Sunday, August 31, 2008

Further Interlude

Today is Sunday, 31 August 2008.

Before I drop da bomb on Sarah Palin, another interlude.

On this date in 1879 was born Alma Schindler, a minor composer who married and was muse to Gustav Mahler, Walter Gropius, and Franz Werfel, and had many affairs. She's immortalized in the following song by the great Tom Lehrer. (If you don't know his work, probably the finest musical satire ever, check him out on YouTube.)


On a down note, on this date in 1939, the SS staged a "Polish" attack on a German radio station (concentration camp inmates were dressed in Polish military uniforms, murdered, and their corpses strewn about the radio station grounds as "proof"), the pretext for Hitler's invasion of Poland the next day, beginning the Second Great War in Europe.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

More Frustration, Music Unites

Today remains Saturday, 30 August 2008.

Frustrated Reader, Frustrated Writer

Today is Saturday, 30 August 2008.

Thank you for your reasoned thoughts, Frustrated Reader (see comment on “Happy 72nd Birthday”). Please continue commenting. Civil discourse is a wonderful thing.

Yes, my father was in the American military. During World War II, he was in the Army Air Forces, as a waist-gunner in a B-24 bomber in the European Theater of Operations. From 1948 to 1952, he was a radar technician in the U.S. Air Force, which he joined solely to learn electronics, which he thought was the up-and-coming thing. (I was born while he was still in, and thus am an Air Force brat.) He was right: IBM hired him the moment he mustered out. He began, as was customary in those days, as a computer repairman (I love vacuum tubes to this day!), then became a programmer and systems analyst.

My father thrown in the slammer? I make a distinction between people who were forced into the military, and those who embraced it as a path to power and glory.

By the time my father testified at my draft resistance trial in 1972, he’d come to some terms with what he’d done in WW2. He acknowledged that, in carpet bombing locations in Europe, he’d participated in the war crime of killing civilians. He told the court that, were he called up again to bomb, he’d go to jail or Canada.

People can change.

McCain refuses to do so.

McCain has eagerly climbed on the bandwagon of American wars of aggression all his life, once as a personal killer, numerous times as a militaristic civilian who cowers in the corridors of power while sending others to murder and be mutilated or killed. Climbing on the corpses of innocents to ascend the trash heap of power.

Life without parole would be a gift of mercy.

As the man said: “Let the punishment fit the crime”.

I don’t think this is extreme. (I wouldn’t be seen as “extreme” in Western Europe. Scary “Europe”, where lurk the French, etc. Note that this country was founded, and is largely still dominated, by Anglo-Saxons, the scions of the English, and is properly the major westernmost outpost, on this side of the International Date Line, of Europe.)

It's my habit to say: As a youngster, I was present in Sunday School when they taught, “Thou shalt not kill”, but I was out of town, visiting the grandparents, the following Sunday, for the follow-up --- "Here are the exceptions, Happy Hunting”".

Friday, August 29, 2008

Happy 72nd Birthday

Today is Friday, 29 August 2008.

In the 19th century, the French Empire conquered Indochina and annexed it as a colony. During “World War II”, the Japanese Empire supplanted the French. From 1945 to 1954, the French brutally attempted to regain their lost colony, financed by the USA/USE. In 1954, the USA/USE assumed direct responsibility, financially and militarily, as the colonialist master in Indochina, resulting in the deaths of several millions before being expelled in April 1975.

This is termed, under American and international law (cf. the trials in Germany post WW2), a “war of aggression”, and it is a crime.

John McCain, of his own free adult will, dropped bombs on the people of Indochina as part of a war of aggression.

This is a war crime.

McCain is no hero: he is a war criminal.

Sitting in a jail cell for 5.5 years for war crimes is a qualification for becoming commander-in-chief only if one is “experienced and ready” to commit more war crimes.

John McCain should not be elected, but convicted and jailed for life.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Tell the Word

Today is Thursday, 28 August 2008.

Abie Nathan, one of the great activists for peace, has died. Appropriately, while little-known in the navel-gazing USA/USE, he was famous in the Middle East and Europe.

The Museum of the Bourgeois extends profound sympathy to family and friends.

On this date in 1955, fourteen-year-old Emmett Till was tortured and murdered in Money, Mississippi. His crime: being a Black male who allegedly “spoke fresh” to a white female; it is more likely that he simply, as he often did, stuttered. His assassins, who later boasted of the crime and spent the rest of their lives trying to make money off the crime, were acquitted by an all-white jury.

The Museum of the Bourgeois extends profound sympathy to family and friends.

In 1963, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech in Washington, D.C.

Still right on, comrade.

