Tuesday, August 31, 2010

In Memory

Today is Tuesday, 31 August 2010.

On this date in 1939, on this evening, at the moments, UTC, that I compose this column, commandos of the SS, disguised in Polish Army uniforms, staged attacks on some two dozen German sites along the Polish-German Border. The most well-known is the attack on the radio station at Gleiwitz, in Upper Silesia, which commandos briefly seized, and from which they broadcast a fake anti-German message. The SS then left behind the corpses of concentration camp inmates, dressed in Polish Army uniforms.

These attacks served the Hitler regime as pretext for the German invasion of Poland on the next day, beginning the Second European Great War, and giving birth to a deluge of sorrows such as the world had not yet known.

“History has the shape of tears”.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Mo' Grand

Today is Monday, 30 August 2010.

The Republican Party wore out its welcome no later than 1876, when it stole the presidential election by agreeing to deliver Blacks to segregation, the Second Slavery. Is it not evil to deliver millions of human beings into incalculable suffering in order to abscond with another four years in the White House? Is it “rhetoric” to point out such evil?

I’m reminded of the play, A Man for All Seasons, in which Thomas More rebukes a fellow servant of the king, invoking the words of the Gospel. “What profiteth it a man, if he gain the whole world, and lose his soul?” More rebukes him because he has sold his soul so cheaply: “But for Wales?”

Then there was Barry Goldwater (of Arizona Republicanism, wouldn’tcha know), who in 1964 campaigned advocating the white supremacist “value” of State’s Rights. Oh, to be sure, he didn’t personally discriminate, so noblesse oblige of him, but he would die, entirely theoretically of course, for the right of any state controlled by white folks to treat Blacks like vermin.

And, of course, the Great Recession/Almost Great Depression 2 arrived with a scarlet “Made in GOP” stamped on its forehead, thanks to its proximate origins in Reaganomics. Regulation is nasty! Laws are evil! Let the foxes rule the henhouses!

Removing the GOP from all national political offices is hardly “infinite silliness”. The GOP has the same toxic effect on USA/USE society as the Communist Party of China has on Chinese society. Both are fundamentally committed to preserving and extending the rule of tiny, super-wealthy elites, and both thereby fatally distort and degrade their respective bodies politic.

Not that I’m pleased with the Democratic Party, but at least the latter recognizes that prosperity must be more equally distributed among the masses that actually create it. By promoting policies that increasingly concentrate wealth at the top of society, the GOP helps to impoverish the geese that lay the golden eggs.

In a comment on “Mo’ Piddle”, “Anonymous” suggests that I try to “squirm away” from a comment by “oh really?”. In point of fact, I amble, march, waltz, etc. Some would claim I sashay or strut. I’ve no need to squirm.

Second. “oh really?” and I have fundamentally different analyses of the structural nature of the Republican Party (or “Repugnican”, a term coined by the friend of a Friend). “oh” discerns more of a bottom-up apparatus, while I discern it’s basically top-down.

“fubarbeliever” wrote: "Oh really?" wrote that "All members of the Republican Party are alike? That's like saying all those of the Muslim faith are terrorists."; and "Not all Muslims are terrorists, nor are all Republicans partisan champions of blah, blah, blah, etc, as you describe in your blog 'discussion'."

HH declined to comment because the word "discussion" was in quotes. Amazing to me.”

I wasn’t declining to comment. I regard the assertion as absolutely flawed on its face, and forgot to mention it. I was genuinely baffled by the use of “discussion”: isn’t “discussion” redundant in the context of “blog”, and what do quotes “signify”?

Commenting on “Blech”, “Anonymous” suggests that Glenn Beck is bi-polar and therefore to be pitied. Absent a formal medical diagnosis and perhaps a brain scan for a tumor, I can’t find reason to excuse Beck on psychiatric grounds.

As to Beck’s on-camera persona, note that the tagline on his website reads, “The Fusion of Entertainment and Enlightenment”. My analysis is that his public persona is as highly constructed as that of any performance artist. (For example: as a video on You Tube demonstrates, Beck is entirely familiar with an old acting trick to induce tears: dabs of Vick’s Vaporub under the eyes. Works – trust me.) What seems transparent buffoonery to me and many seems the height of sincerity to many more.

Who the “real” Beck is when he’s off-duty, I haven’t a clue. When the sign flickers “On Air”, Beck is a canny and talented entrepreneur and extreme-right rabble-rouser, making several mints peddling political poisons. (Ditto for Sarah Impale-‘Em.)

(By way of comparison, allow me modestly to direct your attention to the motto of this column: “The public and I have a firm understanding: they never hear what I say, and I never say what they want to hear. – Karl Kraus”. )

On this date in 1967, Thurgood Marshall was confirmed as the first Black justice of the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS).

Sunday, August 29, 2010

In Memory: Victims of Katrina and the Republican Party

Today is Sunday, 29 August 2010.

The Museum of the Bourgeois memorializes with great sorrow all the lives lost, and all the lives forever damaged, in Hurricane Katrina.

The failed Republican War of Aggression Against Iraq will eventually cost at least $3 trillion. Had a fraction of this been spent in defense of the people of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, the tragedy would not have been so great. Alas, spending available monies for the defense of New Orleans was not an interest of the Bush regime and the Republican Party.

Justice for the victims of Katrina, and for many other victims, demands the permanent removal of the Republican Party from all national political offices, which removal it has earned.

Saturday, August 28, 2010


Today is Saturday, 28 August 2010.

In his “Restore Honor” infomercial today, Glenn Beck said, “Something that is beyond man is happening. America today begins to turn back to God.”

Which “God” might that be?

Were Beck to be sincere in the faith he professes, that “God” can only be the “God” of Mormonism, for, were Beck to be sincere, Beck believes no other “God” exists.

However, America has never had a majority believing in Mormonism.

Therefore, America cannot turn back to a “God” to which it never turned.

Beck isn’t ignorant; Beck knows this. The only conclusion: the truth is not in Beck.

Beck schemes that each individual imagines that Beck invokes the “God” in which each individual believes, whichever one that might be.

And thus believing Beck a “godly” man, they will believe what Beck says, and follow Beck.

Beck cavorts like a clown, Beck has a ravenous appetite for attention, but Beck is not harmless: Beck craves first political influence, and then actual power.

Beck’s only “God” is Beck.

“America: Turn back to Beck!”

Taking the name of “God” in vain. Self-idolatry. False messiah.

Common political hack.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Piddle Again

Today is Friday, 27 August 2010.

"Anonymous" commented on the column, "Franklin Graham, Idolater":

“I just don't believe that the "root of the issue" is primitivism, blut und boden, and/or fertility. I believe that F. Graham is a publicity-seeking fool, who is willing to appear on television and/or radio and make remarks which garner attention for him. He is willing to pander to the idiocy of others, and to partially play to their fears and irrational beliefs - all the while appearing to be not too crazy ("So I just have to believe that the president is what he has said.")."

"The philosophical jump from that to Graham's "exaltation of the male sexual organ" and the assumption that Graham "particularly worships his own personal equipment" is simply a bridge too far for me.”

I agree that F. Graham is a pandering famewhore, but that’s not the whole of it, because he’s no fool. In addition to luring publicity to himself and his ministerial work, some of which seems coincidentally to do some actual good (while providing him with a posh lifestyle), he’s also, and this is the real point, promoting the contemporary form of phallus worship, which is patriarchal fascism, the ideology that females are to be ruled by males.

(That F. Graham "particularly worships his own personal equipment" is partly moi being snarky, but, considering the number of right-wing Christianist male ministers who have supersized appetites for extramarital sex (Swaggart, Haggard, etc. with prostitutes, for example), it isn’t necessarily far off the mark.)

A similar dynamic is in play with Terry Jones, the Florida fringe minister who is promoting himself by means of a Quran-burning festival on 9-11: he’s also promoting irrational fear of and hatred for all Muslims, and thus contributing to the atmosphere of anti-Islam bigotry and violence in this country.

People like F. Graham and T. Jones share much with the likes of Joe McCarthy and Jerry Falwell. On one level, it’s self-promotion for ego gratification and monetary profit. On other levels, they peddle an extremist agenda which serves the ambitions of certain segments of the political elites for political and social hegemony. In the case of McCarthy, he so lost self-control that he attacked one of the hands that fed him (the Republican regime of Eisenhower) and the US Army, and was put down. Falwell, of course, became a self-caricature, attacking lesbians and gays through the Teletubbies, and became increasingly irrelevant. Ann Coulter is presently on the latter track, and we wish her “godspeed”.

Yes, these people are clowns, but they are also a danger.

See a nice portrait of the “reverend” at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/26/us/26gainesville.html?_r=1&sq=koran burning florida&st=cse&adxnnl=1&scp=1&adxnnlx=1282900914-1pEhjFEeJZ756plROnfeAg

On this date in 1789, the French National Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Mo' Piddle

Today remains Thursday, 26 August 2010.

Commenting on the column, “President Piddle?”, “Oh really?” wrote:

“Above, HH said, "The Republican Party is the partisan champion of economic and social elitism, narrow-mindedness, and violence and repression, at home and abroad."”

“Oh really? All members of the Republican Party are alike? That's like saying all those of the Muslim faith are terrorists.”

I didn’t assert that “all members of the Republican Party are alike”. In fact, I didn’t refer to “members” at all, but to the Party.

