Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wag the Dog 2

Today is Wednesday, 31 March 2010.

It’s surely no coincidence that a front page article in today’s The New York Times concerns Ahmed Wali Karzai, half-brother of President/Mayor Hamid. Ahmed Wali, “most powerful man in southern Afghanistan”, is based in Kandahar, spiritual home of the Taliban, and a province slated for a major American military offensive, expected in June.

Ahmed Wali, superintendent of the fraud which “won” Hamid re-election, is a classic “triple threat” player: a fantastically corrupt businessman who runs a private gangster army, and is the Karzai family’s go-to guy for their slice of the opium/heroin trade. No wonder Hamid has refused all American demands to dismiss him.

Wag the dog.

(Article at:

Earlier today, I was thinking about self-proclaimed Culture Warrior for Traditional Values and confessed sex pervert Bill O’Reilly. Then, I discovered that he’s been reported by a fellow passenger as reading Playboy on an airplane, in full view of children. (Only the articles!)

O’Heilly is perhaps best known for settling a sexual harassment suit by a former Fox producer. The Culture Stud was pea-brained enough to share his lurid intentions with the woman by phone, and she returned the favour by recording them. Not only is O’Heilly’s imagination small and sterile, but, when describing how he’d “pleasure” her in a shower with a loofah, he confused the latter with a falafel!

O’Heilly is the Jesse James of Traditional Values, being a female-hating male chauvinist bigot.

(NSFW transcript at:

On this date in 1854, Japanese authorities signed a treaty with Commodore Matthew Perry of the U.S. Navy, after the latter threatened a terrorist attack by his ships. The treaty opened Japan to American business.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Bonus Recipe!

Today remains Tuesday, 30 March 2010.

A delicious recipe I recently prepared, from La Cucina Italiana, an excellent magazine.

Penne alla ricotta con asparagi

In large pot of water, boil 1 – 1.5 lbs. asparagus until tender. Reserve water. Cool, and then chop off tips and reserve. Coarsely chop stalks and puree in a blender with 10 oz. of fresh ricotta until smooth.

Boil 1 lb. penne in reserved water. Meanwhile, coarsely chop at least 6 oz. of prosciutto. Transfer penne to colander to drain, again reserving water. Toss penne in large bowl with ricotta mixture, and then blend in ¾ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano. Moisten with cooking water, ¼ cup at a time, until sauce-like. Distribute among bowls, and garnish with asparagus tips and prosciutto.

Serves 4 to 6.

From La Cucina Italiana (April 2010).

Wag the Dog

Today is Tuesday, 30 March 2010.

“Sur-prise, sur-prise”: the legacy of W. Bush continues to relieve itself all over the Afghan and American peoples.

As noted (“Doh!”) today in The New York Times, W’s handpicked choice of Hamid Karzai for President of Afghanistan/Mayor of Kabul continues to be one more nail in the ongoing crucifixion of the Afghanis.

As could only be expected. The lesson wasn’t learned when Ike and J. F. Dulles chose the corrupt and incompetent Ngo Dinh Diem to “lead” South Vietnam, or when LBJ, Nixon, and Ford backed a series of similar losers. The lesson wasn’t learned when the Soviets backed losers of their own during their attempted conquest of Afghanistan.

The lesson is simple and obvious. When a great power believes it has much at stake, it can easily become the victim of its “puppets”, and the tail wags the dog.

(Article at:

Vincent Van Gogh was born on this date in 1853.

On this date in 1858, the first pencil with an attached eraser was patented. It was marketed under the brand name “Bush-Proof”.

Dith Pran, the photographer and journalist whose story was recounted in The Killing Fields, died on this date in 2008. Pran was born in 1942.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Tenth Amendment

Today is Monday, 29 March 2010.

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

The Tenth Amendment has long enjoyed popularity in certain toxic circles of the American body politic. It first achieved notoriety in the 1830s, under the guise of “nullification”, the notion that the several states had the right to “nullify”, or violate, any provision of the Federal government which they did not fancy.

Nullification was merely a fan dance for the darling of Southern white supremacist racists, the “peculiar institution” of slavery, which of course wasn’t peculiar at all, given that mass theft, mass rape, and mass murder have been around a very loooong time. The white racists, such as John C. Calhoun of ill repute, believed the states had the power to nullify any curbs on slavery. (Actually, they were pink racists, making them the original pinkos.)

This contention was settled handily by the Civil War.

But notice: the racists weren’t opposed to government – they merely wished to concentrate supreme and final power at the state level, as if each state were a foreign country. They conveniently ignored the concluding four words of the Amendment: “… or to the people”.

If the nullification principle were correct, it would also logically apply to the people, and to each individual person. Thus, murderers would have the power and right to nullify laws prohibiting them from taking lives, and child molesters would have the power and right to nullify law prohibiting them from raping children. Do we really wish to go there?

The contemporary descendants of the nullifiers are those who contend the several states each enjoy the power and right to “opt-out” of the Federal healthcare reform legislation. Like the white racists of yore, the opt-outers are essentially nihilists, rejecting any and all social control of their various evils.

News arrives this morning of two suicide bombings in the Moscow subway system, resulting in the deaths of at least 37. As the great Yogi Berra said, “It’s de ja vu all over again”.

In 1996 and 1997, several bomb explosions in Russia killed many, and were blamed by the Yeltsin dictatorship on Chechen rebels, thus help setting the stage for the Second Russian War Against Chechnya (1999- ), primarily waged by the Putin dictatorship. People tend to forget that evidence at the time strongly suggested that the bombings were the handiwork of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), the direct successor to KGB.

A building superintendent (I believe in Moscow) discovered that the basement was full of bombs. When FSB officers removed the bombs, they claimed they were part of a “training exercise”. Happens all the time, da? Or rather, “doh”.

