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The State of Exception (May We Awaken)

The Constitution is politics. The rest is administration, showmanship, and the division of the spoils. What has happened to our Constitution under Bush is a national, indeed, a world historical tragedy. Our Founding Fathers are being displaced by a German jurist, Carl Schmitt, who rose to influence between the first and second world wars. That the Supreme court (voting 5/4) has pushed back a little is good, but the forces of fascism are strong and they are bi-partisan. Fascism can be defined as rule by one who is above the law,  through a ceremonial constitution, responsive to corporate interests, demonizing enemies, and ruling by fear, propaganda, surveillance, and secret force. Has Obama spoken out against this? Hillary?

Fascist rule takes place in a state of exception. The Constitution is "switched on and off," after an event like the Reichstag fire, or 9/11, to protect it. For more, on the State of Exception, the way our Constitution is being played using (what was clearly in Germany) fascist legal theory go here, via. That McCain favors Schmitt's real politik is unconscionable. Our great country is founded upon ideals memorialized in our Constitution. To switch that off in response to a building blowing up is personal cowardice or political opportunism.

As times get tougher, how sad it would be if those who have the most work through a strong man to shift more and more of the pain and blame to those who have least. The real terror in America is the terror felt by our leaders when they contemplate the American people rising up against them to take our country back, and to restore the Constitution that has served us so well. May protest be peaceful, however violent is the oppression, the extra-legal ferocity of the plunderer, in the state of exception.  The mass corporate media can hold it together awhile longer, but when the food shortages and gas lines kick in, Americans will be looking for someone to blame. I would suggest we start by restoring the rule of law.  With the Constitution toggled to the off position, our leaders would be usupers. 

Excuse, me, I hear bootsteps in the hall. 

Que Pasa?

Mr. Matrullo reflects on  Reinhold Niebuhr. To see the mote in another's eye, but not the beam in your own is an ethical failing. For that matter so is being blind to the murders traditionally committed by those in your station in life.  What is going on? Best not to see or say, lest you be the one to whom bad things happen in secret with nothing said and no appeal. How well Americans will adapt themselves to these blindnesses and insights remains to be seen. So far we are doing very well, I think, at least in the not seeing what is going on area of our social obligations. Philanthropy helps too in that regard being so polite and inoffensive. Leadership in selective attention is provided by our media. Who can blame us for not seeing what is really going on?

Protest will Land you on The Wrong List?


1. Historically: A tribute formerly extracted from farmers and small owners in the border counties of England and Scotland, and along the Highland border, by freebooting chiefs, in return for protection or immunity from plunder.

2. By extension: Any payment extorted by intimidation or pressure, or levied by unprincipled officials, critics, journalists, etc. upon those whom they have it in their power to help or injure. Now usually a payment extorted by threats or pressure, especially by threatening to reveal a discreditable secret.

The Oxford English Dictionary, via.

Control File

1. Historically: a file kept by government officials to blackmail or destroy friends and enemies alike.

2. By extension: secret files or watch lists on protesters and other chronic malcontents kept by government bureaus, secret services, private contractors, paramilitaries, telephone companies, internet service providers, employers, libraries, and other entities to assist the duly constituted authorities in keeping things under control for the benefit of all concerned, with none the wiser.

Philanthropy and/or Voluntary Action for Social Change

1. Historically: an ineffectual effort by dupes to change a world owned and controlled by knaves.

2. By extension: Any subversive activity which by means of philanthropy, social organizing, satire, expose, meditation, prayer, or peaceful protest attempts to turn the world upside down, or right side up, depending which side you are on.