Monday, March 24, 2014

Ballantine's ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF WORLD WAR 2 - (The Genesis and Afterlife of a 1970s Publishing Phenomenon)

Ian Ballantine (1916 - 1995) was a publishing genius.  A New Yorker, he completed his education in London in 1940 and returned home to lead the PENGUIN invasion of the American domestic book market.   The 24 year old 'whiz-kid' so impressed U.S. military publishers that they signed contracts  granting PENGUIN BOOKS the exclusive right to distribute millions of copies of War Service publications to military bases and deployed personnel.   Mr. Ballantine toiled on the American Home-front, for the duration.

Ian Ballantine was the boffin who managed the founding of BANTAM paperbacks  and a personal imprint, BALLANTINE BOOKS, the pair of which innovated the mass distribution of the low priced reading material that readers of my generation thrived on.   (Ballantine was also godfather to more Science Fiction writing careers than could be lauded in one telling.)  During the 1960s, a decade of mass anti-war sentiment, Ian Ballantine was undaunted.  He felt that there was a generational counterpart to the Hippies, a youth demographic (niche readers) who still wanted to learn about World War 2.  His formative period in London had armed him with superb industry contacts, and he proceeded to negotiate a joint venture with Purnell and Sons, experienced publisher of mass-market military history.  All editorial and design responsibility was handled by the British, who marketed the series throughout the U.K., Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The Ballantine's in New York, got a ready-made product to sell to the larger  North American market.  (The full story is actually far most complex.)


Thus was born BALLANTINE'S  ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF WORLD WAR 2, a profusely illustrated series of books researched and written to (in most cases) academic standards, but made accessible to the general reader.  Printed on good paper, in larger format than industry standard, the series was introduced  in 1968 at only $1 per copy, which was well under the average price of mass market non-fiction paperbacks at that time.  As the series evolved and was renamed (in 1973)   BALLANTINE'S ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF THE VIOLENT CENTURY, the cover price climbed to $1.50  and the last few titles were published at $2.  Still a bargain price, given what the competition was charging. More to the point, the series was written by a Who's Who of working military historians, and in many cases veterans of W.W. 2 who leavened their writing of history with personal experience.  In January of 1973 the Ballantine's, (Ian and Betty), sold their business to Random House, in order to concentrate on a new Science Fiction imprint, among other projects. Since the Editorial Team for the  WORLD WAR 2 - VIOLENT CENTURY publishing project was based in England, customers detected no change in the product. 

Clearly, there was a public backlash underway against the wretched war in Vietnam, and suddenly the public was rejecting "war movies and war books". By 1975 sales of the ILLUSTRATED HISTORY were in decline, and it is probably no coincidence that Random House pulled the plug at about the same time that the White House was evacuating the U.S. expeditionary force  from Saigon. There were no print runs of the Illustrated History titles after November 1978.  Random House itself was swallowed by another conglomerate in 1978.

I made no particular attempt to assemble the complete set, but somehow over a lifetime of reading, the shelves just filled.  Millions of copies are in circulation, although the scarcer titles had only one printing and can be hard to find. PATTON is said to have gone through five printings. Serious readers can now access more information about the history of warfare than any human mind can grasp, but for short form treatment of specific subjects, nothing bests the Ballantine list. If you are interested, I can guide you through the collection  - four volumes at a time, as my time allows.  

REICHSTAG FIRE - Ashes of Democracy - R. John Pritchard,   
SERIES - POLITICS IN ACTION  No. 3, Published in New York, February 1972, 160 pages.

REICHSTAG FIRE - author  R. John Pritchard, Ballantine's, New York

REICHSTAG FIRE - Ashes of Democracy is a good read. Pritchard was very thorough and he offers us a highly convincing account of the   desperate arsons perpetrated by Dutch political activist Marinus Van der Lubbe.   While both the Nazi's and the Communists (COMINTERN)  used the 1933 Reichstag Fire for political gain,  each accusing the other, the truth was stranger than propaganda.  Van der Lubbe's serial arsons throughout the city were thoroughly investigated by the (pre-Nazi) civil police, and he was fairly tried. Dr. Pritchard also covers the post-war craziness of Cold War politics in which the Communist Left made continuous attempts to blame the fire on the defeated Nazi leadership... a conspiracy theory equal to any tinfoil-hat plot one might also name.  This volume might equally be shelved in the  "True Crime" corner of any bookstore, as it describes political violence and sabotage rather than warfare.

