Friday, November 9, 2012

The hidden major party, the key to political by Fabius Maximus: Non-voters are our largest political “party”, mostly ignored by gurus in the new media. Neither the Left or Right has successfully appealed to them. The first to do so with even modest success will dominate our government, perhaps for generations.

The hidden major party, the key to political
control of America

9 November 2012

by Fabius Maximus

tags: democratic party, election, politics, presidential election, republican party

Summary: Non-voters are our largest political “party”, mostly ignored by gurus in the new media. Neither the Left or Right has successfully appealed to them. The first to do so with even modest success will dominate our government, perhaps for generations.

1.About our largest party…

2.… the key to political dominance

3.About those demographics

4.A mass movement that captures a party

(1) About our largest party …

From “Refusing to vote either red or blue” by Andrew Gelman, New York Daily News, 8 November 2012 — “Some 40% of eligible voters stayed away on Tuesday or cast ballots for third-party candidates”

When it comes to public opinion, the story is different. The Democrats may well benefit in 2014 and 2016 from the anticipated slow but steady recovery of the economy over the next few years — but, as of 6 November 2012, the parties are essentially tied, with Barack Obama receiving 51% of the two-party vote, compared to Mitt Romney’s 49%, a split comparable to Al Gore’s narrow victory in 2000, Richard Nixon’s in 1968, and John Kennedy’s in 1960. Over the next few months, you will be hearing a lot about Obama’s non-mandate, and rightly so.

But here I want to talk about a slightly different split of the voting-eligible population: the approximately 30% who voted for Obama, the nearly identical number who chose Romney, and the 40% who did not vote at all or who voted for minor-party candidates.

(2) … the key to political dominance in America

Our two major parties are almost equal in strength. Small factors determine who wins each election. Such as the slow GDP growth that gave the winning edge to Obama, geopolitical events, even the geographic distribution of votes.

Our winner take all system can magnifies even small wins in the popular votes into large outcomes in Congress (although not this year). Offsetting this, the Constitution’s political machinery prevents rapid change except when one party has the Presidency and large majorities in both the House and Senate. That’s almost impossible to achieve when the parties have almost equal strength.

This situation will tip eventually. Until then there are two scenarios we should watch for.

                          (a) Political glitches

Sometimes a nation’s political machinery fails to work due to circumstances and personalities. Such as those that produced the English Civil War (1641 – 1651). Today’s delicate balance of power between the two parties probably makes this kind of failure more likely, as does the intense rhetoric deployed by both sides (largely, IMO, to disguise their similar policies).

                          (b) The balance of power lies in the non-participants.

The plurality of non-voters offers the potential for one party to gain a decisive edge. Swaying even a small fraction would suffice. This is potentially a far larger factor than the “swing” or “independent” voters, in fact a tiny group important only because the parties are so close in size.

Who are the non-voters? Mostly are what political scientists charitably call “low information” citizens. Many are low-income. Many are young.

Another large fraction, other than including some of the young and poor, are disaffected citizens. They have lost confidence in the political system, or the government, or even our political regime. Some are have fringe beliefs, outside the political mainstream.

A small change in their participation could radically reshape the political landscape. This is, IMO, easier to do than achieving a large change in party allegiance, which is quite stable in the US. The party that finds a way to mobilizes even a small number of these will run America for the next political generation.

(3) About those demographics

Many non-voters are of ethnic minorities. These groups are often seen as the Democratic Party’s guarantee of future power. As in this excerpt from “The GOP’s Hispanic Nightmare“, Matthew Yglesias, Slate, 7 November 2012 — “Republicans’ minority outreach problems go way, way beyond immigration.”

Pundits are quickly turning to immigration to explain the Republicans’ Latino problem and to offer a possible cure, but the reality is that the rot cuts much deeper. The GOP doesn’t have a problem with Latino voters per se. Rather, it has a problem with a broad spectrum of voters who simply don’t feel that it’s speaking to their economic concerns. The GOP has an economic agenda tilted strongly to the benefit of elites, and it has preserved support for that agenda — even though it disserves the majority of GOP voters — with implicit racial politics.

That’s true today, but a determined effort by GOP leaders could change this. As Charles Krauthammer says in today’s Washington Post:

They should be a natural Republican constituency: striving immigrant community, religious, Catholic, family-oriented and socially conservative (on abortion, for example).

Making the GOP a multi-ethnic party is perhaps their greatest strategic challenge. Solving this might open the politically uninvolved to the GOP’s song.

(4) A mass movement that captures a party

I believe the current party system has decayed, just coasting on the money of our ruling elites and institutional momentum. The symptoms are visible, if we care to look. The grossly unrepresentative Senate, much like the rotten boroughs of 18th century England. The increasingly inexperienced — often weird — candidates that dominate Federal elections. The convergence of the two parties’ policies.

These result in a weak political system, vulnerable to take-over by an organized groups — especially one with a charismatic leader. A group that appeals to the plurality of non-voting citizens, mobilizing them to ends outside the imagination of today’s party leaders. History offers many examples, most fearful to behold.