“The Republican Party” is not the sum total of all those who register to vote as “Republican” or otherwise consider themselves as “Republican”; that’s not how political parties work in this country. Sure, there’s the charade of precinct and county meetings, state conventions, national conventions, but that’s the sideshow: it’s behind the curtain that the real business takes place.

The policies of both major parties are generated by an elite of elected officials, major contributors, party bureaucrats, and, in a cosmetic role, grassroots activists. The rank and file is cannon fodder, useful at election time.

“Not all Muslims are terrorists, nor are all Republicans partisan champions of blah, blah, blah, etc, as you describe in your blog "discussion."”

I’m unable to discern why “discussion” is in quotes, and therefore unable to comment on this.

“Do you watch "Mad Men?". The character Sally Draper, 10 years old, is acting up as a cry for attention. I'm thinking you do the same thing by posting such outrageous assertions. Yes, we are paying attention to you, H.H. Now, go drink your milk.”

I understand Mad Men is a very fine show, and hope at some point to have time to watch it. Thanks for your concern, but I have more than enough attention than to need to “act up as a cry” therefore.

I don’t do milk. Martinis, 6 to 1, gin to vermouth. Olives on cocktail swords.

A round for the house. Enjoy.

President Piddle?

Today is Thursday, 26 August 2010.

Why has the Obama regime spent a year and seven months piddling around about the midterm Congressional elections?

From the moment he was elected, they’ve known that the Republicans would go all-out to gain control of at least one house of Congress, thereby allowing them to sabotage his legislative agenda and threaten his re-election. Why has the regime been so lackadaisical in efforts to dominate political discourse about the national agenda?

For example: why hasn’t the Democratic National Committee hired a half hour of network prime time, every three months, in which Obama would address a particular issue? Imagine a presentation with well-designed illustrations and props, demonstrating that at least 2/3rds of the national debt was created during the reigns of Republican presidents and congresses, and how they did it. Imagine two piles of dollar bills, in the proper proportion, as illustration. Then follow up each program by introducing legislation designed to address each particular issue, and, at all levels, put maximum unceasing and grinding political pressure on the Republicans to “put up or shut up”.

A high-tech version of “Give ‘em hell, Harry!”

Obama has always been a centrist, not a leftist, regardless of what progressives dreamt. This neither precludes nor excuses him from political passion. All the prattle of bi-partisanship is nonsense. The Republican Party is the partisan champion of economic and social elitism, narrow-mindedness, and violence and repression, at home and abroad. The Democratic Party must stand and fight partisan battles against it.

Too often, Obama gives the impression, to paraphrase Leo X: “Now that we have the presidency, let us enjoy it”.

To imagine that one can achieve more as a one-term president than as a two-term president is blindness and madness, and the pathetic excuse of a dilettante loser.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Red Square at Noon

Today is Wednesday, 25 August 2010.

Konstantin Babitsky. Tonia Baeva. Larissa Bogoraz. Vadim Delone. Vladimir Dremlyuga. Victor Feinberg. Natalia Gorbanevskaya. Pavel Litvinov.

Names you’re unlikely to recognize. On 25 August 1968, as the clock in the Kremlin tolled noon, these eight sat down on the raised parapet around the medieval Execution Ground in Red Square in Moscow.

They displayed a Czech flag and four handmade banners: “Hands off the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic”. “Shame on the occupiers”. “Long live free and independent Czechoslovakia”. “For your freedom and ours”.

They were bearing witness against the invasion and occupation of Czechoslovakia by the armies of the USSR and several allies on the night of 20-21 August 1968. They were instantly assaulted by plainclothes KGB loitering in the Square, and shoved into automobiles.

The eight would have been under no misapprehension that their protest could reverse the course of history. Unlike the sadly vast majorities in every time and place, they simply accepted the common human responsibility to “show an affirming flame”, as Auden wrote in “1 September 1939”, and acted upon it.

For their decency, they suffered public obloquy, trial, imprisonment in jails or KGB “psychiatric” institutions, exile.

I wish they could have known, in that brave moment, that they were helping to change my life for the better forever, and that I am perpetually grateful. I’m certain I’m not the only one.

Natalia Gorbanevskaya, Red Square at Noon. (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1972)

More F. Graham

Today remains Tuesday, 24 August 2010.

I’m not suggesting that there is a single coordinated conspiracy against Islam in this country. However, the same effect is achieved, since this country contains a critical mass of racists and religious bigots. Thus, every time the bell is rung (“Socialized!” “Birth certificate!” “Ground Zero mosque!”), racists and religious bigots reliably froth at the mouth.

Herewith, more of an F. Graham on Islam round-up.

"I love the people of Islam but their religion, I do not agree with their religion at all. And if you look at what the religion does just to women, women alone, it is just horrid. And so yes, I speak out for women. I speak out for people that live under Islam, that are enslaved by Islam and I want them to know that they can be free.”

"I think the president's problem is that he was born a Muslim, his father was a Muslim. The seed of Islam is passed through the father like the seed of Judaism is passed through the mother. He was born a Muslim, his father gave him an Islamic name."

"I want them to know that they don't have to die in a car bomb, don't have to die in some kind of holy war to be accepted by God. But it's through faith in Jesus Christ and Christ alone."

"True Islam cannot be practiced in this country. You can't beat your wife. You cannot murder your children if you think they've committed adultery or something like that, which they do practice in these other countries.”

Surely Graham knows his Bible.

"But if the thing is true, and evidences of virginity are not found for the young woman, then they shall bring out the young woman to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her to death with stones, because she has done a disgraceful thing in Israel to play the harlot in her father’s house. So you shall put away the evil from among you." (Deuteronomy 22.20-21)

(It would seem "true Christianity" can't be practiced in this country either.)

“They entered into a covenant to seek the LORD, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and soul; and everyone who would not seek the LORD, the God of Israel, was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman.” (II Chronicles 15:12-13)

"Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘I have noted what Amalek did to Israel in opposing them on the way when they came up out of Egypt. Now go and strike Amalek and devote to destruction all that they have. Do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey." (I Samuel 15:2-3)

Many “Christians”, when asked to explain why their “deity” sanctioned mass murder in passages such as this, retreat to, “That part of the Old Testament doesn’t apply anymore”. And how do they know? “God told me”. So, why didn’t deity clearly tell us all? Many of these “Christians” are “cafeteria Christians”, who claim to believe that the entire Bible is divinely inspired, eternally true, and an infallible rule, and yet, blithely consider many passages inconvenient to them to be “inoperative”.

Other “Christians” justify such passages by claiming, “God can do anything He wants. When he decrees mass murder, it is right and holy”.

As to F. Graham’s phallus worship. While this sort of thing isn’t usually discussed in “polite” society, it’s standard analysis in comparative religion, etc. Very likely this form of expressing male supremacist bigotry dates to the early days of agriculturalization. The male is the active principle, the farmer who plants the seed; the female is the earth, the passive receptacle who accepts it. Therefore, the male is superior to the female (who, revealing her inherent weakness, was seduced by the serpent who was Satan, becoming his bitch and ho, and through whom, therefore, sin entered the world), who is divinely ordained to be subject to male domination and orders.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

End Speculation, Before It Ends You

Today is Tuesday, 24 August 2010.

Recall the Great Flash Crash of 6 May 2010? In little over 15 minutes, the Dow dropped 998.5 points, some 9%, erasing some $1 trillion in market value. Then, in a totally unprecedented occurrence, it largely rebounded, closing down 447.80. All on no news which could have triggered such a decline. (Sure, some nervous Neds were jittery over the European debt crisis, but that wasn’t a sufficient explanation.)

You should read the article cited below in yesterday’s The New York Times. A data analysis firm in Chicago has discovered some interesting patterns in the trading on that day. The SEC and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission are expected to issue a report next month.

Almost certainly, high-speed computer trading played the central role. Hot shot analysts develop multiple trading strategies, which are then deployed by dozens of firms, resulting in millions of trades at the speed of light. Problems can occur, of course, when competing programs interact in the markets, producing conditions unforeseen by the analysts, while the programs automatically keep spitting out trades as if nothing out of the ordinary were happening, and prices on the various stock exchanges go insane.

On 6 May, this led the Infallible Invisible Hand of the Imaginary Friend of the Market to value stocks such as Accenture, CenterPoint Energy, and Exelon at one penny per share, while valuing stocks such as Sotheby’s, Apple, and Hewlett-Packard at more than $100,000 per share, valuations clearly at odds with reality.

Enter our old friend, the Efficient-Market Hypothesis (EMH), which holds that free markets, by their very nature, incorporate all relevant information, and set proper prices. Such as $.01 per share for Accenture, which had a market capitalization of more than $28 billion the moment before the Great Flash Crash began. Snicker!

A central problem is that stock markets are not meant solely as a means “transparently” to determine rational prices for stocks; they also serve as a mechanism for speculation in search of quick profits, regardless of the underlying values of companies.

Essentially, high-speed computer trading is day trading by firms deploying hundreds of billions of dollars in speculation, causing small-to-huge swings in stock prices, which are partially-to-entirely decoupled from underlying values. This is a recipe for disaster, as the Great Flash Crash seems to have demonstrated.

The only rational response is that irresponsible speculation must be highly regulated, and, in many cases, outlawed. Crazed free-market idolater-ideologues will of course respond, “Socialistic sacrilege!”, “Tool of Satan”, etc.