Dr.  R. John Pritchard, expert on International War Crimes Trials, photo 1972Marinus Van Der Lubbe, convicted serial arsonist,  1933

After completing this book for the Ballantine's 'Black Band' series, John Pritchard completed his Doctorate at the London School of Economics and after post-graduate work in international law he dedicated many years to researching and publishing the findings of the major International War Crimes tribunals. He is today a ranking expert on War Crime Investigation.

PANZER DIVISION - The Mailed Fist - Major Kenneth J. Macksey, M.C.
SERIES - WEAPONS BOOK, No. 2, Published in New York, September 1968, 160 pages.

PANZER DIVISION, author Major K.J. Macksey, Ballantine's, New York, 1968

The Weapons Series  or 'Blue Bands" were the most popular of the BALLANTINE'S illustrated titles, and were widely read here in Canada. Major K.J. Macksey was a recently retired officer who had enjoyed success with THE SHADOW OF VIMY RIDGE (1965) and then began to produce a book per year. He wrote three for Ian Ballantine, including this one, PANZER DIVISION. The book reads well, although sometimes pithy in style, as in his description of the Panzer divisions deployed to Russia in 1941 - "The men were in fine fettle, fully confident in their battle-craft, their equipment, their leaders and their cause." The book  employs twenty small maps, without which we might get lost as the great tank armies strike and counter-strike. Major Macksey was a military scholar and his potted Bibliography includes German  language sources as well as archives held by the British M.O.D. and the R.A.C. Tank Museum.

Major K.J. Macksey died in 2005 after producing more than fifty books, including a few "alternate history" works of a purely speculative nature. He was a veteran of World War 2 and earned his Military Cross in 1944 while a Lieutenant in the Normandy Invasion.

Additional evidence of Ian Ballantine's marketing savvy - my copy of PANZER DIVISION  has the colour folder of the MILITARY BOOK CLUB bound in.  How many of us were seduced into membership in the M.B.C. back in the 1970s?

HITLER  by Alan Wykes.
SERIES -  WAR LEADERS,  No. 3, Published in New York, March 1971. 160 pages.

HITLER, author  Alan Wykes, Ballantine;s, New York, 1971

"HITLER" is a wholly unsatisfying book and you should not bother with it.  There are several very good biographies of Adolph Hitler readily available. (I recommend, for a start, Ian Kershaw, Werner Maser, Lothar Machtan, Robert Payne and John Toland.)  There are also far better illustrated works available detailing Hitler's life and career.

Alan Wykes was a veteran of W.W. 2, (a lorry driver in the R.A.S.C.) and a sometime military historian, who wrote two regimental histories, but he was not an accomplished biographer. He was though, a high-speed professional writer who could churn out copy to a publisher deadline, which is why Purnell and Ballantine hired him to produce several titles in their WAR LEADERS category.  In his introduction, Series Editor-in-Chief, Barrie Pitt seemed at bit embarrassed. He begins: "Not every reader will accept Alan Wykes' explanation of Hitler's behaviour as Party Leader and Dictator - which is that he had been infected in early manhood by syphilis and in later life succumbed to its tertiary effects: irrationality, irresponsibility, and gross intemperance of speech and action."  Wykes of course, consulted no eye-witnesses, primary sources or German archives.  In fact he brazenly references several of the previously published titles in the Ballantine's Illustrated History series!

Alan Wykes, author of HITLER, published by Ballantine, 1971

Mr. Wykes died in 1993 after producing 38 books of his own and ghosting for a few faltering writers.  His whacky idea about Hitler and syphilis probably derives from a profile he published in 1965 on "a specialist in venereal diseases and sexology".  

NAZI REGALIA  photographed by Jack Pia,
SERIES - FULL COLOUR, No. 1,   Published in New York, May 1971,  160 pages.

If I told you that Alan Wykes also wrote the introduction to NAZI REGALIA,  you might think that I pre-judged the work.  In fact I bought this book over forty years ago when I was in junior high school and incapable of judging anything.  The book cost me  $3 dollars in 1973, and that represented more than two hours of after school wages, cleaning windows at  car wash.  At the time it seemed a thrill to possess high quality colour photos of Nazi regalia, but in hindsight it was a wasted purchase.  There are websites now which have more comprehensive collections, and rarer material.

