New Civilization News: Take A Tip From Me    
 Take A Tip From Me39 comments
picture8 Feb 2008 @ 10:55, by Richard Carlson

There is neither heaven nor earth,
Only snow,
Falling incessantly.

---Hashin

Life is fleeting.
Gone, gone---
Awake.
Awake each one!
Don't waste this life!

---The Evening Gatha

On the day you were born, you begin to die. Do not waste a single moment more.

---Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

In the striking photo by Roger Braithwaite of the UNEP, a stream of melt water cascades off the Greenland Ice Sheet.

I'm afraid my pun in the title shows poor taste. There is nothing appropriate to laugh about as the United States finally begins to realize the facts of The Warming. Just last week I still was being mocked by 2 industrial tech teachers at my school, but surely even they are beginning to wake up. Disasters like the tornadoes across the South the other day are the kinds of things it takes in this country to get something done. But even then we'll try to rationalize and put it off. It looked to me as if CNN was broadcasting hours of live coverage of the devastation yesterday, but did any news anchor introduce a segment on violent weather we can expect from Climate Change? We aren't much for preemptive action...unless it's shock and awe somewhere else based on "bad intelligence."

My wife sent out a heads-up on Wednesday that actually provides a bit of optimism, despite the frightening aspects of the report. What cheered me up is that it came from MSNBC, where Americans are not used to seeing this kind of thing I think. It speaks of Nine Tipping Points that we grimly approach with continued carbon emissions at our increasing rate. We learn that "tipping" no longer can be taken lightly. The report begins~~~

Nine 'tipping elements' for warming listed
Arctic sea ice and Greenland are top 'candidates for surprising society'
MSNBC staff and news service reports
updated 10:00 a.m. ET, Wed., Feb. 6, 2008

Concerned that humans might push Earth into major climate shifts, a team of experts has published a study that lists nine "tipping elements," or areas of concern for policymakers.

Arctic sea-ice and the Greenland Ice Sheet, both of which have shown significant melt, were regarded as the most sensitive tipping elements with the smallest uncertainty.

"Society may be lulled into a false sense of security by smooth projections of global change," the scientists at British, German and U.S. institutes wrote in a report saying there were many little-understood thresholds in nature.

"The greatest and clearest threat is to the Arctic with summer sea ice loss likely to occur long before, and potentially contribute to, Greenland Ice Sheet melt," they wrote in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The experts coined the term "tipping element" to describe those components of the climate system that are at risk of passing a "tipping point," which was defined as a critical threshold at which a small change in human activity can have large, long-term consequences for the Earth’s climate system.

"These tipping elements are candidates for surprising society by exhibiting a nearby tipping point," the authors added.

"Many of these tipping points could be closer than we thought," said lead author Timothy Lenton, of the University of East Anglia in England.

"Our findings suggest that a variety of tipping elements could reach their critical point within this century under human-induced climate change," he added. "The greatest threats are tipping of the Arctic sea-ice and the Greenland ice sheet, and at least five other elements could surprise us by exhibiting a nearby tipping point."

[link]

If you click that MSNBC link, you see not only an opportunity to view the video, but also slideshows and other interactive features. They've also set up a message board to discuss these issues. This is new in a country preparing to elect a new president, and yet questioning candidates very little about environmental concerns. They tell us the economy is our big issue. Well, the UK Telegraph yesterday related to market questions with the startling headline~~~

Why the price of 'peak oil' is famine
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard International Business Editor
Last Updated: 1:22am GMT 07/02/2008

Vulnerable regions of the world face the risk of famine over the next three years as rising energy costs spill over into a food crunch, according to US investment bank Goldman Sachs.

"We've never been at a point in commodities where we are today," said Jeff Currie, the bank's commodity chief and closely watched oil guru.

Global oil output has been stagnant for four years, failing to keep up with rampant demand from Asia and the Mid-East. China's imports rose 14pc last year. Biofuels from grain, oil seed and sugar are plugging the gap, but drawing away food supplies at a time when the world is adding more than 70m mouths to feed a year.

"Markets are as tight as a drum and now the US has hit the stimulus button," said Mr Currie in his 2008 outlook. "We have never seen this before when commodity prices were already at record highs. Over the next 18 to 36 months we are probably going into crisis mode across the commodity complex.

[link]

Are we beginning to get the picture that it's all connected? That time is of the essence? Is recession too mild a word?

Unfortunately some think matters are even worse. In December Prof. James Hansen, Director of the NASA Goddard Institute of Space Science, declared we're past the tipping point. Hansen delivered warnings to Congress 20 years ago.

Here is a summary of the main points:

Climate tipping points have been passed. These include large ice sheet disintegration, significant sea level rises and species loss.
These tipping points were passed when we exceeded 300-350 parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, a point passed decades ago.
The Arctic will soon be ice-free in the summer.
There is already enough carbon in Earth's atmosphere to lose Arctic sea ice cover and for massive ice sheets such as in Greenland to eventually melt away, and ensure that sea levels will rise several feet (meters) in coming decades.
Climate zones such as the tropics and temperate regions will continue to shift, and the oceans will become more acidic, endangering much marine life.
"We have passed that (Greenland) and some other tipping points in the way that I will define them," Hansen said in an email. "We have not passed a point of no return. We can still roll things back in time — but it is going to require a quick turn in direction."
"We either begin to roll back not only the emissions [of carbon dioxide] but also the absolute amount in the atmosphere, or else we're going to get big impacts." "We should set a target of CO2" that's low enough to avoid the point of no return. The CO2 tipping point for many parts of the climate is around 300 to 350 parts per million, Hansen estimated.
"We have to figure out how to live without fossil fuels someday," Hansen said. "Why not sooner?
People must not only cut current carbon emissions but also remove some carbon that has collected in the atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution

[link]

Bill McKibben responded in the Washington Post a few days later. In his article he explains what all this carbon particle talk is about...and why we need to care.

[link]



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39 comments

8 Feb 2008 @ 17:50 by bushman : Again,
it's mans fault, not the volcano under the Greenland ice, or the Earths dwindling magnetic field, allowing more solar particals to penetrate the Earth. How does an induction cook top work, probably something you should know. Saten hates mankind and will do anything, say anything, to make mankind look bad. Saten has nothing but contempt for mankind. But, if CNN or MSNBC says its so, you must believe it or be ridiculed by the flock.

Food for all:
{http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/editorial/story.html?id=d06935f3-c41d-4ff0-8f3a-c287a8db5367}

Water vapor is the most heat holding greenhouse gas, so do the math, if water is evaporating in one place its snowing heavy in a cold place, nature is self balancing, there are many places on this planet where the glaciers are growing, but, if some agenda based media dosnt report it, then it must not be happening. There is an obvious increase in undersea volcanic activity and its a fact, this means water vapor is increasing far faster than man spews CO2 and Methane combined.

Trust in the social engineers, for they know the only truth worthy of reporting. And when the poop hits the fan, and it will, those who have been washed by religion will march the streets saying its the wrath of an unseen God. But lets blame man , sell some hybrid cars, and make some money.

Sea Ice Growing:
{http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml%3Bjsessionid%3DZCURBJ1YZXNEFQFIQMGSFFWAVCBQWIV0?xml=/news/2008/02/03/nbook103.xml}  



8 Feb 2008 @ 18:18 by vaxen : Shekels and Schechters...
Roosevelt established the National Recovery Agency by executive decree in 1933 “to drive up prices and get people back to work.” He authorized a huge bureaucracy with thousands of employees and with power to control production and prices. Once up and running, the agency was determined to make an example of someone to demonstrate that its vast powers were legal. It finally found what it regarded as the perfect case and laid 60 felony charges against the Schechter brothers – Joseph, Martin, Alex and Aaron – who made a meagre livelihood selling kosher chickens in New York City. ( Schechter means “ritual butcher” in Yiddish and denotes a person qualified to sell meat that conforms to Jewish law.) In prosecuting the Schechters, as Ms. Shlaes describes it, the NRA selected four brothers who had no corporate money behind them, no formal education, no social status. They could scarcely speak English and when they did, as Ms. Shlaes puts it, they sounded like Jewish comedians in the Catskills. They weren't rich. They paid themselves $35 a week, less than NRA inspectors earned. They took pride in their work, which was as important to them for religious as for commercial reasons. It took a special kind of vigilance to run a kosher butchery.

With authority over more than 20 million workers, the NRA had published a specific “code of conduct” for “the live poultry industry in New York City.”

On the basis of this code, the agency charged the Schechters with the crime of permitting customers to select the chickens they wanted; NRA regulations permitted them – as “middlemen” – only to sell chickens “by the full coop,” that is, in quantities of 30 or 40. (The NRA had identified middlemen as enemies of the people and had given itself the authority to put them out of business.) The NRA also charged the Schechters with selling diseased chickens – which would have been a serious violation of Jewish law, let alone New Deal law. To save their reputations as well as their business, the brothers felt they had no choice but to take on the New Deal in court.

When the trial opened in Brooklyn, prosecutors said the Schechters had sold 10 sick chickens, confirmed by autopsy. As the trial proceeded, they reduced this number first to three, then to one. The defence showed that the illness detected in this single chicken could not have been detected by anyone without a full autopsy.

On Nov. 1, 1934 (unemployment rate: 23.2 per cent), the Brooklyn court convicted the Schechters, fined them $7,425 and ordered them jailed for periods between one month and three months. The front-page New York Times headline trumpeted: “First felony case won by NRA.” The prosecutors called the judgment “a sweeping victory of immense importance.”

In May, 1935, the case reached the Supreme Court. The government argued that the NRA's extraordinary powers were justified by the “national emergency” of the Depression. The defence argued that the government was free to go “the way of Hitler and Mussolini” – but would first need to rewrite the Constitution.

http://www.opensource.gov/  



9 Feb 2008 @ 11:05 by jazzolog : Tip Of The Iceberg
"Global Warming," "Climate Change"---I don't like any of the terms really, and it wouldn't surprise me if some global corporation, like TRW, was controlling the whole thing to make money. Today that's possible. It's probably becoming possible to enclose the planet in a giant plastic bubble, and just run our own environment. Maybe spaceships are hitting us with rays. There could be a massive pyramid underground finally coming to life. I don't know, but always am interested in new theories, new data.

