Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Black-Robe Posse, continued

""""Judge Mark A. Ciavarella Jr., and a colleague, Michael T. Conahan, appeared in federal court in Scranton, Pa., to plead guilty to wire fraud and income tax fraud for taking more than $2.6 million in kickbacks to send teenagers to two privately run youth detention centers run by PA Child Care and a sister company, Western PA Child Care.

While prosecutors say that Judge Conahan, 56, secured contracts for the two centers to house juvenile offenders, Judge Ciavarella, 58, was the one who carried out the sentencing to keep the centers filled.

“In my entire career, I’ve never heard of anything remotely approaching this,” said Senior Judge Arthur E. Grim, who was appointed by the State Supreme Court this week to determine what should be done with the estimated 5,000 juveniles who have been sentenced by Judge Ciavarella since the scheme started in 2003. Many of them were first-time offenders and some remain in detention.""""


The Judiciary AKA Black-Robe Posse remains one of the most powerful forces in American organized crime. JudgesGuilty/NYT

You, mon lecteur, might not quite understand the significance of the term "Black Robe Posse." Sitting on the wrong side of a courtroom, and hearing some piece of calvinist trash sentence a person to 25 years to life--in the particular case, a hispanic convicted of possession of a few ounces of heroin, with a history of petty crimes, but no murders, rapes, or robberies--you begin to understand this.

-------------------------------

"To consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions [is] a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy. Our judges are as honest as other men and not more so. They have with others the same passions for party, for power, and the privilege of their corps. Their maxim is boni judicis est ampliare jurisdictionem [good justice is broad jurisdiction], and their power the more dangerous as they are in office for life and not responsible, as the other functionaries are, to the elective control."""


Jefferson's thoughts on judicial review, however quaint they might seem to some--or perhaps tainted by Jefferson's "ethical lapses"--still apply. The authentic progressive opposes the Judiciary, notwithstanding the fact that occasionally judicial review may result in good (or maximization of utility in Benthamspeak), by preventing populist hysteria of various sorts. Unfortunately, many contemporary vichy-crats now consider the Judiciary--really the most antiquated, feudal, and unscientific of the three branches-- the most crucial branch of govt.

The judiciary forms part of the 2nd Estate (deuxieme ├ętat) in French revolutionary terms. They are not always with the King, or the clerics, but usually with the nobles, estate holders, tories: the judge defends the aristocracy, and wealthy bourgeois. More than a few judicial barons lost their heads during the Reign of Terror.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Anti-Trust the Aunty-Khrust

A modest proposal from Dave Lindorff of Counterpunch, one of the few remaining bastions of authentic progressive politics: implement Anti-trust. Unlike, say, the frat-boy liberal McFrauds of DailyKOS, Lindorff doesn't cut deals with the Demopublicans (and let's not forget Obama's deal with Henry Paulson, and his agreeing to the GOP-arranged bailout of America's financial giants).


"""Looking at the nation’s largest banks—Bank of America, Citicorp, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo and others—it’s clear that some parts of them are functional. They have, for example, massive deposits. They also have massive debts, many of these toxic and pretty much worthless. Instead of bailing these failed institutions out, which is not going to work anyhow, and which only delays and makes more costly the final day of reckoning, the answer is to have the government carve out the profitable banking parts of these financial institutions, and set them up as free-standing banks, and then let the rest of the carcass of each bank go down the tubes, taking gullible shareholders and bondholders with them.

Then the remaining banks left from this process should be broken up by anti-trust actions into regional or even state entities."""




Lindorff/antitrust

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

"Winston babyface Churchill": Ezra Pound's radio-reflections on Churchill, circa 1941

(Warning: not for the tame, PC snitchocrat, or Republo-piker)


"""Mr. Churchill, EVEN Mr. Churchill hasn’t had the brass to tell the American people WHY he wants ’em to die to save what.

He is fighting for the gold standard and MONOPOLY. Namely the power to starve the whole of mankind, and make it pay through the nose before it can eat the fruit of its own labor.

His gang, whether kike, gentile, or hybrid is not fit to govern. And the English OUGHT to be the only people ass enough, and brute enough to fight for him.

Now as to my personal habits, the few of you who know that I exist know that I have given most of my time to muggin’ up kulchur, that I have writ a few books, and spent my spare time trying to learn musical composition, or else playin’ tennis and floatin’ round the gulf of Tigullio, in which act I make, so far as I know, a nuisance of myself to no one whatever.

