Monthly Archives: January 2004

Scaredycat

I watched Sum Of All Fears this morning with Nefarious and I was thinking about how, with the sheer bulk of bombs we have, eventually the odds catch up to us and we have a nuclear incident. There are six main types of group and/or event that could launch a nuclear strike that I can think of off the top of my head:

  1. Superpower Nation – Clearly countries like Russia, The United States, India, France, and so on have large nuclear arsenals, and advanced nuclear manufacturing nations such Brazil and Canada have the capabilities to create such an arsenal within weeks. However, it is not in the best interests of these nations to launch such strikes. Their weapons exist as deterrents only.
  2. Wanna-be Superpower Nations – Countries such as India, Pakistan, Israel, North Korea, Iran, Libya, and other nations also have nuclear arsenals to one extent or another. However, these nations are not self-destructive, and tend to seek these arsenals for “peaceful” (ie. deterrent) reasons. They are not motivated to launch strikes, simply to possess the arsenal. They only become motivated if they see themselves totally backed into a corner.
  3. Collapsed Superpower Nations – Formerly nuclearly militarized regions such as Chechnya are unpredictable as multiple forces vie for power. However, a nuclear weapon is not very good for internal strife (too destructive to use in a civil war) so it at best becomes (a) something very valuable to sell, or (b) something to threaten neighboring nations with if support is needed (or to force the parent nation to accept secession). Right now the former Soviet states are the greatest risk for these, but countries such as Israel, Pakistan, and even secessionist states like Texas are potential risks as well. However, a nuclear strike by a rogue nation promises to turn the entire world against them, so, again, it's simply not in the best interests of any nation to do it unless they feel they have absolutely no other options.
  4. Unstable Nations – There are a number of African, South American, Middle Eastern, and Asian nations that are all able to produce nuclear weaponry and/or supplies to one extent or another. These are nations with either no real government or highly unstable governments. However, again, for one of these nations to launch a strike would be suicidal — nuclear weapons again become a method of threatening, or a method of generating revenue.
  5. Organized Crime – The only publicly documented case of a nuclear weapon falling into private/unauthorized hands is nuclear materials retrieved from the Mafia. However, their sole motivation is money (ie. selling the bomb). They would never launch a strike — organized crime needs a prosperous private sector to survive.
  6. Terrorist and Extremist Groups – There are of course a small handful of terrorist groups that have threatened nuclear strikes. Whether a terrorist group would want to cross that line (a nuclear strike of course risks turning opinion against them and uniting the world in eliminating them) is up for debate, but a nuclear strike would be a powerful attention getter, as well as a bargaining chip. Ultra-rich doomsday cults are similarly motivated, but for different reasons.

So other than groups that are fundamentally insane, no one is motivated to voluntarily launch a strike. The nuclear weaponry is by and large a tool to facilitate communication and peace, strangely enough. However, I've left off one very very very important group that would actually profit from a nuclear strike.

Let's look at what a nuclear strike could do:

  1. It would instantly clamp down societies around the world into heavily controlled police states.
  2. It would hugely increase distrust in authority, and if it wasn't for the fear keeping people in line, they'd lose total respect for the government and its structures. But, fear will keep them in line and patriotic.
  3. There would be a huge increase in military spending and employment, and taxes would be increased all over the world.
  4. The arms race would begin again and militarization of space would escalate.

So, like I said, a nuclear strike costs everyone on the list I made above. They lose. They may have nuclear weapons, but the last thing they want is a nuclear strike — let alone the ensuing world war (or at least the conditions on the second list). Now let's remake the first list, including only the “people” who will actually profit from a nuclear strike:

  1. Megacorporations – Effectively all military spending, other than employment, is private. That is, the money is handed to private contractors (the corporations) rather than being spent internally. In addition, even the employment is becoming privatized in increasing numbers. The more war there is, the more money the corporation makes.

Now, I've explained this before at length, but it's important to really understand: A corporation is an automated system designed from the ground up to put profit above all else. This is legally mandated, so a public corporation can not “do the right thing” if it interferes with profit (private corporations are not so bound).