The Putin dictatorship has recently been the target of discontent in Russia, given the economic problems locally engendered by the global financial crisis. It’s hardly a stretch to suspect that these latest bombings may well be an FSB provocation, designed to whip up racist public outrage against “Muslim foreigners”, and setting the stage for renewed persecution of the opposition.

Recall that Stalin, in 1934, engineered the assassination of the Leningrad Party leader, Sergei Kirov, the most popular Bolshevik leader, providing the pretext for the mass murders of The Great Terror, and the consolidation of power.

I’m still working on the promised essay, “What Anarcho-Socialism Means to Me”. I wish it to be as comprehensive as possible, so it’s taking longer than I expected. Stay tuned!

On this date in 1951, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage. They were executed on 19 June 1953.

On this date in 1999, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 10,000 for the first time.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Each Day Is an Opportunity

Today is Sunday, 28 March 2010.

Jeremiah Mitchell of Oologah, Oklahoma, is 6 years old.

Jeremiah’s arms and legs have been amputated, that he might survive bacterial meningitis. Jeremiah needs facial reconstructive surgery.

Jeremiah’s the lucky one: two other children at his school died.

The Museum of the Bourgeois has made a donation of $100 to help defray medical expenses.

Should you be moved to help, you may make a check to “Jeremiah Mitchell”, and send it to Lakeside State Bank, Box 190, Oologah, Oklahoma, 74053.

More information:

Ratzinger the Rapist 2

Today remains Saturday, 27 March 2010.

Some may question my use of “encouraged” in the previous post.

I consider the chance that Ratzinger didn’t know about the rapes as equal to the chance that Hitler didn’t know about the Holocaust: absolute zero. Ratzinger knew, that if he returned the wolves among the sheep, he would give the rapists an opportunity they would take to continue raping. If that isn’t encouragement, nothing is.

The evil and guilt of Ratzinger is actually greater than that of the rapists. Pedophilia is something essentially beyond the control of the pedophile, being psychological or genetic in origin.

Ratzinger probably didn’t personally rape anyone. Ratzinger made a viciously coldblooded choice to betray his holy vow to protect the innocents, in order to protect the brand, and his own squalid position of wealth and power.

Ratzinger the Rapist

Today is Saturday, 27 March 2010.

Joe Ratzinger, AKA “Pope Benedict XVI “, is neither stupid nor incompetent: he’s highly accomplished as businessman and politician. The only question is: why did Ratzinger choose to allow priests to rape hundreds, and probably thousands, of children?

Was Ratzinger protecting the business, or protecting fellow rapists?

Ultimately, motive is irrelevant: Ratzinger enabled and encouraged the rape of children, and is therefore a rapist himself.

“As you have done it to the least of mine, you have done it also to Me”.

Ratzinger also raped Jesus.

Ratzinger should, at long last, have the decency to resign his office, admit his crimes, and beg to spend the rest of his life in prison.

Serial rapists seldom achieve such decency. Therefore, Ratzinger should be removed from office, prosecuted, and imprisoned for life.

Friday, March 26, 2010

So Sue Me

Today is Friday, 26 March 2010.

In the last census of Imperial Russia before he died, Nicholas II, Emperor, listed his occupation as “Owner of Russia”.

Might not much the same be said by Harry Lee Kuan Yew, former Prime Minister (currently Minister Mentor) and his son, Lee Hsien Loong, current Prime Minister, of their squalid authoritarian regime in Singapore?

These silly little malignant narcissists are so lost in themselves, they extorted approximately $114,000 from The New York Times, publisher of The International Herald Tribune, for an analytic article which referred to their “dynastic politics”.

Get outta here: the Lees are as dynastic as the Kims of North Korea, the Tudors, the Bushes, etc.

The New York Times had to pay extortion, wishing to continue to distribute the paper there, and because the suit was filed in a Lee-controlled Singaporean court.

The Museum of the Bourgeois says, “Bring it on! Let's get ready to rumble!”

I’ve sent this column to Mr. Prime Minister, and taunted him to sue.


E-mail the cad at "" , and dare him to sue MoB.

Double double dare him!

(One might also wish to challenge him to jump off the tallest building in town, and see if he can fly.)

(See article:

Sex-crazed Senator Tom Coburn (Republican - Oklahoma) has gone all S and M: he’s screwing the unemployed.

“Short-fingered vulgarian” Coburn has placed a hold on the “Continuing Extension Act of 2010”, demanding that its $9.15 billion cost for continuing unemployment benefits be offset by reductions in other programs.

(A “hold” is a squalid Senate tradition by which any senator may indefinitely block action: from principle (or “principle”), or because they’re drunk, sex-crazed, constipated, or whatever.)

Coburn, an ordained Southern Baptist deacon and carpetbagger from Wyoming, refused to serve in the military during the Indochina War, choosing the path of riches, but he has been a strong proponent of the failed Oil War in Iraq. Coburn, married to Miss Oklahoma 1967, has supported squandering at least $3 trillion ($3,000,000,000,000) on that war, and never once demanded a $3 trillion reduction in other spending.

When in DC, Coburn shacks up at the infamous “C Street House” (owned by a secretive “Christian” cult, “The Family”) with sex-crazed adulterous Senator Jon Ensign (Republican - Nevada), famous self-confessed diddler of the wife of an employee.

Happy birthday to Leonard Nimoy, born this date in 1931!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

In Memory: Triangle Shirtwaist Company Fire

Today is Thursday, 25 March 2010.

On this date in 1911 occurred the fire in the Triangle Shirtwaist Company sweatshop in Greenwich Village, Manhattan. The owners had locked the doors to the stairs, the better to control their female employees, and 146 died, since the fire department had no ladders which would reach to the ninth and tenth floors. (The male owners fled, and lived.) This tragedy was a significant contributor to laws and regulations enforcing workplace safety.

