Wednesday, April 30, 2008

"Wars can never be ended ... "

Today is Wednesday, 30 April 2008.

“Wars can never be ended, only never begun”.

On this date in 1975, the Thirty Years War in Indochina (1945 – 1975), better known to many as “The Vietnam War”, when the armed forces of the legitimate government of the Vietnamese people captured Saigon, the last bastion of the puppet forces of USA/USE colonialism, ... does the term "concluded" work?

The suffering of the people of Indochina almost infinitely exceeds the suffering of the USA/USE people, now as then.

Now comes Iraq, and nothing has changed.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Blood of Spain

Today is Saturday, 26 April 2008.

The full column comes later; too much to do today; real writing comes with evening.

That "Owl of Minerva" thing.

Note, however: anniversary in 1937 of terror bombing of civilians in Guernica, Spain, by Nazi planes acting on behalf of Spanish Fascist Franco. [for SNL fans: Still dead!]

Prelude to Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, etc.

Friday, April 25, 2008

In Memory: Ella Fitzgerald, Edward R. Murrow, and Clifford D. Simak

Today is Friday, 25 April 2008.

On this date in 1988 died Clifford D. Simak, journalist, novelist, and short story writer. (He was born on 3 August 1904.)

Simak wrote highly regarded science fiction for more than half a century. (I don’t regard science fiction as a ghetto or genre: all fiction is fiction, and particular pieces either speak to one or not.)

Two of his novels are among my favourites. I admire how the Wikipedia article on Simak speaks of Way Station. The novel “... is in the midst of all of the science fiction paraphernalia a moving psychological study of a very lonely man who has to make peace with his past and finally manages to do so, but not without personal loss.” City is nicely characterized by its first two sentences. “These are the stories that the Dogs tell when the fires burn high and the wind is from the north. Then each family circle gathers at the hearthstone and the pups sit silently and listen and when the story’s done they ask many questions: “What is Man?” they’ll ask. Or perhaps: “What is a city?” Or: What is a war?”

I highly recommend both.

Memorable Birthdays

Ella Fitzgerald was born on this date in 1917; she died on 15 June 1996.

Edward R. Murrow was born on this date in 1908; he died on 27 April 1965.


McCain: Still Screwing Women

As is well known, John McCain began wooing Wife No. 2 (the wealthy Cindy) before he dumped Wife No. 1 (not wealthy).

Yesterday, speaking to journalists in New Orleans, McCain said he opposed a law defeated yesterday in the Senate which would have made it easier for women who are victims of pay discrimination to sue sexist employers.

"I am all in favor of pay equity for women, but this kind of legislation, as is typical of what's being proposed by my friends on the other side of the aisle, opens us up to lawsuits for all kinds of problems. This is government playing a much, much greater role in the business of a private enterprise system."

At least he’s consistent.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Lennon v. "W" by a Knockout!

Today remains Thursday, 24 April 2008.


All Honour to the Easter Rising

Today is Thursday, 24 April 2008.

On this date in 1916 (the day after Easter) the Irish Republican Brotherhood organized the “Easter Rising”, an armed attempt to force the end of British rule. (The IRB was joined by elements of the Irish Volunteers, the Irish Citizen Army, and Cumann na mBan.)

Although the Rising failed (the final units surrendered on 30 April), it was the catalyst for the Irish War of Independence (1919-1921), which expelled British imperialism from five-sixths of Ireland (they were unable to liberate the province of “Northern Ireland”).

Most persons not of Irish citizenship or ancestry know little of the savagery of the English conquest of Ireland.

The conquest began in 1171 when Henry the Second, under cover of a papal decree, first invaded Ireland. The imperial project was completed by that consummate prick, Oliver Cromwell, dictator of England during most of the years of Parliament’s supremacy, in 1649-1653. The most accurate contemporary account (the Down Survey) estimates that approximately 600,000 Irish, or 40 to 50 % of the entire Irish population, were murdered during this period. Some 170,000 died of war or war-induced famines, and the remainder from war-induced disease.

This is a level of genocide comparing favourably with Hitler and Stalin.

So it’s appropriate that The Washington Post today carries an article about civilians in Lebanon stocking up on firearms, fearing another civil war like that of 1975-1990, during which at least 150,000 were killed and at least 200,000 injured (many permanently maimed, thanks to technological advances).

