Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Pakistan Must Be Destroyed.

No declaration of war yet.

I don't think President Obama is going to declare war on Pakistan.  What is the president going to do?  I don't think anything, and I don't think he would tell the world if he has decided to do something.

Last week was a calculated decision by the administration.  Admiral Mullen would tell the Senate, and the world, that the Pakistani government was behind the attacks on Americans on September 10 and 13.  Yesterday's story in The New York Times about the Pakistani government's attack on Americans in 2007 was a plant by the administration, a calculated decision also.

What did the administration calculate by these decisions?  They calculated that Christopher Hitchens, Sen. Lindsey Graham, Rep. Ted Poe, The New York Times editorial board, and certain idiot bloggers would go, more or less literally, on the warpath.  And they (we) did. And...Oh and that Pakistan would be embarrassed, and would go, more or less figuratively, on the warpath.

And...does anybody see anything else?  That is not calculation beyond 2+2=outrage.  This could not have been calculated (1) to get Pakistan to change its behavior-or- (2) as a precursor to cut off aid to Pakistan (2+2+2 but hardly Mao Zedong advanced calculus). The Obama administration is not naive enough to think the former and is not calculating enough even to the level of the latter. Therefore, ergo, as we Latin scholars say, the administration did this to get people upset. There's nothing else.

It's only a war of words, not a real war to them, even though Americans really have been killed.  I wish the administration would begin a debate with the American people on what should be done. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Pakistan Must Be Destroyed.

The headline to the lead story in The New York Times today is:

"Pakistanis Tied to 2007 Border Ambush on Americans."

After hosting a meeting with Afghans and Americans in Afghanistan Pakistani intelligence officials and military officers abruptly opened fire killing U.S. Major Larry J. Bauguess and wounding three other American military officers in what the Times describes as a "complex, calculated assault."  The Pakistani attack was "kept quiet" by the U.S. according to the Times "in the interests of keeping the relationship with Pakistan intact," quoting a United Nations official.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Pakistan Must Be Destroyed.

The title to this and the preceding post is borrowed from the American Civil War.  "South Carolina must be destroyed" represented a shift in Abraham Lincoln's strategy to total war. South Carolina was destroyed, as was Georgia.

America is said to be at war. This site agrees.  It is said that America has been at war since September 11, 2001.  Yet America has not waged total war as it did on Southern Americans during the latter Civil War.  It is said that la cosa nostra now is different, that America is fighting an "unconventional" war and, explicitly and implicitly, that America must fight differently and unconventionally.

This site disagrees with regard to Pakistan. America should wage total war on Pakistan.

Part of the difference asserted is that America's enemy now is "terrorism;"  or sometimes it's phrased as "Islamic terrorism."  Very amorphous, very "different."  This site disagrees with regard to Pakistan.  It's Pakistan, a clearly defined state which has attacked America.

Today "total war" means something different indeed than it did in 1864 and 1865.  America has nuclear weapons: "unconventional" weapons.  Pakistan has nuclear weapons too. America should destroy Pakistan's nuclear capability with the most efficacious means at its disposal.  If that means nuclear weapons, so be it.  If it can be done as efficaciously without, so be that.

America should follow up the destruction of Pakistan's nuclear capability with the destruction of the Pakistani state.  It is not just Pakistan as a political entity that must be destroyed however.  This is not, as it was said of the Soviet Union and the United States, a war of governments but not peoples.  This is a war, we recall the Civil War once again, of the Pakistani people, by the Pakistani people, on the people of the United States. America's war should be on the Pakistani people, not "just" on the state.  It should be, recalling World War II, as America defeated Japan, with nuclear weapons if need be, without them if not.

None of this should be done without a formal declaration of war. America has slid from that grim, necessary task since World War II. American presidents have not asked the American people to focus on war as calling for a formal declaration does.  The result has been a deadly game of ostrich imitating: 50,000 American dead in Korea; another 50,000 in Vietnam.  "Declaration of war"  is not synonymous with "total war" but total war is unthinkable, literally to the American people, without a declaration of war. American presidents bled over 100,000 American lives away in Korea and Vietnam because they did not fight total war. It says here American life is worth that effort.

Pakistan has been a deadly enemy of America since September 11, 2001.  On September 10 and 13, 2011--at least-- Pakistan attacked America. Pakistan must be destroyed. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Pakistan Must Be Destroyed.

“With ISI support, Haqqani operatives planned and conducted that truck bomb attack, as well as the assault on our embassy.”
                     -Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee yesterday.

ISI is “Inter-Services Intelligence,” Pakistan's CIA.  The Pakistani truck bomb attack was on September 10 on a NATO position south of Kabul in Afghanistan. It killed five and wounded 77. Pakistan’s attack on sovereign U.S. soil at the embassy in Kabul was on September 13 and killed 16.

