Saturday, January 10, 2009

of course there is that 

On the Oakland riots:

Demonstrators would occasionally disperse, but then instigators in the crowd who appeared to be anarchists called them back.

They wouldn't identify themselves, but those instigators wore bandanas on their faces and seemed more intent on provoking confrontations and throwing stuff at police than truly having their voices heard.

One possibility we hadn't entertained was that the violence was started by police provocateurs.

techmology and spectacle 

Lenin, who has been cranking out great post after great post on the Gaza slaughter, points to two interesting, well one interesting the other nauseating, uses of technology in the "war of ideas". The first is an attempt by demonstrators at the massive protest in London, between 100K and 200K people, to use the intertrons to circumvent media distortion.

The second is the use of pay-per-view cable in Israel to turn the murder of humans into commercial entertainment:

How does it work? Let's say that after a full day of Yonit, Yaacov and Ronny Daniel [TV anchors] you're feeling a little low. War-shwmar, whatever, but what about a little entertainment? Escapism? Something for your soul? You calmly go into Hot’s VOD and there on the main menu waiting for you is the category of Cast Lead. You select it and there you are -- whole worlds of rich and entertaining content, courtesy of the IDF Spokesperson Office!

In the "operational activity" category, for instance, you are invited to choose between "Air Force assaults," "Navy assaults" and "humanitarian activities." -- just a minute, isn't that category included in the previous two anyway? -- and watch ourselves, as one poetic reserve soldier put it, give it to the Arabs in the whatever.

For starters I treated myself to a film of "assault on the Hulafaa Mosque," after the selection of which the screen wished me "pleasant viewing." I really did enjoy it like I haven't enjoyed anything since my circumcision. After the sights stop on the mosque, the business is bombed from above; a giant bright cloud fills the screen and then a close-up of the burning mosque. No plot, no acting, no sound, no nonsense: straight to the action. If only all porn was like this!

Dodged a bullet, but why? 

Looks like Seymour was right.

Any guesses on why they didn't, given everything else they've fucked up?

Friday, January 09, 2009

NY Times pays Palestinians to piss on their own graves 

Pure filthy shit being spewed by Taghreed El-Khodary of the New York Fucking Shithole. This is virtually the entire article on the front hole of the New York Ass today, the only article today on the front hole about the massacre:

My son has been turned into pieces,” he cried. “My wife was cut in half. I had to leave her body at home.” Because Albina was a foreigner, she could have left Gaza with her children. But, Dr. Jaru lamented, she would not leave him behind.

A car arrived with more patients. One was a 21-year-old man with shrapnel in his left leg who demanded quick treatment. He turned out to be a militant with Islamic Jihad. He was smiling a big smile.

“Hurry, I must get back so I can keep fighting,” he told the doctors.

He was told that there were more serious cases than his, that he needed to wait. But he insisted. “We are fighting the Israelis,” he said. “When we fire we run, but they hit back so fast. We run into the houses to get away.” He continued smiling.

“Why are you so happy?” this reporter asked. “Look around you.”

A girl who looked about 18 screamed as a surgeon removed shrapnel from her leg. An elderly man was soaked in blood. A baby a few weeks old and slightly wounded looked around helplessly. A man lay with parts of his brain coming out. His family wailed at his side.

“Don’t you see that these people are hurting?” the militant was asked.

“But I am from the people, too,” he said, his smile incandescent. “They lost their loved ones as martyrs. They should be happy. I want to be a martyr, too.”

So this paid collaborating propagandist bolus/turd waits in the hospital to find a a happy militant, notes his presence, and that's it. Nothing to say about the F-16's and white phosphorus from the IDF that is actually doing the murdering that has produced 800+ corpses. Anyway, it's the terroristic maniac Hamas jihadist homicide-bombing wogs who want Palestine to be murdered, so fuck it!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

all these trees might make up a...forest! 

