Sunday, April 30, 2006

International Workers' Day

by Joe Hill

Workers of the world, awaken!
Break your chains, demand your rights.
All the wealth you make is taken
By exploiting parasites.
Shall you kneel in deep submission
From your cradles to your graves?
ls the height of your ambition
To be good and willing slaves?

Arise, ye prisoners of starvation!
Fight for your own emancipation;
Arise, ye slaves of every nation.
In One Union grand.

Our little ones for bread are crying,
And millions are from hunger dying;
The end the means is justifying,
’Tis the final stand.
If the workers take a notion,
They can stop all speeding trains;
Every ship upon the ocean
They can tie with mighty chains.

Every wheel in the creation,
Every mine and every mill,
Fleets and armies of the nation,
Will at their command stand still.

Join the union, fellow workers,
Men and women, side by side;
We will crush the greedy shirkers
Like a sweeping, surging tide;
For united we are standing,
But divided we will fall;
Let this be our understanding –
“All for one and one for all.'“

Workers of the world, awaken!
Rise in all your splendid might;
Take the wealth that you are making,
It belongs to you by right.
No one will for bread be crying,
We'll have freedom, love and health.
When the grand red flag is flying
In the Workers' Commonwealth.

--- Joe Hill, a Swedish immigrant, was a songwriter and labor organizer
for the Industrial Workers of the World (I.W.W. or "Wobblies"); he
was framed on a murder charge in Utah and judicially murdered in 1915


I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night,
Alive as you or me
Says I, "But Joe, you're ten years dead,"
"I never died," says he
"I never died," says he

"In Salt Lake, Joe," says I to him,
Him standing by my bed,
"They framed you on a murder charge,"
Says Joe, "But I ain't dead,"
Says Joe, "But I ain't dead."

"The copper bosses killed you, Joe,
They shot you, Joe," says I.
"Takes more than guns to kill a man,"
Says Joe, "I didn't die,"
Says Joe, "I didn't die."

And standing there as big as life
And smiling with his eyes
Joe says, "What they forgot to kill
Went on to organize,
Went on to organize."

"Joe Hill ain't dead," he says to me,
"Joe Hill ain't never died.
Where working men are out on strike
Joe Hill is at their side,
Joe Hill is at their side."

"From San Diego up to Maine,
In every mine and mill,
Where workers strike and organize,"
Says he, "You'll find Joe Hill,"
Says he, "You'll find Joe Hill."

I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night,
Alive as you or me
Says I, "But Joe, you're ten years dead,"
"I never died," says he
"I never died," says he.

--- By Alfred Hayes

Joe Hill's last words: "Don't mourn, organize!"

POLICY STATEMENT: Day Without Immigrants

It is the position of the Musuem of the Bourgeois that all subjects of the United States Empire enjoy the inherent right to reside anywhere in the Empire. This right is shared equally by those born in the homeland of the Empire and those born in the neo-colonies. (More at "Immigration and Empire," posted 19 April 2006)

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Wars Cannot Be Ended

Today is 30 April 2006.

On this day in 1975, it is said that the Vietnam War (more properly, the Indochina Wars) ended.

Hypothesis: Wars cannot be ended, for wars are poisons persisting eternally in the lives of human beings and the very fabric of the planet.

A reckoning. (And most of the following are estimates, because the dead in war are never really more carefully counted than farmers count the seeds sown --- how many sprout, how many perish.)

To begin: 3 million civilians died in the Indochina Wars proper. (Recall: the Indochina Wars began when the French, financed by the United States Empire, attemped to re-conquer Indochina, beginning in 1945.)

At least 1 million Indochinese combatants dead. At least 1.5 million dead by the Khmer Rouge genocide in Cambodia, made possible when the CIA (acting on the brilliant schemes of Nixon and Kissinger) facilitated the overthrow of the Cambodian monarchy, resulting in a civil war to the bitter end and a Khmer Rouge victory. Add another 100,000+ dead French and American combatants.

How can one estimate the children who would have been born, had not all those been killed?

Let's say, a minimum of 6 million dead. Let's say, 1 Bloodbath Unit.


"If Vietnam falls to the Commies, then falls all of Southeast Asia, then the dominoes fall all the way through Australia, and then the Commies conquer the world."

Didn't work out that way.

Indochina suffered a holocaust for nothing.

Today, the Bush/Republican regime is engaged in a great civil war in Iraq, in a geopolitically critical area.

Oil, for modern "civilization", is life.

Not even close to 1 Bloodbath Unit (yet).

Heed the Law of Unintended Consequences. The Bush/Republican regime may yet have applied a match to the Middle East which will make the Indochina Wars resemble a campfire.

Wars cannot be ended: they can only be never begun.

[Dedicated to Hari Seldon, both of them, and to the memory of John Kenneth Galbraith, who died on Saturday evening, 29 April 2006, as your author was writing this post. All honour.]

Any Way to Run an Empire?

The whole point of being an empire: to transfer net wealth from abroad to oneself.

G.W. Bush and the Republicans are mortgaging the empire to foreign powers.

Consider: in 1968, foreigners (primarily governments) owned 6% of the US Empire's national debt (through purchase of Treasury securities). In June 2005, the figure was 54%. When Eisenhower was president, American banks and insurance companies owned more than 40% of Treasuries; now it's 7%.

In other words, if foreign governments (esp. China, Japan, and South Korea) weren't lending money to Uncle Sam, the USE government and population couldn't spend like drunken sailors. The government would either have to raise interest rates (to attract foreign lending or American savings) or drastically cut the Federal budget (almost half of which goes to past, present, and future wars, and other military spending).

The record for increasing the national debt is held by the supposedly-parsimonious Ronald Reagan: $1.4 trillion. G.W. Bush comes in second: $1.1 trillion. Of course, Reagan took 8 years to do it, and Bush only 4.5. General George will soon be the new champion.

