Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Homage, Homage, Homage

Today remains Tuesday, 31 July 2007.

Both Bergman and Antonioni died yesterday.

Liszt died this day in 1886.

Sorrow and Remembrance.

Shakespeare, Hamlet, Stoppard, Rosencratnz and Guildenstern Are Dead, and Henry Mancini (Theme from Peter Gunn):

And here's Peter Sellers (What if Laurence Olivier had performed "A Hard Day's Night"?):

And here's Olivier himself:

And a trailer for The Seventh Seal, by Bergman. Filmed in 1957, what a bombshell it must have been on these shores.

Never cease to question.

Antonioni and Prokofiev:

Look. See. Feel. Think. It is not fated that darkness shall always fall. Dawn and spring may yet arrive.

Always imagine.

Actually Not Depressing!

Today is Tuesday, 31 July 2007.

I was planning on another depressing reality column today, but ...

Franz Liszt died this day in 1886.

I found a wonderful Victor Borge performance of an Hungarian Rhapsody, so the depressing reality is deferred to tomorrow. (I met Borge briefly in New York City, as one of my favorite professors, an old Borge friend, and I were entering a fancy grocery to get espresso (this is in the days before the Starbucks infestation) as Borge was leaving.)

And, to add to the sorrow of the passing of Ingmar Bergman yesterday, yesterday also passed Michelangelo Antonioni.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Are They Better Off?

Today is Monday, 30 July 2007.

If the incompetence and vicious ambition of the Bush-Cheney regime has its way, and the majority of Americans continue to embrace their immoral stupor, Iraq will become the next Darfur. Perhaps it has already.

Quoting from a press release describing a report by the esteemed internal aid group, Oxfam, and a coalition of nonprofits:

"The violence in Iraq is overshadowing a humanitarian crisis, with eight million Iraqis – nearly one in three - in need of emergency aid, says a report released today by international agency Oxfam and NCCI, a network of aid organizations working in Iraq.

The agencies' report "Rising to the Humanitarian Challenge in Iraq" says although the appalling security situation is the biggest problem facing most ordinary Iraqis, the government of Iraq and other influential governments should do more to meet basic needs for water, sanitation, food and shelter.

According to the report:

• Four million Iraqis – 15% - regularly cannot buy enough to eat.

• 70% are without adequate water supplies, compared to 50% in 2003.

• 28% of children are malnourished, compared to 19% before the 2003 invasion.

• 92% of Iraqi children suffer learning problems, mostly due to the climate of fear.

• More than two million people – mostly women and children - have been displaced inside Iraq.

• A further two million Iraqis have become refugees, mainly in Syria and Jordan."

[See release here: http://www.oxfam.org/en/news/2007/pr070730_iraq_humanitarian_crisis]

In Baghdad, thanks to USA neglect of the electrical generation and distribution system (and I say USA neglect, rather than Iraqi neglect, because, under the so-called “Pottery Barn” principle: we stole it, we broke it, we own it), the municipal power grid averages 1-2 hours of current a day. Those who can afford private generators and black market fuel do so.

A harrowing article in last Saturday’s The New York Times describes the fate of most, who cannot afford private generators: they must preserve perishable foods with ice, often made with water contaminated by waste, including human feces.
And now the Bush-Cheney regime proposes to further de-stabilize the Middle East, by pumping several tens of billions of dollars in advanced weaponry into militaristic rogue states such as Saudi Arabia, Israel, etc.

Ask the average Iraqi, in the words of a one-time Presidential candidate: “Are you better off today than four years ago”?

My blood is boiling and I must attend to our fish, etc. Probably more later.

And Ingmar Bergmann has died.

And, this date in 1945, nearly 900 sailors die in the sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis, torpedoed shortly after it had delivered, to Tinian Island in the Pacific, the radioactive components of the atomic bombs slated for Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Many were killed in the water by sharks.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

In Memory: Vincent van Gogh

Today is Sunday, 29 July 2007.

Warning: today's column may mutate drastically.

On this day in 1890, Vincent van Gogh died.

Wish I was back in New York City, standing before "Starry Night" at the Museum of Modern Art.