What I do know is that humans are multiplying in increasingly scarce space. There ain't much fresh water here, compared to the salt stuff, and Coke is buying up every drop to sell back to us. Bottled water already costs more than gasoline. And apple juice costs twice as much as that---because unpredictable and devastating frosts have knocked out the crops 2 years in a row.

http://www.un.org/News/dh/photos/31428-popenguine.jpg

{link:http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=25527}

People I know started "dropping out" from the hurtling progress of the culture 40 years ago...and later others even built websites like this one. I dropped out for a while too, but came back in because I was tired of stoned decision-making and a plethora of gurus. My wife and I maintain conventional jobs in which we try to influence the madness of the mainstream. My daughter's planning to go to college. My son does not have a conventional job. None of my wife's 3 siblings has a conventional job. My sister is retired from public health nursing. But all of us share a belief in living more simply and with as little technology as possible. We just think it makes more spiritual sense than flowing downstream with the consumers. We also think it doesn't hurt to listen to warnings of various environmental scientists. I remember the first time I ever heard the word "ecology." It was in the autumn of 1963. My girlfriend at the time had decided to take a college course about it. I found it difficult to get my head around the concept.

Also a current trend is a mighty rightwing attack on Franklin Roosevelt. Clearly to these people, who have been running US politics for the past 8 years, the Golden Age was unbridled capitalism prior to that little bump in the road called the Depression. Hey, the Market just was correcting itself. Removal of everything Roosevelt must be accomplished as surely as Shock 'N Awe in the Middle East. I like what Roosevelt was up to, and I'd vote to take it even further. Bureaucracy always is difficult to motivate and manage, but I prefer that responsibility of citizenship to playing cat and mouse with a band of corporate pirates.  



9 Feb 2008 @ 17:04 by vaxen : In your...
opinion, jazzolog, what was 'Franklin Delano Roosevelt' up to? I know...I just want to see what you think, first, then I'm gonna rip you to shreds!

Environmental Effects of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide

A review of the research literature concerning the environmental consequences of increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide leads to the conclusion that increases during the 20th Century have produced no deleterious effects upon global weather, climate, or temperature. Increased carbon dioxide has, however, markedly increased plant growth rates. Predictions of harmful climatic effects due to future increases in minor greenhouse gases like CO2 are in error and do not conform to current experimental knowledge.

Click here http://www.oism.org/pproject/s33p36.htm to see this peer reviewed research paper.

Note: The Petition Project has no funding from energy industries or other parties with special financial interests in the "global warming" debate. Funding for the project comes entirely from private non-tax deductible donations by interested individuals.

Oh, BTW, thanks for devulging a little more about you and your 'way' up till now. Does the year 1933 mean anything at all to you? How about 1871? How about 1913? How about Alexander Hamilton? How about 'Bank Fraud?' The Hegelian dialectic? Debt slave? Individual Sovereignty? The American Revolution is a lie!?

Oops...please let me know, in your own words, just what you think about how great 'Franklin Deleno Roosevelt' was. Here's a little taste of what we know:
http://www.reformation.org/wall-st-fdr-ch1.html

Oh no! My fangs are beginning to grow! Darn it...can't wait.

Hoover, the Republican, was a J. P. Morgan puppet; Smith his democratic opponent, was in the pocket of the Du Ponts, for whom J. P. Morgan & Company was the banker.

"Lundberg omits the financial details, but the Du Ponts and Rockefellers are certainly on record in Congressional investigations as the largest contributors to the 1928 Hoover campaign. But Wall Street withdrew its support of Herbert Hoover in 1932 and switched to FDR. Lundberg omits to mention this critical and pivotal withdrawal.

"Why did Wall Street switch? Because, as we shall see later, Herbert Hoover would not adopt the Swope Plan created by Gerard Swope, long-time president of General Electric. By contrast, FDR accepted the plan, and it became FDR's National Industrial Recovery Act. So while Hoover was indebted to Wall Street, FDR was much more so." :)

===

"To be specific, Franklin D. Roosevelt was, at one time or another during the 1920s, a vice president of the Fidelity & Deposit Company (120 Broadway); the president of an industry trade association, the American Construction Council (28 West 44th Street); a partner in Roosevelt & O'Connor (120 Broadway); a partner in Marvin, Hooker & Roosevelt (52 Wall Street); the president of United European Investors, Ltd. (7 Pine Street); a director of International Germanic Trust, Inc. (in the Standard Oil Building at 26 Broadway); a director of Consolidated Automatic Merchandising Corporation, a paper organization; a trustee of Georgia Warm Springs Foundation (120 Broadway); a director of American Investigation Corporation (37-39 Pine Street); a director of Sanitary Postage Service Corporation (285 Madison Avenue); the chairman of the General Trust Company (15 Broad Street); a director of Photomaton (551 Fifth Avenue); a director of Mantacal Oil Corporation (Rock Springs, Wyoming); and an incorporator of the Federal International Investment Trust.

"That's a pretty fair list of directorships. It surely earns FDR the title of Wall Streeter par excellence. Most who work on "the Street" never achieve, and probably never even dream about achieving, a record of 11 corporate directorships, two law partnerships, and the presidency of a major trade association.

"In probing these directorships and their associated activities, we find that Roosevelt was a banker and a speculator, the two occupations he emphatically denounced in the 1932 Presidential election. Moreover, while banking and speculation have legitimate roles in a free society— indeed, they are essential for a sane monetary system—both can be abused.

"FDR's correspondence in the files deposited at the FDR Library in Hyde Park yields evidence—and evidence one reads with a heavy heart—that FDR was associated with the more unsavory elements of Wall Street banking and speculation, and one can arrive at no conclusion other than that FDR used the political arena, not the impartial market place, to make his profits."

===

"An alliance of Wall Street and political office is implicit in this Roosevelt tradition. The policies implemented by the many Roosevelts have tended toward increased state intervention into business, desirable to some business elements, and therefore the Roosevelt search for political office can fairly be viewed as a self-seeking device.

"The euphemism of "public service" is a cover for utilizing the police power of the state for personal ends, a thesis we must investigate. If the Roosevelt tradition had been one of uncompromising laissez-faire, of getting the state out of business rather than encouraging intervention into economic activities, then our assessment would necessarily be quite different." - ;)

===

Not to mention the Delano families 'roots' in the Actii! Oh - our Hero FDR - such a great guy! Right!

Know what a delegate is? How about a super delegate? Study Wanta-gate my man.  



10 Feb 2008 @ 10:58 by jazzolog : National Geographic & In My...
opinion (who can resist the challenging charm of our NCN warrior?) FDR was up to establishing the precedent that future interesting leaders could be known by just 3 letters. You know, like JFK...VAX...etc.

Subject: EpEN5-News Special TV Show Alert -- Sunday Evening
To: news@eenonline.org

Friends-

Bruce MacDuffie (Diocese of North Dakota) has shared information about a TV transmission coming up on National Geographic Channel this Sunday evening, February 10, 2008, starting at 9 PM (EST) and running in at least 2 immediate repeats:

'Six Degrees Could Change the World,' presented by National Geographic, looks at the impact global warming could have on the world's most fragile – and remote – locales.

(National Geographic Channel, Feb. 10, 8 p.m.): This 96-minute film, narrated by actor Alec Baldwin, tackles global warming as only National Geographic could – with a brilliantly colored travelogue of the possible impact on some of the world's most remote and fragile locales, from the pristine headwaters of the Ganges River, high in the Himalayas, to the tiny villages of Greenland. Heavy on alarmist scenarios as it is, with only a smattering of solutions tucked in, this is nonetheless a ravishing portrait of a planet heading toward peril.

Scientific models predict that a shift in the global average temperature of only 6 Celsius (or 10.8 Fahrenheit) could induce cataclysmic changes unlike any experienced during human life on Earth. Six Degrees Could Change the World visualizes in spectacular high definition the devastating ecological impact that each single degree increase in temperature could have on our planet over the next century.

Details on this may be found at http://www.csmonitor.com/2008/0208/p14s01-altv.html and http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/ where you can also find out if it is available in your area (it is available on DirecTV, channel 276, I believe).

Peace
Chuck  



10 Feb 2008 @ 18:44 by vaxen : Hahaha...
It amazes me how these people just don't seem to be able to look at just who is causing what! With scalar weapons being used to 'control' the weather in an all out war against people by people and wars in almost every region of good old Eridu's surface, and growing, not one mention of the exagerated military budgets being stolen from the people by the people!

What the hell do they think that blowing up cobalt bombs in our atmosphere has done/is doing? What the hell do they think so much aluminum in our atomosphere, thanks military mindless monsters and politicians, is doing?

What the hell do they think we need to take any more of their crap for?

Disband the governments worldwide and take away the military boys boy toys and let them all get real jobs!

"If the people were ever to find out what we have done they'd chase us down the street and hang us." - George Bush the elder (Poppy)

You're day is coming Georgio! We know who you really are and what you've done.

The power elite expend such great effort in controlling our communication and information system because they fear the American public more than any other enemy. They understand that if they lose their grip on our mass media, their lies and injustices will be exposed to the very people who can put a stop to their crimes!

The famed military strategist Carl von Clauswitz wrote in his study, On War, that the key to defeating an enemy is to identify and strike at “the hub of all power and movement, on which everything depends.”

The mass media is the foundation of the elite power structure. Without domination of the mass media the elite power structure is a house of cards.

“There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil, to one who is striking at the root.” – Henry David Thoreau

Once the people can get their message through elite censors, the necessary evolution will occur. And thanks to the internet the tide has begun to swing back in our favor. The internet has given us a major weapon to battle these entrenched interests.

