12:01pm: SCANALYZER (5) the happening world the happening world (1) - READ THE DIRECTIONS
For toDAY third of MAY twenty-TEN ManhatTEN reports mild spring-type weather under the Fuller Dome. Ditto on the General Technics Plaza.
But Shalmaneser is a Micryogenic® computer bathed in liquid helium and it's cold in his vault.
(DITTO Use it! The mental process involved is exactly analogous to the bandwidth- saving technique employed for your phone. If you've seen the scene you've seen the scene and there's too much new information for you to waste time looking it over more than once. Use "ditto". Use it!
The Hipcrime Vocab by Chad C. Mulligan)
Less of a machine, more of a human being, but partaking of the nature of both, Georgette Tallon Buckfast is largely supported by prosthetics in her ninety-first year.
When the strain becomes TOO MUCH it's because Hitrip of California bred it to have less stalk per ounce, more clean-queen leaf. Ask "The Man who's Married to Mary Jane"!
Eric Ellerman is a plant geneticist with three daughters who's scared because his wife has developed a permanent pot-belly.
". . . and Puerto Rico today became the latest state to ratify the controversial dichromatism provision of United States eugenic legislation. This leaves only two havens for those who wish to bear disadvantaged children: Nevada and Louisiana. The defeat of the baby-farming lobby removes a long-time stigma from the fair brow of the Junior-but-One State - a congenital stigma, one may say, since the J-but-O State's accession to hoodness coincided almost to the day with the first eugenic legislation concerned with haemophilia, phenylketonuria and congenital imbecility ..."
Poppy Shelton has believed in miracles for years, but now there's one happening right inside her body and the real world is leaning on her dreams.
THE DIFFICULT WE DO AT ONCE. THE IMPOSSIBLE TAKES A LITTLE LONGER. —Base version of General Technics motto.
Norman Niblock House is junior VP in charge of personnel and recruitment at General Technics.
"One fraction of a second, please - participant breakin coming up. Remember that only SCANALYZER's participant breakin service is processed by General Technics' Shalmaneser, the more correct response in the shorter quantum of time ..."
Guinevere Steel's real name is Dwiggins, but do you blame her?
Do your slax sufficiently convey your natural power - at a glance? If you're wearing MasQ-Lines, the answer's yes. Tired of half measures, we at MasQ-Line Corp. have put the codpiece back where it belongs, to say to the shiggies not kidder but codder.
Sheena and Frank Potter are all packed ready to leave for Puerto Rico because a green and a red light are just lights to him.
"Two participant breakins! Number one: sorree, friend, but no - we are not wrong to say Puerto Rico's decision leaves a mere two havens for the dissident. Isola does enjoy statehood, but the whole area of the Pacific its islands occupy is under martial law and you don't get a pass for other than martial reasons. Thanks for asking us, though, it's the way of tile world, you're my environment and I am yours, which is why we operate SCANALYZER as a two-way process ..."
Arthur Golightly doesn't mind not being able to remember where he put things. Looking for them, he always finds other tilings he'd forgotten he had.
THE DIFFICULT WE DID YESTERDAY. THE IMPOSSIBLE WE'RE DOING RIGHT NOW. —Current version of General Technics motto.
Donald Hogan is a spy.
"And to close on, the Dept of Small Consolations. Some troubledome just figured out that if you allow for every codder and shiggy and appleofmyeye a space one foot by two you could stand us all on the six hundred forty square mile surface of the island of Zanzibar. ToDAY third MAY twen-ty-TEN come aGAIN!"
Item HOGAN, Donald Orville, WASP, age 34 years (2010), Christian (nondenom.). Detail (Persona) Self-employed researcher, i.e. dilettante; spends his days e-browsing through a list of publications at the New York Public Library (Actual) Spy. Synthesist, Office of Research Co-ordination, United States Army Reserve (rank: Lieutenant); bitter, confused, sufferer from unformed ego and disassociative complex Situation 5-room luxury apartment residence, Manhattan (Box NZL4 New York NY) Roommate of
Item HOUSE, Norman Niblock, D.Sc, Afram, age 36 (2010), Muslim Detail Vice President i/c Personnel and Recruitment, General Technics Corporation (GT) Detail (Persona) Rising junior VP, "man of the people", a Person With Whom Not To Trifle (Actual) Brilliant, compassionate, unhappy, self-hating black man; attraction/repulsion complex towards whites; neurosis based upon stories of slavery from childhood; guardian of
Item SHALMANESER, Micryogenic® computer of the Thecapex Group (THEoretical CAPacity EXceeds — human brain, understood), built and owned (?) by GT, height=18", diameter at base=11", liquid helium refrigerant; first computer estimated to fall in the megabrain range* Detail International celebrity and subject of folklore; may be conscious (Shal says there's no way we can tell if he is or isn't) but definitely knows the score. Processes all the world's data into a thrice-daily report broadcast over 2-way TV by the English Language Relay Satellite Service (Engrelay Satelserv) entitled SCANALYZER. [*Ignoring drecky Red rivals Sovcompex (USSR) and K'ung-fu-tse (China)]
