no cures

“no cures.”

No tears in the eyes of the youth
Patriotism is the new faith
“I am no criminal”
Blind masses of youth marching
Civil disobedience
“It’s not the ideology, it’s the people”
“It’s not the guns, it’s those damn bullets”
Not to question patriotism is to stagnate
and become blind followers to the new union
of the personality and power
Teflon coated politicians are a function
of the worshipping masses in Nike Air
shoes and
pictures of Amish farmers advertising
the new microwave dinners
The impressionable youth has
been emblazoned with the
distant distrust of life and the
trust of death
The disillusioned generation has
become the materialist image of the
thing they hated
The disillusioned legacy to the
unborn is bearing the fruit of discord
The secret becomes the top secret
the nixon doctrine becomes the
new amendment to the Constitution
and the Cambodian is now the
Involvement becomes a pact of
decimals and the Tuesday lunch group is the NSA
The sergeant-at-arms (and
legs and dismembering and shouting and fits
and bits and snarling …) forcing out the
dissenter to the group view
Why can’t my kids be conditioned?
My kids are suffering because the
others are Wrong. Let’s go back to
the good old days when we were
so confident in the country that we
end up in Vietnam …
Let’s fight for hope … with guns
and knives and grenades and tooth and
The war is over. long live the
I can’t make a difference is the
war cry of
America the beautiful even though
I don’t know why
American arrogance of the blue-eye
big-nosed Johnny Appleseed spreading the
seed of the golden apple
The victors write the history – the
youth of Vietnam and the American youth in
Vietnam are the history
The government didn’t win the war and
the hindsight condemnation of the
leaders is the pen and
cry of the lost innocence of the
lost lives of the lost youth
Political motivation is the numbness
of the new lost youth
I don’t know about that so don’t
tell me what I don’t want to deal with
Knowledge of is not power over:
knowledge is burden
The people of the world are going about
their business just tell them you’re in
power they won’t mind …
because they don’t care … they don’t
want to know
Can this country open its eyes and
wipe the rummy haze from
a dream of advisors in Panama
and the Vietnam legacy of advisor-
One person is not enough unless
you’re Hitler or
the wide-awake young prefect who
sleeps thru it all
I’m anti war, anti-calories, anti-red
meat, anti-anchovies, anti-gothic …
(what are you for?)
There must be another way (anti-status quo)
I’d die for this country no matter
what … (is that what you’re for?)
I’m here for the wrong reasons
I’m a naive uninformed
… American …
We’re all Americans
but we can kill ourselves …
(is that what you are for?)
We have a new youth, but who
is going to be the new Them?
The tiger’s back isn’t a strong enough
metaphor – we were Hoovered into
the filter bag (the Scylia and Charybdis
of American Myth)
The self-destructed Lincoln Log country
has to be put away
Rebuild the Lincoln Log Lego walls
(do we isolate ourselves again?
Let’s go back to the wilderness and
skip the walls (maybe we’ll find ewoks
hiding behind the trees)
The walls of orange yellow blue
white and red Lego blocks may be
safe but they’re ugly. They are the
monuments to the Glorious War dead
from the double-super-duper-new-and
improved American Jihad of those who
Islam the Walt Disney constructed teflon
Can we afford to draw lines anymore
between Us and Them
Is that what we
believe in? The amputation of our humanity
“You can tear the skin off but you’ll scream.”
I need to learn more … not only can I
not condemn what I understand …
Can I understand what comes after me?

copyright 1990 j.g.bell
originally appearing in ‘The Nascent’ literary and arts magazine 1990

The new battlestar …

Via “Design & Preparations Continue for the USA’s New CVN-21 Super-Carrier,”

“The combination of a new design nuclear propulsion plant and an improved electric plant are expected to provide 2-3 times the electrical generation capacity of previous carriers, which in turn enables systems like an Electromagnetic Aircraft Launching System …”

Can we start a petition to name the first one of these “Galactica”?

Don’t forget to privatize the works that work

Via Crooks and Liars, “Video of Random Shootings in Iraq“:

“The video has sparked concern that private security companies, which are not subject to any form of regulation either in Britain or in Iraq, could be responsible for the deaths of hundreds of innocent Iraqis.”

I didn’t think to add privatization as the next step after militarization, a slide from public agency through militarization to privatization. When the conversation is about public agencies competing against private companies what is meant is that there’s no profit for private entities. The tricky part is that one of the advantages of a public agency is that it does not have, or should not anyway, a profit motivation. The public agency has the luxury of being able to offer services that do not become profitable and even run in the red. So, when a public agency is condemned for not being economically efficient, that is exactly the reason that the service should stay in the public. When this service is privatized, the profit motive means that the service will have a doubly decreased budget – first the red must be absorbed and then the black must be appropriated for profit.

So, where an agency cannot be privatized, it is restructured to operate like a corporation. When that fails, the straw man of intrinsic failure is raised as a motivation to militarize or privatize the services. Reminds me of the strategy that I’ve identified previously in the way that Microsoft implements standards.

Militarizing disaster responses through corporate restructuring

I watched the Frontline about Katrina response and it appears pretty damning. Not only is the corporate takeover fatally flawed, but the corporate partisans are inept.

I’ve long thought that due to the delay between social movements and the appearance of adherents in the political system that we have entered the time when the yuppies and corporate raiders have taken office. It’s the morally bankrupt hostile cocaine culture that is now in power. The frame of government as corporation is showing itself to be a deadly filter. I’m not entirely comfortable with the assessment by Jane Jacobs of what happens when commerce and politics are mixed in her work Systems of Survival but that certainly comes to mind.

The current administration hates government that they do not benefit from. Frankly, I think they think they hate all government, but they love using the government for their own purposes. This creates a situation where policy is antithetical to the political goals of those in power. For example, nonspecific funds distributed under the label of homeland security becomes a massive corporate welfare check to industry involved in security technology. These security technology companies are vastly entangled with the military-industrial complex that has sought out a diversification during the cold war and in advance of what they feared most: the peace dividend. If government wasn’t spending on military, then they would lose their favourite teat.

A thought that occurs to me is that the reason that the corporate raiders are so hostile to FEMA as a functioning professional organization is that by gutting it and moving under homeland security FEMA becomes more militarized. They’ve been moving everything under the overall umbrella of the military-industrial-oil complex.