The way it happened
What was he thinking?
What was on their minds?
One pair of eyes
The urgent post-9/11 intelligence directive became: “Do more, do better, do it differently, and do it now.” In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing—a scant two months before Snowden’s first leaks—the FBI was accused of not doing enough to track suspected terrorist sympathizers (even though those suspicions had come from the Russian intelligence service formerly known as the KGB). Two events, two contradictory reactions by the American public: one demanding that the government take action to identify and defeat terrorist threats, the other wary and untrusting of that same government.
What It Takes: In Defense of the NSA | World Affairs Journal – November/December 2013.
Burning Man 2013 : Truth is Beauty – YouTube – Posted 9/2/2013.
When old age shall this generation waste,
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say’st,
‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.’
Truth IS beautiful.
Deception is what is ugly.
Those who promote fear and do so with deceit also on occasion promote the “black swan” theory, the idea that nature produces an improbable event — like life on earth, for example, or two schnooks setting off compression cooker bombs cruelly designed to cut the legs from beneath marathon runners.
The grim review of improvised explosive devices deployed to encourage the adoption of “Islamic values” — or to discourage and subjugate others in the name of Islam — suggests such events are less “black swans”, or “bolts out of the blue” — another trite analog that works — than whole flocks of malevolent black crows.
We know when Hitchcock isn’t maligning you, you’re actually playful creatures.
In online chatyping, the subject of secrecy in Jihad / anti-Jihad activities and other spheres has come up, and I’ve playfully suggested the obvious: change computers and location, persona and voice.
The day of the jackals has arrived.
Revert thoughts and data to paper — then burn the paper and rely on memory.
Some professions, say the performing arts, place premiums on memorization as the fundamental part of the craft.
Notably, in English literary arts, a part of the graduate examinations involve questions about who you know and what you know about them, but “who” and “them” may number among the thousands of characters of historic fictions.
In Arabic literature, I am guessing, the “who” and “them” may be the souls legend from earlier generations.
Indeed, my favorite correspondent on many subtopics Islamic suggests that operational code will only drill more deeply into remote corners of Islamic scripture, commentary, and law. The scholars of interest (believing themselves ” . . . more powerful against the devil than one thousand worshipers”) would seem suspected of having their own communications, command, and control language subculture, and that in Arabic, within the depths of Arabic, and tucked away and harbored like precious and useful intellectual metal.
Beginning with George Washington’s first State of the Union Address, in which he requested a secret fund for clandestine activities, intelligence has been an instrument to achieve the broad goals of the American people and the policies advanced by their duly elected representatives.
What It Takes: In Defense of the NSA | World Affairs Journal (as cited above)
Deception is easy.
Put on a mask and other elements of costume; alter the walk and the talk; step out of primary character and into some other creature; and work it for a while.
Truth is hard.
One has to live with it and in the company of others who challenge and entertain about the same observations and perceptions. If, whatever it may be, proves relentlessly reliable and obstreperously valid — true! and whether we like it or not — it acquires a stability all its own and needs no help by way of arms, punishments, and threats.
The truth is not belief but a stubborn “is” and unmindful and uncaring of whatever human investment may be in it or not.
In the quotation section to the left of where you’re reading, you will find this from Maimonides:
“Truth does not become more true if the whole world were to accept it; nor does it become less true if the whole world were to reject it.”
And I thought I was being original.
Be that as it may, the deceitful, I believe, persist in bending truth to will, the better to beatify and glorify themselves, to make themselves legend, eternally regarded — and that if not in greater social realities than their own heads and small and deeply isolated circles.
In recent months also, I have read of lineage traced back to King David, an argument for the divine allocation of the right to rule over others.
No cyber or real space visit to a sanitarium was involved.
As a Jew, I have been gently but firmly reminded of God’s demands for animal sacrifice and the restoration of Judaism to literal Levitican standards.
Again, no cyber or real space visit to a sanitarium was involved.
If such beliefs, levers, and sentiments have been suspended by mind in the language cherished by some minds, in just how many heads do the same arrangements persist?
What was read?
What was heard?
What was consequently formulated (about royal bloodlines, say, or irrational obligations and rituals)?
While I believe the human capacity for language invention and the invention of language-congruent cultural behavior bounded only by the necessities of place and responses to them plus desire and its many facets, I believe also that symbolic arrangements in language may be mapped, comprehended, and remapped. When that remapping has taken place in the natural development of a culture, and, say, “twerking” makes its way from youth novelty to something boring old grandmother used to do, we note the remarkable ability and flexibility English has for adaptive evolution; when force comes to erase or overlay a culture and its language, we think of that as cultural warfare and the prize is what is prised from the possession of the minds targeted.
