Friday, January 30, 2009

In Memory: Eddie Slovik

Today is Saturday, 31 January 2009.

Do you know the great 1974 TV movie, the first time Martin Sheen came to my attention (when he was starting out in theater in NYC, he lived a couple of blocks from where Ms. HH and HH would live 1996-7), The Execution of Private Slovik?

Slovik was a troubled young man who couldn't deal with World War 2 combat, but would gladly have served in a support capacity. Not good enough for Ike.

Murdered on the orders of Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, on this date in 1945. The only American soldier murdered for "desertion" since the USA/USE conquest of the Philippines.

Ike, interestingly, never saw a day of combat in his life.

I keep meaning to find this phrase in French; it means shooting some soldiers, "for the encouragement of others".

War, I can understand a bit. But such gratuitous cruelty ... Ike was no different than someone who pours gasoline on dogs and cats and throws a match.

Seven American presidents have been petitioned to pardon Slovik. None have.

Obama, do the right thing.

Per Ardua, Ad Astra

Today is Friday, 30 January 2009.

Responding to a comment from yesterday.

Why did our ruling class propel dogs, chimps, and humans into space upon the tip of a burning explosive rocket bomb?

You could look it up: magnetics could do the job, and no explosions.

However, rocket bomb death machines were inventory, so why bother with crew-friendly?

The “Space Program” has always been military-driven, and so … eggs are broken.

When one sports stars upon the shoulder, or civilian pomp, what’s one more broken egg?

(Unless, perhaps, the egg is thee, or your spouse/parent/sibling/friend/beloved.)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Today is Thursday, 29 January 2009.

On this date in 1939, Yeats died.

On this date in 1986, the ship Challenger exploded, due to managerial ambition.

Next day, in a class on Paleo-Archeology at The New School for Social Research, my teacher Jean, upon entering the room, said, "During the television coverage of the glib and great, I awaited the one who would say, "One can't make an omelette, without breaking eggs".

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

When You, Friend

Today is Tuesday, 27 January 2009.


How the shy prairie insomniac in you would in this revel:
4 o’ the clock four days before January’s end
As heaping, hissing sleet,
In wind-harrowed piles slicks and deepens,
And the rare winter thunder and lightning:
Snap crackle pop.

Remember that day
On the North Shore?

“I feel a poem comin’ on”,
You’d shout
Turning to your shelves
Burrowing ‘til you found and declaimed
In multi-voice-ed splendor:
Perfect poet and poem for the moment.

Would that you were standing
Beside me.

‘Til too late:
We thought your schizophrenia was carefully-
Measured eccentricity.

More clever than us all:
Madness self-medicating madness:
Heroin needle betwixt your toes.

We drove you, us all weeping,
To rehab
And the next day you disappeared.

Some twenty years fled now,
And every knock at the door
I hope you’ve come back to your senses,
Returned to your friends.

When you read Roethke for me,
“The Meadow Mouse”,
How was I to know
You were the mouse?

“I think of the nestling fallen into the deep grass,
The turtle gasping in the dusty rubble of the highway,
The paralytic stunned in the tub, and the water rising,--
All things innocent, hapless, forsaken.”

“The Meadow Mouse”
By Theodore Roethke


In a shoe box stuffed in an old nylon stocking
Sleeps the baby mouse I found in the meadow,
Where he trembled and shook beneath a stick
Till I caught him up by the tail and brought him in,
Cradled in my hand,
A little quaker, the whole body of him trembling,
His absurd whiskers sticking out like a cartoon-mouse,
His feet like small leaves,
Little lizard-feet,
Whitish and spread wide when he tried to struggle away,
Wriggling like a minuscule puppy.

Now he's eaten his three kinds of cheese and drunk from his
bottle-cap watering-trough--
So much he just lies in one corner,
His tail curled under him, his belly big
As his head; his bat-like ears
Twitching, tilting toward the least sound.

Do I imagine he no longer trembles
When I come close to him?
He seems no longer to tremble.


But this morning the shoe-box house on the back porch is empty.
Where has he gone, my meadow mouse,
My thumb of a child that nuzzled in my palm? --
To run under the hawk's wing,
Under the eye of the great owl watching from the elm-tree,
To live by courtesy of the shrike, the snake, the tom-cat.

