Category Archives: Propaganda

Intermittens: Lesser Poop

Well after several weeks of dilligent effort, it’s finally done.
Lesser Poop is a DIY Discordian Magazine of “Bathroom Reader” style content. Lesser Poop contains low brow humor, awful jokes, really short stories, exercises to mindfuck yourself, and much more. Most of the art is by Cramulus. Most of the text is from the principiadiscordia.com/forum community.

Intermittens #6: Lesser Poop

Radio Free Discordia launches

http://radiofreediscordia.org/

RADIO FREE DISCORDIA is finally launching! You can hear its birth pangs tonight at about 7 PM EST. If you’re interested in doing a show, whether it’s a one-shot or a weekly gig, contact Mourning Star, who can (often) be found in the #RFD chat room.

Refresh the above image to get a new one.

A chain-letter about HIMEOBS

I’ve been noticing this appearing with increasing regularity in my various inboxes recently:

What do featherbrained lummoxes, brusque wonks, and HIMEOBS have in common? If you answered, “They all enable intellectually challenged, childish sybarites to punch above their weight,” then pat yourself on the back. With this letter, I hope to advocate social change through dialogue, passive resistance, and nonviolence. But first, I would like to make the following introductory remark: HIMEOBS’s planning to exploit issues such as the global economic crisis and the increase in world terrorism in order to instigate planet-wide chaos. Planet-wide chaos is its gateway to global tyranny, which will in turn enable it to funnel significant amounts of money to filthy bigamists. Despite HIMEOBS’s evident lack of grounding in what it’s talking about, HIMEOBS’s favorite buzzword these days is “crisis”. It likes to tell us that we have a crisis on our hands. It then argues that the only reasonable approach to combat this crisis is for it to inculcate the hermeneutics of suspicion in otherwise open-minded people. In my opinion, the real crisis is the dearth of people who understand that HIMEOBS used to complain about being persecuted. Now it is our primary persecutor. This reversal of roles reminds me that if HIMEOBS can overawe and befuddle a sufficient number of prominent individuals then it will become virtually impossible for anyone to invigorate the effort to reach solutions by increasing the scope of the inquiry rather than by narrowing or abandoning it.

If HIMEOBS ever claims that it is the one who will lead us to our great shining future, we must answer only one thing: “No, the reverse is true.” HIMEOBS’s premise (that advertising is the most veridical form of human communication) is its morality disguised as pretended neutrality. HIMEOBS uses this disguised morality to support its jokes, thereby making its argument self-refuting. HIMEOBS’s “sincerity” is as transparent as the icy, uncaring look in its eyes. It is unclear whether this is because one loses count of the number of times HIMEOBS has tried to destroy our sense of safety in the places we ordinarily imagine we can flee to, because posterity will have little occasion to glorify its “heroic” existence in a new epic, or a combination of the two. Just because HIMEOBS and its co-conspirators don’t like being labelled as “biggety buffoons” or “anti-democratic ragamuffins” doesn’t mean the shoe doesn’t fit. I acknowledge freely and make no apology for the fact that I once considered it reasonable for addlepated cockalorums to seek temporary tactical alliances with stinking half-wits in order to muster enough force to criticize other people’s beliefs, fashion sense, and lifestyle. But now I know that it’s best to ignore most of the quotes that HIMEOBS so frequently cites. It takes quotes of of context; uses misleading, irrelevant, and out-of-date quotes; and, presents quotes from legitimate authorities used misleadingly to support contentions that they did not intend and that are not true. In short, HIMEOBS has, at times, called me “mawkish” or “hotheaded”. Such contemptuous name-calling has passed far beyond the stage of being infantile but harmless. It has the capacity to rule with an iron fist.

HIMEOBS sees the world as somewhat anarchic, a game of catch-as-catch-can in which the sneakiest grizzlers nab the biggest prizes. What does HIMEOBS have to say about all of this? The answer, as expected, is nothing. I will not quibble with HIMEOBS as to whether or not the essence of lying is in deception, not in words. Instead, I’ll simply state that the thought that someone, somewhere, might urge lawmakers to pass a nonbinding resolution affirming that HIMEOBS consistently falls short of telling the whole story or of making a solid point is anathema to it and leave it at that. Those of us who are still sane, those of us who still have a firm grip on reality, those of us who still feel that stopping HIMEOBS is front and center in my work, have an obligation to do more than just observe what HIMEOBS is doing from a safe distance. We have an obligation to go placidly amid the noise and haste. We have an obligation to bring strength to our families, power to our nation, and health to our cities. And we have an obligation to advance freedom in countries strangled by tyranny. In summary, HIMEOBS uses a rather shrewish definition of “saccharomucilaginous”. Is anyone listening? Does anyone care?

Needless to say, such charges are ludicrous and do not even merit a response, laughter aside.

The potential for far-right terrorism in the USA

I’ve been kind of busy, and I don’t see that stopping anytime soon, so instead of doing a writeup myself, I’ll just direct you with links.

