "brain wash" them and obtain evidence or a confession that Saddam Hussein and thus Iraq was connect to Al Qaeda and 9/11. It was all about justifying the war. That is why it was done so late in the interrogations and why the extreme techniques were used.

That makes this a crime several magnitudes greater than before.

This was treason.

Now what?

Does it go away like the last example of American Treason , Iran/Contra?

Do we bite the bullet and follow through?

Do we keep our mouths shut and our eyes turned forward and ignore the screams for justice from the road behind us?

Nixon lives.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The American Inquisition

CIA Admits Waterboarding KSM 183 Times In One Month

That was then, but this is now. Witches, heretics or terrorist it matters not.
All in "Good Faith" and without "Malice" makes it OK?
"Among the starting revelations from the release of the Bush-era torture memos: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the supposed mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, was waterboarded 183 times in March 2003. According to the memos, a terror suspect was potentially subject to two two hour sessions every day, each with six actual waterboardings of between 10 and 40 seconds. Another suspect, Abu Zabayadh, was waterboarded 83 times in a single month."

Friday, April 17, 2009

Torture: That Was Then This Is Now

Dear Mr. President,

I was a Regular Army volunteer from 1966 to 1970.
I served for four years.
I was under enemy fire in NE Africa and Vietnam.
I was engaged in Signals Intelligence attached to the 1st Infantry Division in Nam.
I participated in 1st Div. prisoner interrogations when I needed to.
If we had water boarded the prisoner, slammed him into the wall, put him in a cage with insects, or many of the other things recently done in the name of America we would not only have been court marshaled but would have never gotten a damn thing out of them.
A hot shower, kind voice, hot meal, a cigarette worked a lot better and a lot faster.
Yes, we were in a constant life and death daily struggle and we were acutely aware of that.
If torture would have worked we might have used it. Even if we would have been held criminal for doing so. But the 1st Div. MI that I worked with wanted valuable information not a personal rush for giving pain.

It is true that not everybody in Nam did that way. It is also true that we know that because the cases that came to light were criminally prosecuted. The CID was looking for this stuff all of the time I was there.


I consider it an insult to my service and my loyalty to my country that we are even suggesting that those who tortured and/or authorized torture in the previous administration may not be prosecuted under the law. The possibility of this disgust me and saddens me beyond belief.

There was and is not any excuse for doing this. It is the ultimate lie that it works. It is the ultimate immorality to inflict pain on another human for no reason at all.

Mr. President, if this is not addressed it will fester until it infects the whole body. Everything else you will have done will come to naught for the soul of the nation will be dead and it won't matter.

Sent to the President under my real name.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

De-Malling America: 200 local Malls Go Belly Up

OK maybe not Belly Up.
Their parent corporation has filed for bankruptcy.
Full national story here:

Back in the late 70's and early 80's I knew one of the investors /builders of Quail Springs Mall north of Oklahoma City. Like all malls in America I've watched stores come and go, and several generations of teenage mall rats troll the halls and walls of the place. Eventually the guy lost his second fortune and his group sold the mall.

Today, or maybe yesterday, it is or was under the control of General Growth Properties Inc. who have filed the Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. Bold words of survival are being utter by the Inc. as they always are.

Malls are more than a place with a lot of stores. They have become the down-towns of late 20th Century America. When you start messing with the malls you are messing with our core values.

They are our right to assembly. They are our right to free speech (ever heard the shit people say to each other there?) They are our right to bare arms and legs and midriffs and butt cheeks and ...well that's enough. They are the symbol of Capitalism. "Mall Eat Mall" has been the mantra of Free Market Dogma for the last 40 years or more. But Malls just dying ? No way. Up till now when a Mall succumbed it was because a bigger better more centrally located with better movie theaters Mall knock it out of profits. 200 biggies taking the dive at once is not the same.

If Americans were still in denial that times were changing then this will bring it home to them.
Mess with our freedoms, mess with our religions, mess with our politics, our ethics, or morality, but damn you do not mess with our right to shop till we drop.

True many Americans can't afford to shop there anymore. But that doesn't mean they didn't go to the Mall and smell the newness of the products and goods they could not buy and sit in the fashionable near big leather chairs and watch the remnants of the middle class go by.

It is as if the local Mega-Church one day roped off its parking lot and put up signs saying go away
Well maybe I'm over-reacting some here, but there are three of these Malls in Oklahoma alone,
Quail Springs Mall in OKC, Sooner Mall in Norman, and Washington Park Mall in Bartlesville.
So which ones are bankrupting in your backyard?

Check it out:

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Bigfoot Bush Justice Department Shoots Self In Own Foot.

By now everyone know that somebody in Spain is inditing some Bush Justice Department lawyers as war criminals.
How can they do that we shout? Why don't they mind there own business we chortle. What possible business is it of Spain's anyhow?

