Archive for October 27th, 2009
Covert government by defense contractor means corrupt wars of conquest, government by dope dealer. When the world’s traditional inebriative herbs become illegal commodities, they become worth as much as precious metal, precious metal that can be farmed. … Illegal drugs, solely because of the artificial value given them by Prohibition, have become the basis of military power anywhere they can be grown and delivered in quantity. … To this day American defense contractors are the biggest drug-money launderers in the world.— Drug War: Covert Money, Power and Policy, p.318.
Revelations from today’s New York Times that Ahmed Wali Karzai, the brother of president of Afghanistan, has been on the payroll of the CIA for years should be utterly unsurprising to anyone that has followed the history of either the CIA or drugs in Afghanistan. In a considerable understatement, the Times story says “The C.I.A.’s practices also suggest that the United States is not doing everything in its power to stamp out the lucrative Afghan drug trade, a major source of revenue for the Taliban.” Far from “doing everything in its power” to end the drug trade, Afghan poppies are also a major source of revenue for the CIA. As Noam Chomsky said: The close correlation between the drug racket and international terrorism (sometimes called “counterinsurgency,” “low intensity conflict” or some other euphemism) is not surprising. Clandestine operations need plenty of money, which should be undetectable. And they need criminal operatives as well. The rest follows.”
What can be done about your Facebook friends who die? According to an article by Mary Elizabeth Williams at Salon.com, Facebook is coming up with some solutions centered on “memorial pages.” Williams also gives this advice:
Be careful what profile pic you post or what your friends write on your wall — it might be your last enduring image.
Some of the neighborhoods near my house in St. Louis have already celebrated Halloween. For instance, my street celebrates Halloween on the Sunday afternoon prior to Halloween. Celebrating in the daylight makes it easier for us to visit with little neighborhood children and their parents. The nearby Compton Heights neighborhood celebrates Halloween on the Saturday night prior to Halloween. Our family was invited to venture over to Compton Heights a few nights ago, and we weren’t disappointed.
Amidst all of the traditional candy-giving, we stumbled upon one particular house where the family had put together its own haunted house. The family owns a big old house, but also owns a separate large two-story carriage house in the back. They hired an electrician to wire up the carriage house with sophisticated lighting and they assembled a team of 20 friends and family to pose as various types of dead people inside the house. Not typical dead people, mind you. Dead people who stand still in the dim lighting and come alive just when you are convinced that they are mannequins (and there were quite a few mannequins too, some of them dismembered). When selected dead people came alive, they yelped, or they screamed; some of them reached out and grabbed you. There were ghouls and ghosts, a vampire, a mummy, floating bones, a guy with a “chainsaw,” and a beheaded guy who suddenly moaned, all of this horror looking rather real and all of these characters lurking carefully amidst the dim lighting as we toured this incredible house.
Each of the photos in this post is from this house. Note that it’s not always easy to take photos in a darkly lit haunted house. While I was taking a photo of a decapitated head on a table, for instance, a dead man reached out and tugged on my sleeve, smudging the long exposure.
How good was it? I stood outside for 30 minutes after I toured the haunted house, and every ten minutes or so, I saw a panicky grown child running from the haunted house crying. Bravo! I then learned that the haunted house family has been putting on this magnificent show, for free, for 15 years. Double Bravo!
But as I walked away from the haunted house, I wondered two things.