Jack Pia was simply a contract photographer in London who took a set of photographs for a publisher, but because of this book and its companion volume,  S.S. REGALIA, his name will forever be associated with Nazi artifacts and ephemera.  It all started in 1975 when Susan Sontag, who was both an up-and-comer critic of cultural trends and a serious historian of photography,  drew attention to the books Pia did for the Ballantine's Illustrated History series. Sontag considered any interest in Fascist uniforms and insignia to be nothing more than a sexual fetish.

Recall that George Lucas, (a crypto-fascist??) was working on both the Star Wars and Indiana Jones projects at that time.  I suspect Lucas and his films' production designers had many copies of the twoJack Pia books at hand.

S.S. Regalia - photographs by Jack Pia

Sontag wrote, "Though S.S. Regalia is a respectable British‑made compilation (with a three‑page historical preface and notes in the back), one knows that its appeal is not scholarly but sexual. The cover already makes that clear. Across the large black swastika of an SS armband is a diagonal yellow stripe which reads "Over 100 Brilliant Four‑Color Photographs Only $2.95," exactly as a sticker with the price on it used to be affixed—part tease, part deference to censorship—on the cover of pornographic magazines, over the model's genitalia."       

I suspect that Mr. Pia squirmed when he read Sontag's prose, and may never have taken another assignment involving military collectibles.   Unless you are a series "completist", there is no reason to purchase this book.

Jack Pia,  NAZI REGALIA, Ballantine's  Illustrated History, New York, 1971

So there is a start... two worthy titles from Ian Ballantine's WW2 list, and two that are not worthy of your time.  Even if I do not care for a particular book I will still provide a photo of the author and additional biographical information.  Most of the Ballantine authors produced further works of military history.

Effective publication dates of series: May, 1968  - August 1975
Reprints of select titles until November 1978.

A final note: If you find this book guide helpful, spread the word to Military History enthusiasts, because I am not sure I have the energy to profile all 151 titles in this monumental series. (Plus the Chinese, British and Spanish editions in my private library.) Reader response will count. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Rotten Apple

Do you remember when Apple Corporation wowed the world with its creativity -  thirty years ago?  When APPLE introduced the Macintosh computer it managed to strike just the right note with its television ads - spoofing George Orwell's prophetic novel NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR.    Apple's vintage ad is archived on You Tube   here.

Now it  2013, and thanks to one one man's heroism...   not Winston Smith,  but Edward Snowden,  we now know for certain that APPLE  and YOU TUBE  are both  willing accomplices in ongoing multi-billion dollar American surveillance programs.  Echelon,  PRISM... take your pick.   In its paranoia the U.S. government insists upon monitoring everyone, everywhere and the White House frequently uses its reservoirs of secret knowledge to intervene in the day to day affairs of the entire planet  (not to mention remote control murder with drone technologies).  How Orwellian is that?

This morning in THE WASHINGTON TIMES   I see this:

An extract from the article:

"Dr. Karl Albrecht, author of more than 20 books, claims there are only five basic fears which include sub-categories for all human fears which he describes as an anxious feeling caused by our anticipation of some imagined event or experience. However, it could easily be argued fear is the realization of an impending event or series of events with a foreseeable, fearful conclusion based on history and experiences. The fears listed (in no special order) by Albrecht are

1. Fear of ceasing to exist via annihilation, aka fear of death

2. Fear of mutilation such as losing our body parts or becoming incapacitated

3. Fear of separation which includes abandonment, rejection, unwanted and disrespected. Albrecht also uses the term a “non-person”, essentially an Orwellian adjective.

4. Fear of shame, humiliation, and loss of self- integrity, lovability and feeling worthless.

5. Fear of loss of autonomy, where one feels restricted, paralyzed or feels controlled by circumstances."

Fear is of course a major tool employed by any Orwellian state. Control people by manipulating their worst fears.  Of course the Intelligence Community labours under its own self-induced  fears -   
 1) the fear of losing its multi-billion dollar funding
 2) the fear of losing the ear of the President and the ruling elite
 3) the fear of public disclosure of their unwarranted violations of our liberties

You can read  the Paul Mountjoy  article  "ORWELLIAN AMERICA"  here  (STORY). 

This article was published over 100 years ago, but it could have been written this morning.

"Publicity is one of the most popular remedies for all abuses and grievances in the state."   NEW YORK SUN.