I think of the nestling fallen into the deep grass,
The turtle gasping in the dusty rubble of the highway,
The paralytic stunned in the tub, and the water rising,--
All things innocent, hapless, forsaken.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Odds and Sods

Today is Friday, 23 January 2009.

In testimony before Congress this week, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said that Obama and he believe China is manipulating its currency for its own advantage and the disadvantage of the USA/USE.

Well, duh!, Tiny Tim. Both Obama and you know full well that every nation in history has done what it could toward such ends. It is repugnant that Obama and you jingoistically pretend that others who do it are dastardly, while we’re on the side of the angels. No change there. You sound precisely like W. and the slimy Lou Dobbs.

The entire issue would be small potatoes had not the American ruling elite chosen to pursue a policy of borrowing hundreds of billions of dollars from China, so American consumers could gorge on cheap Chinese exports, thus lining the pockets of such as Sam Walton, Commie China’s best friend.

To reply to a reader who asked what could be done about the pro-child-rape policies of Thailand and its king, other than “scolding”: alas, not much beyond insults and propaganda. Like Indonesia, Thailand is ruled by a corrupt oligarchy, buttressed by a military which terrorizes its own people. The officer corps’ loyalty is bought by a slice of the corruption. I doubt that even a complete tourism boycott (which ain’t gonna happen) could cause sufficient economic damage to create the conditions for revolution.

On this date in 1973, Richard Nixon announced that a "peace" accord had been reached in the Indochina War. However, formal hostilities would not cease until 30 April 1975. The effects ...

Truly it is said: wars cannot be ended, only never begun.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

E-Mail Support to Obama

Today remains Thursday, 22 January 2009.

Obama today signed executive orders which will lead to the closing of the Guantanamo concentration camp and the secret CIA torture prisons, as well as banning many criminal interrogation techniques.

Please take a moment to write to him and endorse this action.

His e-mail is:

A Finger for the King of Thailand

Today is Thursday, 22 January 2009.

In Thailand, “whoever defames, insults or threatens the king, the queen, the heir to the throne or the Regent” can be imprisoned for 3 to 15 years.

Consider that the monarch, Bhumibol Adulyadej, has lived in the lap of luxury off the sweat and suffering of the people of Thailand since his birth in 1927, and as king for 62 years. (His net worth is estimated at $35 billion.)

Consider that King Bimbo has frequently supported bloody military coups that keep him in lavish clover.

Consider that King Bimbo has created a Stalin-style personality cult. Here’s the conclusion of a song for his 60th anniversary on the throne, which relates in nauseating detail his “greatness”: “May the Angels grant Your Majesty's every wish And May You and the Royal Family Live Long and in Great Prosperity.”

Consider that this rich parasite has presided as Thailand has become the number one world destination for pedophiles who rent or buy children to rape. (He has a habit of pardoning convicted child rapists. “Birds of a feather …”?)

An Australian teacher resident in Thailand was recently sentenced to 3 years in a squalid prison. He had self-published a novel, selling 10 of 50 copies. The court ruled he had insulted the king.

If you wish to join MoB in insulting King Thug Pedophile-Coddler, e-mail him at the Thai Royal Navy website:

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

And The Hell With John Roberts, Too

Today remains Wednesday, 21 January 2009.

John Roberts, pretender to the office of Chief Justice … well, one knew from the git go he was a egotistical reactionary two-bit acolyte of State Power.

Now we know Little Johnny can’t even memorize and recall the 35 word Presidential oath of office.

The clown … sorry, I shouldn’t insult clowns … the miscreant … no, I shouldn’t insult miscreants … the … John Roberts … didn’t even have the wit to bring a back-up script of the Presidential oath to the Inauguration. John relied on his memory, which obviously ain’t up to no par.

Originally, I thought he gave Obama the wrong oath to screw with the man. Now, I’m tending toward “Roberts ain’t the brightest penny in your pocket”.

So, Inauguration night, Obama called Roberts in and made him do it right.

ROBERTS: “Are you ready to take the oath?”

OBAMA: “I am. And we’re going to do it very slowly.”

Joseph Welch to Joe McCarthy, 1954, the televised Army-McCarthy Hearings:

“You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?"

Had Roberts left the slightest shred of decency, he would resign and devote the remainder of his miserable life to pro bono work for the poor.

