Scientactically-Told Truths

Raining capital in nineteen words:
They used to dub the leaders Great. Not because they were good guys & gals, but because they achieved the extreme. On horses. Call that ancient history along with the mid-twentieth century, but it’s not just recently that words like “marvelous” have been taken for “wonderful” and almost never WTF?! Such simple choices, little turns of phrase, sound uttered self-consciously if you listen really closely, as if there’s an ambiguity-minimum dishonesty requirement set forth in The Really Real Book of the Law somewhere. At any rate, quality propaganda requires retail twisting of truth as well as wholesale dissemination of dubious modern mythology. It’s when words matter most.

Like lukewarm lies as licensing fees claimed to protect all of our rights, the fights aren’t for your freedom to move, but their freedom to buy and to move you out. Or someone else. If you benefit or’re even only just spared, there’s a secure chance you don’t mind any more than they do.

They do not care for the health of the sick and the working poor, but for the right of their clients to profit from each and every illness in the manner they alone deem passable.

There is no concern for the oppressed under socialist regimes, but concern for those concerns’ well-being who will pay to get them toppled.

They’re not speaking on behalf of she-born hes to shoulder arms sanctioned by their nation as much as they are framing that sanction as self-evidently just and egalitarian so they can keep packing the force with bodies.

They couldn’t care less about the subversion of democracy or they wouldn’t go on undermining it in every other convenient case you’re not likely to read about (unless you are genuinely interested, which they know you likely are not). At present they must only tactically balance their for-ness & against-ness regarding the current ostensible world leader’s sanction and/or regime change plans, such as they are, which I’m sure makes the art in the artifice a challenge, except that people aren’t really watching them. Or so it would seem.

(A rhetorical quiz for later: Which paragraph(s) in this entry allude(s) to a combined vote & recent passage in the houses that tallies 516-6 and how does this reality square and not square with the stated policies of the president (not stated as much by the president himself as his self-stated opposition about him)?)

And they certainly don’t give a shit about the “territorial integrity” of the Ukraine or Crimea beyond ultimately facilitating fracked gas hawking on behalf of their preferred partners in crime at home. And if they are devastated about the Paris Accords like they say they are, where were they when their party was watering the deal down? Ditto immigration.

In yet another regard in which they adopt their scene partner’s specious rhetoric, increasingly when they fret about racist and sexist attitudes, they decry as racist accusations of American meddling in foreign affairs, as it’s apparent to them, so they’ll say, that it’s racist to suggest the oppressed abroad hadn’t had the agency to carry out their own awesome revolutions otherwise unremarkable. Unless of course they wanna make that claim themselves. Their next candidate for office will be a woman and/or person of color, which amounts to a dare for you to challenge them on such points, like their immediate re-rehabilitation of Goldman Sachs, who, as far as I can tell, are selectively bad right now. The trumpcard tags of these not-so distant future supporters could be something latently (& (un)ironically) racist with “#bros” in it, and #complex and #notIraq03 for the implied 2smart 4U science-y nature of war as wielded by the party of Bubya Jefferson. The cheekiest ‘d go with #notBenghazi after some snotty version of “leave it to the adults in the room”. Or the most stupidly vain who’re not with the other guy.

Two and three years from now, one more hashtag might be #NowIsNotTheTime. How about now now? If you were, say, a regular party voter, now could be the time to make clear they got nothing without you. Theoretically. Or, you could wait until #NowIsNotTheTime arrives. The ugly truth, however, is that now is never the time when bobble headed functionaries have no intention span: no intention of listening to anything but the sound of their interests beyond your distance.

Long live the sciendustry that’s made it possible for them to engage more intimately with the public in democratic dialog. Hardly less marvelous has been the capacity of sciendustry to ease the outsourcing of that dialog to their free-labor force of raving mad Twitter followers tweeting their religious lesser virulence, enabling lawmakers to put the masses on mute while the ten thousands strong bully brigade blame everyone else preemptively for their own abysmal failures.

They are not the weak-willed wimps who fail to stick up for their constituents at every turn who they play on TV, and just when you think their theater is all milquetoast & jelly, they’re reliable in leading the way when it comes to everything from beating down resistance within the party that belongs to them to authorizing death — giving them hell, as it were — something against which their loyals will not object; many will cheer them on. For these long for the days when the ministry of duplicitous bellicosity was helmed by someone they’d been trained to respect. Someone… presidential.

They’re no opposition. Theirs isn’t resistance. One might make the case that they play it well. Consider, however, that their mise en scène is underwritten by the fiercest force finance has known with all of the tricks of that trade, all of the media monopolies and all of their intelligence infiltrations with all of their manipulations and influence on entertainment as industry, and billionaire-backed philanthropy-branded NGOs to boot. All of us awash in what hijinks remain to make them adorable… for they are no opposition. And when there is no opposition, the result should be obviously painful. Acknowledge it, ignore it, or play right along, but be careful. Banzai.

