Friday, October 11, 2002

"Taking and not giving back, demanding that 'productivity' and 'earnings' keep on increasing with time, the System removing from the rest of the World these vast quantities of energy to keep its own tiny desperate fraction showing a profit: and not only most of humanity-- most of the World, animal, vegetable and mineral, is laid waste in the process."
Gravity's Rainbow p. 412

"I thought of it as dinosaur blood when it dripped on my hand this morning, and it made me wonder how the US war strategy would change if Saddam made a small recalibration in his business practices. Of course, the gasoline that spilled as I refilled my rental car this morning at the DFW airport – and the refined kerosene that will fuel the plane I’ll fly in today – is far more ancient than even the spectacular Tyrannosaurus Rex bones discovered north of here. They vanished around 65 million years ago, but the fossilized plants and bacteria that made my gasoline are 300 to 400 million years old. By the time dinosaurs ruled the Earth, pretty much all of the oil production of the planet was finished. Strange, when you consider it in those terms, that we’d base a nation’s foreign policy on a limited supply of fossils older than the dinosaurs. "
The Dinosaur War – To Protect Corporate Profits

"[...] Perhaps the critics are too generous to suspect merely political gamesmanship or settling a score for dad, for the allies and enemies that Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney choose are exactly those of the oil industry they still serve. Iraq crossed western oil corporations 30 years ago, and the oil executives have long memories. In 1972, Saddam Hussein and his Ba'ath party nationalized the oil holdings of the Iraq Petroleum Company, which actually was owned by a group of western oil companies including Royal Dutch and American and French firms. The U.S. and Britain launched an embargo of Iraq in an attempt to persuade Hussein to re-privatize oil -- a tactic that succeeded for the U.S. when it embargoed Iran in retaliation for nationalizing its oil industry in 1951. In that case the economic squeeze was topped off with a CIA-assisted coup and "regime change," which instituted the Shah as the new leader in 1953. Obediently, the Shah agreed to let British and American oil companies take over oil production again. But when the U.S. instigated an embargo against Iraq, Hussein simply found a new customer-- the Soviet
Union. [...]"
Bush and Cheney Critics
May Be Too Generous

"The nationalization of the oil industry was considered by the BaÅth leaders to be their greatest achievement. Between 1969 and 1972 several agreements with foreign powers—the Soviet Union and others—were concluded to provide the Iraq National Oil Company (INOC) with the capital and technical skills to exploit the oil fields. In 1972 the operation of the North Rumaylah field, rich in oil, started, and an Iraqi Oil Tankers Company was established to deliver oil to several foreign countries. Also in 1972 the Iraq Petroleum Company (IPC) was nationalized (with compensation), and a national company, the Iraqi Company for Oil Operations, was established to operate the fields. In 1973, when the fourth Arab-Israeli War broke out, Iraq nationalized U.S. and Dutch companies, and in 1975 it nationalized the remaining foreign interests in the Basra Petroleum Company."
"Iraq" Encyclopædia Britannica
[Accessed October 11, 2002].

"The oil towers stand sentinel, bone-empty, in the dark [....] Time for retrospection here, for refining the recent history that's being pumped up fetid and black from other strata of Earth's mind. . . ."
Gravity's Rainbow, p. 354

"For the first time now it becomes apparent that the 4
and the Father-conspiracy do not entirely fill their
world. Their struggle is not the only or even the
ultimate one. Indeed, not only are there many other
struggles, but there are also spectators, watching,
as spectators will do, hundreds of thousands of them,
sitting around this dingy yellow amphitheatre [...]"
Gravity's Rainbow

[...] One final consideration that might come into
play in the foreign policy realm relates to Bush's
history relevant to his father. The Bush biography
reveals the story of a boy named for his father, sent
to the exclusive private school in the East where his
father's reputation as star athlete and later war hero
were still remembered. The younger George's
achievements were dwarfed in the school's memory of
his father. Athletically he could not achieve his
father's laurels, being smaller and perhaps less
strong. His drinking bouts and lack of intellectual
gifts held him back as well. He was popular and well
liked, however. His military record was mediocre as
compared to his father's as well. Bush entered the
Texas National Guard. What he did there remains
largely a mystery. There are reports of a lot of
barhopping during this period. It would be only
natural that Bush would want to prove himself today,
that he would feel somewhat uncomfortable following,
as before, in his father's footsteps. I mention these
things because when you follow his speeches, Bush
seems bent on a personal crusade. One motive is to
avenge his father. Another seems to be to prove
himself to his father. In fact, Bush seems to be
trying somehow to achieve what his father failed to do
- - to finish the job of the Gulf War, to get the
"evildoer" Saddam.