And you think you have an inflation problem, in the US of A/USE/USS with $3.25/gallon gas? The following figures are approximate, since market conditions do tend to fluctuate greatly in unstable venues, but they seem to give a true sense of the situation:

Made in USA Glock semi-automatic pistol: was $1,000 (all initial prices as of January 2007), now $4,000

Made in USA M-16 assault rifle: was $100, now $1,250

AK-47 USSR-designed assault rifle, now made everywhere: was $75, now $800

[Perhaps Detroit should switch product lines: at least the M-16 has price-point advantage over Russki AK-47!]

Rocket-propelled grenade launcher: was $50, now $500

Lebanon has been in its current political crisis since 2006, with a paralyzed Parliament unable to pass laws or elect a president. You may recall that the USA/USE/USS intervened militarily in Lebanon in 1958 under the Republican Eisenhower, and in 1982-1984 under the Republican Raygun, with disastrous results.

Will the Republican Cheney-Bush regime make it a 3-peat, and even further destabalize the Middle East?

Washington Post Citation:

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Geprge "W": New Low

Today is Wednesday, 23 April 2008.

I neglected to mention yesterday that it was the anniversary of the death of war criminal and filth-mouthed anti-Semite Richard M. Nixon.

Amusingly, ironically, appropriately, it was also the day that USA Today released the results of the latest Gallup Poll, in which George “W” Bush set a new record for disapproval of anyone’s conduct as “president”: 69%. (The 28% who approved are apparently severely befuddled or actively anti-American.)

Congress should really strike a special medal for Bush, Cheney, Rice, etc., commemorating their unique skill in creating a failed state more swiftly than anyone in the history of the world.

Citation to Gallup Poll:

Memorable Anniversaries:

1858 – Max Planck, discoverer of Planck’s constant (where would we be without it?!) and one of the greatest of all theoretical physicists, was born (died 4 October 1947)

1968 – Columbia University students protesting the Indochina War occupied several buildings on campus and shut down the school

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

"Yet Another "hang our heads in shame" Blog Commentary"

Today is Tuesday, 22 April 2008.

Original comment on my column of 17 April 2008:

""Anonymous"" has left a new comment on your post "Share":

So - the Olympic Torch is a symbol of Nazi impreialism? I think by now most people have co-opted the torch as a symbol of goodwill and sportsmaship as it relates to the Olympic Games, which are an attempt to unify the world every couple of years.

And the point of parallelling countries which have hosted the games while instigating unadvised aggression? Is this supposed to make a point of some sort? Is it that any "aggressor" country not be allowed to host the games? Let us know how that could be achieved.

You have graced us with another “hang our heads in shame” blog commentary. Thanks."

The reply I couldn’t post, due to techinical difficulties, but, considering this date, a good thing:

"You’re quite welcome. When shameful acts have been committed, shame and changed behavior are the proper responses.

As any student of ancient Greek history and culture can tell you, the Olympic Games only vaguely concerned “goodwill and sportsmanship”, in the propagandistic sense. They were about the city-state version of jingoistic nationalism: we’re superior to you.

The Olympic Torch symbol has been co-opted into merely a brand for a very lucrative segment of the professional sports entertainment industry.

And would it be such a sin that “aggressor nations” (those who oppress others or their own populations) should be banned from hosting the Olympics?

Granted, the venue might then be restricted to Antarctica, but might not humanity profit more from, e.g., re-runs of Masterpiece Theatre (or for that matter, Green Acres) than yet another orgy of professional sports entertainment every four years?

Depending on the date one chooses, or the wishy-washy uncertainty of the USA/USE, the latter delcared war on the decrepit Empire of Spain on this date in 1898, or perhaps the 20th or 21st.

No matter the date, the USA/USE employed the opportunity to steal Cuba and the Phillipines.

When the shoe fits, or, as it were, pinches, wear it, and hang down your head in shame.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Good Riddance

Today is Sunday, 20 April 2008.

For decades, the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church knew of the magnitude of child rapers in the clergy. (I’m not singling out that sect; a similar situation has existed in almost all religious sects for centuries. I have equal contempt for all who commit crimes and steal under the guise of “spirituality”, regardless of the brand name.)

In all of these sects, the leadership almost always chose to protect the child rapers and conceal the crimes.

One must, of course, at all costs, protect the brand and the cash flow. (Oh, and, yes, the sanctity and salvation factor also.) (I originally, in a mental “slip” [?] wrote “slave-ation”.)

No different from any other social organization.