The Hell With Rick Warren

Today is Wednesday, 21 January 2009.

Before commenting on the other Inaugural Address, I’ll spend a day or three in close study.

I do wish to remark again on Obama’s choice of the bigot and religious tycoon Rick Warren to give the invocation.

Mr. Warren’s brand of “Christianist” theology consigns a majority of humankind throughout history to eternal damnation, including all Jews who don’t convert. Warren’s concept of a gracious deity is one who, in infinite mercy, visits upon non-believers the equivalent of the suffering of the Holocaust, infinitely multiplied for all of eternity. The concept of worshipping such demonic brutality is immoral. Warren’s career of growing rich and influential through peddling spiritual slavery is criminal.

It is worth noting that Warren heartily endorses one of his most avid disciples, a Ugandan “evangelist” who claims to be locked in spiritual warfare with a coven of witches operating from a secret headquarters under Lake Victoria. (This charlatan has apparently seen an overabundance of Batman or James Bond films, and is a committed plagiarist.) I don’t quite know which would be worse: that Warren actually believes such manure, or that he believes that any money headed into his pockets doesn’t stink.

I can only assume that someone of Obama’s intelligence and cultivation could only have chosen Warren in order to pander to the deluded. I doubt this is even effective cynical politicking. It is certainly a disgusting misjudgment by Obama to confer such legitimacy and publicity on such an evil person.

This is not a good sign, nor a change in which anyone should believe.

Vladimir I. Lenin died on this date in 1924.

On this date in 1951, the Truman regime began the custom of nuking the American people, when the first device was exploded at the Nevada Test Site.

The Hon. Hilary Clinton was today confirmed by the Senate. One of two voting against her was David Vitter (R-La), best known in DC for being outed as an avid patron of prostitutes. Pity his family.

Just in: Obama has signed an executive order overturning a W. order which allowed ex-presidents to hide their documents from their rightful owners and employers, the American people.

Thank you, Obama.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Today remains Tuesday, 20 January 2009.

In the 1972 Presidential election, the USA/USE faced a choice between George McGovern, champion of peace and justice, and Richard Nixon, slave of hate and violence.

In the 2008 Presidential election, the line-up was much the same.

America chose evil in 1972, and the result was Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush, and Bush, slaves of hate and violence, and incalculable suffering.

I hope you’re not a ringer.

I hope you will walk your talk.

Respect the people (of the world).

Serve the people (of the world).

My Inaugural Address

Today is Tuesday, 20 January 2009.

Were HH delivering the Inaugural Address today, I think it would, as Bob Newhart would say, “go something like this”.

[The President stares into the camera with what Mrs. HH refers to as “the wrath of God look”.]

People, the rule of justice and human rights begins now.

[Two squads of FBI agents march onto the rostrum.]

Cuff ‘em.

[Close-up as W. Bush and D. Cheney are man-handled to feet, cuffed behind backs, read their rights, and frog-marched to paddy wagons.]

[The President smiles a mirthless smile.]

There’s a new sheriff in town.

Based on my previous columns, most anyone could probably write the rest of the speech.

Monday, January 19, 2009

In Memory: Hertz, King, LaPorte, Morrison, Palach

Today is Monday, 19 January 2009.

In the USA/USE, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is celebrated.

In 1969, on 16 January, a 20-year-old Czech student, Jan Palach, immolated himself in Wenceslas Square in Prague, in resistance to the USSR invasion of his country the previous August. Palach died on this date in 1969.

I think also often of:

Alice Hertz, 82, who immolated herself on a Detroit street corner on 16 March 1965 (died 26 March) in resistance to the Indochina War.

Norman Morrison, 31, who immolated himself on the Pentagon Lawn, beneath the office windows of Robert MacNamara, Secretary of War, on 2 November 1965, in resistance to the Indochina War.

Roger LaPorte, 22, who immolated himself outside the United Nations headquarters on 9 November 1965 (died 10 November), in resistance to the Indochina War.

Today we honour all those who gave their lives in resistance to evil, and in hope of peace, freedom, and justice. Their struggles must be our lives.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Wednesday's Child ...

Today is Saturday, 17 January 2009.

The old pocket door leading
Into the kitchen
Sticks again today.

After fifty years of
Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks,
Occasional refuge to cry,
"Don't come in!"
A door deserves a break.

