November 27, 2002

Thanksgiving Bones and Rosenbaum

The Day of Thanksgiving approaches and it is an important day, an important gesture toward the universe, to feel and express one's gratitude for all that one has. It's an American holiday and it's Americans perhaps more than anyone today who need badly to re-assess where they are, who they are and to try to recover some of that sense of reverence for life and humility that is represented by that Thanksgiving ritual. Never has the country been so far from the reverence for life that was the original impulse of the holiday.

The hubris of those in power is extreme to the degree of malignant toxicity. It is a matter of emergency. The patient is in grave danger, but is too deluded to even know it. If polls are correct in saying that a large proportion of the population believe the administration's trumped up and utterly groundless case for war against Iraq, then we are indeed a deluded people and headed for disaster.

Senator John Kerry, a Democratic JFK from Massachusetts has now declared his candidacy for president. At one time his candidacy seemed a hopeful thing, but its luster has faded to nearly nothing since his compliance with Bush's war resolution. He showed some promise as leader who opposed the extreme war-mongering policies of the administration. He was an actual Vietnam vet who was a leader in Vietnam Vets Against the War. But he was a member of the elite, perverse clique of Skull and Bones, a group whose rituals would qualify as psychotic if it wasn't so embarassing to label such important people in that way.

Bones rituals include sleeping in coffins, robbing graves, nude confessional ceremonies. These guys are extremely weird and their group of 15 or so select members every year become major pillars of the old-time ruling class. (For information about Skull & Bones, do a search on Google. An article reprinted from Esquire by Ron Rosenbaum is posted at Something about it is posted on Democracy Now also by Ron Rosenbaum. Rosenbaum wrote a few things about it in the New York Observer, but Rosenbaum is a supporter of war against Iraq and Bush's Axis of Evil, so I would take what he says with a grain of salt. See American Freedom News, Scum at the Top.)

While we're on the subject of Ron Rosenbaum, while he did some interesting reporting on Skull and Bones, his real agenda is cloudy. His current piece in the November 26 Observer ("W. Isn’t Beelzebub, He’s Just a Corleone—But Michael or Fredo?") rails against "the incoherent cesspool of Left Bush hatred," and honors David Corn of The Nation for "trying to combat idiot conspiracy theories." He doesn't define "idiot conspiracy theories," but in the context of Corn's "combat" it seems to mean any idea which does not carry an underlying presumption of the integrity of the Bush clan. To cross the line of entertaining the notion that the Bush administration did not act with supreme integrity regarding its failure to protect the US from 911 is a cardinal sin to Rosenbaum and Corn, despite the strange facts of the case, such as the fact that it was nearly two hours between when the FAA knew planes were hijacked before one of them allegedly attacked the Pentagon, and no defense whatever was mounted. To ignore the gaping irregularity of such a fact seems to be an act of faith bordering on religious ferver, in my opinion. But to even examine such facts and ask questions is "idiocy" in the minds of Rosenbaum and Corn.

Rosenbaum went to the peace demonstration at Central Park and was very turned off. He wrote an article called "Goodbye, All That: How Left Idiocies Drove Me to Flee" in which he characterized the event in the most seedy fashion. "A movement of Marxist fringe groups and people who are unable to make moral distinctions," he called it. Rosenbaum, who likes to call others "idiots" calls himself "contrarian, libertarian, pessimist, secular-humanist, anti-materialist liberal Democrat who distrusts the worship of 'the wisdom of the market.' Someone who was outraged (and outspoken in these pages) about the Bush-Baker election tactics in Florida, for instance. But not stupid enough to think we’d be better off with Al Gore as President now; not stupid enough to think Al Gore is smart."

Criticism of American foreign policy is simplistically written off as "hate-America literature," equating the policies and the policymakers with all of America. And Rosenbaum's critical faculties don't penetrate Bush's mysterious three-card-monte switch from Osama bin Laden to Saddam Hussein. "I still don't know what to think about Iraq," he says, apparently wanting to believe the integrity of our leaders. Opposing war and aggressive foreign policies to serve powerful business interests comes down to "American self hatred" to Rosenbaum. It's hard to figure whether his own logic is so simplistic that he really equates dissent against aggression as American self-hatred, or if he is intentionally blurring distinctions in support of whatever his agenda is.

He makes simplistic jumps from establishing that the North Korean or Iraqi regimes are malign, to the Bush administration's logic that we should be going to war against practically everyone, or at least everyone who is "evil" in the Bush-Ashcroft-Rumsfeld universe. Is it just the quest for justification for compliance, for going back to enjoying one's comfort and possessions and just letting the Bush regime do its thing out of sight? He seems reluctant to think these things through to their conclusions or consequences, but just wants to dismiss all the dissent by putting it all in one category of "idiocy" and "American self-hatred" and going back to sleep.

Anyway, enough of this rambling tangent about Ron Rosenbaum for now. Back to the original premise. Happy Thanksgiving. It's a good time to be truly cognizant of all that we have.

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