Each year on this date, unionists gather to honour the victims, and, at the exact moment the fire broke out, a fire truck ladder is raised, and stopped just short of the ninth floor. I can’t begin to describe how moving it is to participate in this ceremony.

The Musuem of the Bourgois memorializes and honours all victims of workplace oppression.

An effort is underway to harass and drive from business the operators (mostly of Hispanic descent) of trailer-based taco stands in Tulsa, using senseless fees. Jim Mautino, well-known reactionary city council member, said yesterday: "This is Third World stuff. When people come here we assimilate them (new residents of the country) into our lifestyle and our politics; it's not the other way around. And it seems to me like what's happening is we're being assimilated."

Mr. Mautino seems to believe that, since the first European invaders squatted at Jamestown in 1607, all foodstuffs were sold from permanent buildings, thus seriously calling into question his competency to vote, let alone hold political office.

I’m reminded of a gentleman of Hispanic descent I would see in downtown Tulsa in the late 1950s, selling tamales from a pushcart. Only years later did I learn that he’d been driven from business by a racist whispering campaign claiming he employed meat from stray cats. The gentleman was notable for a missing leg, lost while fighting for America in World War Two.

State Senator Randy Brogdon, running for the Republican nomination for governor, said, in relation to mandates in the landmark healthcare legislation: “Are we going to have to purchase fried chicken for dinner tomorrow?” (And what about watermelon? Don’t forget the watermelon!)

Brogdon is a nationally-accredited speaker for the John Birch Society, the anti-Semitic cult which once famously denounced Dwight Eisenhower as a “conscious agent of the Communist conspiracy”.

Speaking of randy, there’s Oklahoma’s sex-crazed junior senator, Republican Tom Coburn, an obstetrician. While running for office in 2004, Coburn claimed that, in public schools in southeastern Oklahoma, female students were allowed to go to the bathrooms only one at a time, in an attempt to stamp out “rampant lesbianism”. Anyone who knows southeastern Oklahoma, the prototypical “Buckle on the Bible Belt”, fears for Coburn’s sanity.

Once elected, Coburn proclaimed that homosexuality was a greater threat to America than terrorism.

Coburn’s new crusade is to enshrine in law a provision prohibiting use of taxpayer funds to purchase Viagra, etc. for registered sex offenders.

Bela Bartok, the great Hungarian composer, was born on this date in 1881.

Flannery O’Connor, great American writer, was born on this date in 1925.

On this date in 1931, the “Scottsboro Boys”, four young Black males, were arrested and falsely accused of rape in Alabama.

Anita Bryant, mediocre American singer, who attempted to re-start her career in the 1970s through homophobic ranting, and instead lost her orange juice endorsement position, was born on this date in 1940.

On this date in 1948, the first successful tornado forecast predicted that a twister would strike Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City.

On this date in 1965, civil rights activists completed a march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.

It’s Independence Day in Greece, marking the beginning of the revolt against the Ottoman Empire.

Until 1752, this was New Year’s Day in the United Kingdom.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

In Memory: Oscar Romero

Today is Wednesday, 24 March 2010.

On this date in 1980, Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez, Archbishop of San Salvador, was assassinated in that city as he celebrated Mass.

The murder was orchestrated by Roberto D’Aubuisson, an American-trained (the infamous “School of the Americas”) former major in the Salvadoran army. Romero was a fierce critic of governmental repression and terrorism. His act which precipitated the murder was to call upon Salvadoran soldiers, as Christians, to refuse orders for atrocities and violations of human rights.

BTW: The lies of Ronald Reagan and other Republicans, that Jimmy Carter as President was the quintessential “97-pound weakling” allowing Comminism to kick sand in America's face, combined with the obfuscations and lies of Carter himself, have served to conceal the latter’s role as a true soldier of Yanqui imperialism during the Cold War. Carter supported many terrorist states, including El Salvador, Somoza’s Nicaragua, Pinochet’s Chile, and Shah “Aryamehr” = “Light of the Aryans” Pahlavi’s Iran.

All honour to Romero, and all other victims of Yanqui imperialism.

Steve McQueen, King of Cool, was born on this day in 1930. Bullitt is one of the greatest movies. Died so sadly young, at 50.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Cash Bonus!

Today remains Tuesday, 23 March 2010.

A friend had a troubled moment today, and I sent this.

For all of you, in any time of trouble.

Only a Beginning

Today is Tuesday, 23 March 2010.

Some times, something is better than nothing. That’s the case with the healthcare reform legislation.

If you’re uninsured with a pre-existing condition that for-profit companies won’t touch, in 90 days, you’ll be eligible to join a special high-risk pool. In the midst of the Great Republican Recession, young people will be able to be covered by their parents insurance until 26. Children will be protected from discrimination on the basis of medical history. Etc.

However, it's only a start: the only genuine close-to-a-solution to the problem is the absolute elimination of profit from the insurance equation.

We all wish better healthcare. Scientific advancement means better healthcare means more $$$. Were profits on insurance eliminated, more care could be provided and costs would rise more slowly.

Yes, it’s “socialized medicine”! However, please note, as I’ve pointed out before: we all breathe socialized air, we all drink socialized water, and we all drive on socialized roads. If you oppose socialized medicine, please kindly refrain from breathing air, drinking water, and driving. Also, no more socialized excrement collection: just dump it out the window and watch the grass grow greener.

Why do the people who oppose more effective and efficient healthcare hate Americans so much?

On this date in 1857, the first modern elevator (i.e., equipped with a safety brake) was installed by Elisha Otis at 488 Broadway in New York City. It’s still in operation. Being an aficionado of technology, I once rode in it. Quite a thrill, and, yes, you may touch me.

