Archive for the ‘Norman Ball’ Category


From the Halls of Montezuma to the Shores
of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool


Seizing the opportunity both to flex its domestic drone capability and finish what the Nazis failed to accomplish on Omaha Beach, the NSA has turned its airborne lethality on WWII vets currently attempting a beachhead at various DC monument sites commemorating past and fading glories.

Agreeing to meet us in an underground parking lot in Georgetown, one NSA official explained, “Our black ops budgets are immune to the fiscal train-wreck in Washington. Since the Afghan poppy season produced a bumper crop this year, we decided to strafe war-hardened, patriotic octogenarians as a test of our in-country capabilities.”

Could this be true? What would Ike say?

Reached at a Beltway coffee shop, one off-the-clock VA official reluctantly offered this assessment while attacking an elaborate German strudel:

“The VA observes a ‘one fascism per lifetime’ policy. Thus any WWII veteran injured in the current skirmish will not be eligible for medical coverage and could well imperil his benefits. We could go broke if we don’t exclude civil insurrections.”

“But we are broke.”

“All the more reason.”


Of course these all-too-human bureaucratic obfuscations are largely academic, especially as the drones now self-police their own shoot-to-kill provisions. Speaking in a metallic voice devoid of human emotion, a spokesman for the Pentagon’s Drone Emergency Auxiliary Division (DEAD) offered this: “The glint of aluminum wheelchairs on memorial grounds will be met with the full force of our deterrent capability.” Pressed to elaborate on the source-code of these marching orders, the spokesman beeped before offering, “The glint of aluminum wheelchairs on memorial grounds will be met with the full force of our deterrent capability.” Then, without warning the spokesman locked it steely gaze on my aluminum tape recorder, prompting this reporter to seek higher ground.

Drones, it should be noted, are designed to be short on words and long on lethality, mistaken identity and plausible deniability.

Recalling an era when men put their blood on the line, 89-year-old Lt. (ret.) Rusty ‘Big Red One’ Everett reminisced, “Had I known we’d be defeating German Panzer divisions to make the world safe for Yankee drones, I might have rethought the whole equation. You could see the Nazis on the cliffs above us. In hindsight, it was strangely comforting.”

No one in Congress could be reached for comment. As a general rule, few in Congress are ever reached for combat. Not far from Lt. Everett’s wheelchair, the clanging weight-plates of the still-opened House and Senate gym pounded away like the guns of Navarone.

He Who Controls the Present, Remote-Controls Da Planes (Satire)

Norman Ball reporting

In what’s being widely hailed both as a triumph of bipartisan cooperation and unassailable evidence for the existence of Congressional off-shore bank accounts, the ‘USAF-al Qaeda Aerial Bombing Consolidation Act’ sailed through House and Senate chambers today as though borne aloft on the wings of an F/A-18.

A spokesman for the lobbying group spearheading the effort on Capitol Hill—the Project for a New American Abyss (PNAA)—could be heard pinching himself over the phone. “As Straussians, we’re all about running the ball. So the direction doesn’t really matter. Clearly this partnership offers a whole new vista for bold declarative statements and galvanizing events.”

Military analysts were more divided, though one ventured a note of cautious optimism: “It’s a shrewd gambit, and the first time military assets have ever been shared with an adversary who dreams of our complete and utter cessation. However if we’ve learned anything in the last sixty years of permanent war footing, it is that the rules of engagement are continually changing. In short, it could work. If it doesn’t, we can always initiate a conflict to degrade our loaned-out assets. As long as the world keeps rolling in a generally bellicose direction, things should work out fine.”

On Capitol Hill, Senator Porker Jowls, Republican sponsor of the bill and a frequent traveler to Qatar with large, empty satchels, struck a triumphant note: “Today’s crucial milestone would not have been possible without this great nation’s Mach speed attention span. I call therefore on the remaining sharpest tacks in the Great American Drawer to join the rest of us in forgetting so that we might all profitably move forward.”

Later, on a conference call, an al Qaeda spokesman expressed what can only be called polite wariness:

“Given that our indigenous air force is devoid of conventional landing skills, this merger fills a strategic void. The prospect of repeated bombing runs and sorties in the same planes opens up an exciting new dimension to our airborne capabilities. Unfortunately we will be riffing our suicide-hijacker division. We wish them well pursuing fresh nihilistic opportunities elsewhere.

Did the erstwhile terrorist organization resent a late provision in the bill precluding its members from being left unsupervised in USAF cockpits?

