Joining my cousins for a bath

Joining my cousins for a bath
happy or sad, at least the bath seems pleasant




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Occasional comments on politics also see: for occasional comments on all the arts, especially in Seattle; and and and and ten sub sites if you want to be excessively well informed about the Austrian author Peter Handke

Saturday, April 15, 2006

an easter posting + introductory note

posting for week of 10-16 April, in one of an infinite number of years of our lord the cretin... a brief communication.

As the newest major infamy is waiting in the wings, as the propaganda machine is gearing up to find its newest incarnation of evil to arouse the paranoid position of our schizophrenic population, I happened on a list of the attempted assassinations that were made on H.

This list is of particular interest to me for a variety of family reasons. First, because the final, nearly successful attempt, at the Wolfsschanze [Wolf's Lair], as all those who remember G. Grass's Dog Years will recall, took place on land owned by an uncle of mine, Heinie von Lehndorf, who had become the courier for the conspirators, and once re-apprehended, [he briefly escaped from a Gestapo car in Berlin, but being in riding boots did not get far in the sandy soil of the Mark Brandenburg] was one of those who were summarily executed by being hung on meat hooks in Ploetzensee. Other, such as my father and grandfather went or were supposed to go before Freisler's infamous "People's Court. " My father escaped that particular fate by attempting to commit suicide after his first interrogation, so as not to give away any names, and had the great good fortune to be delivered into a hospital that was run by Dr. Med Albrecht Tietze, who, and his assistants, especially a Dr. Charlotte Pommer, specialized in keeping political prisoners in the hospital as long as possible, so that by the time my father was released Freisler had been killed by a falling beam during an Allied Air raid on Berlin. As a matter of speculation, who knows what the Gestapo really had on him. I once checked out the Gestapo records that the U.S. Army brought to Washington, D.C. and all I could find was that he had been good at supplying fish to the conspirators. Albrecht Tietze saved many other people as well, and is memorialized at

as Dr. Charlotte Pommer ought to be, too. Looking in detail at those records what surprised me was the number of Berlin policemen and the like who assisted Tietze, which will make me look at them more kindly if I am ever again caught in a demonstration in the city of my birth where they used to practice rather rough crowd control.

The Freisler court, surprisingly, condemned Opa A. to just two further years concentration camp, his fourth stint. Looking at the trial transcript what amazes me are the extraordinary extenuating circumstances that the court allows him and his fellow defendant, Pechel, the editor of the Deutsche Monatshefte, whom they acquit; amazing in comparison with current and, from a sensible point of view, so wasteful, unnecessary U.S. government juridical practices as exemplified by Guantanamo[unless you wish to assert dictatorial powers], Abu Ghraib, Bagram,[ the prison in Afghanistan], and the rarely mentioned Diego Garcia, another sweat box for sure. I am amazed that Freisler's People's Court, which indeed numbered some real "people" [for example, a "gardener"] in its midst, did not simply condemn the great and wonderful fool of a grandfather for an unending series of oppositional acts. As a member of the Conservatives and Reserve Officer he had been go-between Schleicher and H., had been on the hit list for the night of the long knives, when H. eliminated opposition within his party [Roehm], Schleicher on the military side, and so on. He refused to swear the required oath of allegiance to H. He survived that ther nite of the long knives because the police president of Berlin, Helldorf, had told him to spend the weekend at his hunting lodge. Helldorf joined the opposition and was executed on in August of 1944. Opa A. was condemned to life imprisonment after surviving the the long knives [memorialized in a fashion in Brecht's Arturo Ui], a sentence which was then commuted. He knew H. and had mortally offended him. Last year I read an aunt's account of H's visit to my grandparent's Berlin apartment in the early 30s - my grandmother, a woman of delicate tastes, a wonderful pianist, saying afterwards, that she'd just as soon not have this gentleman over for lunch again. A wonderful way of putting it I suppose. "I just as soon not have H. over for lunch again." There may even be a musical in that for the country that can turn every major tragedy into a musical, and whose culture is as superficial as couple of bamboo sticks nailed over an awning, spelling South Pacific. "Bug-Dud, or perhaps The Buggers of Bug-Dud or the Bedbugs of Bug-Dud" must be on some American producers drawing board already. At any event, if my grandfather had not had had his occasional vaccacciones from one or the other concentration camp, I would not have vested my capacities for idolization in this man who was a child's ultimate clown, no doubt assisted in such investment by what I must have observed, at a very young age, was my mother's preference for him over my father, source of my sense of the absurd, for my love of Night at the Opera and Duck Soup, early Ionesco etc. Perhaps the reason the Nazi's would let him go occasionally was because he was such a great fool, as were his fellow conservatives in thinking that H. as chancellor would make such a fool of himself in six months that that would be the end of the Nazi Party, projecting their own irresponsibility while forgetting entirely the history of the NSDAP, which was the history of murder, gross propaganda, of the big lie, the biggest of lies, as of 1923. Let us therefore not forget the history of the current jefe's rise to power and how it came to be. Brecht had the right lens for H. and his gang, the Chicago gangsters in Arturo Ui's Resistable Rise to Power was the acceptable comedic stage equivalent for them. during that time no end of folks went into what became known later as "inner emigration", and various branches of learning adjusted themselves so as not to make any waves, most famously the germanisten zunft.