And now a reprise of the above, with bonus bits about the achievement of science & industry under the will of the Army, each aspect more marvelous than the other.

24 responses to “Scientactically-Told Truths

  1. holy simolians, davidly. i’m only one third finished, and hadn’t taken notes. your links are fiercely key, although some aren’t available to me to read. but i sure do look forward to theirry meyssan’s and mattie stoller’s when i can
    make the time. thanks for bringing REDD, too. i first learned of it writing up the 2012 rio sustainability conference and the indigenous side meetings. nothin says ‘climate justice’ like fukkin’ over the indigenous, eh?

    kamala harris, corey booker and deval patrick? i wonder…would they try to teflon-coat candidates w/ charges of racism over policy? did it work for obama in the end, that ‘sympathy voting’ or some such? hadn’t he really been anointed during his nomination speech in whatever year? mr. wd and i sure thought so. and oh, such a ‘pliable’ comprador. but then, mccain/palin, too.

    i’ll have to be back later and read as i have time. these 3-day weekends are loaded w/ chores and other obligations. thanks so much for bringing this here.

  2. you’ve packed a lot into this, but I can’t get over that Truman thing.
    the greatest scientific achievement in history? it is a marvel of evolution to hear a creature spout such gibberish. the most awesomest superduperest thing we’ve ever done is develop the capacity to annihilate everything. why did we even bother w/the penicillin, pipe organ, or pyramids?

    “If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the mighty one …” the fascination with and arrogation to oneself of the purely destructive aspects of (one’s conception of) the “divine nature.” or just nature, nature as destroyer. apparently, the sign we are all born under is the Death Star.

    if only John Carpenter hadn’t made so much CRAP, it would be easier to believe that this film isn’t fiction.

    they live! it’s a documentary.

    Though in many of its aspects this visible world seems formed in love, the invisible spheres were formed in fright.
    But not yet have we solved the incantation of this whiteness, and learned why it appeals with such power to the soul…Is it that by its indefiniteness it shadows forth the heartless voids and immensities of the universe, and thus stabs us from behind with the thought of annihilation, when beholding the white depths of the milky way?… like wilful travellers in Lapland, who refuse to wear coloured and colouring glasses upon their eyes, so the wretched infidel gazes himself blind at the monumental white shroud that wraps all the prospect around him. And of all these things the Albino whale was the symbol. Wonder ye then at the fiery hunt?
    no longer are we stabbed from behind w/the thought of nothing. and to the degree that our lives revolve around money, we are in pursuit of nothing. death & shopping, as DeLillo has it in “White Noise.” the conversion of the world into garbage for something that doesn’t exist: $$.

    the psychopathy (sorry, anti-social behavior, as the latest DSRM has it, cuz you don’t want to offend all the psychopaths, do you?), the nihilism of capitalism is on plain view in, e.g., the war refugees & their treatment (as in the Lowenstein link above). destroy their countries & treat their flight & misery as nothing more than another profit vector. search all day & night to find a comment in the mainstream about why these “arcs of instability” and “conflict zones” exist.

    “Give not thyself up, then, to fire, lest it invert thee, deaden thee…” how is it that a person like Trump, one among far too many, a man who has everything, expresses nothing but contempt for life, the will to dominance & an overwhelming desire for revenge against the cosmos? too malicious for just plain ol’ self-slaughter, immune to sadness & grief, constantly inflating the triumph of the will, the rest of us have to live w/the self-hatred people like him cannot help but inflict on the world.

    “Cursed be that mortal inter-indebtedness which will not do away with ledgers. I would be free as air; and I’m down in the whole world’s books. I am so rich, I could have given bid for bid with the wealthiest Prætorians at the auction of the Roman empire (which was the world’s); and yet I owe for the flesh in the tongue I brag with.” Ahab beware of Ahab.

  3. The 19-word clip was quite a jolt on the other thread. Your elaboration of it and Nagelbett’s Uncle Ahab riff are quite the issue given that the crew is pushing the captain, who holds the scientifimagical harpoon, to pursue the Great Red Whale.

    But enough poetry, at which I am lousy.

    Apologies for the length, which relate to the number of important details. Especially the role of Jimmy Byrnes in setting the course.

    Last week Corey Robin and Chelsea Clinton (yes, Clinton) had a dustup over Hannah Arendt’s “banality of evil” turn of phrase from Eichmann in Jerusalem. Clinton could not grasp that banality was “mundane”, “everyday”, “routine”, “obligatory”, “duty”, “normal” — shall I go on — which does not describe the terms in which Democrats are framing Donald S. Trump nor does it describe Trump’s media persona.