The joke is own Bush and his own Justice Department. They set it up themselves. Yep, they freely gave the Spanish the very case that is being bought against them:

"The six defendants—in addition to Gonzales, Federal Appeals Court Judge and former Assistant Attorney General Jay Bybee, University of California law professor and former Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Yoo, former Defense Department general counsel and current Chevron lawyer William J. Haynes II, Vice President Cheney’s former chief of staff David Addington, and former Undersecretary of Defense Douglas J. Feith—are accused of having given the green light to the torture and mistreatment of prisoners held in U.S. detention in “the war on terror.”" The case arises in the context of a pending proceeding before the court involving terrorism charges against five Spaniards formerly held at Guantánamo. A group of human-rights lawyers originally filed a criminal complaint asking the court to look at the possibility of charges against the six American lawyers. Baltasar Garzón Real, the investigating judge, accepted the complaint and referred it to Spanish prosecutors for a view as to whether they would accept the case and press it forward. “The evidence provided was more than sufficient to justify a more comprehensive investigation,” one of the lawyers associated with the prosecution ."


Holy mackerel and Friday fish fry!
You mean we sent to Spain people to be convicted of crimes that we had held and tortured in Guantanamo? Yep. Say it isn't so George!

Again: "The case arises in the context of a pending proceeding before the court involving terrorism charges against five Spaniards formerly held at Guantanamo."

Good Grief, doesn't this remind you of one of those dumb criminal clips from TV?

This Here Old House

It has been a cold and wet spring in Oklahoma.
It has been punctuated with warm dry days that are cruel in their promise.
The kind of spring that freezes fledglings in their nest.
A Spring like the ones that used to fattened the buffalo wolves on the dead veal of early calves from the herds that lived on these plains.

"April is the cruelest month" has a different meaning when it is an April like this one.

It is the kind of spring where the carpenters and roofers and painters of houses sporadically work at their task. It makes for a maddenly slow process, especially for the marginally insane.
For those of us who are too of this or too of that to any longer climb and bend and lift and carry to do our own work and must rely on others outside our control, such a spring is a mindbender.
When I combine my acute territorial imperative, with my self pity, my physical regret and well aged case of PTSD I come unglued when skilled craftsmen demonstrate neither skill nor craft.

My home was built in 1916. From its second story, when it was new, you could see the Epworth University three miles away and past that, all the way to downtown Oklahoma City. The trolley line was a block west of the house. Shepherd's lake was seven blocks north. They cut the wood for the framing of this home on site from oaks to the west of it. The siding they brought from the redwood forest of the west coast. It is a strong old house and I have lived in it for 32 years. Soon after we moved in child number three was born and all our resources went to the kids and just living. The house began its 30 years of deferred maintenance.

Old houses are alive.
There's not one thing level, square, or straight anywhere in this place. It moves and twists with the seasons. Shrinking wood, weather, and bugs have pushed, pulled, and shaped my home into a unique configuration. Those who approach her with rule and level and pre-cut lumber are true malevolents of the 21st century.

So when the madness of this spring combines with the madness of seeing my house violated with standard procedures they are too much for me.
I am going to have to stay away for the duration of the repairs and insults to my home from the Philistines to which I have intrusted her. My wife, well she agrees,much to her relief.

Maybe it will all come together and it will emerge renewed and ready for her centennial. God I hope so.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Never Said Anything: No trash for History

History depends or archives, records, and most of all trash.
The National Security Agency leaves limited archives and little records and worst of all, NO trash.
Like every modern endeavor NSA creates tons of used paper each day. It is all useless at some point and then it is thrown away. Thrown away, that is into the never seen again (nsa)system. It is centralized, pulverized, dissolved, re-pulped, cleaned and washed of all ink,(all within a top secret environment) and sold to Weyerhaeuser. They then haul it off.

What does Weyerhaeuser do with this former highly classified pulp?
Sell it to China?
Pizza Boxes.
Next take out Pizza, check the box to see if it was made by Weyerhaeuser.
You may be eating off a historical artifact of our secret wars.

Yes it is true, my mind is full of this kind of stuff.

It does remind me of the opening credits of the "Lou Grant" sitcom where the complex production of a newspaper and it ends up at the bottom of a bird's cage. But heck that's a whole nother blog.
Picasso's "Birdcage"

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Never Say Anything

People are surprised that President Obama would support our electronic intelligence and signal intelligence system against any disclosure. Don't be. Bush tried to misused them, but that is no reason to destroy them when we need them to function.

Cheney was so damn stupid about this that he was sure Obama would be stupid about it and do it badly. Wrong. The Bushies broke fifty years of ethical behavior by a system that could have easily been abused before but wasn't. So who is criminal the system or the actors?

Unconstitutional, illegal, over-reaching, really? Civil liberties shut down? I wonder how many cases of high security are heard in secret each year by the SCOTUS. None you say. Oh really.
Why then is there a special Federal prison for such convictions w/in the U.S.?

Things are never all they seem, and other things are much much more.

Never Say Anything, and you'll never have anything to be heard.