Of course, China et al. aren't lending from the goodness of their hearts: they want Americans to remain flush with cash to buy their cheap imports.

Anyone who has ever studied economics has to wonder and worry: what happens if the credit cards are taken away?

Well, as General George says: Let them eat Spam.

Friday, April 28, 2006

The Greatest

On this date, 28 April in 1967, Muhammed Ali refused induction into the US Empire armed forces, given his conscientious objection to any war not declared by Allah.

Given the temper of those times, Ali's objection was refused by his draft board, he was convicted of refusing induction, and sentenced to a five-year prison term. As part of the racist retaliation, his licenses to box were revoked everywhere in the USE, he was stripped of his championship title, and his passport was confiscated. Not until 1970 was his conviction overturned by the Supreme Court, and his conscientious objector status affirmed.

During that time, Ali's legs began to fail, and he was never able to box with the old dexterity and grace. This was the price he paid for remaining faithful to his beliefs, and the true measure of his greatness.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Bonus Post for Jane Jacobs

Your author currently lives on two acres in the middle of a city in the just-south-of-Kansas Great Plains.

There is a koi pond in our backyard.

Three identifiable guy frogs are currently (11:09 p.m. CDT) singing songs of love and hope.

Trilling and thrumming their little hearts, lungs, and throats out, hoping to perpetuate their species.

While ANWAR Bush would drill them to death, if he thought there were a chance that petro might be there exploited.

Damn all, who think Nature is nothing but a morsel to be consumed.

Hear a true voice:

Jenny Kiss'd Me

by Leigh Hunt (1784-1859)

Jenny kiss'd me when we met,
Jumping from the chair she sat in;
Time, you thief, who love to get
Sweets into your list, put that in!
Say I'm weary, say I'm sad,
Say that health and wealth have miss'd me,
Say that I'm growing old, but add,
Jenny kiss'd me.

For the frogs and Jane Jacobs,
They will understand:
When Bush and Rove
Are soon and long forgotten.

In Memory of Jane Jacobs

It is with great sorrow and infinite regret that the Museum of the Bourgeois records the passing of Jane Jacobs, at the age of 89.

She was an author and community activist. Her 1961 volume, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, is one of the essential classics of humane urban planning.

At the time of her writing, the prevailing wisdom in US Empire urban planning was to bulldoze poorer neighborhoods, and replace them with housing projects to warehouse the lower classes. (It was no accident that the creators and supporters of this approach were almost invariably from the middle and upper classes, and would never have considered residence in their own creations.)

As one might have expected, warehousing the less-fortunate in vertical detention camps produced an explosion of alienation and crime. (It would be interesting to know if J.G. Ballard was influenced by Jacobs in his 1975 novel, High Rise.)

Put briefly, Jacobs advocated density and diversity in low-rise structures, the sort of mix one blessedly encounters in many parts of New York City. One descends from a 5th or 10th floor apartment, and immediately outside one's door is a newstand, dry cleaner, deli, clothing shop, beauty salon, medical office, neighborhood pub, all crowded, along with the sidewalks, by one's neighbors and visitors.

When people are thrown together in such close quarters, surrounded by a supportive physical and social infrastructure, they usually rise to the challenge, and find fruitful ways to live together and prosper in every sense.

Death and Life is the sort of book that should be taught in every American high school.

Jane Jacobs will be deeply missed. All honour to her.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Snow Jobs for Bush

BREAKING NEWS for 26 April

Fitting, isn't it, that on the 20th anniversary of Chernobyl spreading radioactive clouds over the earth, Bush throws Snow on the bonfire which is his presidency?

There are at least three "F" words --- f***, fraud (the "f" word of Wall Street), and Fox (the "f" word of the airwaves).

Presidential Press Secretary-in-waiting Tony Snow scores high on all three scales.

Tony was a Fox Snow Boater for Truth in the 2004 election. Big Tone (I'm giving him my 15 minutes of kindness -- Snowie couldn't last a New York minute on The Sopranos) consistently lied about Kerry's military record. Snowie didn't give a damn about official military records; Snowboat just lied.

[Check out sites such as etc. for full record.)

Like vast majority of con-servatives, Snowjob is a big advocate of muscular military action, but refused to serve in the military himself. Can you say, "Chickenhawk"?

Got to give Snowjob the B. Arnold Turncoat award, however. Said much nasty about GWB on the F Network, now does the opportunistic thing and will fawn over G.

Of course, the only real news here: a rat jumping on a sinking ship.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Memoriam: Guernica

Today is 26 April 2006.

In the small town of Guernica, in the north of Spain in the Basque country, 26 April 1937 was Monday, a market day. This meant farmer families from the surrounding countryside had come to town.

The Fascists, led by Francisco Franco [who is still dead -- SNL ref I couldn't resist], had been trying to conquer Spain since the previous year, with the aid of German Nazi and Italian Fascist allies.

On this date in 1937, beginning at about 4:30 p.m., the "Condor Legion" of the Nazi Air Force, aided by their Italian Fascist allies, conducted the first experiment in mass aerial terror bombing at Guernica. From 5,000 to 10,000 were murdered, mostly children, the elderly, and women. Three-quarters of the town was destroyed by fire bombs.

The slaughter inspired one of the great modern paintings, Guernica, by Picasso. Your author highly recommends Picasso's War, by Russell Martin (2003), a history of the painting.

Today is also the 20th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear melt-down. The Soviet bureacracy handled this disaster as if they had looked forward to the stylings of Bush-Cheney-Rummy-Rove-Rice.

BREAKING NEWS: So fitting that Rummy-Rice are visiting Iraq today, on the anniversary of Guernica. Franco and chums wish they could have been there.

