Sunday, November 30, 2008

Blood Money?

Today is Sunday, 30 November 2008.

The term “military-industrial complex” was first popularized when President and retired general Dwight Eisenhower warned against it in his “Farewell Address to the Nation” on 17 January 1961.

“A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction... “

“This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every statehouse, every office of the federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together.”

Now comes retired four-star general Barry R. McCaffrey. Seems he’s made a pile of moola, flacking for the current wars on NBC, etc., while failing to mention his employment by companies which benefit from the war-fighting strategies he recommends.

Today’s essential reading on this:

Herewith, "Barry's Song":

Friday, November 28, 2008

Turkey Time, But Jan Has Never Been A Gobbler

Today is Friday, 28 November 2008.

As we observe the cruel ruins of the latest Republican era, MoB is thankful Jan is still among us, patiently chipping away at the foundations of plutocracy, and here's to you, kiddo:

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Dedication: To "A Lady"

Today is Wednesday, 26 November 2008.

Herewith, MOB, go all 18th century.

Respectfully dedicated to: "A Lady".

IRONY: Nelson Eddy sings "Stout Hearted Men":

Such is the downside of life.

What the MoB wishes for you:

Monday, November 24, 2008

A Modest Proposal

Today is Monday, 24 November 2008.

From Wikipedia’s article on Neville Chamberlain, he of Munich ’38 fame, and Prime Minister of the UK at the outbreak of war in ’39.

“Following the debacle of the British expedition to Norway, Chamberlain found himself under siege in the House of Commons. During the Norway Debate of 7 May, Leo Amery – who had been one of Chamberlain's personal friends – delivered a devastating indictment of Chamberlain's conduct of the war. In concluding his speech, he quoted the words of Oliver Cromwell to the Long Parliament: “You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go.”

It’s very simple.

Having, at long last, a shred of decency remaining and emerging, W and Cheney immediately resign.

The Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, becomes President.

President Pelosi nominates Barack Obama as Vice President. The House and Senate confirm Obama, and he is sworn in.

President Pelosi resigns, and Barack Obama is sworn in as 45th President.

It could happen in one day.

Were, and the Mournful Subjunctive is hereby very deliberately invoked, W and Cheney to have left a shred of decency remaining and emerging.

“In the name of God, go”.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

More Missions Accomplished!

Today is Sunday, 23 November 2008.

Thus, after more than five years, here’s the democracy and freedom W Cheney and the Republican Party have created in Iraq.

The Iraqi Defense Minister (a criminal against humanity, having loyally served the Ba’athist dictatorship as an army general) threatens the Iraqi Parliament: approve the deal extending the US occupation or maybe we make a coup: “state of emergency” equals martial law, and the Prime Minister can dissolve Parliament (what a third-rate Oliver Cromwell) and rule by decree from the muzzle of a gun.

Mission Accomplished!

Here's the source material:

Compare and contrast, to W and Cheney, Judy and Mel:

Saturday, November 22, 2008

"The Unanswered Question"

Today is Saturday, 22 November 2008.

Herewith, from Charles Ives:

Pose your own, and seek to answer.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

4 Yr. Listening Pleasure

Today is Tuesday, 18 November 2008.

Herewith, a rare kinescope of HH doing an intro:

"I'm Not A Crook"

Today is Monday, 17 November 2008.

On this date in 1973, Richard Nixon was moved to declare to the American people:

Of course, he knew he was.

Speaking of Nixon ... as he leaves office, will W pardon himself and Cheney?

Has W the sense the deity gave a goose, he will.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Homage to J. G. Ballard

Today is Saturday, 15 November 2008.

It honours The Museum of the Bourgeois to honour J. G. Ballard, the greatest living writer in the English language, on the occasion of his 78th birthday.

Anyone familiar with Ballard's work will recognize the relevance of:

Friday, November 14, 2008

On the Critical

Today remains Friday, 14 November 2008.

“Anonymous” commented on “[Your Catchy Title Here]": “There it is, folks - from HH's own lips, or rather, fingers. He is critical and analytical from Day One. In Obama's case, pre-Day One. Yes, HH's joy in life is to critique. Nothing makes him happy except a good bottle of something and a few tunes.”

But wait, my friends, there’s more: it gets better (or worse, depending on viewpoint). HH is a life-long card-carrying member of the School of Critical Theory (or would be --- for security reasons, cards aren’t issued).