Sidney Blumenthal | The Slow-Motion Trap - Awonderful description of the way bush lies, learned it at his father's breast! and as a preppie perfected it.

Mike Davis, "Return to Sender" (Car Bombs, Part 2)

In the first part of his unique history of the car bomb, "The Poor Man's Air Force," Mike Davis (author of the only significant book on the Avian flu, The Monster at Our Door , and Planet of Slums , a startling analysis of the way significant parts of our planet have been rapidly urbanizing and de-industrializing all at once) took us up through a crucial moment in 1984. It was then that Hezbollah sent the Reagan administration into flight in Lebanon with its massive suicide car bombings and perhaps altered the state of our planet forever. In the second part of his history, we enter a "return to sender" world in which the sponsorship of "surrogate terrorism" blows back all over the globe and the car bomb becomes a near universal weapon of destruction. Tom

Car Bombs with Wings

A History of the Car Bomb (Part 2)

By Mike Davis

The CIA's Car Bomb University (the 1980s)

"The CIA officers that Yousef worked with closely impressed upon him one rule: never use the terms sabotage or assassination when speaking with visiting congressmen."

-- Steve Coll, Ghost Wars

The Frameshop by Jeffrey Feldman on "What's in a Leak? The Power of Winning"

"The firing of Washington columnist James Ridgeway by the new management of the Village Voice, and the subsequent resignation of the distinguished Pulitizer Prize winner Sydney Schanberg from the paper, is a sad moment in the history of the New York weekly."

Another Bush National Security Failure: "A year after John Negroponte became the first director of national intelligence, key lawmakers worry that the spy agency they created is not fulfilling its vital mission."

14 April 2006

In light of recent instability in Chad, PINR recommends its recent report on the issue:

"Chad's Cycle of Instability Gains Momentum"

Additionally, PINR's recent in-depth look at conditions in Iraq is also relevant:

"Red Lines Crisscross Iraq's Political Landscape"


Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy

By John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt

Working Paper Number:RWP06-011

Submitted: 03/13/2006


Now Powell Tells Us

Robert Scheer editor of TruthDig , where this essay originally was published.

The President played the scoundrel--even the best of his minions went along with the lies--and when a former ambassador dared to tell the truth, the White House initiated what Special Prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald calls "a plan to discredit, punish or seek revenge against Mr. Wilson." That is the important story line.


The Immigration Debate Rolls On:

Mexico – So far from heaven; Washington – So far from fielding a legitimate and straight immigration strategy

While long on heated rhetoric and mythology, the current immigration debate is short on historical perspective.