Concerning the Oakland execution, joshr writes:

In this article they express the usual confusion about why they are rioting in oakland and trashing largely black businesses because what does that accomplish.

Obviously, it effectively accomplishes said news story! This wouldn't be A1 on the NYT homepage with just a peaceful protest. For what it's worth, trashing cars and businesses is indispensable to bringing attention to the issue.

Just so.

Proposed entry for Corporate Media Styleguide:

When considering newsworthiness of a story, there are two primary factors to keep in mind. Both contribute decisively to newsworthiness:

1) The "Who": The powerlessness of the primary agents in the story.

2) The "What": The harm inflicted on relatively more powerful agents in the story.

Example 1:

An armed state agent commits an extrajudicial killing of an unarmed, unpropertied citizen, investigation and prosecution are delayed beyond norms without explanation.

Primary agent of story: More powerful than victim
Harm inflicted: Loss of life, orphaned child
Newsworthiness Level: Low

NOTE: Examples such as above are tricky. In light of the extreme and irrevocable nature of the harm (What), one may be inclined to rate newsworthiness as high. Such a decision would be premature and in this case inaccurate. Remember: both factors (Who & What) are decisive.

Example 2:

Unarmed, unpropertied citizens vandalize and destroy local businesses and government property in response to provocation.

Primary agent of story: Less powerful than victim
Harm inflicted: Property destruction of insured objects
Newsworthiness Level: High

Example 3:

As a result of a primary objective of capital accumulation and related factors (see Appendix A: Propaganda Model), media system fails to adequately inform citizenry of gross human-rights violations by its own government or provide proper context for spectacle of citizen violence.

Primary agent of story: much more powerful than victim
Harm inflicted: debased culture, crimes committed with impunity, chronic intellectual and moral corruption, pervasive injustice, high level of inequality, high level of factionalism and social conflict, generalized sensation of fear/anxiety/paranoia, loss of freedom and humanity for all members of society
Newsworthiness Level: Nonexistent

Wednesday, January 07, 2009


A diverse group of Jewish Canadian women are currently occupying the Israeli consulate at 180 Bloor Street West in Toronto. This action is in protest against the on-going Israeli assault on the people of Gaza.

The group is carrying out this occupation in solidarity with the 1.5 million people of Gaza and to ensure that Jewish voices against the massacre in Gaza are being heard. They are demanding that Israel end its military assault and lift the 18-month siege on the Gaza Strip to allow humanitarian aid into the territory.


Venezuela expelled Israel's ambassador in Caracas on Tuesday to protest the offensive in Gaza. The move came just hours after President Hugo Chavez called the attacks a "holocaust."

Israel's ambassador to Venezuela, Shlomo Cohen, and his staff were given 72 hours to leave the country.


why only have summary executions there when you can have them here too? 


things deserved, part the second 

Stewart slaps Bloomberg around:

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

interesting facts 

from the Angry Arab:

Who Started Terrorism in the Arab-Israeli Conflict?

Bombs in Cafes: first used by Zionists in Palestine on March 17th, 1937 in Jaffa.

Bombs on Buses: first used by Zionists in Palestine Aug. 20th-Sep. 26, 1937.

Bombs in Market Places: first used by Zionists on July 6th, 1938 in Haifa.

Bombing of Hotels: first used by Zionists on July 22nd, 1946 in Jerusalem.

Bombing of Foreign Embassies: first used by Zionists on October 1st, 1946 in Rome (against the British).

Mining of Ambulances: First used by Zionists on October 31st, 1946 in Petah Tikvah.

Letter Bombs: first used by Zionists in June 1947 against British targets in UK. (for documentation, cosult The Arab Women's Information Committee and The Institute for Palestine Studies, Who Are the Terrorists? Aspects of Zionist and Israeli Terrorism, (Beirut: Insitute for Palestine Studies, 1972).

to do 

James Hussein Finchy von Gonzales de Jesus Marimba le Dixon asks:

When is the next protest? How are social movements helping?