Monday, March 22, 2010

World Water Day

Today is Monday, 22 March 2010.

Today is World Water Day, first proclaimed in 1993 by the United Nations General Assembly.

We are reminded that more than a billion human beings lead lives habitually degraded by a chronic lack of access to potable water supplies. (While the elites, and that includes most everyone likely to read these columns, enjoy a wasteful access to umpteen brands of essentially-identical products, all of which are promoted by wasteful advertising.)

I’m put in mind of a chapter in the first or second volume of Robert Caro’s great biography of Lyndon B. Johnson. It describes the back-breaking, spirit-diminishing task which weekly befell women in the parts of Texas (and the rest of the world) which still, at the time of FDR’s election, lacked access to rural electrification. That task was, of course, laundry. (I would cite chapter and verse, but those volumes are boxed. Should be easy to find if you’re interested.)

I’m reminded of this every time I see news footage from locations such as Haiti, Sudan, etc., and note how often, in the midst of terrible suffering and deprivation, women manage to provide clean, if worn, clothing for their families and loved ones. And then, there are those who whine because Americans are on the verge of receiving better healthcare for less money, and mourn the diminishment of profits.

The Museum of the Bourgeois is very pleased to congratulate CK on a milestone birthday!

In Memory: Sharpeville

Today is Sunday, 21 March 2010.

On this date in 1950 occurred the Sharpeville Massacre. More than 69 Black South Africans, unarmed and peacefully demonstrating against apartheid, were assassinated by white supremacist police. The murders led the African National Congress and other groups to initiate an armed liberation struggle.

Some will note, in mitigation of the white supremacist crimes, the corruption and inefficiencies of the current ANC government. Would that be the case, had not the white terrorists done everything in their power to morally and intellectually distort and degrade the situation of the Black majority? I think not.

And, while I don’t beat dead horses, I’ve no compunctions about flogging dead presidents. Thus, I once again note that Ronnie Reagan, who cravenly refused military service in WW2 so he could continue his miserable little movie career, later was a great supporter of the South African white supremacists, whose apartheid was directly modeled upon the Nazi anti-Semitic laws.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

In Memory of My Friend, YY

Today remains 20 March 2010.

Happy Nowruz!

Which is the Persian New Year, the first day of Spring.

Autumn 1971, at Oklahoma State University, my college roommate, YY, was Persian.

YY earned a mechanical engineering degree, and returned to Iran to help build his country. Unfortunately, Iran was under the heel of the Pahlavi dictatorship, since CIA had re-installed The Shah in 1953, overthrowing the democratically-elected government.

YY returned to Oklahoma State in 1978 for advanced study. In 1979, after the pseudo-Islamo fascists overthrew the Shah fascists, YY’s father, a prominent physician, was detained and tortured to death, for no reason.

YY soon thereafter, in sorrow, perished by his own hand.

In memory of my friend and comrade, YY.

Mea Culpa

Today is Saturday, 20 March 2010.

With most profound sorrow, The Museum of the Bourgeois apologizes for the Bush-Cheney-Republican Iraq Conquest War, begun this date in 2003.

"Never forget, never forgive".

Friday, March 19, 2010

Wha' Happened?

Today is Friday, 19 March 2010.

A perfect storm of historical anniversaries.


1813 – David Livingstone, I presume.
1821 – The original Richard Burton; explorer.
1848 – Wyatt Earp; American gunman.
1849 – Alfred von Tirpitz; Imperial German Navy admiral, Great War.
1860 – William Jennings Bryan; American politician who would not have humanity crucified on the cross of the Gold Standard. It was said he had a mind like a soup plate: a mile wide and an inch deep.
1888 – Josef Albers; great painter.
1891 – Earl Warren; 14th Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Brown v. Board of Education.
1893 – Augusto Cesar Sandino; great Nicaraguan revolutionary.
1904 – John Sirica; judge in Watergate Trial.
1905 – Albert Speer; made the Nazi war machine hum.
1906 – Adolf Eichmann; architect and implementer of The Holocaust.
1910 – Lt. General Joseph F. Carroll; founding director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. Father of James Carroll, a writer whose work deserves your attention.
1928 – Hans Kung; great theologian.
1928 – Patrick McGoohan; Secret Agent Man and The Prisoner.
1933 – Philip Roth; great novelist.
1936 – Ursula Andress; actress.
1944 – Sirhan Sirhan; assassinated Robert F. Kennedy.
1947 – Glenn Close; great actress.
1955 – Bruce Willis; great actor.


1943 – Frank Nitti; noted Chicago gangster.
1950 – Edgar Rice Burroughs; author.
1992 – Cesare Danova; actor.
1997 – Willem de Kooning; great painter.
2007 – Calvert DeForest, Jr.; great comic, better known as Larry “Bud” Melman. “Flights of angels sing thee to thy rest”.
2008 – Sir Arthur C. Clarke; great author; invented concept of geosynchronous satellite. (Hari and I met The Man in 1969.)
2010 – Fess Parker; faux frontiersman.

Today is observed as “Mojoday” in “Discordianism”. What?

On this date in 2003, The Great Pretender to the Presidency of the USA/USE, George Dubya Bush, announced the beginning of the Conquest of Iraq. It was already the next day in Iraq, so tomorrow is the actual beginning of the Great Oil War.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

What a Friend We Had in Reagan?

Today is Thursday, 18 March 2010.

I’ve been waiting for The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal to write about the massive amounts of high-risk corporate debt coming due from 2012 to 2014.

“The result is a potential financial doomsday, or what bond analysts call a maturity wall. From $21 billion due this year, junk bonds are set to mature at a rate of $155 billion in 2012, $212 billion in 2013 and $338 billion in 2014.”