In Tim Shorrock’s Spies for Hire, the annual budget cited for secret U.S. intelligence operations in their totality was $52 billion.
I hope there is some money in that green ocean for poets.
Alfred Hitchcock’s”The Birds” in 1 minute, and 40 seconds. – YouTube – Posted 12/4/2006.
# # #
“When a mother nourishes an infant, she imparts language too and with it, possibly, the earliest and most deeply embedded attitudes, beliefs, and corresponding speech behaviors and related manners.”
The statement chatyped in passing earlier today may be more easily stated (done) than proven, and yet if “war begins in the heart” as some say, then it begins the arrangement of symbols in language metonymy, i.e., the poetry of the culture and its methods of encoding and decoding speech.
“For the record, Jewish thought, as little as I may know of it, may reject or overarch the Christian invention of “Original Sin”.
The emphasis I have found in cursory online reading more involves the human awakening to life and, indeed, its travail. While the story contains an admonition (“Don’t eat the apple”), a crime (the snake tempted Eve who eats the apple and has Adam share her fate — rather like marriage, that), and a punishment, the whole involving the “fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil” may signal the removal of the human from a less conscious natural order to one, as I’ve suggested, suddenly conscious, self-aware (self-conscious), and conscionable, i.e., aware of right and wrong.
“In the canon of modern American poetry, Robert Frost entertains the natural observation of something similar in “After Apple Picking”, a description of human work and cares quite different from the habits of other animal nature:
“Speaking as a Jew: the traditions in English literature twine with the history of Christianity and the presence of the Enlightenment, and there has been in that a tension maintained between clerical and natural views of man’s existence and cultural and social ways. I think we are old enough — I hope I am — to understand even from a one-language perspective (my limitation, unfortunately) that other languages contain and sustain other histories, ideas, and potentials.
“We are all lucky chatyping here in English to have an extensive technology for common discourse, but even so, English language and culture would die if it had only itself for company. As nature and necessity inspire invention, languages, being cultural tools, may benefit, so I happen to think, from inventions and updates from within themselves.”
“The river between languages may be the one I will never cross (no luck, no discipline, insufficient focus, so far — I have only English), but most here cross back and forth all the time, a good thing with a powerful potential, not to turn the whole world into English gardens but growing and vibrant other gardens.”
It’s not courage and strength that lend themselves to fascism, any format, but fear and weakness that allows such juggernauts to overtake men and women unprepared for it or vulnerable to its pandering and its promises. Time and again, as much happens — and it can happen anywhere — and to head it off, because the fascistic impulse is always unnatural, unsustainable, and tragic, one asks for a more informed and strengthened common humanity — that is work for language but not just one language.
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* * *
The second video may confuse language a little bit — today, in fact, it takes contemporary state power to genuinely protect uncontacted peoples (there are few around) and pockets of primitive tribes that have had some missionary and trade contact (I’ve the Pirahã and Dan Everett in mind) but, so far, and of their own volition, have chosen to remain put. What I believe Geller has in her sites is a political program, the one driving Hamas and Hizbollah and Jamaat-i-Islamia; also the one whipping up a maelstrom of death, displacement, and destruction between Shia and Sunni sects and others in Pakistan, Iraq, and Syria; and then the fans of the 7th Century, who would seem to transgress all limits with the killing of their own and of innocents, even in mosques.
If ye olde white man says, “This is just cowboys and Indians”, he might be rightfully rebuked as ignorant and racist.
But if a hip black poet says the same thing, summoning up the white ghost of Rousseau’s revered noble savage, then it is a war against “indigenous” — who was really of-the-land provides an endless topic for the expression of vitriol in the middle east hate-peace peace groups on Facebook — and the modern, thank God, have an unfair advantage in military power.
This is how the hip, fashionable, and devolutionary (also, alas, romantic) of the New Old Now Old Lost and Far Out Left find themselves upside-down and, most ironically, extending the conflicts and warfare they proclaim to protest.
When the “indigenous” of Gaza (minus the Jewish indigenous of Gaza) get really sick, they’re not necessarily stuck with crying out for mud plasters and prayer (or revolutionary poetry): they may find themselves in a modern hospital more amply prepared (than Gaza’s also modern medical system) to receive them in Israel.
So, back to the Transportation Poster Wars: how representative are CAIR and ISNA of the Muslim voice?
Same question: Muslim Canadian Congress? American Islamic Forum for Democracy?
Will North America, for starters, witness a shift in volunteered civic alliance?
How long will the violence accepting, enabling, or promoting behaviors of one or two (or more) key Muslim civic organizations be keeping Steve Emerson, Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer and others rightfully — dutifully, ethically, morally — in business, i.e., out of the obsessive (would there were not so much material to keep it going) “Jihad Watch” business?