In 1968, the Chicago Police Department rioted (the Kerner Commission used the righteous term, don't blame me), attacking demonstraters at the Democratic National Convention, the latter trying to do their First Amendment thing.

And, Senator Obama: you're too conservative for me, but yet I endorse you.

Tonight: Tell the Word, put it to The Man, lift up the standard.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

More LBJ, etc.

Today remains Wednesday, 27 August 2008.

In regard to the comment on today's previous column.

Johnson is tragic because of all the good he tried to accomplish domestically.

Cheney, Bush, and McCain have done their best to wreck this nation in pursuit of power and profit. Using the excuse of 9/11, they’ve trampled on the Constitution in a vicious drive to refashion an elected president in the image of a king by divine right. They supported Reagan when the latter used the Afghan peoples as surrogates in the struggle against the Soviet Union, then abandoned them to nihilism and decades of bloodshed. They supported Reagan when he used Iraq as a tool against Iran, prolonging the Ba-athist war and condoning the poison gassing of Kurds and Iranians. They supported Reagan when he conducted wars of aggression against the peoples of Latin America. They have botched the current war in Afghanistan, in favor of colonizing Iraq, at the cost of hundreds of thousands of lives. They supported Reagan and H.W. Bush in cutting taxes for the richest, while piling crushing deficits on the future of the nation’s children.

This is not tragic in the classical sense, of well-meaning persons brought low by a fundamental flaw. Cheney, Bush, and McCain are simply wicked. The tragic is their victims.

And no, I don’t think of them as Anti-Christs. To paraphrase Dietrich Bonhoeffer: “They aren’t big enough”.

Lyndon B. Johnson

Today is Wednesday, 27 August 2008.

Lyndon B. Johnson, thirty-sixth President, was born on this date a century ago.

Johnson will be remembered as a master of the legislative process, leading the creation of Medicare, Medicaid, the War on Poverty, and ensuring the passage, against fierce opposition, much from within his own party, of the landmark Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act.

Sadly, Johnson will also be remembered for the monstrous escalation of the Indochina War.

The Indochina War was set in motion in 1945, when the restored French government determined to reassert its colonial dictatorship over Indochina. In an attempt to shore up the French against the Soviets, Harry Truman committed the USA/USE to financing the effort. The truly fatal move came in 1954, when the French resigned the game, and the Republican regime of President Dwight Eisenhower and Secretary of State John Foster Dulles assumed the role of colonialist power in Indochina.

When Johnson assumed the Presidency in 1963, he soon fell into the trap of buying into the fantasy that most Americans indulged in at the time: that every Marxist-Leninist regime had no independent nationalist ambitions, and that their every move was dictated by a vast conspiracy controlled directly and completely from Moscow. He failed to understand that the peoples of Indochina no more wanted to be the pawns of Russian colonialism than they wanted to be the pawns of French or American colonialism.

Had Johnson been capable of admitting that the Cold War was not an apocalyptic struggle between Absolute Good and Absolute Evil, but rather a conventional conflict between two evil empires, much suffering might have been avoided.

The term “Greek tragedy” is too loosely and frequently evoked in historical analysis. It seems appropriate in the case of Johnson: how one person’s tragic flaw became the tragedy of millions.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Dear Douglas

Today remains Tuesday, 25 August 2008.

Madonna and Vega are not a dis to you, Douglas. I'm working on, in honor of your thoughful comments, an equally thoughtful response. Good thought deserves the same. The music is a placeholder while I take seriously your thoughts.

I'm a child of many good fortunes: my parents, I suppose by accident, always sat me down before the evening news, engendering a life-long concern for the wide world.

I honour that you read my columns, and have the concern for this wide world to respond. Most folks don't care.

That you care, is to your credit.

Suzanne Vega

Today is Tuesday, 25 August 2008.

Suzanne Vega.

HH had the honour of producing her several times in NYC at benefits. She's shy, kind, generous.

And, by the by, Suzanne beats Madonna twelve ways from Sunday.

Monday, August 25, 2008


Today is 25 Monday 2008.


Saturday, August 23, 2008

McJohn McCain: POW

Today is Saturday, 23 August 2008.

Hey McJohn: If merely sitting in a jail cell for 5.5 years makes you fit to be President, why not prefer applications from the lifer block at San Quentin?

Friday, August 22, 2008

McCain's Housing Crisis

Today is Friday, 22 August 2008.

Thanks to a discerning journalist at the Guardian in London for this tour of John and Cindy's many mansions:

Yes, John "Crash" McCain is just a regular guy and life-long Washington Outsider who happens to co-own 4 or 7 or 8 or 10 houses. Thus, one understands how John and Mummy "forgot" to pay property taxes on one of them for 4 years. (Yes, yes, I know they don't stoop to that sort of detail personally; they have servants for that.)