Pakistan’s madrassas teach Islamic hatred of all things non-Islamic.  Pakistan harbored Osama bin Laden at their equivalent of West Point.

A state of war exists between Pakistan and the United States. President Obama should go before Congress and ask for a formal declaration of war against Pakistan

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The 81st pageviewer today became the 37,000 since Google began providing stats on such things. Earlier this week China became the fourth country with over 1,000 pageviews.

Among countries represented today: Jordan (2), India (5); this week, Georgia (10), Latvia (44); this month, Russia (88). One-click wonders today: search keywords: "i'm pierced down there;" posts: "Piercings," August 28, 2009. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

It’s a little slow, isn’t it?

When a Canadian corporation is big news, there’s not much interesting news. Several years ago, some magazine, I think The New Republic, had a contest among it’s writers for the most boring headline. The winner was “Worthwhile Canadian Initiative.”

Before RIM it was paintings of deceased women. That one’s on me.  That’s all on me.

Before that it was Greece. “Worthwhile Grecian Initiative.”

And before that fonts.

So yeah, it’s been slow.  Not even an earthquake or hurricane.

This is all because the god…blessed Libyan rebels can’t find Muammar, or al-Islam. That was exciting but now it’s like coitus interruptus.

It’s boring. The news is boring.  We need a war…wait-wait-wait-wait-wait, not WWIII just a little little war. Like the Falklands War. That was the funnest war in the history of war. Nothing in the last half century has done more to reinforce the stereotype of Latin American incompetence like the Falklands War. I mean the Brits only had a 3,000 mile supply line to defend.  The Argies couldn’t disrupt it.  

The Argentine Navy had three submarines. None of them made it out of port.  The first one sank…when the Argentines (Argentinians?) forgot to close the top-hatch or whatever it’s called. The lid. They forgot to close that thing. So they dove and, yeah.  The other two Argentinian submarines sank in port…when they ran into each other. Oh jeez.

So the Brits didn’t do anything to sink the Argentine submarine fleet, it was all “friendly fire.”  Or friendly water.

A war like that, I mean. 

I grew up in the boondocks.  It was boring.  Violence does relieve tedium. Sometimes when I was growing up my brother and I would be sitting around watching TV. Surreptitiously one of us would grab a sofa pillow and throw it and crush the other’s face with it in exactly the manner Grandfather Smallweed would Grandmother Smallweed in Bleak House.

We boys used to have “friendly fights.”  That’s what we called them.  One time in the winter I lent a friend a glove so that his punching hand wouldn’t get cold when we had a fist-fight.

Of course we used to play Cowboys and Indians, we got toy guns, etc. Cap guns were great. You pulled the trigger and you didn’t have to make the sound effects yourself the cap gun did it: BANG! That was a tremendous innovation. Boys like bangs. We used to take the rolls of caps and forget the toy gun, we’d light them on fire—BANG-BANG-BANG-BANG-BANG—or we’d get a hammer and hit the caps. One time a friend of mine came over.  “My dad told me if you hit this it will REALLY make a bang!”  So I did. And it did. It was a bullet. When it exploded it cut the palm of my right hand. My mother took me to the doctor. I got one or two stitches. For years I told my mother there was a piece of that bullet still in the palm of my hand. “Oh Benjamin,” she always called me Benjamin, not Ben, “We took you to Dr. Amendola.”  Yeah, and medicine was so advanced back there back then.  When it got cold out I could feel the piece of bullet in my hand.  I guess the cold irritated it.  I used to play with it when I’d study in high school. I had it removed in law school when I had to have surgery to have a fish hook removed from my finger.

So yeah, boys like bangs. And boys are more…physical, we’re more violent than are girls.  And when we “grow up” and become (more) mature and (more) governable we can enjoy friendly little wars like the Falklands.

And so as I sit here pulling wings off flies I'm thinking maybe we could squeeze a fun little war in before Greece defaults.  How about on Texas?  Could we have a war on TexasDon’t tell me you didn’t think that was an inspired thought.  I saw the light go on in your eyes, “A war on Texas! OMG, when can we start?”  You detest Texas as much as I do.

