Saturday, August 25, 2007


Mainly in the interests of retaining my sanity, I pay as little attention as I can to what’s being promoted by Roger Ailes and Fox News. I am well aware of the neo-con mindset, but I try and remain as far detached from it as possible. It’s very, very ugly in there and I tend to get the shakes. The current drumbeat for a war with Iran, however, is too rabid to ignore especially when its sorted and packaged as in this new short film by Robert Greenwald that demonstrates how the current Fox campaign to demonize Iran is nothing more than a propaganda softening-up process to prepare Americans for the Bush administration starting a whole new war in the Middle East before they leave office. (Or maybe use it as an excuse not to leave office.)
I fear I constantly make the mistake of assuming that Bush/Cheney and their demon cohorts are at least marginally rational. We can’t have another war. It won’t play. Moral considerations aside, it just isn’t possible. The military is already stretched to its limit and the industrial end of the notorious military/industrial compex is so mired in graft and inefficiency that it can’t even come up with the 20,000 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles requested for use by the Army and Marines in Iraq. (Compare this with World War II when Ford auto plants, rerigged for aircraft production, were turning out one B-24 bomber every 63 minutes.) I tell myself the White House can’t be that chock full o’ insanity, but I’m finding myself less and less convincing.

The secret word is Ruthless or maybe Demented

And now do you wanna watch ol’ Bob do a rocking version of Masters Of War?

This blog is still affiliated with The White Panther Party

Friday, August 24, 2007


You may recall that, eight days ago (Wednesday August 15th ) Doc40 engaged the idea that we might all be imaginary entities running round in a computer simulation, construct, or nightmare created by some vast, possibly malignant, or maybe just bored third party being. (And if you don’t remember, it’s easy to go back and look.) The matter came up when our pal Dr. Adder complained how Oxford Ph. D philosopher, Nick Bostrom was pushing the concept of a Matrix-like unreality to the media as his own original thought when all he was doing was catching up to “up to where Philip K. Dick was 40 years ago”. I also pointed out that the suggestion our universe was nothing more than a micro-point in some unimaginably huge macro-reality had been "well known to paranoids, acid heads, schizophrenics, and comic book writers for at least a half century." The illustration above, probably from a 1950s Astounding Science Fiction (although I’m not wholly certain), would seem to be yet another confirmation of just how venerable the idea really is, as the lady in the headset seems remotely to manipulate the brutality of the human male.

Moreover we have clips from the notorious, but unseen by me at least, Cameron Diaz soft core BDSM movie* she made before she was famous, and also The Ramones Name Generator, the combination of which, in itself, would seem to be a little too weirdly complicated -- not to say convoluted -- for us all to be mere players in a sim game.

The secret word is Misapprehension

* Unsuitable for children. Piss off if you're under 18.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


Hurricane Dean (for James Dean, Dean Stockwell, Dean Moriarty?*)didn’t hit any major population centers or wreck a city, and blew out leaving comparatively few deaths and less than total devastation. It was, though, at one point in its evolution, a monster Category Five, more powerful that Katrina, and also a week earlier in the season. For facts and figures check Chris Mooney in yesterday’s HuffPo, who makes the case that Dean may not be a symptom of a disintegrating global weather system, but it sure as hell could be.
*Original joke from HCB.

The secret word is Rising

In this week’s edition of LA CityBeat, I make a stunningly plausible case for how another fourteen some months of this no-limit, no-quarter, no-prisoners presidential electioneering may reduce us all to drooling mental cases


...and is the ghost of Jim Jones stalking the desert sands? (They always did say he really fronted for the CIA.)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Good lord, it sounds like something out of James Joyce, except this would appear to be an exercise in guerrilla art, which, if nothing else should piss off the still powerful Catholic church. Although the report in the Dublin Evening Herald does not record the number, a whole bunch of these identical images, by an artist known only as Pi, appeared on walls, bridges, and streets of Dublin in the course of a single night last week, slowing traffic, intriguing or disconcerting the populace, and sending more than one fleeing for a pint of Guinness and a shot of Jamieson’s.
A similar art performance occurred back in the 1980s when I lived in lower Manhattan where some unknown artist painted dozens of sinister life-size black silhouettes that were vaguely the shape of a young Elvis Costello, and consistently positioned them on shadowed walls and the entrances to alleyways for the maximum, corner-of-the-eye, double-take shock

The secret word is Samo


Tuesday, August 21, 2007


I fear even we at Doc 40 suffer from the same deplorable short attention span as our brethren in TV and print. One day a story is red hot, but the next it is lining the proverbial canary cage, as was pointed out on the credits of Lou Grant. (Who among you remember Lou Grant?) A few months ago we were beside ourselves about the bees, citing Einstein, expecting Gotterdammerung, pretty much every panic response short of quoting Latin. Now all is silence. The bee story is on hiatus. But has anyone any new information, observation or rumor? If so, let’s hear it.

The secret word is Buzz

In the meantime, here is some Latin, call it a CRYPTIQUE SPECIAL…
Dies irae, dies illa solvet saeclum in favilla (The day of wrath, that day which will reduce the world to ashes.)