    What we have to notice about the haberdasher from Independence is that he is doing a most uncommon thing for a haberdasher — announcing a victory in war — is as much banal, mundane, everyday language as he can hold himself to. Most of his US audience for this particular speech did not consider the news evil, but one huge relief. Only the decisions over 72 years have made that whole course of events be given the historical judgment of a mistake at best and evil at worst.

    How did it happen that a haberdasher made such a speech? There is the flow of local politics into national politics, the substitution in 1944 of the haberdasher for a known “advocate of peace” (Henry Wallace) to placate the Jimmy Byrnes wing of the party (more than just the Dixiecrats). FDR in that concession did not anticipate dying the next year under “interesting” circumstances. There is that.

    Then there is the letter out of nowhere that FDR received from Albert Einstein and Leo Szilard, laying out the consequences if Adolf Hitler’s Germany successfully built a bomb that created energy of explosion by spitting an atom. Szilard had formulated the idea of the chain reaction; Einstein was the public scientist of the time, if only for his long unruly hair. Jews knew by then what Hitler was organizing within the Third Reich and were very worried. Sending Einstein to see FDR was a desperate effort by people who understood US anti-semitism and the experiences of refugees who were leaving Germany, Austria, and Poland. The US war at the moment was with Japan after all, and the US action in Europe was to sit in the UK while Stalin’s USSR took the shock on the Eastern Front. (Churchill’s plan and FDR’s Wilsonian policy played through triangulation of allies.) Just the normal reactions of normal people. The focus was on beating Germany to developing an atomic bomb; Japan was not considered to be working on one.

    No one foresaw the evil of obliterating large populations in two cities in Japan as the consequence. No one knew how long it would take to make workable even with the large amount of resources devoted to accomplishing it. Everyday failure of knowledge. #NoOneCouldaKnowed

    Some of the mundane events of war in 1945 (

    February 13 – Massive Allied bombing of Dresden

    March 3 – “Head of the War Mobilization Board and future Secretary of State, James Byrnes, sends a memo to Franklin Roosevelt warning that if there is no “product” before the end of the war, then “there would be serious consequences for the Democratic Party.” He also states, “I understand that the expenditures for the Manhattan Project are approaching two billion dollars with no definite assurance yet of production. We have succeeded to date in obtaining the co-operation of congressional committees in secret hearings. Perhaps we can continue to do so while the war lasts.”

    March 25 – At the urging of Leo Szilard, Albert Einstein signs a letter of introduction of Szilard to President Roosevelt. Szilard wishes to warn Roosevelt of the post-war dangers of a nuclear arms race if the atomic bomb is used against Japan. The letter states: “The terms of secrecy under which Dr. Szilard is working at present do not permit him to give me information about his work; however, I understand that he now is greatly concerned about the lack of adequate contact between scientists who are doing this work and those members of your Cabinet who are responsible for formulating policy.” In the memorandum accompanying the letter, Szilard wrote: “our ’demonstration’ of atomic bombs will precipitate a race in the production of these devices between the United States and Russia and that if we continue to pursue the present course, our initial advantage may be lost very quickly in such a race.”

    April 12 – Franklin Roosevelt dies. Harry Truman becomes the 33rd President of the United States. In his last prepared speech he writes:

    “We are faced with the preeminent fact that if civilization is to survive we must cultivate the science of human relationship– the ability of peoples of all kinds to live together and work together in the same world, at peace. We have learned and paid an awful price to learn, that living and working together can be done in only one way only — under law. There is now truer and simpler idea in the world today. Unless it prevails, and unless by common struggle we are capable of new ways of thinking, mankind is doomed.”

    April 30 – Hitler commits suicide.

    The original purpose of the Manhattan Project is beginning to be moot.

    May 3 – Harry Truman appoints Jimmy Byrnes to the Interim Committee to discuss policy options regarding the use of nuclear weapons in combat and the possible political implications such a use might have.

    May 12 – William Donovan, Director of the Office of Strategic Services, reports to President Truman that Japan’s minister to Switzerland, Shunichi Kase, wished “to help arrange for a cessation of hostilities.”

    May 25 – Leo Szilard visits the White House with a letter of introduction from Albert Einstein to warn President Truman of the dangers that atomic weapons pose for the post-War world and to urge him not to authorize use of atomic weapons against Japan. Szilard is referred by Matthew J. Connelly, Truman’s appointments secretary, to James Byrnes in Spartanburg, South Carolina. [I told you I had a particular interest in this history.]

    May 28 – Assistant Secretary of War John J. McCloy argues to Secretary of War Stimson that the term “unconditional surrender” should be dropped, arguing that “unconditional surrender is a phrase which means loss of face, and I wonder whether we cannot accomplish everything we want to accomplish in regard to Japan without the use of that term.”

