Thursday, November 16, 2006


The meaning of Fascism can be defined in three simple words:


When the President of the U.S. delivers his State of the Union Address to a joint session of Congress, he does it flanked by two golden Fasces.

These Fasces are mounted on the wall behind the Speaker's platform of the House of Representatives.

The Fasces, a bundle of wood rods and a headsman's axe bound with a ligature, remains an official symbol of the government of the U.S. (as well as being used by various other Modern Fascist movements).

The metaphorical meaning of the bundle of rods is the idea that the group is greater than the individual; that while one rod can be broken it would be very difficult to break the bundle.

The other, more direct, meaning of the rods is simpler & related to the axe. The rods are used to beat transgressors and the axe is used to kill them.

To expand on the might makes right concept; THE POWER OF THE STATE COMES FROM ITS ABILITY TO PUNISH & KILL ITS OPPONENTS. It is no coincidence that Executive power is based at the Capitol & Execution is Capitol Punishment.

The fasces was the symbol of Republican Rome; of the Senate & of the Army, predating Imperial Rome. Eagles were a favored symbol of Emperor & his Legions.

Fascism does not require a Dictator, what it requires is the unmatched power of the State against its own citizens.

I would contend that our Nation's first steps towards Fascism occured in 1794, during the Whiskey Rebellion, when the President of the U.S. led an Army against American Citizens. The Civil War was also an act of Fascism (I am neither pro-Confederacy or pro-slavery) due to the U.S. insistence of Union at any cost (despite the desire of the majority of the citizens of certain States for succession) and the application of violent force. The Confederacy was also essentially Fascist due to the use of violence against slaves & dissenting citizens alike.

Even though our record of protecting the rights of our citizens is mixed, we have been somewhat protected by the rule of law in this country. But recent events whereby fundamental principles of law (such as Habeus Corpus, coerced confession or inability to face one's accusers) are repealed or ignored bring us much closer to full blown Fascism.

Saturday, November 11, 2006


I have quite mixed feelings re. the very concept of "supporting our troops".

I have no animosity or negative feelings towards my fellow citizens who serve in the military. I wish them all to be safe & well.

I do have serious misgivings about the fact that my country has, without question, the most powerful military apparatus in the history of the world. This at a time when there is no enemy/competitor who can effectively provide a counter to this force.

Even in Iraq, where our soldiers are dying daily; it is such an uneven battle that it provokes nothing but hatred & disdain by much of the world.

We have wasted the political capitol that a powerful military can provide a nation. We are showing ourselves as self-righteous invaders & mass murderers under the guise of "liberators".

We are sacrificing our own children while we create fanatics among the children of our "adversaries".

I would suggest that the way to honor our troops would be to:

1. Apologize for our arrogance & hubris to the victims of our acts. Admit we were wrong. Ask for forgiveness, not for our own sake, but so that they can move ahead & rebuild their lives.

2. CUT our losses and RUN as fast as possible from this quagmire of our own creation.

3. Take the vast supplies of weapons which we will leave behind and spread them among every household in Iraq so that during the chaos which will ensue upon our departure, some of its worse effects might be held off by an "equally" armed citizenry: as it is obvious that the disarming of Iraqi citizens (by both Saddam & ourselves) is a major cause for the success of the death squads; most of whom appear to be rogue police, army & militia members with access to weapons that prey on unarmed civilians.

While this is hardly a "good" solution, I doubt any solution could be "good". This might be the best solution possible. There is no question that we need to stop digging the hole we are in any deeper.


One thing that has always bothered me about the Pentagon attack on 9/11 is this: while it would be relatively easy for a person with minimal training to fly an airliner on an essentially level flight path into a tall building, as well as quite simple to fly it into the ground: it would be extremely difficult for such a novice pilot to fly an airliner into the side of the Pentagon. The reason for this is called ground effect. As an airplane approaches the ground, specifically at about a distance of half a wingspan above the ground (which in a 757 would be approximately 65 to 75 feet AGL), ground effect provides a sudden increase in the lift of the plane. The Pentagon is only 5 stories, or approximately 50 to 60 feet tall, well within the ground effect of an airliner.

As the training received by the 9/11 hijackers (according to all reports after the incident) specifically concentrated on flying planes rather than the take-off & landing of planes, I question how they would have dealt with the unfamiliar ground effect phenomena, which would have significantly increased the lift of the plane just before it struck its target. The majority of flight training is focused on take-off and landing procedures due to the variable effects on the airplane as it leaves or approaches the ground.

Even if take off & landing training had been practiced on a light plane, such as a Cessna 172, there would be a huge practical difference in the ground effect compared to the much larger 757. Ground effect would occur within only 12 to 16 feet of the ground on the trainer aircraft, and there is another huge difference in the effect of cutting back on the throttles between a small prop plane & a turbofan powered jet airliner; considering both the massive differences in the inertia of the two different planes and the much higher airspeed of the 757.