Almost as good:

First Mutation:

Second Mutation: The Clash, "Magnificent Seven":

Third Mutation:

Fourth Mutation:

José Saramago, Nobel Prize for Literature, from Portugal, wrote one of my favorite sentences (and I apologize I don't have this at the moment in the original language):

"All that dogs want, is that no one should ever leave".

Fifth Mutation: If you can't be in NYC this afternoon, here's a pallid surrogate for "Starry Night":


Sixth Mutation: What would the day be without a little gem from Woody?:

Got a mutation you wanna add? Put the info in the comments; You Could Be a Winner!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Myron Floren

Today remains Saturday, 28 July 2007.

A friend seems to have dissed the profession of accordianship, and Myron Floren in particular.

I particularly take umbrage, given the recent dedication of the Myron Floren West Wing of Accordianionship at The Museum of the Bourgeois.

Free admission on Polka Nights every Thursday.

Herewith, the first time the immortal appeared on The Lawrence Welk Show:

A misguided soul posted a comment about Myron, and all I can say is:

Happy World War One Begins Day!, Supplemental

Today remains Saturday, 28 July 2007.


This Just In: Dick Cheney is scheduled to have his heart defibrillator battery replaced in surgery today.

Cheney has had "four heart attacks, quadruple bypass surgery, two artery-clearing angioplasties and an operation to implant the defibrillator," according to AP.

While Cheney is under anesthesia, George W. Bush will temporarily serve as Acting President, a position previously held by Ronald Reagan under Bush’s father, George H. W. Bush.

This after a National Security Council meeting on Thursday, when the Cabinet Room was evacuated, after a smoke detector began beeping --- "I need a new battery. Feed me! Feed me!". When the NSC got to The Bunker, they realized the beeping was actually coming from Cheney's chest. [This riff inspired by a comment by Mrs. HH.]

And they're playing my song:


They continue to play my songs:

And how about one more for the road, from Billy Bragg:

Happy World War One Begins Day!

Today is Saturday, 28 July 2007.

A day rich in historical associations.

1655 – Death of Cyrano de Bergerac, soldier and writer

1750 – Death of Johann Sebastian Bach

1794 – Death of a great leader of the French Revolution, Maximilien Robespierre

1866 – Birth of Beatrix Potter, beloved author and illustrator

1868 – Fourteenth Amendment to the USA/USE Constitution formally ratified

1887 – Birth of Marcel Duchamp, one of the founders of Conceptual Art

1914 - World War I begins as Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia

1945 – In heavy fog, an off-course B-24 bomber crashes into the 78th floor of the Empire State Building

Instead of sermonizing personally, allow me to quote Theodore Ziolkowski’s introduction to the original HH’s masterpiece, Das Glasperlenspiel (The Glass Bead Game): “The Glass Bead Game is an act of mental synthesis through which the spiritual values of all ages are perceived as simultaneously present and vitally alive”.

By extension: I find that pondering, through acts of mental synthesis, the mash-up which is any given day’s Events Today in History, reveals links and realizations one never knew existed.

And now, pure delight: Bach on the accordion:

Friday, July 27, 2007

Strangelove Meets Disney

Today still remains Friday, 27 July 2007.

You, my warped and weird loyal readers, have pushed me over the Edge.

To do my Bob Newhart imitation: "What if Dr. Strangelove met Walt Disney? I think it would go something like this."

"I ain't marchin' anymore"

Today still remains Friday, 27 July 2007.

HH went out to dinner and the bookstore, and returned to find this comment:

I thought you were Herbert Hoover, HH. Seeing as you're not, I feel free to sing once more (with thanks to Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin):

"We'd like to thank you, Herbert Hoover
For really showing us the way
You dirty rat, you Bureaucrat, you
Made us what we are today."

Come and get it, Herb!

Remind you of any other President?

Outing myself "just a splash": HH is an homage to Hermann Hesse, not Herbert Hoover.

(Obligatory Simpsons Movie Debut today reference: "Doh!")

In addition to books (e.g., a lexicon of Middle Ages English), and a multi-DVD Speak-Russian-Now set for two bucks (!), HH bought the following cinema: The Wild Bunch, The Way We Were, and the complete The Thin Man.