    Leo Szilard, along with Walter Bartky, and Harold Urey, meet with Jimmy Byrnes at his home in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Szilard attempts to persuade Byrnes to demonstrate the bomb’s power, rather than using it on Japan. Byrnes asks Szilard, “How would you get Congress to appropriate money for atomic energy research if you do not show results for the money which has been spent already?” Reflecting on this meeting later, Szilard writes, “I thought to myself how much better off the world might be had I been born in America and become influential in American politics, and had Byrnes been born in Hungary and studied physics. In all probability there would then have been no atomic bomb and no danger of an arms race between America and Russia.”In a State Department Memorandum of Conversation, Acting Secretary of State Joseph Grew describes a meeting with President Truman that day. Grew writes, “The greatest obstacle to unconditional surrender by the Japanese is their belief that this would entail the destruction or permanent removal of the Emperor and the institution of the Throne. If some indication can now be given the Japanese that they themselves, when once thoroughly defeated and rendered impotent to wage war in the future will be permitted to determine their own future political structure, they will be afforded a method of saving face without which surrender will be highly unlikely.”
    [Already the terms are being set through mundane, everyday, ordinary, practical concerns of prudent actors.]

    June 9 – Chief of Staff General George Marshall, in a memo to Secretary of War Stimson, writes, “We should cease talking about unconditional surrender of Japan and begin to define our true objective in terms of defeat and disarmament.” [Arguably the last US general who won a war. Could also be credited with winning the Cold War through the framework set up in the Truman administration. Just your mundane competent warrior.]

    June 26 – TheUnited Nations Charter is signed by delegates from fifty nations in San Francisco. Stimson, Forrestal, and Grew agree that a clarification of surrender terms should be issued well before an invasion and with “ample time to permit a national reaction to set in.” The three agreed that “Japan is susceptible to reason.”

    July 3 – James Byrnes becomes U.S. Secretary of State.

    New York Times reports, “Senator [William] White of Maine, the minority [Republican] leader, declared that the Pacific war might end quickly if President Truman would state, specifically, in the upper chamber just what unconditional surrender means for the Japanese.”

    July 15 – President Truman lands at Antwerp on his way to the Potsdam meeting. Byrnes has convinced him to drop Article 12 of the Potsdam Declaration, which had provided assurance that the Emperor would be allowed to retain his throne as a constitutional monarch.

    July 16 – The Trinity test, a plutonium implosion device, takes place at 5:29:45 a.m. mountain war time at Alamogordo, New Mexico. It is the world’s first atomic detonation. The device has a yield of 19 kilotons, which is equivalent to 19,000 tons of TNT. J. Robert Oppenheimer recalls a quote from the Bhagavad Gita, a Hindu text, which states, “I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.” Brigadier General T.F. Farrell, General Groves ’ deputy commander, describes the explosion in this way: “The effects could well be called unprecedented, magnificent, beautiful, stupendous, and terrifying. The lighting effects beggared description. The whole country was lighted by a searing light with the intensity many times that of the midday sun. It was golden, purple, violet, gray, and blue. It lighted every peak, crevasse and ridge of the nearby mountain range with a clarity and beauty that cannot be described but must be seen to be imagined…”
    [Interesting choice of text for Oppenheimer; any biographies of Oppenheimer tell where that came from besides lethal erudition?]

    [I traveled in utero through the west-east route through New Mexico some five months later.]

    July 17 – President Truman at Potsdam writes in his diary, “Just spend [sic] a couple of hours with Stalin .. He’ll be in the Jap War on August 15th. Fini Japs when that comes about.” Secretary of War Stimson records in his diary, “Byrnes was opposed to a prompt and early warning to Japan which I first suggested. He outlined a timetable on the subject [of] warning which apparently had been agreed to by the president, so I pressed it no further.” Leo Szilard, unaware of the Trinity test, prepares final draft of Petition to the President of the United States, calling on the President to “exercise your power as Commander-in-Chief to rule that the United States shall not resort to the use of atomic bombs in this war unless the terms which will be imposed upon Japan have been made public in detail and Japan knowing these terms has refused to surrender; second, that in such an event the question whether or not to use atomic bombs be decided by you in the light of the considerations presented in this petition as well as all other moral responsibilities which are involved.” The petition was signed by 155 Manhattan Project scientists.

    July 18 – President Truman writes in his diary, “P.M. [Churchill] & I ate alone. Discussed Manhattan (it is a success). Decided to tell Stalin about it. Stalin had told P.M. of telegram from Jap Emperor asking for peace. Stalin also read his answer to me. It was satisfactory. Believe the Japs will fold up before Russia comes in. I am sure they will when Manhattan [reference to Manhattan Project] appears over their homeland. I shall inform about it at an opportune time.”
    [Notice the inexperienced tone. Truman could have tweeted this in 140 characters.]

