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Thursday, April 03, 2014

Fever dreams

It may not have been immediately apparent -- or perhaps it was! -- but I wrote the previous two posts while running a horrendous fever.

I like fevers. The dreams are far more vivid and hallucinatory than normal dreams. A skyrocketing thermometer is a time machine that can warp you right back to 1968 -- to a time of black light posters and Zap comics and the last two reels of 2001: A Space Odyssey. All without the use of any illegal substances!

So finally, after sleeping for 24 hours (waking only at the dog's insistence -- fever or no fever, no-one escapes the demands of She-Who-Must-Be-Fed), my head no longer feels like the match that ignites God's cigar. Although not fully recovered, I can at least sit upright.

With much trepidation, I switched on the computer to look over the preceding two Cannonfire posts. They were first-draft texts, written in a mad dash during the worst part of the fever, and sent into the world without any rewriting. I felt certain that those posts would be filled with typos and non-sequiturs and repetitions.

Nope. They're weird, all right -- but only in terms of subject matter. (Of course, they were intended be weird.) Stylistically -- as examples of wordsmithing -- they came out fine.

Apparently, running a fever is the one sure way to create clean copy without going though lots of rewrites. 

So here I am. Back. What's going on in the real world this morning? I seem to recall something about a missing airplane. Is it still missing? Or did that happen in a fever dream?

Well, here's a story that seems like something I might have concocted while running a high temp: The US created a fake Twitter-thingie as a cyber-weapon against the "communist" government of Cuba.
The project, which lasted more than two years and drew tens of thousands of subscribers, sought to evade Cuba's stranglehold on the Internet with a primitive social media platform. First, the network would build a Cuban audience, mostly young people; then, the plan was to push them toward dissent.

Yet its users were neither aware it was created by a U.S. agency with ties to the State Department, nor that American contractors were gathering personal data about them, in the hope that the information might be used someday for political purposes.
If you think that this kind of thing isn't being done to us, the American public, then you're the one living in a fever dream. The Powers-That-Be don't really care that much about Cuba these days. The real prize is this country.
At minimum, details uncovered by the AP appear to muddy the U.S. Agency for International Development's longstanding claims that it does not conduct covert actions, and could undermine the agency's mission to deliver aid to the world's poor and vulnerable - an effort that requires the trust and cooperation of foreign governments.
Oh, fer Chrissakes. AID = CIA. Everyone knows that.
The project, dubbed "ZunZuneo," slang for a Cuban hummingbird's tweet, was publicly launched shortly after the 2009 arrest in Cuba of American contractor Alan Gross. He was imprisoned after traveling repeatedly to the country on a separate, clandestine USAID mission to expand Internet access using sensitive technology that only governments use.
Ah. I'd love hear more about that. Might even do some further research in this area, once my head clears.
The social media project began development in 2009 after Washington-based Creative Associates International obtained a half-million Cuban cellphone numbers.
Yes, their initials are CAI. Isn't that cute? I'm reminded of the time, back in the 1970s, when an Agency-linked lawyer started a JFK assassination research service wittily called the Committee to Investigate Assassinations.
ZunZuneo vanished abruptly in 2012, and the Communist Party remains in power - with no Cuban Spring on the horizon.
The phrasing may cause us to reconsider the origin of the other "Springs" we've seen lately. Well, at least this "regime change" plan didn't involve Mystery Snipers.

Anyone want to form a Committee for a Spook-Free Internet? Or will that goal always be just a dream...?
They taught me in school that the complete Theory of Natural Selection came to Alfred Russel Wallace while he lay in a hammock delirious with malarial fever, while Charles Darwin developed the theory through hard work and perseverance. Only years later did I learn that Wallace had risked life and limb for many years exploring and researching wildlife of tropical wilderness in pursuit of the species question. Russell had all the pieces he needed and was on the verge of solving the puzzle. The fever was only a nudge that helped push the pieces into a whole. The man’s legacy was stolen from him.

Sometimes a little fever can be a good thing. But there’s always a few who think they’re so clever to recognize a fever and know to dash cold water upon the dream... Knuckleheads. But that’s the end of my comment on that.

Well Mubarak's government was openly hostile to NGO's in Egypt during the Arab Spring. Now we know why. And social media played a big part in promoting the uprising.

Committee to Instigate Assassinations. Public use of the internet was a gift to these guys.

Yesterday I read a very interesting post about Ukraine. Steven Jonas posits that the US instigated coup wasn’t about NATO, but was a ploy to force Putin’s hand to take Crimea so that the US and EU could impose sanctions upon Russian oligarchs in an effort to separate them from Putin. These guys care more about their wealth than mother Russia. The goal is to reinstate Medvedev as president so that Global Capitalism will have access to Russian labor and resources.

Pepe Escobar’s prescient article from a year ago provides a solid foundation to Jonas’ essay.

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