I detest Texas.  I have only been to Texas once; I went to see the Rothko Chapel outside of Houston. I remember driving around lost from the airport and seeing one of those “Welcome To” signs. Only, as I recall, this one didn’t say “Welcome to Houston.”  As I recall it was “City of Houston,” or “Entering the City of Houston” something serious, not “welcoming.”  It was in stone on the ground, but BIG in stone on the ground.  It reminded me of Hitler’s Vienna. Big and serious like the statues in Vienna. You have “Virginia is for Lovers,” and “I heart New York;” in Texas you have “Entering the City of Houston you worthless piece of…feces.”  Texas (Houston) had the “Eighth Wonder of the World,” the Astrodome.  Texas (Dallas) has “America’s Team,” the Dallas Cowboys. It wasn’t and they aren’t.

Where does Texas get off with this grandiosity?  My theory is, as with Hitler, it’s the legacy of failure and small male genitalia.  OMG attack Texas?  They’re so BIG.  No, they’re not, heh-heh-heh.  “Everything is bigger in Texas,” is one of their slogans. Except the men’s peepees.

How has Texas done in wars?  Battle of the Alamo: defeat; Civil War: defeat. Texas prides itself in having once been an independent country: yeah, for ten years when they couldn’t defend themselves against the Mexicans and America had to ride to their rescue and confer statehood. They couldn’t even protect the president of the United States from assassination in 1963—or his assassin from assassination.

My idea is to enlist the Chinese in this endeavor. Maybe our friends at Weibo microblog would want to join. We should get a bunch of real Amuricans and a bunch of Chinese together and mass ourselves on the Texas border.  Can you imagine the looks on the Texans faces when they saw Chinese?  They would freak.  There’d be a border problem with Mexico then; all the Texans would be swimming across the Rio Grande.

It would be fun. War with Texas: the time is now—before Greece defaults.

Friday, September 16, 2011


Canada’s finest, Research in Motion, maker of the BlackBerry (“Crackberry”) uber cellphone posted a quarterly profit decrease of 58.7% yesterday.  The company has been dysfunctional for some time with investors driven beyond exasperation with the dual and reportedly dueling chairmen Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis. 58.7%. RIM is done.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Our BFF's at Weibo microblog, who gave us China Week, had a little upset with the gendarme a couple of weeks ago. In a report in The New York Times on August 27, which I am just now getting around to because of my little upset with fonts, the accounts of "several" microbloggers were suspended because the People's Liberation Internet Police accused them of disseminating "fake and misleading information," which the Times differently characterizes as "particularly searing criticism of official acts."  Of the two characterizations, PLIP's and NYT's, I believe NYT's.  A microblog, I learned in NYT, is a Chinese equivalent of Twitter.


Image: Mr. Wang Jingyao in a recent photograph. At top right Justice, a hollow statue, that I gave him in November, 2008.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Victoria, Princess Regent of Prussia (1874), Heinrich von Angeli

This painting appears in the photos section of a new biography of Bismarck.  I don't know if I could keep my equanimity if a woman, especially a Princess Regent, looked at me like that. I certainly couldn't paint. 

Victoria, Princess Regent of Prussia (1874), Heinrich von Angeli

Continuing our popular series on paintings of deceased women.

Ophelia (1852) John Everett Millais

TO: B.H.



Posting an image without first writing the text assumes you are going to be able to write something intelligent about the image. Do not assume that.

Ophelia (1852) John Everett Millais

Moving painting.  Drowning victim.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

To use the language of The New York Times in describing Norwegian terrorist Anders Behring Breivik there's not a "blonde, blue-eyed Nordic" among them.  Nor a Christian or Jew. 
It is not just these 19, or these 19 plus bin Laden, or plus al Qaeda who attacked America once (or twice or three times or...). And it is not all Muslims. It is however Islam as it is practiced and preached today by millions of Muslims all over the world that wars on America, its land, its people, its values. It is entire states, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia most prominently. Hatred is more prominent among Muslims than among Christians, Jews, Americans. We must not hate. For ten years America has successfully defended itself.  Too, it has not just defended, it has attacked:  in Iraq, Afghanistan, inside enemy Pakistan. It has killed, as it did bin Laden and his lieutenants. America must continue to attack, and to kill. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011


There is a sense of centrifugal force at work; there is a sense of rent seams; there is an image of a bird hitting an air pump.

The editorial collective at Public Occurrences processes information on the dismal science as Benjy Compson did the world (we write about it the same way). Greece is on the verge of default (again) and we have a sense this is not going to end well.

Earlier this summer there was such sound and fury over Greece's sovereign debt that even the editorial collective noticed.  It was the e.c.'s impressionistic sense that all that did not signify nothing but rather something.  And we urged Greece to do something.

Greece did, passing various laws to sell off state assets and cut public sector jobs, which laws sparked even more protests among Grecians but mollified Greece's European "partners" who released a "tranche" (new word for the e.c.) of emergency aid for the Grecian economy.