Joseph Alois Ratzinger, A.K.A. “Pope Benedict XVI”, e. g., protects to this day (among others), in the failed state of Vatican City, Bernard Law, former “Cardinal” of Boston, one of many bishops who knowingly allowed child-raping clergy to be moved to new venues of opportunity, so as to avoid “public scandal”.

Given the longevity of Ranzinger’s position and power in his sect, it is unimaginable that he (and his predecessor K. Jozef Wojtyla, A.K.A. “John Paul II”) knew nothing of the child-raping and the cover-up. Obviously, they knew and endorsed.

At a later date, I will discuss how Ratzinger, Pat Robertson, etc. wish to enslave women in regard to choice.

As I write this, at 6.42 P.M. (CDT), Ratzinger is scheduled to go “wheels up”, pampered in his luxury jet, departing from JFK Airport in New York City at 8.00 P.M. (EDT).

Good riddance to bad rubbish.


Today is Sunday, 20 April 2008.

Early last eve, HH panicked and realized a book was reserved for him at a local bookseller. Ms. HH kindly agreed we HAD to make an emergency book run.

As fate would have it, I had a lovely conversation with Stephanie and Chris, on the way to their high school prom.

More later. Stay tuned.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

In Memory: Oklahoma City 1993 and My Friend C.

Today is Saturday, 19 April 2008.

On this date in 1995 occurred the bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City.

Among the dead was my friend C.

To her family and friends: not a day goes by that I am not mindful of her, and am grateful that she was my friend.

I Think Continually of Those Who Were Truly Great

a poem by Stephen Spender

I think continually of those who were truly great.

Who, from the womb, remembered the soul's history
Through corridors of light where the hours are suns
Endless and singing.

Whose lovely ambition
Was that their lips, still touched with fire,
Should tell of the Spirit clothed from head to foot in song.

And who hoarded from the Spring branches
The desires falling across their bodies like blossoms.

What is precious is never to forget
The essential delight of the blood drawn from ageless springs
Breaking through rocks in worlds before our earth.

Never to deny its pleasure in the morning simple light
Nor its grave evening demand for love.
Never to allow gradually the traffic to smother
With noise and fog the flowering of the spirit.

Near the snow, near the sun, in the highest fields
See how these names are feted by the waving grass
And by the streamers of white cloud
And whispers of wind in the listening sky.

The names of those who in their lives fought for life
Who wore at their hearts the fire's center.

Born of the sun they traveled a short while towards the sun,
And left the vivid air signed with their honor.

Friday, April 18, 2008

In Memory: Albert Einstein

Today is Friday, 18 April 2008.

Albert Einstein died in Princeton on this date in 1955.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Today is Thursday, 17 April 2008.

I saw the Olympic Torch when it passed through New York City in 1996, on its way to Atlanta.

My office then overlooked Water Street, just south of Wall. I was on the second floor, so the view was excellent. I pondered: how many who saw the torch relay that day realized it wasn’t a creation of the ancient Greeks: the concept was a concoction by a Nazi functionary, Herr Doktor Carl Diem (General Secretary of the Organizing Committee for the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin), subsequently brought to life by Hitler’s favorite film director, Leni Riefenstahl.

Yes, the same lovely Leni who directed the infamous Triumph of the Will, chronicling the annual Nazi Party rally at Nuremberg in 1936, a technical masterpiece in the worshipful service of absolute evil. Her 1938 film Olympia was the first to document an Olympics. As usual, Leni out-Wagners Wagner: the kitschy beginning shows the torch being ignited in an ancient Greek temple, then carried in relays to Berlin and into the presence of the Fuhrer.

As Edward Rothstein points out in his The New York Times essay cited below, the route to Berlin begins in Greece, and then passes through Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Hungary, and Austria, thus reversing the course of conquest on which Nazi Germany would embark three years later. [1] (The 1940 Summer Olympics were scheduled for Tokyo, then cancelled by the war. It was Hitler’s intention graciously to allow the racially-inferior Tokyo games to occur, but, as Hitler told Albert Speer (Hitler’s favourite architect and Nazi Minister of Armaments): “…thereafter, they [the Summer Olympic Games] will take place in Germany for all time to come”.

It’s tres approps, then, that the 2008 Summer Olympics are being hosted by the People’s Republic of China, which has been engaged in a ferocious criminal occupation of Tibet since 1950. After all, the 1980 Summer Olympics were held in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the year after the latter criminally invaded Afghanistan (and not to mention Eastern Europe). And, after all, the 1984 Summer Olympics were hosted by the United States of America, then engaged in a criminal attempt to overthrow the government of Nicaragua, as well as criminally propping up homicidal military dictatorships all over Central and South America.