And in the mornings I write letters to and read letters from the most intelligent of my contemporaries, and Mr. Churchill and that brute Rosefield, and their kike postal spies and obstructors, kikarian and/or others annoy me by cuttin’ off my normal mental intercourse with my colleagues. But I am NOT going to starve, I am not going to starve mentally. The culture of the Occident came out of Europe and a LOT of it is still right here in Europe, and I don’t mean archeology either."""""


.........................

""""I try to tell you that Italy is carryin’ ON. La rivoluzione continua. This is the kind of thing Italians go on doing, despite that dirty mugged bleeder and betrayer of his allies, Winston babyface Churchill.

And his gangsters. Those blighters have never done one damn thing for civilization. They have rotted their country, and should not be allowed to rot anyone elses. They didn’t start the process of corruption, but they have been, everyone of ’em for it, all day and every day, and for the 24 hour period.""""
..................


Nullum magnum ingenium sine mixtura dementiae.




EP/speeches

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The US of .....Masonry? (the politics of Oaths, cont.)

Malone/Slate:

"""""There are no particular rules on which Bible is used or how it's used for the ceremony. Up until Grover Cleveland, inaugurations were not BYOB—presidents arrived at the ceremony with the assumption a Bible would be provided for them. It's since become common for incoming executives to use their family Bibles, though a handful have opted for the Masonic Bible upon which George Washington swore his oath of office. That book is housed in New York City at the lodge that lent the Bible to Washington in the first place. The only other inauguration Bible held by the Library of Congress belonged to Chester A. Arthur, a gift of his descendents. Most inauguration Bibles belong either to the families of the presidents or to their presidential libraries or archives.""""""

While many Americans might consider the Masonic lodge a relic of the past or merely a topic for conspiracy quacks, freemasonry and secret societies remain a force. Dittoing Washington and a few other presidents, Bush Sr. took his oath on the Masonic Good Book in 1988. Read the fine print of American history, and one perceives an ongoing battle between the federalist/statist and masonic elements (as with Andrew Jackson, fundamentalist prezbyterian, Democrat, AND avid supporter of the Masons). Albert Pike, confederate general, belonged to the Masons. (modern masons still revere Pike). Yankee masons were not unknown, such as James Buchanan, a pennsylvania "doughface" --- northerner with southern sympathies. Masons did eventually become a bit multicultural--Count Basie was a Chicago lodgeman.



Albert Pike, Confederate general, freemason, pal of Bismarck and Mazzini.

FDR had a Mason membership, and knew the secret handshake, as did Winston Churchill, hero to neo-cons (such as these aspiring Mitt McRomneys), one-time eugenicist and one-time admirer of Hitler (in 1937 Churchill wrote ‘One may dislike Hitler’s system and yet admire his patriotic achievement. If our country were defeated, I hope we should find a champion as indomitable to restore our courage and lead us back to our place among the nations.’"). The Mormon racket does not lack in masonic elements either (the Nauvoo Lodge). Masons usually run the city halls of America, and the local economies (and the courts), unbeknownst to the locals (or tacitly approved). Masons arguably founded the protestant churches in England, Scotland and America.


While the german nationalist solution to freemasonry may have been a bit schwer---the nazis imprisoned and killed a few thousand freemasons (suspected, not without some justification, of collaboration with zionists)---masonry remains a issue, one generally overlooked by the usual academic narcissist or party-boy liberal. AS with, say, the history of organized crime, the history of masonry does not generally appear in university history courses (then, one might argue that academics are themselves masons of a sort, as are frat boys and sorority goils); though some cafe liberals will on occasion mention transparency, that transparency generally only applies to an obvious malefactor like Alberto Gonzales, not to say the mormon-zionist connection, or the doings of Feinstein and Richard Blum.

The American founders, contrary to popular history, were not all freemasons. Madison for one addressed "factionalism", and secret societies in the Federalist papers. JQ Adams campaigned on an anti-masonic platform, his arch-enemies being Jackson, and the presbyterian-masons and slave-owning south (tho' not all confederates belonged to masonic lodges, or protestant churches: e.g., Beauregard). The Ku Klax Klan also grew from a masonic foundation (we should recall that Klansmen, like masons, take various oaths, one being opposition to the papacy and french materialism [synonymous for most hick lodgemen]. They are as opposed to catholics as they are to the "colored." Klansmen generally had more hate for frenchmen, and catholics--even irish sort-- than they did for zionists).

As the freaks (authentic freaks, not the suburbocrats who mistake their Apple for progressive politics) formerly said, you can never be too paranoid.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

From Project Censored...........