The Happening World Okay so it goes like this it's AD 2010 and the world is crowded with so many people that if each living person were allotted a spot 1'x2' the entire human race could stand on the 640 square mile island of Zanzibar. DONALD and NORMAN are fake people, roommate. accomplished but with no real idea who they are and living in the city of New York which (Manhattan, anyway) is covered by the Fuller Dome and millins of people sleep in the streets (requires a license from the city) one of whom is Learyeque sociologist and philosopher CHAD C. MULLIGAN world-famous before disappearing out of despaitr for human race who gives up on giving up and turns himself over to GUINEVERE STEELE NEE DWIGGINS who own a chain of Beatuques that transform people into machinelike glamor and you have to have a license to get a baby due to eugenics legislation designed to weed out the life unworthy of life (hey we got around to it ourselves in '73) and if you have a bad genotype the state can abort your baby sterilize you and put you in jail to boot and this causes mass fruustration for millions and there are now 52 states in the USA one of which is Puerto Rico and the other Isola, formerly the Republic of the Phillipines, and we're fighting a war with China in the western Pacific Conflict Zone and there's a draft and also there's a country much like Indonesia called Yatakang and in it are two people, one a revolutionary who wants to install a pro-Us government and one who has discovered a way to fix people'd bad DNA and even create a genetic superhuman through a process Brunner called tectogenetics but we'd say genetic engineering and once the world hears about this via SCANALYZER people go apeshit and there's this little shithole country in Africa called Benina that has no war or civil strife and no one (not even SHALMANESER) can figure out why and General Technics (GT) has an underwater mining operation called MAMP (Mid-Atlantic Mining Project) that they need a market for and they decide to use Beninina but Shal says it won't work because a country with no war can't exist so CHAD and NORMAN go to Benenia with ambassador ELIHU MASTERS to find out why meanwhile DONALD is activated to his Army rank and brainwashed by a program called Eptification to become a killing machine and sent to Yatakang to find out if their genetic optimization program works, if so how, and if poss. to kidnap the scientist in charge so he goes (after eptification) and has sex with a cute Indian girl named BRONWEN and there are multi-format TVs called polytellys and pot is legal and nicotine isn't and cars are illegal and you can fly around the world in a few hours by suborbital rocket Express or be shot from one side of a continent to the other through a linear magnetic Accelatube or commute from Colorado to LA in a few minutes by crush-hourly JettexPress and there's a band called the Em Thirty-Ones (like the B-52s) that makes music videos and people take synthetic drugs much more powerful than LSD called Triptine® and Skulbustium® and everyone's on antidepressant tranks and space if full of Space Force weapons and tourists and workers called Yonderboys one of which is STAL LUCAS who with his sparewheels shakes down a geneticist at the Hitrip pot factory named ERIC ELLERMAN who has six kids and is hated by his neighbors who are forbidden to have any by law and they lean on him to get cuttings of the Hitrip plants or they'll tell everyone he's a Right Catholic oh yeah there's been a schism one pope in Rome and another in Madrid over the birth control issue and the scientist and DONALD are snuck into the waters offshore Yatakang for submarine pickup because DONALD finds out he can really do it but the scientist stabs himself before DONALD can stop him and bleeds to death now no one is going to get optimized and DONALD cracks up and we don't hear from him again meanwhile NORMAN and CHAD and ELIHU are in Benenia and figure out that something in the DNA of the Beninians themselves makes their enemies leave them alone and SHAL gets to work on it oh yeah there's this guy named BENNIE NOAKES who watches TV all day (TVs have attachments that make the people on them called Mr. and Mrs. Everywhere look like you the viewer so you can live your whole life vicariously) zonked out of his mind on drugs and kept alive by his concerned neighbors who feed and clean him also there are zillions of other characters like the PETERMANS and the CLODARDS and others who have terrible problems like FRANK and SHEENA POTTER and poor GERRY LINDT age 18 gets killed by a saboteur ( = terrorist ) right after being drafted and SHAL, CHAD and NORMAN and ELIHU finally figure out that the Beninans have evolved to produce a chemical in their sweat that kills the aggressive urge in humans and with the genetic technology of the dead scientist guy they can mass-produce it and pacify the world which pretty much freaks everybody out especially CHAD who finally loses it and poor BENNIE finally ODs and SHAL may or may not be imagining the whole thing and despite the foregoing, the human race by tens of thousand would be knee-deep in the water around Zanzibar...
3:41am: special / SCANALYZER (3) the cool and detached view
John Brunner was SF's prophet of the Information Age: to a degree much greater than any of his "branier" contemporaries (hello, Isaac Asimov!), Brunner got the impact that computers + telecommunications + media would have on society. (Asimov, on the other hand, was so tied to the 1940s concept of Computer as Mechanical Man that he completely failed to recognize the rise of the real cybernetic revolution, such as ARPANET and digital switching). While the rest of the New Wave gang were busy writing tendentious tomes about a future where Man Explores Inner Space With LSD, JB's books were introducing the world to the real future: his descriptions of phreaking, hacking, computer viruses, and Columbine-style media-driven mass murder as we know them today were spot-on and decades ahread of their time.