26 April in History

121 - Birth of Marcus Aurelius, Emperor of Rome and Stoic philosopher. Author of The Meditations. Sample: "Live each moment as if it were your last, and as if this moment were all by which you will be judged and remembered."

1984 - William "Count" Basie, jazz immortal, dies at age 79. Here, at the Museum of the Bourgeois, the Count never stops.

1989 - "Lou-ceeeee, I'm ho-ohm." Lucille Ball dies at the age of 77.

Thought for Today:

"For those who do not think, it is best at least to rearrange their prejudices once in a while." — Luther Burbank, American horticulturist (1849-1926).

Monday, April 24, 2006

Waltzing Matilda

Today is Tuesday, 25 April 2006.

Edward R. Murrow, as great a journalist as ever was: born on this date, 98 years ago.

(Won't comment upon Murrow directly, just try to capture his Geist in this post. An homage, as it were.

Clifford D. Simak, American journalist and novelist, died on this date in 1988.

Simak wrote two of the most lyrical American novels. City (1952): In the far future---

Let's get a rule of the road of this blog straight. (Addressed in a critical way only to those who recognize themselves.)

"Oh, that must be science fiction," said Sneeringly.

{Yo Sneeringly: you think you don't live in the future like the rest of us? The light from the Sun reaches the Earth slightly over 8 minutes (499 seconds, I believe I recall) after it left the Sun. So, if ol' Sol blows up "right now" [mayhap you should have studied relativity theory], we have 8 minutes before we're incinerated. Futuristic enough for you?}

Let's contrast and compare.

Literary history: Shakespeare wrote, not future fiction, but past fiction. Many of his works were just historically-falsified suck-ups to the Tudor dictatorship of Merrie Olde England, where he made his living. Fine stuff, in many cases, but how much different from sucking up to Stalin, etc.?

City (1952). In the far future, when Humans are but a memory, dogs sit around a campfire, and the elder dogs, for benefit of the pups, tell stories of the Old Days, when Humans stalked the Earth.

Highly recommended.

Way Station (1963). As lyrical a novel as one should ever wish. One of your author's Top Ten. An American Civil War veteran is recruited by REALLY illegal aliens to operate a Way Station -- a transfer point ("Change at Jamaica!", for Long Islanders out there) for travellers between the stars. Of course, the USE govt., in 1963, must come meddling.

Highly recommended.

The previous summary may sound dumb, but try putting Don Quixote in same number of words, and see how profound it sounds.

Or The Bible for that matter: Deity creates heaven and earth, kills almost all on latter, subsequently authorizes widespread killing and outright genocidal exterminations by deity's adherents, as well as doing WMD-style plagues, transmutes water into wine, heals diseased on whim but leaves most in misery of disease, deity kills only Begotten offspring to make everything copacetic, then exterminates Universe and transports minority of Universe inhabitants to Heaven.

Cool, eh?

"Good night, and good luck."


1559 - Oliver Cromwell, regicide and dictator of 17th century England, butcher of Ireland, is

1792 - Debut of "Chant de guerre de l'armee du Rhin," [yeah, but can you dance/march to it?]
better known as "La Marseillaise." [When your author becomes a bit more proficient, we
will have an audio link here; for now, Google it and stand at attention.] [Well, your author be damned: don't know how I did this, but here it is:]

1915 - British and Australian troops land at Gallipoli, Turkey, in another of Winston Churchill's
hare-brained fantasies to end World War I by striking at "the soft underbelly of Europe."
Worse than useless: the Brits and Aussies are bled dry to no profit; Winnie swills and wenches in the comfort of London. Mel Gibson movie of same name is not an inaccurate portrait, if I recall correctly.

But the best of the best is a heart-breaking song by The Pogues: "And the band played waltzing Matilda," from their second album (great), Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash (1985), title taken from a Churchill quote: "Don't speak to me of naval tradition. It's all rum, sodomy, and the lash." Winnie was once First Sea Lord (sort of a civilian chief of naval operations, but he was big on juvenile-male dress-up thing, so often paraded himself in uniforms he hadn't earned).

1939 - Birth of Al Pacino.

1953 - Basic scientific paper about DNA is published.

1990 - Hubble space telescope deployed into space.

Thought for Today

About 90 percent of child deaths worldwide occur in just 42 countries -- and about one-fourth of these deaths occur before age 5 in the poorest countries, such as Angola and Niger.

Yet, 8 million of the 11 million childhood deaths worldwide each year could easily be prevented, says a Cornell University expert, writing in the authoritative medical journal The Lancet .

That's because almost 60 percent of deaths of children under 5 in the developing world are due to malnutrition and its interactive effects on preventable diseases.

[For complete citation, see here.]

Sunday, April 23, 2006

The Easter Rising

All honour to the rebels failed.

Today is the 90th anniversary of the Easter Rising, when Irish republicans (meaning they believe in a republic, not a monarchy; nothing to do with Bush and D-lay) seized key points in Dublin in an attempt to win independence from the British occupiers. The Rising failed, many were executed, but events were set in train which would result in the independence of most of Ireland in 1922.

The British conquest and occupation of Ireland, which began in the 12th century, was exceptionally genocidal, since the British fancied themselves "civilized" and the Irish "savages." Hundreds of thousands were murdered outright, several millions died of British neglect during the Potato famine in the 19th century, and, as late as 1920, Winston Churchill, as Home Secretary, authorized the slaughter of entire villages when a single British soldier was killed in the vicinity.

(For Churchill fans: As with anything you will read on this blog: As Casey Stengel said, "You could look it up." Can't find it? Post, and I will gladly supply references.)

Fortuitously, Friday last marked the 80th birthday of Elizabeth Windsor, Queen of England. (Full disclosure: on his mother's side, your author is entirely of English descent.)