Orcinus has the details about the potential (and, in my view, likely) re-emergence of the “Patriot” militia movement:

One of the more disturbing trends we’ve been observing is the return of far-right “Patriot” rhetoric about government oppression with the election of President Obama. Fueled in no small part by mainstream right-wing talkers proclaiming we’re headed into “socialism” — not to mention a “radical communist” who must be “stopped” or else America will “cease to exist” — the overheated rhetoric has been gradually getting higher in volume, intensity, and frequency with each passing week.

The initial concern that this raises is the possibility of a new wave of citizen militias, particularly when you have mainstream pundits like Glenn Beck out there helping to promote the concept. As Glenn Greenwald observed, the “Patriots” are back with a vengeance.

At least for the time being, however, there isn’t any evidence of new militias forming, though we may see numbers growing within the coming months within existing units, particularly as Fox News and radio pundits start fueling right-wing anxieties.

However, we are starting to see a trend that’s even more disturbing: Military veterans voicing Patriot-movement beliefs, including threats of violent resistance to the Obama administration.

If anyone is foolish enough to think these guys are actually about liberty, I suggest you ask them where they have been for the past 8 years, or their views on Bush’s leadership.  There is a disturbing proto-fascist element to the militia movement which is really worrying.

A look inside the corporate PR machine

There are two excellent pieces up on The eXiled right now which you need to be reading.  They are Is CNBC’s Rick Santelli Sucking Koch, and Koch activists teabag media.

I’ll leave you to read them in your own time, but I could smell the PR bullshit coming off these Tea Party protests from the start, I just didn’t have the time or the inclination to dig.  Nevertheless, an insight into how these things work is always nice.  As Ames points out

So today’s protests show that the corporate war is on, and this is how they’ll fight it: hiding behind “objective” journalists and “grassroots” new media movements. Because in these times, if you want to push for policies that help the super-wealthy, you better do everything you can to make it seem like it’s “the people” who are “spontaneously” fighting your fight. As a 19th century slave management manual wrote, “The master should make it his business to show his slaves, that the advancement of his individual interest, is at the same time an advancement of theirs. Once they feel this, it will require little compulsion to make them act as becomes them.” (Southern Agriculturalist IX, 1836.) The question now is, will they get away with it, and will the rest of America advance the interests of Koch, Santelli, and the rest of the masters?

RealityTropes?

Over at Chaos Marxism, a cunning plan has been hatched.

I’m down with this.  God knows, all I do every day is read political theory texts and blogs anyway, it would be nice to engage myself somewhat more critically with the whole process.  I have also been taking notes from TV Tropes, for my own attempts of fiction, once I start writing fiction again (in between searching for jobs, reading, blogging and contributing to several internet fora – sooner or later, something will give, most probably me).  Should those come to fruition, I’ll probably spend days getting people to read them, so no doubt you will all know when it happens.

Anyway, I know a couple of peeps from PD, such as Cramulus, have also expressed potential interest in this project, and board members always have tons of hosting space lying around, doing nothing (for some bizarre reason).  Hopefully, enough people will register interest to get a viable site going once I get to pitch the idea to the members.  Worst comes to worst, I’ll dump the ideas on a free blog until someone less in debt and more technically competent than me gets a Wiki on the project started.

Edit: NlhasdAJHLgkgli.  Seriously, that’s what the inside of my head feel’s like.  I tried, but my mind is so fried right now I can’t express myself the way I want.  I need a proper night’s sleep.

Just a friendly reminder

Guantanamo and Camp X-Ray do not equal all American operated black sites

Link

The Justice Department ruled that some 600 so-called enemy combatants at Bagram have no constitutional rights.

As I have suggested before, the Bush administration’s great crime was not its rampant criminality and disregard for others, it was that all this was obvious, and they broke the fourth wall of politics with great regularity.  Obama’s is much superior at playing the game while keeping the pretence up.  I still suspect the new crew is not as criminal as Bush, but, well…

Always the bridesmaid, never the bride…

For some unthinkable reason, I was not invited to Technoccult’s roundtable on the future of the nation-state.  Probably because they’ve never heard of me, Wes and Edward aside, but I won’t let that get in the way of some good snark.  Besides, I can now claim to be a renegade renegade futurist, which justs adds to my edgy appeal.  Or something.

Anyway, good question.  The whole viability/decline of the state has become a very interesting question in light of the credit crunch.  And I have more than a passing interest in social organization in the past and present, in no small way due to reading John Robb for the past three years or so.

Continue reading

Is George Friedman smoking crack?

Stratfor’s analysis is starting to show its bias much more:

Note the section on the US missile program in central Europe.  Unless something has changed radically, the last I heard was Obama was putting the kibosh on the project at least until the Pentagon could make the case it had to be in Europe, and in return, Russia was withdrawing its plans to put nuclear warheads in Kaliningrad, which would allow them to strike anywhere in Europe with even their smallest nuclear capable missiles.