"Now the only history men really care about, that of their own times, is spread before the world."  NEW YORK SUN

 In George Orwell's novel  NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR,   the "Prols" have no knowledge of history, and cannot even remember the events of their own childhood with any degree of certainty.  In the novel, all unauthorized memories -  books, letters, photos, films - had to be physically destroyed - BURNED.  Today human records, and human lives,  are deleted with a twitch of the finger.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Edward Snowden - Warns Americans of "Turn-key Tyranny"

Sadly, it is confirmed.  The American people now tacitly support and fund an oppressive state apparatus the like of which was first described by George Orwell in his prophetic novel NINETEEN EIGHTYFOUR.  America's government is the beast Orwell warned us of -  until now just a catch phrase or just as often a metaphor of a Dystopian future - "BIG BROTHER".  And as such, America now constitutes an active threat to precious civil liberties  in EVERY COUNTRY on this planet. They have forgotten that without genuine PRIVACY, Freedom is a meaningless slogan.

I am stunned to have lived to see such a dark era unfolding, and for the first time in my life I begin to fear Americans.  I was one of those who who cheered for America, since the Viet Nam and Apollo era.  I wept for America and Americans after the 9/11 attacks.  Now I fear them, and I finally understand why so many others have.  Canada is no haven against what the NSA-CIA-FBI-WhiteHouse are perpetrating with impunity.  Our "lesser" governments cannot stand up to America's aggressive culture and politics.  We all just got the bulletin.   "America is at large, self righteous, paranoid,  armed and dangerous."

"We will leave no cigarette butt behind!"
The morning after Edward Snowden stepped out of the shadows and voluntarily identified himself as the whistleblower who CONFIRMED what we already suspected, but couldn't prove - (the U.S. Intelligence agencies are a rogue Frankenstein monster - the only apt metaphor) -  I tuned into network news to sample the official response. FOX was not asking "Is it true?"  Their question was "Is it effective?'  I listened to only two interviews before turning off the big screen, in disgust.  In one self righteous statement, a former NSA Director  [Gen. Michael Hayden] admitted it was all TRUE, but John Q. Public shouldn't worry, because the NSA's only target is "America's Enemies".  Blather simplified -  The sheeple have nothing to fear, because the shepherd is only hunting wolves.  He would never kill critters in his own fluffy flock.  After all, the shepherd devotes his life to their welfare  .... not the meat business.

Michael Hayden - the Generalist. "We will leave no cigarette butt behind."

The second interviewee, a Republican Senator no less, [Ron Johnson] blathered on about privacy being a "non-partisan issue",  he farted... or maybe it was just a dramatic pause, and then started droning on about the same horse-shit ... "America's Enemies" and the need for powerful tools to catch the bad guys.   And the Republican's claim to in opposition to the current regime??  Bullshit. The Republicans are just waiting their turn to govern and to surveil the American people.  

So  folks...  we now have official confirmation: In the U.S.A.   PRIVACY  IS NOT A FREEDOM.    PRIVACY  IS A PRIVILEGE  and that privilege has been rescinded by the American Financial-Political elites. Rescinded  Permanently.  The social policy wonks have always alleged that poverty reduction would eliminate violence and class hatred in America.  In the 21st Century the underclass and the middle class will be monitored and controlled by the elites, and resistance to digital oppression will be spectacular and very unpredictable.

Since it was THE GUARDIAN which broke this story, and not one of the self important American news agencies,  you should follow the GUARDIAN as their story unfolds. To read the initial report, click on -  THE WHISTLEBLOWER BEHIND REVELATIONS OF NSA SURVEILLANCE. You should also watch  Edward Snowden's interview in its entirety, not chopped up for the butcher's hook - as it was done by CNN yesterday.  PRISM WHISTLEBLOWER.  Don't let the news flak-crews tell you what he said, as they in fact shoot him down for the Administration.  Give the man his due, and listen to what he has to say.  We can only hope that BIG BROTHER doesn't have Mr. Snowden killed.


China has a hero who symbolizes unarmed resistance against state oppression -  "Tank Man".
Now  America has  Edward Snowden.  But methinks they're just too stupid to understand the lesson he is sacrificing his life to offer them.   And Mr. Snowden's greatest fear?  That in a few weeks time,  after all the headlines have been deleted from the news websites,   "Nothing will change."  The reality of  American Global Surveillance will be,  he says,  "turn-key tyranny" at home.   The last two minutes of the Snowden interview are KEY to his message.  Listen to what the man has to say.  And if you have any sense, start boycotting their control technologies.