The question is: should society facilitate making a quick buck, at the risk of fundamentally injuring entire national economies and devastating millions of small investors? Your answer depends on whether you worship mammon or love humanity.



On this date in 79, Mount Vesuvius erupted, burying Pompeii and Herculaneum.

On this date in 1902, the great historian Fernand Braudel was born. Everyone should read Civilization and Capitalism, 15th to 18th Centuries (all three volumes, please).

On this date in 1922, the historian and left activist Howard Zinn was born.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Franklin Graham, Idolater

Today is Monday, 23 August 2010.

Speaking yesterday on CNN, “Rev.”* Franklin Graham said: "His [Barack Obama’s] father was a Muslim. The seed of Islam is passed through the father...He was born a Muslim, his father gave him an Islamic name...Now it's obvious that the president has renounced the prophet Mohammed, and he has renounced Islam, and he has accepted Jesus Christ. That's what he says he has done. I cannot say that he hasn't. So I just have to believe that the president is what he has said."

How is “the seed of Islam passed through the father”? Like a peach pit? As a bit of undigested beef? By racist pseudo-genetic eugenics?

No one is “born” a Muslim, or a Christian, or any other religion, or lack of religion. Religious belief or non-belief is either chosen through free will or forced upon one through mental and social violence (the bigot’s idea of “nurture”).

Whatever “theology” Graham is preaching here is most emphatically not Christian, at least of any variety even vaguely resembling orthodoxy. It is in fact primitivism of the Nazi “blood-and-soil” variety. Such exaltation of the male sexual organ and its impregnating power is in fact phallus worship. One can only assume that Graham particularly worships his own personal equipment, such as it may be. Graham cannot be considered a Christian, but an idolater.

Graham commits the sin of bearing false witness when he claims that Obama has “renounced” Mohammed and Islam. There is no evidence that Obama was ever a believer in Islam. One can only presume Graham is deliberately part and parcel of the assaults on Obama motivated by racist and religious bigotry.

No, one is not “born” a Muslim – any more than one is “born” an asshole: the latter is a choice one makes, as did Franklin Graham, choosing to follow in the footsteps of his father, Billy.

* “Rev.” is in quotation marks to indicate that I’m quoting a title accorded to Graham by others, but not recognized by myself.

On this date in 1927, Sacco and Vanzetti were judicially assassinated.

On this date in 1966, Lunar Orbiter 1 takes the first photograph of Earth from lunar orbit.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sad Truths

Today is Sunday, 22 August 2010.

“How the Great Recession Was Brought to an End” is a study released on 27 July 2010, and authored by Alan S. Blinder (Professor of Economics at Princeton and former Vice Chairman of the Federal Reserve) and Mark Zandi (Chief Economist, Moody’s Analytics). (Citation below.) So far as I can ascertain, it is the first of its kind.

The study models four scenarios: “1. a baseline that includes all the policies actually pursued, 2. a counterfactual scenario with the fiscal stimulus but without the financial policies, 3. a counterfactual with the financial policies but without fiscal stimulus, 4. a scenario that excludes all the policy responses”.

The central conclusion: “We find that its [“the government’s total policy response”] effects on real GDP, jobs, and inflation are huge, and probably averted what could have been called Great Depression 2.0. For example, we estimate that, without the government’s intervention, GDP in 2010 would be about 11.5% lower, payroll employment would be less by some 8½ million jobs, and the nation would now be experiencing deflation”.

The Republican Great Recession was the product of capitalism operating as it is meant to operate. Irrational goals, values, and structures mean that economic swings of bi-polar intensity are inevitable and devastating, and cloaked for public consumption in the bland euphemism of “the business cycle”. Had the W.Bush/Cheney and Obama regimes heeded the blinkered ideologues, and left the mystical “genius of the market”, the “invisible hand”, the “imaginary friend”, to its own devices, the world would surely have enjoyed the Second Great Depression. Then, the ideologues would undoubtedly have responded with the likes of “good medicine always tastes bad”, “spare the rod and spoil the child”, etc.

The sad truth: the vast majority of people in this country have an ignorance of how capitalism works exceeded only by their ignorance of how quantum mechanics works.

The sad truth: the stimulus should have been larger.


And, I feel like a tune:

Oh, Freedom

Today is Saturday, 21 August 2010.

The rebellion of slaves and free Blacks led by Nat “Turner” began in southeastern Virginia on this date in 1831; it was suppressed two days later. Turner was judicially murdered on 11 November 1831. At least 250 other Blacks were murdered state-wide in retaliation. (It isn’t known if “Turner” was his actual last name. Slavers commonly assigned their own surnames to their slaves.)

The whites in the ante-bellum American South who administered and/or endorsed the criminal conspiracy of enslaving Blacks cowered behind the same tired and empty rationalization that is a hallmark of every slave society: that the slaves are inherently inferior, sub-human, and therefore may be exploited like any other animal, wild or domesticated. Two realities always reveal that no slaver ever actually believes this.

The first reality is fear of slave rebellions. Do humans live in fear of chicken, pig, cattle, or deer rebellions? Of course not, because only humans have the cognitive capacity to organize socially on such a level, and the physical capability to carry out plans created by social organizations.

The second reality is that, always and everywhere, male slavers rape slaves (overwhelmingly female) on an industrial scale. Such widespread raping would never occur if the male slavers truly believed female slaves were animals, for it would constitute bestiality as a common social practice, something unknown to history.

There are those who would argue that some of the rapes must surely have been consensual, as in the case of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemmings. However, property can no more give consent than can twelve year olds.

The Founding Fathers knew that raping slaves was the frequent practice at the South, but their god was greed and profit, and so they legalized slavery and rape. They knew full well that rape is never about “sex”, but always and everywhere about control through violence.

There are those who condemn Turner and associates for killing women and children. The actual responsibility for their deaths lies with the male slavers who controlled Southern society, and endangered the lives of their associated women and children by making them complicit in the crime of slavery.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Shameful Legacy of a Wicked Man 2

Today is Friday, 20 August 2010.

In Nation’s Business in 1978, the white supremacist propagandist James J. Kilpatrick (JJKkk) wrote: “Conservatives believe that a civilized society demands orders and classes, that men are not inherently equal, that change and reform are not identical, that in a free society men are children of God and not wards of the state. Self-reliance is a conservative principle. The work ethic is a conservative ethic. The free marketplace is vital to the conservative’s economic philosophy.”

“Orders and classes”. “Not inherently equal”. I might begin to suspect that those who speak of classes and inherent inequality might be sincere, if, just once, one of them also said, “And deity has ordained that I am the lowliest turd in the toilet bowl of life, and should be trampled underfoot as such, and I joyfully and gratefully embrace my fate”. Instead, they always discover that they are born to the higher orders and classes, born more equal than others, and thus richly deserve to feast upon those lower in the food chain.

JJKkk didn’t inherit wealth: he sold his soul to acquire it. As a newspaper editor, he eagerly pandered to the bigotries of the Southern white readership in general and Richmond’s white supremacist elite in particular. Perhaps he wasn’t personally a bigot (though I doubt it), but merely a craven opportunist, operating on the rule that, while a whore may prefer stilettos, if the johns want platforms, then platforms it is.

Hardly matters: JJKkk was an avid cog in a great white criminal conspiracy spanning centuries, which degraded the lives of many millions and murdered many hundreds of thousands, some directly, but most through forced poor nutrition, inadequate access to medical care, inadequate education, etc. JJKkk didn’t treat Blacks as “children of God”, but abused Blacks as “wards of the state”. JJKkk fought change and reform. JJKkk’s “self-reliance” was relying on his work as a criminal. Such was his “work ethic”.

Had JJKkk had the slightest shred of decency, he would have recognized himself for what he was: a propagandist for white supremacy, an enabler of a domestic equivalent of al-Qaeda: White Citizens Councils, Ku Klux Klan, etc. JJKkk would have forfeited his ill-gotten gains to his victims, and lived a life of penance in sackcloth and ashes, doing everything he could to atone for his evil living. JJKkk didn’t: he wallowed in the fruits of his wickedness to his dying day.

Let his name be forever mentioned in the same breath as Goebbels.

Having once worked on Wall Street, I occasionally pick up a copy of The Wall Street Journal for “auld lang syne”. For all of Rupert Murdoch’s pretensions of creating a “national newspaper” to overshadow The New York Times, WSJ is still a trade paper augmented by re-written wire service stories and ornamented with “helpful” lifestyle hints. A tarted-up provincial USA Today with Murdoch’s bloated ego.

In yesterday’s edition, in an article on The Proctor & Gamble Company: “…A.G. Lafely, served in the Vietnam War…”. Lafely is the former Chairman, President, and CEO of P&G, who served in the Vietnam War as a supply officer overseeing a Navy Exchange in Japan.

I must regard such a usage of “served in the Vietnam War” as puffery insulting to those who actually saw combat. Certainly, “back office” functions are essential to support of a modern military infrastructure, but to equate risking a bullet in the head with a cushy billet where the great risk was a nasty STD from indiscrete "partying", is odious.

On this date in 1968, the army of the USSR and allies began the invasion and re-occupation of Czechoslovakia, putting an end to the “Prague Spring”.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Shakedown in Kabul

Today is Thursday, 19 August 2010.

