all art/music/culture links (including music biz/file sharing news), fiction I'm reading and what I'm listening to and watching
For New York Times access use:
Username: aflakete Password: europhilia
For LA Times access use:
Username: ridgewood Password: callow
NOW AVAILABLE AT ME-ZINE
ABBREVIATIONS FOR SITES I OFTEN STEAL NEWS ITEMS FROM:
u = Progressive Review's Undernews
PUBLIC AFFAIRS/HISTORY READING:
(r) = re-reading
amazon wish list
amazon.ca wish list
The Buying of the President 2004: Who's Really Bankrolling Bush and His Democratic Challengers -- and What They Expect in Return
Sam Smith's Great American Political Repair Manual: How to Rebuild Our Country So the Politics Aren't Broken and Politicians Aren't Fixed
American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush
Death in the Air: Globalism, Terrorism & Toxic Warfare
The Velvet Coup: The Constitution, the Supreme Court and the Decline of American Democracy
Into the Buzzsaw: Leading Journalists Expose the Myth of the Free Press
Just consider what current events will sound like two thousand years from now -- the greatest nation on Earth bombing some of the smallest and weakest for no clear reasons, people starving in parts of the world while farmers are paid not to plant crops in others, technophiles sitting at home playing electronic golf rahter than the real thing, and police forces ordered to arrest people who simply desire to ingest a psychoactive weed. People of that era will also likely laugh it all off as fantastic myths...
It is time for those who desire true freedom to exert themselves -- to fight back against the forces who desire domination through fear and disunity.
This does not have to involve violence. It can be done in small, simple ways, like not financing that new Sport Utility Vehicle, cutting up all but one credit card, not opting for a second mortgage, turning off that TV sitcom for a good book, asking questions and speaking out in church or synagogue, attending school board and city council meetings, voting for the candidate who has the least money, learning about the Fully Informed Jury movement and using it when called -- in general, taking responsibility for one's own actions. Despite the omnipresent advertising for the Lotto -- legalized government gambling -- there is no free lunch. Giving up one's individual power for the hope of comfort and security has proven to lead only to tyranny.
You had to take those pieces of paper with you when you went shopping, though by the time I was nine or ten most people used plastic cards. . .It seems so primitive, totemistic even, like cowry shells. I must have used that kind of money myself, a little, before everything went on the Compubank.
I guess that's how they were able to do it, in the way they did, all at once, without anyone knowing beforehand. If there had still been portable money, it would have been more difficult.
It was after the catastrophe, when they shot the president and machine-gunned the Congress and the army declared a state of emergency. They blamed it on the Islamic fanatics, at the time.
Keep calm, they said on television. Everything is under control.
I was stunned. Everyone was, I know that. It was hard to believe. The entire government, gone like that. How did they get in, how did it happen?
That was when they suspended the Constitution. They said it would be temporary. There wasn't even any rioting in the streets. People stayed home at night, watching television, looking for some direction. There wasn't even an enemy you could put your finger on.
. . . Things continued on in that state of suspended animation for weeks, although some things did happen. Newspapers were censored and some were closed down, for security reasons they said. The roadblocks began to appear, and Identipasses. Everyone approved of that, since it was obvious you couldn't be too careful. They said that new elections would be held, but that it would take some time to prepare for them. The thing to do, they said, was to continue on as usual.
By the time Oscar reached the outskirts of Washington, DC, The Louisiana air base had benn placed under siege.
The base's electrical power supply had long since been cut off for lack of payment. The aircraft had no fuel. The desperate federal troops were bartering stolen equipment for food and booze. Desertion was rampant. The air base commander had released a sobbing video confession and had shot himself.
Green Huey had lost patience with the long-festering scandal. He was moving in for the kill. Attacking and seizing an federal air base with his loyal state militia would have been entirely too blatant and straightforward. Instead the rogue Governor employed proxy guerrillas.
Huey had won the favor of nomad prole groups by providing them with safe havens. He allowed them to squat in Louisiana's many federally declared contamination zones. These forgotten landscapes were tainted with petrochemical effluent and hormone-warping pesticides, and were hence officially unfit for human settlement. The prole hordes had different opinions on that subject.