The coming years might hold large surprises for America.

So many people in this 21st century United States have allowed themselves to become entrapped in the fallacious paradigm of Democrat and Republican chicanery, subterfuge, hypocrisy and insanity. So many people continue to view the life and death struggle of everyday Black, White, Brown, Red, and Yellow people as if it is a my side versus your side spectator sport, or a mechanized video game of winners and losers. It is not. It is a serious, long, hard, and protracted struggle to replace this rotten, filthy, unjust, and corrupt political system.


Keeping it Real with Larry Pinkney

Black Commentator Editorial Board

"There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people."

- Howard Zinn

"America is false to the past, false to the present, and solemnly binds herself to be false to the future."

- Frederick Douglass

As this, the latter part of the year 2012, slips toward the year 2013, our nation and our planet of Mother Earth moves ever closer to extinction.

So many people in this 21st century United States have allowed themselves to become entrapped in the fallacious paradigm of Democrat and Republican chicanery, subterfuge, hypocrisy and insanity. So many people continue to view the life and death struggle of everyday Black, White, Brown, Red, and Yellow people as if it is a my side versus your side spectator sport, or a mechanized video game of winners and losers. It is not. It is a serious, long, hard, and protracted struggle to replace this rotten, filthy, unjust, and corrupt political system.

In the very name of the everyday people of this nation we now have a legalized NDAA (National 'Defense' Authorization Act of 2012) de facto police-state that can indefinitely imprison in this country both U.S. citizens and non-U.S. citizens - without charge, trial, jury, or legal defense. In our name, U.S. predator drone missiles are dismembering and murdering women, infants, entire families, and old & young men alike - in Africa, South Asia, and the 'Middle East.' In our name! Over 80% of those murdered by these deadly, terroristic U.S. predator drone missiles are noncombatant innocents! Yet, even so-called 'combatants' deserve to be charged and tried, and the right to present a legal defense. But not in this de facto corporate 'American' police-State! But who gives a damn?! Do you? Do you understand the national and international ramifications of this even as it relates to you, your family, your friends and associates? Do you give a damn?!

In our name, we have an official 'Kill List' that allows for the murder of anyone, anywhere in the world (including of U.S. citizens), who are designated by the U.S. corporate-owned president / Commander-In-Chief as being supposed "threats." The hell with being charged or receiving a trial, a jury or a legal defense! This has been done and is being done in our name! The hell with the U.S. constitution and international law! The hell with justice! The hell with the needs and political & human rights of everyday ordinary people in this nation and throughout Mother Earth. Is this what you really want?!

And some persons have the unmitigated audacity to allegedly wonder why this nation's corporate-government is increasingly loathed throughout the world?! Get real!!!

So, be sure to run to the voting booths / recruiting chambers - and vote for the Democrat or Republican corporate fascist of your choice!!! After all, you're just a hamster - right?! Well are you?!

Things really don't have to be this way.

There is the option of we everyday people regaining our humanity and resisting and reversing the destruction of our civil liberties, corporate hegemony, economic austerity for the masses of people, and perpetual wars and military adventurism. There is another option. But of course that means that you would have to critically think and act accordingly, doesn't it?

We, none of us, can any longer claim "the mantle of ignorance." Make your choice! Choose your humanity and that of your / our brothers and sisters nationally and internationally; or choose hypocrisy, servitude and ultimate oblivion. The choice is yours.

The time has come to resist and end economic and political tyranny! The time has come to join collectively together - Black, White, Brown, Red, And Yellow - and to say through word and deed, NO MORE! The time has come to demand and struggle uncompromisingly for real systemic change.

You can, through inaction and illusion, try to ignore the blood on your /our hands - but sooner or later "the chickens will [euphemistically] come home to roost." Remember: Things do not have to be this way, but they will remain so and will indeed worsen unless and until we, the everyday people, collectively change them. Make your choice the choice for systemic change, the choice for humanity and for a creatively new and more humane model. Oh, yes! The choice really is yours. It's up to you and all of us.

Each one, reach one. Each one, teach one. Onward, then, my sisters and brothers. Onward! Editorial Board member and Columnist, Larry Pinkney, is a veteran of the Black Panther Party, the former Minister of Interior of the Republic of New Africa, a former political prisoner and the only American to have successfully self-authored his civil / political rights case to the United Nations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. In connection with his political organizing activities in opposition to voter suppression, etc., Pinkney was interviewed in 1988 on the nationally televised PBS News Hour, formerly known as The MacNeil / Lehrer News Hour. For more about Larry Pinkney see the book, Saying No to Power: Autobiography of a 20th Century Activist and Thinker, by William Mandel [Introduction by Howard Zinn]. (Click here to read excerpts from the book.) Click here to contact Mr. Pinkney.

On some positions, Cowardice asks the question, “Is it safe?” Expediency asks the question, “Is it politic?” And Vanity comes along and asks the question, “Is it popular?” But Conscience asks the question “Is it right?” And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because Conscience tells him it is right.