“The evil that men do lives after them…”

Certainly the case with the W.BushCheney regime, and particularly in the case of its installation, as “president” of Afghanistan, of a middling civilian warlord and former Taliban, Hamid Karzai, a man, not of infinite jest, but of infinite appetites for wealth, power, and corruption.

A few days ago, Karzai announced that, as of four months from now, all private security companies in Afghanistan must cease operations. Licensed security companies are “invited” to sell their physical assets to the government. All security company employees may choose to join the Interior Ministry, which controls the largely-inept and hugely-corrupt National Police.

Why this sudden, drastic decree? In a word: cash flow.

To date, payments flowed from clients directly to the private companies, leaving only small opportunities for money to be siphoned off into the pockets of members of the government. Now, the Karzai crime family within the government will be able to extort payments, in the guise of taxes and fees, directly from the clients. Certainly, the scheme will be spun as the government shouldering its proper responsibilities, but Afghanistan is a failed state, a patchwork of competing corruption machines and rackets, where the “rule of law” is overwhelmingly a cover for private enrichment.

“Karzai” is Pashto for “Capone”.

Ferdinand Garcia Lorca was the greatest Spanish poet and playwright of the 20th century. He was also a leftist, an out-of-the-closet homosexual, and a sympathizer with oppressed minorities. As such, he was a perfect target for the fascists who launched a rebellion against the Spanish Republic on 17 July 1936. A few weeks later, being in the wrong place at the wrong time, Garcia Lorca was brutally assassinated, at the age of 38.

“Poem for Garcia Lorca on the Anniversary of His Murder in 1936”

The sunrise light this morning refracted rose
and yellow
through the high wisp clouds
and reflected from the stain my lawn’s become,
where puzzled birds peck desperately
and, even at first light,
cicada frantic chatter,
as if cocktail party end,
when everyone is anxious to go home with someone, anyone,
and nature begs the gods for rain.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Shameful Legacy of a Wicked Man

Today is Wednesday, 18 August 2010.

“The Negro race, as a race, is in fact an inferior race”. So wrote James J. Kilpatrick (JJKkk) in 1963, in an essay (“The Hell He Is Equal”) for The Saturday Evening Post, which declined to publish it. JJKkk died Sunday past.

As editor of the Richmond News Leader (1951-66), JJKkk was a staunch defender of segregation, The Second Slavery. JJKkk promoted opposition to the Brown v. Board decision of 1954 which outlawed school segregation, deploying the theme of “massive resistance”, the white racist slogan of the time, meaning stopping desegregation by all means necessary, including terrorist violence. (The white Southern middle and upper classes were the “genteel” mouthpieces of white hate, assigning the grubby chore of actual violence to the "lower" white orders which formed the KKK, etc.)

JJKkk also promoted the doctrine of “interposition”, a 19th-century concoction of Southern white supremacists. This flight of diseased imagination claimed that the several states had a Constitutional duty to interpose their (non-existent) sovereignty between their citizens and the Federal government, when said citizens disliked Federal court rulings, and thereby invalidate and nullify those rulings. (The doctrine was fantastical in claiming that Mississippi, etc. were Nation-States, and not component states of the Union, as each had subsumed its sovereignty into the Union upon joining.)

In some way, JJKkk "reassessed" his white supremacy, telling Time in 1970: “I was brought up a white boy in Oklahoma City in the 1920s and 1930. I accepted segregation as a way of life. Very few of us, I suspect, would like to have our passions and profundities at age 28 thrust in our faces at 50.” Well, that would partly depend on whether, at age 28, one was an ardent nazi-style racist, now wouldn’t it? I find no evidence JJKkk ever publicly recanted his white supremacy, and condemned his vile past. Certainly, he never withdrew from public life, and profiting therefrom, in penance.

It is curious that JJKkk references the age of 28, which he was in 1948. When he wrote the 1963 essay, he was 43, rather late for a “youthful indiscretion”.

Perhaps JJKkk operated on HydeTime, named for the late Rep. Henry Hyde, vicious right-winger and “champion” of family values, who admitted having an affair at the age of 41 (which broke up the family of his lover), and dismissed it as a “youthful indiscretion”. Given that Hyde lived to 83, his youth occupied at least 49% of his life. By the same token, JJKkk’s youth also occupied at least 49% of his life. “You’re only as old as you feel”, I suppose.

Southern white supremacists such as JJKkk affected to blame “outside agitators” for creating “uppity nee-grahs” from the "dumb-but-happy Sambos" of their imaginations. In fact, JJKkk and his like were the “inside agitators” who provided the veneer of pseudo-intellectual “respectability” to white-hate, and fomented anti-desegregation, anti-Black terrorism. Ruin and the blood of innocents forever stain their self-disgraced hands.



Foul-mouthed radio bigot and JJKkk think-alike Laura Schlesinger is ending her radio propaganda stint. "I want to regain my first amendment rights. I want to be able to say what is on my mind, in my heart, what I think is helpful and useful without somebody getting angry."

Dr. Laura was able to say “n—r” eleven times in five minutes. How much more regaining does she need? To say “k—e”, “f—t”, “s—k”, “g—k”, etc. each fifteen times in three minutes? Good riddance. We know what’s in your heart and on your mind: evil. And we're staying angry.

On this date in 1587 was born Virginia Dare, at Roanoke Colony (in what is now North Carolina), the first English child born in the Colonies.

The Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution was ratified on this date in 1920, guaranteeing women the vote.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Coming Attractions

Today is Tuesday, 17 August 2010.

This is the sort of column that's very difficult to write: observations on the death on Sunday of white supremacist journalist and widely-respected "conservative", James J. Kilpatrick, 89, whose "immortal prose" includes "the Negro race, as a race, is in fact an inferior race". Written in 1963, when he was 43, and hardly a "youthful indiscretion".

To write about a Nazi-moraled hate monger isn't easy. Check back tomorrow; probably won't finish tonight.

In Memory: Robert Wilson

Today is Monday, 16 August 2010.

With great sadness, the Museum of the Bourgeois mourns the passing of Robert Wilson, at 53 of a massive heart attack, one of the three brothers who created The Gap Band, legends of R & B and funk.

Originally The Greenwood, Archer, and Pine Street Band, named for three iconic streets in Tulsa’s ghetto, they were discovered by Leon Russell.

In 1980, I co-founded the Tulsa Progressive Alliance. In summer of 1981 or ’82, when the Reagan regime was making noises about reviving the draft, the TPA held a protest rally at Tulsa’s Mohawk Park. The Wilson brothers had Made It, but they hadn’t forgotten their roots, and volunteered to share their music at the rally.

The Museum of the Bourgeois extends its condolences to Robert’s family and friends. His music is forever.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Mo' Easy Pieces

Today is Sunday, 15 August 2010.

Anyone who commutes by small plane (from carpenters to CEOs) is, by definition, privileged, since the vast majority of people never do so. Americans tend to have notions of what is “privileged” which don’t closely correlate with planetary reality. Perhaps this is because Americans are encouraged to believe, “If anyone has more than I do, I’m poor”, and not, “If anyone has less than I do, I'm rich”. (Of course, the former folly is necessary to power an economy which is dependent on wasteful consumption to pump wealth up the food chain.)

Traveling on a small plane in a wilderness area in uncertain weather. Is the crash thereof one of those “random, unexpected accidents” of which “Anonymous” speaks? One knows that such crashes occur with a certain reasonably predictable frequency, so no particular crash can be entirely “unexpected”, any more than one can say that deaths in Russian roulette are unexpected. I’m not sure “random” is the right word, since such crashes frequently, perhaps usually, correlate with factors such as inadequate maintenance, pilot error, etc.

My point is that one knows such crashes occur, and if one is on such a plane, one expects others to risk their lives in rescue attempts, and society at large to fund those attempts. It’s the same with those who climb, for example, Mount Rainer in winter, break a leg, and then expect others to risk their lives in rescue. I find those irresponsible and reprehensible who ask, nay, demand that others risk their lives, so that they might enjoy such entertainment as remote fishing holes. That attitude is malignantly narcissistic, ill-founded, insensitive, unjust, and indecent.

“fubar believer”: “My grandmother was afraid of swimming and highways, or going over 45 mph in a horseless carriage. But she was an old woman...” The “old woman” sterotype is extremely unfortunate.

“Voice of Reason” writes: “Yes, scolding, lecturing, judging and criticizing - perhaps all best left to those without faults. HH's style of writing is reminiscent of taunting, name-calling and bullying by insecure schoolyard adolescents. Bummer, dude.”

I’m confused. Would this mean that only the perfect can judge and criticize Hitler, Stalin, Nixon, Mao, Timothy McVeigh, etc.? My faultful self having judged and criticized same, do I owe Mr. Hitler, etc. apologies? And no more scolding and lecturing, by my faultful self, of rabid right radio preachers who demand the death penalty for homosexuals? And who then, by this standard, are any of us, to judge, for example, child molesters? Bummer.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Corrected First Amendment

Today is Saturday, 14 August 2010.

The First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

The Corrected First Amendment, as proposed by S. Palin, N. Gingrich, and sundry other sewer-crawling bigots opposed to an Islamic cultural center in Lower Manhattan:

1. People whose religion is different than mine have the right freely to practice their religion far away in a hole in the ground, where I’ll never see them.

2. Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech of The Right People, or of The Right Press; or the right of The Right People peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances, particularly requiring taxes in exchange for government services.