Feinstein/NeoCon




""""""""Dianne Feinstein-—the ninth wealthiest member of congress—-has been beset by monumental ethical conflicts of interest. As a member of the Military Construction Appropriations Subcommittee (MILCON) from 2001 to the end of 2005, Senator Feinstein voted for appropriations worth billions of dollars to her husband’s firms.

From 1997 through the end of 2005, Feinstein’s husband Richard C. Blum was a majority shareholder in both URS Corp. and Perini Corp. She lobbied Pentagon officials in public hearings to support defense projects that she favored, some of which already were, or subsequently became, URS or Perini contracts. From 2001 to 2005, URS earned $792 million from military construction and environmental cleanup projects approved by MILCON; Perini earned $759 million from such projects.
In 2000, Perini earned a mere $7 million from federal contracts. After 9/11, Perini was transformed into a major defense contractor. In 2004, the company earned $444 million for military construction work in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as for improving airfields for the US Air Force in Europe and building base infrastructures for the US Navy around the globe. In a remarkable financial recovery, Perini shot from near penury in 1997 to logging gross revenues of $1.7 billion in 2005.

It is estimated that Perini now holds at least $2.5 billion worth of contracts tied to the worldwide expansion of the US military. Its largest Department of Defense contracts are “indefinite delivery-indefinite quantity” or “bundled” contracts carrying guaranteed profit margins. As of May 2006, Perini held a series of bundled contracts awarded by the Army Corps of Engineers for work in the Middle East worth $1.725 billion. Perini has also been awarded an open-ended contract by the US Air Force for military construction and cleaning the environment at closed military bases.

In 2003 hearings, MILCON approved various construction projects at sites where Perini and/or URS are contracted to perform engineering and military construction work. URS’s military construction work in 2000 earned it a mere $24 million. The next year, when Feinstein took over as MILCON chair, military construction earned URS $185 million. On top of that, the company’s architectural and engineering revenue from military construction projects grew from $108,726 in 2000 to $142 million in 2001, more than a thousand-fold increase in a single year. """"""


To reiterate: ""[Feinstein] lobbied Pentagon officials in public hearings to support defense projects that she favored, some of which already were, or subsequently became, URS or Perini contracts."" That sounds about like a federal case, doesn't it? Were DiFi from texass instead of the priciest area of Fog Town, she'd be facing a war crimes trial along with Bush/Cheney, and the likes of Rove (as should her hubby, mystery-man financer Blum).

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

MoroniCo


Faith: Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel.
(Bierce)

Mormons are on the march. Mitt Romney, millionaire and mormon-fundamentalist, nearly captured the GOP nomination, running on a "McCain is really a liberal" ticket. Mormons also supported Prop. 8 in CA, spending about $20 million on the effort. That probably provided the margin enabling the proposition to pass.
As with most theocratic affairs, there was plenty of hypocrisy to the Prop 8 effort: consider Gary Lawrence, who led the Proposition 8 grassroots campaign for the Mormons. Lawrence's queer son, Matthew, resigned from the church to protest its anti-gay campaign.

The cult of Mormonism itself began with deceit and prevarication: while the Illinois pioneers who strung up Joseph Smith (and then mutilated his corpse) may have gone too far, Smith's deceit--specifically the bogus story of the golden plates, Angel Moroni, seer stones, etc--counts as one of the greatest frauds of US History. Mark Twain for one was not merely skeptical but troubled by the reign of Smtih's successor, King Brigham (Twain met with Young, his 20+ wives, 70 children, and then promptly climbed back into the train--or was it stagecoach). Twain's Roughing it, however quaint, features a few interesting reflections on Mormonism, and Mormon crimes--the Mountain Massacre only one (dead men tell no tales).

Secularists should keep in mind the dangers to liberty posed by expanding mormon theocracy (they are fairly thick in California), and Prop. 8-like measures. The liberal whines against 8 grew a bit tedious, but regardless of one's personal feelings on same-sex marriage, Prop 8 does "legislate morality" more or less. That it was placed on the ballot by fundies and mormons should bother anyone who values the First Amendment: which is to say, any measures supported by theocrats should offend. Paraphrasing Bonhoeffer, first they come for queers, then for the preterite (of whatever sort), and finally they come for you.

[Verstehen Sie das, Vacavillius?]

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Cactus Ed on porkball football

""Football is a game for trained apes. That, in fact, is what most of the players are — retarded gorillas wearing helmets and uniforms. The only thing more debased is the surrounding mob of drunken monkeys howling the gorillas on.""


Heh heh. Viva Abbey!
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