Proles cheerfully grouped in any locale where conventional authority had grown weak. Whenever the net-based proles were not constantly harassed by the authorities, they coalesced and grew ambitious. Though easily scattered by focused crackdowns, they regrouped as swiftly as a horde of gnats. With their reaping machines and bio-breweries, they could live off the land at the very base of the food chain. They had no stake in the established order, and they cherished a canny street-level knowledge of society's infrastructural weaknesses. They made expensive enemies. . .
Louisiana's ecologically blighted areas were ideal for proles. The disaster zones were also impromptu wildlife sanctuaries, since wild animals found chemical fouling much easier to survive than the presence of human beings. After decades of wild subtropical growth, Louisiana's toxic dumps were as impenetrable as Sherwood Forest.
Saturday, October 18, 2003
Landmark water deal in West marks new era of urbanizationSecretary of the Interior Gale A. Norton signed a contentious agreement here on Thursday that signals an epic shift in the struggle over water in the arid West from farmland to the swimming pools, showers and green lawns of cities.Wonder what will happen in the next 35 years?
The agreement ends one of the West's longest-running water wars by requiring California, the nation's thirstiest state, to gradually reduce its dependence on the Colorado River, which acts as a huge spigot for snow melt from the Rocky Mountains for more than 25 million people from Denver to Los Angeles.
At its core, the agreement affirms a tough lesson for the bone-dry region: Because of finite supplies and a population boom, water reserved over the past century for irrigating crops must be diverted more and more to urban areas.
The deal calls for the largest movement of farm water to municipal users in the nation and will be in effect for at least 35 years. As compensation, farmers, some of whom might need to plant less, will be paid handsomely for water they get for a very small cost from the federal government.
12:04 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Friday, October 17, 2003
Russia eases citizenship rules to attract foreign nationals into army
Depending on mercenaries because citizens don't want the job has been a flag for imperial decline throughout history.
In the US, private mercenary corporations like Dynacorp fill the gap -- Russia isn't quite so modern yet.
Noting the treatment soldiers in Iraq are getting, expect to see a drop in re-enlistment and enrollment over the next years.
11:35 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
shrubco -- and most of US media -- ignore soldiers' plight
Mysterious ailments & squalid conditions for sick and injured US troopsHundreds of sick and wounded U.S. soldiers including many who served in the Iraq war are languishing in hot cement barracks here while they wait -- sometimes for months -- to see doctors.Unbelievable.
The National Guard and Army Reserve soldiers' living conditions are so substandard, and the medical care so poor, that many of them believe the Army is trying push them out with reduced benefits for their ailments. One document shown to UPI states that no more doctor appointments are available from Oct. 14 through Nov. 11 -- Veterans Day.
Soldiers here estimate that nearly 40 percent of the personnel now in medical hold were deployed to Iraq. Of those who went, many described clusters of strange ailments, like heart and lung problems, among previously healthy troops. They said the Army has tried to refuse them benefits, claiming the injuries and illnesses were due to a "pre-existing condition," prior to military service.
Most soldiers in medical hold at Fort Stewart stay in rows of rectangular, gray, single-story cinder block barracks without bathrooms or air conditioning. They are dark and sweltering in the southern Georgia heat and humidity. Around 60 soldiers cram in the bunk beds in each barrack.
Soldiers make their way by walking or using crutches through the sandy dirt to a communal bathroom, where they have propped office partitions between otherwise open toilets for privacy. A row of leaky sinks sits on an opposite wall. The latrine smells of urine and is full of bugs, because many windows have no screens. Showering is in a communal, cinder block room. Soldiers say they have to buy their own toilet paper.
Where's the outcry about this?
11:01 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
"These events are undermining constitutional order and democratic values and have led to a tragic loss of life"
Bolivian President to step down after anti-privatization riots and 9% approval rating; US sending military team to
remind Bolivians who the Big Dog is"help the U.S. ambassador in La Paz review plans to evacuate American citizens, should that become necessary"
Al Giordano's blogging the action as it happens.
Background from CBS News:Bolivia, which declared its independence from Spain in 1825, is a majority indigenous country where many speak Spanish haltingly. The country yielded its vast mineral wealth to its colonial rulers and many see the gas-export project as a return to that legacy.Don't see this as the front story on any US BigMedia site, natch. CNN is featuring the box cutter story (?). It's not on ABC's NewsFlash page at all, and while it's one of the stories on MSNBC's front, the heading graphic features a history of the lava lamp...
Critics also were angered that the gas might be exported to the United States and Mexico through a Pacific port in neighboring Chile, the country's longtime rival. And the plan tapped deep discord with Bolivia's decade-old free-market experiment, which has brought punishing price hikes and austerity programs.