    July 24 – Walter Brown, special assistant to Secretary of State Byrnes, writes in his journal that Byrnes was now “hoping for time, believing after atomic bomb Japan will surrender and Russia will not get in so much on the kill, thereby being in a position to press claims against China.” Secretary of War Henry Stimson passes on orders for atomic attack.

    July 25 – President Truman writes in his diary: “We have discovered the most terrible bomb in the history of the world. It may be the fire destruction prophesied in the Euphrates Valley era, after Noah and his fabulous ark. Anyway we think we have found the way to cause a disintegration of the atom. An experiment in the New Mexican desert was startling – to put it mildly…” “This weapon is to be used against Japan between now and August 10. I have told the secretary of war, Mr. Stimson , to use it so that military objectives and soldiers are the target and not women and children. Even if the Japs are savages, ruthless, merciless and fanatic, we as the leader of the world for the common welfare cannot drop this terrible bomb on the old capital or the new. He and I are in accord. The target will be a purely military one and we will issue a warning statement asking the Japs to surrender and save lives. I’m sure they will not do that, but we will have given them the chance. It is certainly a good thing for the world that Hitler’s crowd or Stalin’s did not discover this atomic bomb. It seems to be the most terrible thing ever discovered, but it can be made the most useful.” General Carl Spatz, commander of the United States Army Strategic Air Forces, receives the only written order on the use of atomic weapons from acting Chief of Staff General Thomas Handy .
    [Hannah Arendt goes into great detail about Eichmann’s clarity about what he was doing, his revulsion to seeing what he was doing, and his inability to separate himself from his duty. So sparing Kyoto and Tokyo (despite the firebombing of Tokyo) was Truman’s sop for following Byrnes’s wishes.]

    July 28 – U.S. Senate approves the U.N. Charter by a vote of 98 to 2. Japan rejects Potsdam Declaration.
    [Policies are rarely without contradictions.]

    August 3 – President Truman, while aboard Augusta, receives a new report that Japan is seeking peace. Walter Brown, special assistant to Secretary of State Byrnes, writes in his diary, “Aboard Augusta – President, Leahy, JFB agreed Japs looking for peace. (Leahy had another report from Pacific.) President afraid they will sue for peace through Russia instead of some country like Sweden.”

    August 6 – The world’s second atomic bomb, Little Boy, a gun-type uranium bomb, is detonated 1,900 feet above Hiroshima, Japan. It has a yield of approximately 15 kilotons TNT. Some 90,000 to 100,000 persons are killed immediately; about 145,000 persons would perish from the bombing by the end of 1945. Upon hearing the news of the atomic bombing of Japan on his way home from Potsdam, President Truman remarked that this was “the greatest thing in history.” Leo Szilard, the atomic scientist who had worked so hard to prevent the use of the bomb, writes to a friend, “Using atomic bombs against Japan is one of the greatest blunders of history.”
    [A shame. Szilard could have described the banality of evil more than a decade before Hannah Arendt did.]

    August 7 – The decision is made to drop warning pamphlets on Japanese cities.

    August 8 – The Soviet Union informs Japan that it is entering the war. The decision is made to set up International Tribunal at Nuremburg.

    August 9 – At 9:44 a.m., Bockscar, a B-29 carrying Fat Man, the world’s third atomic bomb, arrives at its primary target, Kokura. The city is covered in haze and smoke from an American bombing raid on a nearby city. Bockscar turns to its secondary target Nagasaki. At 11:02 a.m. the world’s third atomic bomb explosion devastates Nagasaki, the intense heat and blast indiscriminately slaughters its inhabitants. President Truman speaks to the American people via radio broadcast. He states, “The world will note that the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, a military base. That was because we wished in the first instance to avoid, in so far as possible, the killing of civilians.” [The official Bombing Survey Report stated: “Hiroshima and Nagasaki were chosen as targets because of their concentration of activities and population.” More than 95 percent of those killed at Hiroshima and Nagasaki were civilians.] Soviet Union begins its offensive against Japan in Manchuria.

    August 10 – The U.S. drops warning leaflets on Nagasaki on the day after the bombing.

    August 12 – Manhattan Project releases report, “Atomic Energy for Military Purposes,” written by physicist Henry DeWolf Smyth. The report, known as the “Smyth Report,” discusses the workings of the Manhattan Project, the basics of nuclear physics, and some of the technologies used in producing plutonium and enriching uranium.

    August 13 – 14 – Japanese physicists, investigating the epicenter of the Hiroshima bomb burst, start noticing high levels of radioactivity.

    August 14 – Japan surrenders.

    September 2 – Japan formally signs documents of surrender.