As the official P.R.C. torch relay site puts it: “Light the Passion, Share the Dream”. [2]

Light. Passion. Share. Dream.






On this date in 1961, an “army” (some sadly-deluded 1,511 anti-Castro Cuban exiles) created, financed, and controlled by the Central Intelligence Agency invaded Cuba at the Bay of Pigs. The survivors surrendered on 21 April.

American playwright and novelist Thornton Wilder was born on this date in 1897. His works include what may be the finest USA play, Our Town, (and The Skin of Our Teeth not far behind) and the great novel Theophilus North.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

In Memory: Virginia Tech

Today is Wednesday, 16 April 2008.

Today is the first anniversary of the shootings at Virginia Tech, in which 33 were killed by a psychologically-damaged individual, who, thanks to the efforts of the National Rifle Association, etc., was enabled to purchase the tools of murder.

There are those, including legislators in the state of Oklahoma, where HH lives, who fantasize that the solution to such situations is allowing many tens of thousands to carry concealed handguns on the campuses of higher education. So they may be ready to go all Dirty Harry and Marshal Dillon and put the bad guy down like a mad dog.

The geometric multiplication of righteousness flying bullets makes me feel safer already!

How many of those with concealed-carry permits have even minimal combat training?

Among the qualifiers proposed for granting the right to carry lethal weapons on campus is “honorable military service”.

Most military personnel have minimal qualifications in handguns, and qualify only in mass combat training.

Gunpowder warfare is founded upon the principle of massed firepower: as many dupes as possible, firing as many bullets as possible, without discriminating as to target, hoping that enough bullets will fatally find targets so as to secure victory.

This will protect our campuses, our malls, our streets, our homes? Fire as many rounds as possible (the more clips purchased, the lower the unit price!), and safety is ours!

The Museum of the Bourgeois mourns the deaths of the innocents, and the madness and death of the shooter.

This is what we're talking about: guns, violence, death. Is this the world we want children to inherit?

Herewith, a comment on same:

Monday, April 14, 2008

Your Tax Dollars At Work

Today is Tuesday, 15 April 2008.

Also known as pay up to the Cheney-Bush crime family day or else.

Faux-President George W. Bush has confessed he approved of torture (doubtless with a sociopathic giggle and smirk):

Bush Aware of Advisers' Interrogation Talks

President Says He Knew His Senior Advisers Discussed Tough Interrogation Methods

April 11, 2008 [ABC News]

President Bush says he knew his top national security advisers discussed and approved specific details about how high-value al Qaeda suspects would be interrogated by the Central Intelligence Agency, according to an exclusive interview with ABC News Friday.

"Well, we started to connect the dots in order to protect the American people." Bush told ABC News White House correspondent Martha Raddatz. "And yes, I'm aware our national security team met on this issue. And I approved."

[Complete story at:]

"Waterboarding", e.g., is a form of torture in which a human is nearly drowned --- oh gosh, we're just pretending, unless of course the human is actually "accidentally" drowned.

It seems the good disciples of Christ in the Cheney-Bush crime family have never heard: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

Depose. Convict. Imprison.

In Memory: Simone de Beauvoir!

Today is Monday, 14 April 2008.

Simone de Beauvoir died on this date in 1986. She was born on 9 January 1908.

"I wish that every human life might be pure transparent freedom." (The Blood of Others, 1946.)

In loving memory, and with the most profound thanks.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

FDR and Gagarin

Today is Saturday, 12 April 2008.

On this date in 1945, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, President of the USA from 1933 to 1945, died of a cerebral hemorrhage.

On this date in 1961, Senior Lieutenant Yuri Alekseyevich Gargarin of the U.S.S.R., became the first of homo sapiens to truly enter and briefly inhabit "outer space", when he, in Vostok I, orbited the planet for 108 minutes (one hour and 48 minutes).

His call sign in this flight was "Kedr" ("Cedar") (Russian: Кедр).

I hope to add more thoughts later today, but a full plate is at hand. Do some thinkin' citizens, and come back at me!

Happy Gargarin in Space Day to one and all!

In Memeory: Tom Lewis

Today is Friday, 11 April 2008.

The Museum of the Bourgeois honours the passing of Tom Lewis.