And Hoobert Heever reminds HH of several other presidents.

Richard W. Nixon, anyone?

(M. Nixon, of course, but invert "M", and it's ... "W".)

And bless the late Phil Ochs:

Herbert Hoover Busts a Move!

Today remains Friday, 27 July 2007.

Please refer to last comment on column of 25 July. The subject requested that I obscure his identity, so I baptized him "Herbert Hoover".

Herb was, of course, the only constant in "Peaches and Herb", some five singers having been Peaches over the years. Interesting to note that Herb is the only former US president to have had a subsequent successful career as a Black blues and disco singer.

From failing to give a proper response to the Great Depression to "Shake Your Groove Thing". Go figure!

Points to Ponder

Today is Friday, 27 July 2007.

Points to Ponder: an Historical Irony Day.

Two dictators who, when sympathy for A. Hitler was in vogue, had same, and when sympathy for Amerikanski freedom was in vogue, had same, died on this date.

1970 – Antonio de Oliviera Salazar (Portugal)

1980 – Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, AKA “Shahanshah [“King of Kings”] of Iran” and “Light of the Aryans”

And Gertrude Stein died this date 1946 in Paris.

Points to Ponder.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

"My God! It's Full of Stars"/"Depending on the Breaks"

Today is Thursday, 26 July 2007.

Paths of Glory. Spartacus. Lolita. 2001: A Space Odyssey. Napoleon. A Clockwork Orange. Barry Lyndon. The Shining. Full Metal Jacket. Eyes Wide Shut.

The masterpiece: Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.

(Along with Fail-Safe and Testament, one of the Top Five movies about the threat, still with us, only a half-hour’s launch away (less if submarine launched), of nuclear genocide.)

“I think continually of those who were truly great.

Who wore at their hearts the fire's center.” --- Stephen Spender

Yes, I’m speaking … writing? … of the great film director Stanley Kubrick, born this date in 1928. (Hard to believe he’s been gone from us since 1999.)

(I included the Spender quote as a sort of yardstick: Tarantino is excellent, I love the Dogs and the Fiction, but he hasn’t yet achieved greatness.)

Speech, of course, came before writing, so perhaps we can think of writing as crystallized speech. And seeing and hearing and touching came before speech, so perhaps we can think of speech as crystallized seeing and hearing and touching.

Movies forcibly show us another person(s)’ vision of reality. Speech and writing force us to show ourselves the realities others attempt to communicate.

Well, enough philosophy and anthropology. Watch Strangelove and Jacket. Watch 2001, and, among many other things, remember the nostalgia that never happened.

Alas, alas, alas.

Speaking of which latter, a bauble:

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Happy Birthday, Herbert Hoover!

Today is Wednesday, 25 July 2007.

The Museum of the Bourgeois extends finest birthday greetings to Herbert Hoover (not his real name; he has an Howard Hughesesque passion for privacy), honoured friend of HH since the second Eisenhower Administration.

Being incapable of composing melodic music, herewith:

Monday, July 23, 2007

Always Critical, Never Negative

Today is Monday, 23 July 2007.

Today a friend, CG, is 93, and still alive and sharp mentally as a tack.

Happy birthday, CG.

HH never promotes “negativity”; HH always promotes critical values.

"Critical values": What is that, which is wrong, that we might, had we only the will and the love and the strength, put to rights?

Anyone who has the bandwidth to read this, is in a privileged position, in regard to 99.999999999… % of humans who ever lived.

Negativity diminishes.

Criticism is a hope for a better life for all.

This is what I mean: a classic song with Richard and Mimi Farina, and Peter Seeger:

Saturday, July 21, 2007


Today is Saturday, 21 July 2007.

On 20 July 1969 (were one in EDT, e.g.), the first human beings land on the Moon.

As I watched the event, my joy, as an enthusiast of peaceful and scientific space exploration, was tempered by the knowledge that this event was just another imperialist, colonialist, militaristic grab for the high ground and superior power.

Whatever Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin thought they were doing, they weren’t sent there at the cost of billions of dollars “in peace for all mankind”. Just another little campaign in the Cold War against “godless Soviet materialism”. (As opposed to “godless American materialism”: Donald Trump, anyone?)