(Article at:

The additional problem in this situation is, of course, the projected supplementary borrowing, for years to come, by the Federal government, necessitated by the irresponsible tax cuts for the rich, misdirected and massive wasteful spending, and incompetent economic policies of the Reagan and Two Shrubs regimes, and the Republican Party. That borrowing could crowd out much corporate borrowing, or, at best, force corporations to pay higher interest rates. Small businesses could fare even worse.

So much for the myth that the Republican Party is the friend of business.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Our Child Heroes!

Today is Wednesday, 17 March 2010.

Not the column I intended for today, but, the looming corporate debt crisis can wait ‘til tomorrow.

This date, the HHs took a morning meeting, and were gone from 9.30am ‘til 12.45pm. Upon return, we discovered that the front storm door had been so violently yanked ("Yanqui, go home!") that the strip containing the lock was dislodged. The perp had then slammed open the inner wooden door, knocking the wreath onto the floor.

My leather bomber jacket was in plain view, on the back of the couch, a pace inside the door, and wasn’t taken.

An easy reconstruction: at the sound of the burst door, from behind the doors separating the living room and den from the rest of the house, the children rose from slumber, and their voices rose, and the perp beat hasty retreat.

All honour to Lyntl Weimaraner, Eleanor Roosevelt Calico Cat, Emma Goldman Cocker Spaniel, and Sophie Tucker Dachshund!

All honour to Shelley Weimaraner, because, although she was nearby at the vet having stitches removed, I’m certain she heard the voices of her sisters, and joined the chorus!

On this date in 180 CE died Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus, Roman emperor and one of the great Stoic philosophers. His Meditations should be read by every educated person.

Yes, you must wait through a little gunfire from The Last Boy Scout (1991) – but Bruce Willis will dance a Saint Patrick’s Day jig for YOU!

Éire go Brách!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Glenn Beck's Debt

Today is Tuesday, 16 March 2010.

The Museum of the Bourgeois can only conclude that Glenn Beck, like many of the Tea Partiers who only suddenly had a brainwave about the national debt once a Black was elected president, has at least unconscious racial motivations, among any others.

The great ballooning in the national debt began when Ronald Reagan and an overwhelmingly-white Republican congress fell under the spell of supply-side economics and the aptly-named Laffer Curve, and passed massive tax cuts for the wealthy. The benefits of those cuts were supposed to trickle-down to the middle and lower classes, but, of course, never did in any significant amount.

Further similar tax cuts under the Two Shrubs, and massive, unnecessary military spending, exacerbated the problem, as did the de-regulation of financial institutions, which led to the near-collapse of the global financial system, and the Great Recession, which required massive bailouts and further exorbitant national debt increases. (Another major factor in the near-collapse and Great Recession was encouraging private individuals to live far beyond their means, and take on increasingly-unsustainable personal debt.)

And hardly a peep from Beck, until Obama took office. Since the only significant variable which changed from the Reagan/Shrubs years was skin color … well, you do the math.

Glenn Beck's debt is to the continued vitality of vicious white racism.

On this date in 1926, in Auburn, Massachusetts, the world’s first liquid-fueled rocket was launched by Robert H. Goddard. It reached a height of 41 feet and flew 2.5 seconds.

On this date in 1968, the U.S. Army massacred more than 500 Vietnamese civilians at My Lai.

On this date in 1995, Mississippi ratified the 13th Amendment, the final state to do so. The Amendment was adopted in 1865, abolishing slavery.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Beware the Ides of March!

Today is Monday, 15 March 2010.

After General Augusto Pinochet, et al., assassinated the democratically elected president of Chile, Salvador Isabelino Allende Gossens, on 11 September 1973 (the original 9-11), backed by Nixon, Kissinger, and the American taxpayer, and became Caudillo, inaugurating a terrorist reign which only ended in 1990, he needed an economics guru.

Pinochet settled on the fantasist Milton Friedman, of the University of Chicago, best known to non-economists as the author of the fabulist novel and TV series, Free to Choose. (BTW: Friedman was opposed to the licensing of doctors. At my newly-established Milton Friedman Free Enterprise Memorial Clinic, I’m offering half-price out-patient brain surgery through April 15th! Call now! Operators [sic!] are standing by!)

Pinochet had a soft spot in his heart for Adolf Hitler and Nazism, as did many Chilean military officers. Hitler’s portrait hung in Army messes all over the country, where his birthday was regularly commemorated with lavish dinners.

The irony of Friedman, who was Jewish, creating a new economic policy for a Hitler-lover … Priceless. It allowed Friedman to romp with his twisted ideals of political economy. The result?

Chile’s economy did take off, but … the income and net wealth disparity has grown wider ever since. Friedman’s accomplishment was to create a richer economy with far more poverty and misery.

This became particularly evident after the recent earthquake, when the condos and homes of many Chileans in the north, who had only recently climbed from the lower class to the lower middle class, were destroyed. Minimal aid has been available to them. Many could not afford both to buy and to have adequate insurance, and are therefore ruined. Many con-servative pundits will fasten the entire blame on the bereft homeowners.

However, in capitalist Chile as in USA/USE, a different dynamic, in truth, prevails.

Home ownership is marketed to the masses as the Greatest Asset, the Foundation of Freedom, and the Fundamental Good. A moment’s thought gives the lie to this. Capitalism is structured so that some people will never earn enough to become stable home owners. However, predatory capitalism brainwashes that everyone can and should own a home. This was an important part of the recent American real estate bubble, or fraud: enabling people to buy housing beyond their means.

Nice work, if you can get it, I suppose.


Sunday, March 14, 2010

R.I.P. Peter Graves

Today remains Sunday, 14 March 2010.


Today is Sunday, 14 March 2010.

What did Glenn Dreck and Sarah Impale ‘Em give customers in exchange for their $45 to $125 (wowzer!) tickets?