Find more house pics at:

For good measure, here's Cindy caught lying about the circumstances of adopting their youngest child:

And, while we're not on the subject: this year's GOP convention will apparently be the first to feature both a presidential nominee and a keynote speaker who are notorious adulterers.

On a more sinister note, it seems as if the Cheney-Bush junta is preparing to legitamize what the FBI has been doing illegally for years:

Thursday, August 21, 2008

In Memory

Today is Thursday, 21 August 2008.

On this date in 1831, Nat Turner led the largest rebellion of slaves in U.S. history. The uprising was suppressed within 48 hours.

Turner and 54 other Blacks were judicially murdered by the state of Virginia. Some 200 other Blacks (of whom few, if any, had any link to the rebellion) were tortured and assassinated by white lynch mobs.

Wherever slavery has occurred in human history, it has meant three things: mass theft of labor, mass rape, and mass murder. The fact that most of the deaths of slaves occur as a consequence of being worked to death, rather than by direct execution, does not mean that the former killings are any less murder. (Interestingly, Heinrich Himmler was initially opposed to the gassing of Jews: he wished to work them to death for the economic profit of the Reich.)

This is not to condone the killings of 57 white females, children, and males by the rebellion. All slavers know that, as they murder, they risk drawing murder to themselves and their loved ones. Yet they enslave, valuing the theft of wealth above human life, even their own.

During the night of 20-21 1968, some 200,000 soldiers of the armies of the USSR, Bulgaria, East Germany, Hungary, and Poland invaded and occupied Czechoslovakia, bringing brutally to an end the experiment with “socialism with a human face” known to history as the “Prague Spring”. Meanwhile, the brutal invasion and occupation of Vietnam by the USA/USE/USS military ground on to its final tally of nearly 6,000,000 Indochinese victims.

On this date in 1972, your author was convicted in Federal District Court in Tulsa for the “crime” of draft resistance to the Indochina War, to wit, “nonpossession of draft materials”, HH having returned his “mutilated” (i.e., torn up) draft cards to the government.

Not an hour goes by without HH thinks of those murdered millions.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Sitting 4

Today remains 20 August 2008.

Did John McCain want to "Free Nelson Mandela"?

Sitting 3

Today is Wednesday, 20 August 2008.

In a comment on “Sitting 2”, “Disgusted but not surprised” said:

"The 4 in 10 better get over themselves in a hurry. Soon (and no, I don't have a citation) white folks are not going to be the majority in the United States. Although I have lived the privileged life of a WASP in this country, that day can't come too soon for me."


In 1980, Ronald Reagan went out of his way to travel to a tiny backwater, Philadelphia, Mississippi, to announce his presidential candidacy at the Neshoba County Fair. Was it mere coincidence that this was the site, in 1964, of the brutal assassination of three civil rights workers by the Ku Klux Klan? (Mississippi Burning, anyone?) Was it mere coincidence that Reagan there endorsed “states’ rights”, the classic, coy, flutter-that-fan-Scarlett-and-horsewhip-the-darkies Southern euphemism for white supremacy and segregation?

The same Reagan who, as governor of California, had zealously struggled to preserve segregation and discrimination in housing.

The same Reagan who was a longtime supporter of the white supremacist dictatorship in South Africa, a dictatorship which had modeled its apartheid regime on Nazi Germany’s laws regarding Jews.

John McCain, of course, worships at the altar of “St.” Ronald Reagan.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Sitting 2

Today remains Tuesday, 19 August 2008.

Serves me right for allowing myself to be distracted by the clamour of the canine elements of MoB and quoting from memory, instead of grabbing the citation.

“Douglas” commented on today’s column. I’ll deal with this comment at length, but here’s the reference to the poll:

“In a June ABC News poll, 4 in 10 whites said they "would not feel completely comfortable" with a black president. 3 in 10 admitted to racial prejudice; more may feel it. 57% of whites said they don't think "Obama has sufficient experience to be president." Over half call him "a risky choice for the White House." Since 77% of voters of are white, these numbers matter.”

(This is from an interesting column by Rebecca Curtis, which may be found at:

Sitting for Freedom

Today is Tuesday, 19 August 2008.

I should have begun this column on 19 July, the 50th anniversary of the first lunch counter sit-in in 1958. It occurred at a drug store in Wichita, Kansas, and was mounted by student members of the NAACP. Though disowned by NAACP leadership as “too confrontational”, the daily sit-ins were nevertheless successful in integrating the lunch counter by early August.