And how many months ago since George W. Bush announced, in an attempt to distract everyone from the 500,000+ and counting deaths his regime has caused in the failing Conquest of Iraq: We’re goin’ back to the Moon; we’re a-goin’ to Mars?

George should have paid attention in elementary school, high school, and college: Mars, the god of War? We arrived long ago.

Every night when the moon rises, I look wistfully to the heavens, and ponder What Might Have Been.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

In Memory: Rebecca Nurse, Susannah Martin, Elizabeth Howe, Sarah Good, Sarah Wildes

Today is Thursday, 19 July 2007.

On this date in 1692, five women (of course, women) assassinated, by their fellow Puritans, by hanging, in Salem, Massachusetts for the “crime” of “witchcraft”.

Ah, the Puritans. The common misconception is that they came to The New World to find “religious freedom”.

Ho ho ho!

(But wait, there's more: that’s Santa Claus. The Puritans would have hanged me for any mention of the celebration of Christmas, a pagan holiday.)

The Puritans went into exile because the majority of folks in England and Holland didn’t believe the Puritan claim that God had appointed them his sole representatives and rulers on earth.

(David Koresh? Jim Jones? Sociopathic religious cult, anyone?)

The Puritans began as predators on Native Americans, and then soon turned upon one another.

Murdered on this date in 1692 (two hundred resonant years): Rebecca Nurse, Susannah Martin, Elizabeth Howe, Sarah Good, and Sarah Wildes.

As every society which cannot admit that humanity is one, the Puritans must have their demons.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Rise Up!

Today is Wednesday, 18 July 2007.

Cain v. Able implies the club, implies the arrow, implies the spear, implies the catapult, implies the cross-bow, implies gunpowder, implies mustard gas, implies the atomic bomb, implies the nuclear bomb.

Whenever the Master Class, or Nationality, or Race, can extract profit from the other classes or nationalities or races (all fictions: we are all humans, we are all sentient and non-sentient beings) exterminating one another, advances will be forced to occur in the technological means of extermination.

Thus, the Day of Trinity, the first atomic bomb explosion, 16 July 1945:

Need it necessarily be ever thus?

On the first anniversary of the massacre at Tiananmen Square in China, I saw in The New York Times a photo of an elderly man, the police wresting a banner from his hands, as he shouted, “Rise up! Rise up!”

There it is.

And happy 89th birthday to Nelson Mandela, who was a leader in helping his country make an important transition without blood flowing in the streets.

In the spirit of Mandela: Rise up! Rise up!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

In Memory: Lady Day

Today is Tuesday, 17 July 2007.

There should have been a column yesterday on the first atomic bomb detonation, but I've had a bad arthritis episode, and couldn't really type with one finger, as I'm doing now. Hopefully, tomorrow.

Must mention: Billy Holiday died on this date in 1959.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

"Try to Remember"

Today is Sunday, 15 July 2007.

1904, Anton Chekhov dies.

1099, Christianist terrorist extremist Crusaders, led by Godfrey of Boullion, may he be cursed forever, conquer Jerusalem, and, according to contemporary accounts, the blood of slaughtered Muslims was up to the bridles of the horses.

I had meant to post something sweet, two pearls from Off-Broadway, and then I recalled this day in 1099 ...

Let us celebrate beauty in the midst of horror.

Jerry Orbach created the role of El Gallo, and this song.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

In Memoriam: Khalid W. Hassan

Today is Saturday, 14 July 2007, Bastille Day!

Happy Bastille Day!

Supposed to be the theme today. Also the birthday of Woody Guthrie, 1912. A day of joy.

Of course, Midtown Tulsa, Oklahoma, where HH lives, isn’t Iraq. Sweet place to live, compared to most in the history of the world.

Earlier this hour, when police helicopters unusually circled his hood, for reasons unknown … check out Baghdad, Harlem, East LA, North Tulsa every moment as benchmarks … as Mrs. HH slept peacefully, and the pups and cat the same, HH restlessly paced the house … is there danger, and what can he do?

And news just arrived barely after midnight: another journalist is assassinated in Baghdad. Thank you, Bush-Cheney-Powell-Rove-Rice-Blair, vicious and/or indifferent fellow Americans, etc. etc. etc.