Nov 1, 2012 - Issue 492

HHhH: The Story of Resistance

Represent Our Resistance

By Dr. Lenore J. Daniels, PhD

BC Editorial Board

While its successive campaigns, with apparent conclusive logic, held out to the Germans the prospect of a vast world empire in which, thanks to the fact that they belonged to the chosen people, they would all be able to embark on the most glittering careers…while we, the oppressed, lived below sea level…and had to watch as the SS pervaded the economy of the entire country, and one business after another was handed over to the German trustees…

For halfway up the walls of the entrance hall…there were stones escutcheons bearing symbolic sheaves of corn, crossed hammers, winged wheels, and so on, with heraldic motif of the beehive standing not, as one might at first think, for nature made serviceable to mankind, or even industrious labor as a social good, but symbolizing the principle of capital accumulation.

-W.G. Sebald, Austerlitz

On some positions, Cowardice asks the question, “Is it safe?” Expediency asks the question, “Is it politic?” And Vanity comes along and asks the question, “Is it popular?” But Conscience asks the question “Is it right?” And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because Conscience tells him it is right.

-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution”

(March 31, 1968)

In his review of Laurent Binet’s novel, HHhH, (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, translator Sam Taylor,2009, American Edition, 2012), New Yorker critic James Wood recounts his visit last year to the American Ambassador’s residence in Prague (May 21, 2012) Otto Petschek, whose family was “among the wealthiest families in Czechoslovakia,” built the villa (which includes the ambassador’s residence) in the late nineteen-twenties. The Petschek’s, German-speaking Jews, writes Wood, foresaw “the horrors that awaited them, and fled Prague in 1938, a year before the German occupation of the city.

More than guest of the current ambassador, Wood is a friend, and as friend, the ambassador had something “telling” to share with Wood.

He got me to lie on my back and peer at the underside of some piece of ambassadorial furniture. There, on the naked wood, was a faded Nazi stamp, with swastika and eagle; and next to it, quietly triumphant in its very functionality, was a bar code strip, proclaiming the American government’s present ownership.

It was something he would never forget, writes Wood.

That is it! The American ambassador points out the swastika and eagle of former owners and the bar code strip of the present owners. Maybe, I think, for the ambassador, the latter symbol is that of triumph over fascism. At any rate, I am not going to look up the name of the current American Ambassador sitting now in this building once used by the Nazi regime. I do not think it matters.

But Wood pursues a line of thought. If this shift in symbols had been “invented” by a novelist, would the information be considered “worthless” while the same narrative, authenticated by a historian would have more value? “An invented reality is not identical with an actual reality,” Wood explains. “I take special pleasure in recording its actuality, but I can imagine relishing it in a novel.”

The author of this debut-novel, writes Wood, thinks otherwise. Binet, Wood suggests, opposes the idea of “invented facts” and “invented characters.” Such invention would have “no place in historical fiction,” as it would “weaken” the work “both aesthetically and morally.”

In HHhH, Wood continues, “Binet has written a historical novel of sorts, a book that, if not quite full of invented details, certainly uses invention…while apologizing for doing so.” Binet, he adds, has his cake and eats it too while crying over “the split crumbs.”

Laurent Binet, a professor of history and a writer of fiction, (Wood: “the French writer and academic,” telling too!), and a relatively young man, (born: 1972), certainly knows history, unlike the young and older citizens in the U.S., many of whom would have difficulty locating Prague on a map, let alone knowing the history of the U.S. - the history not colored by invented narration. I think Binet knows all about the purposeful art of invented narration.

Specifically, Binet knows the history of fascism and of resistance. I think it is safe to say that the resistance movement against fascism is standard fare in academia in his country. Here in the U.S., a history of the peoples’ resistance is not taught at all, unless relegated to a few pages in the history textbooks. Here, there is more of a movement to erase history.

History, particularly of resistance is often told by the ultimate victors.

The Nazis believed they were curing the world of its illness: Jews, homosexuals, communists, ethnically “impure” populations, and, in turn, they filled their historical documents, (manifestos, speeches, interviews, diaries, pamphlets), with invented images of saviors and monsters. It is the narrative of the neo-Nazi (and others not so blatantly labeled) to this day. In the U.S., a few years ago, Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and the U.S. had documents, (manifestos, speeches, interviews, diaries, pamphlets), to prove it! Apparently, it was convincing.

I am not sure how fair it is to compare Binet’s effort to re-tell a historical event in a novel to W.G. Sebald’s novel, Austerlitz. This is playing at academic nitpicking. Unfortunately, the late German writer, Sebald, one of my favorite writers, died in a car accident in 2003. He was an older, more experienced writer, “internationally” recognized (usually everywhere but in the U.S.) Austerlitz’s fictional namesake of Jewish heritage is born in Prague, and after the death of his parents in the Holocaust, Wood explains, he is bound for England on the Kindertransport, where “he escapes his fate.”