The path to the current crisis was paved with failed policy decisions and mooncalf goals, with Washington deserving most of the blame, but Mexico is not undeserving of some of it.

A plague on both your houses.

We now also know that the U.S. military is deliberately misleading Iraqis, Americans and the rest of the world about the extent of Al Qaeda's involvement in the Iraqi insurgency. This was reported in The Washington Post on April 10, on the basis of internal military documents seen by that newspaper.

From The New America Foundation

How to Get Out of the Iran TrapBy Anatol LievenSpecial to

Wednesday, April 12, 2006; 12:00 AM

The Bush administration's strategy regarding Iran's nuclear program is going nowhere. The U.S. demand that Iran permanently terminate even a limited capacity to enrich uranium has been categorically rejected by every Iranian political figure and group, including all the leading reformists. Given the views on the subject held by both the establishment and the mass of the population, it would be political suicide for them to do otherwise.


Even as the entertainment world wrings its hands over the New York Post's Page Six scandal, a gossip column at another Gotham paper is facing the ax.

The New York Times is making plans to terminate its own gossip section, Boldface Names, dispatching topper Campbell Robertson to the theater desk in the Arts section.

The Times created Boldface Names, a daily column that ran in the paper's metro section, in part as a response to the success of Page Six. But it struggled to define itself as a section that would feed the appetite for gossip created by the tabs while continuing to speak with the broadsheet's traditional voice

Burkl'd: How Billionaire

And Page Sixer

Both Got Stung


Jurkowitz: Somebody needs to add context to Hersh's reporting (Phoenix)

Critic: Why doesn't WP apologize for its pre-war editorials? Erik Wemple says other publications have acknowledged their gullibility in swallowing the Bush administration's propaganda about WMDs, but the Post has only said: "Were we wrong? The honest answer is: We don't yet know." Wemple writes: "Well, that was two and a half years ago. Do we know enough now to admit the mistake? When asked that question, [WP editorial page editor Fred] Hiatt responded, 'I'm not getting into that subject...I guess what we have to say about that I would say in an editorial.'
Washington City Paper

Extradition, a historic pillar of U.S. anti-drug efforts, now becomes a vanishing function and casualty of the paramilitary demobilization process.

Washington's subterfuge is to keep up filing extradition requests for demobilized paramilitaries, but will expect none of them to be fulfilled.

Despite the fact that they were guilty of heinous human rights abuses, as well as being active participants in the drug trade, the rightwing paras essentially will get away with their crimes (including massive human rights violations) with impunity.

Colombian President Uribe's demobilization plan, under the aegis of the Justice and Peace Law, guarantees that paramilitaries making a show of demobilizing, will be spared from foreign prosecution.

No matter how grave their crime, a couple of months in a country-club jail and a token payment to the families of their victims will get one exonerated (or at most a token sentence) irrespective of how many throats of children were cut.

The U.S.' support for Uribe's demobilization plan points to the hypocrisy of Washington's anti-drug policy and underscores Congressman Hyde's recent outspoken candor regarding the integrity of Washington's anti-drug strategy.



Now that President Bush is the "leaker-in-chief," America has to ask itself: Exactly how many times over would this Republican Congress have impeached Bill Clinton if he had committed just a tiny fraction of President Bush's offenses? When someone goes this far to "out-Nixon Nixon" in terms of violating the public's trust, all of that talk about impeachment for W doesn't sounds so crazy any more.

US Shelved Evidence Discounting Iraq's WMD: Report



Is the America of 2006 more willing to thwart the unacceptable than the France of 1936?

by William Kristol

04/24/2006, Volume 011, Issue 30


Strikes Again: On May 29, 2003, Bush Told the Nation We Found Bio Labs in Iraq that Proved Iraq Had WMD. On May 27, 2003, Two Days Before, US Intelligence Determined They Were NOT Bio Labs and Had NOTHING To Do With WMD. Bush Continued to Push the Lie For An Entire Year.