To summarize, George W. Bush manifests all the classic
patterns of what alcoholics in recovery call "the dry
drunk." His behavior is consistent with barely
noticeable but meaningful brain damage brought on by
years of heavy drinking and possible cocaine use. All
the classic patterns of addictive thinking that are
spelled out in my book are here:

-the tendency to go to extremes (leading America into a
massive 100 billion dollar strike-first war);

-a "kill or be killed mentality;" the tunnel vision;

-"I" as opposed to "we" thinking;

-the black and white polarized thought processes
(good versus evil, all or nothing thinking).

-His drive to finish his father's battles is of no
small significance, psychologically.

If the public (and politicians) could only see what
Fulbright noted as the pathology in the politics. One
day, sadly, they will. [...]

October 11, 2002
Addiction, Brain Damage and the President
"Dry Drunk" Syndrome and George W. Bush

by Katherine vn Wormer

Thursday, October 10, 2002

[...] Thanks to the new discoveries, researchers can now trace how Hollerith numbers assigned to inmates evolved into the horrific tattooed numbers so symbolic of the Nazi era. (Herman Hollerith was the German American who first automated U.S. census information in the late 19th century and founded the company that became IBM. Hollerith's name became synonymous with the machines and the Nazi "departments" that operated them.) In one case, records show, a timber merchant from Bendzin, Poland, arrived at Auschwitz in August 1943 and was assigned a characteristic five-digit IBM Hollerith number, 44673. The number was part of a custom punch-card system devised by IBM to track prisoners in all Nazi concentration camps, including the slave labor at Auschwitz. Later in the summer of 1943, the Polish timber merchant's same five-digit Hollerith number, 44673, was tattooed on his forearm. Eventually, during the summer of 1943, all non-Germans at Auschwitz were similarly tattooed. [...] Central to the Nazi effort was a massive 500-man Hollerith Gruppe, installed in a looming brown building at 24 Murnerstrasse in Krakow, Poland. The Hollerith Gruppe of the Nazi Statistical Office crunched all the numbers of plunder and genocide that allowed the Nazis to systematically starve the Jews, meter them out of the ghettos, and then transport them to either work camps or death camps. The trains running to Auschwitz were tracked by a specially guarded IBM customer site facility at 22 Pawia in Krakow. The millions of punch cards the Nazis in Poland required were obtained exclusively from IBM, including from one company print shop at 6 Rymarska Street across the street from the Warsaw Ghetto. The entire Polish subsidiary was overseen by an IBM administrative facility at 24 Kreuz in Warsaw.

The exact addresses and equipment arrays of the key IBM offices and customer sites in Nazi-occupied Poland had already been uncovered. But no one had ever been able to determine whether there was an IBM facility at, or even near, Auschwitz—until now. Auschwitz chief archivist Piotr Setkiewicz finally pinpointed the first such IBM customer site.

[...[ The newly unearthed IBM customer site was a huge Hollerith Büro. It was situated in the I.G. Farben
factory complex, housed in Barracks 18, next to German Civil Worker Camp 7, about two kilometers from Monowitz. Archivists found the Büro only because it was listed in the I.G. Werk Auschwitz phone book on page 50. The phone extension was 4496. "I was looking for something else," recalls Auschwitz's Setkiewicz, "and there it was."

Many of the long-known paper prisoner forms stamped Hollerith Erfasst, or "registered by Hollerith," indicated the prisoners were from Monowitz. Now Auschwitz archivist Setkiewicz has discovered about 100 Hollerith machine summary printouts of Monowitz prisoner assignments and details generated by the I.G. Farben customer site. Comparison of the new printouts to other typical camp cards shows the Monowitz systems were customized for the specific coding Farben needed to process the thousands of slave workers who labored and died there. The machines were probably also used to manage and develop manufacturing processes and ordinary business applications. The machines almost certainly did not maintain extermination totals, which were calculated as "evacuations" by the Hollerith Gruppe in Krakow. "The Hollerith office at IG Farben in Monowitz used the IBM machines as a system of computerization of civil and slave labor resources," said Setkiewicz. "This gave Farben the opportunity to identify people with certain skills, primarily skills needed for the construction of certain buildings in Monowitz." At press time, the diverse Farben codes and range of machine uses were still being studied. [...]
Village Voice

"By 1945, the factory system -- which, more than any piece of machinery, was the real and major result of the Industrial Revolution -- had been extended to include the Manhattan Project, the German long-range rocket program and the death camps, such as Auschwitz."
Thomas Pynchon