Contrary to the childish musings of sycophantic scrunts like  CNN's Wolf Blitzer, (who when told by a CNN sniffer that Mr. Snowden had donated $500 to the Ron Paul campaign, looked into the camera and expressed disbelief -  "scary stuff").  Snowden has released no details whatsoever on specific government crimes, though his head is stuffed to bursting with details on specifics. What he has released are further details of the extent of PRISM capabilities (already detailed on the CRYPTOME website) and shown us screenshots of from a Powerpoint presentation which implicates just about every important U.S. software, Internet and Telecoms provider.  Your PCs, phones,  TVs,  Fax machines, onboard GPS units .... hell maybe even your game console, are all being used to keep you and your children under surveillance - 24/7.  How? Well the U.S. government has installed stand alone servers and data storage inside the premises of cooperative corporations. The equipment diverts the data stream to Federal storage facilities, where it is permanently archived and will reside long after some of these corporations have gone out of business.  The Feds can claim they are not tapping directly into privately owned data streams,  and the corporations get to promise (fingers crossed) the gullible public that they do not assist in Federal/State/Local  spying on the innocent population.

This screen details the complicity of the Internet Service Providers who relay ALL details about their customers to NSA on a daily basis, and who consistently issue lying press releases which do nothing to cover their tracks.
And finally a screenshot (below) which lists some of the corporations which spy on the World's citizens at the behest of the United States government.   They include  Google,  Yahoo!, Facebook, You Tube  Skype, AOL, Apple and many more.    These screenshots are the only physical evidence (so far) that Mr. Snowden has crossed his employers as they clearly read "NOFORN" - NO FOREIGN NATIONALS.  The Brits working at The Guardian newspaper are "foreign".    As a Canadian, I have always considered Americans to be my cousins.  Their culture was my culture.  Unfortunately, they are looking more and more "foreign" to me every day.  It  is time the Canadian government (if it still capable of thinking in terms of National Sovereignty) started to take concrete measures to protect us from the contagion of U.S. paranoia and U.S. vindictiveness.  We should start by making Edward Snowden an Honourary Citizen of Canada.  I so nominate.

Mr. Snowden distributed 41 explanatory screenshots, but only a half dozen were published.  The response over the past 48 hours shows us the media are completely cowed.

Friday, May 31, 2013

John Kennedy and Hitler's Germany - Uncovering what the Biographer's Chose to HIde

Did you READ anything interesting in May?  I spent a few profitable hours reading about something we are not supposed to know about John Fitzgerald Kennedy.  The missing chapter, no less.  It seems that a curious German fellow has uncovered material that the Legion of Kennedy Biographers chose to hide.   Not downplay.  Hide.  

I owe it all to Matt Drudge who pointed to an article in the DAILY MAIL.  It was a typical screamer of a British headline "How  JFK  secretly ADMIRED Hitler", but I could get past that.  So can you.

I don't know how long the DAILY MAIL will keep the JFK - NAZI GERMANY story archived online, but for now it can be read HERE     I hasten to add that Kennedy didn't meet Hitler, although his father Joseph Kennedy was definitely angling for a Peace Treaty between the U.S.A.  and the Third Reich.  That private undertaking got Ambassador Kennedy fired by the Roosevelt Administration.
Young "Jack" Kennedy was not some embittered labourer from the streets of Boston. He was a university graduate and the son of the United States Ambassador to England.  His diaries were intended to be shared with his parents, who were paying for his trip through Nazi Germany.  His diaries should, and are, preserved for the historical record.  The problem was that the Kennedy family  experimented with several marketing campaigns -   was Jack  an "American War Hero".... a "Young Lincoln"...  a "Young Napoleon"  or ?   Ultimately they settled for "Camelot"... the movie version.  After Kennedy was shot, the biographers went to work, and well... some things got left out.
available in German and French but not English

"The towns are all charming, which shows that the Nordic races appear to be definitely superior to their Latin counterparts. The Germans are really too good – that's why people conspire against them – they do it to protect themselves."
 "I have come to the conclusion that fascism is right for Germany and Italy. What are the evils of fascism compared to communism?" 
Truth be told, millions of Americans agreed with every word,  but only John F. Kennedy was being groomed for the Presidency of the United States.  What he learned in Germany he would later adapt for use on the American masses.  Had Hitler won the war, John  Kennedy would no doubt have been marketed as the man who "understood the Germans" and could lead America in bartering a mutually beneficial relationship between the two super-powers.  But Hitler destroyed everything he created, and History turned.