“We recognize the sensitivity. Fortunately we’re not strangers to overcoming cockpit resistance. It’ll take time though. Today we choose to emphasize the positive aspects of this historic alliance.”

He paused before continuing…

“I don’t wish to overstate the cooperation aspects of this historic agreement since we will be continuing our virulent, campaign of terror in select locations while supplies last. So please check your local newspapers to see if your al Qaeda cell is participating. Let me just say on behalf of the corporate office that we welcome the Great Satan’s embrace with jubilance, realpolitik and long-term strategic calculation.

Attempting a lighter note, one reporter on the conference call asked: “How will it feel waking up every morning not knowing whether to expect a drone attack or a Boeing flight manual?”

The spokesman laughed. “You know, life is a long game with virgins at the end. We’ll muddle through.”

Meanwhile the One Labored Breath at a Time Foundation (OLBAATF) managed, on behalf of New York City’s beleaguered 911 first responders, only a muted response due mostly to degraded lung capacity. Said one haggard fireman: “It sort of takes the wind out of you in more ways than one.”

Hear, hear sir. It certainly does. Rest assured this reporter will do his utmost to keep your fading voice heard above the riffraff.



Norman Ball is a businessman, author and poet whose essays have appeared in Counterpunch, Asia Times, The Western Muslim, The Glasgow Herald and elsewhere. His new book is “Between River and Rock: How I Resolved Television in Six Easy Payments” is available here.


A visibly agitated John McCain was roused from bed early this morning in an FBI raid. Senator McCain, who makes his Washington home in a tony section of Georgetown, could be seen arguing with the agents as he stood on the pavement in slippers, crew shirt and lavender Senate boxers.

Norman Ball Reporting. September 12, 2013

Prior to leading McCain away, agents were seen removing computers, file cabinets, a PlayStation 4 console and related joysticks as well as World Series of Poker and Water-Board 3 game-boxes from the Senator’s residence.

The arrest relates to violations of the USA Patriot Act (18 U. S. C. §2339B), specifically “providing material support to terrorists”. Moreover the bill is quite specific and unyielding in its definition of the term (emphasis added):

“…’material support or resources’ means any property, tangible or intangible, or service, including currency or monetary instruments or financial securities, financial services, lodging, training, undisclosed gaming proceeds, expert advice or assistance, safehouses, false documentation or identification, communications equipment, facilities, weapons, lethal substances, explosives, personnel (1 or more individuals who may be or include oneself), and transportation, except medicine or religious materials”

While no one has accused the Senator of providing a safehouse in the Nation’s Capitol for al Qaeda, McCain openly and vigorously fraternized with known al Qaeda operatives in Syria in May of this year.


[US Senator John McCain (C) poses with infamous kidnapper in Syria, Mohamed Nour (seen with his hand on his chest and holding a camera)

Hawkish US Senator John McCain (C) poses with infamous kidnapper in Syria, Mohamed Nour (seen with his hand on his chest and holding a camera)


In fact during a marathon, all-night Texas Hold-em session, he reportedly lost his shirt and his Senate gym pass to one. Considering journalists get tossed in jail for merely writing about these same folks, the FBI is only being consistent. What more could one ask of a stultifying police state?

“It’s the poker clause that could really hang him up”, suggested one Patriot Act expert.

“You cannot leave chips on the table with a known terrorist organization. Even more damaging, by the Senator’s own Twitter admission he’s no expert at the game.”

Of course he was referring to McCain’s widely reported gaming on the Senate floor earlier in the month.

What about the ‘expert advice’ condition, we asked.

  “Fortunately for the Senator, flying off the handle is not a recognized expertise. So he should be okay there.”

Normally a separation of powers claim would be invoked except the Constitution is largely in tatters and no one knows this better than Senator McCain. His one best hope is that the rendition state has gaming capabilities or that his newly-acquired al Qaeda associates can mount a reprisal attack on key American installations in a bid to win his release. But as McCain is a Baptist congregant with a bad temper, such a reprisal is bound to be half-hearted and fraught with internal dissension.

Asked to comment on his colleague vanishing like a thin vapor trail. Senator Lindsey Graham clucked, “I sure hope his friends don’t launch a nuclear attack on the Kennedy Center. But this is what happens when we go easy on terrorists after going hard on them after going easy on them.”

Norman Ball is a businessman, author and poet whose essays have appeared in Counterpunch, Asia Times, The Western Muslim, The Glasgow Herald and elsewhere. His new book is “Between River and Rock: How I Resolved Television in Six Easy Payments” is available here.