The problem is laws have to be implemented not just passed and the suspicion among Greece's European partners and other heavyweights at the International Monetary Fund and like that is that Greece has not done this.  And that has produced fury among the partners and the heavyweights and forgetting about another tranche for the moment, the partners and the heavies are "thinking out loud" about kicking Greece out of the single currency euro zone. According to some study by some Swiss bank that the e.c. read a summary of a summary of a summary of kicking Greece out of the e.z. would unleash the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse on the world economy, forgetting for the moment the Grecian economy, which the e.c. would like to forget for all the moments comprising eternity but which we can't because we're governable and mature.

Editor-in-chief Compson had the sense at the last meeting of the e.c. that the whole idea of a European Union may have been a big economic boo-boo.  And a charade.  European union appears nothing of the sort at this particular moment in the rent fabric of space-time. Germans in particular are upset and it has never been a good thing when Germans get upset with other Europeans over economics. So Benjy had a bad feeling about all this.
I a-am gov-er-nable, you're a Southeast Asian Up-lan-der.
No i-it doesn't. 
They're on the se-cond page;  that doesn't co-ount.
No mo-ore asterisks on the front pa-age.  Nah-nah na boo-boo, stick your head in doo-doo.

Friday, September 09, 2011

"The Art of Not Being Governed."

This book…Huh?  Oh hardy har-har; no, it is not a book about me.  I’m governable…What?..., subtitled “An Anarchist…Shhh!...History of Upland Southeast Asia” is by Yale University political science and anthropology professor James C. Scott. This book is covered in awesome sauce.

It is Professor Scott’s thesis that the people of the region described are not, for example, illiterate because government or civilization has not reached them and taught them to read and write, but rather that they have consciously (“the art”) decided not to learn in order to avoid some of the advantages of being governed, like, for example, TAXES.  Huh?  Pretty clever, non?  Tea Party enthusiasts read on.

It’s a controversial thesis. Parenthetically, oh (Parenthetically, Professor Scott writes in the preface, “I’m the only one to blame for this book. I did it.” Huh! Like this guy.)  On the one hand, the thesis “empowers” the Southeast Asian Uplanders, attributing to them a full share of the endowments with which their Creator…endowed them.  Thus, Professor Scott flummoxes those who become ungovernable when there is a whiff in the academic air that certain subgroups of the species homo sapiens are “primitive” and that to be “civilized” is “better.” On the other hand, it’s a peculiar endowment. To be so differently-abled that one, or in this case 100,000,000 ones, flummox all government and all its beneficence—down to and including literacy—really?  One hundred million homos consciously decided to do that?  No.  How would they have done that, Twitter? Ahh well, maybe.

Beyond—and above—controversial, this book is provocative and that is nearly the highest praise that can be given any intellectual work. James C. Scott travels in that thinly populated Upland of high academic achievement where he keeps good company with fellow anthropologists Claude Levi-Strauss and Clifford Geertz.

Image: Among the Hmong people of Laos.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Unpopular Posts

A couple of months ago Google provided a "widget" that enabled an up-to-date list of the T.T. posts to appear in the sidebar. 

That "obsoleted" me doing it once every three months when ennui completely overtook me and I wrote a This is Public Occurrences. That also just about obsoleted the other 1627 posts. Since that widget it seems like 99.9999999% of all pageviewers have alighted on the T.T. and none other.

So in the last couple weeks whenever I noticed an obscure post being clicked on and thought to do it I printed out the stat page to include it in a post like this-here. These are some recent one-click wonders:

-Benjamin Jones’ Art, A Review of His Drawings…., March 24, 2005.  That post gets clicked on every couple months, probably by Mr. Jones.

-Donald Kuspit, Quote Machine, Feb. 4, 2005.

-Justice, Dec. 4, 2008.

-Red Legacy in China, March 19, 2010.

-Hack Job: Technology Review and Nuland’s Attack on de Grey, January 23, 2005.

-Michael Chow’s House, Aug. 26, 2006.

-The Murder of Bian Zhongyun, April 6, 2007.

-Amr Khaled, March 20, 2006.

-Cold Fusion Yo-Yo, Dec. 9, 2005.

There was one reader from Azerbaijan today, one from Algeria; one from El Salvador on Aug. 23.

Search keywords, one each (today):

-“china women soldiers.”

-“patent leather fetish.” (see above)

- “ben harris blog.”

-“burmese communist party anthem.” (?)

-“kennedy half dollar hammer sickle.”

-“breast cut off.” (the posts on death-by-slicing)

-“liu tingting.”

-王晶垚 ("Jingyao,"  Wang Jingyao, Bian Zhongyun's widower)

Image: Buddha silkscreens in mi casa; photo by mi daughter, Dion Marie.