This particular task of hitting the side of the Pentagon would be close to an aircraft landing on a carrier deck: a process requiring the most intensive training of any type of flying.

One possible way would be to fly into a beacon at the Pentagon providing Glideslope (GS) and Localizer (LOC) information. In this case all that would be required is flying a path provided by the instruments on the airplane. This type of training is available on home computer programs and can be easily and repeatedly practiced. This would also eliminate the flinch factor; by flying the instruments & not looking outside the airplane's windows the tendency to involuntary movement (closing the eyes & jerking the controls) just before the crash would be eliminated.

Norman Mineta, then Sec. of Transportation, who was with Vice-President Cheney on 9/11 in the Presidential Emergency Operating Center, reported to the 9/11 Commission:

"There was a young man who had come in and said to the vice president, 'The plane is 50 miles out. The plane is 30 miles out.' And when it got down to, 'The plane is 10 miles out,' the young man also said to the vice president, 'Do the orders still stand?' And the vice president turned and whipped his neck around and said, 'Of course the orders still stand. Have you heard anything to the contrary?' Well, at the time I didn't know what all that meant."

GS & LOC are part of the ILS (Instrument Landing System); another part of which is called DME (Distance Measuring Equipment) which provides the distance from the location of the DME transmitter to the airplane's transponder (it also provides the speed over the ground of the airplane). This would provide a simple and realtime method to determine how far away A.A. Flight 77 was from the Pentagon. That information was obviously & immediately available. It seems unlikely that any other sources (such as Civil or Military Air Traffic Controllers or ATCs) could provide this data in this timely a fashion. Since the Pentagon is not an airport it would require at least some calculation (trigonometry) to extrapolate the distance of A.A. Flight 77 from the Pentagon as compared to location of the ATCs instruments. Since the plane was traveling at least 5 or 6 miles per minute, it seems difficult to provide such realtime data from an external site.

While it would not be impossible for novice pilots to fly an airliner into the side of the Pentagon, it would be very difficult to have so precisely hit their target without some external guidance. Such guidance could also explain Sec. Mineta's observations and (ominously) V.P. Cheney's remarks. Beacons on the WTC could also explain the accuracy with which A.A. Flight 11 and U.A. Flight 175 hit their targets: an easier but still difficult task for novice pilots.

Thursday, November 09, 2006


Of course we are at war in Iraq.

It is an illegal war, violating international law as well as our own standards & laws as Americans.

It is a terrorist war, killing hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians over the past decade & a half for the purposes of "Shock and Awe" and to encourage "Regime Change".

But it is without question war, in the same way that our other "undeclared" wars, our "interventions" & our support of terrorist governments who warred upon their citizens (Panama, Grenada, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Mexico, Nicaragua, Chile, Columbia, Argentina, Guatemala, Libya, Lebanon, Phillipines, Somalia, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Taiwan, Indonesia, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Afghanistan, Turkey, and on & on.) are war.

Whatever "Pravda-like" name you want to call it ("Just Cause", "Restore Hope", "Iraqi Freedom", "Infinite Justice"), it is war. It is war to its participants. It is war to its victims. As honest Americans we should call it war.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


The only way to think there is a "center" in politics is to buy into the fallacy that there is a single continuum, a straight line, between "left" & "right" or "conservative" & "liberal".

Peoples' beliefs actually encompass a vast milieu of (often quite uncategorizable) ideas.

The people who believe most strongly that there is such a clear definition of beliefs are most likely REACTIONARIES. Despite the word reactionary having come to be misunderstood as being a person with extreme "conservative" beliefs, the so-called "knee jerk liberal" is also a reactionary.

The key to being a reactionary is having a "menu" of ideas which elicit a fixed reaction.

One example is found in the issues regarding "gun control". It appears that there are only two possible responses to the issue of gun control, the "NRA model" and the "Brady model", when in fact there are many ideas that could both decrease the needlessly high numbers of accidental & intentional gun deaths in this country and protect the rights of citizens to defend themselves against both criminals & government tyranny. I believe both of these are relevant & worthwhile goals.

The "one gun death is too many' reactionaries are unconcerned that gun deaths are actually a miniscule fraction of the unnecessary deaths caused by automobiles or that the only two so-called democracies that have survived for over a century, the U.S. and Switzerland, have laws providing for any law abiding citizen to possess firearms.

The "cold dead hands" reactionaries are opposed to the kind of licensing & competence testing that any dangerous device should require (again think of automobiles) as well as being contemptuous of the suffering of those whose loved ones have needlessly died by gun violence.

Only the reactionary ideas get expressed by media because conflict sells. This is true of both the so-called mainstream media as well as alternative media.