"Get the hell out of intelligence." - Vallerie Plame

When gentle hearts are broken
Tears will always fall
Remembering within this time
The love of all recall

Reaching out to touch my soul
The courage to go on
Know the treasures of this life
Each day a brand new dawn

Contemplating thoughts of peace
They're etched so deep within
Each one of us now going forth
Our courage now akin

Alone and never so alone
That I will never hear
Hearts that cry upon the winds
They always are so near

Listen very carefully
In the quiet of the night
Immerse yourself within this time
The dawn will loom so bright

Gift to always find ourselves
New path to be pursued
Blessings given on the earth
Each spirit now renewed.

~ Francine Pucillo ~

http://www.ladynwavsone.com/danceswithwolves.html  



10 Feb 2008 @ 19:11 by vaxen : PS - Silent Lucidity
Global Warming Petition

We urge the United States government to reject the global warming agreement that was written in Kyoto, Japan in December, 1997, and any other similar proposals. The proposed limits on greenhouse gases would harm the environment, hinder the advance of science and technology, and damage the health and welfare of mankind.

There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.

This petition has been signed by over 19,000 American scientists.

Letter from Frederick Seitz


Research Review of Global Warming Evidence


Enclosed is a twelve-page review of information on the subject of "global warming," a petition in the form of a reply card, and a return envelope. Please consider these materials carefully.

The United States is very close to adopting an international agreement that would ration the use of energy and of technologies that depend upon coal, oil, and natural gas and some other organic compounds.

This treaty is, in our opinion, based upon flawed ideas. Research data on climate change do not show that human use of hydrocarbons is harmful. To the contrary, there is good evidence that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide is environmentally helpful.

Click here http://www.oism.org/pproject/s33p41.htm to see the rest of this letter from the past president of the National Academy of Sciences.

- Silent Lucidity -

Queensryche


Hush now don't cry
Wipe away the teardrop from your eye
You're lying safe in bed
It was all a bad dream
Spinning in your head
Your mind tricked you to feel the pain
Of someone close to you leaving the game of life
So here it is, another chance
Wide awake you face the day
Your dream is over...or has it just begun?

There's a place I like to hide
A doorway that I run to in the night
Relax child, you were there
But only didn't realize it and you were scared
It's a place where you will learn
To face your fears, retrace the tears
And ride the whims of your mind
Commanding in another world
Suddenly, you hear and see
This magic new dimension

I-will be watching over you
I-am gonna help you see it through
I-will protect you in the night
I-am smiling next to you...in silent lucidity

If you open your mind for me
You won't rely on open eyes to see
The walls you built within
Come tumblng down, and a new world will begin
Living twice at once you learn
You're safe from pain in the dream domain
A soul set free to fly
A round trip journey in your head
Master of illusion, can you realize
Your dream's alive, you can be the guide but...
I-will be watching over you
I-am gonna help you see it through
I-will protect you in the night
I-am smiling next to you...in silent lucidity

http://www.geocities.com/txmytx3/lucidity.html

"Get the hell out of intelligence!" - Vallerie Plame

;)  



11 Feb 2008 @ 12:33 by jazzolog : And Yet I Tremble In My Sleep

http://www.mnftiu.cc/mnftiu.cc/images/gywo.scare_easily.gif  



11 Feb 2008 @ 12:49 by jerryvest : Yes, when is enough enough spending
for defense. Seems our true defense could be to bring our troops home from around the world and join with others to provide safety and security of our people. But, fear works on the minds of most of our population and our politicians and lobbyists know how to use these tactics to get their way.  


11 Feb 2008 @ 17:12 by jazzolog : Getting A Tip From The Pentagon
Wouldn't it be cool, Jerry, to turn some of those defense appropriations into strategies and technologies to avoid future and ongoing wars over resources and consequences of ignoring the warnings this article is about? You may have seen the AP poll over the weekend that shows Americans think the crisis in our economy could be solved best by getting out of Iraq. http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5iu6xjCz8Ykakz5T6AjT3olMgRXTwD8UMCQAO1 Wouldn't it be wonderful if Washington heeded the will of the people...instead of hurrying up their final raping and pillaging before the election!  


11 Feb 2008 @ 17:53 by Footlose @72.195.137.102 : Let's all hide under our beds!

Getting exact figures on "defense" spending is difficult to do. What's more, the Bushies refuse to include the war in their overall budget requests. Somehow reflecting back upon themselves their inability to be straightforward and honest about *anything.*

The Legacy of Bush II
By Robert Scheer
Truthdig.com

Tuesday 05 February 2008

Curb your enthusiasm. Even if your favored candidate did well on Super Tuesday, ask yourself if he or she will seriously challenge the bloated military budget that President Bush has proposed for 2009. If not, military spending will rise to a level exceeding any other year since the end of World War II, and there will be precious little left over to improve education and medical research, fight poverty, protect the environment or do anything else a decent person might care about. You cannot spend well over $700 billion on "national security," running what the White House predicts will be more than $400 billion in annual deficits for the next two years, and yet find the money to improve the quality of life on the home front.

The conventional wisdom espoused by the mass media is that Bush's budget is a lame-duck DOA contrivance, but that assumption is wrong. The 9/11 attacks have been shamefully exploited by the military-industrial complex with bipartisan support to ramp up military expenditures beyond Cold War levels. This irrational spending spree, which accounts for more than half of all federal discretionary spending, is not likely to end with Bush's departure. Which one of the likely winners from either party would lead the battle to cut the military budget, and where would the winner find support in Congress? Both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have treated the military budget as sacrosanct with their Senate votes and their campaign rhetoric. Clinton is particularly clear on the record as favoring spending more, not less, on the military.

John McCain, who previously distinguished himself as a deficit hawk and was almost in a class by himself in taking on the rapacious defense contractors, has thrown in the towel with his inane support for staying in Iraq till "victory," even if it should take a century. It is simply illogical to call for fiscal restraint while committing to an open-ended war in Iraq that has already cost upward of $700 billion. Bush's request for $515.4 billion for the Defense Department doesn't even include the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which accounted for nearly $200 billion over the last budget year and which will cost at least $140 billion in 2009. Add to those numbers $17.1 billion for the Department of Energy's weapons program and over $40 billion for the Department of Homeland Security and other national security initiatives spread throughout the federal government, and you'll see that my $700-billion figure underestimates the hemorrhaging.

McCain knows, and has frequently stated as a Senate watchdog, that much of the military spending is wastefully superfluous for combating terrorists who lack any but the most rudimentary weapons. Bush totally betrayed his campaign 2000 promise to reshape the post-Cold War U.S. military when he seized upon the 9/11 attack as an opportunity to reverse the "peace dividend" that his father had begun to return to taxpayers. Instead, Bush II ushered in the most profligate underwriting of weapons systems that are grotesquely irrelevant for combating terrorism.

The U.S. already spends more than the rest of the world combined on its military, without a sophisticated enemy in sight. The Bush budget cuts not a single weapons system, including the most expensive ones, those designed to combat a Soviet military that no longer exists. Those sophisticated weapons have nothing to do with combating terrorism and everything to do with jobs and profits that motivate both Democrats and Republicans in Congress. It is not known whether Osama bin Laden even possesses a rowboat in his naval arsenal, but that won't stop Joe Lieberman from pushing, as is his habit, for an increase in the defense budget to double the funding for the $3.4-billion submarines built in his home state of Connecticut. Nor does the collapse of the old Soviet Union—and with it the need for enormously expensive stealth aircraft to evade radar systems the Soviets never built—dissuade congressional supporters of those planes from pushing for more, not less, than Bush is requesting. Nor does wasting an additional $8.9 billion on ICBM missile defense have anything to do with stopping terrorists from smuggling a suitcase nuke into this country.

The centerpiece of the Bush legacy is a "war on terror" based on a vast disconnect between military expenditures and actual national security requirements that the presidential candidates all fully understand. The question is whether the voters and media will force them to face that contradiction or whether we're in for more of the same—no matter how much the candidates go on about change.

 



11 Feb 2008 @ 18:27 by jazzolog : Hopefully
you're actually "footloose," and not someone looking around for a foot you keep losing. Thanks for the comment and reference to Scheer's article at TruthDig. I see figures like 500 billion spent so far on Iraq...but another 500 billion projected for medical treatment on the veterans of the invasion.

PS Hmmm, that spelling error reminds me of someone. Just can't help indulging in the mysteries of the Internet. His comment sends me back to that of The Wandering Muse over here http://www.newciv.org/mem/persnewslog.php?did=63&vid=63&xmode=show_article&artid=000063-000471&amode=standard&aoffset=0&time=1202754501  



11 Feb 2008 @ 21:46 by bushman : Money and control,
by the UN.
{http://thenewamerican.com/node/7009}  



11 Feb 2008 @ 22:40 by rayon : 20 mins twice aday
of meditation will change the weather and people's behaviour according to marharishi of transcendental by just 1% of the population. This like the doppleganger of an exponential effect in the theory of opposites needing to exist because of the other the knowledge of which leads to the slow lessening of extremes in mind, then body, then environment. And PS it is probably better not to announce from the temple podium of one's good works lest the blessings they can be recinded by their maker.  


12 Feb 2008 @ 10:23 by jazzolog : So True...Or Even Just Once
Nraye's reminder couldn't come at a better time. A comment, or entry at your own Log, always is such a breath of fresh springtime air.

http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/uc/20080212/stt080211.gif

Oops, not quite Georgie: we are expecting a big public execution show as payoff for your hard work at Guantanamo.  



12 Feb 2008 @ 16:02 by quinty : Sparefoot Found (re the above comments)

So what does that prove? That each one of us has a unique identification number? More personal and unique than a fingerprint?

Is this a fascist state?! Are we all oppressed by the blunt thumbs and fat rearends of all the oligarchs sitting on top of us? Do they back peddle, forward peddle, side peddle, peddle up, peddle down, and peddle any which way over the broad terrain we call the USA?

I want all you oily lousy Rooseveltarians dominating the world to listen up! Your time has come! You will be eliminated! There's not a second to lose.