On this date in 1958, student members of the NAACP began sit-ins at a drug store lunch counter in Oklahoma City, and were soon successful.

These struggles were relatively little remarked in the nation at large, but they set the stage for and inspired the sit-ins which began at a Woolworth’s in Greensboro, North Carolina on 1 February 1960, which drew international attention and finally ignited a movement.

Compare and contrast the present situation, in which a national poll found that 4 in 10 whites were wary of an [allegedly] “inexperienced” Black presidential candidate. Come now, fellow whities: isn’t an “inexperienced” Black better than a white who has repeatedly proved himself ignorant, inept, corrupt, and a failure?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Are You Putin Me On?

Today is Sunday, 17 August 2008.

Test Pattern from my favorite city:

And here's a tire tool upside Putin's head (thanx to Teddy Jack Eddy!):

Fasten your seatbelts, kids, and check back: it could be a long, angry night.

And don't forget George:

And thank you, Music Lover and Lover of Poulenc: you elevate this site --- how many blogs have recently referenced Poulenc? And how about that Charles Ives?

And, for you more "mature" viewers:

And here's a sad note, an obit from The New York Times:

A tune referenced in the obit:

Let's sign off by kicking Richard Nixon one mo' time; sorry you have to copy and paste this, but embedding is disabled by request of Manic Street Preachers:

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Mo' Shop: "Augmented" as the Pentagon Thugs Would Say, by Mo' Mozart

Today remains Tuesday, 12 August 2008.

In honour of my friend, an accomplished clarinetist, and against War:

And, for the record, Mr. petit-bourgeois, petit-stalinist V. Putin, if you have the guts, Mr. Judo, to go one-on-one, instead of massive army on small army, meet me outside The Museum of the Bourgeois, winner-take-all, Moscow Rules, at coordinates I will furnish when you accept my challenge.

Butcher Shop

Today is Tuesday, 12 August 2008.

What was it that G. W. Bush said, upon meeting Russian dictator V. Putin: “I’ve looked into his eyes, and I liked what I saw.”

Naturlich: the Butcher of Crawford bonds with the Butcher of Chechnya.

Now, the Butcher of Crawford gently spanks the Butcher of Georgia.

Monday, August 11, 2008

In Memory: Tony Russo

Today is Monday, 11 August 2008.

For those of you who recall, or have learned, what The Pentagon Papers meant in the war against The Indochina War, the name of Tony, Anthony, Russo, should be as honoured as that of Robert Ellsberg.

In our house, we have many teddy bears.


The "Ty" bear "Snacks", is herefore known as "Tony Russo".


After The Bard: "Flights of angels sing thee to thy rest."

And Tony would have liked this:

And remembering the Six Million (more or less, who among the French and American agressors bothered counting?) Indochinese dead.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Nagasaki Blues

Today is Saturday, 9 August 2008.

A USA atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, on this date, 1945.

In your writer's Augean Stable of a library, is a book titled, Nagasaki: The Unncessary Bomb.

So, here's Django Reinhardt [see here: ... why he's so great] and crew, 1936, jammin' Nagasaki:

And here's Nagasaki, 1945:

Friday, August 08, 2008

More "No Olympics"

Today remains Friday, 8 August 2008.

Thanks to "Imperfect Reader", who made a comment this date.

However, I doubt you are imperfect: HH reserves that title for literates such as Hitler, Mao, and Nixon. You are a wise reader.

FYI: I've not cheered at a sports event since high school, and then it was not really for the Cardinals, but because the enchanting Debbie L. was a member of the Spirit Squad.

Yes, I sold out in high school.

"The things we do for love."

And, yes, I was announcer for the high school competitive swim team, but that was for Mrs. Ehlen.

Humanity is one and indivisible.

No Olympics

Today is Friday, 8 August 2008.

8-8-08, as some would have it.

Debut of the 2008 Olympics.

In China, where hundreds of millions of peasants live in poverty, while their capitalist masters squander tens of billions on sports entertainment.

Herewith, another, similar, Olympics (1984 in LA is equivalent, however less photogenic), but the India thing at the end is regrettable nationalist racism.

Bless Jesse Owens.


Were I in China, I could not have posted this column, as many cyberdissidents have been detained, and the secret police would be sniffing down your trail, dear Reader.

Nationalism is racism, "my Friends", as John McHate would say.


The Museum of the Bourgeois, while denouncing the dictatorship of Georgia (the one next door to Russia, not Alabama), denounces the war Putin dictatorship Russia has launched this date against Georgia.

Of course, this protest is futile, "a dying call", however, one must bear witness.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Why Impeachment Matters

Today is Thursday, 7 August 2008.