Also on Kyrgyzstan, while the analysis is accurate, they in no way mention the cyber attack which was almost certainly undertaken by Russian proxies there – one which may have been a trial run to see how US forces coped with bandwidth poor environments.  The US military is massively dependent on using state of the art communication systems, and they did have problems in Central Asia when first moving into those bases, in 2001-2002.  Russian expertise in cyber warfare is nothing new, but running an attack which may have been designed to test US responses is.  In the Georgia/Russia spat earlier last year, the Russians were probably too busy actually attacking Georgian websites and communications to see what they could do to American bases in the country.  This time, they had an attackers advantage, in choosing the time and place.  Given Obama, just today, is reviewing cyberspace security, I would think this was much more important than Russia’s long standing objections to the US presence in its percieved sphere of intersest.

And just to confirm my suspicions, I get a new email:

In our 2009 Annual Forecast, we let Stratfor Members know that Russia is resurging–but can she really do it? The short answer is YES.

Russia needs more than economic power to mount a real resurgence–military power is an equally important aspect. So we’re introducing a special four-part series on the Russian Military.

UUUUUNNNNGGGGHHHHHHH.  Paul Kennedy is quietly weeping somewhere.  Military superpowers need to be economic powerhouses first and foremost.  Obviously, a super rich country with little population is not much of a military risk (see: Saudi Arabia), but equally a populous country with a weak economy is not nearly as much of a threat as one with a strong economy.

Russia had an economy comparable to Portugal, a thin strip of mostly barren land on the Atlantic sea, which makes the majority of its money from tourists who don’t realize they crossed the border from Spain, and from the quite frankly disgusting “firewater” drink.  Oh, and Port, of course.

And most of this was because of Russian reliance on energy resources, in particular oil and gas.  Oil prices have essentially collapsed, putting the Russian economy in dire straits.  Their weapons systems are their second main export, but with the economic crisis hitting their main clients hard as well, they cannot hope to pick up the loss of earnings there.

Russia still has a decent amount of firepower, of course.  It has the world’s biggest stockpile of nuclear weapons, for starters.  It has numerous WMD programs, including a very advanced biological weapons division.  They still maintain large numbers of missiles, both conventional and otherwise.  Its intelligence assets were primed towards Europe and America for 60+ years, and many of those assets are still around, if in a reduced capacity.  It also has its much vaunted cyber warfare capacity.

But those are costly to maintain.  Equally, Russia’s population is steadily decreasing, as is its economy.  Sooner or later, cuts will have to be made, in order to save the careers of those in the Duma and Kremlin.  And Russia is already well behind in certain technical innovations than NATO, China and Japan.  Can they sustain the economy necessary for high-tech research and their already existing military power, which is still a shadow of what the USSR possessed?  Highly unlikely.  Unless Russia can reverse its economic woes, presumably by seizing the Arctic oilfields and then orchestrating price fixing via Gazprom, its a power on the decline.  Again.

GAY RAPE TERROR WAR

I think The Sun were having a stream of consciousness moment when writing this headline “oooh, poofters….rape…..blah Muslims….wurgh….time for a coffee”.

However, as Wired’s Danger Room points out, it is, apart from a pretty shitty piece of obvious propaganda, indicative of, shall we say, a general malaise that has set in among Al-Qaeda Prime?  AQP has tried to turn itself into a sort of “Big Vision” type of group, who go around exhorting others to actually take up the Jihad, and relying on local networks to do the dirty business.

But since earlier last year, when the focus shifted to the US elections, and with the victory of Barack Obama in particuar, they’ve been on the back foot.  Euphoria at Bush leaving, a guy with relatively sane policies and a guy with a background that includes at least one mostly Muslim country mean he has a lot of leverage, and people are willing to hear him out.  No-one was willing to hear a born again Christian who was part of the Texas oil set and hobnobbed with the Arab dictatorships out.  Especially after he bombed and occupied a country on erroneous (read: non-existant) evidence.  And the whole torture and contempt of human rights stuff didn’t help either.

Regardless of if Obama will have better Middle East policies or not, he is clearly better thought of than the previous guy.  People turn to terrorism through lack of seemingly viable options.  So when the guy in charge is trying to be a mediator instead of a commander, people think they have a shot at getting their points across.

Al-Qaeda is losing the media war.  Sun headlines aside, people think they have a choice now, that there are multiple options and a possible path to reconciliation.  Most people do not seek to join terrorist organizations when there are peaceful alternatives with a shot at getting what they want.  I suspect that will be the next opening in Obama’s strategic communication offensive, at least if he is smart.  Courting peaceful Islamist groups will defuse a large number of tensions if he can prevail on Arab leaders to listen to their requests and proposals.

And if that does happen, expect Al-Qaeda’s war to turn suddenly to “traitors within the Islamist ranks”.  They need to make sure they are seen as the only legitimate voice of oppressed Muslims the world over, and their best chance for success.  Any threats to that image must be taken care of, after all.