None of this makes sense to you?

Fools! Swine! Goat herds! Omnipotent liberal democratic republican oligarchic sump sniffers crawling over the golden lawns of what should have been Paradise. You lost it! Wake up!

Which commandment among the Ten Commandments is best?

The Second Amendment, that's what!

You don’t think so? You want somebody to shoot you? You dare go to the grocerystore unarmed? What if a fully armed rumproast leaps up at you out of the meat container? And the butcher isn’t there? How will you protect yourself?

What if an old lady rams you with her shopping cart? You dare walk by the Wheaties and Cheerios unarmed?

Did you know that Henry Ford is not dead? That he hired an impersonator to take his place to fill the coffin and lie through all that silly ceremony - an exact lookalike - until all the weeping relatives finally left the church? (God it took them long enough!) And that they closed that coffin on air?

What do you expect from a Ford, a Roosevelt, a Rockefeller, a Donald Trump?

Was Walt Disney any better? God you fools, deceived by Minnie, Donald, Daffy and all the rest! Couldn’t you see it was all a plot! That Alexander Hamilton hatched it?!

The brainwashing of America began on that day when Mickey appeared up on the screen in oldfashioned black and white dancing that silly little jig. And innocents applauded thinking how cute. Fools!

Of course Ford is still alive. Living in Trump's midtown Manhattan apartment! Disguised as the family dog! (When Trump’s girlfriend comes home at night stoned out of her mind she sometimes thinks he’s the goldfish.) But who cares about the travails of the rich?

You idiots! You can't see any of this? Where have you been all your pathetic lives?

Vote Ron Paul! Don't vote. Paul can't win so the election is rigged. Even if it weren't rigged don't vote. It all leads to nothing! Idiots! Fools! Mice! Morons! Gran mal savants engenues retardu mort perfaits!

Alphabet? Alphabet? I don’t need no stinking alphabet! Just an uninterrupted stream of high octane inflammatory words.  



12 Feb 2008 @ 23:33 by jazzolog : The Healthy Benefits Of Rant
Many of us older guys never learned to let loose. We were buckled-in-the-back, buttoned-down, gray-flanneled, and at Barneys we could overcome any insecurity. Now we have the Internet and can rave on out! No more sweaty hands when the girls come on strong. But if we're too late? And the planet turns to dust?  


14 Feb 2008 @ 14:25 by Suzie Q @71.94.156.121 : Rant
" Now we have the Internet and can rave on out! No more sweaty hands when the girls come on strong."

A rant is a speech or text that does not present a well-researched and calm argument; rather, it is typically an attack on an idea, a person or an institution, and very often lacks proven claims. Such attacks are usually personal attacks. Compare with a dialectic.
In some cases, rants are based on facts and concrete information, but the key ideas expressed are what the individual personally feels. However, some rants are used not to attack something, but to defend an individual, idea or organization. Rants of this type generally occur after the subject has been attacked by another individual or group. (wikipedia)

Oopsy doodle there Jazz. Gave your hand away! In the end ranting releases all that pent up energy to change things and what happens...Nothing changes! LOL...Only other ranters listen and then there is a loud uproar of ranting....
Maybe humanity is no longer blessed to live on earth! (my rant) hahaha  



14 Feb 2008 @ 17:22 by jazzolog : Bordering On Rant
Indeed it is a thin line. Just look at what's become of this site...or maybe some may not want to see the tattered crazy quilt of what's left of good intentions. I had a professor once who said the epitaph he feared worst for himself would read, "He meant well."  


14 Feb 2008 @ 17:28 by quinty : If I may rant
about my rant?

lt was intended to be a spoof. Comedy. Perhaps even satire on some rants which appear here. Did it touch a nerve? Do we look back upon our former rants with a slight sense of shame? Or of pride in our audacity?

Out on the radio airwaves around here there's an ad against raving on the internet. This kid comes on and starts verbally attacking another kid, commenting on her zits, ugly appearance, stupidity, etc. When it's over an adult voice comes on and says: "You would never speak to someone that way face to face. You shouldn't do it on the web." (I paraphrase.)

It's easy to let loose on the web since the atmosphere here at times (the web in general, that is) is like the interior of an old saloon in the Nevada Territory. In some ways a very human place but most inhospitable.

I wonder, sometimes, how much this ranting shows about us? It certainly is instructive. And following some of these threads/messages exposes us more to human nature. True enough, people talk the way they would never talk face to face. It’s kind of like gossip made exposed with a safe added dash of venom.

Aaaaaargh!!!!!!!!!!  



14 Feb 2008 @ 17:37 by quinty : I mean
after all gang, what I said in that rant was pretty ridiculous. Perhaps it so closely mimicked what appears in other entries that it appeared like the real thing?

Or maybe I just don’t see that others saw and see something else which I may not see and am therefore making a fool of myself.

Somebody will undoubtedly write a PhD thesis or a best selling book on all this. Undoubtedly. (Which doesn’t bode well for future of the novel.)

We dump a lot of ...... on these sites.

Okay! Okay! I'm guilty too!!!  



14 Feb 2008 @ 18:33 by jazzolog @70.60.17.88 : Bunched Up
I know that, don't worry. You are among friends. But there are ranters and haranguers and hangers-on in here. You have "Elle," and I have "Suzie Q" to keep me in line. I just know both the ladies and like to kid around with them sometimes.  


14 Feb 2008 @ 19:09 by Between Rants @72.195.137.102 : Shew
I can take a breath!  


14 Feb 2008 @ 19:38 by jazzolog : How About
someone raving around here? Enough ranting, more raving! I thought LostFoot was cooler than 'TweenBreaths.  


14 Feb 2008 @ 22:21 by Suzie Qubed @71.94.156.121 : Rave
(Quinty I am sorry to inform you but you are not crazy) (Tough break since insanity can explain some ranting, But when you are sane and rant that takes one's energy to an entirely differnt level. Don't ask me what level, way too deep for me>)

"How About someone raving around here? Enough ranting, more raving" Jazz

" A rave (or rave party) is the term in use since the 1980s for dance parties (often all-night events) where DJs and other performers play electronic dance music, which may also be referred to as "rave music", with the accompaniment of laser light shows, projected images, and artificial fog. Popular rave dance styles include breakdancing, popping and locking, shuffling, glowsticking, liquid dancing, and poi. Rave parties are often associated with the use of "club drugs" such as ecstasy, LSD, and, more recently, ketamine." (wikipedia)
Rave may also refer to:
Rave Wireless, provider of mobile phone software and service to university communities
Free party, an illegal rave
Rave music, music for dancing
Rave Master, an anime and manga franchise, also known as Groove Adventure Rave
Rave Motion Pictures, a movie theater company
Rave (magazine), an Indian music magazine
Rave (film), a 2000 film starring Douglas Spain
Rave - a UK pop music magazine in the 1960s. (wikipedia)

I guess some words change meaning over time eh Jazz? Or do you actually have a rave party in mind in Ohio? (Next month I make the leap to NC from CA so I'll be closer to you when you have your rave party)...LOL...(And leave my Elle in CA...not so LOL)

Between Rants- Be careful what you breath!

Tis interesting that the biggest ranter/raver of all hasn't commented yet on this hot topic that is a bit off topic. Will wonders...never mind.  



14 Feb 2008 @ 22:25 by Suzie Qubed three @71.94.156.121 : Rave on
Forgot to leave these lyrics in above comment -
Van Morrison

Rave on john donne, rave on thy holy fool
Down through the weeks of ages
In the moss borne dark dank pools

Rave on, down through the industrial revolution
Empiricism, atomic and nuclear age
Rave on down through time and space down through the corridors
Rave on words on printed page

Rave on, you left us infinity
And well pressed pages torn to fade
Drive on with wild abandon
Uptempo, frenzied heels

Rave on, walt whitman, nose down in wet grass
Rave on fill the senses
On natures bright green shady path

Rave on omar khayyam, rave on kahlil gibran
Oh, what sweet wine we drinketh
The celebration will be held
We will partake the wine and break the holy bread

Rave on let a man come out of ireland
Rave on on mr. yeats,
Rave on down through the holy rosey cross
Rave on down through theosophy, and the golden dawn
Rave on through the writing of a vision
Rave on, rave on, rave on, rave on, rave on, rave on

Rave on john donne, rave on thy holy fool
Down through the weeks of ages
In the moss borne dark dank pools

Rave on, down though the industrial revolution
Empiricism, atomic and nuclear age
Rave on words on printed page  



15 Feb 2008 @ 00:47 by quinty : Well Suzie Q
considering I based all my hopes for the future on being nuts that's bad news.

Being nuts explains a lot of things, and takes us off the hook on many occasions. I would sometimes prefer be nuts than face my so-called “existential dilemma,” as it has been called.

Being a moron helps too. Whenever we witness a moron smiling broadly lazing about in the sun, idly scratching himself without a care, how blessed he appears. To have been born without intelligence!

For thinking through these problems in life - so many questions! - is indeed daunting.

What did Shakespeare say? "Conscience makes cowards of us all?"

The moron can take thoughtful delight in a cookie! No one greatly worries about his needs. But they too are easy victims, like the possum crushed on the road.

But on the other hand intelligence also allows us to see that odd mysterious harmony outside ourselves. Intelligence takes many forms and permits us to see beauty and art, to see and understand abstract concepts, to meditate deeply with rapt wonder as we watch the sun set over a quiet woods.

But intelligence also forces us to contemplate ourselves. Our weird natures. We ask “Why?” as we stand on the dark street before a tenement and watch the young body brought out beneath a sheet. We think of the man who shot that young body who has disappeared into the surrounding slum. We know that he is different from us and that somehow he has ended his life too. We constantly plague ourselves with the riddle of life. We feel deeply the contrasts. At times it becomes too large for us.

Humor is the outlet, isn’t it? We can laugh. In some places tragedy makes people laugh. It’s their valve, their escape valve. They laugh at fate. They know it can happen to them too. Without superiority they sense the joke. And can only wait and watch.