3:56 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
eBay routinely cancelling auctions of old Schwarzenegger issue of Oui
6:26 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
"Fresh air" in Cali real man of the people
6:14 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
FBI probe of Philly mayor continues to look like GOP political action [Urban Survival]
Especially with shrubco's secrecy fetish re 9/11, obvious ties to Enron etc.
How about the FBI investigating those files. . .
6:09 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Medical priesthood file:
Now med schools are starting to require new students to pick an area of specialization -- good for their resumes and bankbooks perhaps, but no doubt worsening the shortage of GPs
5:52 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
I'd rather have doped athletes than guys like the one in this picture write the rules
Have to admit I've never been a big Olympics fan anyway.
5:43 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Thursday, October 16, 2003
Copyright law so Draconian even Micro$uck is against it
Nazi copyright law on block in EUThe proposal would go far beyond existing laws in Europe and the United States by classifying copyright violations and patent infringements, even some unwitting ones, as crimes punishable by prison terms.
Lawyers who have studied the draft law say that not only could a teenager who downloaded a music file be sent to jail under it, so too could managers of the Internet service provider that the teenager happened to use, whether they knew what the teenager was doing or not.
Opposition to the new law was slow to develop but is now gaining momentum. Companies like Nokia, the BT Group and even Microsoft, itself a major victim of software piracy, have called the proposed law excessive and warned that it could crush innovation and strangle e-commerce in Europe.
9:17 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Fortune's collection of articles on the Enron debacle
12:44 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
shrubco's Nixonian collapse into pure delusion file:
Rumsfeld defends general who framed conflicts with Muslims as "us and Satan"
12:35 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Another outbreak of sickness on a cruise ship
Anyone keeping track of these, and the increase over the last 2 years or so?
12:32 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Nobel winner and IMF traitor Joseph Stiglitz on the American economy's new bubble'More jobs have been lost under Bush than since Herbert Hoover and the Great Depression,' he said in an interview. 'In the private sector more money has been wasted through misallocation of capital in the stock-market bubble than the government could ever manage.'
In a week in which US stock markets hit 16-month highs, surely there is some room for optimism? Stiglitz was having none of it. 'The huge tax cut in the US was very badly designed to stimulate the economy. And there has been a huge increase in mainly military spending. Yet what is remarkable is how little stimulus has been given. The US economy is still in a precarious state,' he said.
'Dealing with the deficit will absorb the US political economy for years to come. We're back to the Reagan era. The trade deficit has the underlying problem of what will happen when foreigners decide to stop funding the US deficit. On the private side there is a huge gap in private pension funds. Any other economy would be under water.'
12:37 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Wednesday, October 15, 2003
"It may be that it no longer holds true that each succeeding generation [of Americans] will be better educated than the one that preceded it" [u]
1:36 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Corporate culture II
Parents naming children after favorite brands [u]The records show that in 2000, 49 children were named Canon, followed by 11 Bentleys, five Jaguars and a Xerox.
There is also a Gouda and a Bologna, who are named after the cheese and the sausage rather than the places.
Foreign brands are regarded as increasingly chic: Chanel is popular among doting mothers, and several boys have been named after a Japanese family car called Camry.
1:33 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Wal-Mart's cut-rate health coverage bound to set standard [u]...new employees must wait six months to sign up for benefits; coverage of many pre-existing conditions does not kick in for a year; retirees are not covered; deductibles of up to $1,000 are triple the norm; and flu shots, eye exams, childhood vaccinations and other treatments are not covered. About 60 percent of Wal-Mart?s 800,000 eligible employees have signed up for coverage, compared with 72 percent for the entire retail industry, according to a survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation.
1:25 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Sam Smith on the Limbaugh incidentThe Rush Limbaugh incident is another example of how we use the control of words to build a wall around our collective actions. Dumping on Rush Limbaugh helps avoid dealing with discrimination in housing or public transportation, the role of obsessive sports competition in creating a society of winners and losers, or why there are no blacks in the Senate. We thus reduce nondiscrimination to a matter of social etiquette.And the Drug War:
ESPN called Rush Limbaugh's comments "insensitive and inappropriate." Which raises the interesting question: how did "inappropriate" become such a dominant factor by which matters in our culture are judged and exactly who gets to determine what is appropriate? By all evidence, it appears to be whoever is in charge.
