All window decoration is black. However scroll bars, maximize, minimize and exit buttons are active if one can find them.
Separately, in the case of gnome-terminal, all text, whether prompts, std output or input is invisible. Text input is active. I can launch and kill applications in the window and kill the window by typing exit.
I have tried reinstalling compiz, compiz-core, compiz-gnome and xserver-xorg with no change in behavior.
I have also tried several other incantations found on the web with no change in behavior.
If I ssh -Y into the machine from a different machine the windows are properly decorated and gnome-terminal text is visible.
What log files might be relevant? Any ideas how to fix?