Khalid W. Hassan, only 23, of The New York Times.



The Museum of the Bourgeois extends deepest sympathies to his familiy and friends.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Executive "privilege"

Today remains Friday the 13th 2007.

Now comes Little Georgie, who asserts “executive privilege” so former Bush hack Harriet “Not A Justice” Miers can refuse to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth before Congress, and the taxpayers who put some serious $$$ in her pockets.

Ain’t that a caution.

Strict Constructionist Alert: Nowhere in the Constitution can be found “executive privilege”.

Oh, weepy weepy boo hoo the argument goes: if the common people were given a glance at the advice given to imperial presidents, who’d want to give him advice?

Excuse me: at any moment, there would be a line stretching from here to pole to pole and back and back, of qualified people willing to crawl naked on their bellies for ten miles over broken glass, to give advice to the president, put it on their resumes, and shout it to the skies.

“Executive privilege” is a fiction invented by the first wicked George, the Washing Machine, the one who owned slaves. Sure, he turned down the idea of making himself “King of America”, but only in title: the moment he got into office, he started acting like a king, as in asserting “executive privilege”, which is the equivalent of “royal privilege”.

Let us reject the blanket of shame and iniquity, cast, for our confusion, upon the grievous misdeeds of this regime.

We must choose Goethe, who, on his deathbed, cried out, “Mehr licht! Mehr licht!” “More light! More light!”

Coltrane Friday

Today is Friday, 13 July 2007.

HH is having more struggle than he thought, sorting out his thoughts and feelings of the LBJs thing, the connection of Nam to Iraq, the Mexican War of 1846, Thoreau ...

So, the day before Bastille Day, one of the few holidays HH really cares to celebrate ...

The great John Coltrane and 3 greats, performing a song HH loves to sing: "My Favourite Things".

Thursday, July 12, 2007

"I Will Survive"

Today remains Thursday, 12 July 2007.

Something I ran across, and it's a delight.

Some of my friends will think posting a video like this, disco, is beneath my dignity. They want me to do heavy-brain stuff all the time.

Contrary to certain religious sects: nothing satanic about dancing or thinking heavy.

The original, Gloria Gaynor:

In Memoriam: Henry David Thoreau

Today is Thursday, 12 July 2007.

Henry David (originally David Henry, but he chose the reversal) Thoreau, born on this day in 1817. Only ten years short now of the Thoreau Bicentennial, surely more of value than that 1976 thing.

I meant to write today about Lady Bird, but one can't do that without also writing about Lyndon. And so I'm struggling with writing a column about both LBJs, the Vietnam War, the 1846 Conquest of Mexico which Thoreau opposed, and its relation to the Vietnam War, and Thoreau himself, and, oh, one must throw "McCarthyism" into the mix, and the Cold War, and my own personal involvements and feelings ... You can see why it will take me until tomorrow to get such a "and the kitchen sink too" column sorted out.

So, for the moment: "To be a philosopher is not merely to have subtle thoughts, nor even to found a school, but so to love wisdom as to live according to its dictates, a life of simplicity, independence, magnanimity, and trust." Walden

Also, the great humanist Desiderius Erasmus died this date, 1536. I have more reservations about Erasmus than Thoreau. The former pulled too many punches, but then, he lived in a time when one still could get burnt at the stake for being cross-eyed, and thus a tool of the devil, so perhaps one should not judge too harshly.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

In Memory: Lady Bird

Today remains Wednesday, 11 July 2007.


Your author must depart posthaste for an obligation, so no frills on this, but, as he was putting on his suit coat and turning off CNN, so more to come ...

Lady Bird Johnson is dead at 94.

In Memory: Laurence Olivier

Today is Wednesday, 11 July 2007.

On this date in 1989, Laurence Olivier died.

Theatre, acting, has consumed much of your author’s life (some would say all of it: “When hasn’t he been on stage?”).

Word. Word up.

We are all always on stage, presenting our various personas to one another, hoping to excite love, hate, indifference …

Herewith, two takes in Olivier’s honour.

First, Richard III. Note how cunningly he makes eye contact through the camera.