What that means is that if my core hypothesis is correct (that the corporation profits from war) — and we've been watching how true that is very publicly over the last two years — then it means that any corporation in a position to do so must legally do everything in its power to ensure global war. It has no alternative. Now you need to ask yourself — how much power does the corporation have? Does the corporation have the power to put politicians in power? Do they control the media? Do they…? Do they control the military?

Yes.

It's not a secret. They can do whatever they want, and every day they etch away the few protections humans have left. Remember one important other thing: the corporation is not human, and it is not controlled by humans. It is an automated system without feelings. If a corporation can continue to function without people, it will. It does not care who it sells to. It doesn't even care if it's real. It's a paper game…

Are you even registered to vote?

Think mastitis can't happen to men?

Think again. This is after a nipple piercing got infected:

Ltd Ed

I finally got around to framing my signed Tom Tomorrow and David Rees prints. They've been in storage until now. The three Tom Tomorrow prints (about 8×10 in size each) are done together in a matt-black-on-black setup and the David Rees ones (you can see the size in the middle picture from the hammer head) are mounted in German silver with a red backing exposing the torn edges.

Lots more to hang still of my own work and Jim Woodring originals and prints as well. For those that know it, I'm going to restore the Scott Fox painting and then frame it nicely… It's been getting kicked around for too long.

Working on an image update…

The US “death toll” (which doesn't count the over 10,000 US casualties) just crossed the 500 line (more) as insurgency continues to grow. Both the US and now the UN as well have told the Iraqis they will not be able to have their elections (more), which is enraging the Shiites (more) who were expecting to finally come to power… and promise escalated violence if they are denied the vote (more).

A number of “patriotic” videos have been doing the rounds of the right-wing websites that dominate American ideology these days. The two videos below are being presented along side racist commentary, jokes, and cheering as to the effectiveness of the weaponry.

Watch Iraqis be killed from the deck of an Apache helicopter. It is believed they might be carrying an unidentified weapon of some sort. “They might have wanted to kill Americans if those were weapons they had (so what if they didn't).”
 

Watch US troops repeatedly shoot a wounded Iraqi. One US soldier describes what it's like killing an Arab: “It was a good feeling. Afterwards, you're like, Hell, yeah, that was AWESOME! Let's do it again!

Oh, and the US continues to hold “detainees” (not prisoners of war since under the laws of war their treatment is a treaty violation) that are as young as 13 years old at Guantanamo (more). It all just makes you so proud what we humans have accomplished in the past 6,000 years, doesn't it?

Telesurvey

Now that I'm back in the city I'm getting a lot of telemarketing calls and wrong numbers again, especially since this is a new listing I suppose. Here is today's call (short version)… It seemed funny at the time at least.

Dude: Do you have any recording devices in your household, like a tape recorder, a computer with recording equipment, or a minidisc recorder?

Me: Does a miniature tape recorder count?

Yes.

I have one that I use to record stuff that happens when I'm not here.

Do you have a CD player?

No, nothing like that.

Have you bought any music in the last twelve months?

I haven't bought any music since they stopped making tapes. Oh, wait, I did buy some as a present though. Does that count?

Yes. Do you have an MP3 player?

A… what?
  …I have no idea what that is…

Have you bought any blank CDs in the last twelve months?

*Blank* CDs?!? Why would I want to buy something like that!?!

Maybe as a present?

Seems like a pretty crappy present to me.

Do you have a computer?

Well, I have a Commodore 64. It's pretty old.

And does it have a CD-ROM drive?

It has a 5 1/4″ disc drive, but nothing like what you're talking about.

Do you have any MP3 songs on the hard drive?

Do I have any what on the what now?

How many telephone numbers do you have in your house?

Jeeezzz… My phone book must have millions of the them in it.

No, how many of your own telephone numbers do you have?

Oh, just this one then.

And do you use the internet?

I've tried, but it really sucks. I don't think my computer is very good at it.

What is your first langauge?

BASIC!!!

Is that a language?

Oh, you mean human languages?

Yes. English?

English.

And how many people live in your household?

Counting all the animals?

No, just the people.

Seven then.

Thank you.