The next protest is tomorrow at 4:30pm in front of City Hall.

There will also be a march in Brooklyn on the 9th, 1pm at Atlantic and 4th.

Sunday the 11th there will be another mass rally in Times Square at 1pm.

There will be a community meeting and town hall meeting in Brooklyn on the 13th at 6pm at 1933 Bath Ave.

If you go to Norman Finkelstein's site, on the right side bar are some good links to organizations especially the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement which I think is the best bet for putting pressure on the US and Israeli governments.

Finkelstein also has some interesting audio up discussing his observations and experiences organzing against the Occupation and what he considers most effective.

Electronic Intifada also has a good directory of US groups.

The enduring necessity of human rights 

This post in Huffingtonpost indicates how even key voices on the left are failing to face up to the implications of events in Israel. Amazingly, this author manages to somehow paint the massacre as yet another sign of Obama's preordained success.

It is simple blackmail for those on the left who are Jewish or "sympathetic to Judaism": do you want to face the truth or not? As speakingcorpse and Scats are pointing out, the key outrage here is that almost no one can even bring him or herself to describe what is going on in plain sight. For Israel has put the stakes at the heart of Jewish identity. To sympathize with Israel is to be Jewish and to condemn it is, in a sense, to renounce one's Jewishness. The stakes are that high-- and this is precisely why the media is failing so terribly to create a unified protest.

It is here that only human rights can guide us to clarity. Human rights are exposed for the scandal to identity and nation that they secretly are: it is only by seeing Palestinians as equal to the Jews in every way that Israel's actions are clearly nothing other than state terror. It is only by undoing and creating common nationhood, based around rights, that any resolution will ever be possible.

And thus human rights, as admittedly negative a freedom as they proffer, are essential and will continue to be so as the century progresses. As Zizek has noted, the philosophy is as religious and based in a leap of faith as theological doctrines; there is no immanent proof that everyone is deserving of the same rights. Yet it is precisely the destructive character of even the possibility of universality-- which would finish nationalism, racism, etc.-- that has Israel lashing out in this way and thereby revealing its own death throes as a concept. Human rights appears from without as the only tool to comprehend and lambast the tragedy, and from within as the innate power to which Israel will someday succumb.

make lemonade! 

Shit is grim. Nauseatingly, dizzyingly, repulsively grim. In light of the fact that shit is grim, I'd like to take this space to point out some not so grim things.

The following are three very good things that Obama has done so far: Panetta, Olis, and Johnsen. As much as liberalism sucks, its still a step up from conservatism. Although honestly I'm not sure if Panetta turning the CIA from dysfunctional to functional is really an improvement.

So good on ya, Barack. Just be sure to get that EFCA thingy through and we'll take care of the rest.

I'd also like to take a moment to upbraid, scold, and chide my comrades on the loony Left for getting their dander up about Obama's silence on the Israel horror. It's really disingenuous, hypocritical and tactically retarded. Shut it. Why?

a) What the fuck did you think he was gonna do? You've been pointing out all year that he's up Israel's ass and now you're scandalized that he's not condemning the massacre? Do you listen to yourselves?

b) He's not even Preznit yet.

c) Since he's not Preznit, if he said what you want him to say it would do approximately zero good and only give Zionists and their allies room to mobilize against him while he's relatively powerless.

d) It would be beyond retarded to mobilize people against you when you're not even fully mobile yourself. This is a clear cut case of the retarded being the enemy of the good.

e) Either you've got a systemic analysis or you don't. Either you think on balance that structural factors are more decisive than individual agency or you don't. Either you think real change comes from social movements or you don't. Every second you spend in the bourgeois psychoanalytic navelgaze pondering who the "real" Obama is or what he's gonna do is a second you could have been spending organizing. Every second you spend hectoring other people trying to get them to see through him is a second you could have spent making him do what you want. Leave that useless irrelevant tea-leaf reading individualist shit to the liberals.

f) Everyone please shut the fuck up. No really. Please.

well, they do have monsters 

“Do you have ‘Sesame Street’ here?” he asked a Palestinian toddler who looked at him blankly as the mayor tucked Big Bird next to his small hands.