Now, pure delight. The Boys From Brazil. Olivier and Gregory Peck. This works on so many levels. Notice again the extraordinary use of the eyes by both Olivier and Peck.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

In Memory: Doug Marlette

Today remains Tuesday, 10 July 2007.

Not to upstage “the lady”, but, bitter alas, The Museum of the Bourgeois must note the following, breaking news in the town where HH lives.

With great sorrow, The Museum of the Bourgeois notes the death this morning of Doug Marlette, as honoured an editorial cartoonist as one could find anywhere.

Details are scant at the moment, but Marlette had been in North Carolina to bury his father on Friday last, and was a passenger in a car on his way to visit friends in Oxford, Mississippi, when the car hydroplaned in heavy rain, and he perished.

Marlette was editorial cartoonist for The Tulsa World.

Who could fault an artist who titled one of his books, A Town So Backwards Even the Episcopalians Handle Snakes?

The Museum of the Bourgeois extends profound sorrow to the family and friends of Doug Marlette.

"Finding the ideas that punch my ticket means following the heat of passion through society’s totems and taboos,” he said in a 1988 Charlotte Observer interview. “A columnist or editorial writer can say the president is insensitive to the handicapped, but a cartoonist can draw him pushing somebody in a wheelchair down the stairs.”
The Horror and The Puppy

Today is Tuesday, 10 July 2007.

"A lady", as a 19th century novel would have it, has previously requested that HH not always feature the horror of reality: "on occasion, a warm puppy story would be appreciated".

Herewith, on the anniversary in 1985 of the French Security Service blowing up, in New Zealand, the Greenpeace boat Rainbow Warrior, and assassinating one human on-board, something lovely and incongruous (isn't that a fine compromise between "the horror, the horror" and the puppy?):

Monday, July 09, 2007

Due Process, Equal Protection

Today is Monday, 9 July 2007.

On this date in 1868, the 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States (one of the three “Reconstruction Amendments”) was ratified.

The key provision is found in Section 1:

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

Two points are made here. African-Americans are full citizens, and everyone, citizen or not, are entitled to due process and equal protection of the law.

It is the latter which is under attack by the renegade Bush-Cheney regime. For example, the latter claims jurisdiction over anyone detained or kidnapped anywhere in the cosmos on suspicion of involvement in “terrorism”, yet claims the 14th Amendment applies only as the regime allows. The assertion and acceptance by some courts, that the Guantanamo concentration camp does not constitute an area under USA/USE jurisdiction, is laughable.

Are not military and civilians at Guantanamo subject to USA/USE jurisdiction, law, and domination? Of course.

This is the famous “slippery slope”: if the Bush-Cheney regime can deny due process of law to “Them”, the regime will, when necessary, deny due process of law to all of us.

As Rev. Martin Neimoeller, a German pastor who started out a good German nationalist, then saw the light and ended up in a concentration camp, said:

"In Germany, first they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist, so I did not speak out.

Then they came for the Social Democrats, but I was not a Social Democrat, so I did nothing.

Then came the trade unionists, but I was not a trade unionist.

And then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew, so I did little.

By the time they came for me, there was no one left who could stand up for me."

Ironically, also on this date, in 1951, the novelist Dashiell Hammet was sent to federal prison for the "crime" of refusing to testify before the terroristic entity known as the "House Committee on Un-American Activities".

Will irony never cease?

On this date in 1797, died political philosopher Edmund Burke.

This quote is fitted for Bush-Cheney: "The greater the power, the more dangerous the abuse".

Impeach, convict, imprison!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Euphemism as Demonic

[Blogger continues to fail to accept standard titles.]

Today is Sunday, 8 July 2007.

It is a twisted usage which my mentor, Karl Kraus, would have appreciated and condemned.

From an article in today’s The New York Times, titled “Key Suspects Are Likely to Be Men in Jeep at Glasgow Airport”, by Serge F. Kovaleski and Alan Cowell, [they may not be responsible for the usage, given the meddling of editors] the following excerpt:

“… described by an acquaintance as angry over the United States and British presence [HH’s italics] in Iraq …”


As in “the presence of Hitler’s Nazi armies in Poland, Russia, etc.”, or “the presence of the Soviet Union’s army of occupation in Czechoslovakia in 1968”?