Busheviks Made Secret Agreement to Hide Reclassification Program from Public

Tomgram: Mike Davis on the History of the Car Bomb

In a column on March 23 (A Vision, Bruised and Dented ), David Brooks of the New York Times' wrote about "the rise of what Richard Lowry of the National Review calls the 'To Hell With Them' Hawks." In part, Brooks characterized these hawks as being conservatives who "look at car bombs and cartoon riots and wonder whether Islam is really a religion of peace." One of the advantages of history is that you have to check such thoughts at the door. If Islam can't be considered a "religion of peace," thanks to what Mike Davis calls "the quotidian workhorse of urban terrorism," then at least its jihadists join a roiling crowd of less-than-peaceful car-bombers that has included Jews, Christians, Hindus, anarchists, French colonials, Mafiosos, members of the Irish Republican Army, and CIA operatives among others. ...

The Poor Man's Air Force

A History of the Car Bomb (Part 1)

By Mike Davis

Buda's Wagon (1920)

"You have shown no pity to us! We will do likewise. We will dynamite you!

-- Anarchist warning (1919)

On a warm September day in 1920, a few months after the arrest of his comrades Sacco and Vanzetti, a vengeful Italian anarchist named Mario Buda parked his horse-drawn wagon near the corner of Wall and Broad


12 April 2006
In light of the Italian elections, PINR encourages you to read its recent Economic Brief on Italy. That brief can be found at:

"Economic Brief: Italy's Weak Economy"

PINR will be releasing a more in-depth analysis on the Italian elections in the coming days.


Also, as confrontation with Iran escalates, PINR encourages you to read two past analyses on Iran's nuclear program that are quite relevant today:

"Can Iran's Pursuit of Nuclear Technology Be Thwarted By Air Strikes?"

"Strategies for States Affected by Iran's Quest for Nuclear Weapons"


The Israeli Elections: A Recipe for Further Crisis

Drafted By: P.R. Kumaraswamy

the usual suspects want to go to war:
[manhattan institute]
[wall street journal]

April 10, 2006 by the New York Times

Yes He Would

by Paul Krugman

"But he wouldn't do that." That sentiment is what made it possible for President Bush to stampede America into the Iraq war and to fend off hard questions about the reasons for


11 April 2006

In light of today's Intelligence Brief on Iran, it is important to read PINR's past in-depth analysis on Iran's current national strategy. That piece can be found at:

"Iran's Bid for Regional Power: Assets and Liabilities"


Intelligence Brief: Iran and the U.S. Maneuver Carefully Toward Confrontation

Drafted By:


45% of Americans want Bush censured. That puts the idea that it's 'far left" to rest. Nobody seems to get this, but what BuzzFlash is saying is mainstream. It's the corporate media that doesn't reflect American opinion

Phone-Jamming Scheme in 2002 Election Points to White House

Phone-Jamming Records Point to White House


By LARRY MARGASAK, Associated Press Writer Mon Apr 10, 4:55 PM ET

WASHINGTON - Key figures in a phone-jamming scheme designed to keep New Hampshire Democrats from voting in 2002 had regular contact with the White House and Republican Party as the plan was unfolding, phone records introduced in criminal court show.;_ylt=AhmXi_YVQSlSRXSUcTaSAKJp24cA;_ylu=X3oDMTA5aHJvMDdwBHNlYwN5bmNhdA


Daniel Pipes and the unfolding civil war in IraqDaniel Pipes, the director of the neo-conservative Middle East Forum and a vociferous supporter of the invasion of Iraq, is not an inconsequential figure in the American political establishment


VIDEO: Cheney Loudly Booed During First Pitch


WASHINGTON - A batch of 278 e-mails between lobbyist Jack Abramoff and a Bush administration official show a highly inappropriate relationship where gifts and business interests mixed freely and frequently, federal prosecutors said Friday.