The bigots claim that the power to determine whether or not the center is built should rest with “the community”. I agree, and the relevant community is the United States of America, which chose to allow religious-affiliated buildings more than two hundred years ago.

Many bigots will argue that the First Amendment restricts only Congress, and that the states and municipalities are free to abridge religious rights in any way they desire. This is the same demonic and damnable evil argument which white supremacists used to rationalize criminal abridgment of the rights of Blacks.

A very sarcastic “thank you” is due to scholar of constitutional law Barack Obama, for last night finally doing his duty as a citizen and elected official, and woefully belatedly coming out publicly in favour of building the cultural center. Awesome job of leading from the rear!

And I’m tired of this “hallowed ground” propaganda, which is tantamount to idolatry. (Dirt is “sacred”? How about golden calves?) If Ground Zero is so sacred, why aren’t these bigots swarming the site, stopping with their interposed bodies the construction of commercial buildings? (Recall that money-changers-in-the-Temple episode?) Plus, the users of those buildings will be performing bodily functions in bathrooms all over the site. Where’s the “hallowed” in that?

The Social Security Act was passed on this date in 1935. Don’t let the Republicrumms privatize it!

Today is the anniversary of V-J Day in 1945, marking the announcement of surrender by the Japanese government, concluding the Great Pacific War of 1853-1945.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Dr. Laura, Racist D---

Today is Friday, 13 August 2010.

A Black woman is married to a white male. Yesterday, she called a radio talk show, objecting that the husband’s family and white friends make racist remarks freely in her presence.

If the host of the talk show is the physiologist, homophobe, and sometime-adulterer Laura Schlessinger, the host says, of the “n-word”, “Black guys use it all the time. Turn on HBO, listen to a black comic, and all you hear is nigger, nigger, nigger," and uses the word eight more times during the conversation.

The Black woman objects to use of the race-hate word. If you’re Schlessinger, you say, "If you're that hypersensitive about color and don't have a sense of humor, don't marry out of your race".

(Should the Black woman have replied, “If you’re hypersensitive about being a c—t, you c—t, and don’t have a sense of humor, you should get an operation and become a d—k instead of a c—t, you c—t”. If she had, would/should Schlessinger have been offended?)

Schlessinger is such a typical white racist. She easily could have used a euphemism, such as “n- word”, but, imagining herself to being better than everyone not white, she believes all is permitted to her, including equating race-hate with a sense of humour.

(Ironically, Schlessinger is not, in the eyes of an authentic white racist, a white, since her father was Jewish.)

“White” or not, Schlessinger is definitely a “d—k”.

Note to “Anonymous”, on your comment on “Three Easy Pieces”:

I was apparently unclear: only the privileged (such as Buddy Holly, semi-professional sports teams, etc.) regularly commute via small plane. Given the fact that small planes and helicopters have higher accident and fatality rates than commercial airliners, the choice to use them, particularly on a regular basis for something as trivial as catching fish, is a very poor choice.

Stevens and the communications executive are particularly reprehensible for endangering the life of the executive’s child, and, indeed, killing her. Ditto in the case of the pilot. It is one thing to fly in such hazardous conditions on a critical errand of mercy; quite another to hire someone to do it for entertainment’s sake. Freedom isn’t about satisfying all of one’s appetites, but about responsibility.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

More Military "Justice"

Today is Thursday, 12 August 2010.

A 15-year-old Afghani boy is arrested and charged with killing a USA/USE soldier during a fire fight.

During an interrogation at the Guantanamo Bay concentration camp, the alleged child soldier is threatened with being gang raped and murdered if he doesn’t confess. At a subsequent interrogation, he “confesses”.

A military judge, Col. Pat Parrish, rules that the fear of being gang raped and murdered engendered by the prior interrogation in no way taints or disqualifies the subsequent confession. The fact that the interrogator in the first instance was convicted of criminal abuse of another detainee and was dismissed from the military is also not grounds for disqualification of the subsequent confession.

This is now established precedent for military trials: suspects may be threatened with any crime, up to and including gang rape and murder, in order to extort a confession.

Where did this “judge” learn his law: KGB or SS?

If the Taliban win, Col. Parrish has the moral credentials to become Chief Justice of Afghanistan.

If the USA/USE is serious about "the rule of law" and "justice", then it's long, long, long past time to abolish the medieval relic of a separate military "justice" system, embodying the sort of "ethics" celebrated by flogging, the Inquisition, goosestepping, and the Gulag.

For more information:


In Memory: Jan Palach

Today is Wednesday, 11 August 2010.

Jan Palach was born on this date in 1948 in Prague. On 16 January 1969, at Wenceslas Square in Prague, he set himself on fire, as an act of resistance against the occupation of Czechoslovakia by the Red Army. Palach died on 19 January 1969.

His death is usually regarded as a suicide. Such labeling distorts and degrades the meaning of his act.

It was an act of hope against hope. Surely, he would have known that such an act was unlikely to catalyze a widespread rebellion, and, that even if it did, such a rebellion would most likely be crushed. Perhaps he hoped/imagined that only so extreme an act, no different, in fact, from a soldier on a battlefield throwing himself on a grenade to save his comrades, might work.

Contrast and compare such an act to the behaviour of, say, W. Bush and Cheney, and the vast majority of all those who supported the Vietnam War with their mouths (and, very grudgingly, with their treasure): they were cowards, always ready and willing to throw, not themselves, but other citizens, on grenades. Equally, the vast majority of those who supported the conquest of Iraq were and are such cowards.

I don’t advocate self-immolation as a means of resistance to tyranny. However, we must never allow the demeaning of such acts by cowards whose only motivation is attempting to obscure their own low and craven cowardice.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Three Easy Pieces

Today remains Thursday, 12 August 2010.


Now comes Christopher Hitchens, apostate faux leftist, juvenile atheist, and life-long poseur, who saw some sort of The Light after 9-11, and became a born-again Proper British Gentleman (or at least A Legend in His Own Mind), arse-romancing Bush-Cheney and lusting after the Yanqui conquest of Iraq. In his review of The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ (The New York Times Sunday Book Review, July 11, 2010), he describes Israel/Palestine, or Palestine/Israel, as “what remains the world’s most benighted region”. Yes, sniff and snort, regrettably infested with “yids” and “wogs”, as they say in the “better” London clubs, don’t y’ know.

Because, of course, the Anglo-Saxon/Aryan world is the most unbenighted, not having invented napalm, the machine gun, various weapons of mass destruction, Shoah (the Holocaust), etc.

Now this empire-besotted gimcrack Col. Blimp/Margaret Thatcher has cancer, and demands we consign to the memory hole his avid conversion to racism, and all stand to attention, salute, and praise his courage. I wish cancer on no one, but Hitchens might deserve more sympathy, had he not chosen to become such a shoddy paladin of shabby common bigotry.


Now goes Ted Stevens, disgraced Alaskan hog-trougher, dedicated proponent of predatory economics, and longest-serving Republican senator. He became quite delightfully wealthy through advancing the interests of environmentally-destructive industries such old-growth forest clear-cutting and petroleum.

Stevens enjoyed the high life, and on Monday past threw the dice once too often, when the single-engine plane in which he was a passenger attempted to triumph over a basic law of physics: two objects, such as an airplane and a mountainside, cannot simultaneously occupy the same space. Stevens was indulging his appetite for upper-class leisure, flying to a remote fishing camp.

Sometimes, it’s not easy being rich.


Let’s try to get this straight. Mark Hard … pardon me, Mark Hurd, was forced to resign as Chairman, CEO, and President of Hewlett-Packard, because of expense account irregularities. So far as I can make out … er, piece together ... er, determine from the available information, he claimed to have had dinner by himself or with persons with whom he was not dining, and charged said sustenance to shareholders, in order to cover up the fact that he was dining with a company employee, female, who later charged him with sexual harassment. And this is the same Mark Hurd who made $33,952,237 in 2008, and $24,201,448 in 2009. Which is, like, $58 million and change in two years, pre-tax of course.

Ms. or Mr. Person Close to the Situation Who Wished to Remain Anonymous said the amount Hurd misappropriated was in the range of $1,000 to $20,000. Excuse me, and I don’t really care if he falsified his accounts because he was hoping to make whoopee or for some other reason: what kind of arsehat makes that kind of money, and fails to cover his tracks by paying a lousy 20 grand in cash and never expensing it?

Now perhaps, as Hurd’s defenders claim, he really is the Visionary Who Single-Handedly Brought H-P Back From the Brink. Even then, I wouldn’t trust the judgment of a nincompoop who won’t invest 20 large (out of $58 million+, pre-tax) in a cover-up.

Capitalism loves stories of Visionaries, Take-Charge Guys, Can-Sell-Ice-Cubes-to-Eskimos Guys, etc. That’s because capitalism wants you to PAY NO ATTENTION TO THE SYSTEM BEHIND THE CURTAIN. No matter how great the Great Man's Vision, it’s just poof! unless there is a system of process, which is to say, many people, to bring it into reality.

Capitalism loves a leader-driven narrative. Which is to say, a Fuhrer-driven narrative. Which is to say, a convenient excuse for concentrating the riches at the top of the food chain, rather than spreading the riches out all along the food chain to all the people Who Make It Happen.

That said, wonder what Mr. Hurd said to Mrs. Hurd, when he arrived home? (After "Honee, I'm ho-ome!") Whatever it was, I suspect it cost him more than $20,000.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Museum of the Bourgeois: Recommended by Dentists!