Mayhap the track is worn,
Or the wheels which run in the track.

Probably take me two days,
Jostling and coaxing,
To return it to normal.

Reminds me of me these days,
Since you died.

I haven’t moved any of your things.

I can’t move any of your things.

I turn a corner and see something, anything,
And my wheels depart the track.

I could burn this house down,
Everything in it,
And the memories and wounds would never perish:

Memory won’t burn.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Sorrow for the Dead

Today is Friday, 16 January 2009.

On this date 1991, George H. W. Bush made Gulf War One.

This is far beyond the tiny Arabic I once knew.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

In Memory: Patrick McGoohan

Today is Thursday, 15 January 2009.

With great sorrow, The Museum of the Bourgeois mourns the passing of Patrick McGoohan, a great actor, director, and writer.

MoB extends sympathy to his family and friends.

"Be seeing you".

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on this date in 1929. Dr. King will be memorialized on Monday next.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

"The Past Is Prologue"

Today is Wednesday, 14 January 2009.

Richard Nixon overthrew the Constitution, waged illegal wars in Indochina, Chile, etc., and trampled underfoot the human rights of the American people, and was not punished.

Ronald Reagan overthrew the Constitution, waged illegal wars in Latin America, etc., and trampled underfoot the human rights of the American people, and was not punished.

George H. W. Bush waged illegal wars in Panama, etc., and trampled underfoot the human rights of the American people, and was not punished.

“The past is prologue” is carved on the front of the National Archives Building in Washington, D.C.

Believing, with some justification by precedent, that he would never be called to account, George W. Bush has overthrown the Constitution, waged an illegal war against Iraq, ordered widespread torture, ignored the sufferings of the victims of Hurricane Katrina, etc., and trampled underfoot the human rights of the American people.

W. Bush and his criminal cronies must be brought to justice, or the next President with wickedness in his heart will feel free to unleash further rivers of blood, smirkingly secure in the knowledge that the American people don’t give a damn.

There is a mechanism available, and Barack Obama should use it. On his first day in office, he should direct the Department of Justice to commence investigations and prosecutions under applicable American and international law.

If Obama does not, he makes himself moral heir to all the crimes of the Bush regime.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Barack Ford?

Today is Monday, 12 January 2009.

President-Elect Barack Obama said yesterday, on This Week on ABC, in regard to torture at Guantanomo and in CIA interrogations: "My instinct is for us to focus on how we make sure we're moving forward, we are doing the right thing. That doesn't mean that if somebody has blatantly broken the law that they are above the law, but my orientation is going to be moving forward."

On the same show, right-wing extremist George Will said: "With regard to investigating the Bush administration, he's made the decision that Gerald Ford made with regard to pardoning Richard Nixon, which is your presidency can be swallowed up by the past arguments or you can go forward. That's very sensible."

Question for Messrs. Obama and Will: Shall we also move forward, and not be swallowed up by the past, by refusing to prosecute common thieves, murderers, and child rapists?

Or is clemency only for the high and mighty?

Friday, January 09, 2009

God Is My Personal Shopper

Today is Friday, 9 January 2009.

There are certain Jews who say: We’re the Privileged People --- God, gimme the Holy Land.

There are certain Christians who say: We succeeded the Jews as the Privileged People --- God, gimme the Holy Land.

There are certain Muslims who say: We succeeded them both as the Privileged People --- God, gimme the Holy Land.

Pardon me, but a deity who parcels out the planet like a Mafia chieftain rewarding cronies is a deity unworthy of the concept.

There will always be those, I fear, who, in their limitless greed and malignant narcissism, blaspheme by ascribing their own murderous appetites to deity.

They condemn themselves from their own mouths.

As I read the Scriptures, the concept of the Chosen (as diametrically opposed to Privileged) People is of those through whom, frequently by travail and suffering, comes universal blessing.

Let Hamas, and its backers, and Israel, and its backers, both stand condemned for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Jr. Walker Day

Today is Tuesday, 6 January 2009.

Monday, January 05, 2009

All My Best to Hamas and Israel: Only, Supreme Leadership of Each: Put Your Heads Permanently in the Bullseye --- No? Cowards, I Thought Not

Today is Monday, 5 January 2009, at 2:09 pm CST.