Following is the first paragraph from the article “Critical Theory” in Wikipedia; it’s rather a good introduction to the concept.

“The first meaning of the term critical theory was that defined by Max Horkheimer of the Frankfurt School of social science in his 1937 essay Traditional and Critical Theory: Critical theory is a social theory oriented toward critiquing and changing society as a whole, in contrast to traditional theory oriented only to understanding or explaining it [HH’s bolding]. Horkheimer wanted to distinguish critical theory as a radical, emancipatory form of Marxian theory, critiquing both the model of science put forward by logical positivism and what he and his colleagues saw as the covert positivism and authoritarianism of orthodox Marxism and communism. Core concepts are: (1) That critical social theory should be directed at the totality of society in its historical specificity (i.e. how it came to be configured at a specific point in time), and (2) That Critical Theory should improve understanding of society by integrating all the major social sciences, including economics, sociology, history, political science, anthropology, and psychology. Although this conception of critical theory originated with the Frankfurt School, it also prevails among other recent social scientists, such as Pierre Bourdieu, Louis Althusser and arguably Michel Foucault and Bryan Reynolds, as well as certain feminist theorists and social scientists.”

Please keep in mind that any elected official, such as President-elect Obama, is an employee of the people (or, if you prefer, The People). All the people have an obligation to analyze and critique the actions of elected officials. Without people living up to this obligation, democracy cannot work, however fitfully. Unfortunately, most people don’t often live up to this obligation, so MoB does its humble best to pick up the slack.

If it’s a good bottle recommendation you seek, one can’t go wrong with the Mouton Cadet Bordeaux, to which HH was introduced while dining at the Rainbow Room in Rockefeller Center in 1981.

As to tunes, I’m partial to, among others and in no particular order, Mozart, Neil Young, Bach, Talking Heads (“Once in a Lifetime”, “Burning Down the House”), Joni Mitchell (“River” always breaks my heart), Bartok, and Chet Baker.

Other things which make HH happy: family, friends, autumn and winter, art, literature, Casablanca, etc.

Thank you, "Anonymous", for your criticism.

So sit back, uncork that Bordeaux, groove on a tune, and critique.

In Memory: Miriam Makeba

Today is Friday, 14 November 2008.

With profound sorrow at the loss to humanity, the Museum of the Bourgeois honours Miriam Makeba, the great singer of freedom and opponent of apartheid, who died Sunday last.

Let all of us, and particularly those, such as Ronald Reagan, who to their everlasting shame supported the white supremacist South African regime, never forget: the laws which enslaved South Africa’s Blacks were modeled directly on the Nazi laws persecuting Jewish Germans in the years preceding the implementation of the Holocaust.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

[Your Catchy Title Here]

Today is Wednesday, 12 November 2008.

When Alan Greenspan testified before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on 23 October, he said: “Those of us who have looked to the self-interest of lending institutions to protect shareholders’ equity, myself included, are in a state of shocked disbelief”.

Mr. Greenspan, I’ve watched Casablanca dozens of times, and you, sir, are no Claude Rains: “I’m shocked, shocked: there’s gambling in the casino!”

Obviously, lending institutions have self-interest. Obviously, those executives who control lending institutions also have self-interest. Obviously, unless those executives are closely regulated, many will often sacrifice the interests of shareholder equity to their own greed.


Of course, the Great Alan has been a charter member of the cult of the mediocre novelist and “philosopher” (“Objectivism”, anyone?) Ayn Rand since graduate school. (I.e., since Alan was old enough to know better.)

Obviously, Alan “Gordon Gecko” Greenspan, greed isn’t good.

As I’ve remarked before, an occupational hazard of being a hate-mongering scarifier is that one must become continually more whack to retain public attention.

The John Birch Society progressing from “Eisenhower is a dupe of the Commies” to “Eisenhower is a conscious agent of the Communist conspiracy”. Jerry Falwell’s desperate crusade against the “gay Teletubbie”. Joe McCarthy finding Commies first in the State Department, and finally in the U.S. Army.

Thursday last, Rush Limbaugh took his latest plunge: “The Obama recession is in full swing, ladies and gentlemen. Stocks are dying, which is a precursor of things to come. This is an Obama recession. Might turn into a depression. He hasn’t done anything yet. But his ideas are killing the economy.”

So, Slush: for the eight years past, Presidents W. and Cheney, plus Congressional Republicans, have pursued a secret Obamist-socialist agenda?

One of our mottos here at MoB is: “No quarter!”