When a 12 year old black kid was arrested and hauled off in handcuffs for eating one French fry in a Washington subway station, Metro defended the action this way: "It's our transit police department's responsibility to correct inappropriate behavior in our system, and they do it every day."
That's a pretty broad mandate given that there are no laws in DC or the federal code that define "appropriate." Our willingness to use such a mushy and self-serving standard is one more reason why this country no longer functions as a democratic republic. Too often, it's just too inappropriate.
The war on drugs got its big push in Washington - as elsewhere - with Ronald Reagan's crusade that began in the mid-1980s. An early target was marijuana. The result was that the price of pot went up, leaving a market vacuum that was soon filled by crack cocaine. In five years the city's murder rate soared from around 150 annually to nearly 500.
The war on drugs has since killed the innocent, broken up families, ruined young males' lives, taken money from needed programs in education, health and recreation, and laid the groundwork for the anti-democratic and post-constitutional rule under which we now live. In the end it was the war on drugs, rather than the use of drugs, that proved to be the real crime.
1:15 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
PATRIOT Act cutting into banks' bottom line, patrons' privacy [u]While the law requires banks to verify identities, keep records of their efforts and make sure customers aren't on any watch list, how banks go about getting to know their customers ranges from collecting an employer's address to the client's tax status. Other items may include investigating the source of a customer's funds, other accounts linked to that person and what they intend to use the funds for.
Banks and financial institutions must confirm customer identities with identification that includes a name, date of birth, address and identification number such as a taxpayer identification number for citizens or a government-issued document for noncitizens. It sometimes takes several documents to validate information where a driver's license once sufficed.
12:54 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
2 of 3 GM crops tested in the UK found more harmful to environment than conventional crops [u]The results of the three years of field scale trials - the largest scientific experiment of its type on GM crops undertaken anywhere in the world - will be published on Friday, October 16 by the august Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. The results have been a closely guarded secret for months, and will be studied by scientists, farmers, food companies and governments across the world.The political fallout:
The study will include eight peer-reviewed papers about the effect of growing GM crops and accompanying herbicides on the plants and animals living in the fields around. The papers compare the GM fields with conventional crops grown in adjacent fields.
The overwhelming public hostility in the UK to GM crops has not been shared by scientists or the government but the results of the field scale trials are expected to be a jolt to the enthusiasts. The Royal Society refused to publish a ninth paper produced by the scientific group.The likely denouement, say analysts, is that the government will fall into line with the EC and agree to the planting of the crops but effectively make them ungrowable by forcing farmers and the companies to take financial liability if contamination occurs. This would put off all but the most bull-headed farmers.
The US, whose companies largely control the technology, have asked the WTO to rule once and for all on GM. Furious that EU precautions have already cost its companies an estimated $30bn (£18bn) in lost exports, Washington is confident that the long moratorium, the tight labelling and the low tolerance levels of contamination set by Europe will be classed as a trade barrier.
But it is a high risk strategy. A decision in favour of the US would force all countries to open their doors to the technology and relax regulations, but provoke a trade war. If the WTO decision went to Europe, it would effectively close the European market indefinitely to GM products.
12:49 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
"It is a better and more important story than losing a couple of soldiers every day"
GOP Rep "sees through" media coverup of US success in Iraq
Sees pigs flying too.
5:33 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Bolivian president abandoned by VP, economic minister, calls in military to protect palace, as violent demonstrations claim 63 livesOur correspondent says the civil unrest is fuelled by wider issues than the gas project. Peasant farmers want land reform, the elderly want better pensions and workers want more money.rightright.
The Bolivian president's free-market reform strategy, centring on good relations with the United States, has bred particular resentment.
President sees plot
But in a national broadcast he insisted that "a large subversive project, organised and financed from abroad, is looming to destroy Bolivian democracy".
"outside agitators" . . .
5:28 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
David Kelly "suicide"
Jim Rarey on suspicious details uncovered but unmentioned by the Hutton inquiryKelly's body was likely moved from where he died to the site where two search volunteers with a search dog found it. The body was propped up against a tree according to the testimony of both volunteers. The volunteers reported the find to police headquarters, Thames Valley Police (TVP) and then left the scene. On their way back to their car, they met three "police" officers, one of them named Detective Constable Graham Peter Coe.