What the Kennedy's most admired about Hitlerian Germany were the techniques by which the "Outsider" drove to Reichstag, overwhelmed the German political establishment, and seized their flag.  The Catholic Kennedy clan,  political outsiders,  were equally determined to storm Washington, and seize the flag.   Books, radio,  movies,  mass rallies,  PR firms, sex appeal.   The Germans loved, and so did the Americans.  They still do.

WHY ENGLAND SLEPT, (1940) was a recycled university thesis.
Not exactly "Mein Kampf", but books give weight to any political resume.

ROYAL JELLY -  Despite a back injury incurred at Harvard University,  young Kennedy persuaded the U.S. Navy to give him a chance.  He trained as a PT Boat skipper and was shipped off to a vital war zone - the Solomon Islands, where he acquitted himself well.   A Japanese destroyer rammed PT 109 and sank her.  The skipper swam miles to get help for his stranded crew. It was the only unscripted episode in JFKs life, and it was wonderful.  And so a few pages were shredded and rewritten.

HERO  STORY - Kennedy from flown back from the South Pacific and given a hospital room in Boston.  The Kennedy PR machine got in touch with legendary journalist John Hersey, who was writing for TIME and LIFE magazines.  Hersey interviewed Kennedy and the story "Survival" was published in the NEW YORKER in early 1944.  You may think you don't know Hersey's work, but you do. We all read  his book HIROSHIMA  in high school.   Hersey's  Wiki-page doesn't even mention his documenting a pivotal moment in JFKs career, but Hersey had planted a potent seed which would bear crowd pleasing fruit.

JFK assisted experienced biographer Robert J. Donovan with the
preparation of his book  "PT  109", published 1961. That fact is
acknowledged on the book's jacket and in the text.

TRACTION -  It's January 20, 1961 and President Kennedy is reviewing the troops in his Inaugural parade.  The PT 109 story is gaining traction and word has  come down that Hollywood is making a movie.  (note the chains on the trailer tires. Washington streets were slick with ice)  Hitler wood have approved of such grand military-political pageantry.  If JFK commented on the similarities in taste, it was not recorded.


The JFK  memorial plaque in Munich, Germany.
2013 is the 50th anniversary of the Berlin Speech.

The new  book,  JOHN F. KENNEDY - AMONG THE GERMANS, is being published to take advantage of the 50th Anniversary of Kennedy's  extremely famous "Berlin Speech"(1963)  which we have all seen played to us a thousand times.  It even has it's own wiki page and video clip.  We've heard it just as often as his equally famous  "Send Men to the Moon Speech".  In fact, as a Canadian youngster I was totally besotted by American accomplishments, typified by the Apollo Space Program  that it actually saddened me my own country was not interested in manned space flight or "taking the fight" to the Communists.  I loved Kennedy for the support he gave to the Apollo program. But then again I also loved the PT 109 story,  his creation of the Army Special Forces (Green Berets) and his kicking of Russian ass during the Cuban Missile Crisis.  Alas, I grew up and that cheaply earned love  simply faded.  Now I just find Kennedy an interesting historical figure, like Hitler,  and certainly a great example of the political manipulation of the masses.  That's enough.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Dystopian Boston in April 2013 - too creepy to be Believed

George Orwell warned us that the common folk will surrender their Liberty to Big Brother, freedom by freedom, and quickly forget that those rights ever existed.  It does amaze me that Americans are prepared to wage war on a global scale, in order to impose their notions of "Freedom" on other nations  (exemplified by the Two-Party electoral system) but they willingly surrender even the most basic freedoms in their own backyard.  Witness the stunning spectacle of an entire city - Boston U.S.A., staying home, simply because Law Enforcement told them to stay home.  An entire city OBEDIENT to armed authority! And this was the city famed for resistance to the unlawful taxation of Colonial masters?  Boston looked like the set of a Hollywood S.F. movie - you know. those movies which discuss a totally "impossible" dystopian future.  Something like Ray Bradbury's FAHRENHEIT 451,  a future in which citizen's regularly inform on each the name of "Public Safety".  A movie in which we watch a manhunt coordinated by television, with all citizens participating in a vigilante style exercise of justice, hoping to be rewarded by the gratitude of their government.