(Pic and motivation from Valerie)

Monday, August 20, 2007


But then Tim B sent this quote from the just published REAGAN DIARIES. The entry is dated May 17, 1986, and records Reagan’s opinion of George W. Bush, the son of his Vice President.
"A moment I've been dreading. George brought his ne're-do-well son around this morning and asked me to find the kid a job. Not the political one who lives in Florida. The one who hangs around here all the time looking shiftless. This so-called kid is already almost 40 and has never had a real job. Maybe I'll call Kinsley over at The New Republic and see if they'll hire him as a contributing editor or something. That looks like easy work."

The secret word is Trash

(Oh, and by the way, I’m still not smoking cigarettes no matter how many dead presidents might want me to.)
Oh yeah, and if you though Reagan had a low opinion of Bush, check out what Hugo Chavez has to say -- and also the cows behind him.

Sunday, August 19, 2007


Artist Till Novak constructed this produce masterpiece, the Alien made entirely out of vegetables as his tribute to H. R. Giger and Giuseppe Arcimboldo. (lifted from boing boing)


The mainstream media seem to have totally ignored this story (sent by Sky) of particles moving at more than the speed of light, but if it’s true, surely it’s incredibly important.

"Scientists claim to have broken the ultimate speed record - by making photons travel faster than light. Exceeding the speed of light, 186,000 miles per second, is supposed to be completely impossible. According to Einstein's special theory of relativity, it would take an infinite amount of energy to accelerate an object through the light barrier. Travelling faster than light also turns back time with bizarre consequences. An astronaut moving beyond light speed would theoretically arrive at his destination before leaving. But two German physicists now claim to have forced light to overcome its own speed limit using the strange phenomenon known as quantum tunnelling." (For more.)

"I can't do that, Dave"


For a while, our Dutch pals the Buggers seemed to be laying low, but then, back at the end of July the came through with new position, and now, suddenly, here’s another one about money and banking.


Normally speaking we would not give a rat's arse about the current bank crisis. Let banks sort out their own mess. We don't care for their dog-eat-dog world. But there are a couple of aspects of the current bank crisis which make it even more unsavoury than usual. In the first place, of course, the fact that the crisis has its origin in rip-offs of people whohave next to nothing. The subprime mortgages given out by American banks, which lie at the root of the crisis, cheat people without means out of what income and possessions they have. First the banks take their money through high interest rates and then, when the money has gone, they take possession of their homes. As long as the prices of houses are on the rise, there is no risk involved for the mortgager: the lender ends up with the borrower's money and house, which by then is worth more than the value it has beenmortgaged for. That is why subprime mortgages have always been lucrative deals for lenders. And that is how unscrupulous businessmen like Roland Arnall have made a fortune. A fortune that enabled him to buy himself the position of US ambassador of The Netherlands on the one hand and to buy off criminal prosecution on the other. A rat like that ought to have a price put on his head, or arse, if you think that part of the body will make a better investment.
A consequence of the subprime mortgages is that people are either forced to sell their homes at relatively low prices or that banks take possession of them and auction them. This rising amount of relatively cheap houses unsettled the already inflated housing market in the USA. When a couple of years ago the US housing market collapsed and the value of houses dropped, a crisis began to take shape. Subprime mortgages no longer guaranteed profit for the mortgagers, debts turned bad. Big banks and wholesale lenders had bought the debts from mortgagers when they were still considered profitable, repackaged them and sold them to Wall Street firms. These Wall Street banks and investment companies had further repackaged these debts and sold them to pension funds, hedge funds and institutions all over the world. So, once the debts of people with low incomes in the US had turned bad, the system was infected on a global scale. Some banks and funds suddenly faced huge financial losses, others became distrustful of making investments or granting loans to fellow-banks and funds. What is called a "credit crunch" is actually a flare of paranoia all around the dog-eat-dog world. Paranoia is inherent to this world. But it is ironical that failed rip-offs of the poor should kindle it. There is a sense of justice in this backfire. It is a cliché but in this case an appropriate one: "Dog" spelled backwards reads "God". The past few weeks central banks all around the world have injected huge sums of money into the financial world to ease the paranoia. With private banks distrustful of one another and unwilling to make investments or give out loans - except against high interest rates - the financial crisis was beginning to spread to other areas of the economy: the shares of companies that do business with borrowed money dropped in value and stock marketsaround the world plunged. Today the Federal Reserve, the central bank of the USA, announced that it has lowered its interest rate with 0,5 percent. No doubt, other central banks will soon follow. Now when central banks start to intervene, the public should be wary. Central banks, the monetary institutes of our governments, can only produce money and grant loans at low interest rates at the cost of inflation. Thus, the trick by which the financial losses of mortgage banks and investors are being compensated by their big brothers, the central banks, is called INFLATION: they simply decrease thevalue of our money. In the end the bugger in the street will pay the bill. Fuck a duck! There is no god after all. There are only dogs and rats.

The secret word is Loot (as in the profit of theft)