Sebald’s novel is quite as self-aware as Binet’s: it uses enigmatic, layered storytelling, along with photographs, to produce something akin to Binet’s mediation on fiction and the difficulty of writing history. But it has a searching, unbroken intensity, a formal difficulty, even a forbidden quality that Binet’s very appealing novel lacks.

For example, Wood continues, Binet’s description of “the Theresienstadt ghetto… sounds as if he’d worked it up from the Wikipedia.”

Binet is not Sebald. HHhH is not Austerlitz, and Sebald, for the most part, examines the lack of resistance on the part of most German and Europeans during the Nazi regime and the consequences “quietly” noted by his “fictional” narrator as he walks along the countryside or visits an historical museum either in England or in Germany.

Binet’s focus is resistance, the resistance of ordinary people, specifically in Czechoslovakia, despite the narrative proclaiming the power and the might of Nazism.

I could argue that Wood’s example of Binet’s description of “the Theresienstadt ghetto” is taken out of context, as they say.

The first convey left for Riga on January 9, 1942: a thousand people, of whom 105 would survive. The second convoy, a week later, also sent to Riga: a thousand people, 16 survivors…There is nothing unusual in this dreadful numerical progression toward 100 percent. It is just another sign of the Germans’ famous efficiency.

For me, it reflects the efficiency of our daily news reports on drone attacks in Pakistan or in Afghanistan, Wikipedia aside - and, most often, minus number of civilian casualties.

Binet’s description of the H among Hs is as vivid as is his description of the courageous parachutists, the resisters.

HHhH is not, for me, as Wood claims, a novel “about the rise and fall of Reinhard Heydrich, the monster whom even Hitler called ‘the man with the iron heart.’” Even Wood acknowledges that Binet has stated that Heydrich is not the protagonist of his book. “Heydrich is there - at the center of everything,” Binet has written (New Yorker), but he is not the subject of the novel. And while Hitler called him “the man with the iron heart,” the people of Czechoslovakia called him the “Butcher of Prague” - and it is from this perspective that Binet writes his historical novel, HHhH.

Wood’s “monster” would imply that Heydrich or someone like him is merely a “fictional” character like, maybe, Dracula or Darth Vader or those characters at in Monster Inc., forgive me, according to Wikipedia, “a 2001 American computer-animated comedy adventure” in which “monsters generate their city’s power by scaring children.”

Laurent Binet is a historian, but HHhH is not an excursion into history for history sake. Unlike the literature currently written in the U.S., this author is not indulging a fantastical tale for the sake of the market. Writer, Toni Morrison, once stated:

If anything I do, in the world of writing novels or whatever I write, isn’t about the village or the community or about you, then it isn’t about anything. I am not interested in indulging myself in some private exercise of my imagination…which is to say yes, the work must be political…

Perhaps prominent writers in the West today fear identifying with another writer who, in turns, identifies with resisters. Perhaps, too, I am reading too much in HHhH, but it seems to me Binet asks the following questions: How does one person or a collective battle to destroy so destructive an idea as fascism once unleashed into the world, an idea that is very human, and is able to re-grow its tentacles, and is able to rebound to life in ever more creative ways? By the same token, in the face of the seemingly insurmountable, what is it that resisters pursue at great risk, at the point of death?

The title of Binet’s novel, HHhH, refers to Reinhard Heydrich - “Himmlers Hirn heist Heydrich,” that is, “Himmler’s brain is called Heydrich.” As the brain for the SS head, Himmler, it is Heydrich who thinks the plan and coordinates the Final Solution. The brainchild for the Final Solution, called the “Blond Beast,” represents the human mind at its worst, producing mayhem, suffering, and death on the belief that he and the Nazi pogrom are doing the world, (and Germany, of course), good. Heydrich’s idea must be killed. It is, as Binet characterizes, a bold and ambitious plan. Kill the thinker who makes concrete the extermination of other human beings a solution to an imagined problem.

For this reason, Binet’s novel begins by introducing the reader first to Jozef Gabcik and then to Jan Kubis (the first line of the novel begins, (“Gabcik - that’s his name - really did exist”). “His story is truly extraordinary. He and his comrades are, in my eyes, the authors of one of the greatest acts of resistance in human history, and without doubt the greatest of the Second World War.” Gabcik and his team of parachutists, young people readers may not know as well as the Hs because history, particularly of resistance is often told by the ultimate victors, have been part of the writer/narrator’s imagination since childhood, since his father told him the story “pronouncing the words ‘partisans,’ ‘Czechoslovaks,’ perhaps ‘operation,’ certainly ‘assassinate,’ and then the date: ‘1942’.” The writer/narrator, for years, imagined Gabcik lying in some room with shutters closed, listening to the tram.

The writer/narrator wants to pay “tribute” to these men, but of course, would it be a “tribute” to add what he, the author, imagines?

The writer/narrator tells us that he has spent years researching the whole story as possible, that is, the surrounding discourse, including, books, biographies, manuscripts, photographs, cartoons, newsprint, films, (commercial, documentaries, propaganda), diaries, speeches, signed and unsigned Nazi documents, and testimonies of the perpetrators as well as surviving witnesses and comrades and compared all this information to what he had remembered from his father’s stories and what he had learned in school.