How did monarchies originate? I suppose it went something like this (a reference to a king of comedy, Bob Newhart).

At a certain stage of historical development, societies became prosperous enough that it paid to become a bandit, then to organize bandit gangs. One day, bandit gang leader Dave got the bright idea to "legitimize" his pillaging and raping, and proclaimed himself King Dave the First. Downhill from there.

Monarchies are nothing more than organized crime families, claiming to have been instituted by a deity (the divine right of kings).

I agree with Tom Paine: heriditary monarchs make as much sense as heriditary mathematicians. I agree with Labour Party leader Tony Benn. Heriditary monarchy: It's is as if an airliner taxied down a runway, and the pilot came over the intercom: "I've never been trained as a pilot, but don't worry --- my mother was a professional pilot."

Your author stands with those who advocate the immediate deposition of Elizabeth Windsor and all other monarchs and nobility, the confiscation of all their wealth but a pittance, and the return of their wealth to the people of the respective nations, from whom it had been stolen over the years.

This, I was told when but a sprout, was the Spirit of 1776, whether regarding Windsors or Bushes.

Today, tonight, last thought before you sleep: of all those who struggle for freedom all over the world.

24 April in History

1800 - The Library of Congress is created, as President John Adams signs a bill appropriating $5,000 for "such books as Congress may require." LC is today one of the jewels of human culture.

1915 - Genocide of the Armenians in Turkey begins.

1954 - Birth of Mumia Abu-Jamal, Philadelphia African-American journalist, falsely-convicted of murder; currently on death row.


Days Since Conquest of Iraq: 1,132

Americans Killed: 2,390

Estimated Iraqis Killed: 40,000 plus (seems low to me)

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Bush and the Nixon Doctrine

Yesterday, 22 April, was the anniversary in 1994 of the death of Richard M. Nixon.

Richard M. Nixon said, in an interview with David Frost, a few years after being forced out in disgrace as "President": "If the President does it, that means it's not illegal." (This is the true Nixon Doctrine.)

[The following exercise is left to the student: Parse the difference between "not illegal" and "legal".]

Nixon attributed this absurd notion to "a secret reservoir of power in the Constitution." Where did Nixon discover this dismal secret? From the author of the equally-absurd Da Vinci Code? From Nostradamus? From one of his equally frothing-mouthed anti-Semitic pals?

A cornerstone of the Constitution is that no one is above the law.

The essence of the Nixon Doctrine is that the President is not only above the law, but is the law. This is an anti-American, Constitution-destroying falsehood, worthy only of a king, duce, or fuhrer.

G.W. Bush asserts that, as "President," as "commander-in-chief," as Oz the Great and Powerful --- forgive me, L. Frank Baum --- as Bush II, he may, at his whim and with impunity, ignore the law of the land, which requires the necessity of a warrant when wiretapping communications.

(Bush disdains the Constitutional fact that the President is "commander-in-chief" only of the military, and of nothing civilian, including the National Security Agency, responsible for aforesaid wiretapping.)

Bush's assertion is the essence of the Nixon Doctrine.

ONLY LOGICAL CONCLUSION: For trampling the Constitution underfoot, G.W. Bush should, as Nixon, be forced out in disgrace as "President".

Public Notice: The tender attentions of the Constitution-trampling National Security Agency to this Constitutionally-protected, free speech communication are herewith disrespectfully invited.

23 April: This Day in History

1616 - Cervantes dies. Don Q lives!

1616 - Shakespeare dies.

1936 - Roy Orbison born.

1968 - Timothy McVeigh born.

1984 - First announcement of discovery of HIV virus.

1993 - United Farmworkers leader Cesar Chavez dies.


Appearing in The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, "the "Doomsday Clock," a symbol of nuclear danger since 1947, currently stands at 7 minutes to midnight."

Earth Day and the Egg Cream

Your author would have wished to post something more strident than the following for this date (remarks on another anniversary of this day are impending), but, this being Earth Day, I wish you, dear readers, to enjoy, after an obligatory strident remark, something soothing.

Anyone who reads this blog certainly knows the dire situation of this planet: overpopulation, the misery of billions, ever-quickening depletion of vital resources, global warming, pseudo-religious fanaticism, homocidal nationalism, delusionary economic thinking, [your favorite horror here], etc.

Now, the egg cream.

The origins of the name "egg cream" are uncertain. It was certainly invented at a soda fountain in Brooklyn, New York, in the lat 19th century.

The following recipe is from Welcome to Junior's: Remembering Brooklyn with Recipes and Memories from Its Favorite Restaurant (Marvin and Walter Rosen, with Beth Allen; New York: William Morrow and Company, 1999).

2 ozs. chocolate syrup (if possible, Fox's U-Bet from Brooklyn)

4 ozs. cold milk

6 ozs. cold seltzer

Pour into a tall soda glass about 1 inch chocolate syrup.

Add enough milk to fill the glass 1/3 full.

Fill almost to top with seltzer and stir rapidly with a tall spoon.

Consume, and repeat as necessary.

This is not the original fountain recipe, but how many of us have a home fountain with seltzer?

Nevertheless, a great tonic for a summer's day.

Why "egg cream," when it contains neither egg nor cream? Who any longer knows?

Lou Reed recorded a song, "Egg Cream."

On The West Wing, President Bartlett once exulted in his discovery of the egg cream.

Happy Earth Day. Be kind to our planet; may our planet may be kind to us.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Heart of Darkness

On this date in 1898, the USE (United States Empire) began its projection of power across what politicians of the time often called "our lake" (better known as the Pacific Ocean) by declaring war on Spain. The results included the annexation of the Phillippines and the assumption of a protectorate over Cuba.