And if Brunner was the Prophet of the Information Age, his archangel Michael was Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980), McGill University's madcap Messenger of Media Theory. McLuhan, who was pretty much the first Big Brain to realize that modern electronic technology would become a global "extension of Man" (he also coined the term "surfing", as in websurfing), is the genius of Stand On Zanzibar; his ideas form the (literal) context and framework of the book, and his ghost haunts its every page. McLuhan's famous phrase "the medium is the message" is realized on every level of Stand On Zanzibar, from its physical substance (Brunner puckishly gives his Smith-Corona typewriter, its ribbon, and his favorite brand of typing paper a chapter of their own) to its literary structure: the Innis Mode.
(The Innis Mode? WTF?)
Canadian economist and communications theorist Harold Adams Innis (1894-1952) was one of the first intellectuals to realize that the nature of a given communication mode tends to bend the civilization around it into its own image. McLuhan, Innis' protégé, took the ball and ran with it, carrying Innis' ideas of time- and space-dependent media down the field of '50s and '60s sociology and technology and across the freaking goal line in his masterful 1962 book The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man. In Galaxy, McLuhan unites Innis' theory with ripped-from-the-then-headlines (!) fact and pretty much forsees the world we live in today: a world where electronic communications have replaced the visual, individualistic print culture with a reborn aural//oral culture.
I'll explain. "Print", sez Marshall McLu, "is the extreme phase of alphabet culture that detribalizes or decollectivizes man in the first instance. Print raises the visual features of alphabet to highest intensity of definition. Thus print carries the individuating power of the phonetic alphabet much further than manuscript culture could ever do. Print is the technology of individualism."
With the waning of printed modes of communication like newspapers and books, predicted McLuhan, would come a new freeform style of information. No more would info flow visually, from the top down to fragmented individuals, as it did during the print era; now a flood of information in audible and spoken form would engulf mankind, returning us to our tribal roots. Voilà: welcome to the global village.
And as members of the global village, sez McLuhan, we are no longer able to depend upon The Authorities to define our world. That security is gone. It its place rises
a phase of panic terrors, exactly befitting a small world of tribal drums, total interdependence, and superimposed co-existence. [...] Terror is the normal state of any oral society, for in it everything affects everything all the time. [...] In our long striving to recover for the Western world a unity of sensibility and of thought and feeling we have no more been prepared to accept the tribal consequences of such unity than we were ready for the fragmentation of the human psyche by print culture.
In other words, "If men decided to modify this visual technology by an electric technology, individualism would also be modified". Well, we decided it, back in the 1930s, when electronic media first took the place of the printed word as the source of information for the average joe. And it was during that same period of time that this new mode of information flow first began to have its impact upon culture.
Which brings us to tonight's guest: Ladies and gentlemen: Mr. John dos Passos, [Applause]. JdP, a major American writer whose works you aren't familiar with but should be, was arguably the first of the capital-L Literary set to break away from the Big Lumps of Prose model of storytelling and adopt the montage techniques pioneered by cinema artist Sergei Eisenstein and the "clip" technique of radio production. His big trilogy, U.S.A. [The 42nd Parallel (1930), 1919 (1932), and The Big Money (1936)] brings the early Twentieth Century to life as few other works have; by giving you the story in random, bite-size chunks instead of long strings of Dickensian prose. In U.S.A., dos Passos kicks the privileged observer to the curb (dos Passos was a Communist at the time) and gives you the complete picture -- a scrapbook compiled by the reader from many different points of view.
It is this freeform info technique that was codified by McLuhan into the Innis Mode of expression. If McLuhan was Brunner's muse, dos Passos was Brunner's model, throwing the pieces of his world onto the table and letting you figure out what the puzzle looks like. As Brunner puts it at the beginning of Stand On Zanzibar
there is nothing wilful or arbitrary about the Innis mode of expression. Were it to be translated into perspective prose, it would not only require huge space, but the insight into the modes of interplay among forms of organisation would also be lost. Innis sacrificed point of view and prestige to his sense of the urgent need for insight. A point of view can be a dangerous luxury when substituted for insight and understanding. As Innis got more insight he abandoned any mere point of view in his presentation of knowlege. When he interrelates the development of the steam press with 'the consolidation of the vernaculars' and the rise of nationalism and revolution he is not reporting anybody's point of view, least of all his own. He is setting up a mosaic configuration or galaxy for insight … Innis makes no effort to "spell out" the interrelations between the components in his galaxy. He offers no consumer packages in his later work, but only do-it-yourself kits...
Brunner's prediction of a world driven by computer information systems and the twenty-four-hour global news cycle is frighteningly prescient. Our world is indeed a constant "phase of panic terrors, exactly befitting a small world of tribal drums, total interdependence, and superimposed co-existence". In AD 2010 terror is indeed the normal state of our society, as the omnipresent electronic media affect everything all the time.