Coe and his men were alone at the site for 25-30 minutes before the first police actually assigned to search the area arrived (Police Constables Sawyer and Franklin) and took charge of the scene from Coe. They found the body flat on its back a short distance from the tree, as did all subsequent witnesses.
A logical explanation is that Dr. Kelly died at a different site and the body was transported to the place it was found. This is buttressed by the medical findings of livor mortis (post mortem lividity), which indicates that Kelly died on his back, or at least was moved to that position shortly after his death. Propping the body against the tree was a mistake that had to be rectified.
5:21 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Monday, October 13, 2003
Noah Schachtman on the real probability -- and limited effect -- of a successful biochem attackLost in the hullabaloo over David Kay's report on Iraq's unconventional arms are some pretty basic questions. Like, why all the hysteria about biological and chemical weapons in the first place? And why is America spending billions to defend against on a large-scale biochem attack that'll almost certainly never come?
Despite this, the Department of Homeland Security's 2004 budget, signed into law last Wednesday, allocates nearly $900 million for "Project BioShield," an effort to prep vaccines and treatments for biological and other threats; $88 million for the "National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center," to protect people and crops from germ attacks; $38 million for air filters to catch pathogens; $84 million for the public health system, to treat biological and chemical-attack victims; the list goes on, just about endlessly. And it doesn't even begin to touch the $1.2 billion the Pentagon wants to spend next year on chem-bio detection, the $1.6-or-so billion from the National Institutes of Health, or the $600 million that President Bush wants to spend to keep looking for Saddam's unconventional stash.
5:17 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Army investigates suicide rate hike among soldiers in Iraq
12:57 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Bolivian govt declares martial law in town outside La Paz after anti-privatization demonstrations
12:54 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
See post at planing lakes on new free PC-to-PC phone service
12:49 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Sunday, October 12, 2003
Cali overpass sign
Thanks for all the money
Sorry about your kids
5:33 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
"the first sanction in U.S. diplomatic history targeted exclusively at democracies"
shrubco cuts military aid to 32 friendly countries for voting against exemption for US in world criminal court
Some of them even sent troops to Iraq...
5:21 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Israelization of Iraq/Why do they hate us? file:
Jazz music blaring, US tanks bulldoze Iraqi farms "because 'you know who is in the resistance and do not tell us'" [a]
5:12 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
States rush to sell bonds to cover pension shortfallsMany state and local governments, facing ballooning pension promises to police officers, firefighters, teachers and other public employees, are rushing to sell bonds to cover the shortfall. That strategy has sometimes backfired in recent years, leaving taxpayers on the hook for even more debt.
States and municipalities are drawn to bond sales because they bring instant cash, easing budget pressures without further tax increases or reductions in retirement benefits.
But critics say the bonds could prove costly for some officials using them ? and for the local taxpayers. The cities and states have to pay a fixed rate of interest on the bonds, and are essentially betting they can earn a higher rate of return by investing the proceeds in their pension funds.
3:28 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Members of elite Mexican army group join battle for control of drug trade in bordertown of Nuevo LaredoThe war for Nuevo Laredo is unlike other recent drug conflicts - it's a turf war involving most of Mexico's major cartels in broad alliances not seen in a decade. It has the Mexican army fighting an organized unit of former comrades, and it has cost American lives.
3:25 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Pentagon/shrubco lays soldier astroturf as Israel continues slow motion genocide
On opposing astroturf campaigns.
9:09 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
from Sassafrass (9/23/02)
"Unconventional viewpoints at 'charging the canvas'
Opinions that will ruffle feathers, from someone who clearly knows their way around information and the blogosphere."
Blog of the Day
In the eyes of posterity it will inevitably seem that, in safeguarding our freedom, we destroyed it; that the vast clandestine apparatus we built up to probe our enemies' resources and intentions only served in the end to confuse our own purposes; that the practice of deceiving others for the good of the state led infallibly to our deceiving ourselves; and that the vast army of intelligence personnel built up to execute these purposes were soon caught up in the web of their own sick fantasies, with disastrous consequences to them and us.
-- Malcolm Muggeridge
Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception.