The pretext was the supposed bombing of the U.S.S. Maine in Havana Harbor by Spanish agents. Later research has shown the sinking of the Maine was almost certainly due to an internal explosion caused by faulty design. A secondary pretext was the "liberation" of Spain's colonies.

The latter is one important reason why many Cubans, while admiring of American culture and prosperity, still put no trust in USE governments. After defeating Spain, the McKinley regime installed a USE-obedient government and placed the infamous "Platt Amendment" in the Cuban constitution. The amendment granted the USE permanent rights to interfere at will in Cuba's internal affairs, among other exploitative conditions.

The situation in the Phillippines was far more bloody. Filipinos had already been struggling for independence. The US Army was dispatched to subdue the islands, whose inhabitants were assigned the racial epithet "goo-goos," which later evolved into the Vietnam War slur "gooks."

As many as 250,000 Filipino civilians were slaughtered before the conquest was completed. (Further reading: In Our Image: America's Empire in the Phillippines, by Stanley Karnow.)

Another important consequence of the war was the emergence of Teddy Roosevelt as a national figure, where he became arguably the USE's first great imperialist abroad, completing and extending the conquests of McKinley.

In one sense, it is be regretted that these conquests came at such slight expense to the USE in treasure and lives, for it led Americans to think it would always be thus. Among other consequences, this misconception would later lead to the Indochina Wars, where some 5 million Indochinese and 60,000 Americans would needlessly perish.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Lend your voice for the deaf!

Someone in Congress has true contempt for the deaf and hearing-impaired, but doesn't have the decency to own up.

Over a year ago, someone in Congress removed language from the reauthorization bill for the Individuals with Disablities Education Act. This means that the magnificent sum of $2 million per year is no longer available to help fund several crucial national theatre programs for the deaf. As a result, some programs may go under. They've already scaled back their offerings.

(Read more: The New York Times (National Edition), 12 April 2006, p. B1.)

Aides to Senators Chris Dodd (Conn.) and Tom Harkin (Iowa) are working to reinstate these funds; they haven't been able to discover what coward pulled the authorization.

Please join me in writing your senators and representatives, demanding they join Dodd and Harkin and ensure this funding is reinstated.

The USE (United States Empire) is currently on track to spend at least $1 trillion for the conquest of Iraq. (This includes war-fighting, rconstruction, lost productivity, pensions and healthcare for veterans, interest on the funds borrowed to pay for the conquest, etc.)

Surely the USE can afford $2 million a year for such a worthy cause.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

To the editor

The New York Times continues to fail to publish any of your author's missives. I can understand their temerity when I sent one describing the Confederate flag as the "Southern Swastika," but I think this one is subdued.

How could they resist a Cromwell quote AND sincerity??????????????

3 April 2006

To the Editor The New York Times:

We approach the third anniversary of George W. Bush's clueless and arrogant pronunciamento regarding the Iraq war: "Mission Accomplished!"

Mr. Bush now prophesies that it will be the next president, taking office in 2009, six years after the beginning of the war against Iraq, who might, at some unknowable date, order final American troop pullouts, presumably under conditions of peace and justice.

The tonic of historical perspective is in order.

Consider this hypothetical: In 1945, Harry Truman announces the end of World War II. In 1948, hundreds of thousands of Americans are still battling insurgents while tens of thousands of Germans and Japanese civilians are slaughtered by sectarian violence and common crime. Mr. Truman then blithely announces that the mission will not be accomplished before 1951 at the earliest.

He praises the genius of his successful performance.

Should not George W. Bush and his regime heed the words of Oliver Cromwell to the Rump Parliament: "You have sat here too long for the good you do. In the name of God, go!"


Immigration and empire

The United States was born an empire.

The proper date of origination of the United States Empire (hereafter in this blog the USE) is not 4 July 1776, but 14 May 1607, when agents of British imperialism established the colony at Jamestown, Virginia.

What happened in 1776 was a faction of colonials rebelling against the nation to which they had sworn allegiance, in order to bring the 13 colonies under their own rule. Think of it as a hostile takeover of a corporation: if the takeover succeeds, it doesn't extinguish the fact that the corporation was already in existence, bringing all of its baggage with it.

To be sure, the expansion of the original 13 westward was a process of imperialism: MANIFEST DESTINY. That "expansion" (Hitler called it "Lebensraum") was into lands already populated by Native Americans. It doesn't matter that Native American social organization and governance differed radically from that of the 13; it doesn't make that of the former illegitimate, only less powerful and vicious.

USE imperialism was codified in Monroe Doctrine of 1823. Gist of the latter was that the USE forbade mainland European powers from intervening in affairs of sovereign Central and South American nations. In return, the USE would remain neutral in disputes between European powers, and between those powers and their existing Western Hemisphere colonies.

(Your Today's Geek Moment in History. See for relevant passage of President Monroe's message to Congress of 2 December 1823.)

The Doctrine was expanded by Theodore Roosevelt's Corollary of 1904, asserting the absolute right of the USE to intervene at will in the internal affairs of all of Central and South America; TR just formally stated the obvious.

The USE has derived immense benefit, economic and etc., from this hegemony, resulting in millions of deaths and grinding poverty throughout Central and South America.

As subjects of the US Empire, it is only equitable and just that residents of Central and South America have the inalienable right to reside anywhere in the Empire they choose, including the homeland.

THUS, there are no "illegal aliens," only subjects of the US Empire exercising their inalienable rights to change place of residence.


Just took, with your author's spouse, a 7am walk through the garden.

We now live at the Midtown Tulsa home my wife's parents bought in 1949: an humble stone house on 2 acres.

My wife's mother and father built a beautiful garden; my mother-in-law hybridized iris.