Which brings us back to Stand On Zanzibar. Brunner doesn't insult your intelligence by attempting to describe an entire world from one point of view, nor does he attempt to steer the good ship Narrator through every pitching sea of plot in turn. Instead, taking a page from dos Passos, he gives you four parallel bands of information, from which you can assemble your own point of view. These are:
• continuity, which tracks the various plot threads;
• tracking with closeups, a series of "clickable" capsules focusing on secondary characters or world-aspects;
• the happening world, lists of facts from the world of 2010 as a means of keeping the reader "up to date"; and
• context, assemblages of news items, narratives, advertising, and various literary mise-en-scene.
This mode of storytelling -- the Innis Mode-- is what made Stand On Zanzibar so controversial in its day, and also what makes it so hard to read for today's spoonfed fiction fan. Stand On Zanzibar is not a book for pansies. It is a challenging book to read. By requiring the reader to put the pieces together on his or her own, Brunner guarantees total involvement by the reader -- and total involvement is the mother of versimilitude. It is the Innis Mode that stands as both the great weakness and the greatest strength of Stand On Zanzibar: weakness, because it serves as a barrier to entry for the casual reader; strength, because it makes it all seem real.
8:45pm: special / SCANALYZER (2): the subject matter
Winter 1974: It's cold in North Carolina. Not the snow-blown cold of the Northeast, nor the frozen cold of the Midwest; it's that peculiar North Carolina kind of cold, a boreal roar bowling down the slopes of the mountains to the west, accelerating through the Venturi tube foothills in the middle, funneling into the sea-sloping Piedmont like a laser beam. When it hits you, you are impaled; you feel as if your bones will shatter, like a shiggy's arm sprayed with liquid helium.
Fort Bragg is an Army post, a city of soldiers. It has one huge grocery store: the Commissary. Everyone gets paid on the same day. Result: the twice-monthly shopping trip is a five-hour affair for all concerned. All concerned = my mom, plus my younger sister and brother who must go with Mom; they are too young for self care. I am nine years old and used to being alone.
My mother drops me off at the Main Post Library, a great four-story block of brown brick, reeking inside as do all the buildings on post with the smell of paper slowly sulfurizing in a miasma of Venusian 1940s cast-iron steam heat. She gives me a few quarters for the copy machine (I like to make copies of interesting pages, on occasion, but at 25¢ a pop I don't make many) and drives away toward Grocery Day. I watch the car disappear into the stinging mist, then I go inside to begin my day as a budding dilettante.
I step quickly through familiar doors, past the florid faces of the library ladies (they know me well) past the new books (most are on topics of noninterest), past Current Periodicals (ditto). I dive into the Dewey Sea, swimming quickly through the 600s (space books: nothing new) and the 700s (sports: I grab Cosell by Cosell) up again to the shallows of the 350s (military topics; I am, after all an Army Brat). Finally finished with my typical tour, I transit the great shallows of the Reading Room and plunge headfirst into the abyss of the Basement: Mystery, Horror, and Science Fiction.
I surface in the Basement: my grotto, my fortress of solitude. It is dark there, and quiet, and I know its hidden depths well. I shiver past Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes, its creepy cover giving me its familiar electric-eel tingle as I pass. I shoot through tall columns of mysteries without pause -- Whodunit? is Whocares? as far as I am concerned. Rounding an outcropping of cowboy books, I spy my goal: the shelves of Science Fiction, like walls of a great underwater cave. This is my sunken Atlantis. I am at home here.
Starting with the As: I pass Asimov and Bester and Bova, sniffing as I speed past When The Sky Burned, which I've recently read. These years I am enraptured by apocalypse; at this point in my life, Antichrist is very real, standing silent in the dark of my bedroom, waiting for Jesus to suck my family up into the sky so that he can damn me and brand me with his horrible three sixes. On I go, unraptured, and I'm almost to Clarke and Lester Del By God Rey, when I stop, and double back.
There it is, in the b's: a new book, a new science fiction book.
Mirabile dictu: you gotta understand, this was 1974, the foul freaking first Year of Our Ford . We, that is the American People, had finally decided to give up and let the Commies win in Vietnam, and naturally the Army got the blame, even though the war was won when the Army had pulled out back in '73. It was lost now though, and Congress was in a mean mood. Given the attitude of the country towards military expenditure in those dark days, Army funds for Dependent Recreational Activities were miniscule. The fact that the Pentagon could spare any money to buy new hardcover science fiction for the Main Post Library, Fort Bragg, North Carolina was nothing short of miraculous. Hungrily, I pulled the thick black book from the shelf.
Black slipcover. Some funny-looking crowd shot in the middle. Stand on Zanzibar, it said. By John Brunner, of whom I'd never heard. Doubleday Science Fiction. Hm. I flipped through the pages.
I: baffled. Page after page of strange words, unfamiliar spellings, product names complete with trademark ®s that seemed real but weren't. Chapters composed of duplicated prose. Chapters composed entirely in verse, some of which contained excitingly nasty words. Hell, it even had capital-T Typography, with chapter(?) headers set asymmetrically in cool Futura Bold lowercase like a Sonny Rollins sax solo. (NB: I did not discover Sonny Rollins until the late 1980s). What it did not have was rockets. Nor ray guns. Nor Worlds Colliding (another recent read: see "Apocalypse" above.) In fact, it had nothing that said SIGHunce FICKshun to me. With a sigh, I slid the big black book back on her shelf.