To state what should be obvious 

Jonathan at TR points out that "even the Nation" is now trafficking in absurd lies about the massacre: there are references to the Hamas "coup" in April 2008, during which Hamas is supposed to have thrown out the PA. As a matter of public record, Israel and the U.S. armed and encouraged the hired thugs of the PA to overthrow the elected Hamas government. But the hired thugs were routed, basically because they didn't want to fight.

The more general point is: not only is the massacre of Gaza unjustifiable, it fundamentally lacks even a semblance of non-murderous strategic purpose. It is simply the mass murder of civilians. That here and there some "Hamas" buildings are targeted changes nothing. "Removing" "Hamas" was always impossible, and eventually the operation will end with "Hamas" (which is to say, enraged Palestinians) still in existence.

If there is an identifiable purpose to what is happening, that purpose is inseparable from the indiscriminate slaughter of hundreds and eventually thousands of civilians. The first purpose of the massacre is massacre. And the main occasion for the massacre is Israel's desire to massacre.

References to "Hamas provocation" or "intractable problem," or to "excessive response" or "disproportionate force," are dangerous and misleading. Nothing should distract from the fact that this is an act of terrorist mass slaughter, with mass slaughter as its prime objective.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Lines crossed 

The massacre of Gaza is in a lot of ways nothing new. Israel has killed as many Arabs before during similar massacres. In the grand scheme of history, of course, there have been infinitely "worse" massacres, if one insists on coming up with relative "measures" of the magnitude of these catastrophes.

Still, there are definitely some things worth noting about this massacre, along with the Lebanon massacre of 2006. Both are strategically pointless lashings-out, Israeli attempts to secure some sense of purpose out of "war" -- attempts which are nothing more than terrorist mass murder. And the Israeli public has offered broad support to both crimes.

In both, but more extremely in Gaza, the Israeli army is systematically slaughtering hundreds of people on live television, and people watch the slaughter, and call it good, and congratulate themselves on their own righteousness.

Maybe something like this happened in 1982, but back then the PLO was still an active organization which controlled large parts of South Lebanon, and there had been in the previous decade more serious wars in which Israelis truly believed that that their lives were in danger.

What is happening now seems different. The justifications for the slaughter being sung and shouted on television may be the same as those used before, but they are more transparently false -- so false that they really can only be functioning as grunts, laughs, and shouts -- expressions of triumph over the victims that give the killers (or those watching the killing) a sensation of power and release.

What is going on in a society that collectively experiences flights of self-righteous indignation and ecstasies of relief and release when it gathers around the television to watch images of mass murder?

Has something exactly like this happened before? The Nazis did not broadcast images of Jews being murdered on television. Americans celebrated "shock and awe" and Desert Storm, but the whole thing was sanitized for television. The explosions were movie explosions that weren't directly connected to images of dead children stacked up next to piles of rubble.

I wonder just how far this can go. Just what can the IDF do, under the title "dismantling terrorist infrastructure in order to create new security environment," that will not be greeted with cheers from the Israeli fascists and their American abettors? And I also wonder about the consequences regionally: the collaboration of quisling American puppets thorughout the region is so obvious, so obseqious, so grotesquely slavish, that they are truly in danger of losing even functional legitimacy. Only Iran, only Shi'a resistance there and in Lebanon, is retaining even the semblance of autonomous government.

your tax dollars at work 

Joshr points me to this Gawker item about the White House's new fifty page book detailing the achievements of one George W. Bush while holding the office of the President of the United States.

There are many full-color glossy photos of Bush in action, kissing babies, splitting wood, sauntering, and appearing drink-a-beer-withable. Oddly, none of the following photos were included in the publication:


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