The writer/narrator imagined and asked questions of the material becoming, since it had already been, a part of him. It was already his history. It is the usual process of learning that can be exciting and sometimes unsettling - as many citizens in the U.S. can testify to, so reading corporate logos and bar-codes at the malls is less challenging.

In his youth, the writer/narrator of HHhH also learned from his father that Slovaks collaborated with the Nazis and the Czech resisted. “In my child’s mind, this meant that all Czechs had been resistance fighters and all Slovaks collaborators, as if by nature.” He soon understood he had simplified the issue: “hadn’t we, the French, both resisted and collaborated?”

But here is Gabcik (Slovak) and Kubis (Czech), for Binet, the protagonists, rising above expectations. It is Binet’s intention to engross the reader with the story of these two resisters, young, with the future ahead of them, with the aspirations of youth. Yet, we meet Gabcik and Kubis training in England for the mission in Prague. There is no certainty of their safe return to England.

These two men have become part of the historical landscape: Aurelia, the young woman in question, had learned their names in school, like all the little Czechs and Slovaks of her generation. She knew the broad outline of the story, but not much more than my warrant officer. I had to wait two or three years before I knew for sure what I had always suspected - that this story was more fantastic and intense than the most improbable fiction. (HHhH)

What of Reinhard Heydrich’s story or that of the Nazis? At the Wannsee Conference, January 20, 1942, “Heydrich and his assistant Eichmann set down the methods of enforcing the Final Solution,” as if it was just another day at the office. And for Heydrich, it was another day at work.

By this time, mass executions had already begun in Poland and the USSR but they had been entrusted to the SS extermination commandos, the Einsatzgruppen, who simply rounded up their victims by the hundreds, sometimes by the thousands, often in a field or a forest, before killing them with sub-machine guns.

While the job of extermination had to be carried out, did it have to be so messy, so time consuming? The “method” “tested the executioners’ nerves and harmed troops’ morale.” (So compassion was considered - just not for the “monstrous” victims of execution). Even Himmler “fainted” while attending one of these executions, the writer/narrator informs us. So it was up to Himmler’s right hand man, Heydrich, to think. And he did. “After Wannsee, the extermination of the Jews - which Heydrich entrusted to the tender care of his faithful Eichmann - was administered as a logistical, social, and economic project on a very large scale.”

Heydrich, “head of the secret services of the Nazi Party and the SS,” becomes Heydrich, “the interim Protector of the Reich of Bohemia and Moravia in September, 1941. Heydrich wants to make a good impression and become the Protector - no interim Protector. Hence the Wannsee Conference and the Final Solution! “It was at the Wannsee that the genocide was rubber-stamped.” (In the West, where the American Eagle flies high, these conferences are called “summits” today, and no - the people are not called upon to sit at the great tables and sup and debate their fate).

No longer need the task of be given, more or less on the quiet (if you can really talk of killing millions of people ‘on the quiet’), to a few death squads; now the entire political and economic infrastructure of the regime is at their disposal.

Passages on little Heydrich and violin lessons and school days when his classmates called him “Suss” because of his “hooked” nose and rumors of Jewish blood in his family. The writer/narrator offers a picture of a young Heydrich and his father and a probable or an improbable dialogue about the war. Why, asks the young man. “Because France and England are jealous of Germany, my son?” Invented dialogue? Yes, says the writer/narrator but “reconstructed from more or less firsthand accounts with the idea of breathing life into dead pages of history.”

Only yesterday, it seems, I recall a similar scene, only it is Bush II to the citizens of the U.S. after September 2001. Because they want to take away our freedom! They are jealous!). The young, sign up to fight. The rest of you, go shopping! The “logistical, social, and economic project on a very large scale” - again!

The young Heydrich joins the Freikrops. The young Heydrich thinks of defending the idea behind the dialogue, the idea of racial, social, and economic superiority.

Did Heydrich really come to the Reich regime from nowhere? Did he really rise to the top of the Nazi government from somewhere below to become the Butcher of Prague?

On the other hand, we are told that Gabcik and Kubis had never been to Prague. We see them in camaraderie with each other and other members of the resistance, including simple people, sympathetic families, housewives, and children. There are young women and girlfriends who love them and wish them success. We see nothing in their description to suggest they are prone to violent thoughts, but clearly, HHhH tracks the resisters as they train and fight. We are told how the comrades respond when one of their members is killed in battle. We know how those men and the women, families, and children respond when news of deportations and massacres of their fellow countrymen and women reaches them.

What distinguishes the violence on behalf of the Czech resisters from those of Heydrich’s gang? It has been asked and seems, in hindsight, self-evident. But HHhH asks that we, the reader, consider the question of violence again in light of current invasions, wars, repressive and austerity measures at home expanded globally. Or have the resistance movements of the past been labeled with a bar code and marketed as past action once understandable because politically advantageous to the ultimate victors in our own era?