And circled back, and got it, and checked it out, and read it.
And two weeks later, checked it out again. This was intolerable. This was unacceptable. This was the first science fiction book -- hell, the first book of any kind -- that had challenged me intellectually since my ill-fated first voyage with Captain Ahab and the crew of the Pequod earlier in the year. Frankly, Stand on Zanzibar pissed me off. It made me work for my imaginary future, and that made me angry.
So I read it, over and over again. I made up my mind that I was going to beat this book, this Stand On Zanzibar. John Brunner, beware! The Holy Diver of the Main Post Library is coming for you!
North Texas, 2010: 36 years on, and I'm still reading the damned thing.
John Kilian Houston Brunner was a science fiction writer. He was born 24 September 1934 at Preston Crowmarsh, Oxfordshire, England, UK. He died in the saddle at the 53rd World Science Fiction Convention (Intersection) in Glasgow, Scotland, on 26 August 1995. He sold his first novel at 17, he served as an officer in the Royal Air Force from 1953 to 1955, and he married twice. In the cracks between these events he found time to write dozens of novels, scores of short stories, and great lashings of words in other forms, including poetry, serial fiction, and chapterbooks.
Then, in 1968, Doubleday published a novel by John Brunner, a novel that changed my life. The novel is Stand on Zanzibar (ISBN 0-09-919110-5) -- a work that in both form and content was unlike any long-form science fiction that had come before. This shocking book made (and was, in part, made from) instant headlines, winning the American (Hugo) BASFA (British) and French (Prix Apollo) awards in short order. It has gone through 23 editions in English and is still in print. In it, Brunner took bits and pieces of extrapolation, narrative, exposition, verse, media criticism, Liberal social commentary, and humor and fashioned a story -- or, rather, a build-it-yourself story kit -- centered upon the lives of human beings in the imagined world of the early Twenty-First Century. The story begins "toDAY third of MAY twenty-TEN Manhat-TEN" -- 3 May 2010, a real-world date exactly thirty days hence.
Hence this posting. For the next thirty days, in the words and images of these posts, I intend to celebrate the world John Brunner made: the world of Stand On Zanzibar, my favorite science fiction novel and a work of literary art. My aim is to compare Brunner's shockingly prescient and artistically audacious story with the real world of 2010, and, by so doing, to both scan and analyze -- SCANALYZE -- what he might have been trying to tell us.
Even by President Obama's loquacious standards, an answer he gave here on health care Friday was a doozy.
Toward the end of a question-and-answer session with workers at an advanced battery technology manufacturer, a woman named Doris stood to ask the president whether it was a "wise decision to add more taxes to us with the health care" package.
"We are over-taxed as it is," Doris said bluntly.
Obama started out feisty. "Well, let's talk about that, because this is an area where there's been just a whole lot of misinformation, and I'm going to have to work hard over the next several months to clean up a lot of the misapprehensions that people have," the president said.
He then spent the next 17 minutes and 12 seconds lulling the crowd into a daze....
Did Japan try to develop an "ultimate weapon" in response to the August, 1998 overflight of a North Korean Taepo-Dong ballistic missile? According to a CIA document leaked to the press today, the answer is yes. The document, entitled "Theopotential Technology Development In Japan: An Intelligence Retrospective", details the clandestine effort of the Japanese military to develop a weapon of "godlike" power in response to the DPRK missile launch. The secret weapons program, named Saishu Heiki ("Ultimate Weapon Development Project", or UWDP), was initiated in May of 2000 by "elements at the highest levels of Japan's military, industrial, and intelligence hierarchies". Its apparent goal was developing a weapon of theopotential ("godlike") power -- a weapon so potent that its deployment would render pointless any and all weapons development by any other nation or combination of nations for all time.
According to the heavily-redacted CIA report, the UWDP delivered its initial program for development of the theopotential weapon to unidentified authorities in Tokyo on 25 December 2001. The program identified a theoretical approach to the weapon's design and a contained a draft proposal for its development. Although the details of the weapon's basic principles have been deleted from the CIA report, the proposed weapon system was apparently based upon a "well-supported" phenomenon "common to all cultures", although it remains unclear what a cultural phenomenon could have to do with a weapon of mass destruction. The CIA report also refers to the weapon cryptically as an "ontological bomb", although the meaning of the term is left unexplained. (Ontology is a term coined by the Greek philosopher Aristotle to refer to the philosophical study of the nature of being, existence, and reality.) According to the CIA documents, the authorities approved the UWDP's proposal and initiated a crash development program known as PON CHISE, or Operation WINDHOUSE, to develop the weapon itself.