Today is Tuesday, 10 August 2010.

“Anonymous”, commenting on “Capitalism Is Wonderful 2”, wrote: “Okay... Who decides how many different styles of toothpaste we are allowed?”

At the end of the day, the physical laws of the Universe, acting through the planet as agent, will.

The varieties of toothpaste, as most products in a capitalistic society, are not created scientifically to address specific needs of dental hygiene, but are created to generate profit. Obviously, only a limited number of toothpaste formulae are required to address legitimate dental hygiene needs. The remainder, and probably the majority, are a waste of the human and physical resources necessary to develop them and manipulate (“market”) people into buying them for spurious reasons.

People are socialized, convinced, brainwashed, into believing that greed is a superior guide to Life and living than is rationality. Thus, the vendor hopes, “If I sell SexeeToothHot ™, I’ll be rich!” The consumer imagines, “If I buy SexeeToothHot ™, I’ll get laid!”

The resources of the planet are limited. Every unit of natural and human resources that are wasted on manufacturing and consuming unnecessary products is grand larceny, and worse, against the actual needs of humans in the future.

Capitalism imagines, pace Adam Smith, that the conflict in a “free market” will produce the optimum mix of products. This would be the Adam Smith who, when he was unable to explain why the free market was the sole producer of Economic Wisdom, resorted to the sophomoric, inventing the “invisible hand of the market”, in reality the “imaginary friend of the market”. But then, Smith wasn’t really interested in producing the best life for all, or even the many: Smith’s goal was profit for the few, and devil take the hindmost.

One of the implicit assumptions of capitalist ideology is that only blind greed produces the most rational economic choices, a destructive assumption I’m unwilling to make and a fantasy I refuse to entertain. If we are to assume and carry out our responsibilities to future humanity, we must reject such self-deifying rationalizations, curb our mad appetites, and work to create democratic processes for justly regulating our present consumption.

Otherwise, we continue blithely, cruelly, recklessly, and fecklessly to consume and excrete the future, and cannibalize our descendants.

In Memory: Nagasaki

Today is Monday, 9 August 2010.

Nagasaki: The Unnecessary Bomb is the self-explanatory title of a book on the second atomic bombing 65 years ago today. As I’ve been discussing, the atomic bombings were militarily unnecessary, from the standpoint of the Great Pacific War. However, they were deemed militarily and politically necessary as the kickoff, the branding, as it were, for the succeeding war, the war for global American hegemony, which came to be called The Cold War. A demonstration that, as with any great empire, the USA/USE was ready, willing, and able to kill needlessly, on a large scale, to send a message: We’re Number One.

At the mere cost of more than 40,000 souls exterminated instantly, another 40,000+ shortly, and who knows how many in the long run.

Homophobic bigots are spewing the notion that the Federal judge in the Prop. 8 case should have recused himself because he is allegedly homosexual, and therefore assumed to be biased in favour of same-sex marriage. By the same token, a heterosexual judge would also be automatically disqualified, as being assumed to being biased in favour of mixed-sex marriages. Should eunuchs judge this case?

By the same token, any judge who ever had a mother should be automatically disqualified from hearing any case in which anyone involved had been, or had had, a mother. Emergency Congressional hearings are mandated! “Are you now, or have you ever had, a mother?” And what of the threat to the Republic, of parents who poison children’s minds, through encouraging use of bi-cycles? America wants to know!

WTF were the Obamas not thinking? A vacation in Spain, partially and exorbitantly funded by taxpayers, comporting like a Bush or Cheney? In the midst of the Republican Great Recession, the Obamas choose to hand the Republicans a campaign issue, just so Michelle can hobnob with the King of Spain? Gag me with a spoon.

On this date in 1854, Walden is published by Henry David Thoreau.

On this date in 1974, Richard Nixon ceases to be president of the Empire.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

New Dawn Coming!

Today is Sunday, 8 August 2010.

A famous Cold War poster by Noel Lawson proclaimed, “Sleep tight tonight: your Air Force is awake”. The image was of an old coot who’d forgotten to insert his false teeth, jauntily arrayed in flight suit and helmet.

The people of Iraq must enjoy much the same feeling, as the last US Army brigade formally designated as a combat unit yesterday handed over its responsibilities to an Iraqi Army division. By the end of this month, American troop strength is meant to be reduced to 50,000, none assigned to combat roles, all assigned to “advise and assist”. Operation Iraqi Freedom will end, replaced on 1 September by Operation New Dawn. All Yanqui troops are scheduled to be withdrawn by the end of 2011.

It is now 5 months since the Iraqi parliamentary elections, and the parties and factions therein are still deadlocked on the formation of a new government (i.e., which alliance of thugs and thieves will terrorize and loot the country). Mao famously opined that “political power derives from the barrel of a gun”. Perhaps he was right about that, to some extent, but W. Bush and R. Cheney et al. were certainly and absolutely wrong when they claimed that Iraqi democracy could derive from the barrels of American guns.


An enduring myth is that Richard Nixon resigned as president on this date in 1974. In fact, he only gave a televised speech announcing that he would resign the next day.

The letter of resignation, on White House stationery, is dated “August 9, 1974”, and the text reads: “Dear Mr. Secretary:/I hereby resign the Office of President of the United States./Sincerely,”, below which appears the signature, “Richard Nixon”, and then, flush left, the address, “The Honorable Henry A. Kissinger/The Secretary of State/Washington, D.C. 20520”. To the right of the address is handwritten the time of receipt, “11.35 AM”, and underneath are the initials “HK”. The original is in the National Archives.

Historians rarely have the chance to “make” history, but we must always strive to prevent its falsification, whether in matters small or large.

Fire This Arsehat:

The Chairman and CEO of General Motors, Edward E. Whitacre, Jr., hopes that the company will soon make an initial public offering of stock, and expects the Federal government to sell its stake. Quoth he last week, “We don’t want to be known as Government Motors”.

That stake is 61% of the company. How did this jackarse graduate from Texas Tech, unaware that the correct term would be “Taxpayer Motors”? You work for the shareholders, bub, and that means 61% for the citizenry of the USA/USE. Oh, he knows that score, he’s just an arrogant rich prick trying to appeal to Teabaggers who hate “BIG GOVERNMENT”, and pretend not to realize that “L’Etat, c’est moi”, and that that moi is all of us.

Throw Whitarse out of the plane tomorrow: no severance, no golden parachute.

Save the Date!

It’s almost certain that the re-make of the classic Cold War flick, Red Dawn, will impact a theater near you on 24 November. And this time the bad guys are “gooks”! (“Chinks”, to be precise. Tag line: "They are here to help".) I’ll go see it, but I can imagine no way in which they might improve on the original; better try to re-make Casablanca with Jolie and Pitt.


Saturday, August 07, 2010

In Memory: Hiroshima 2

Today is Saturday, 7 August 2010.


The USA/USE originated as a continental power, as did France, Germany, and Russia. In each case, for good reason, military thought was dominated by building foot armies (supplemented by cavalry) and implementing infantry-centred strategies. In the American instance, the original targets were the Native American nations, then Mexico (the war of aggression to steal the Southwest), then itself.

This rational bias was reinforced by certain peculiarities in the American creation myth. Many Americans have long been flattered to imagine that the War of Upper-Class Independence which followed the Coup of ’76 was won by a combination of innate colonial righteousness, divine favour, and the superiority of the grunts and commanders of the Continental Army. Two images leap to mind.

One is the peregrinations of the Continental Army itself, which frequently ended in defeat, and were imagined by some to resemble the wanderings in the desert of the children of Israel, en route to the Promised Land. A second is G. Washington as Moses, depicted in more than one cheesy illustration as praying in the snow of the Calvary at Valley Forge.

In fact, of course, as I’ve recently noted, the War of Upper-Class Independence was fundamentally won by the intervention of the royal French army and navy, and by the fact that the British Empire’s paramount concerns lay in Old Europe rather than New Europe (the latter usually mistakenly characterized as the “New World” – ah, hubris!).


‘Tis a delightful irony of history that the two most incompetent US/USE commanding generals were both macs: George B. McClellan of the Civil War, and Douglas MacArthur.

MacArthur had been an adequate brigade commander in The Great War. Due to the relentless politicking of his (awesomely domineering) mother, his own relentless bootlicking of superior officers, and his hereditary status within the feudal atmosphere of the High Command (his father, General Arthur MacArthur, had won the Medal of Honor and was a military governor of the Philippines), Mac became Superintendent of West Point (1919-1922) and Chief of Staff (1930-1937). In 1932, he distinguished himself when he accepted Herbert Hoover’s orders to clear and raze an encampment of veterans who had come to Washington seeking early payment of a bonus promised them for their war service. Upon retirement, he became Military Adviser to and Field Marshal of the USA/USE puppet government in the Philippines, and, recalled to the US Army, became commanding general of the U.S. Army Forces in the Far East in 1941.

MacArthur was possessed of undeserved god-like self regard; he imagined himself outranking all civilian superiors, including the president. (Between marriages, he enjoyed the sordid vice of hiring (female) prostitutes, not for sex, but to verbally humiliate and abuse them. Mommy displacement thing?) Assuming that no ‘little yellow monkeys’ would ever have the nerve to attack Him, he took no precautions when war began, despite enjoying 9 hours notice of Pearl Harbor. As a result, virtually the entire Far East Army Air Forces were destroyed on the ground.