Being nuts can be morbid, too. There are those who slump their heads into the dark, without moving. Who remain still as life’s excitement passes them by. Who are not touched by the fire. They don’t even care to comb their own hair. There are those who are so sad.

And there are those who commit unspeakable crimes. Nuts or sane, the line is hard to define. Sometimes stupidity can’t be told apart from insanity, they are so much alike. (Look at George Bush!)

One big question. One big existential question.

“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

(This has been a slow and mellow rant, a muzzled rave. A tiny interlude before moving on. Walt Whitman never smoked “wet grass.” And would he consider a barbaric yap a rave? How would he deal with TV, the modern media? Would the collaborative system in Hollywood have crushed him? Would he be working as an office boy or mail clerk somewhere? Would he have been picked up for loitering, sleeping on park benches? Would he be a master chef, a priest, a shaman or an ordinary bell ringer for the Salvation Army? Maybe a bartender in a gay bar? What would Walt be doing today? Anyone know?)  



15 Feb 2008 @ 01:41 by Suzie Que @71.94.156.121 : Existential Answers
15 Feb 2008 @ 00:47 by quinty : Well Suzie Q
considering I based all my hopes for the future on being nuts that's bad news.

Well you could do drugs and how do you know what Walt smoked or not smoked! For that matter how do we know what Shakespeare smoked or not smoked!!!! ( I do and don't recommend taking drugs. Is that clear?)

I admit it is tough living in an insane world when one is reasonably intelligent. It is hard to see the disfunction (take George Bush as an example) and pay for it with our taxes (use Iraq as an example).

The boats keep beaching themselves, another example of history repeating itself....sigh

I've mostly stopped questioning the riddles of life. I'm along for the ride and enjoying the patchwork of connections stitched into my life.

(I suppose this is a minor rant. Only skimming over the serious stuff to get to the laughter. I laugh alot now when I see ALL the politicians on TV. NONE of them really know what they are doing but they think they DO. And most of them claim to be intelligent. So that is scarry but...never mind. I'm still awaiting news about the rave Jazz is planning in Ohio)  



15 Feb 2008 @ 10:23 by jazzolog : Raging Against The Dying Of The Light
Yes, we must move on(.org) to the rage. After all, I wrote about the kind of rave parties at Ohio University last month, in an article called Getting Drunk For Dr. King. http://www.newciv.org/mem/persnewslog.php?did=63&vid=63&xmode=show_article&artid=000063-000471&amode=standard&aoffset=0&time=1203070212 By the way, on that matter, I probably should have updated that, while there was some unpleasant reaction to Alissa Griffith's article, mostly I think OU students and faculty handled the matter quite well. One of the parties even cancelled out after the host was visited by a student officer in the local NAACP.

But back to the issue--- Good grief, what IS the issue? Talk about fiddling while Rome melts! Yes, we need some raging about. And please Suzie Queued, don't tempt the site's biggest ranter/raver, to say nothing of totally raged-out warrior, to come in here. He often retires to a cave in cold weather, and both Quinty and I are enjoying the respite.

As for Walt Whitman (anyone care for a chocolate this morning after?) I suspect he might be turning to or even writing for a site that finally tells us what the word was that Jane Fonda said (as if we hadn't suspected it) and enjoying it as much as this writer did~~~

http://www.gaywired.com/article.cfm?section=67&id=18195

Ah, if you knew Suzie like I know Suzie, you'd be in stitches too.

Now, can we please get serious around here?  



15 Feb 2008 @ 16:19 by quinty : About those kids
at the "rave" parties. Maybe we shouldn't be so hard on them?

What the hell did we know anyway when we were their age?

Brace yourself: a profundity is approaching. Henry Miller once described a human being as an onion with a million skins. The more skins we peel off the more we see we are all really quite alike. (Even like those towel heads in the Middle East with their “Islamo fashhhhism...” Imagine GW saying that.) These stupid kids at these dumb insensitive parties exhibiting no knowledge of America's past or current social ails or of any human suffering just don't see that Aunt Jemima actually represents a lot of people. People who stand unspeaking and quiet in the background as they are cruelly mocked. Dumb white kids just think they're having a great big lark. What are those little pickaninny dolls gathering dust up there for?

But it appears they retract when their slip is pointed out to them. And some can understand.

An onion with a million skins? Man, that's a bargain basement profundity. I mean, can’t we do better?

What’s more, when it comes to nativism and racism and an enemy at home and abroad we have a whole new crop. The Muslims and illegal aliens. (So petty is the current nativist hysteria that never mind a public health issue is involved in healthcare delivery to illegals [if an illegal gets a bug it can spread] not to mention common humanity.) Yesterday the gays, the blacks, the Puerto Ricans (In NYC) and before them the irish, the Germans, the Poles, the Jews, and the Italians. It’s always someone. Who next?

Did everyone see Arundhati Roy’s piece on genocide?  



15 Feb 2008 @ 17:43 by Quinty @72.195.137.102 : Did I say genocide?

Heavy stuff. There many versions of this circulating around. Here's one....

http://www.countercurrents.org/roy260108.htm

Listening To Grasshoppers-
Genocide, Denial And Celebration

By Arundhati Roy

26 January, 2008
Countercurrents.org


I never met Hrant Dink, a misfortune that will be mine for time to come. From what I know of him, of what he wrote, what he said and did, how he lived his life, I know that had I been here in Istanbul a year ago I would have been among the one hundred thousand people who walked with his coffin in dead silence through the wintry streets of this city, with banners saying, "We are all Armenians", "We are all Hrant Dink". Perhaps I'd have carried the one that said, "One and a half million plus one".* [*One-and-a-half million is the number of Armenians who were systematically murdered by the Ottoman Empire in the genocide in Anatolia in the spring of 1915. The Armenians, the largest Christian minority living under Islamic Turkic rule in the area, had lived in Anatolia for more than 2,500 years.]

***
In a way, my battle is like yours. But while in Turkey there's silence, in India, there is celebration.
***

I wonder what thoughts would have gone through my head as I walked beside his coffin. Maybe I would have heard a reprise of the voice of Araxie Barsamian, mother of my friend David Barsamian, telling the story of what happened to her and her family. She was ten years old in 1915. She remembered the swarms of grasshoppers that arrived in her village, Dubne, which was north of the historic city Dikranagert, now Diyarbakir. The village elders were alarmed, she said, because they knew in their bones that the grasshoppers were a bad omen. They were right; the end came in a few months, when the wheat in the fields was ready for harvesting.

"When we left...(we were) 25 in the family," Araxie Barsamian says. "They took all the men folks. They asked my father, 'Where is your ammunition?' He says, 'I sold it.' So they says, 'Go get it.' So he went to the Kurd town to get it, they beat him and took all his clothes. When he came back there-this my mother tells me story-when he came back there, naked body, he went in the jail, they cut his arms...so he die in jail.

And they took all the mens in the field, they tied their hands, and they shooted, killed every one of them."

Araxie and the other women in her family were deported. All of them perished except Araxie. She was the lone survivor.

This is, of course, a single testimony that comes from a history that is denied by the Turkish government, and many Turks as well.

I am not here to play the global intellectual, to lecture you, or to fill the silence in this country that surrounds the memory (or the forgetting) of the events that took place in Anatolia in 1915. That is what Hrant Dink tried to do, and paid for with his life.

***
Most genocidal killing from the 15th century onwards has been part of Europe's search for lebensraum.
***

The day I arrived in Istanbul, I walked the streets for many hours, and as I looked around, envying the people of Istanbul their beautiful, mysterious, thrilling city, a friend pointed out to me young boys in white caps who seemed to have suddenly appeared like a rash in the city. He explained that they were expressing their solidarity with the child-assassin who was wearing a white cap when he killed Hrant.

The battle with the cap-wearers of Istanbul, of Turkey, is not my battle, it's yours. I have my own battles to fight against other kinds of cap-wearers and torchbearers in my country. In a way, the battles are not all that different. There is one crucial difference, though. While in Turkey there is silence, in India there's celebration, and I really don't know which is worse.

In the state of Gujarat, there was a genocide against the Muslim community in 2002.

I use the word Genocide advisedly, and in keeping with its definition contained in Article 2 of the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. The genocide began as collective punishment for an unsolved crime-the burning of a railway coach in which 53 Hindu pilgrims were burned to death. In a carefully planned orgy of supposed retaliation, 2,000 Muslims were slaughtered in broad daylight by squads of armed killers, organised by fascist militias, and backed by the Gujarat government and the administration of the day. Muslim women were gang-raped and burned alive.

Muslim shops, Muslim businesses and Muslim shrines and mosques were systematically destroyed. Some 1,50,000 people were driven from their homes.

Even today, many of them live in ghettos-some built on garbage heaps-with no water supply, no drainage, no streetlights, no healthcare. They live as second-class citizens, boycotted socially and economically. Meanwhile, the killers, police as well as civilian, have been embraced, rewarded, promoted. This state of affairs is now considered 'normal'. To seal the 'normality', in 2004, both Ratan Tata and Mukesh Ambani, India's leading industrialists, publicly pronounced Gujarat a dream destination for finance capital.

The initial outcry in the national press has settled down. In Gujarat, the genocide has been brazenly celebrated as the epitome of Gujarati pride, Hindu-ness, even Indian-ness. This poisonous brew has been used twice in a row to win state elections, with campaigns that have cleverly used the language and apparatus of modernity and democracy. The helmsman, Narendra Modi, has become a folk hero, called in by the BJP to campaign on its behalf in other Indian states.

As genocides go, the Gujarat genocide cannot compare with the people killed in the Congo, Rwanda and Bosnia, where the numbers run into millions, nor is it by any means the first that has occurred in India. (In 1984, for instance, 3,000 Sikhs were massacred on the streets of Delhi with similar impunity, by killers overseen by the Congress Party.) But the Gujarat genocide is part of a larger, more elaborate and systematic vision. It tells us that the wheat is ripening and the grasshoppers have landed in mainland India.