The truly alarming section of the document details the response of the United States and its NATO allies to their discovery of WINDHOUSE. Although the report again omits crucial details, such as the exact means by which the WINDHOUSE project was discovered to exist, it does outline in chilling detail a series of actions conducted at the highest levels of the Alliance as a result of that discovery. Citing the "almost-unimaginable risks" associated with the development of a theopotential weapon, the CIA documents tell of an emergency meeting in Mons, Belgium in January 2002 between U.S. military commanders, those of the NATO allies, and "representatives" of eleven other non-NATO states, along with eight unidentified non-state organizations. (One copy of the CIA report lists the Holy See as having been one of these.) In this and subsequent meetings, the Allies and their associates formulated diplomatic and military plans of action intended to forestall further Japanese activity on WINDHOUSE. In early February, these parties signed a secret "Treaty on the Research and Development of Ontological Technologies" known as the SUMUS Treaty; soon afterward, Treaty operations were transferred from Mons to an unidentified "Special Facility" deemed most likely to survive in the event of a "catastrophe" -- likewise unidentified.
In its final, heavily blacked-out paragraphs, the leaked document hints at the fantastic nature and apocalyptic power of the proposed theopotential weapon. The weapon's operating principle is said to be somehow "philosophical" in nature, involving the power to "rewrite the 'source code' of the universe" and "disrupt the ontological 'is-ness'" of its target. A possibly-human "implantee" is mentioned, one with an ability to manifest both conventional and nuclear weapons "out of thin air". The report's final words tell blackly of a "subsummation of ego" and "two young volunteers" but does not reveal what these phrases might mean in the context of the project
Officials at the CIA, the Pentagon, NATO, and the Japan Ministry of Defense have each denied any knowledge of an Ultimate Weapon Development Program, PON CHISE, WINDHOUSE, or any research into theopotential or ontological weapons. The documents, which were provided anonymously to an Associated Press reporter in Sapporo, Japan in late 2009, have not yet been authenticated by any government authority.
2:02am: the happening world / bigger than ever brother
The Burning Platform, 30 March 2010:
159 New Bureaucracies: The Amazing Morass of New Bureaucracies and Programs Created by the Obamacare Bill
Obamacare creates fifty-nine new grant programs.
There are six new programs strictly for minorities; ten new ones for Indians; seven for women; ten new advisory boards.
Not one new program especially for males or for Whites, who are supposedly the majority.
1. Grant program for consumer assistance offices (Section 1002, p. 37) 2. Grant program for states to monitor premium increases (Section 1003, p. 42) 3. Committee to review administrative simplification standards (Section 1104, p. 71) 4. Demonstration program for state wellness programs (Section 1201, p. 93) 5. Grant program to establish state Exchanges (Section 1311(a), p. 130) 6. State American Health Benefit Exchanges (Section 1311(b), p. 131) 7. Exchange grants to establish consumer navigator programs (Section 1311(i), p. 150) 8. Grant program for state cooperatives (Section 1322, p. 169) 9. Advisory board for state cooperatives (Section 1322(b)(3), p. 173) 10. Private purchasing council for state cooperatives (Section 1322(d), p. 177) 11. State basic health plan programs (Section 1331, p. 201) 12. State-based reinsurance program (Section 1341, p. 226) 13. Program of risk corridors for individual and small group markets (Section 1342, p. 233) 14. Program to determine eligibility for Exchange participation (Section 1411, p. 267)...
156. Indian Health Service program for treatment of domestic violence and sexual abuse (S. 1790, Section 181, p. 194)* 157. Indian youth telemental health demonstration project (S. 1790, Section 181, p. 204)* 158. Indian youth life skills demonstration project (S. 1790, Section 181, p. 220)* 159. Indian Health Service Director of HIV/AIDS Prevention and Treatment (S. 1790, Section 199B, p. 258)*
September 5, 1975: President Gerald Ford survives assassination attempt in Sacramento. (“Squeaky” Fromme) September 22, 1975: President Gerald Ford survives assassination attempt in San Francisco. (Sarah Jane Moore)
March 30, 1981: Just 69 days into his presidency, there was an assassination attempton President Ronald Reagan. President Reagan and three others were shot, one of them crippled for life. President Reagan’s lung was punctured.
January 19, 2001: When the Clintonistas left the White House, they threw paint on the walls, ripped all the W’s off the computer keyboards, trashed the Executive Wing. The Clintons moved a bunch of furniture and silver out of the White House. Mr. Bush chose not to press charges.
March 21, 2003: GOP Headquarters in Madison hit with bricks, paint bombs Journal Sentinel
In 2004, Republicans were subject to an aggressive and sometimes violent campaign of harassment and intimidation orchestrated by Kerry supporters. At least three Bush-Cheney offices were shot at during the election season. A swastika was burned into the front yard of a Bush-Cheney supporter in Madison, Wisconsin. Other incidents included offices burglarized, windows smashed, tires slashed and other property damage. The following is a timeline of documented election-related violence and intimidation against the Bush-Cheney ‘04 campaign and Republicans in 2004.
September 2, 2004: Gun Shot Fired Into Huntington, WV, Republican Headquarters.
September 3, 2004: Windows Broken, Anti-Bush Messages Scrawled At Gallatin County, MT, Republican Headquarters.