I wrote this poem because A Friend liked the Montale poem, and then this one.

On the telly: On the Beach.

"Untitled (Sunflowers)"

Take old US 75 north from Tulsa
(no, not the highway on the west, newer and gleaming:
the one on the east,
there since the 30s,
patched and potholed,
the poor relation,
the one my family drove, 50s and 60s,
to the grandparents north of Topeka),
through Bartlesville,
and Caney,
and into southeast Kansas.

Just before you arrive in Independence, KS,
the road turns to the right (east),
and just before then, in summer,
see the crowded fields of sunflowers,
so thick they elbow one another, shouting:
"I'm the best! Pluck me!"

And then remember,
that scene in Zhivago,
of foolish civil war,
child soldiers dying in the afternoon,
blood spilt pointless amid the field of sunflowers.

And still,
amid our mere human madness,
each year,
the sunflowers turn their eager, thankful faces to the sun,
"This world could be such beauty".

Saturday, January 03, 2009

An Apple for ...

Today is Saturday, 3 January 2009.

Herewith, instead of outrage, a poem by Nobelist Eugenio Montale(translated by Charles Wright). (Yesterday, I bought a plump collection of Montale's poems at a used book store.)

“Bring Me the Sunflower”

Bring me the sunflower so I can transplant it
here in my own field burned by salt-spray,
so it can show all day to the blue reflection of the sky
the anxiety of its golden face.

Darker things yearn for a clarity,
bodies fade and exhaust themselves in a flood
of colors, as colors do in music. To vanish,
therefore, is the best of all good luck.

Bring me the plant that leads us
where blond transparencies rise up
and life evaporates like an essence;
bring me the sunflower sent mad with light.

As readers may have noted, I’m much more at home with didactic poetry than lyric.

So I sent this poem yesterday to a most discerning friend, who liked it. I’ve been re-reading it since, and she’s right, as always.

You should see the fields of southeastern Kansas in summer, crowded with fields of sunflowers "sent mad with light".

And here is the poem in Italian:

"Nel sonno"

Il canto delle strigi, quando un'iride
con intermessi palpiti si stinge,
i gemiti e i sospiri
di gioventù, l'errore che recinge
le tempie e il vago orror dei cedri smossi
dall'urto della notte - tutto questo
può ritornarmi, traboccar dai fossi,
rompere dai condotti, farmi desto
alla tua voce. Punge il suono d'una
giga crudele, l'avversario chiude
la celata sul viso. Entra la luna
d'amaranto nei chiusi occhi, è una nube
che gonfia: e quando il sonno la trasporta
più in fondo, è ancora sangue oltre la morte.

Friday, January 02, 2009

In Memory: Isaac Asimov

Today is Friday, 2 January 2009.

Isaac Asimov, author of Foundation, Foundation and Empire, Second Foundation, etc., was born on this date in 1920.

Empires of "the better sort" export much of their oppression and poverty, and import much of the freedom and prosperity of nations in their hegemonic spheres.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

In Memory: Helen Suzman

Today remains Thursday, 1 January 2009.

Enough fun for this year, fellow kids.

Comes word of the death, at 91, of comrade Helen Suzman.

Member of the South African Parliament from 1953 to 1989, where she was for years the only white opponent of apartheid.

You could look it up: apartheid was modeled after the Nazi Nuremberg Laws persecuting Jewish Germans, the prelude to the Holocaust.

Friend of Nelson Mandela.

The Museum of the Bourgeois honours her life and memory.

I Love the Smell of Napalm in the Morning

Today is Thursday, 1 January 2009.

As usual, some of the "responsible" adult male delinquents in our hood thought it was so clever, a few moments after midnight, to unloose, in our street, before our house, a barrage of firecrackers and a few Roman candles, thus driving every dog and cat in the hood into abject terror.

For next year, I'm considering mounting some speakers on the front porch, and, when they begin their "fun", letting loose with:

And then, out of the smoke from the smoke machine I'll need to rent, HH appears, in a tux, spraying foam from a fire extinguisher, and screaming, in stentorian voice (an Iliad reference), "I love the smell of napalm in the morning! That ... gasoline smell. Someday, this war's gonna end!"

Who the Big Dog and Cat now, little men?

Happy New 2009 Year to one and all from The Museum of the Bourgeois.