MacArthur had also done a poor job of training and equipping the Philippine army. As a result, the islands were easily overrun by the Imperial Japanese Army, and he was forced to flee to Australia. Well, ‘forced’ was how Mac sold it. FDR ordered him to leave, so the USA/USE wouldn’t suffer the bummer to morale of its top theater general going into captivity. Mac pretended that he wanted to stay, but the thought of HRH voluntarily eating insect-infested rice for years … Right.

Mac would reprise his incompetence when he failed to insure that the Republic of Korea military was equipped for war, when he allowed the American occupation forces in Japan to deteriorate to a state in which they were only marginally combat-ready (an error for which the grunts would pay dearly), and when he marched his (disastrously divided) columns to the Yalu River in late 1950, all along assuming that the ‘little yellow monkeys’ (Chinese this time) would never dare oppose Him.

The one thing at which Mac excelled was orchestrating public relations campaigns designed to create, in the public mind, an image of himself as a military leader of Napoleonic proportions.

Thus, “I shall return [to the Philippines]”, not “We shall return”. (The plural "we", not the royal!)


The combination of the natural bias of USA/USE military thought toward infantry-centred strategies (the overriding factor), plus Doug MacArthur’s malignant personal needs for command and vindication (a contributing factor), led to a war in the Pacific which extended long enough for the creation of The Bomb.

The original impetus to American creation of an atomic bomb was the knowledge that an attempt by the German regime was already underway. While the Japanese regime was capable of great evil (as was the American), the Nazi state was an entirely different kettle of fish. Thus, on 9 October 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorized determining the feasibility of a fissile device, resulting in the successful test of an implosion-style, plutonium-based device on 16 July 1945.

Had the Great Pacific War ended before that date, as I believe would most likely have occurred if a navy-based strategy had been adopted by the Americans, the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki would never have taken place. Certainly, the USA/USE would have conducted a public test, to proclaim its world dominance, and a nuclear arms race would still have ensued, with tens of trillions of dollars wasted, hundreds of thousands killed or sickened by the fallout from above-ground testing, and the whole of humanity and the planet living on the brink of extinction for 65 years, and counting. (And, hopefully, not counting down.)

However, more than 250,000 Japanese, mostly civilians, would not have been murdered, and a few hundred thousand more sickened for life, and the USA/USE would not have borne, forever, the stigma of being the first, and to date, the only nation, to have unleashed these fires of hell on humans.

Friday, August 06, 2010

In Memory: Hiroshima

Today is Friday, 6 August 2010.

On this date in 1945, the USA/USE dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, becoming the first, and thus far, only nation to employ a weapon of mass destruction.

The reasons for the atrocity were fundamentally two: one a grievous error in military strategy, and the other a deliberate political decision of state.

When the live-fire segment of the Great Pacific War began on 7 December 1941, the American High Command knew that the strategy of the Japanese Imperial Army was to descend on a southerly axis, attempting to overrun the western Pacific Rim: the Philippines, French Indochina, the British colonies (Burma, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore), the Dutch East Indies, Australian New Guinea, New Zealand, and Australia. Once the Japanese offensive was halted by the Allied (largely American) military, two strategies presented themselves.

The first strategy was infantry-centred (which became known as “island hopping”): assaulting and re-taking selected islands, re-tracing the course of the Japanese invasion, until the Japanese Home Islands were reached and conquered. The major role of navy and air power was tactical support of the infantry. (The Army Air Forces would, once the advance was sufficiently close to Tokyo, begin a strategic bombing campaign. However, as in Europe, this did not prove decisive.)

The second strategy was navy-centred, and rejected for reasons I will discuss in a separate column. This strategy would have proceeded from the fact that building an empire based on an island or group of islands with insufficient natural resources was an untenable project in the Twentieth Century.

Originally, as Napoleon said, armies marched on their stomachs, which is to say, their feet and foodstuffs. Then, armies marched on feet and hooves, which required foodstuffs and fodder. By the beginning of “World War Two”, armies moved on their feet and internal combustion engines, which required foodstuffs and oil. The greatest single military weakness of the Empire of Japan was that it had to import 90-95% of its oil requirements.

Thus, in order to expand permanently, Japan had to conquer its sources of oil (primarily China and the Dutch East Indies), then import that oil and other natural resources to the Home Islands, where it would support the manufacture of the various infrastructures necessary to exploit its new possessions, the quaintly-named “Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere”. Naval Marshal-General Isoroku Yamamoto, the great architect of the naval strategy of the expansion, had said that, for the first six months of a war, his military would “run crazy”. After that, if it came to a war of attrition, the odds would turn against Japan.

The more efficient strategy for the USA/USE would have been navy-centred. It would have constructed a large fleet of submarines to choke off the flow of oil tankers and cargo vessels to the Home Islands. Infantry action would have been restricted primarily to re-taking a very select number of islands, from which large air fleets could bomb convoys and selected industrial targets.

One Japanese general in occupied China is recorded as boasting that he didn’t fear the possible entry of the USSR into the Pacific War, for he would prevail with a few millions of soldiers, even were they to be reduced to bamboo staves as weapons. Patriotic bravery and sticks are all well and good, but useless against an enemy who can mow one down from a distance, by machine guns, tanks, artillery, and carpet bombing.

It’s obvious that a navy-centred strategy would have been successful with smaller loss of life, and probably in a shorter time, than the infantry-centred strategy. No invasion of the Home Islands would have been necessary, and no use of The Bomb.

One myth of the Great Pacific War, used by many to rationalize use of The Bomb, is that otherwise an invasion of the Home Islands would have been required, resulting in the deaths of a million American soldiers and countless Japanese. Piffle. By August 1945, the Japanese Empire was virtually exhausted, militarily and economically, its importing lifelines all but choked off, and would have fallen soon at any rate to an intensive naval blockade. The infantry-centred strategy had achieved a similar effect, but with far greater destruction of lives and property. (The figure of a million dead Americans was a fiction concocted by McGeorge Bundy, meant to boost sales of the memoirs of Secretary of War Henry Stimson, which Bundy was co-writing. Bundy would later serve Kennedy and Johnson as National Security Advisor, and play a prominent role in prosecuting the Second Indochina War.)

The true motivation for using The Bomb was to demonstrate its unique destructive capabilities to the wider world, thereby announcing what was obvious: that the USA/USE had become the one great hegemonic power. In the language of young people today: to show the USSR and the rest of the world that “you all our bitches now”.

At the acceptable price, to Harry S Truman and the American High Command, of the deaths at Hiroshima and Nagasaki of more than 250,000 human beings, and of the insured beginning of a ruinous nuclear arms race which continues to this day.

Western Union would have been cheaper.

Obama's Blow for Bigotry

Today remains Thursday, 5 August 2010.

Obama regime political hack David Axelrod today said, "The president does oppose same-sex marriage, but he supports equality for gay and lesbian couples, and benefits and other issues, and that has been effectuated in federal agencies under his control."

This is not equality; this position is bullshit.

Obama has previously said he believes that regulation of marriage should be a state issue. (Perhaps Obama wasn’t born in Hawaii after all, but in Mississippi. Hmmm.)

By Obama’s twisted rationalization, states should be free to make laws that “coloreds” are as equally free to sit only in the back of the bus as whites are equally free to sit in the front of the bus.

By the same token, state laws should be free to prohibit “mongrels” like Obama from further diluting his precious white blood by marrying at all, just as “pure” white folks should be equally free to marry only within their own gene pool.

Marriage is a civil and secular institution which should be defined on the federal level as open to and equal for all. Marriage is not the private property of homophobic bigots and their pissant pseudo-Christian hate cults.

Grow some spine, Obama, and get with the program. And, while you’re at it, end homophobic discrimination in the military now.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Capitalism Is Wonderful 2

Today is Thursday, 5 August 2010.

Commenting on the column, “Capitalism Is Wonderful”, “wondering” wrote: “So, what do you propose we, in middle America do about it?”

Alas, this is one of those things about which we can’t do much, given the current state of the world. One thing we can do is to be honest, with ourselves and others, about the true nature of capitalism: that it’s an economic model intended to suck wealth up the food chain, and increasingly concentrate it at the top, increasing the misery of those at the bottom.

We can be honest about the fact that, the vast majority of the time, poor people aren’t poor because of laziness or immorality, and we aren’t prosperous because of prodigious work habits and superior morality, but because the world economy is systemically structured so as to manufacture more people who are poorly off than people who are well off.

We can be honest about the fact that there’s something very wrong when we enjoy the “freedom” to choose from a hundred brands of toothpaste, all fundamentally alike, and dozens of brands of toilet paper, all fundamentally alike, and so on, ad infinitum, ad nauseum, while billions in this world struggle to put barely-life-sustaining amounts of rice and gruel on their tables, and never enjoy freedom from want.

We can be honest about the fact that most middle Americans lead lives that are quite “rich” (there’s that word again!) compared to most people in the world.

Just possibly, were enough people in the First World to become honest, and to act honestly, we might create a situation in which we can reform our economic and political systems, before the First World lifestyle of excessive, irrational, and useless over-consumption immiserates us all.

One concrete thing we could do, which I’ve mentioned before. Instead of wasting hundreds of millions of dollars in a vain attempt to eradicate opium growing in Afghanistan, encourage tightly-supervised production.