September 2004: John Kerry supporters and other libs/dems take to the streets of NYC destroying property, beating a NYC detective into a state of unconsciousness and harassing/threatening attendees during the 2004 GOP convention in NYC
[ ... ]
November, 2008: Black Panther with a billy club threatening voters outside polling place in Philadelphia. Eric Holder let him walk.
January, 2009: Hackers get Republican Senator Norm Coleman’s donors’ credit card info and post it on the internet
August (1st week?) 2009: a black gentleman who was a Tea Party participant named Kenneth Gladney went to a town-hall meeting hosted by Rep. Russ Carnahan, Missouri Democrat. While passing out "Don't Tread on Me" flags, he was viciously attacked by Service Employees International Union (SEIU) members. One called him a "nigger." A woman filming the violence also was accosted. NBC News.
August 4, 2009: a communique was issued from DNC headquarters about mobs of right-wing extremists whose extreme mobbiness threatens to mob ObamaCare with extremism.
Summer (?), 2009: a handicapped woman in a wheelchair was attacked by a protester at an Obama town hall in New Hampshire. Another protester kicked an armed man in the groin, & spit into a camera filming it.
Summer (?) 2009: At a tea party in Milwaukee, a heckler attacked several people and rushed the stage while a speaker was talking, YouTube video shows. Police tackled and removed him
September, 2009: The Washington DC Tea Party appears to be a big success, but it’s not for lack of trying among the movement’s more lunatic opponents. Yesterday, the DC Metro police evacuated the offices of Freedomworks after several threats, including a bomb-threat phone call that police considered credible enough to investigate.
September 3, 2009 in Thousand Oaks , California, a nationalized healthcare advocate attacked and bit off the finger of a Tea Partyer who was a healthcare opponent, Associated Press.
November 14, 2009: in Fort Lauderdale, Florida violence broke out between tea party protesters and pro-amnesty protesters who had e-mailed group members calling for "a militant confrontation" with "tea-baggers," the Christian Science Monitor reported.
November 14, 2009, in Phoenix, tea partyers were attacked by a group of neo-Nazis brandishing a swastika flag and a portrait of Adolf Hitler. Police intervened quickly, and no one was hurt.
March 22, 2010: Bullet shot through window of Republican Congressman Eric Cantor's Richmond, Virginia campaign Office.
March 24, 2010: Republican Congresswoman Jean Schmidt of Ohio receives telephoned death threats.
March 24, 2010: Republican Congresswoman Jenny Brown of Florida receives telephoned death threats.
And let's not forget the Weatherman bombings... Nixon attacked in Caracas... "Snipers Wanted"... and of course the three Republican presidents who were assassinated: Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley.
10:05pm: the happening world / only christians and jews have to pay
The American Thinker, 24 March 2010:
The Senate health care bill just signed contains some exemptions to the "pay-or-play" mandate requiring purchase of Obamacare-approved health insurance or payment of a penalty fine. As Fox News has pointed out, for instance, the Amish are excused from the mandate [...] apparently, this exemption will apply similarly to believers in Islam, which considers health insurance - and, for that matter, any form of risk insurance - to be haraam (forbidden). source
1:13am: the happening world / bend over, america, here it comes
Matt Patterson in The American Thinker, March 22, 2010:
In November 2008, Americans elected a socialist as their president. In March 2010, they woke up stunned to find themselves living in a socialist country.
Health insurers - once private companies - are now organs of the federal government. Every citizen is a ward of the state, which can now compel you to have insurance; punish you if you don't; determine if your insurance is acceptable; punish you if it isn't. Thousands of new federal bureaucrats will soon spill from the D.C. Beltway and flood the country, scrutinizing our finances to verify compliance with this new law.
A government that grants itself this kind of power over us can conceivably do anything to us. For our own good, of course. Such a country is in no meaningful sense "free."
And this is only the beginning. Liberals are salivating in contemplation of all the fanciful window trimmings that can in the future be hung from this legislative framework. Public option will soon appear as prelude to single payer, as was the intent all along. Soon, Americans won't even have the illusion of a choice - the government will move from subsidizer to provider, and it will be the only game in town. complete text
If the health care bill passes, you and I will be required to obtain insurance or face an annual penalty of $695. I cannot afford health insurance. I will therefore have to pay the fine.
Employers could face penalties of $2,000 per worker for not offering affordable coverage. Our family business cannot afford to offer our workers health insurance of any kind. If this bill passes, we will be forced to fire everyone.
7:20pm: the happening world / no more mr. nice jesus
Fr. Roger J. Landry, Espirito Santo Parish, Fall River, MA, 8 September 2002:
The second misunderstanding about fraternal correction today comes from the modern world’s illusion that the most important thing in human life is to be “nice.” Some say that you really should not correct anyone else, because that would make you seem “judgmental” or “harsh.” That it is above all important to be civil. To agree to disagree. To live and let live. To mind your own business.
Well, there’s nothing wrong with being nice or civil, to minding your own business, provided that these are not made absolutes.