It's an old human habit, genocide is. It has played a sterling part in the march of civilisation. Amongst the earliest recorded genocides is thought to be the destruction of Carthage at the end of the Third Punic War in 149 BC. The word itself-genocide-was coined by Raphael Lemkin only in 1943, and adopted by the United Nations in 1948, after the Nazi Holocaust. Article 2 of the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide defines it as:

"Any of the following Acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life, calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or part; imposing measures
intended to prevent births within the group; [or] forcibly transferring children of the group to another group."

Since this definition leaves out the persecution of political dissidents, real or imagined, it does not include some of the greatest mass murders in history. Personally I think the definition by Frank Chalk and Kurt Jonassohn, authors of The History and Sociology of Genocide, is more apt.

Genocide, they say, "is a form of one-sided mass killing in which a state or other authority intends to destroy a group, as that group and membership in it are defined by the perpetrator." Defined like this, genocide would include, for example, the monumental crimes committed by Suharto in Indonesia (1 million) Pol Pot in Cambodia (1.5 million), Stalin in the Soviet Union (60 million), Mao in China (70 million).

All things considered, the word extermination, with its crude evocation of pests and vermin, of infestations, is perhaps the more honest, more apposite word. When a set of perpetrators faces its victims, in order to go about its business of wanton killing, it must first sever any human connection with it. It must see its victims as sub-human, as parasites whose eradication would be a service to society. Here, for example, is an account of the massacre of Pequot Indians by English Puritans led by John Mason in Connecticut in 1636:

Those that escaped the fire were slaine with the sword; some hewed to peeces, others rune throw with their rapiers, so they were quickly dispatchte, and very few escaped. It was conceived they thus destroyed about 400 at this time. It was a fearful sight to see them thus frying in the fyre, and the streams of blood quenching the same, and horrible was the stincke and sente thereof, but the victory seemed a sweete sacrifice....

And here, approximately four centuries later, is Babu Bajrangi, one of the major lynchpins of the Gujarat genocide, recorded on camera in the sting operation mounted by Tehelka a few months ago:

We didn't spare a single Muslim shop, we set everything on fire...hacked, burned, set on fire...we believe in setting them on fire because these bastards don't want to be cremated, they're afraid of it.... I have just one last wish...let me be sentenced to death...I don't care if I'm hanged...just give me two days before my hanging and I will go and have a field day in Juhapura where seven or eight lakhs of these people stay...I will finish them off...let a few more of them die...at least 25,000 to 50,000 should die.

I hardly need to say that Babu Bajrangi had the blessings of Narendra Modi, the protection of the police, and the love of his people. He continues to work and prosper as a free man in Gujarat. The one crime he cannot be accused of is Genocide Denial.

Genocide Denial is a radical variation on the theme of the old, frankly racist, bloodthirsty triumphalism. It was probably evolved as an answer to the somewhat patchy dual morality that arose in the 19th century, when Europe was developing limited but new forms of democracy and citizens' rights at home while simultaneously exterminating people in their millions in her colonies. Suddenly countries and governments began to deny or attempt to hide the genocides they had committed. "Denial is saying, in effect," says Professor Robert Jay Lifton, author of Hiroshima and America: Fifty Years of Denial, "that the murderers did not murder. The victims weren't killed. The direct consequence of denial is that it invites future genocide."

Of course today, when genocide politics meets the Free Market, official recognition-or denial-of holocausts and genocides is a multinational business enterprise. It rarely has anything to do to with historical fact or forensic evidence. Morality certainly does not enter the picture. It is an aggressive process of high-end bargaining, that belongs more to the World Trade Organisation than to the United Nations.

The currency is geopolitics, the fluctuating market for natural resources, that curious thing called futures trading and plain old economic and military might.

In other words, genocides are often denied for the same set of reasons as genocides are prosecuted. Economic determinism marinated in racial/ethnic/religious/national discrimination. Crudely, the lowering or raising of the price of a barrel of oil (or a tonne of uranium), permission granted for a military base, or the opening up of a country's economy could be the decisive factor when governments adjudicate on whether a genocide did or did not occur.

Or indeed whether genocide will or will not occur. And if it does, whether it will or will not be reported, and if it is, then what slant that reportage will take. For example, the death of two million in the Congo goes virtually unreported. Why? And was the death of a million Iraqis under the sanctions regime, prior to the US invasion, genocide (which is what Denis Halliday, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, called it) or was it 'worth it', as Madeleine Albright, the US ambassador to the UN, claimed? It depends on who makes the rules. Bill Clinton? Or an Iraqi mother who has lost her child?

Since the United States is the richest and most powerful country in the world, it has assumed the privilege of being the World's Number One Genocide Denier. It continues to celebrate Columbus Day, the day Christopher Columbus arrived in the Americas, which marks the beginning of a Holocaust that wiped out millions of native Indians, about 90 per cent of the original population. (Lord Amherst, the man whose idea it was to distribute blankets infected with smallpox virus to Indians, has a university town in Massachusetts, and a prestigious liberal arts college named after him).

In America's second Holocaust, almost 30 million Africans were kidnapped and sold into slavery. Well near half of them died during transportation. But in 2002, the US delegation could still walk out of the World Conference Against Racism in Durban, refusing to acknowledge that slavery and the slave trade were crimes. Slavery, they insisted, was legal at the time. The US has also refused to accept that the bombing of Tokyo, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Dresden and Hamburg-which killed hundreds of thousands of civilians-were crimes, let alone acts of genocide. (The argument here is that the government didn't intend to kill civilians. This was the first stage in the development of the concept of "collateral damage".) Since the end of World War II, the US government has intervened overtly, militarily, more than 400 times in 100 countries, and covertly more than 6,000 times. This includes its invasion of Vietnam and the extermination, with excellent intentions of course, of three million Vietnamese (approximately 10 per cent of its population).

None of these has been acknowledged as war crimes or genocidal acts.

"The question is," says Robert MacNamara-whose career graph took him from the bombing of Tokyo in 1945 (1,00,000 dead overnight) to being the architect of the Vietnam War, to President of the World Bank-now sitting in his comfortable chair in his comfortable home in his comfortable country, "the question is, how much evil do you have to do in order to do good?"

Could there be a more perfect illustration of Robert Jay Lifton's point that the denial of genocide invites more genocide?

And what when victims become perpetrators? (In Rwanda, in the Congo?) What remains to be said about Israel, created out of the debris of one of the cruellest genocides in human history? What of its actions in the Occupied Territories? Its burgeoning settlements, its colonisation of
water, its new 'Security Wall' that separates Palestinian people from their farms, from their work, from their relatives, from their children's schools, from hospitals and healthcare? It is genocide in a fishbowl, genocide in slow motion-meant especially to illustrate that section of Article 2 of the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, which says that genocide is any act that is designed to "deliberately inflict on the group conditions of life, calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or part".

The history of genocide tells us that it's not an aberration, an anomaly, a glitch in the human system.

Most of the genocidal killing from the 15th century onwards has been an integral part of Europe's search for what the Germans famously called Lebensraum-living space. Lebensraum was a word coined by the German geographer and zoologist Freidrich Ratzel to describe what he thought of as the dominant human species' natural impulse to expand its territory in its search for not just space, but sustenance. This impulse to expansion would naturally be at the cost of a less dominant species, a weaker species that Nazi ideologues believed should give way, or be made to give way, to the stronger one.

The idea of lebensraum was set out in precise terms in 1901, but Europe had already begun her quest for lebensraum 400 years earlier, when Columbus landed in America. The search for lebensraum also took Europeans to Africa: unleashing holocaust after holocaust. The Germans exterminated almost the entire population of the Hereros in Southwest Africa; while in the Congo, the Belgians' "experiment in commercial expansion" cost

10 million lives. By the last quarter of the 19th century, the British had exterminated the aboriginal people of Tasmania, and of most of Australia.

Sven Lindqvist, author of Exterminate the Brutes, argues that it was Hitler's quest for lebensraum-in a world that had already been carved up by other European countries-that led the Nazis to push through Eastern Europe and on toward Russia. The Jews of Eastern Europe and western Russia stood in the way of Hitler's colonial ambitions. Therefore, like the native
people of Africa and America and Asia, they had to be enslaved or liquidated. So, Lindqvist says, the Nazis' racist dehumanisation of Jews cannot be dismissed as a paroxysm of insane evil. Once again, it is a product of the familiar mix: economic determinism well marinated in age-old racism, very much in keeping with European tradition of the time.

It's not a coincidence that the political party that carried out the Armenian genocide in the Ottoman Empire, was called the Committee for Union & Progress.

'Union' (racial/ethnic/religious/national) and 'Progress' (economic determinism) have long been the twin coordinates of genocide.

Armed with this reading of history, is it reasonable to worry about whether a country that is poised on the threshold of "progress" is also poised on the threshold of genocide? Could the India being celebrated all over the world as a miracle of progress and democracy, possibly be poised on the verge of committing genocide? The mere suggestion might sound outlandish and, at this point of time, the use of the word genocide surely unwarranted. However, if we look to the future, and if the Tsars of Development believe in their own publicity, if they believe that There Is No Alternative to their chosen model for Progress, then they will inevitably have to kill, and kill in large numbers, in order to get their way.

Advani's chariot of fire: And so the Union project was launched

In bits and pieces, as the news trickles in, it seems clear that the killing and the dying has already begun.

It was in 1989, soon after the collapse of the Soviet Union, that the Government of India turned in its membership of the Non-Aligned Movement and signed up for membership of the Completely Aligned, often referring to itself as the 'natural ally' of Israel and the United States. (They have at least this one thing in common-all three are engaged in overt, neo-colonial military occupations: India in Kashmir, Israel in Palestine, the US in Iraq.)

Almost like clockwork, the two major national political parties, the BJP and the Congress, embarked on a joint programme to advance India's version of Union and Progress, whose modern-day euphemisms are Nationalism and Development. Every now and then, particularly during elections, they stage noisy familial squabbles, but have managed to gather into their fold even grumbling relatives, like the Communist Party of India (Marxist).