On this date in 1964, the Congress of the USA passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, effectively abandoning the Constitution and ceding warmaking powers to President Lyndon B. Johnson.

As, in 2003, a similarly craven Congress passed the infamous “Use of Force” Resolution, allowing President George W. Bush latitude to conquer Iraq.

The Constitution assigns power to declare and wage war to the Congress alone.

The Foundering Fathers [credit Gore Vidal for that riff] knew their history: kings and fuhrers, left to their own devices, slaughter their subjects and enemies on whims. There must be, at least, a check and balance, however frail.

The Congress of 1950 fatally abdicated, when it allowed Truman to wage war in Korea.

A “police action”.

Do police employ carpet bombing? (Yet.)

The Congress of 2003 fatally abdicated their Constitutional responsibilities also.

The Order of the Day: Impeachment, conviction, imprisonment.

On the face of it, as the Universe knows, W. Bush went to war in violation of the Constitution.

Impeachment and conviction could, and should, happen in an afternoon.

(And Cheney in the dock, and removed, also.)

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Hiroshima Day

Today is Wednesday, 6 August 2008.

Hiroshima Day.

Note: Little Boy was the codename of the atomic bomb which was dropped on Hiroshima, on August 6, 1945 by the 12-man crew of the B-29 Superfortress Enola Gay, piloted by Colonel Paul Tibbets of the United States Army Air Forces. It was the first atomic bomb ever used as a weapon and was dropped three days before the "Fat Man" bomb was used against Nagasaki. This video was complied by Usamah Khalid for Summer School 2007 at Small Heath Sixth Form.

Additional Note: The music is "O, Fortuna" from Carmina Burana by Carl Orff:

Following is one translation of the Latin text:

Monday, August 04, 2008

To Kyle

Today is Monday, 4 August 1964.

Sorry, that was a flashback: it's 2008.

On this date in 1964, the "Gulf of Tonkin Incident". Two destroyers of the U.S. Navy on spy mission had violated the waters of the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam ("North Vietnam"), and, it was alleged at the time, that the former were fired upon by the latter, which would be totally legal, considering the violation of sovereign waters.

Used by President Lyndon B. Johnson, one of the most honourable presidents save, e.g., the horrors of Viet Nam, to justify massive bombing of the DRVN and troop escalations.

Now do that Hesse thing, and triangulate that fact with the following tunes and the times.

(One of these days, I'll figure out how to use my Webcam, and sing the following in my, if not award-winning, sometimes admired extraordinary rendition, as it was sung originally in the Weimar Era.)

Here's Pearl Bailey and Dinah Shore, with Brecht/Weill's "Mack the Knife":

The vintage Bobby Darin version is blocked, but here's one late:

Wait one: Big Daddy found a work-around, this must be ca. 1959:

Now, chill and follow the preceding with a perfectly logical conclusion:

Today's column is dedicated to Kyle, as she embarks upon a new adventure.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

In Memory: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Today remains Sunday, 3 August 2008.

It is with profound sorrow that The Museum of the Bourgeois has just received word of the death, at 89, of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Perhaps he was always a Slavic reactionary, but he wrote much that was truthful and beautiful despite that.

More follows, after I've absorbed this.

Nautilus 90 North

Today is Sunday, 3 August 2008.

On this date in 1492, Columbus set sail for India.

In 1958, the U.S.S. Nautilus, the first submarine to be powered by a nuclear reactor, surfaced at 90 degrees North, the North pole, the first submarine to do so.

[See here for the Wikipedia article on the Nautilus:]

The feat was, of course, primarily a propaganda stunt, of little practical value. The American political high command, having chosen to be humiliated when the Soviets, the previous 4 October, had launched Sputnik, the first artificial Earth satellite, needed a competitive “First”. Timing it to coincide with the Columbus anniversary was a nice touch.

The great actor and activist Martin Sheen was born on this date in 1940. The Museum of the Bourgeois extends its best wishes, sir.

The great science fiction writer Clifford D. Simak was born on this date in 1904. As I’ve said before, if you’ve not read his masterpiece, the elegiac novel Way Station, I recommend you do so. I’ve read it some dozen times since 1963, the year of publication.

Friday, August 01, 2008

A Favourite Poem

Today is Friday, 1 August 2008.

One of my favourite poems is by Emily Dickinson:

"Humanity is"

Humanity is ---

My Native Land ---

And the cusp’d Moon ---

And River-edg’d soft Sand ---

And the deer Doe’s eyes, when ---

Her Heart en-bulleted ---

Her Light fades like Broken-Rapture Sunset.