France, under the newly-elected Socialist, Holland, announced it will join the EU and the U.S. in drone surveillance operations in Mali against al-Qaeda (Guardian, October 22, 2012). Germany’s Merkel announced that her country is prepared to train Malian security forces, providing “material and logistical support.” The level of international cooperation, claims one source in the Malian government, is “unprecedented.”

In the meantime, “in dire poverty,” the people of Mali, according to Chance Briggs, national director of World Vision, face food and nutrition challenges. “It would be intolerable to see further pain and suffering heaped on children and their families in Mali. They have enough to deal with in the past few months.”

Like the people of Czechoslovakia, foreign flags, symbols, and eventually bar codes arrive in your country whether you are in need of “freedom” or not.

Back in Czechoslovakia, the Butcher of Prague never sleeps.

The day - May 27, 1942 - has been selected. Gabcik and Kubis’s boss, Colonel Moravec, based on the latter’s memoirs, summoned the men “separately” before the mission - to warn them of the “most probable outcome.”

For Gabcik, the mission is a war operation, and the risk of being killed goes with the job…

Kubis thanks the colonel for having chosen him for such an important mission…

Both men say they would rather die than fall into the hands of the Gestapo.

You are Czech or Slovak. You do not like it when they tell you what to do, not when they hurt people - that’s why you decide to leave your country and join up elsewhere with your compatriots who are resisting the invader… The French make you join the Foreign legion…But you do finally end up with a Czechoslovak division formed in a town full of Spanish refugees, and you fight alongside the French when they in turn are attacked by the Nazis…You join the special forces and are trained in various grandly named castles all over Scotland and England. You jump, you shoot, you fight, you throw grenades…You believe in justice and you believe in vengeance. You are brave, willing, and gifted. You are ready to die for your country. You are becoming something that grows inside you, and that begins, little by little, to be bigger than you, but at the same time you remain very much yourself. You are a simple man. You are a man.

You are Josef Gabcik or Jan Kubis, and you are going to make history.

Even the writer/narrator of HHhH is present on May 27, 1942.

Here I am, exactly where I wanted to be. A volcano of adrenaline sets ablaze the curve in Holesovice Street. It is the precise instant when the sum of individual microdecisions, transformed solely by the forces of instinct and fear, will allow history to perform one of its most resounding convulsions, or hiccups.

Goebbel’s diary dated May 28, 1942: “An alarming rumor comes from Prague.”

Praised by Hitler himself, Heydrich is the man who brought the city of Prague under the orderly control of the Nazi regime. Heydrich, the “Blond Beast,” who, the writer/narrator imagines, imagines his image as death itself soaring: “Everyone is afraid of you, even your boss…” But maybe not everyone!

A poster reads:


The events of this day are already history - as are the deaths of Gabcik and Kubis, both of whom fought bravely to the very end. “It had taken eight hundred SS storm troopers nearly eight hours to get the better of seven men.”

Heydrich dies from wounds sustained in the car bombing but not the ability of government to mobilize those committed to institutionalize repressive methods of control. As the writer/narrator points out, Heydrich was dismissed from the Germany Navy on April 30, 1931, and, there after, the doors of the Freikorps are open to him. Of course, the Freikorps! - the writer/narrator’s father exclaims. Why not, since it was the “paramilitary organization dedicated to the struggle against Bolshevism.” Who “rubber-stamped” their existence? The Social Democratic government! “My father would say there was nothing surprising about that…the Socialists have always been traitors…it was indeed a Socialist who crushed the Spartacist uprising and had Rosa Luxemburg executed. By the Freikorps.”

If this shift in symbols had been “invented” by a novelist, would the information be considered “worthless” while the same narrative, authenticated by a historian would have more value?

Heydrich is recognized by his peers and supervisors as a grateful “public servant” whose “duty was to prevent factory occupations and to ensure the smooth running of public services in the event of a general strike.” Here, Binet suggest, is where Heydrich acquires his “acute sense of duty toward the state,” and uses his imagination thinking of more and more repressive methods on behalf of the state. In time, the Butcher of Prague’s competition is the equally well-respected Albert Speer, the refined and cultured man, who prefers a state of ignorance when it comes to the details surrounding Heydrich’s duties but who needs a select crew of workers to build not only the Lebensraum, “the living space” for the expansion of fascism as practiced by the Nazis but also the building of structures for what must be controlled and contained and exterminated

(This scenario is foreign to us. We live in a capitalist state, and capitalism only needs more markets to live).

Speaking of traitors, those who pursue glory are not alone. The acquisition of bar code labels on material goods motivates others, a good many others, to remain loyal and dutiful to the state. When asked by a Czech judge how he could betray his comrades, Karel Curda responded: “’I think you’d have done the same thing for a million marks, Your Honor!’”

Curda, according to the writer/narrator of HHhH, was sentenced to death and hanged in 1947. “As he climbs onto the scaffold, he tells the hangman an obscene joke.” Gabcik and Kubis he is not. Heydrich adorns himself in invincibility, and Curda, a modern man, envisions bar codes! “He sold Gabcik and Kubis to the Nazis, but he gave them all the others.”