    September 9 – The Trinity test site is opened to the press for the first time. General Groves and J. Robert Oppenheimer dispel rumors of lingering high radiation levels there.

    September 20 – The U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff embrace “first strike” atomic warfare policy.
    [See how easy it is to go deeper without noticing. And the Congress gives up its power to declare war because of the necessity to act quickly in imminent danger. What is imminent for dangerous nations becomes imminent for individuals with terrorism and drone technology. The President now has power to murder someone if he follows The Procedure.]

    After 72 years, here we are, stuck with these weapons.

    • thanks for that.
      “Only the decisions over 72 years have made that whole course of events be given the historical judgment of a mistake at best and evil at worst.” I think everything you wrote after that sentence contradicts that sentence.

      “it’s beautiful!” oh lord, we are stuck w/brian Williams as our high priest proclaiming the evangel of the beauties of destruction.

      THD, do you recall an instance in which there was a “reenactment” of the dropping of the bomb in a football stadium sometime shortly after the war? I remember, I think, reading about this at Counterpunch a good while ago, years ago, & have been unable to track this anecdote down. IIRC, it was at a packed stadium in San Diego w/adoring fans cheering the mock explosion(s). talk about your End Zone.

      • Here you go. Dayton Air Show. 2013. This re-enactment cancelled because Dayton is now promoting the historic Dayton Accords that ended the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

        40,000 in Harlingen TX watch Paul Tibbets re-enact the bombing of Hiroshima in 1976 (American Bicentennial Event?)

        Should be able to validate that with 1976 Texas newspapers.

        It gets stranger and more in line with Jimmy Byrnes.
        “The purpose of the faux atomic sorties was to help raise funds for a World War II aircraft preservation group called the Confederate Air Force (now known by their less controversial name, the Commemorative Air Force). The non-profit CAF may have sponsored the event, but, shockingly, the U.S. Army supplied a detonation team to help out with the “atomic-bomb simulator,” described in the press reports at the time as “a barrel of explosives” that produced the mushroom-shaped cloud money shot.”

        The film Frank Capra never made as a bookend to his re-enactment of the Attack on Pearl Harbor (which in newsreel style is often mistaken for historical footage). — Not for faint of heart.

        San Diego Union Tribune does not commemorate the re-enactment you describe in this year’s commemoration.

        There is enough about what Paul Tibbets thought about the entire mission to do a good tragic drama.

        Most missile launch officers and technicians tend to operate out of the scenario that they will be dead shortly after launch. I’m sure that makes the psychology of turning the key easier. But what if they survive? Herman Kahn’s most pointed question about nuclear warfare is, “Will the survivors envy the dead?” That question seemed to turn some heads in the 1960s; it seems to have gotten lost.

        • thanks for all that. obvs I got my wires crossed on some of the signals the cosmos is sending me. dates & places & little things like that.

          “would you want to live in a world w/o TV? I think the living would envy the dead.” Krusty the Klown. there were some mainstream pieces a while back, the Economist or Atlantic, that kind of thing, offering survival guidance for how to hunker in your bunker. or rather, investigating survivalist mentalities. key problem? boredom. solution? lots & lots of pornography. bring your capitalist sexual predations w/you to the End…and beyond. in your bunker of love. how about some guidance about how not to end the planet? meh, not such an interesting topic.

          “no one is trying to kill you.” catch 22

    • “the Great Red Whale”. you are definitely on to something there. bear-baiting. partially just to see what the hell will happen. “you don’t know if it’s fear or desire, danger the drug that takes you higher…” (thank you bono, now fuck off.)

      And, doubtless, my going on this whaling voyage, formed part of the grand programme of Providence that was drawn up a long time ago. It came in as a sort of brief interlude and solo between more extensive performances. I take it that this part of the bill must have run something like this:
      “Grand Contested Election for the Presidency of the United States. “WHALING VOYAGE BY ONE ISHMAEL. “BLOODY BATTLE IN AFFGHANISTAN.”

      “Fast Fish & Loose Fish”
      What was America in 1492 but a Loose-Fish, in which Columbus struck the Spanish standard by way of waifing it for his royal master and mistress? What was Poland to the Czar? What Greece to the Turk? What India to England? What at last will Mexico be to the United States? All Loose-Fish.
      What are the Rights of Man and the Liberties of the World but Loose-Fish? What all men’s minds and opinions but Loose-Fish? What is the principle of religious belief in them but a Loose-Fish? What to the ostentatious smuggling verbalists are the thoughts of thinkers but Loose-Fish? What is the great globe itself but a Loose-Fish? And what are you, reader, but a Loose-Fish and a Fast-Fish, too?
      (a fast-fish is a whale that someone has a claim on – as demonstrated by the fatal harpoon sticking out of it. to possess is to kill.)
      170 years later & Britain is still clinging to Afghanistan like a demented badger. For some reason I woke up this a.m. w/George Friedman, founder of Stratfor, giving some interview on Eurasia from around the time of the big haired inauguration. The rest of the world can have all of its clichés manufactured here b/c we have thousands of walking, talking, breathing factories they can choose from. Not as bad as a Charlie Rose & Tom Friedman interview, but not by much. and this guy’s cliché factory runs on nothing but gov’t bailouts.