Big government is bad. Low taxation is good. National debt is bad. Democrats are demons.

Big government is bad, except when a Republican is president and, like Reagan and the 2 Shrubs, piles up record national debt. Big government is good when it comes with big military, and big intrusions into bedrooms, not boardrooms. You can trust the fox to guard the henhouse.

(As a good Mormon. Dreck surely believes that, after death, he’ll become a god, in charge of his own planet. Does he believe in limited divine governance?)

Low taxation is good, because low taxation means more free government services for all. (That’s the new DreckMath.)

National debt is bad, unless when created, as noted, by white Republican presidents and congresspersons.

Democrats are demons, particularly when they have Black skin and blacker hearts.

Several hours of orgiastic self-abuse and smutty conspiracy theories: Priceless.

Albert Einstein was born on this date in 1879.

Maurice Merleau-Ponty, French philosopher, was born on this date in 1908. I’m particularly fond of his book title, Adventures of the Dialectic.

Karl Marx died on this date in 1883.

Fannie Lou Hamer, Mississippi civil rights activist, died on this date in 1977.

Today is Pi Day, in honor of the mathematical constant.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Glenn Dreck's in Town!

Today is Saturday, 13 March 2010.

A miasmic cloud of karmic deficit settled over this town yesterday, as far-right rodeo clown Glenn Dreck brought his “Taking Our Country Back” circus for its national debut. The fear deepened last night with the arrival of Special Guest Star Sarah "You betcha!" Impale’Em. The two hustlers were reported to be staying at an undisclosed location or locations. No word yet if they spent the night in unlawful and disgusting congress.

Both Dreck and Impale'Em refused military service. Dreck began his radio career at 13, and one of Satan's favourite numbers is ... 13!

More tomorrow after I read the news reports.

On this date in 1954, the Battle of Dien Bien Phu began when well-concealed Viet Minh artillery opened fire on the French base camp. The latter was located on a plain ringed by steep mountains, which the French high command, with the same racist sense of superiority that would later haunt American commanders, assumed the "little yellow men" of the Viet Minh could never conquer. To the commanders’ chagrin, the Viet Minh carried dismantled artillery, on pack animals and their own backs, to the side of the mountains facing the French, dug firing caves, and reassembled the weapons.

While the opening barrage began at 5pm, the battle had in fact been lost when the French command incompetently sited the camp. The battle concluded on 7 May, and sealed the fate of the French attempt to reconquer Indochina.

Ironically, more than 50 years later, the USA/USE high command in Afghanistan made the same error, placing a small American-Afghan outpost a third of the way up a steep valley slope. A subsequent Taliban attack was a turkey shoot, leaving soldiers to die and be maimed by the betrayal of their own leaders’ incompetence.

How those stars on the shoulders of generals do dazzle, to the point they forget the law of gravity.

Friday, March 12, 2010

No, Senor

Today is Friday, 12 March 2010.

According to yesterday’s The New York Times, Dan Senor is considering running for the Republican nomination to oppose Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, who succeeded Hillary Clinton.

In 2003 and 2004, Senor was chief mouthpiece and spinmeister for the Coalition Provisional Government in Iraq, Senior Advisor to Viceroy Ambassador L. Paul Bremer, and adviser to the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance.

Just what the Senate needs: a professional liar and conspirator in the Bush-Cheney regime’s failed Oil War, who helped kill more than a million Iraqi civilians, thousands of Americans and allies, trash the already-dismal living standards of Iraqis, and fleece American taxpayers of $3 billion.

Senor to the slammer, not the Senate.
Read article here:

Connoisseurs of human gullibility and folly will enjoy the tale of investors in a fraudulent company who “… want 10 current and former commissioners of the Securities and Exchange Commission to pay them $3.87 trillion, an amount equal to about half the United States government debt in public hands.”

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Liz "Lynch 'Em" Cheney

Today is Thursday, 11 March 2010.

Keep America Safe is a far-right propaganda front organization pushing the failed Bush-Cheney policies of the “Global War on Terror”, and smearing the Obama regime as spineless appeasers. It was founded by Liz Cheney, a lawyer and former State Department bureaucrat, and Bill Kristol, founder and editor of a comically pretentious far-right birdcage liner, The Weakly Standard … er ... The Weekly Standard.

KAS has recently launched an ad campaign demanding the names of seven Justice Department lawyers who had previously “represented or advocated for terrorist detainees”. The ad smears the lawyers as “the Al-Qaeda 7”.

Well, Liz, anyone with a J.D. from the University of Chicago law school should know these persons were suspected or accused terrorist detainees. Liz smears the lawyers as “the Al-Qaeda 7” when any J.D. knows that all accused are entitled to counsel, and that being counsel doesn’t mean one necessarily endorses the alleged actions of the accused. But, of course Liz knows all that: Liz simply has no morals.

And what would Liz say about John Adams, who defended accused British Army terrorists charged in the Boston Massacre? “The Boston Massacre 1”?

Or does Liz simply believe that suspected and accused terrorists should be summarily executed?

Lizzie Borden, stop taking an ax to traditional American legal values, and move to North Korea, where the rulers share your taste in “justice”.

And before you do: return all the money you made slopping at the public trough.

On this date in 1861 was adopted the constitution of the “Confederate States of America”, a traitorous, anti-American crime organization.

On this date in 1990, Patricio Alwyn takes office as Chile’s first democratically elected president since the Nixon-Kissinger sponsored coup of 11 September 1973.

On this date in 1903, Lawrence Welk was born.

On this date in 1931, far-right propagandist Rupert Murdoch was born.

This is Johnny Appleseed Day in the USA/USE.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Sovereign Debt Defaults?

Today is Wednesday, 10 March 2010.