In some creepy notion of "helping" the entire city of Boston was reduced to peeking out windows, volunteering all their recent cellphone photos and reporting the slightest "suspicious" movement in their neighbourhood to local, state and federal Law Enforcement.  In fact it was a "tip" and not the patrolling helicopters that led to the shootout between the Tsarnaev brothers and the Watertown Police.   Which will be the next metropolis to be shut down?  New York, Chicago... Los Angeles?


It is truly amazing that in a city as diverse as Boston claims to be, and which prides itself as being 'ground zero' for advanced education (Harvard, MIT, etc)  everyone fell into lockstep in both hating and needing vengeance on the Tsarnaev Brothers.  It's as if all morality went out the window, and Bostonians were taking their cues about crime and justice from reading BATMAN comics.  "Harvard Law", indeed!  Not a single academic or news editor in Beantown was willing to raise the possibility that the smothering deployment of intrusive law enforcement in their city, was unwarranted and precedent setting.

Very late in life Ray Bradbury began to muse about his contributions to the ongoing discussion about America's future.  Dystopian America it will surely be, but Mr. Bradbury did not wish to place all of the blame on  oppressive government and thus let the public get away with its own contribution to the madness.  I totally agree.  Bad electoral choices are the fruit of a nation which is opinionated but cannot think.  You can look up what Bradbury had to say, but here is a taste:

Television did not die. It simply shrank to palm size and became a fashion accessory.  The current obsession with turning every subject, every issue, every school lesson, every exchange of information... into a visual experience,  is screwing with millions of "modern" heads.  Howard Fast summed up the danger more than fifty years ago:  "Without words, thought becomes a process of pictures, which is on the animal level and rules out all, even the most primitive, abstract concepts."  The reversion to animal-like response behavior we witnessed in Boston, will certainly spread to other American cities, and it will happen as soon as the next co-ordinated manhunt for "terrorists".   You just know that in dozens of American cities, patriotic posses are laying out their gear, waiting for Government to call "Mount up!"     

What is even creepier than "Black Helicopters" over Boston, is the American need to demonize the TSARNAEV  BROTHERS.  That  calls for a separate blog article.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Boston Bomber - was Tamerlan Tsarnaev executed or just 'finished off' ?

Was Tamerlan Tsarnaev executed or,  to use the euphemism, just 'finished off' in the heat of combat? 
Now of course law enforcement types will not accept the right for this question to even exist. They will bristle and take immediate offence.  Well, my best reply is - You started it.  Or  to be more exact, the Watertown Chief of Police Ed Deveau started it, in a rambling interview he gave to Wolf Blitzer on CNN.    Read edited portions of Chief Ed's long conversation, quoted in a CNN article   HERE.

Watch -  "Watertown police chief gives play-by-play account of Friday manhunt" on SALON  HERE   He said the two  Tsarnaev brothers engaged six of his officers with handguns (although they had a rifle of some sort in one of the escape vehicles).  The older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, he says, ran out of bullets and was heroically tackled by Watertown officers, who proceeded to cuff him.
At some point, either before or after Tamerlan ran out of ammo, he heaved one of the pressure-cooker bombs at Watertown officers. Chief Deveau said the blast left a chunk of metal lodged in a nearby car. Several photos exist of the street pavement scarred by the bomb blast.  Somehow, in the melee, the younger brother escaped, and remained at large for the remainder of the day.
While the brother was on the run in Greater-Boston, someone leaked a photo of Tamerlan Tsarnaev's corpse to Internet news sites.  TMZ posted a 'heads up" at 10:32 AM Thursday. TMZ also confirmed the authenticity. Here is a photo-scrape from the TMZ website:

The photo, (top of page) as you will note, is grisly. I don't like looking at it, but you will notice it shows the body after processing by a hospital team. There are scalpel strokes on the chest and a large section of tissue has been removed for examination. You will also note that he is riddled with bullet holes. The media rushed to the hospital AFTER the photo appeared online and demanded answers. The hospital insists that no staff member took the photo, implying that someone in law enforcement took the photo and leaked it.  I don't really care who leaked it, but I took notice of what the examining physician had to say. There were so many  bullet entrance wound that he didn't bother to count them.
What? But Chief Ed Deveau told CNN that his boys tackled Tamerlan and put him in custody. How did he end up so very, very dead?  Did they tackle a corpse?