A United Nations agency, for example, could purchase the opium, turning it over to a nonprofit corporation which would manufacture morphine from it, and sell it at cost in the Second and Third Worlds. First Worlders take pain control from morphine for granted, but countless millions tens of millions in the rest of the world suffer in agony because they have no access.

A fruitful war on pain, instead of a bootless war on drugs.

What a concept.

[See this article to understand the magnitude of this suffering: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/10/health/10pain.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&ref=sierraleone]

According to a new CNN poll, 11% of Americans believe that Obama was definitely not born in Hawaii, and 16% believe Obama was probably not born in Hawaii. So, chances are that one in four of the persons you meet today is as unhinged from reality as folks who wear tinfoil hats to block the mind-control rays beamed by the multi-tentacled Space Invaders hiding on the moons of Jupiter.

Time to buy a Taser?

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

A Blow Against Bigotry

Today remains Wednesday, 4 August 2010.

Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker is commended for striking a blow against bigotry, ruling that California’s homophobic Prop. 8, banning gay marriage, is unconstitutional.

Such execrable laws are as repugnant as laws against inter-racial marriage and inter-religious marriage. They reek of Nazism.

When the appeal reaches the Supreme Court, let us devoutly hope that at least one of the five reactionaries thereon shows, at long last, decency, and votes to affirm.

Another Republican Crime

Today is Wednesday, 4 August 2010.

Today is the anniversary of the death, in 1886, of one of the least-remembered presidents of the USA/USE, Samuel J. Tilden, the 19th.

The presidential election of 1876, the “Centennial Election”, featured Republican Rutherford B. Hayes, governor of Ohio, and Democrat Tilden, governor of New York. Tilden won the popular vote by some 250,000, but with 184 electoral votes, fell 1 short. Hayes had 165 electoral votes. The votes of Florida, Louisiana, South Carolina (all still occupied by Federal troops) and Oregon, totaling 20, were contested. To find a way out of the impasse, Congress created a special electoral commission, with 7 Democrats, 7 Republicans, and 1 independent. When the independent resigned to take a seat in the Senate, he was replaced by a Republican, and Hayes "won", earning him the nickname “Rutherfraud”.

Southern Democrats agreed to theft of the election due to Hayes’ commitment to fulfill his campaign promise to remove the remaining troops from the formerly treasonous states and end Reconstruction, thus returning them to white supremacist rule and beginning the era of segregation, The Second Slavery. (Since 1965, we’ve lived in The Third Slavery, the culture of discrimination.)

The obscene alacrity with which the Republican leadership traded the rights of Blacks for the office of president demonstrates the actual sense in which the War of Rebellion was “about” slavery.

For the leaderships of the North and South, the War was not fundamentally about the moral evil of slavery. The War was about the fact that the South insisted on clinging to an obsolete economic model: agricultural commodity production through slave labour. This model was a strong impediment to the evolution of the USA/USE from a predominately agricultural economy to an industrial economy.

The Republican Party embrace of white priority is often, and mistakenly, dated to Barry Goldwater’s adoption of the “Southern Strategy” in the 1964 presidential campaign. It in fact dates to the Republican Party betrayal of Blacks by the Great Theft of 1877.

On this date in 1964, torpedo boats of the navy of the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam (“North Vietnam”) supposedly attacked two USN destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin. The attack never took place: it was a fantasy based on jittery nerves, foul weather, and the misinterpretation of radar and sonar information. The jittery nerves were a result of an actual attack on one of the destroyers two days before.

The American government claimed that the attacks were unprovoked. In truth, the American warships were covertly supporting Republic of Vietnam ("South Vietnam") military units engaged in attacks on DRVN targets, and were thus “fair game”.

The attacks were used as the pretext to deceive Congress into passing the Southeast Asia Resolution (usually known as the “Gulf of Tonkin Resolution”) on 7 August, authorizing the president to conduct overt offensive war against the DRVN. The resolution was in fact illegal, since the Constitution requires instead a vote to declare war.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Republican Crimes Against Iraqi Humanity

Today is Tuesday, 3 August 2010.

When the Bush-Cheney Republican conquest of Iraq began, under the lie that the Ba-athist regime possessed weapons of mass destruction, Baghdad averaged 16-24 hours of electricity a day. Baghdad currently averages about 5 hours a day.

At the beginning of the invasion, Iraq’s generating systems and power grid had been weakened by more than a decade of sanctions; the USA/USE bombing campaign , assisted by the looting and general social disorder the conquest created, drove a fragile system over the edge. The Bush-Cheney Republican regime had not bothered to allocate sufficient resources to rebuild Iraqi political and civil society, so the money which has been spent on reconstructing the electrical infrastructure has been largely wasted, or ineffective half-measures. Combine this with a predatory explosion of imports of air conditioners and other power-sucking devices, and… Well, as Donald Rumsfeld was thinking, when he said, “Stuff happens”: Shit happens, and when it comes to those Iraqi shits, we don’t give a shit.

After the WMD lies had been exposed, the Bush-Cheney Republican regime claimed the conquest was about “building democracy and freedom”. Is it “democracy” when one may vote only on whether to be gang raped and/or murdered by Group A, Group B, or Group C? Is it “freedom” when one is free only to choose one’s brand of window unit? Well, as they say on Wall Street: “F*** ‘em if they can’t take a joke”.

Iraqis live today under terror and privation as bad or worse as when the Ba-athist dictatorship ruled. Are the Teabaggers revolting because the crimes of the Republican warlords will end up increasing the USA/USE national debt by some $3 trillion for this predictable and shameful result?

No. The Teabaggers and their ilk have not, at long last, the decency to confess and atone for the evil that their previous support of Republican Party crimes has wrought.

Note to “Anonymous”, regarding "Palin: Close the Churches":

I read that the Anti-Defamation League has joined the opposition to the Islamic center near Ground Zero. The ADL foolishly plays with fire. The same bigot mentality which denies the existence of individual Muslims, but recognizes only THE Muslim, which it hates, also hates THE Jew. Shame on the ADL for joining the goosestepping.

Monday, August 02, 2010

The Twenty/Thirty/Sixty Years War

Today is Monday, 2 August 2010.

Saddam Hussein was highly competent at internal affairs, rising within the Ba’ath Party in Iraq to be the real power behind the throne in the 1968 coup which brought the Party to power. He was largely hopeless, however, in his conduct of foreign affairs, as witnessed by his invasion of Kuwait, on this date in 1990, which would lead in 2003 to the USA/USE invasion of Iraq, and his own death. The American consolidation of the conquest of Iraq, which was intended to be a belated completion of the Gulf War of 1990-1991, is still on-going: hence, the “Twenty Years War”.

Actually, the “Thirty Years War”. The reason that Iraq invaded Kuwait goes back directly to 22 September 1980, when Iraq invaded Iran, commencing a war which would last until 20 August 1988. Iran wasn’t the pushover Saddam assumed it would be. Instead of a quick victory leading to the annexation of Iranian oil properties, the war was financially ruinous. The conquest of Kuwait and its oil wealth was intended to fill the coffers of Iraq to overflowing.

The reason Saddam assumed Iran would swiftly capitulate was the internal turmoil attendant to the consolidation of the so-called Islamic Revolution of 1979, which had driven the regime of Shah Pahlavi from power. The Pahlavi dictatorship in turn owed its existence to the coup of 19 August 1953, which had overthrown the democratically-elected government led by Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh. The coup was carried out by reactionary royalist elements orchestrated and bought by CIA, with British intelligence as a junior partner. This criminal act is the origin of the continuing animosity of most Iranians toward the USA/USE governments.

The roots of the coup went back to March 1951, when the Iranian parliament nationalized the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, which was 51% owned by the British government. A-IOC had its origins in 1901, when the Shah of Persia, Mozzafar al-Din Shah Qajar, signed a sweetheart lease with its predecessor, Burmah Oil Company Ltd., giving the latter exploration and production rights on vast tracts of land for 60 years, the Persian state receiving only 16% of any profits. A great oil find was made in 1908, and for decades Iranian workers received a pittance for their labour, living in squalor, while A-IOC exported 84% of profits to the United Kingdom. (A-IOC would later change its name to British Petroleum, now BP!)

Thus, it is correct to say that the “Twenty Years War” and the “Thirty Years War” are subsumed into the larger “Sixty Years War”, given that there seems little chance that the conflict between the governments of the USA/USE and Iran will be resolved before 19 August 2013.

When we lived in New York City, I pasted a continuing series of posters on subjects political, cultural, historical, etc. around Manhattan. The portfolio on the Gulf War was titled, They Have Made a Desert, and Called It Peace (Tacitus, Agricola, 98 CE). One of those posters read simply, “Empires are always at war”.


Sunday, August 01, 2010

"Poemtry Day"

Today is Sunday, 1 August 2010.

“A Poem for You, If You Like It”


There is something vastly wrong:
A country
With so little respect
For poetry
That it doesn’t,
On occasion,
Kill a poet.


A country has such scant
Respect for poetry
That it never kills a poet:
Its essence is vastly wrong.


Poetry is the footprint
The future
Stamps upon our hearts.


Poets must be killed.


Why I’ve prepared your tomb:
Where all the words
May willingly hide away,
To protect you
As you protect them.


Why I’ve built your tomb
Armoured with words
Protecting you
As you protect them.


A poemtry for you
Even if you don't
Like it.


A poemtry for you:
Like it
Or not.