All of us would rather be surrounded by people who mind their own business than those who are constantly sticking their noses into our business. But oftentimes people use “niceness” or “civility” in order to excuse themselves from giving any Christian constructive criticism to those who really deserve it and need it. To these people, Jesus says, “I’m not nice.”
Jesus was simply not “nice” as the world uses the term today. Ask the money changers in the temple, whose tables he overturned and whom he whipped out of the temple. Ask the Scribes and the Pharisees, whom he called hypocrites, whitewashed sepulchers, broods of vipers. Calling the most famous teachers of your generation full of dead bones and all kinds of filth is not civil or nice.
Jesus came to save the money changers, the Scribes and the Pharisees, however; to do that, though, he had to first let them know that they were veering from the Gospel, veering from love, veering from him. In the same way, we have to have the courage to risk being considered uncivil or no longer nice if a brother or sister needs our help.
What if we don’t? God is clear to the prophet Ezekiel, as we read in the first reading: “If I tell the wicked man that he shall surely die, and you do not speak out to dissuade the wicked man from his way, he [the wicked man] shall die for his guilt, but I will hold you responsible for his death. But if you warn the wicked man, trying to turn him from his way, and he refuses to turn from his way, he shall die for his guilt, but you shall save yourself.”
In other words, giving fraternal correction to a brother or sister who needs it is not an optional thing we may or may not do depending upon whether we feel like it; rather it is an obligation, a mission Christ gives us, on the basis of which we will be judged.
A disgruntled psychopath flew his private airplane into an Austin IRS office this morning. His rant, which I won't link here, explains that he did it because of hatred of the rich, the politicians, the rich politicians, and most of all the IRS.
This terrorist, whose name was Joseph Stack, was not a Christian (he rails against the Catholic Church in his parting note), a Republican (he singles out George W. Bush by name as a bad guy), or a member of the Tea Party. He was a software engineer from Southern California with a lifetime history of making poor decisions. His decision today to use violence against the government was without doubt his all-time poorest.
For the record: rebellion against authority is forbidden to Christians. Following the example of the Lord, we are to submit to the decisions of those in power, even when that power is acting unjustly. This obligation to obey the law includes the obligation of paying one's taxes, which is mentioned specifically and more than once in Scripture.
When confronting an unjust law, the Christian is obligated to protest non-violently by refusing to obey the law and by peacefully submitting himself or herself to the consequences of disobedience.
While I agree that the current tax system is unjust, I categorically reject the use of violence to protest the system. The use of violence as a form of political protest is terrorism, even when the protest is based upon legitimate grounds.
People who feel they are being unjustly taxed have a moral option: they may refuse to pay. A real tax protest hero would simply tell the IRS "no", and then peacefully submit to the consequences, including garnishment of wages, seizure of property, and imprisonment.
Although he no doubt had visions of racking up a 9/11-level body count with his attack on the IRS offices today, Joseph Stack managed only to kill himself, at least as far as is known at present. He injured two people and may have injured or killed a third. Thankfully, as a terrorist Stack stayed true to what he was in every other aspect of life: a failure.
10:45pm: special / how to help the haïtians • comment se aider les haïtiens
By now you all know the situation in Haïti. I'd like to ask those of you who have the means to dig deep and contribute to Haïti earthquake relief by donating to Catholic Relief Services.
You can trust Catholic Relief Services with your tax-deductible donation. CRS was named a top-rated charity and given a rating of A by the American Institute of Philanthropy in 2008 for efficiently using the majority of its funds toward programming versus fundraising. CRS was also found by the Better Business Bureau/Wise Giving Alliance in 2008 to meet all 20 Standards for Charity Accountability, which take into account an organization’s governance, financial accountability, truthfulness and transparency. The September 2008 audit found that only 3% of the CRS's expenses were for administration, leaving 4% for fundraising and 93% for program costs, so you know your donation is going to help people in an immediate way, not to provide administrators and other paper-pushing types with big-bucks salaries.
Catholic Relief Services have a substantial presence in Haïti already, and are at this moment providing pure water, food, shelter, medical care, and other services to those in need. They need your money to keep the help coming. You can donate to Haïti relief via CRS at their secure site. Please give generously if you can, and may God bless you for doing so through the prayers of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, patroness of Haïti.
Today was the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord. I attended Epiphany Sunday mass with the family. Homily topic: Matthew 2:1-12. Hans was a good boy during the service.
We then had lunch at Beruit Cafe: I had the kafta sadnwich and hummus. The owners are Lebanese (Muslims, I think -- shahad on the wall) but the lamb there is too good not to patronize the place. I then took Mo to grocery store afterwards for a few odds and ends, then headed home.
I read for a bit, then watched some old anime opening animations for about an hour. I then took a nap with my cat on the futon in the Pit. It was restful and refreshing. I awoke when Grandma arrived, she and Mo and Hans went over to her house. I got up, puttered around a bit, then went over there myself. Dinner was pizza from Nizza. After a while, we all came home. I cleaned and dressed the baby, we brushed our teeth, and went to bed. (I arose later to post this message.) Thanks be to God for another day.