I wouldn't have cared enough to comment until the bullshit got deeper.  Last night the media started peddling  Law Enforcement disinformation that Tamerlan's own brother had killed him !  The story was  that he ran over him with a car, in making good his escape.  Does that mean that some trophy hunter cut the tire tread mark off Tamerlan's chest?  Of course not.  But it does indicate that Chief Ed Deveau's six heroes have collaborated on a story to explain how the younger brother got away alive.  Here is a sample of the kind of story such police disinformation generates.

Here's another example, a story from Agence France Presse, A.F.P.

And yet another example:

I hasten to insist, that I am not advocating for these two criminals.  But I do want to know the truth of what happened. Even a cursory inspection of the photograph of Tamerlan Tsarnaev's body shows bullet holes which suggest he was shot from all points of the compass.  Sorry folk's, but if this guy was tackled and cuffed by Watertown cops, the leaked photo indicates he was finished off where he lay.  Perhaps that's gun shot residue - powder burns hacked off the side of his chest, close to where his heart once beat.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Boston Bombers were Brothers - Blah, Blah, Blah

Drudge  8AM -  he leads with a shot of police infantry posing for a picture in Boston.  It's going to be another one of those days in the news biz.   The tongue twisting alliterative headlines are lengthening.  Can you say "Brothers who carried bombs in black  backpacks in Boston"?   It's getting rather ludicrous.   "Black hat man dead .... Bragged of Bombing".

As Drudge would write... "Developing"

Ah yes, a  "BRIC"  Bulletin:

"Boston bombing suspect was...a Muslim Boxer".  Well of course he was.  You just can't make this stuff up.  His brother, the baby faced bomber, was a wrestler. But that's not alliterative. 

Boston Business Disrupted, the Braintrust on Edge
My favorite snippet of B - Blah, Blah, Blah today, was published in The Globe and Mail, a Canadian newspaper.

"Bucolic Cambridge, an iconic braintrust that includes Harvard University..."  Nice!

Easter Egg Hunt

The Chechnyan-American brothers seem to have proven their American bonifides by doing what every other American youth does these days... record their day to  day activities in digital images.  In so doing, these rascals prepared themselves well for that popular media game - the EASTER EGG HUNT - a ritual search for pictures which follows every 5 STAR criminal event in the U.S.

This is the older brother, the "Muslim Boxer" who was gunned down earlier this morning. He was hit by multiple rounds fired from different directions. A photo of his thoroughly "ventilated" corpse is on the NET, if you have a taste for crime-porn.  I don't.  What's amazing is that police had the two brothers pinned down in a Boston suburb, engaged them in a sustained firefight, and then the 19 year old  managed to slip the dragnet, for another 12 or more hours!  Incredible.  If the militant young boobs had spent some cash and set up  a couple of safe houses, they'd be sitting back and watching the chaos on CNN. The entire city of Boston was shut done for the day.  The next such national "event" is going to be amazing. 

This is the younger brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, an image scraped from his Twitter account. [The family name is pronounced Joe-HARR tsar-NAH-yev]. I see that the Drudge Report has now (1PM), also labelled him the "Baby Faced Bomber". Satiric minds share commonalities.  Drudge though, won't be the journalist to dissect the performance of the virtual army of law enforcement and military personnel it took to catch this young man.  The media keep repeating the dubious figure,  that "9,000" officers were involved.  Nonsense.


What is really interesting is that today's admitted deployment number is equivalent to two U.S. Army Regiments, with SWAT teams flown in from as far away as Maine and Ohio.   All that for two homegrown terrorists with no assets.  When a coordinated, well funded terrorist attack or the  long-threatened incidents of insurrection finally happen, of the size and scope that the politicians keep insisting must happen, the U.S. Federal Government will have to deploy soldiers and paramilitary police contingents equivalent to several U.S. Army Divisions to contain it.  Then the "War on Terrorism" will truly have come home, and Canada must generously open its arms to American refugee families.  Boston was as much a dress rehearsal for suppressing insurrection, and the testing of new control methodologies on the public, as it was about catching a couple of bad actors.   ... At least the American media gave North Korea a rest for a week. Small mercies, eh?