Deus ex machina

Chalk Graffiti outside Corpus Christi College, Oxford (photo credit: piblet)

Chalk graffiti outside Corpus Christi College, Oxford (photo credit: piblet)

“Clichés, stock phrases, adherence to conventional, standardized codes of expression and conduct have the socially recognized function of protecting us against reality.”

by Hannah Arendt

As Chechnyans this week looked out their windows and shushed their children to listen for the unmistakeable buzz of the Predator drone, the talking heads in the mainstream press were all a twitter over the fact that the surviving brother and alleged Boston Marathon bomber was not Mirandized by law enforcement when taken into custody. Once again, the forest burns while an olive tree is shaken in the hopes that an orange will fall out. The Miranda statement is basically the justice system’s polite way of saying you really should shut the puck up because we can and we will use your words against you. What 19 year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev needs now is not merely his rights read to him, he needs a legal advocate, aka an attorney, and he needs it STAT. Tsarnaev needs Lynne Stewart but unfortunately she’s serving time in federal prison for standing on the side of the poor, dispossessed and Muslim, more casualties of the unending War of Terror™. Tsarnaev has been surrounded for the past week by alpha males who feel they have the moral winds at their backs because America is Boston Strong©. He needs to not just remain silent to avoid self-incrimination, he needs witnesses to his detention. Legal and journalistic representatives who will document every word spoken to him, ensure that his rights are not further violated and report the interactions in an open courtroom vis-à-vis Bradley Manning. Even if Tsarnaev is completely and one hundred percent guilty and acted without any outside influence, he is a naturalized American citizen (like myself) and is entitled to legal counsel. Until then, cold case investigators everywhere may have found the ultimate patsy. For all we know, Tsarnaev and his brother were the ones who took out JFK from the grassy knoll, flew Flight 77 into the Pentagon before ejecting at the last minute and double-handedly rigged the elections in Venezuela.

Palestinians playing football in the West Bank (photo credit: Justin McIntosh)

Palestinians playing football in the West Bank (photo credit: Justin McIntosh)

While Americans were following the bouncing ball and clapping like trained seals, our newly crowned Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, pledged billions of American pesos dollars this week in military aid to Israel. According to The Guardian, this would include “the sale of KC-135 aerial refuelling tankers, anti-air defence missiles and tilt-rotor V-22 Osprey troop transport planes to Israel.” These weapons of kinda mass destruction will no doubt be used in “self-defense” when the big, bad Palestinians huff and puff and threaten to blow the house down of a nation that has thermonuclear capabilities and forces its subjects to submit to degrading checkpoints to move from one colonized area to another for work and survival. For those students who were fortunate enough not to have lazy, good-for-nothin’, union loving teachers, they will surely be able to read between the lines and draw the conclusion that all of this military hardware will not be used to make the life of the Palestinians in the occupied territories any easier. In fact, its a good chance that one of those tilt-rotor V-22 Osprey troop transport planes or anti-air defense missiles will have the name of a Palestinian man, woman or child on it, a notch in the belt of Israeli supremacy and domination of an endangered and indigenous population that is clearly outgunned and virtually defenseless in its ability to protect its civilian population. But end times Christians can keep telling themselves that Israel has carte blanche to oppress and subjugate the Palestinians because they are the “chosen people” of God, while conveniently ignoring the part of the Bible that states, “Also you shall not oppress a stranger, for you know the heart of a stranger, because you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” Fortunately, there are people of this Earth who have not forgotten the worn paths.

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(Photo credit: London Permaculture)

Finally, a fellow blogger, The Secular Jurist, shared a report that debunked the “fuzzy math” that formed the basis of the central premise of austerity which claims that “high debt stifles economic growth”. The critique by Thomas Herndon, a 28 year-old graduate student at UMass, of Reinhart and Rogo ff whose Hahvahd study the proponents of austerity, such as Paul Ryan, have used as a justification for privatization, deregulation and massive social spending cuts found that “coding errors, selective exclusion of available data, and unconventional weighting of summary statistics lead to serious errors that inaccurately represent the relationship between public debt and GDP growth among 20 advanced economies in the post-war period.” Hmm, sounds like another report I’ve heard of…one that was used as a rationalization for No (Wealthy) Child Left Behind, the most punitive federal education initiative ever devised in the dark hearts of our nation’s think tanks. With all due respect, the errors in coding, exclusion of data, and unconventional weighting were not “miscalculations”, they were deliberate obfuscations intended to further serve the narrative being propagated by our nation’s storytellers, i.e., it was good old fashioned propaganda and many citizens have bought into it because it offers a scapegoat, namely, irresponsible debt accumulators who expect the government to bail them out such as the too big to jail banks and corporate jolly green glowing giants, ahem, I mean the “deadbeat” mortgage scoffers, public sector workers and pensioners, i.e., the middle class of most developed countries. The theater curtains on the Age of Austerity™ are unfurling in America as it has it in Europe. The poor, well, they’ve always been the gum under the wing-tipped shoes of the uber-wealthy, global capitalists. In this stage production, every one has a role to play and every voice counts but it will take moral courage and unwavering focus to earn our kleos, our songs of songs.

Peace to all readers.

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26 Responses to Deus ex machina

  1. Thank you again, for upsetting my world. Lynne Stewart’s story is heartbreaking.


  2. lens1 says:

    Keep keeping on Jeff. There might be a some day when someone asks: what were you people thinking? And they’ll find the myths…deconstructed here.

    Thanks man.