For the moment, it seems less likely that Greece will default on its sovereign debt, though more than 20 billion euros in debt falls due in April and May. However, the situation again highlights the urgent need for greater regulation of major American financial institutions, and far more severe penalties when they cheat.

The fundamental reason that Greece is in trouble is that the former (conservative) government refused to raise taxes on the wealthy to levels which would sustain its spending. A contributory reason is that Goldman Sachs helped that government conceal some of its massive borrowing. Goldman essentially took a leaf from the Enron playbook, creating special purpose vehicles to conceal debt by moving it off the national balance sheet. Goldman was paid quite handsomely for its creative fraud, thank you very much.

The reason I’m deeply concerned about the possibility that Greece (or other struggling members of the Euro Zone, such as Italy, Portugal, and Spain) might default is that the world financial system is far more fragile than during the defaults by Argentina (2002) and Russia (1998). That system came within a very small margin of imploding in September 2008, when the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers led to gridlock and The Great Recession. Another part of my worry is that we don’t know if similar financial chicanery has created additional debt landmines waiting to tear the legs off other national economies. (Only the participating madoffs would know for sure.) We may well be headed for a repeat.

As I’ve noted a depressing number of times before, it’s one more consequence of the Reagan-Bush-Cheney-Bush Republican burden of de-regulation: enabling the foxes to rule the henhouse.

The Museum of the Bourgeois takes great delight in wishing the happiest of 27th birthdays to the lovely and talented daughter of a True Friend.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Legislators to Bite Dogs?

Today is Tuesday, 9 March 2010.

Oklahoma can boast that it has one of the nation’s largest concentrations of abusive puppy mills.

A bill is now before the state legislature which would, for the first time, require licensing and inspection of commercial breeding operations and provide penalties for failure to register. This would make it easier to detect and prosecute abusers. A similar bill was defeated last session.

Any state legislator who refuses to vote for this bill should proudly sponsor a bill to de-criminalize any and all abuse of state legislators.

No more Nanny State!

On this date in 1945, the U.S. Army Air Forces raided Tokyo, intentionally creating a firestorm which resulted in more than 100,000 dead, a million injured, and a million residents made homeless. The vast majority of those murdered, injured, and made homeless were civilians.

Had this been done by Imperial Japanese forces to an American city, it would surely have been adjudged by the USA/USE as a war crime and crime against humanity.

Monday, March 08, 2010


Today is Monday, 8 March 2010.

Happy International Women’s Day!

The first I.W.D. was observed on 28 February 1909, following its proclamation by the Socialist Party of America. It was first observed on 8 March in 1913, when women across Europe held marches and rallies against the political and economic conditions which were leading to World War One.

Surprise: I.W.D. is not officially observed in the USA/USE.

"Bloody Sunday"

Today is Sunday, 7 March 2010.

On this date in 1965, more than 600 civil rights marchers heading to Montgomery, Alabama, were attacked by white supremacist terrorists from the state and local police, using clubs and tear gas, at Selma, Alabama. It is known as “Bloody Sunday”.

Many white Americans, including many Tea Partiers, still espouse white supremacy, using the traditional fig leaf of “states’ rights”. This doctrine pretends that each state is a sovereign entity, entitled to deny such Federal constitutional rights as the state government sees fit, to whom it sees fit.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Happy Alamo Day!

Today is Saturday, 6 March 2010.

'Tis Alamo Day, 1836, “la dee dah”.

The day when white supremacist males, who’d deserted their loyalty of the USA/USE, land of their birth, and sworn loyalty to Mexico, then turned traitor and holed up, in the Alamo, bunker-psycho-style, since they wanted to steal the land for their own slave empire, lost.

Both sides were gangsters.

Interestingly, in today’s The New York Times, there’s an Icelandic echo of the Texanist mentality. (Yes, I know “those people” prefer “Texian”, but I like the bank shot off “Islamist”.)

By Sarah Lyall (citation below):

“The symbol of this is Bjartur, the protagonist of Iceland’s most celebrated work of fiction, “Independent People,” by Halldor Laxness (who is also the only person here to have won a Nobel Prize).

Bjartur, a sheep farmer, struggles through one disaster after another to survive in the punishing Icelandic countryside and pay off his mortgage.

“He represents the Icelandic soul,” said Ms. Omarsdottir, the political scientist. “He’d rather have his kids starve, his wife die — his two wives die — and his cow die, and lose almost all of his sheep, than be beholden to anyone.”

Sweet. “The protagonist of Iceland’s most celebrated work of fiction” is a patriarchal fascist family annihilator who manages to kill not just one, but two – count ‘em, two – wives.

Cf. the white supremacists at The Alamo, dying that their land might be free for slavery: that is, mass theft, mass rape, and mass murder.

The eyes of Texas are tearing up upon you.

BONUS ROUND: Gen. Phil Sheridan, whose Union Cavalry kicked traitorous Confederate butt, said: “If I owned Hell and Texas, I’d live in Hell, and rent out Texas.”

“Mindful of Image, Incensed Icelanders Try to Sort Out Debt”, by Sarah Lyall.

And why does TNYT persist in putting book titles in quotation marks, as if they were short stories, poems, or articles, and not in italics, as my English teacher taught me?

Friday, March 05, 2010

Gov. Paterson: At Long Last, Go!

Today is Friday, 5 March 2010.

Gov. David Paterson of New York has admitted that he intervened to protect a highly unqualified top crony who stands accused of domestic violence. Paterson gave two different stories under oath about whether he intended to pay for tickets to the opening game of the recent World Series. Paterson’s administration has been characterized by incompetence and buffoonery.

The Museum of the Bourgeois calls upon Gov. Paterson to put the welfare of the people of New York above his private ambitions and appetites, and resign immediately.

