Posts Tagged ‘Dick Cheney’

The Fracking Kali Yuga

February 26, 2013

Not too long ago, the term “Kali Yuga” came up. I don’t remember why or how. I knew that Kali Yuga is an Indian religious concept, that a “Yuga” is an era or age, and that the Kali Yuga is the demonic age. But I wanted a little deeper understanding, so I did a search. The first link I hit defined it as “The present age,” which made me laugh. ‘Twas rueful laughter. I don’t know that I believe we’re in the Kali Yuga. Very often this type of thing is symbolism or myth, a way of talking about certain ideas. And sometimes they’re just superstition. But last night I saw a movie that made me think that, if there is such a thing, we might be in the Kali Yuga now.

The movie was Gasland, a documentary about fracking. (I know it’s already made the rounds, but I seldom see films.) If you’ve never seen it, you ought to. It’s one of those films about something bad happening in the world that is extremely discouraging. But the filmmaker, Josh Fox, has a good sense of humor, which made the film bearable. In a nutshell, the film says that while in office, Dick Cheney (in my opinion one of the most detestable men in American history) saw to the passage of a law that gets the gas companies off the hook for any environmental damage caused by fracking. The gas companies are clearly causing a great deal of harm to people, to the land, and to animals. Their indifference to the damage is demonic. They’ve been going to great lengths to make the film seem “controversial.” I can’t argue the science. I’ve never been that attracted to scientific learning. But I know liars and sellouts when I hear them, and the gas companies are clearly being defended by liars and sellouts. The government is not doing a thing to stop what’s going on. They either pretend it’s not happening or they actively assist the gas companies. I recommend the film to anyone who doesn’t know much about this whole fracking business. I had no idea how developed and wide spread it was.

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The Extraordinarily Keen Poetry of the Universe

July 19, 2010

From today’s New York Times:

Former Vice President Dick Cheney is recuperating from surgery to implant the kind of mechanical pump now being given to a small but growing number of people with heart failure so severe that they would most likely die within a few months without it.The pumps are partial artificial hearts known as ventricular assist devices, and they come in various models. Mr. Cheney’s kind is about the size of a D battery and leaves most recipients without a pulse because it pushes blood continuously instead of mimicking the heart’s own pulsatile beat. Most such pulse-less patients feel nothing unusual. But they are urged to wear bracelets or other identifications to alert emergency room doctors as to why they have no pulse.

The Torture Debate

May 13, 2009

The torture debate now revolves around the issue of whether or not it was effective. Some say yes, some say no, while others say that even if it was effective, it’s wrong to torture. Maybe someone else has said this, but I haven’t seen it anywhere: I don’t think it had anything to do with extracting information. It was all about inflicting pain on people they hated. It was revenge. My hunch is that one of the reasons Cheney is being so loud is to protect himself from prosecution, which he surely deserves. But he knows that if he were to be prosecuted now, many would see it as Obama punishing him for speaking out, which would not be a popular act, politically speaking.

Utter Madness

March 11, 2009

Some comments made by investigative reporter Seymour Hersh on March 10 at a forum at the University of Minnesota:

“After 9/11, I haven’t written about this yet, but the Central Intelligence Agency was very deeply involved in domestic activities against people they thought to be enemies of the state. Without any legal authority for it. They haven’t been called on it yet. That does happen.

“Right now, today, there was a story in the New York Times that if you read it carefully mentioned something known as the Joint Special Operations Command — JSOC it’s called. It is a special wing of our special operations community that is set up independently. They do not report to anybody, except in the Bush-Cheney days, they reported directly to the Cheney office. They did not report to the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff or to Mr. [Robert] Gates, the secretary of defense. They reported directly to him. …

“Congress has no oversight of it. It’s an executive assassination ring essentially, and it’s been going on and on and on. Just today in the Times there was a story that its leaders, a three star admiral named [William H.] McRaven, ordered a stop to it because there were so many collateral deaths.

“Under President Bush’s authority, they’ve been going into countries, not talking to the ambassador or the CIA station chief, and finding people on a list and executing them and leaving. That’s been going on, in the name of all of us.

“It’s complicated because the guys doing it are not murderers, and yet they are committing what we would normally call murder. It’s a very complicated issue. Because they are young men that went into the Special Forces. The Delta Forces you’ve heard about. Navy Seal teams. Highly specialized.

“In many cases, they were the best and the brightest. Really, no exaggerations. Really fine guys that went in to do the kind of necessary jobs that they think you need to do to protect America. And then they find themselves torturing people.

“I’ve had people say to me — five years ago, I had one say: ‘What do you call it when you interrogate somebody and you leave them bleeding and they don’t get any medical committee and two days later he dies. Is that murder? What happens if I get before a committee?’

“But they’re not gonna get before a committee.”

The Dick Cheney

February 8, 2009

A few days ago Dick Cheney told an interviewer: “The United States needs to be not so much loved as it needs to be respected.” That’s the sort of thing that sounds like wisdom to an egotist. Respect and love are not separate entities. Where there is no respect, there is no love; where there is no love, there is no respect. What Cheney really meant, of course, is that he believes other countries should fear us. But he can’t use that word.

A few years ago, my wife Judy and I were in Jackson, Wyoming to do a presentation on the parrot movie at the National Museum of Wildlife Art. Afterward, we were to fly to Denver from Jackson and then on home, but we got held up on the runway. The pilot explained that we had to wait for the Vice President’s plane to give us permission to pass. It was sitting next to the runway, engines off, doors open, ramps down, not going anywhere. It wasn’t at all clear what was going on, and, of course, nobody explained. As the window for catching our connecting flight to San Francisco shrank, my contempt for the son of a bitch—already high—grew by the minute. Finally, they let us go. As far as I could see, nothing outside the plane had changed at all. That little episode reeked of imperial hubris. In a democracy, the people in the government are supposed to be the servants of the people, not their lords and masters. People like Cheney, and there are many of them, don’t care whether we love them or not. They want to rule over us and prefer to be feared rather than loved or respected. They need to be weeded out.