The prosecutors hope to use the e-mails in the criminal case against David Safavian, who is accused of lying and obstruction of justice in connection with investigations of an Abramoff-sponsored golf outing to Scotland in August 2002.

The e-mails show that Abramoff and Safavian, then chief of staff at the General Services Administration, were in frequent contact, played golf often and traded workplace gossip. Abramoff showered Safavian with offers of meals, invitations to parties as well as the trip to the fabled St. Andrew's golf course in Scotland.;_ylt=ArwonsP5urQHPn1Vh0JOSaGs0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTA3OXIzMDMzBHNlYwM3MDM


As Bush Crimes Mount, Why are Dems Retreating?

WASHINGTON - April 14 - Green Party candidates and leaders faulted Democrats for refusing to hold President Bush and his administration accountable for a mounting list of high crimes and misdemeanors...


It is unprecedented for career military leaders to be speaking out in this manner – and it's the tip of the iceberg. Imagine what we might hear if the rank-and-file could speak freely? Well-connected Washington Post columnist David Ignatius says that "the retired generals who are speaking out the view of hundreds of other officers on active duty." He adds, "when I recently asked an Army officer with extensive Iraq combat experience how many of his colleagues wanted Rumsfeld out, he guessed 75 percent." Ignatius suspects--based on his conversations with senior officers over the past three years--that figure may be low.


Jonathan Steele | US Allies are Behind the Death Squads and Ethnic Cleansing

Published on Friday, April 14, 2006 by the gardian / UK

The Reporter Whose Scoops Give the Bush Administration Sleepless Nights

Seymour Hersh: 'I feel like I did in the Vietnam days - I hate to pay taxes just so they can go and bomb more people'

by Julian Borger


Breaking -- Vice President Dick Cheney directed his then-chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, on July 12, 2003 to leak to the media portions of a then-highly classified CIA report that Cheney hoped would undermine the credibility of former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson


A GI Tells of His Betrayal by Bush: "I now know I wrongfully placed my faith and trust in a presidential administration hopelessly mired in incompetence, hubris and a lack of accountability."


Native Americans Want 'Bunker Buster' Test Stopped

Mind Games Over Iran

by Jim Lobe,

Whether psy-ops or premeditation, those calling for strikes on Iran are the same folks behind the war in Iraq.

Patrick Cockburn | Situation in Iraq Could Not be Worse

The Plame Game

What Murray Waas's big scoop may really tell us about Bush's pre-war deceptions.

By Greg Sargent

Web Exclusive: 04.04.06

Murray Waas's latest scoop -- in which he broke new ground with a detailed account of the Bush administration's deceptions about Iraq -- has won plenty of plaudits already. But its true larger significance is still crying out to be explained


I regret that I am not back in NY and Elaine's for this wonderful brouhaha!

Jared Paul Stern's own website offers glimpse of bribe-lust!

Despite being taped seeking Mafia-like

"The phrase 'gossip journalist' is an oxymoron," says Dimond (BaltSun),0,6695025.story?coll=bal-features-headlines

NYT has published 10,865 words on the scandal vs 6,588 in NYDN (WSJ)

NY Sun: What's with NYT's obsession with the Page Six scandal? (NYS)

Keller discusses NYT's coverage in "Talk to the Newsroom" column (NYT)

Posted at 8:33:59 AM Page Six gossip accuses billionaire of trying to "set me up"

Washington Post | Slate

Page Six scandal expanded to details of lavish gifts to staffers (NYDN)

> Stern: I often get use of cars from carmakers in exchange for ink (USAT)


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MICHAEL ROLOFF exMember Seattle Psychoanalytic Institute and Society this LYNX will LEAP you to all my HANDKE project sites and BLOGS: "MAY THE FOGGY DEW BEDIAMONDIZE YOUR HOOSPRINGS!" {J. Joyce} "Sryde Lyde Myde Vorworde Vorhorde Vorborde" [von Alvensleben] contact via my website