  3. Great post.
    I agree that by keeping us in fear, we are distracted from the truth. We believe that is told to us. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his brother are labelled terrorists but the Newtown and Aurora shooters are only mentally ill. See Truthdig cartoon:

    Once people are labelled terrorists, the public does not want to understand their actions. All empathy is out the door. Human rights and legal rights are no longer a privilege so the fact that Tsarnaev was not read his rights and have not been provided with a legal representative is not surprising. I have come to accept some blatant acts to curb a fair trial for those deemed terrorists.


    • Jeff Nguyen says:

      The cartoon was right on. The justice system is difficult enough to traverse even when the Miranda rights are read and legal counsel is provided. In Guantanamo, there are prisoners who have been “indefinitely detained” for a decade. Even if Tsarnaev remains silent, without a competent lawyer he is virtually defenseless.

      I always appreciate your thoughtful and considered comments.


  4. moorbey says:

    Kongratz I have nominated ur blog 4 the Most Influential Blogger Award. Check it out here


  5. simian says:

    Reblogged this on and commented:
    Even if Tsarnaev is completely and one hundred percent guilty and acted without any outside influence, he is a naturalized American citizen (like myself) and is entitled to legal counsel. Until then, cold case investigators everywhere may have found the ultimate patsy.


  6. Vassilis says:

    Thank you Jeff for another eye opening post. Even though I do not watch the news on TV anymore, a couple of days ago I happen to see the Vice President talking about the “terrorists of Boston” with simple and thus striking words that catch the ear.
    An additional problem and puzzlement (apart from what he actually says) was that he was (probably) reading them from the autocue! So they were not spontaneous at all, just written to sound as they were! The MM psychologists and communicators are working 24/7!


    • Jeff Nguyen says:

      I watch little news on the networks but when I do its hard sometimes to tell if the talking heads truly believe their own spin…they sound so sincere when they’re talking. Anyway, if the VP was the POTUS we’d probably be at war with Iran and North Korea by now.


  7. Your article pushes the envelop, is masterfully written, well supported, and absolutely correct as usual. You inspire me sir. Thanks for having balls of steel and a heart of gold. I’ll come break you out of Guantanamo if they get to you first. 😉


  8. ohiasia says:

    Awesome! How do you come up with this stuff: “Once again, the forest burns while an olive tree is shaken in the hopes that an orange will fall out.” !!


  9. Apparently, Tsarnaev was held for 16 hours and made several requests for an attorney. He was only mirandized when a federal judge, on her own initiative, set up a tribunal in the hospital, and mirandized him. Check out Glenn Greenwald on the subject

    As a criminal defense lawyer for about 10 years, I can add that is illegal, in all circumstances, to interrogate an American citizen after a clear, unambiguous request for counsel. Bright-line stuff. This is a cornerstone of our system of criminal jurisprudence. These days, you look like a wild-eyed subversive if you suggest that we should adhere to our principles, even in “post 9-11” world.

    The phrase “post 9/11 world” is a great one isn’t it?

    Almost as if terrorism were new. It isn’t of course. Groups of irregulars hitting soft targets is as old as domination by regular forces. It is a great rallying cry, though, to tear our own freedoms down. I mean, it is pure naivety to suggest our Constitution still matters. This is the same attitutude you saw in our cold-warriors, like Kissinger and the crew. Anything done in the name of fighting communism was ok…arming Guatemalan baby-killers, supporting fascist drug runners, killing priests and students with money you had to hide from congress…

    The dismantling of our free society into a police state and of our citizens into corporate-feed is happening so fast and right out in the open. It is critical that we all speak out where we can.

    Once we win the battle with our own hearts and minds…once we come to a conclusion as a society that we will not give up our freedom and principles to these gilded, bloody freaks, the rest is easy.

    Great column , Jeff. Keep it up my man!


    • Jeff Nguyen says:

      I read somewhere that the parents have connections of some sort and are working on getting him a lawyer but wasn’t sure if that happened yet. Either way, the slippery slope is coated in baby oil and more people are going to find themselves headed down the rabbit hole of foggy due process and a vague notion of citizen’s rights. You’re right that we all need to be speaking up and speaking out, every voice is needed.


  10. Henry Jekyll says:

    Reblogged this on highgradediscourse and commented:
    This is a wonderfully written article that elucidates much regarding the misinformation prosecuted by those who seek to keep the plebeian mired in confusion.


  11. Henry Jekyll says:

    Another great piece Jeff. The “living document” view of Constitutional interpretation has been manipulated to redefine Equal Protection, Due Process and the Bill of Rights. American citizenship seems less robust of a guarantee than the days of yore. These trends look eerily familiar to those across the pond in the 30s.


    • Jeff Nguyen says:

      Thanks Henry, good to hear from you again. Like the Bible, it seems the Constitution can be molded to fit the needs of whomever is at the “pulpit”. It is not hard to make the association between the stoking of paranoia and neighbor turned informant modus operandi of the Stasi and the events in Boston.


  12. Anonymous says:

    As ever, powerfully written and argued. re: Palestine, Sarah Irving has written an awesome piece based on Eyal Weisman’s speech in Manchester last week.


  13. Just one Christ believer here, ashamed, and embarrassed by the willing ignorance, complacency, and cruelty displayed by those who profess Christ. You don’t hear much from us, but we’re out here, in small numbers, spreading truth as well. It leaves me dumbfounded, but somewhat less so, when I understand the lies we once swallowed and how cleverly constructed they’ve been. I try to use words to expose such things on my new blog through poetry. Originally a humble attempt to spread truth to those close to me locked in their boxes. I thought since they don’t seem to be effected by verifiable facts, I would pursue yet another avenue. I’ve began blogging only last month. Your site seems to have similar objectives, glad I found it. The olive tree line is gold…the power of words. You deserve a bigger audience, of which I am now glad to join. Thank you.


  14. Pingback: Prima Palestina | Perfidious Albinos

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