Presence” being defined, in Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary, as “the fact or condition of being present”.

True, in some far-fetched, highly technical sense, that an army of conquest and colonial annexation is “being present”.

As in, “the presence of US Army troops at the massacre of Native Americans at Wounded Knee”.

As in, “the presence of SS troops at the extermination of Jews at Auschwitz”.

Appropriately, today is the date in 1822 when poet Percy B. Shelley drowned.

Herewith, two quotes:

"Man has no right to kill his brother. It is no excuse that he does so in uniform: he only adds the infamy of servitude to the crime of murder."

"A man, to be greatly good, must imagine intensely and comprehensively; he must put himself in the place of another and of many others; the pains and pleasures of his species must become his own."

Saturday, July 07, 2007

North Korea in Cinncinati

[can't seem to get above into title line!]

Today is Saturday, 7 July 2007.

At the direction of Faux-President W. Bush, the National Security Agency wiretapped without the warrants required by American law. The President pleads that, as war-time Supreme Leader, he is exempt from complying with mere laws and the mere Constitution.

The Honorable Anna Diggs Taylor, Judge of the Federal Court in Detroit, correctly held that such wiretapping is illegal, and ordered the criminal conspiracy ended. (But, the Faux-President’s familiars would say: she is a mere Carter appointee.)

Yesterday, a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, sitting in Cinncinati, ruled (2-1, Dishonorable A.M. Batchelder, an H.W. Bush appointee, and Dishonorable J.S. Gibbons, a W. Bush appointee concurring; the Honorable R.L. Gilman, a Clinton appointee, decently dissenting) that the plaintiffs have no standing to sue, having not proved they might suffer direct damage, and orders the case dismissed.

Pardon me (as Pooper Scooper, oops, Scooter Libby would say).

When the President declares himself above the law, and overthrows the Constitution, every citizen is damaged in the ultimate degree, and therefore every citizen has standing to sue, and must prevail in such suit.

Either the President is servant of the Constitution and the laws, or is an elective Fuhrer.

The logical consequence of this ruling is that we should spell “George W. Bush” as “Kim Jong-il”.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Bush Birthday Bash

Today is Friday, 6 July 2007.

On this date in 1946, the current Butcher of Baghdad, George Walker Bush, was born (500,000+ Iraqi civilians exterminated and counting).

Bush is also responsible for murdering more than 3,500 American military, and wounding and maiming several tens of thousands more. By waging a criminal war of aggression to conquer and occupy Iraq, he has involved hundreds of thousands of American military in war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Bush pretends to be a devout “Christian”. Were it so, he would have never undertaken this war. The Great Decider and Dear Misleader should read Mark 9:42 to receive a hint of his fate, according to the Gospels: “Whoever causes one of these little ones to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea”.

Herewith, in his dishonor, a mash-up of W, Lennon, and war victims (takes a moment to load):

Thursday, July 05, 2007

WAR! What Is It Good For?

Today is Thursday, 5 July 2007.

The Four Presidents, in a blast from the Vietnam past:

And here's the original, the great soul artist Edwin Starr, performing his 1970 hit in full:

It seems the Bush-Cheney regime, having created some 4,000,000 refugees in Iraq, has graciously admitted 133 refugees to the USA during FY 2007. See http://www.iraqslogger.com/index.php/post/3461/US_Admitted_63_Iraqi_Refugees_in_June.

Fry in hell, George, Dick, etc.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Flame and Shadow

Today is Wednesday, 4 July 2007.

On this date in 1845, Henry David Thoreau took up residence in a cabin at Walden Pond, Massachusetts.

"Some circumstantial evidence is very strong, as when you find a trout in the milk."
--- Journal, 1850

"Be not simply good; be good for something." --- Thoreau

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

In Memory: The Dead of Iran Air Flight 655

Today is Tuesday, 3 July 2007.

On this date in 1988, the USS Vincennes, a US Navy guided missile cruiser in the Persian Gulf, intentionally and with malice aforethought, shot down an Iranian airliner, thus assassinating 288 civilian human beings.