-- Mark Twain
NOT IN OUR NAME
(link to list against Iraq War)
Philip K. Dick
DEEPER NEWS LINK
The Global Beat
Progressive Review's Undernews
Guerrilla News Network
newshub top 25
Christian Science Monitor
The UK Guardian
Int'l Herald Tribune
The Smirking Chimp
Spin of the Day
USGS Earthquake update
Serendipity WTC page
xymphora (also Mid East)
Matt McVeagh's summary of theories
Namebase (Public Information Research)
FAS Intel Index
J Ransom Clark US Intel Bibliography
ARAP TWA 800 page
Gnostic Liberation Front
Philidelphia Experiment/Montauk Project
Military Intelligence by John Patrick Finnegan
BLOGS WITH A BULLET
Aron's Israel Peace Weblog
The Unbound Writer's Online Journal
The Mink Dimension
The Asylum Eclectica
VINTAGE BLOGS, DIVERSIONS
J. Orlin Grabbe Sassafrass
the null device
new world disorder
a dam site
This Modern World (the blog)
a bright cold day in april
wood s lot
Ethel the Blog
follow me here
Watch It! (site update notifier)
Ask Now (24/7 reference help)
The Virtual Acquisition Shelf & News Desk
Chilling Effects (online rights)
EIA Environment Consumer Education Initiative (Computer recycling)
The Center for Justice and Accountability
Astrodienst (free charts)
Institute of Noetic Sciences
The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund
Fully Informed Jury Association
Privacy Rights Now
Contacting the Congress
Amer. Booksellers Found. Free Expression
Critical Resistance (prisons)
Working for Change
Contract with the Planet
Physicians for a National Health Program
insound (music and mags)
half.com (books & music cheap)
Web Source Sales (ink carts cheap)
Invisible Web search
They were past the motels now, condos on both sides. The nicer ones, on the left, had soothing pluraled nature-names carved on hanging wooden signs, The Coves, The Glades, The Meadowlands. The cheaper condos, on the right, were smaller and closer to the road, and had names like roaring powerboats, Seaspray, Barracuda's, and Beachcomber III.
Jackie sneezed, a snippy poodle kind of sneeze, God-blessed herself, and said, "I bet it's on the left, Raymond. You better slow down."
Raymond Rios, the driver and young science teacher to the bright and gifted, didn't nod or really hear. He was thinking of the motels they had passed and the problem with the signs, No Vacancy. This message bothered him, he couldn't decide why. Then Jackie sneezed and it came to him, the motels said no vacancy because they were closed for the season (or off-season or not-season) and were, therefore, totally vacant, as vacant as they ever got, and so the sign, No Vacancy, was maximum-inaccurate, yet he understood exactly what it meant. This thought or chain of thoughts made him feel vacant and relaxed, done with a problem, a pleasant empty feeling driving by the beaches in the wind.
from Big If by Mark Costello
Bailey was having trouble with his bagel. Warming to my subject, I kept on talking while cutting the bagel into smaller pieces, wiping a dob of cream from his collar, giving him a fresh napkin. "There's a pretense at democracy. Blather about consensus and empowering employees with opinion surveys and minority networks. But it's a sop. Bogus as costume jewelry. The decisions have already been made. Everything's hush-hush, on a need-to-know-only basis. Compartmentalized. Paper shredders, e-mail monitoring, taping phone conversations, dossiers. Misinformation, disinformation. Rewriting history. The apparatus of fascism. It's the kind of environment that can only foster extreme caution. Only breed base behavior. You know, if I had one word to describe corporate life, it would be 'craven.' Unhappy word."
Bailey's attention was elsewhere, on a terrier tied to a parking meter, a cheeky fellow with a grizzled coat. Dogs mesmerized Bailey. He sized them up the way they sized each other up. I plowed on. "Corporations are like fortressed city-states. Or occupied territories. Remember The Sorrow and the Pity? Nazi-occupied France, the Vichy government. Remember the way people rationalized their behavior, cheering Pétain at the beginning and then cheering de Gaulle at the end? In corporations, there are out-and-out collaborators. Opportunists. Born that way. But most of the employees are like the French in the forties. Fearful. Attentiste. Waiting to see what happens. Hunkering down. Turning a blind eye.
from Moral Hazard by Kate Jennings
HANKY PANKY NOHOW
When the sashaying of gentlemen
Gives you grievance now and then
What's needed are some memories of planing lakes
Those planing lakes will surely calm you down
Nothing frightens me more
Than religion at my door
I never answer panic knocking
Falling down the stairs upon the law
There's a law for everything
And for elephants that sing to feed
The cows that Agriculture won't allow
Hanky Panky Nohow
Hanky Panky Nohow
Hanky Panky Nohow
-- John Cale