The Union project offers Hindu Nationalism (which seeks to unite the Hindu vote, vital you will admit, for a great democracy like India). The Progress project aims at a 10 per cent annual growth rate. Both these projects are encrypted with genocidal potential.

The Union project has been largely entrusted to the RSS, the ideological heart, the holding company of the BJP and its militias, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Bajrang Dal. The RSS was founded in 1925. By the 1930s, its founder, Dr Hedgewar, a fan of Benito Mussolini, had begun to
model it overtly along the lines of Italian fascism. Hitler too was, and is, an inspirational figure. Here are some excerpts from the RSS Bible, We or Our Nationhood Defined by M.S. Golwalkar, who succeeded Dr Hedgewar as head of the RSS in 1940:

Ever since that evil day, when Moslems first landed in Hindustan, right up to the present moment, the Hindu Nation has been gallantly fighting on to take on these despoilers. The Race Spirit has been awakening.

Then:

In Hindustan, land of the Hindus, lives and should live the Hindu Nation.... All others are traitors and enemies to the National Cause, or, to take a charitable view, idiots....

The foreign races in Hindustan...may stay in the country, wholly subordinated to the Hindu Nation, claiming nothing, deserving no privileges, far less any preferential treatment-not even citizen's rights.

And again:

To keep up the purity of its race and culture, Germany shocked the world by her purging the country of the Semitic races-the Jews.

Race pride at its highest has been manifested here...a good lesson for us in Hindustan to learn and profit by.

(How do you combat this kind of organised hatred? Certainly not with goofy preachings of secular love.)

By the year 2000, the RSS had more than 45,000 shakhas and an army of seven million swayamsevaks preaching its doctrine across India. They include India's former prime minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, the former home minister and current leader of the Opposition, L.K. Advani, and, of
course, the three-times Gujarat chief minister, Narendra Modi. It also includes senior people in the media, the police, the army, the intelligence agencies, judiciary and the administrative services who are informal devotees of Hindutva-the RSS ideology. These people, unlike
politicians who come and go, are permanent members of government machinery.

But the RSS's real power lies in the fact that it has put in decades of hard work and has created a network of organisations at every level of society, something that no other organisation can claim.

The BJP is its political front. It has a trade union wing (Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh), a women's wing (Rashtriya Sevika Samiti), a student wing (Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad) and an economic wing (Swadeshi Jagaran Manch).

Its front organisation Vidya Bharati is the largest educational organisation in the non-governmental sector. It has 13,000 educational institutes including the Saraswati Vidya Mandir schools with 70,000 teachers and over 1.7 million students. It has organisations working with tribals (Vanavasi Kalyan Ashram), literature (Akhil Bharatiya Sahitya Parishad), intellectuals (Pragya Bharati, Deendayal Research Institute), historians (Bharatiya Itihaas Sankalan Yojanalaya), language (Sanskrit Bharti), slum-dwellers (Seva Bharati, Hindu Seva Pratishthan), health (Swami Vivekanand Medical Mission, National Medicos Organisation), leprosy patients (Bharatiya Kushtha Nivaran Sangh), cooperatives (Sahkar Bharati), publication of newspapers and other propaganda material (Bharat Prakashan, Suruchi Prakashan, Lokhit Prakashan, Gyanganga Prakashan, Archana Prakashan, Bharatiya Vichar Sadhana, Sadhana Pustak and Akashvani Sadhana), caste integration (Samajik Samrasta Manch), religion and proselytisation (Vivekananda Kendra, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Hindu Jagaran Manch, Bajrang Dal). The list goes on and on...

On June 11, 1989, Congress prime minister Rajiv Gandhi gave the RSS a gift. He was obliging enough to open the locks of the disputed Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, which the RSS claimed was the birthplace of Lord Ram. At the National Executive of the BJP, the party passed a resolution to demolish the mosque and build a temple in Ayodhya. "I'm sure the resolution will translate into votes," said L.K. Advani. In 1990, he criss-crossed the country on his Rath Yatra, his Chariot of Fire, demanding the demolition of the Babri Masjid, leaving riots and bloodshed in his wake. In 1991, the party won 120 seats in Parliament. (It had won two in 1984). The hysteria orchestrated by Advani peaked in 1992, when the mosque was brought down by a marauding mob. By 1998, the BJP was in power at the Centre. Its first act in office was to conduct a series of nuclear tests. Across the country, fascists and corporates, princes and paupers alike, celebrated India's Hindu Bomb. Hindutva had transcended petty party politics.

In 2002, Narendra Modi's government planned and executed the Gujarat genocide. In the elections that took place a few months after the genocide, he was returned to power with an overwhelming majority. He ensured complete impunity for those who had participated in the killings. In the rare case where there has been a conviction, it is of course the lowly footsoldiers, and not the masterminds, who stand in the dock.

Impunity is an essential prerequisite for genocidal killing.

India has a great tradition of granting impunity to mass killers. I could fill volumes with the details.

In a democracy, for impunity after genocide, you have to "apply through proper channels". Procedure is everything. In the case of several massacres, the lawyers that the Gujarat government appointed as public prosecutors had actually already appeared for the accused. Several of them belonged to the RSS or the VHP and were openly hostile to those they were supposedly representing. Survivor witnesses found that, when they went to the police to file reports, the police would record their statements inaccurately, or refuse to record the names of the perpetrators. In several cases, when survivors had seen members of their families being killed (and burned alive so their bodies could not be found), the police would refuse to register cases of murder.

Ehsan Jaffri, the Congress politician and poet who had made the mistake of campaigning against Modi in the Rajkot elections, was publicly butchered. (By a mob led by a fellow Congressman.) In the words of a man who took part in the savagery:

Five people held him, then someone struck him with a sword...chopped off his hand, then his legs...then everything else...after cutting him to pieces, they put him on the wood they'd piled and set him on fire. Burned him alive.

The Ahmedabad Commissioner of Police, P.C. Pandey, was kind enough to visit the neighbourhood while the mob lynched Jaffri, murdered 70 people, and gang-raped 12 women before burning them alive. After Modi was re-elected, Pandey was promoted, and made Gujarat's Director-General of Police. The entire killing apparatus remains in place.

The Supreme Court in Delhi made a few threatening noises, but eventually put the matter into cold storage. The Congress and the Communist parties made a great deal of noise, but did nothing.

In the Tehelka sting operation, broadcast recently on a news channel at prime time, apart from Babu Bajrangi, killer after killer recounted how the genocide had been planned and executed, how Modi and senior politicians and police officers had been personally involved. None of this information was new, but there they were, the butchers, on the news networks, not just admitting to, but boasting about their crimes. The overwhelming public reaction to the sting was not outrage, but suspicion about its timing. Most people believed that the expose would help Modi win the elections again. Some even believed, quite outlandishly, that he had engineered the sting. He did win the elections. And this time, on the ticket of Union and Progress. A committee all unto himself. At BJP rallies, thousands of adoring supporters now wear plastic Modi masks, chanting slogans of death. The fascist democrat has physically mutated into a million little fascists. These are the joys of democracy. Who in Nazi Germany would have dared to put on a Hitler mask?

Preparations to recreate the 'Gujarat blueprint' are currently in different stages in the BJP-ruled states of Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka.

To commit genocide, says Peter Balkian, scholar of the Armenian genocide, you have to marginalise a sub-group for a long time. This criterion has been well met in India. The Muslims of India have been systematically marginalised and have now joined the Adivasis and Dalits, who have not just been marginalised, but dehumanised by caste Hindu society and its scriptures, for years, for centuries. (There was a time when they were dehumanised in order to be put to work doing things that caste Hindus would not do.

Now, with technology, even that labour is becoming redundant.) Part of the RSS's work involves setting Dalits against Muslims, Adivasis against Dalits.

While the 'people' were engaged with the Union project and its doctrine of hatred, India's Progress project was proceeding apace. The new regime of privatisation and liberalisation resulted in the sale of the country's natural resources and public infrastructure to private corporations. It has created an unimaginably wealthy upper class and growing middle classes who have naturally become militant evangelists for the new dispensation.

The Progress project has its own tradition of impunity and subterfuge, no less horrific than the elaborate machinery of the Union project. At the heart of it lies the most powerful institution in India, the Supreme Court, which is rapidly becoming a pillar of Corporate Power, issuing order after order allowing for the building of dams, the interlinking of rivers, indiscriminate mining, the destruction of forests and water systems. All of this could be described as ecocide-a prelude perhaps to genocide. (And to criticise the court is a criminal offence, punishable by imprisonment).

Ironically, the era of the free market has led to the most successful secessionist struggle ever waged in India-the secession of the middle and upper classes to a country of their own, somewhere up in the stratosphere where they merge with the rest of the world's elite. This Kingdom in the Sky is a complete universe in itself, hermetically sealed from the rest of India. It has its own newspapers, films, television programmes, morality plays, transport systems, malls and intellectuals. And in case you are beginning to think it's all joy-joy, you're wrong. It also has its own tragedies, its own environmental issues (parking problems, urban air pollution); its own class struggles. An organisation called Youth for Equality, for example, has taken up the issue of Reservations, because it feels Upper Castes are discriminated against by India's pulverised Lower Castes. It has its own People's Movements and candle-light vigils (Justice for Jessica, the model who was shot in a bar) and even its own People's Car (the Wagon for the Volks launched by the Tata Group recently). It even has its own dreams that take the form of TV advertisements in which Indian CEOs (smeared with Fair & Lovely Face Cream, Men's) buy over international corporations, including an imaginary East India Company. They are ushered into their plush new offices by fawning white women (who look as though they're longing to be laid, the final prize of conquest) and applauding white men, ready to make way for the new kings. Meanwhile, the crowd in the stadium roars to its feet (with credit cards in
its pockets) chanting 'India! India!'