Various reasons have been ascribed. The command staff was so computer-illiterate and generally poorly-trained as to be incompetent to properly evaluate what they saw on their sensors. (Among other issues, they couldn’t decide if the civilian airliner, in a recognized civilian air corridor, on a scheduled flight, was climbing or descending, or whether it was turning toward the Vincennes (as if attacking) or turning away, or if it was a large airliner or a small fighter.) (True.) The captain of the ship was provably overly-aggressive. (True.) (The ship was illegally within Iranian waters.) “Better safe than sorry”.

The Wikipedia article (at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran_Air_Flight_655 ) is a sound guide to the incident.

(Don’t ya love the way such events are so frequently described as “incidents”.)

The proximate cause of the Iran Air Flight 655 massacre was the incompetence of the command staff of the Vincennes.

The ultimate cause of the Iran Air Flight 655 massacre was the choice of the Reagan-Bush1 regime to support the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq in its criminal war of aggression against Iran. (Justification: “The enemy of my enemy is my friend”. A fine Christian sentiment by fundamentalist Raygun.)

Such support included more than $3 billion from American taxpayers, invaluable intelligence data (which led to targeting of Iranians and Kurds with poison gases), and deployment of US armed forces, particularly the Navy, to protect Iraqi oil shipping.

Trigger-happy was the necessary corollary.

The Museum of the Bourgeois expresses its most profound sympathy to all those who suffered loss because of the assassinations perpetrated against 655 by the country of HH.

Appropriately, it is also the birthday in 1883 of Franz Kafka.

Monday, July 02, 2007

In Memory: Beverly Sills

Today remains Monday, 2 July 2007.


It is with great sorrow that The Museum of the Bourgeois records the death of the great opera singer, Beverly Sills, at the early age of 78. Sorrow is extended to her family and friends.

The following is from the great opera, The Ballad of Baby Doe (and, if you don't know it, the final scene tears the heart out) by Douglas Moore and John Latouche.

Honor Among Thieves

Today is Monday, 2 July 2007.

King Bush today demonstrated that there is sometimes honor among thieves, at least when a subordinate thief has the goods on a superior thief.

King Bush has commuted the prison sentence of convicted criminal Scooter Libby, former chief of staff to faux President of Vice Dick Cheney, thus insuring the silence of Libby. (Presumably, it was either pay Libby off, or send him to sleep with the fishes.)

To review: one of the lies fabricated to facilitate the conquest and annexation of Iraq was that the latter was attempting to buy uranium from Niger. The proof included a document so laughably forged that it was signed by a government minister who had been out of office for more than a year. (One could have discovered this fact by using, as King W would say, “the Google” on the fellow’s name.)

Ambassador Joe Wilson exposed the Bush-Cheney plot in an Op-Ed piece in The New York Times. Libby retaliated by exposing Wilson’s wife as a covert CIA operative (a felony in itself), then lied to the FBI about his crime.

Not by coincidence, King George acted the same day a federal appeals court ruled Libby’s appeal of his 30-month prison sentence had no merit, and ordered him to prison. Not surprisingly, this commutation flies in the face of all Department of Justice rules regarding same. (Not that Alberto Gonzalez, the Tom Hagen of the regime, would object. Had Al the Knife lived in an earlier age, he would have gladly killed Thomas a Becket for his master.)

Compare and contrast: on this date in 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnston, having largely engineered passage of the Civil Rights Act through a Senate still infested with Southern white supremacists, signed same into law, thus beginning the demolition of the Second Slavery, segregation, in the Old South.

Johnson used the powers of the presidency to advance human rights. Bush uses those powers to protect his war crimes and crimes against humanity in Iraq.

Fry in hell, George.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

In Memory: The Dead of the Somme, and All Wars

Today is Sunday, 1 July 2007.

On this day in 1916, the British attack the Germans in WW 1 at the Battle of the Somme. Other than mass extermination, nothing is accomplished.

On this day in 1863, begins the Battle of Gettysburg.

On this day in 1925, composer Eric Satie dies. I know the following is a rerun on this site, but ... the beauty of "Gymnopedie, #1" is inexhaustible, and this version, with ducks ... priceless.

In this world of horror, this is truly a note of grace: