Thursday, April 30, 2009

Note on Thursday Column

Today remains Thursday, 30 April 2009.

For some reason, today's blog has appeared sequentially before "Mary & Bea".

Search me.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Mary & Bea

Today is Monday, 27 April 2009.

Remember the ‘70s bumpersticker: “Womyn are people too”?

Though, given the likes of Richard Nixon, Curtis LeMay, W., and Prick Cheney, I always thought it should read, “Might males be people too?”

Today is the 250th anniversary of the birth of Mary Wollstonecraft, author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792). To compress: Wollstonecraft asserted that females and males are equal and equally human, therefore all are obligated to pursue lives of virtue, and therefore society should be organized so that all might equally pursue same.

A fitting day on which to mourn the passing of Bea Arthur, thespian extraordinary. All honour.

I’m proud to have been, as was Ms. Arthur, a student of drama at The New School for Social Research, though, alas, in different decades.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Throw Away the Key

Today is Thursday, 30 April 2009.

Here's something important I'd managed to miss, or perhaps forget: At the war crimes trials of Japanese soldiers after World War Two, one of the crimes for which some were executed was water-based interrogation, now popularly known as "waterboarding".

See this from Paul Begala at The Huffington Post:

Of course, waterboarding was defined as torture during the presidency of Harry Truman, who, as any good Nixo-Reaga-W.ite-Cheneysta Republican can tell you, was the wimpy weenie girly-man too cowardly to go to war in Korea or drop the A-bomb, so what can we expect?

The only serious argument advanced by the pro-torture gang is familiar to admirers of Jack Bauer: it’s The Only Way to save thousands, perhaps millions, of lives. And we’ve done that. If only we could give you specifics, sigh.

First, the argument is the essence of the moral bankruptcy of The End Justifies The Means, whose only virtue is stripping the bark off the claim of the torture crowd that they’re Christian Gentlemen. Second, the If Only We Could Tell You What We Know exactly tracks that of self-proclaimed messiahs who preach that, if only you’d acknowledge their divinity, you’d understand why it's imperative they have sex with children.

While I never endorse executions, waterboarding is torture, and should be punished by disgrace and imprisonment. And not just scape-goating the actual "hands-on" torturers - most importantly, punishing the gangsters at the top of the Bush regime foodchain who authorized what the Soviets quaintly named "enhanced interrogation techniques".

Bush and Cheney and friends, your cells are ready. Will the Obama regime have the decency to prosecute and imprison?

Republican Chickens Coming Home to Roost?

Today is Sunday, 26 April 2009.

A popular term among political commentators is “imperial overreach”. We are seeing the reality in spades in Pakistan.

The Pakistani Taliban last week seems to have taken effective control of the district of Buner, some 60 miles from the capital of Islamabad. This comes after the Pakistani Government and Army (not always synonymous!), by agreement, forfeited control of the neighbouring Swat region to the Taliban in February, who are imposing what they call Sharia Law, or authentic Muslim law. (More on the question of Sharia Law in a later column.)

By comparison, imagine the USA/USE government ceding control of northern New Jersey to the armed militants of The Church of Jesus of 1776 And LORD’s Dictatorship, who boast a record of torturing and butchering opponents, and whose avowed goal is re-establishing the divinely-anointed conditions of 33 C.E./A.D. throughout the world.

“Jihadist” groups such as the Afghan (and Pakistani) Taliban would most likely not exist in their present form, had they not been partially created, and largely funded, by the recklessly adventurist Repugnican regime of Reagan, which envisioned them as surrogate fighters against the USSR. When the USA/USE largely lost interest after the 1989 Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, the latter became a failed state which finally fell prey to the Taliban. American interest was not really aroused again until after 11 September 2001.

A lovely example of what can happen when an empire overreaches, and attempts to control events in another nation to its benefit, and the detriment of the nation’s people.

One of the most obvious problems, given that many commentators are warning that the Pakistani state could begin to fragment as early as Memorial Day, are the nuclear weapons and infrastructure currently controlled by the Pakistani army. (Which latter has a miserable record in combat against India, but has done quite handsomely in corrupt moneymaking and exploiting its own population.) Most reliable estimates place the Pakistani arsenal at 30-55 devices.

One can only assume that certain interested nations have made contingency plans to seize these devices, should the Pakistani government and army begin to dissolve. These nations would include the USA/USE, Russian Federation, China, India, and possibly France. (Many nongovernmental organizations undoubtedly have their own designs on the devices.) One can only imagine, with the greatest fear, what might ensue if more than one nation attempted a snatch, and military festivities ensued.

Republican chickens, it seems, may again be coming home to roost.

Sorry to have been off the air for several days. Nature is currently quite beautiful, but pollen has never agreed with me (save in the vital agricultural sense).

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Chavez Day

Today is Thursday, 23 April 2009.

Cesar Chavez died on this day in 1993. Co-founded the National Farm Workers Association (NFWA) with Dolores Huerta. It was later called the United Farm Workers (UFW).

Whenever we eat a fruit or vegetable, think.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Richard M. Nixon, Rot in Hell

Today is Wednesday, 22 April 2009.

Where were you when?

Henry the 8th died, JFK was shot, Ferd Burfle ... you get it.

On this date in 1994, Mrs. HH and I went to the hospital in NYC where Richard M. Nixon was dying. Given my history with the man, I felt it only meet that I should pay my disrespects, on behalf of the millions he helped to murder.

We joined the media scrum, and, mayhap next year, when I learn the photo upload thing, you'll see the pic of moi at the hospital. A dog walked by in the background as Mrs. HH was about to click: "There's a dog in the picture! Do you want it?" Moi: "Yes! It's the ghost of Checkers!"

I was dressed to the nines, fine suit (Hart, Shaffner, and MARX - get it?) and tie, and refrained from use of the "F" word. I was interviewed by NBC, BBC, etc., but, it seems, in retrospect, I ought not to have said "Nazi bastard" so many times, as none of the interviews aired.

After, we dined in Greenwich Village, then, in the cab going home down Broadway, news over the radio the Nazi bastard had died. At least the grace to hang on until I could dis him one last time. Would have been better had he been conscious, but still ...

And the hell with you, also, Bob Dole:

Yes, Francisco Franco is still dead. Richard M. Nixon is still dead. And here's a song for someone not, Radical Rachel, and ain't it a caution - HH's therapist in Greenwich Village, Patricia of blessed memory, was in the same building on Broadway as the Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, with whom the students of Lang College once marched on DC in the days of that other Nazi bastard, Reagan:

That man haunts me yet - still downloads his funeral instead of:

Monday, April 20, 2009

Always, Run Into the Fire

Today is Monday, 20 April 2009.

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” – Constitution of the USA/USE

On this date in 1999, the Harris-Klebold Well Regulated Militia, as it were, assaulted Columbine High School, Colorado, murdering 13 and themselves, and physically wounding 23.

Thanks to the valiant pro-gun extermination efforts of terrorist factions such as the National Rifle Association, Harris and Klebold were armed with an Intratec TEC-DC9 (9-mm semi-automatic handgun), a Savage 311-D 12-gauge double-barrel shotgun, a Hi-Point model 995 carbine rifle, and a Savage-Springfield 67H 12-gauge pump shotgun.

Obviously, the security of the contemporary USA/USE does not depend on nor require a Militia. Therefore, the “original intents” of the framers and ratifiers of the Second Amendment are irrelevant. Therefore, the plain language of the Amendment, that the “right” to bear arms is contingent on the need for a Militia, is neither applicable nor operable.

Food, including meat, can be provided to all, through socialized mechanisms: therefore, there is no “need” for private individuals to own hunting guns, which should be prohibited under strict penalties. All existing hunting guns should be destroyed, save for historical examples closely held in regulated museums. All handguns should be prohibited under strict penalties, and existing stocks destroyed, save for historical examples closely held in regulated museums. Police agencies should be restricted to small quantities of weapons, strictly regulated as to terms of use.

The arguments of some misguided- or pseudo-leftists that guns are necessary for the triumph of a revolution of justice and peace are absurd.

The “needs” of certain persons, overwhelmingly male, for phallus substitutes – “happiness is a warm gun” – are contemptible.

Full disclosure: I’ve lost significant others to gun extermination.

Totally fine:

Always, run into the fire:

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Bombing OK

Today is Sunday, 19 April 2009.

Perhaps an hour after the Oklahoma City Bombing, I was walking west on 8th Street in Greenwich Village, and glancing in a coffee bar window, saw a partially-rubbled building on the TV.

A few weeks later, I encountered this sentence, perhaps in The New York Times: “If the radical left of the 1960s tore a hole in the fabric of America, then the radical right of the 1990s drove a rental truck through it.”

What the hell has the “If” to do with the “then”, I thought, and wrote a play, Bombing OK!, on that sentence, the bombing in general, and the true origins of the latter.

Interesting, yes, that the one element of the OKC Bombing most consistently downplayed was McVeigh’s motive. In his mind, he was as Paul Revere two centuries before, striking a blow for liberty and against the tyrants of ZOG. The Zionist Occupational Government: the fantasy conspiracy of The Jew which controls America. And where did McVeigh get this idea?

During the Great Depression, one powerful school of thought held that the economic disaster was caused by The Jew, fronted by the New Deal of FDR, whose original family name was “Rosenfeld”. (How the demigod TR fit into this as a gentile was unexplained.) This crap was particularly welcomed by many elements of the business community and the Republican Party. Even into the early 1960s, it was not inappropriate in certain circles to speak of “Jewish Communism”. This filth persists to this day among much of the extreme right, particularly the various facets of the Christian Identity movement.

The ‘60s Left didn’t set the stage for the OKC Bombing: the Far Right and many ideologues of the Republican Party did. Credit where credit is due.

Before I wrote this column, I, as usual, did a quick survey of major news hubs, and discovered that J.G. Ballard, my nominee for finest fiction writer in the English language of the second half of the 20th Century, has died after a long illness.


More in days to come, after I absorb the news. The Museum of the Bourgeois mourns his passing, and extends most profound sympathy to his children, family, and friends.

Friday, April 17, 2009

"If I had a hammer ... "

Today is Saturday, 18 April 2009.

MoB hasn't brought you a moment of pure silliness for some time.

Herewith, from Great Moments in Folk Music (love the dancing!):

Brought to my attention by Comrade Jules, Commandante of the Lang Liberation Front.

Enough of that: cold shower.

How many of the Tea Partiers reflected on the fact that many of them had driven on "socialized" roads (or taken "socialized" mass transit or "socialized" sidewalks) to "socialized" public parks and buildings, where their ability to rally was guaranteed by "socialized" police and military forces? If they ate before rallying, they benefited from "socialized" food quality regulations. If they were on medication, they ingested products subject to "socialized" pharmaceutical quality controls. If they breathed, they freeloaded on "socialized" environmental safety laws. If they ...

The quality of discourse of Tea Party supporters seems exemplified by a sign at the rally outside City Hall in Manhattan: “Hey Congress, I Haven’t Read The Stimuluse Bill Either!” (Thanks to David E., NYC Correspondent of "" for photographing this gem.)

"Such people aren't born foolish: they are made foolish, under the impact of overwhelming power, and for the benefit of that power." Dietrich Bonhoeffer (After Ten Years, 1943)

If I had a hammer, I'd break the USA/USE mental coercion machine.

W's Rape Nation

Today is Friday, 17 April 2009.

Pat Robertson with a beard, that’s the ticket. Or rather, that’s the Taliban.

Fundamentalists of any ideology, whether religious, economic, or political, inevitably use their ideology as a cloak for their perverted hunger for power.

Cf. the law recently passed in Afghanistan, enshrining for males of the Shiite sect the “right” to demand sexual relations from their wives, that is, rape them. (This development merely gives formal legal sanction to behaviour already acceptable to most Shiite males.) Rape is also the logical conclusion of the fundamentalist Christianist teaching that “God” ordains that females must be the slaves of males: unwed daughters enslaved to fathers, brothers, or male guardians, and wedded females enslaved to their husbands. “It’s for her own good”.

Among the rationales W. Bush famously advanced for the conquest of Iraq was the existence of “rape rooms” – spaces in police stations, barracks, etc. where female opponents of the Ba’athist regime were systematically raped. W. Bush conveniently forgot the existence of the same practice among the 1970s and 1980s Latin and South American military dictatorships so fondly cuddled by the Republican Party.

By supporting, with cash and troops, the most corrupt and reactionary elements in Afghanistan, W. Bush and the Republican regime succeeded in creating, not a rape room, but a lawful rape nation.

Today is the 48th anniversary of the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba by CIA puppet forces.

The Obama regime is to be commended for loosening some restrictions on relations with Cuba. It’s long past time to cease groveling before the would-be fuhrers of the South Florida exile community, and completely normalize relations with Cuba. Show some guts for a change, Obama and other Democratic “leaders”.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Two for Tea

Today is Thursday, 16 April 2009.

Seems not everyone outside was wearing their tin-foil hats yesterday.

Such as J- R- (no, not that one), 50, attending the Tulsa Tea Party, and paraphrased in today’s Tulsa World: “R- then offered what he called a radical solution to the country’s economic woes: abandon the Federal Reserve, eliminate the income tax and limit the government to its constitutional authority.” (I’ve redacted his name, in case he some day comes to his senses and is embarrassed.)

Of course, J- R- should have said he wanted the Constitution amended to eliminate the Federal Reserve and the income tax, since those are currently within the government’s constitutional authority, but it was sunny in Tulsa yesterday, and perhaps one should charitably assume that J- R- was a touch addled.

The Tea Party movement demonstrates once again the abysmal level of political-economic consciousness in this country. And consider that the original impetus to the entire charade came from FreedomWorks, the hard-right political thugfest led by corporate lobbyist Dick “The Prick” Armey.

And about those hats. Why do folks assume that it is the reflective properties of tin-foil which are germane? Of what are radio, etc. antennas made? Metal, right? So maybe folks who wear tin-foil hats are attracting signal downloads, not repelling them.

A point to ponder.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

When Drinking Tea, Extend Your Pinkie

Today is Wednesday, 15 April 2009.

More tomorrow on this American Tea Party buffoonery. I'm too tired from, among other things, helping Brutus, a charming young Boston bull terrier, find his way home.

The following list of what the organizers of the Tulsa TEA ("Taxed Enough Already") Party oppose seems representative of the movement, and unconscious self-parody: “The rapidly growing size & reach of the American government, Wasteful government spending (The Stimulus Act, Omnibus Bill, Tarp, & the like!), Elected officials that pass spending bills without reading them & without debate and due consideration, Burdensome taxation (direct & hidden) – taxes are already too high & are crippling free enterprise, Pork spending, Earmarks, Awarding failure & non-achievement, Over-regulation that handicaps free market enterprises & impairs our ability to compete globally, Growing social programs, Socialized medicine & government mandated health care, Ignoring or facilitating illegal immigration or providing benefits funded by taxpayer dollars to illegal aliens, The failure to protect our borders, Monetizing government debt (printing money to false cover debt), Nationalization of banks & businesses, Punitive taxes for targeted citizens, Paying for other peoples’ debts & mortgages because they overspent, Bailouts for banks or others – let the bankruptcy system work, We are against Socialism!!!!“

I.e.: It's the Global War on Badness (GWOB), Charlie Brown.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Pirates of the Cold War

Today is Monday, 13 April 2009.

With all the attention recently devoted in the international media to the attacks of Somalia-based pirates, it behooves us to recall some context.

In 1974, the dictatorship in Ethiopia of Haile Selassie I (which had been supported by the USA/USE) was overthrown, and the new military dictatorship, the Derg (“Committee”), allied itself with the USSR. The following year, the Somali dictatorship of Siad Barre attacked Ethiopia in the Ogaden region (attempting to unite all ethnically-Somali areas into a Greater Somalia), the USSR supported Ethiopia, and Barre abrogated his friendship treaty with the USSR, expelled Soviet advisors, and accepted support from the USA/USE.

Somalia has been a failed state since Barre was overthrown in 1991.

One is reminded, of course, of the recent history of another failed state, Afghanistan. In both cases, the two Superpowers backed local factions as cat’s paws in the Cold War, and so degraded and distorted the local economies and political ecologies that chaos and famine resulted, which persist to this day. This was a pattern repeated around the globe.

Thus, the coin in which the price of the Cold War was paid was lives predominately non-American and non-Soviet. The pirates of Somalia are chickens finally come home to our roost.

Neither the first, nor the last.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

First in Space

Today is Sunday, 12 April 2009.

On this date in 1961, Yuri Gagarin of the USSR became the first human in outer space, making one orbit in Vostok 1.

Arizona Heat Stroke?

Today is Saturday, 11 April 2009.

First, Arizona State University’s flacks said their commencement speaker, Barack Obama, wasn’t receiving an honorary doctorate because he had not yet accumulated a significantly distinguished life-long body of achievement.

Unlike, for example, a Vice-Minister of Education from “Commie” China, who was honoured.

Unlike, for example, former senator and embarrassingly-failed presidential candidate and avowed white supremacist, Barry Goldwater, who was honoured.

Now, the ASU flacks seem to be leaning toward “bureaucratic error”. Yeah, blame it on a secretary.

Or might it be that Barack Obama, a person of a “certain persuasion”, is guilty of humiliating a certain white senator and embarrassingly-failed presidential candidate from Arizona?

Or perhaps it was just heat stroke.

Friday, April 10, 2009

When Does He Start?

Today is Friday, 10 April 2009.

In regard to the column, “Obama Gets His Nixon On”, a comment by “Morton” asked, “So, when does he start doing the liberal stuff”.

In his second term, of course.

The first presidential term of a Democrat is traditionally employed to tee-up for a winning re-election bid by lulling the electorate, and Take Two is when the incumbent starts doing the liberal stuff.

Cf. Jimmy Carter. First term: rabid supporter of the Shah’s dictatorship in Iran, the Somoza dictatorship in Nicaragua, back-door rabid funder of the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile, started massive USA/USE arms build-up, etc. Then, second term, hit the liberal ball out of the park.

Thus, Obama out Ws W when it comes to being a Peeping Tom RE spying on the American people. Thus, Obama throws more ground troops into the Afghanistan quagmire, so he won’t get trumanized. (Remember “Who lost China?” after 1949? Obama doesn’t want 2012 chants of “Who lost Kabul?” and “Who lost Iraq?”.)

In order to protect their right flank against slobbering imperialist Republicranks, Democratic presidents, regardless of actual foreign policy views, have usually judged themselves compelled to also pursue a foreign policy of political, military, and economic aggression. Cf. LBJ in Indochina.

Shoring up the right flank would also explain why Obama reversed himself on gay marriage, and invited odious homophobic bigot Talibangelist Rick Warren to lead off the Inauguration, while consigning a genuine hero of the Civil Rights Movement to the back of the bus.

As to domestic policy, as I’ve said, I see no reason to believe Obama is any kind of socialist. Indeed, I have yet to be able to discern what lies at the core of Obama’s ideology, or, for that matter, character.

Ideally, he is a secret democratic socialist, cleverly concealing his maneuvers behind a screen of moderation. But I’m not holding my breath.

On this date in 1919, a great leader of the struggle of the Mexican peasantry for economic and political justice, Emiliano Zapata Salazar, was assassinated.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Nuclear Test Ban NOW!

Today is Thursday, 9 April 2009.

Next 13 October will mark 10 years since the Repugnican-controlled Senate voted not to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, which would outlaw all testing of nuclear weapons.

The two main reasons then given by Replutocrats were: 1) how can the USA/USE be sure it can detect nuclear detonations of less than a kiloton, and 2) how can the USA/USE be certain, if a President ever decides to commit nuclear genocide, that Our Bombs will function as intended, and agonizingly scrub the majority of life from the planet, without constant testing?

Yeah, bummer: what if they gave a holocaust and nobody came?

Wouldn’t it be great if childhood malnutrition were ended, and blood-drunk nuclear genocidists had to give a bake sale to buy Bombs?

According to an article yesterday in the Washington Post, Joe Biden will lead the ratification effort, as he did in 1999.

It is not yet known when the Administration will present the treaty to the Senate, as a campaign to develop public support must first be mounted.

On this date in 1865, slaver and traitor Robert E. Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia, thus effectively ending the War of white Southern Treason.

On this date in 1945, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the great Lutheran theologian and member of the German Resistance, was murdered by the SS.

On this date in 1959, NASA presented the first astronaut class, the Mercury Seven.

On this date in 1998, Eleanor Roosevelt Calico Cat was born.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Seymour Hersh: Salute!

Today is Wednesday, 8 April 2009.

The Museum of the Bourgeois salutes Seymour M. Hersh, born on this date in 1937, whose place is assured in the first rank of all-time great journalists. Hersh's 1969 exposure of the My Lai Massacre won the 1970 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting. Hersh's frequent contributions to The New Yorker are alone reason enough to subscribe to that magazine.

Hersh’s books include My Lai 4: A Report on the Massacre and Its Aftermath (1970), Chemical And Biological Warfare (1970), Cover-up: the Army's secret investigation of the massacre at My Lai 4 (1972), The Target Is Destroyed: What Really Happened to Flight 007 and What America Knew About It (1986), The Samson Option: Israel's Nuclear Arsenal and American Foreign Policy (1991), Against All Enemies: Gulf War Syndrome: The War Between America's Ailing Veterans and Their Government (1998), and Chain of Command: The Road from 9/11 to Abu Ghraib (2004).

Thank you, Mr. Hersh, and many, many happy returns of the day.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Obama Gets His Nixon On

Today is Tuesday, 7 April 2009.

Here’s a change you can believe in: the Obama regime is even more vile in justifying limitless and illegal spying on Americans than the W. Bush regime.

Constitutional scholar Glenn Greenwald wrote yesterday, in a pitch-perfect summation of the Obama regime’s position: "In other words, beyond even the outrageously broad 'state secrets' privilege invented by the Bush administration and now embraced fully by the Obama administration, the Obama DOJ has now invented a brand new claim of government immunity, one which literally asserts that the U.S. Government is free to intercept all of your communications (calls, emails and the like) and -- even if what they're doing is blatantly illegal and they know it's illegal -- you are barred from suing them unless they 'willfully disclose' to the public what they have learned."

(From a column titled “New and worse secrecy and immunity claims from the Obama DOJ at . Read the entire column and weep.)

Obama may be a liberal when it comes to issues like health care, but he’s become Richard Nixon redux when it comes to the police state.

Ike's Ethnic Cleansing

Today is Monday, 6 April 2009.

When Paris was formally liberated on 25 August 1944, the troops of the Second Armored Division of the Free French forces led the way.

Of course, Paris had already been largely liberated by units of the French Resistance, assisted by the decision of the German occupation commander to defy Hitler and not implement a scorched earth, fight-to-the-death order. Nevertheless, General Charles de Gaulle would have his little parade.

It is now revealed that the troops who strutted into Paris had been “ethnically cleansed” of all persons of colour, at the demand of the American and British high commands. (See citation below for details.) Some 2/3rds of all Free French forces were Africans from French colonies; many of those temporarily co-opted to fill the ranks of the Second were actually Spaniards.

Given that the American armed forces, like the home country, were ruthlessly segregated, this comes as no surprise. Particularly given that the supreme Allied commander, Dwight W. Eisenhower, was a vicious white supremacist racist. (Note Ike’s response as President to the Supreme Court’s school desegregation ruling: “Do you really want your little blond Susie sitting next to some big black buck?”)

[Full story: ]

Saturday, April 04, 2009

In Memory: King and the Victims of white Greed

Today is Saturday, 4 April 2009.

On this date in 1968, was assassinated in Memphis The Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr., for the crime of freedom.

James Earl Ray may have pulled the trigger, but white greed loaded the gun.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Obama Would Destroy Basic Human Right

Today is Friday, 3 April 2009.

While reactionaries continue frothing at the mouth that Obama is a socialist, another reminder of how frequently he agrees with the W. Bush regime on crucial Constitutional questions.

(And by the way: why don’t the reactionaries just get it over with and proclaim that Obama is a Jew socialist who changed his name from Morrie Bamstein?)

In Federal district court in Washington yesterday, Judge John D. Bates ruled that three detainees held at the “secret” prison at the U.S. Air Force base at Bagram, Afghanistan have the right to request a civilian judge to release them under habeas corpus. “The [Obama] administration had sought to preserve Bagram as a haven where it could detain terrorism suspects beyond the reach of American courts, telling Judge Bates in February that it agreed with the Bush administration’s view that courts had no jurisdiction over detainees there.” (All quotes from citation below.)

“It is one thing to detain those captured on the surrounding battlefield at a place like Bagram, which respondents correctly maintain is in a theater of war,” the judge wrote. “It is quite another thing to apprehend people in foreign countries — far from any Afghan battlefield — and then bring them to a theater of war, where the Constitution arguably may not reach.”

Please join me in demanding that the Obama regime not appeal this ruling, and begin respecting the rule of law and fundamental human rights.

[“Judge Rules Some Prisoners at Bagram Have Right to Habeas Corpus”, by Charlie Savage, The New York Times, April 3, 2009]

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Don't Save the Queen

Today is Thursday, 2 April 2009.

Scratch a royal, find a Capone.

As true for Elizabeth “Lizzie Snoots” Windsor (AKA “Queen Elizabeth II”) as for any of them. Read the history of her royal ancestors, substituting the names of The Five Families of New York City (Bonanno, Columbo, Gambino, Genovese, Lucchese) for the Houses of Wessex, Normandy, Plantaganet, Tudor, Stuart, Hanover, Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, and Windsor, and the result is indistinguishable from The Godfather trilogy.

Same holds true for royal houses the world over: their ancestors were common criminals who rose like scum to the top, put on airs, and stole the people blind. Lizzie Windsor is just another receiver of stolen property.

Some twenty years ago, I read a novel, its title forgotten, in which a real Labour government comes to power in the UK, confiscates all assets of the House of Windsor, moves E. Windsor and her lecherous brood to council flats (public housing), and graciously permits them to live on the dole. The antics of Lizzie, Philip, the Queen Mother, Charles, etc., confined to dingy rooms, surrounded by yapping Corgis, are quite amusing.

Here’s hoping life soon imitates art, and Lizzie spends her life's remainder finally doing honest work: cleaning toilets in slums.

I’m not surprised the Obamas have chosen to suck up to Lizzie Windsor, just disgusted.

True nobility is such as the great French writer Emile Zola, born on this date in 1840. Quoted today in The Writer’s Almanac: "If you ask me what I came into this life to do, I will tell you: I came to live out loud."

At last we know what W. Bush really does in retirement: masquerade as Martin Hickman, Consumer Affairs Correspondent of The Independent newspaper in the UK. How else explain the following from “Oodles of noodles: Britain prefers Chinese to curry”?

“…almost a third of people have visited a Chinese restaurant in the past 12 months compared with 30 per cent who have been to a curry house.”

[Complete article at:]

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

More Torrid Affair

Today is Wednesday, 0 April 2009.

An interesting article in the Business section of today’s The New York Times: “Banks Are Set to Receive More Leeway on Asset Values“ by Floyd Norris.

Yes, concerning the fantasy accounting rules which will probably be mandated by close of biz tomorrow. Seems those who would benefit are flooding the Financial Accounting Standards Board with mail.

From The Times:

“The file also includes letters, evidently solicited by banking organizations, from groups contending that relaxing the rules would allow banks to report higher profits and make more loans.”

“The Georgia Affordable Housing Coalition submitted such a comment, perhaps without carefully reading it. The opening paragraph states, “This letter sets forth the comments of [insert name of organization here] regarding these proposals.”"

Georgia Affordable Housing Coalition. Sounds like an upstanding, grassroots gathering of starry-eyed do-gooders, doesn’t it? Actually, it’s a trade association.

From its website: “The Georgia Affordable Housing Coalition, Inc. is the premier organization representing the affordable housing industry in Georgia. Incorporated in the fall of 1996, the Coalition represents the interests of developers, lenders, syndicators, and other related parties who participate in the state's Low Income Housing Credit program.”

Note the phrase “…would allow banks to report higher profits and make more loans.” Not require, of course. The rule change would also enable banks to report higher profits and shovel out higher salaries, bonuses, and dividends instead of loans.

Robert H. Herz, chair of the FASB, has a fine descriptor for the rule change: “mark-to-management”. Of course, that was before a majority of Democrats and Republicans in Congress, the finest public servants money can buy, made it clear that FASB best grovel before the golden calf of Big Banking, OR ELSE.

This is the sort of violation of transparency that enabled Enron to conceal massive debts, amounting to insolvency, off-balance sheet.

Of course, perhaps the FASB will vote for the interests of the majority of stockholders, and against the interests of lying management.

April Fool’s.