      “Russia is very weak.” Clearly guys like him are paid, in part, to stoke the delusional flames of the “real men march on Moscow – via Tehran” crowd. An independent Russia (or China or VZ or… frickin’ Granada, but esp. Russia) haunts these guys’ minds like the white whale haunted Ishmael. The only way to tame the bear is to shoot it. Their obsession makes them either delusional or fiercely dishonest b/c Friedman just watched Russia kick ISIS’s ass. more so than most of us, given his well-paid, very respected role as official haruspex of the endless steaming piles of quivering entrails offered up on Uncle Sam’s altars. Yet he *must* insist that Russia is weak.

      “We leave signs of our greatness everywhere we go,” Pericles’ Funeral Oration. signs…monuments…tombs. “Good king, great king, and yet not greatly good…” none of these “kings” give a second’s thought to being “greatly good” (Richard 2). they are just great killers, best of the cutthroats.

      • your comments offer such great synthesizing, and honor to davidly’s diary, nagelbett. your ability to bring so many elements together, including literary, always amazes me.

      • thanks. everybody dance.

        • ha! the medieval pied piper of dance. fun stuff, nagelbett. couldda gone w/ david bowie, but this is more from my era. still can’t still listening. cripes, stretch pants…

      • Haunted, like “the Japs” haunted Jimmy Byrnes’s white supremacist mind. And the “444 days of hostages” haunt the minds of the Iranophobes.

        Excellent discourse on historical tragedy.

        Consider the possibility: “What at last the United States will be to Mexico.” Or the new breadbasket and polar trading nation, Canada–the Loyalists’ revenge. The presumption of perpetual US power is the most destructive of the humility that could actually preserve USians place in the emerging global order.

    • Thank you for the timeline. I agree with nagelbett about that one sentence. Arendt and Kafka inform inter alia my innermost Judaeo-Christian atheism. The mundanity of malignance. The tedium of the atrocious. The cliché of Clintonianism. I’d like to say Chelsea is not the brightest Birne, but she’s young yet and able to rise above her station in life. Who am I kidding? Before all is said and done, they’ll be calling her the smartest person in the room. Of course she cannot grasp the banality of the path her parents plod and placed her on. Like Sinclair would suggest, she’s the second generation being paid not to.

  4. ‘scien-tactically’ is a great davidly-coined trope-on-a-rope. it’s akin to ‘manufactured consent’ only with focus group testing, but yes, ‘manufactured dissent’ is even more morbid, and hidden in plain sight, sadly. nope, only ‘the loyal opposition’, which amounts to no significant differences when there’s plenty good money to be made. nagelbett has been seriously bullish on the commodification of fear, and woot! the silicon valley fourth horse of the apocalypse is the top o’ the heap. “wink, wink, new zealand”. they really think they can escape what they’ve created, don’t they, with their freeze-dried cottage cheese. but then you’ve used the term far more widely than those examples. on edit: as in the second truman congratulatory clip and i’d offer DARPA, and next-gen 3-d printed food.

    but the cia infiltration of media, authors from ivy league schools, hollywood films and teevee shows that keep pummeling that ‘the enemy is always at the gate, and we need to be vigilant, learn to secretly love torture, a trillion-dollar military budget (a new tom dispatch author dug up the secret other half recently as nick turse before him), and i guess…the police. lowenstein’s (iirc) ‘israelification’ link showed far more numbers and programs that i’d known, including the jewish defense league program. whooosh.

    i suppose after reading the lowenstein, one wonders what profiteering isn’t down to disaster capitalism, the global refugee sort is cynical beyond belief, even after knowing that most of the US prison system is the same. so what a heavenly mobius strip: the west bombs the shit out of ME nations in the name of democracy and freedumb, then cashes in on those forced to flee, and round and round. when herr trump had allegedly railed at mad dog mattis that ‘we’re not winning in afghanistan’, part of me said: ‘isn’t that the point?’ forever war? but no, he meant ownership of afghanistan, didn’t he? riches beyond his wildest dreams, and so many contracts to build roads, trams, whatever to get to them, bring them out. your german link to ‘we must sell to ukraine’s shipyards’ was luscious. bidness.