“My story is finished and my book should be, too, but I’m discovering that it’s impossible to be finished with a story like this.”

HHhH returns to an image of Jozef Gabcik once again onboard the boat where his journey has never ended. Traveling across the Baltic, across the “dark coastline of Poland, along the “alleyways of Krakow [,]… he and the other ghosts of the Czechoslovak army have finally managed to set sail for France.” As Gabcik focuses on the “boat’s waterline,” The writer/narrator imagines Gabcik is “joyful at the prospect of finally fighting the invader” because, he, the writer/narrator is “also there”…among the shadows of the soldiers in civilian clothes who pace around the boat are other shadows: disoriented old men, misty-eyes lone women, well-behaved children holding a younger brother’s hand...And a fellow comrade walks up to Gabcik and asks for a light. The writer/narrator sees that “Gabcik recognizes the Moravian accent.”

The monument and plaques honoring the work of Gabcik and Kubis as well as the crypt in which these resisters fought bravely cannot contain their spirit. It lives on. If HHhH seems a bit ambitious, well, so be it! HHhH is not a work one would expect the current imperialist machine to honor.

Now that, oh, God forbid, we have a socialist, Muslim, Kenyan running the country, the newspapers are finding ways in each and every article to say something about the need for milder manners, and a compromising approach. God forbid a legislator CRITICIZE an entire industry (such as Elizabeth Warren and the investment banking world). In this article, we discover too, that the Democratic party has as liberal wing, strongly suggesting that it also has an il-liberal wing!

Warren’s return to Washington heralds
fight with big banks

Bloomberg News

WASHINGTON — Look out, Wall Street:
She’s baaaack.

Elizabeth Warren, the Harvard law professor and self-styled “cop on the beat” who protects consumers from Wall Street, left Washington last year after failing to gain enough Senate support to be confirmed as director of the new consumer financial protection agency she championed.

Now Warren returns to the capital as a senator herself just as Congress prepares its first revisions to the landmark Dodd-Frank Act enacted in response to the 2008 financial crisis.

As senator, Warren will gain a bully pulpit and a vote, both powerful tools in the debate over whether and how to re- regulate banks and bankers. The position comes with a secret weapon as well: a senator’s unofficial prerogative to single-handedly place “holds” on legislation or nominations.

The question in Washington is whether Warren will come back as the partisan warrior she was when she left or as a legislator with the milder manner needed for deal-making (so, we are going to be making deals with Goldman-Sachs - then, the only thing I wanna know is - how are they going to fuck us THIS time?  NOTE WELL, this trend, now, for the newspapers to subtly admonish and remind us of the importance of milder manners - in order to do deal-making - where were these mealy-mouthed corporate sputum mouth pieces when the Cheny administration was strong arming their way to legislative bictory after legislative victory?).

“The issue is whether her strong views will be tempered by the need to get things done,” said Ernest Patrikis, a partner at White & Case and a former Federal Reserve Bank of New York lawyer. “It is one thing to criticize; it is another to become an effective legislator.”

Warren vanquished incumbent Sen. Scott Brown, R, by a margin of 54 percent to 46 percent this week to become the first female senator from Massachusetts and heir to the seat held for 47 years by Democratic icon Edward Kennedy.

Warren, 63, ran for Senate after President Obama decided not to nominate her as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (and the reason Obama decided not to nominate her as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was because, the financial dis-services industry did not want to have to deal with her holding a position of power), a Dodd-Frank centerpiece designed to help protect ordinary Americans from shoddy financial products (there are nothing BUT shoddy financial products out there today). Warren championed the idea as a lawyer and worked as an Obama administration adviser after the law’s passage to build the agency from scratch.

The banking and financial services industry fiercely opposed establishment of the bureau and Senate Republicans banded together to block her nomination as director (something about her must have terrified them ... oh, yeah, she's smarter than they are!).

Along the way, Warren became a favorite of the Democratic party’s liberal wing (this is an amazing piece of information to appear in a newspaper ... that the democratic party has a liberal wing, and thus also has a wing (or major body parts) that ARE NOT LIBERAL, that are not progressive, and in fact, are pretty much what the Eisenhower and Rockefeller Republicans used to be like, and she won a prime-time speaking role at the party’s national convention. She used the opportunity to highlight her anti-Wall Street credentials and warn that the industry was far from abashed (I had to look up "abashed" ... ASHAMED is a synonym) about the damage from the financial crisis (abashed? they REVEL in the damage done, especially the part about being too big to fail, which means they can do what-ever-the-fuck they want to do, lose however many trillions, and escape, stronger than before!).

“Wall Street CEOs — the same ones who wrecked our economy and destroyed millions of jobs — still strut around Congress, no shame, demanding favors, and acting like we should thank them,” Warren said at the convention. “Anyone here have a problem with that? Well I do.”

In interviews after her victory, Warren sounded a more moderate tone, pledging to reach across ideological divides.