But there is a problem, and the problem is lebensraum. A Kingdom needs its lebensraum. Where will the Kingdom in the Sky find lebensraum? The Sky Citizens look towards the Old Nation. They see Adivasis sitting on the bauxite mountains of Orissa, on the iron ore in Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. They see the people of Nandigram (Muslims, Dalits) sitting on prime land, which really ought to be a chemical hub. They see thousands of acres of farm land, and think, these really ought to be Special Economic Zones for our industries; they see the rich fields of Singur and know this really ought to be a car factory for the People's Car. They think: that's our bauxite, our iron ore, our uranium. What are those people doing on our land? What's our water doing in their rivers? What's our timber doing in their trees?

If you look at a map of India's forests, its mineral wealth and the homelands of the Adivasi people, you'll see that they're stacked up over each other.

So, in reality, those who we call poor are the truly wealthy. But when the Sky Citizens cast their eyes over the land, they see superfluous people sitting on precious resources. The Nazis had a phrase for them-überzahligen Essern, superfluous eaters.

The struggle for lebensraum, Friedrich Ratzel said after closely observing the struggle between Native Indians and their European colonisers in North America, is an annihilating struggle. Annihilation doesn't necessarily mean the physical extermination of people-by bludgeoning, beating, burning, bayoneting, gassing, bombing or shooting them. (Except sometimes. Particularly when they try to put up a fight. Because then they become Terrorists.) Historically, the most efficient form of genocide has been to displace people from their homes, herd them together and block their access to food and water. Under these conditions, they die without obvious violence and often in far greater numbers. "The Nazis gave the Jews a star on their coats and crowded them into 'reserves'," Sven Lindqvist writes, "just as the Indians, the Hereros, the Bushmen, the Amandabele, and all the other children of the stars had been crowded together. They died on their own when food supply to the reserves was cut off."

The historian Mike Davis says that between 12 million and 29 million people starved to death in India in the great famine between 1876 and 1892, while Britain continued to export food and raw material from India. In a democracy, Amartya Sen says, we are unlikely to have Famine. So in place of China's Great Famine, we have India's Great Malnutrition. (India hosts 57 million-more than a third-of the world's undernourished children.)

With the possible exception of China, India today has the largest population of internally displaced people in the world. Dams alone have displaced more than 30 million people. The displacement is being enforced with court decrees or at gunpoint by policemen, by government-controlled militias or corporate thugs. (In Nandigram, even the CPI(M) had its own
armed militia.) The displaced are being herded into tenements, camps and resettlement colonies where, cut off from a means of earning a living, they spiral into poverty.

In the state of Chhattisgarh, being targeted by corporates for its wealth of iron ore, there's a different technique. In the name of fighting Maoist rebels, hundreds of villages have been forcibly evacuated and almost 40,000 people moved into police camps. The government is arming some of them, and has created Salwa Judum, a 'people's militia'. While the poorest fight the poorest, in conditions that approach civil war, the Tata and Essar groups have been quietly negotiating for the rights to mine iron ore in Chhattisgarh. Can we establish a connection? We wouldn't dream of it. Even though the Salwa Judum was announced a day after the Memorandum of Understanding between the Tata Group and the government was signed.

It's not surprising that very little of this account of events makes it into the version of the New India currently on the market. That's because what is on sale is another form of denial-the creation of what Robert Jay Lifton calls a "counterfeit universe". In this universe, systemic horrors are converted into temporary lapses, attributable to flawed individuals, and a more 'balanced' happier world is presented in place of the real one. The balance is spurious: often Union and Progress are set off against each other, a liberal-secular critique of the Union project being used to legitimise the depredations of the Progress project. Those at the top of the food chain, those who have no reason to want to alter the status quo, are most likely to be the manufacturers of the "counterfeit universe".

Their job is to patrol the border, diffuse rage, delegitimise anger, and broker a ceasefire.

Consider the response of Shahrukh Khan to a question about Narendra Modi. "I don't know him personally...I have no opinion...," he says. "Personally they have never been unkind to me." Ramachandra Guha, liberal historian and founding member of the New India Foundation, a corporate-funded trust, advises us in his book-as well as in a series of highly publicised interviews-that the Gujarat government is not really fascist, and the genocide was just an aberration that has corrected itself after elections.

Editors and commentators in the 'secular' national press, having got over their outrage at the Gujarat genocide, now assess Modi's administrative skills, which most of them are uniformly impressed by. The editor of The Hindustan Times said, "Modi may be a mass murderer, but he's our mass murderer", and went on to air his dilemmas about how to deal with a mass murderer who is also a "good" chief minister.

In this 'counterfeit' version of India, in the realm of culture, in the new Bollywood cinema, in the boom in Indo-Anglian literature, the poor, for the most part, are simply absent. They have been erased in advance. (They only put in an appearance as the smiling beneficiaries of Micro-Credit Loans, Development Schemes and charity meted out by ngos.)

Last summer, I happened to wander into a cool room in which four beautiful young girls with straightened hair and porcelain skin were lounging, introducing their puppies to one another. One of them turned to me and said, "I was on holiday with my family and I found an old essay of yours about dams and stuff? I was asking my brother if he knew about what a bad time these Dalits and Adivasis were having, being displaced and all.... I mean just being kicked out of their homes 'n stuff like that? And you know, my brother's such a jerk, he said they're the ones who are holding India back. They should be exterminated. Can you imagine?"

The trouble is, I could. I can.

The puppies were sweet. I wondered whether dogs could ever imagine exterminating each other. They're probably not progressive enough.

That evening, I watched Amitabh Bachchan on TV, appearing in a commercial for The Times of India's 'India Poised' campaign. The TV anchor introducing the campaign said it was meant to inspire people to leave behind the "constraining ghosts of the past". To choose optimism over pessimism.

"There are two Indias in this country," Amitabh Bachchan said, in his famous baritone.

One India is straining at the leash, eager to spring forth and live up to all the adjectives t hat the world has been recently showering upon us. The Other India is the leash.

One India says, "Give me a chance and I'll prove myself."

The Other India says, "Prove yourself first, and maybe then, you'll have a chance."

One India lives in the optimism of our hearts; the Other India lurks in the scepticism of our minds.

One India wants, the Other India hopes... One India leads, the Other India follows.

These conversions are on the rise.

With each passing day, more and more people from the Other India are coming over to this
side. ...

And quietly, while the world is not looking, a pulsating, dynamic, new India is emerging.

And finally:

Now in our 60th year as a free nation, the ride has brought us to the edge of time's great precipice....

And one India, a tiny little voice in the back of the head is looking down at the ravine and hesitating. The Other India is looking up at the sky and saying it's time to fly.

Here is the counterfeit universe laid bare.

It tells us that the rich don't have a choice (There Is No Alternative), but the poor do. They can choose to become rich. If they don't, it's because they are choosing pessimism over optimism, hesitation over confidence, want over hope. In other words, they're choosing to be poor. It's their fault. They are weak. (And we know what the seekers of lebensraum think of the weak.) They are the 'Constraining Ghost of the Past'. They're already ghosts.

"Within an ongoing counterfeit universe," Robert Jay Lifton says, "genocide becomes easy, almost natural."

The poor, the so-called poor, have only one choice: to resist or to succumb. Bachchan is right: they are crossing over, quietly, while the world's not looking. Not to where he thinks, but across another ravine, to another side. The side of armed struggle. From there they look back at the Tsars of Development and mimic their regretful slogan: 'There Is No Alternative.'

They have watched the great Gandhian people's movements being reduced and humiliated, floundering in the quagmire of court cases, hunger strikes and counter-hunger strikes. Perhaps these many million Constraining Ghosts of the Past wonder what advice Gandhi would have given the Indians of the Americas, the slaves of Africa, the Tasmanians, the Herero, the Hottentots, the Armenians, the Jews of Germany, the Muslims of Gujarat. Perhaps they wonder how they can go on hunger strike when they're already starving. How they can boycott foreign goods when they have no money to buy any goods. How they can refuse to pay taxes when they have no earnings.

Stamp out the Naxals: They have no place in Shining India

People who have taken to arms have done so with full knowledge of what the consequences of that decision will be. They have done so knowing that they are on their own. They know that the new laws of the land criminalise the poor and conflate resistance with terrorism. (Peaceful activists are ogws-overground workers.) They know that appeals to conscience, liberal morality and sympathetic press coverage will not help them now. They know no international marches, no globalised dissent, no famous writers will be around when the bullets fly.

Hundreds of thousands have broken faith with the institutions of India's democracy. Large swathes of the country have fallen out of the government's control. (At last count, it was supposed to be 25 per cent). The battle stinks of death, it's by no means pretty. How can it be when the helmsman of the army of Constraining Ghosts is the ghost of Chairman Mao himself? (The ray of hope is that many of the footsoldiers don't know who he is. Or what he did. More Genocide Denial? Maybe). Are they Idealists fighting for a Better World? Well... anything is better than annihilation.

The Prime Minister has declared that the Maoist resistance is the "single largest internal security threat". There have even been appeals to call out the army. The media is agog with breathless condemnation.

Here's a typical newspaper report. Nothing out of the ordinary. Stamp out the Naxals, it is called.

This government is at last showing some sense in tackling Naxalism. Less than a month ago, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asked state governments to "choke" Naxal infrastructure and "cripple" their activities through a dedicated force to eliminate the "virus". It signalled a realisation that Naxalism must be stamped out through enforcement of law, rather than wasteful expense on development.

"Choke". "Cripple". "Virus". "Infested". "Eliminate". "Stamp Out".

Yes. The idea of extermination is in the air. And people believe that faced with extermination, they have the right to fight back.By any means necessary.

Perhaps they've been listening to the grasshoppers.

 



15 Feb 2008 @ 19:12 by jazzolog : I Keep Trying To Get Serious
but absurdity reigns.

http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/uc/20080215/stt080215.gif  



16 Feb 2008 @ 00:05 by b : Tipping Sctipping
The one thing that is absolutely sure is that we hmans here on Earth have messed up our water. The one savng grace is that we can still fix that and purify our waters. Each of us shouldbe concious of the necessity of constanly cleaning and rcycling our water.  


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