    glad ya included Pierre from pando. i did laugh when wsws included that outfit when they dug into the google algorithm making sure that no ‘left, progressive’ sites got ‘impressions’: the intercept was down a paltry 19%! but yeah, what are those 99 fearless journalists in pierre’s stable not reporting on? they sure do put out some schlock anyone could write…anywhere. and then ask for contributions, too. ‘oh, those glorious white helmets’ they report, along w/ ay goodman!

    when jacobin is ‘socialist’ except when it is imperialist (assad, maduro, wherever), even a couple authors at wsws attack maduro as ‘bougie and authoritarian’, and the queen of anti-capitalism naomi klein isn’t, just ‘reform’ capitalist, it gets pretty crazy out there. but ya woudn’t want to them to tke hits for being ‘reds, would ya? dems are applauding the cia and tomahawk cruise missiles on syria, the moab on afghanistan, ya start to believe that history says that the Ds are actually The War Party.

    so…which paragraph reflects the 516-6 vote? selling lethal arms to ukraine? increased russian sanctions? bds activism as a crime?

    • Which paragraph dudn’t? Wait, did one of those links have dem nächst anti-BDS shenanigans I hadn’t noticed? Tnx wd.

      • so… the house 516-6 vote was just a metaphor for ‘the uniparty as close to one’? i don’t recall any of the links mentioning that, but as it turns out, there hasn’t been a final vote on criminalizing bds activism…yet.

        • Not exactly what I had in mind, but sure, why not? I’ve often felt that it was the bipartisan shit that’s the worst of the lot, not the petty crap they bicker over. So we got Iran, North Korea, and Russia. All the coverage focussed on the fact that it was veto proof. Like, because Don’s all Putin-cozy and wutnot, they really got him good. Like, boy, I bet he’s steaming mad now! The reality, however is simple: sanctions sanctions, all around. He even hung his own on Venezuela for better measure. So they got Russia. I wonder how that washes with Trump’s position on fracking.

          • eggzackly. and how extraordinary that the sanctions usually further immiserate the every day citizens in the nations they ‘sanction’. do they care? only academically, when pressed. more ‘strategic wordplay’.

            and the UN security council just voted *unanimously* to sanction north korea from exporting almost anything, ‘unanimously’ being the key. ‘give up your nukes and nuclear ambitions, kim!’ explain please? “So they got Russia. I wonder how that washes with Trump’s position on fracking.”

            • I’d be guessing but I reckon he’d be for it. Whether or not he views the sanctions against Russia insofar as their giving the fracking Yanks a large market in Europe, I dunno. Not that I care or am even convinced he is who he says he is, but still. Diverging interests converge sometimes.

              • yeah, he often tweets one thing, a different thing the next day, so who knows? but sure he’s for fracking, and yes interests collide, intersect, esp. in time. now rt says that:

                ‘On Wednesday, US President Donald Trump signed the new sanctions bill targeting Russian gas and pipeline developments by codifying six of former President Barack Obama’s executive orders implementing sanctions on Russia.’

                but rexxOn said that putin’s having ordered 755 u.s. embassy staff was an ‘uncalled for act. the EU’s reaction is all over the map, but…from the guardian; at least the author knows where she stands, lol. but profit and future needs often collide, but in the end: bidness usually rules, not realpolitik, no? the ukraine business complicates it further…for some; no: most.

              • egad; i’d been looking at the asia times for the pipelinestan expert, pepe escobar, didn’t find much save for silk roads surmises, bingled, and ooops, right there on counterpunch and i’d missed it earlier. he explains more clearly…

                but eep, ian welsh has ‘a brief note on venezuela’ up; hard to not go offer a few counter-factuals and opinions as one of maduro’s ‘useful idiots’. but i’m tryin’ to tend to my own knittin’ in RL, and anyhoo…i hate going back to answer, yanno? but it’s good to know he knows how to run a socialist govt. the right way. ;-)

  5. Wait ! Was this all a DEM Nuke’em joke?

  6. The sanctions bill that was sent to Trump for his signature is very interesting in that it is a confiscation of foreign-owned assets in US banks bill. And the foreign-owned assets are of named individuals and Russian corporations. The text is worth perusing just to get a sense of who the targets are. Not at all the style of sanctions that Madeline Albright loved. Well, not at the surface level of the legislation.

  7. oh, my. this horrific date went right by me: August 7, 2017 ‘Hope This Hiroshima Day’, by Robert Dodge. August 7

    “Finally, 72 years after the US dropped the first atomic bombs on Hiroshima and three days later on Nagasaki, there is hope that we will see the abolition of these most deadly weapons of mass destruction, for this year on July 7 an historic treaty banning nuclear weapons like every other weapon of mass destruction was adopted at the United Nations. Recognizing and responding to the medical and humanitarian consequences of nuclear war, the world has come together and spoken.”

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