Karl Kraus: "I had to return to Vienna. My time in the country: amid the peaceable kingdom of the flora and fauna, I was in peril of becoming absolutely misanthropic."

19 April Bombing

19 April 2006.

In the 1950s, the Republican Party, operating through Sen. Joe McCarthy, popularized the fiction that "sinister forces" were in control of the US Government (at least when FDR and Truman were in office).

These sinister forces were Communism, and, as one could still respectably say in those days, "Judeo-Bolshevism."

Fast-forward to 1995.

Tim McVeigh strikes a blow against what he perceives is ZOG -- the Zionist Occupational Goverment -- which he believes is the "sinister force" controlling the US.

AKA the "Oklahoma City Bombing."

In philosophy, we have a concept: the law of unintended consequences. You take an action, you're responsible for whatever happens, even if it wasn't what you wanted to happen.

The so-called Pottery Barn rule: You break it, you own it.

Step up to the plate, Republicans: the Oklahoma City Bombing is yours.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

No Crusader Zone

Seems like yesterday.

In the 60s, when Americo-conservatives damned those on the Left who called Nixon a fascist. "Fascism was a strictly German and Italian phenomenon," they lectured.

Now "Islamo-fascism" is all the rage on the Right.

Anyone for "Christo-fascism"?

Isn't this an appropriate term for the Crusader mentality of the Bush Junta?

[In the 70s and 80s, certain prominent Christo-fascist leaders claimed that the Bible promised that, if USE launched a nuclear genocide strike on the Soviet Union, the latter would be destroyed, and G-D would protect the USE from any harm. Aren't we glad that concept wasn't explored?!]

It's the latest permutation of US against THEM.

Pardon me [sic]: the paranoid style in American politics dictates it must be: US against THEM.

And which Islam, and which Christianity? These aren't monolithic entities. There are as many Islams, and Christianities, and Judaisms, and Buddhisms, and Jainisms, and Rastafarianisms, and every other faith, as there are the people who profess belief in same.

"Islamo-fascism" is just another White Right smear.

Christo-fascism is, however, the place where we live.

In Memoriam: Albert Einstein

On this date in 1955, Albert Einstein died, having been born in 1879.

I wish I could remember when I first encountered Einstein. I do recall that, in 1965, at age 13, I had my local Tulsa library branch inter-library loan to me a book on relativity from the Oklahoma State Library, so it must have been in 1963 or 1964.

Beyond the science, two fine points Einstein shared with me.

First. One of the main insights of relativity theory is the difference in perspective from an object at rest and an object in motion. From this I derived the implacable method of considering every ethical situation from every angle, before making a decision and acting upon it. (The trajectory of reasoning is left to the student as an exercise. Bless you, Mr. McCray.)

Second. His relentless humanism for humanity, the Atomic Bomb letter to FDR not withstanding.

Monday, April 17, 2006

BONUS Short Story

From the archives of your author, a performance short story from ca. 1990. Enjoy.

George H.W. Bush's
Fishing Secrets of the Third World
The New World Short Order
by HH II
Command a servant to dynamite the lake.
Command a servant to harvest the stunned fish.
Command a servant to fry the fish.
Repeat as necessary.

The Hon. C. Rice

Your author has been beating-up on Rummy. Let's give equal time to The Hon. Condoleezza Rice.

"An accomplished pianist," according to The New York Times (9 April 2006), The Hon. Rice is also a sometime diplomatrix, servant as National Security Adviser and Secretary of State. In the former position The Hon. Rice made an interesting threat.

In the run-up to the Conquest of Iraq, The Hon. Rice warned: if Iraq used WMD against the US military, Iraq would be obliterated. NOTE: not the Ba'athist regime, but Iraq, the nation, which numbers some 24 million- plus human beings.

Such an obliteration could only be accomplished with the WMD of the USA, and, in practical terms, only with nuclear weapons.

Perhaps hyperbole from The Hon. Rice, but, coming from the nation which "obliterated" Hiroshima and Nagasaki, one and all must take the threat as earnest of the deed.

Can you say, "genocide?"

The Hon. Rice enjoys, according to The New York Times, as frequently as every other week, playing oh-so-genteel classical chamber music with a quartet of friends/string players.

Your author is put in mind of a comparable historical figure.

The Hon. Reinhardt Heydrich, Obergruppenfuehrer SS and General der Polizie, No. 2 behind Himmler in the SS, was also an accomplished amateur musician (violin) who enjoyed quartets. Heydrich chaired the 1942 Wannsee Conference, in which the mechanics of the Final Solution to the Jewish Problem were settled. (Cf. Kenneth Branaugh as Heydrich in HBO film, Conspiracy; highly recommended and deadly accurate.)

Likewise, Heydrich enjoyed such en famille musical get-togethers.

Some would excuse: Heydrich did it, Rice only proposed it.

That which you prepare yourself in your heart to do, you will do if it profits you.

Here endeth the lesson.

Thanks for serving, now shut up!

Now that retired generals begin to call for Rummy's head on a platter, the lapdogs of the Bush Junta are crying foul.

By military law, serving military are severely restricted in political speech. The lapdogs of the Bush Junta want to extend this prohibition to retired generals. (Unless, of course, they're yip-yapping in support of the Junta.)

Bottom Line: According to the Junta, if you choose to "serve your country" by enlisting, you forever forfeit your rights to participation in the public political process. (Unless you serve the Junta.)

Under the "sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander" rule, it is only equitable that this principle be extended to all ranks.

Let the Junta hang itself with its own rope. Let all ex-military elected or appointed to political positions in the Federal government immediately resign, in obedience to their stated principles.

This would include "vets" Bush and Rummy, but not ... ho ho ho ... Dick C, who parlayed deferment upon deferment to evade service in Vietnam.