“I come there for the same reasons I went before, and that is to work for people who need someone to speak out for them,” Warren said Wednesday in an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “I’ll work with anyone — and I really do mean that — Democrat, Republican, independent, Libertarian, contrarian, vegetarian.”

Warren is expected to seek a seat on the Senate Banking Committee, which would give her a direct role in writing legislation affecting the financial services industry including revisions to Dodd-Frank.

For instance, Republican lawmakers have called for changing the consumer bureau into a five-member commission, which would dilute the power of its director. They also want to subject the agency to the congressional appropriations process, which would give lawmakers more control over its funding. Those changes had gained some support from Democrats in recent weeks.

Richard Hunt, president of the Consumer Bankers Association, said Warren’s attachment to the bureau could alter that debate and make her the key player in any such proposals.

“I have no doubt in my mind that any changes on consumer financial regulation will have to go through Elizabeth Warren’s office,” Hunt said.

A decision on whether she will get on Senate Banking will not come until at least January and isn’t a sure bet, according to a senior Democratic aide on the committee (because Barak Obama's constituency IS the financial sector, and whatever the financial sector wants, Barry-O will GIVE it to them). Other senators with more seniority are in line ahead of Warren and it is still unclear how many openings there will be, said the aide, who requested anonymity because the deliberations are private.

“I don’t think it’s automatic” (it just oughta be) that Warren will serve on the Banking committee, Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., said in an interview. He defended Warren, a professor of bankruptcy law, as “someone who has been immersed in serious study of the industry over a 30-year career.”

“This is not just someone who is reflexive pro or con anything,” Reed said.

Whether Warren is named to the Banking panel, she will become the leading Dodd-Frank defender in Congress, said James Ballentine, executive vice president of congressional relations at the American Bankers Association. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., co-author of the law that bears his name, is retiring from the House. Former Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., stepped down in 2010.

“Obviously she was very involved in the formation of Dodd- Frank and the CFPB,” Ballentine said. “She certainly will want to have a voice in what happens.”

Leonard Chanin, former head of regulations at the consumer bureau, said the agency was likely to be emboldened by the election of its former chief. Many people wanted to work there specifically because Warren was involved, Chanin said.

“It was almost like a political campaign,” Chanin, now a partner at Morrison & Foerster LLP, said in an interview. “And in my experience, that was a little unusual in regulation (yes, because MOST of the regulators try to pass legislation that will get them hired into big bucks in the corporate world - which, actually, IS pretty much like a political campaign, it's just that it is not a campaign for political office, but for corporate office!) .”

Warren has shifted her tone toward Wall Street several times in recent years. During the congressional debate over Dodd-Frank, she refused to compromise: “My first choice is a strong consumer agency,” Warren told the Huffington Post in an interview published May 3, 2010. “My second choice is no agency at all and plenty of blood and teeth on the floor.”

After she joined the Obama administration, she became more conciliatory, meeting with big-bank executives, and working to charm smaller community banks (community banks NOT owned by large banks need to be charmed and convinced that they will be given an opportunity to fulfill their obligations to community and make enough profit to pay the bills and keep the share holders happy). Days before she left the job, she pivoted again, writing about “enemies” in Washington that wanted to weaken the agency (why couldn't she have just kept charming the small banks - why is this lady going after the vultures?).

In her victory speech this week, she suggested that she continues to see consumers and Wall Street as adversaries (as should we all!).

“You took on the powerful Wall Street banks and special interests and let them know you want a senator who will be out there fighting for the middle class all of the time,” she told her supporters.

Camden Fine, president and CEO of the Independent Community Bankers of America, said Warren has cultivated ties to community bankers in part because she sees smaller banks that focus on deposit-taking and commercial lending as allies against Wall Street behemoths. He suggested that she might mellow some of her positions once she begins working in the chummy, clubhouse atmosphere of the Senate (kind of like Melissa Bean, perhaps).

“The fact that she was willing to work with us on certain issues would certainly bode well,” Fine said. “But I have no idea how the dynamics of the Senate will change her views in her second life in Washington.”

Jaret Seiberg, a senior policy analyst with Guggenheim Securities’s Washington Research Group, said he doesn’t expect Warren to block all changes to Dodd-Frank, including a series of technical fixes expected to be introduced next year.

“Elizabeth Warren is going to be a staunch defender of Dodd-Frank, but that doesn’t mean that she’s going to block reasonable reforms,” Seiberg said.

Others think she will continue her campaign to protect little guys from the big banks.

“She is going to be a populist,” said Stephen Myrow, a former Treasury Department official who is managing director of ACG Analytics, an investment research firm. “She is not going to be about getting legislation through. She is going to be about embracing the power of the microphone.”

At least one analyst thinks she can be both a vocal advocate for consumers and a team player in the Senate.

“The open question to me is does she fall in line with the Democrats,” said Mark Calabria, a former top Republican aide on the Senate Banking Committee who’s now a director of financial regulation studies the Cato Institute. “It’s hard to be a critic of the establishment when you are the establishment.”