February 15, 2003

Ha Ha Ha! Very Funny

Once again, the joke is on the American people

photo AP

After striking terror into the hearts of millions of Americans with Orange terror alerts based -- it turns out -- on nothing, the Bush gang thinks it's all a big joke now. (See Newsday.)

That extremely competent, confidence-inspiring Tom Ridge now says information about possible terror attacks "more often than not is very vague." Why is that Tom? What does the government spend those billions of dollars for in the intelligence budget?

Not funny at all.

Bush told a group of FBI agents in a speech that, "We're winning the war on terror. We've hauled in thousands of terrorists. We've got them on the run. And it's just a matter of time before we bring them to justice."

Excuse me, but what utter crap. As usual any given sentence by Bush is so layered with lies it takes a while to unravel them all. The CIA just told us that after nullifying the Bill of Rights, busting the treasury, bombing and killing thousands in Afghanistan and -- yes -- "hauling in" thousands of people, we are not one whit safer than we were September 10, 2001. And these thousands who have been hauled in, we will never know if even one of them is a terrorist. Not with this government. That will be one of their many secrets.

Don't worry, it's all for "National Security." How come now that the National Security State has finally consolidated its control over the country under the figurehead son of the CIA leader George Bush, we are less secure than ever in the history of this country? Less than when Hitler was romping around. Less than when the Evil Empire was at the peak of its power.

Excuse me, I mean the other Evil Empire.

Another interesting point in this story. After the Homeland Security department suggested people buy duct tape and plastic sheeting to seal windows in case of an attack with biological, chemical or radioactive weapons, Ridge is now saying, "I want to make something very, very clear at this point. We do not want individuals or families to start sealing their doors or windows."

Very very clear, but diametrically opposite to what he said a week ago. After New York mayor Bloomberg appeared on the front of a local tabloid saying putting duct tape on windows was "ridiculous," Ridge is now saying the purchase of duct tape and plastic sheeting was "pretty rational behavior."

It's pretty rational behavior in an environment in which people are being led by lunatics who tell them to do it, and lunatics in whom the people invest a great deal of trust, unfortunately for them.

It's back and forth, constant movement but no direction. Just keeping everyone jumbled up because this administration rules by fear, pushes its agenda by means of fear. Fear and confusion.

A couple of relevant concepts come to mind. Gregory Bateson's theory of the Double Bind said that if people are repeatedly placed in either/or situations in which both choices are wrong, they will inevitably begin to manifest neurotic behavior. That is now happening to the American public at large and may have something to do with comments from people in other countries that America seems to have lost its way under Bush.

It is also a classic totalitarian control mechanism to give a subject two simultaneous commands that are mutually exclusive, that cancel each other out, like "SIT DOWN! STAND UP!" They must be imperative commands that carry a great deal of authority for the subject. The result is to essentially paralyze the will of the subject. This is also being exercised adroitly on the American public. And we see the results. A population frozen in fear as the junta drives the country into greater and greater peril.

One more principle. In game theory there is a technique called minimax in which you throw random behavior into your strategy so your opponent can never totally make sense of it. It makes it impossible to be sure at any time exactly whether a given move is consistent with the strategy or opposite to it, or a completely random move. The National Security State has also learned this technique well and is now using it on the battered sensibilities of the American people.

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