The thanks of a grateful nation: thanks for serving, now shut up!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

SOS CDQ: Rummy on the Titanic

FEARLESS LEADER g.w. Bush has so got the back of his main war-man, The Rumsfeld.

"Secretary Rumsfeld's energetic and steady leadership is exactly what is needed at this critical period."

[Cultural interlude, to demonstrate that MoB isn't entirely a hard-edged agitpolitsite.

His nickname is "Rummy." Wasn't that the name of Walter Brennan's pickled character in To Have and Have Not, featuring Bogart, Bacall, and Hoagy Carmichael?

Brennan: "Ya ever been stung by a dead bee?"

Bacall: "No, have you?"

Brennan: "She's all right."

We (k)now return to our regularly scheduled programming.]

Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't The Rummy ignore expert opinion telling him 3 times his optimal military force would be needed to conquer and PACIFY Iraq?

Isn't this The Rummy who, when confronted with the nihilism and looting caused by a lack of US Empire troops, which was his idea, said: "Stuff happens."

[The Rummy: [said in a mournful and reproachful tone] you were a peace-time US Navy fighter-driver. An old Salt(ine). Why had you not the guts to say: "Shit happens; get over it."]

Today is the anniversary of the sinking of the Tintanic in 1912.

God grant us "energetic and steady leadership," straight to the Rummy bottom of the sea.


Friday, April 14, 2006

General George?

The Constitution makes the President the "Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy" in Article II, Section 2. The President is the "Executive power" in regard to the remainder of the Executive branch.

Through his mouthpiece, Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, G.W. Bush asserts that his power to order the National Security Agency, a civilian agency, to conduct warrantless wiretapping derives from his inherent powers as Commander in Chief.

Does this mean Bush considers himself to be Commander in Chief of the entire Executive branch? Does this mean Bush fancies himself a banana-Republican military dictator?

This is not an idle matter of legal technicalities; it strikes to the heart of the Constitution and the rule of law. It is made worse by the fact that many Americans consider the President to be Commander in Chief of the country, not the military.

The latter is the thinking of subjects, not citizens.

General George is not King George; he just thinks like him.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Two Absurdities


Thanks to CNN, I know Richard Nixon and your author agreed on something.

From a 1971 Oval Office tape: "... Rummy is tough ... he's a ruthless little bastard ...".


Samuel Beckett was born on this day in 1906.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


The MoB isn't entirely all hard-edged politics.

Just now, at 9.26PM CDT (I believe it would be 3.26 UCT/GMT/Zulu/World Standard Time/tomorrow is the Full Moon): your author first heard, this spring of 2006, the songs of the crickets and various insect musicians out in our yard.

We anticipate the cicadas.

Let me make it more difficult.

Seek out James Agee, "Knoxville, Summer of 1915."

The completion of the exercise is left to the student.

We are all students of life.

What is WMD?

Franklin Delano Roosevelt died on this date in 1945. A flawed giant.

And just popped up on my screen: peace and justice activist Rev. Dr. William Sloan Coffin has died. An inspiration to your author when he was a draft resister to the Indochina War.

In the Talmud, we read: "If you save one life, you have saved the whole world. If you kill one life, you have destroyed the whole world."

Of course: when any person dies, their whole world of friends, hopes, desires, failures, accomplishments, kindnesses, dies with them.

What can kill one person? E.g.: Bullet, knife, club, automobile, brick, lamp, nuclear bomb.

We all have at hand weapons of mass destruction, for surely destroying the whole world of one life is mass destruction.

Unfortunately, some of us (Bush, Putin, etc.), have at hand the abilities to make mass destruction in wholesale quantities, not retail.

"The fault lies not in our stars . . . but in ourselves."

And in inequitous and inhuman social structures that serve the few at the expense of the many.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Today's Lesson

Word comes today of the death on 18 March of Drexel Sprecher, 92.

A labor lawyer, he was a prosecutor at Nuremberg, and editor-in-chief of the official report, Trials of War Criminals Before the Nuremberg Military Tribunals.

Your author, at 18 a college frosh, happened upon these 15 or more volumes in the library, and spent a considerable amount of his leisure time the next several years reading them all. That experience continues to have a profound effect on him.

Not that the atrocities were so unique, but that they weren't. The Athenian extermination of the males of Melos, "G-d" supposedly directing the genocide of the people of Amalek (I Samuel 15:3), the Belgian genocide of 20-30% of the people of Congo, the US genocide of Native Americans and African Americans ...

Here endeth the lesson.

Sunday, April 09, 2006


On this day, 9 April 1945, in a German concentration camp, the great German Lutheran theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer was murdered, hanged naked alongside comrades with whom he had conspired to kill Adolf Hitler.

All these issues of "faith" and "belief". Your author has often been accused of reducing his ideas about theology and philosophy to "ethics." If, by the latter, one means action which is kind to people, and doesn't harm them, "GUILTY! GUILTY! GUILTY!"

This post will undoubtedly be revised and expanded, for DB has meant much in the life of your author, and the latter is still sorting it all out, which is what we should all be doing all of the time. ["The unexamined life is not worth living."] [Of course, all life is worth living, because change and growth is always possible.]

Perhaps your author's favourite passage from DB: "There is hardly anything that can make one happier than to feel than one counts for something with other people. ... People are more important than anything else in life." [DB wrote this in a Berlin prison, while awaiting execution.]


Saturday, April 08, 2006


From The Skin of Our Teeth by Thornton Wilder (Act Three).

"... Sometimes out there in the war --- standing all night on a hill --- I'd try and remember some of the words in these books. Parts of them and phrases would come back to me. And after a while I gave names to the hours of the night ... Nine o'clock I called Spinoza:


"After experience had taught me that the common occurences of daily life are vain and futile; and I saw that all the objects of my desire and fear were in themselves nothing good nor bad save insofar as the mind was affected by them; I at length determined to search out whether there was something truly good and communicable to man."