The honeymoon is officially over.

In his book, The Audacity of Hope, Barack Obama wrote of “the psychodrama of the Baby Boom generation --- a tale rooted in old grudges and revenge plots hatched on a handful of college campuses long ago”.

The kindest evaluation I can make of that concept is “asinine”.

The concerns and struggles which have preoccupied many of us Baby Boomers since the end of the Eisenhower Era are mere psychobabble and spats foisted on the world by a cabal of elitist, pointy-headed intellectuals from a smattering of college campuses?

Gee, I’d always thought racism, genocide, slavery, sexism, homophobia, economic inequality, rampant violence, etc. had something to do with it. And to think: it could all been avoided had we only had our heads shrunk and de-pointed!

Such a sentiment is unworthy of you, sir.

We are again reminded: all executives must be most closely watched and regulated.

On this date in 1969, journalist Seymour Hersh broke the news of the My Lai Massacre.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

"O, We Lucky Few"

“O, We Lucky Few: Upon the Death of Hundreds of Elementary School Children in Haiti, Friday, 7 November 2008”


O, we lucky few,
In this parch’d and curs-ed land
In our schoolhouse refuge,
Bless-ed widow’s mite of learning,
And then shabby construction collapsed.


O, we lucky few,
‘Neath rubble grav’d,
Grav’d 'neath our dreams.


Poet wrote:

Friday, November 07, 2008

Chet and Tommy

Chet thought Tommy was better.

I think, i know them both, a dead tie.

Tommy Crook

Today remains Friday, 7 November 2008.

Perhaps the best guitar player ever is Tommy Crook, of Tulsa, Oklahoma:

Happy Republican Recession, My Friends

Today is Friday, 7 November 2008.

I’m not the only one who has long thought that “Irony” is my middle name.

(Many rightians, of course, prefer my middle name to be words, enclosed in quotation marks, unsuitable for publication in a family newspaper such as this.)

How ironic, and iconic: the Republican Party has spent more than a century vilifying “Reds” of various hue: radic-libs, Commies, socialists, feminists, plain vanilla liberals, etc.

But they name the states of the Union they dominate … “red”.

Might it be that the Republicans are pondering the fact that more than 2/3rds of the USA/USE national debt was incurred under … Republican presidents?

Might it be that the Republicans are pondering those eight, most recent years, of Republican rule, when Redpublican policies flushed the USA/USE economy straight down into the “red” zone?

I retort, you decide.

And, by the way, happy anniversary in 1917 of the Bolshevik Revolution.

Reds is one of my favourite movies. (But you knew that, eh?)

Herewith, "The Internationale" in 47 languages:

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Comapare and Contrast: Dedicated to Freddie

Today is Wednesday, 5 November 2008.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Vote OBAMA, My Friends

Today is Tuesday, 4 November 2008.

This is your brain on drugs:

This, my friends, is your brain on McCain:

Any questions?

In Memory: Madelyn Lee Payne Dunham

Today is Monday, 3 November 2008.

Due to news just in, I've pulled the column I was writing for today.

The Museum of the Bourgeois extends most profound sorrow and sympathy to Barack Obama and his loved ones, on the death of his grandmother, Madelyn Lee Payne Dunham.

"And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest".

Sunday, November 02, 2008

More John McHypocrisy

Today is Sunday, 2 November 2008.

HH submitted the following "Letter to the Editor" to The New York Times a week ago; it was not published.

"An American flag autographed by John McCain for a supporter is shown in a photo in the “Week in Review Election Special Issue” of October 26, 2008.

According to Section 1 of Title 4 of the United States Code: “The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature.”

Does Mr. McCain make a habit of defacing American flags?"

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Fightin' and Fibbin'

Today is Saturday, 1 November 2008.

McCain revels in smirkingly proclaiming, “I’ve been fighting for this country since I was 17”.

McCain lies again: he didn’t see combat until he was 30. The legendary combat career of Fightin’ John lasted about 3 months.

At 17, McCain was beginning a career at the U.S. Naval Academy, where he majored, at taxpayer expense, in misconduct so serious and sustained that he earned demerits sufficient for dismissal. The fact that McCain was the son and grandson of four-star admirals saved him: demerits were corruptly and arbitrarily erased, and he survived, graduating 5th in his class [CORRECTION: graduating fifth from the bottom of his class].

By lying about his fighting record, McCain has dishonoured the uniform he wore.