Died on 4 April, Tom Lewis, painter and bringer of peace, died at the age of 68.
In a lifetime of activism, he is best remembered for his participation in the action of the Baltimore Four in October 1967, when he and three others poured blood upon the files of a Selective Service (draft) office, and in the action of the Catonsville Nine, 17 May 1968, when draft records were seized and burned in a parking lot with homemade napalm, whilst USA government-authorized napalm was raining down upon the people of Indochina.

Herewith, from The Baltimore Sun:

The beauty of his life

Perhaps it’s a cry in the wilderness:

“Lest we should see where we are,
Lost in a haunted wood,
Children afraid of the night
Who have never been happy or good.”

[Auden: 1 September 1939]

And, thanks to the wonders of technology, one seldom can interpose one’s body in defense of the innocent victims:

"Kill not them, but me."

or perhaps US.

This poem is for Tom Lewis and I.H.L.

Friday, April 11, 2008

In Memory: Charlton Heston

Today is Thursday, 10 April 2008.

Theatre, acting … it often seems to me encapsulated in a quotation from Goethe’s Faust, which is inscribed on the gravestone of the great German writer, satirist, and anti-fascist Kurt Tucholsky (AKA “Peter Panter”, a nom de plume taken from the name of a fine cigar): “Everything which passes is only a riddle.”

Some actors are chameleons, who can become anyone. Others, such as Kate Hepburn and Charlton Heston, can only play themselves. Some of these latter are lucky enough to be cast in roles in which they authentically play themselves. Charlton Heston was one of these.

Touch of Evil. The Omega Man. Soylent Green. And, particularly for those of us of a certain (Cold War) age, that final scene in Planet of the Apes (HH’s thanks to LQ for reminding him of this) when Heston’s character realizes what humanity, in stupidity and greed, has done.

Heston was one of the first Hollywood stars to publicly champion civil rights for Blacks; he marched with Dr. King and was at the March on Washington in 1963. It is therefore a tragedy of virtually Shakespearean proportions that, in later life, he became a reactionary, and President of and advocate for the National Rifle Association, which should properly be styled the National Handgun Murder Association.

Without excusing Heston’s folly, let us honor his artistic achievements.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

"Memory is the poetry of life"

Today is Wednesday, 9 April 2008.

On this date in 1945, the great German theologian and humanist, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, was hanged for his part in conspiracies to depose and kill Hitler.

“Bring flowers to the rebels failed.”

Born on this date in 1898, the great American singer Paul Robeson, champion of civil rights and progressive causes.

Here's a Robeson to break your heart:

Friday, April 04, 2008

In Memory: Martin

Today is Friday, 4 April 2008.

It is with the most profound sorrow that the Museum of the Bourgeois memorializes the assassination, on this date, forty years ago, of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Maureen Dowd Goes Bigot

Today is Wednesday, 2 April 2008.

In her column of this date, Ms. Maureen Dowd, editorial columnist for The New York Times, outshines herself.

(But even the coded reference of the sun and stars can be decoded, or what’s an NSA for?)

Here’s the ref to the full truckload of crap:

Best excerpts (Pulitzer, anyone?):

“His [Obama’s] strenuous and inadvertently hilarious efforts to woo working-class folk in Pennsylvania have only made him seem more effete.”

Do you hear what I hear?” (Interestingly, this song was written in October 1962 during the “Cuban” Missile Crisis (lyrics by Noel Regney and music by Gloria Shayne Baker) as a plea for peace.)

I’m reminded of Spiro Agnew, speaking in Houston, Texas in May 1970: “ … an effete corps of impudent snobs who characterize themselves as intellectuals …”.

“Woo” and “effete”. Mayhap Ms. Dowd might have employed more subtlety: “prancing”, “mincing”, “queer”, “faggot”, and “nancy boy” come to mind.

Ms. Dowd ends her column: “Hillary’s work is done only when she is done, because the best way for Obama to prove he’s ready to stare down Ahmadinejad [the moral equivalent of staring down a particularly belligerent fruit or vegetable] is by putting away someone even tougher.”

O, those “tough”, “masculine” bitches.

Ms. Dowd: have the decency, dignity, courage, and honesty to say: Hillary is a “bull dyke”.

A most curious and scurrilous column penned by Ms. Dowd. Is it more about hating homosexuals or females?

Or is it a tie, as in “necktie party”, or lynching?

Ms. Dowd has hoist herself on her own petard.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

In Memory: Dith Pran

Today is Monday, 31 March 2008.

With the most profound grief, The Museum of the Bourgeois mourns the death of Dith Pran, aged 65, tireless witness to the genocide of the Cambodian people and opponent of death.