Wilder wrote that play in 1942. I believe there is something good and communicable.

As W. H. Auden wrote, "We must love one another or die." Cain seems to be winning.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Dien Bien Phu

A small place in Vietnam.

A battle there in 1954 sent the French colonialists fleeing, and the US empirests came in. We know how that worked out.

On THIS DAY IN HISTORY, in 1954, while the battle raged, Doh-white D Eisenhower said, "You have a row of dominoes set up; you knock over the first one, and what will happen to the last one is that it will go over very quickly."

He should have noticed that the game pieces were human beings, and, by the time all was said and done, in the course of the Indochina Wars, in excess of six million human beings "goed over very quickly."

To quote Katherine Anne Porter, concerning the judicial murder of Sacco and Vanzetti, The Never Ending Wrong.

Thursday, April 06, 2006


Your author has chosen this date, 6 April 1917, the date the Congress of US declared war on Germany, to recognize and thank one of the author's oldest friends and comrades, who created this blog for him.

In my friends honour, RUN, don't walk, to nearest library or bookstore, and score Johnny Got His Gun, by Dalton "Hollywood Ten" Trumbo, a "searing" (as tabloids would say) novel about a US soldier in World War One who is grievously wounded, but tragically survives.

Also SEE THE MOVIE. Same title, 1971, directed by Trumbo, with Timothy Bottoms as JOHNNY, and, if I recall correctly (your author tries to play fair, and will resort to googling facts only when absolutely necessary; MoB's transparency policy will make clear when your author is doing so) Donald Sutherland as JESUS driving a locomotive.

The metaphoric significance of the latter is forgotten by your author, but he's working on it. (Hmmm... "I've been working on the railroad ..." ) Stream-of-consciousness is a wonderful thing. Your author is currently working on expanding the familial stash of great flicks. Your author grew up in a day when Saturday Night at the Movies on TV was a cool thing to do when you were too young to drive, and so he only recently got into movies on DVD.

Also, dig Kalki , a novel by Gore Vidal. When you read it, you will see war/violence connection. Kids, don't try it at home. Leave it to the professionals.

(Look forward to more on Mr. Vidal, a National Cultural Treasure.)

Your author once had honour, thanks to a literary call-in show on New York City public radio, of asking Mr. V a question, my words flowing through landlines from Staten Island to Manhattan, bounced on a satellite to Mr. V's cliff-dwelling in [Ravello? factcheck, please] Italy, and then his reply back to me.

Some technology is beautiful.

Well, I hope my friend and comrade, who created this blog for moi, enjoys being mentioned in the same breath as Gore Vidal. Sorry to be anachronistic, but he's a prince among us.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


Your author meant to write something less strident, but a fit of Reality and cummings (1894-1962) overtook him.

i sing of Olaf
by e e cummings

i sing of Olaf glad and big
whose warmest heart recoiled at war:
a conscientious object-or

his wellbelov'd colonel (trig
westpointer most succinctly bred)
took erring Olaf soon in hand;
but--though an host of overjoyed
noncoms (first knocking on the head
him) do through icy waters roll
that helplessness which others stroke
with brushes recently employed
anent this muddy toiletbowl,
while kindred intellects evoke
allegiance per blunt instruments--
Olaf (being to all intents
a corpse and wanting any rag
upon what God unto him gave)
responds, without getting annoyed
"i will not kiss your fucking flag"

straightway the silver bird looked grave
(departing hurriedly to shave)

but--though all kinds of officers
(a yearning nation's blueeyed pride)
their passive prey did kick and curse
until for wear their clarion
voices and boots were much the worse,
and egged the firstclassprivates on
his rectum wickedly to tease
by means of skilfully applied
bayonets roasted hot with heat--
Olaf (upon what were once knees)
does almost ceaselessly repeat
"there is some shit i will not eat"

our president, being of which
assertions duly notified
threw the yellowsonofabitch
into a dungeon, where he died

Christ (of His mercy infinite)
i pray to see; and Olaf, too

preponderatingly because
unless statistics lie he was
more brave than me: more blond than you.


Tuesday, April 04, 2006


“Saddam Hussein, you can’t hide, we charge you with genocide.”

An apt chant, considering he has today been charged with same.

Consider the following. During the American-Iraq War Against Iran (1980-1988), the Reagan regime of the US Republican Party provided at least $3 billion in agricultural cash credits to Iraq, encouraged the Persian Gulf states to lend billions to Iraq, provided targeting data to Iraq (used in conventional and WMD attacks against Iranians and Kurds), and sent the US Navy and Air Force to fight in support of Iraq’s forces in the Persian Gulf.

[All this history gone down Orwell’s memory-hole for you? As Casey Stengel said, “You could look it up.” It was on TV and in the local newspaper in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for sake.]

This war is usually called the “Iran-Iraq War.” Golly: Iran didn’t attack Iraq; Iraq attacked Iran, in an attempt to steal oil fields.

Recall: In 1953, the USA CIA overthrew the democratically-elected government in Iran, and replaced it with the military dictatorship of the “Shah of Shahs, the Light of the Aryans” Pahlavi. [As G. W. Bush would say, Let freedom ring.] Why are those Iranianacs so ungrateful?

[To GWB, freedom is just a ringtone, or, at least, nothing left to lose.]

To quote GWB, which I’m loath to do: “If you support terrorism, you are a terrorist.”

If you support Reagan’s support of Saddam Hussein, you are …

QED. Latin for: That which was to be proved.

If S. Hussein is charged with genocide, should not his bankrollers sit in the same dock with him?

And wasn’t G.W. Bush a staunch supporter of St. Ronald Reagan and his regime?