HH, as a former legal resident of New York, and a New Yorker forever in his heart, demands, or begs on his knees, if that's what it takes: resign immediately.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Poem: "Babi Yar"

Today remains Thursday, 4 March 2010.

I think this poem has appeared in this space afore. This is a new polish.


On 29-30 September, 1941, elements of Einsatzgruppen C (“Special Duties Unit C”) of the Nazi S.S. shot some 34,000 Jews and dumped their bodies in a ravine, named Babi Yar, near the city of Kiev, in the Ukraine, USSR. Eventually, at least 75,000 other Jews would join those victims.

(Homage to Yevtushenko)

In this ravine,
Beneath my feet,
In every inch of earth upon which one might stand,
Beneath the common dirt of earth
From which all issue and to which all return,
Sojourn 100,000 Jewish humans.

Our sisters and brothers,
Murdered by Nazis
To whom they were vermin.

And, as all vermin,
Should be and were exterminated
As rats and lice.

In your names, sisters and brothers,
To you,
In the name of all that is decent and human and humane,
I pledge:
I shall never grant the Nazis victory:
I shall never judge even a Nazi as vermin,
Nor exterminate them.

Refusing to be a Nazi,
Even toward Nazis,
Is my monument to you.

Almost, perhaps, your victory.

Change In Which We Can Believe

Today is Thursday, 4 March 2010.

Two economists are walking and talking shop. Suddenly, the socialist economist exclaims, “Look! A hundred dollar bill on the sidewalk!” The capitalist economist replies, “Nonsense! Were there a hundred dollar bill on the sidewalk, someone would have picked it up.”

Moral of the story: foolish people never let their ideology be blinded by reality.

Such is the case with the American healthcare system. For decades, the American system, based on for-profit insurance, has delivered healthcare inferior to that in many nations with single-payer systems, at greater cost. Those who refuse to recognize the need for conversion to a single-payer system would drive the nation toward even worse healthcare, and possible bankruptcy, all in pursuit of the Almighty Dollar, the Golden Calf of the USA/USE.

According to the false prophet/profit Adam Smith, there is an “invisible hand” guiding capitalism, such that “By pursuing his own interest he [the capitalist] frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it.” (The Wealth of Nations, Book IV) This is patently not the case in the healthcare system.

It’s cute, if eventually tiring, when a six year old child introduces an imaginary friend into the world. It is delusional and disastrous when an adult introduces an imaginary force into the real world, and convinces people to act as if it were reality.

Obama and Congressional Democrats, plus such Congressional Republicans who have at long last a sense of decency (if indeed there are any of the same), must use the reconciliation process swiftly to pass not-for-profit healthcare insurance.

By my reckoning, the Modern Age began on this date in 1493, when Columbus anchored in Lisbon harbour, bearing news of his “discoveries”.

On this date in 1917, Jeannette Rankin of Montana became the first female member of Congress. A lifelong pacifist, she was the only member of Congress to vote against the declarations of war in both 1917 and in 1941.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

In Memory: Norman Bethune, M.D.

Today is Wednesday, 3 March 2010.

Norman Bethune, M.D., was born on this date in 1890 at Gravenhurst, Canada. After being wounded as a volunteer stretcher-bearer in the Great War, he received his medical degree in 1916. In 1936, he became head of the Canadian Medical Unit, a volunteer formation attached to the army of the Spanish Republic, the anti-fascists in the Spanish Civil War.

During that time, Bethune created the first modern mobile medical unit, capable of giving blood transfusions on the battlefield. This was the model for the Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) units. His work is directly responsible for the saving of millions of lives. In 1938, Bethune went to China to become Medical Advisor to one of the Communist Chinese armies battling the fascist Kuomintang and the invading Japanese. On 12 November 1939, he died of blood poisoning, resulting from a cut he received while operating.

The Museum of the Bourgeois is privileged to honour Dr. Bethune for his great humanitarian works and legacy.

Additional information at:

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Late November

Ayn Rand: Sociopath?

Today is Tuesday, 2 March 2010.

In an article on AlterNet, Mark Ames makes a good case that Ayn Rand’s values were those of a sociopath. (See citation below.)

In the late 1920s, Rand became fascinated by a serial killer named William Edward Hickman, whose crimes including killing and dismembering a child. Rand wrote: "Other people do not exist for him, and he does not see why they should.” He had "no regard whatsoever for all that society holds sacred, and with a consciousness all his own. He has the true, innate psychology of a Superman. He can never realize and feel 'other people.'"

Ames compares this passage with Rand’s description of Howard Roark in The Fountainhead: "He was born without the ability to consider others."

Ames notes correctly the popularity of Rand among Tea Party types, and the right-wing in general. How could it be otherwise, given that her main statement of her philosophy was titled The Virtue of Selfishness?

"If [people] place such things as friendship and family ties above their own productive work, yes, then they are immoral. Friendship, family life and human relationships are not primary in a man's life. A man who places others first, above his own creative work, is an emotional parasite."

Many years ago, the high school senior daughter of a friend had a choice of books to read and review. One was Atlas Shrugged by Rand. The friend asked me if I knew it, as she’d heard it was “questionable” (meaning “sexy”).

I said that the “bad” thing about the book was that it promoted being a rich, spoiled brat as the ideal character type, and that her daughter was certainly perceptive enough to see through it. I did warn her that the writing was of the sort that gives “turgid” a bad name, and might induce narcolepsy.

Kurt Weill was born on this date in 1900. Following song is from The Threepenny Opera. Lyrics are by Bertolt Brecht.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Mo' Better Chopin

Today remains Monday, 1 March 2010.

Another tribute:

Mo' best Chopin.

In Honour: Chopin 200th

Today is Monday, 1 March 2010.

On this date in 1810, Chopin was born. Thus, we interrupt our regularly scheduled programming for this tribute.