Monday, January 31, 2011


Today is Monday, 31 January 2011.

When considering the present situation in Egypt, I’m unfortunately reminded of a short poem by W. B. Yeats:

“Parnell came down the road, he said to a cheering man:
'Ireland shall get her freedom and you still break stone.'”

Since the “Free Officers” coup of 23 July 1952, Egypt has been ruled by its military, which also dominates, directly or indirectly, the key sectors of the economy, often through serving or retired generals. As president, Hosni Mubarak isn’t a traditional supreme autocrat, but more akin to an executive chairman of a corporation whose members carry guns, instead of wearing suits. Day-to-day repression has traditionally been in the hands of the civilian security-intelligence apparatus. This encourages the population to hate the police while venerating the military.

It remains difficult to see what fundamental change would be brought about by “free” presidential elections, absent a very substantial degree of disestablishment of the military machine. Given that the average enlisted personnel of the military are economically significantly better off than average Egyptians, one must assume that many of the former would fight to retain their privileges, perhaps resulting in a civil war within the military.

Egypt has never known anything but governance by indigenous or foreign brute power. The odds seem slender indeed that the hitherto atomized and feckless oppositions can create a successful social revolution which could soon build even a highly-circumscribed “democracy”, such as those of, for example, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, or the USA/USE, where the people “still break stone”. The most likely outcome at the moment seems to be one resembling that in Indonesia after the conclusion of the Suharto regime: the ascendancy of a new cast of predatory thugs, doing the same business in the same old way.

On a personal note: Emma Goldman Cocker Spaniel continues her fine recovery. She’s very pleased with the t-shirt the vet fashioned to cover her incision. In fact, she’s asked me to buy one to wear on walks: “I’m With Stupid”.

Another thing about which to worry - a possible collapse of the Afghan banking system, courtesy of the Karzai Crime Family and friends:

Friday, January 28, 2011

More "Originalism"

Today is Thursday, 27 January 2011.

I’m disappointed that neither “are you kidding me?” nor “incredulous” have chosen to amplify their comments on the column, “On Constitutional “Originalism””.

Perhaps in that column I was unclear. I wasn’t directly addressing questions of “construction” and “interpretation”, or the degree of overlap between the two, but the question of philosophical justification. That is: why should one give a fig about the original intentions of the Framers?

Were they indeed, as many claim, “the smartest guys in the room”? Do their intentions matter because they designed a system of government which was, and is, despite minor flaws, fundamentally the most perfect ever devised? On the face of it, this is a philosophical justification which appeals to Reason.

Of course, it’s obvious that the original intentions of the Framers included that females and Blacks, among others, should be permanently disenfranchised. Otherwise, they would have mandated explicit mechanisms to widen the franchise at some future date, and not simply left it to chance. Quite obviously, there were some provisions of the Constitution which the Framers intended should never be amended. (By their conduct in the immediately-previous war, they had shown they had no intentions of shooting themselves and their hegemony in the collective foot.)

The other philosophical justification for giving absolute primacy to the original intentions of the Framers is the appeal to Divine Authority, which I wrote of as “an actual irruption of the Divine into the world”. This is the approach favoured by partisans of “American exceptionalism”, such as Sarah Palin.

On the whole, I think that proponents of Originalism are better off going with the Divine justification, which admits of no debate, and provides the ultimate rationale for enforcement: obey, or God says I can kill you. Otherwise, they must construct reasoning which will convince females and Blacks that they should be disenfranchised.

(It would be quite a delicious irony, were Originalism not so pernicious in its effects, that its rigorous application would dash the Presidential hopes of Sarah Palin and consign Clarence Thomas to the cotton fields.)

As I also indicated, the overriding project of the Framers was not the creation of a perfect and just form of government, but the perpetuation in power of themselves and their heirs, as is normal with any ruling elite. I draw this conclusion, as I indicated in my comment to the commenters, partially in the spirit of the Frankfurt School and Critical Legal Studies (or Critical Legal Theory, as I prefer), but the spirit goes much further back, undoubtedly to the beginnings of human social organization. Perhaps the most succinct distillation of this approach is the famous phrase of Lucius Cassius Longinus Ravilla (consul in 127 B.C.E.), who always asked, when he sat in judgment, “Cui bono?”, “To whose benefit is this?”

In this case: to whose benefit is understanding the proper application of the Constitution, through divining the “original intentions” of the Framers? Obviously, to the benefit of the Framers and their would-be heirs.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Additional Context

Today is Wednesday, 26 January 2011.

Cf. comments on ““Mindless Rant“?” by “in context” and “my thoughts”, whom I thank for taking the time to ponder and write.

While slavery (which is not a form of servitude, but the complete denial of the personhood of others) may have originated in societies significantly different from our own, I believe that people have always known it to be radically and fundamentally evil.

Why? Because everyone believes it to be wrong when they are enslaved.

Why? Because always and everywhere, slavers attempt to “kid” themselves and others by concocting shameful ideologies to “prove” their inherent superiority, and the inherent "sub-humanity" of those they enslave. And yet, always and everywhere, male slavers regularly rape female slaves. Yet, never do we hear of concomitant epidemics of male slavers raping other “sub-humans”, such as sheep and goats. One must therefore conclude that, always and everywhere, slavers recognize that those they enslave are as human as they are, and choose to commit unspeakable crimes for profit and “pleasure”.

(Perhaps nowhere more than in slavery is the nature of rape revealed so clearly to constitute violence and domination, and not to involve anything “sexual” in nature.)

Indentured servitude, no matter how harsh its conditions, is a contract between persons. Servants sell their services for a specific term of time. The fact that contracts could be bought and sold in no way extinguished the legal personhood of the servant. Chattel slavery is the ownership of a person by another person, wherein the person owned is defined, by law, as an article of property, no different than a car or a toothbrush, and never is, nor can ever be, a person. (The act of freeing a slave creates a new person ex nihilo, and doesn’t change the fact that, before freeing, they were not legally a person.)

The Framers were in no way “obliged” to create a single national government: the Framers chose to create a single national government by choosing to continue legitimating the practice of slavery. They could have created two or more nations, but chose not to do so. They chose, for their own selfish reasons, to perpetuate the crimes of slavery, putting their appetites for power and profit above the human rights of Blacks. Those Framers who declined to own slaves themselves chose to be just as guilty as the slave owners.

As to the fact that Black nations in Africa sold other Blacks into slavery, note that this market was created by the white buy-side, not the Black sell-side. The fact that “greed is universal” neither excuses nor mitigates greed-driven crimes. The claim that “But mom, everyone is doing it!” is understandable in a very young child, but contemptible in adults.

I’ve not stated, “in essence” or otherwise, that America was built on greed and arrogance alone. It was also built on good fortune and hard work. However, it is simple historical fact that such factors as greed, arrogance, racism, genocidal violence, and the crime against humanity of slavery were also sine qua nons. Much of the capital accumulated through Southern slavery was invested in the American “industrial take-off”, which was concentrated in the North.

And it is just simply true that the “merciless savages” of England invaded North America, and were met with an often savage self-defense by Native Americans. The lust for Lebensraum didn’t originate with Hitler (or with the English, for that matter).

On Constitutional "Originalism"

Today remains Tuesday, 25 January 2011.

“The most important truth about the Constitution is this: it was written as a set of rules by which living people could solve their own problems, not as a 'dead hand' restricting their options. Strikingly many important questions, from the nature of the Supreme Court to the composition of the cabinet, are left to Congress. There's ample evidence in the text that the framers didn't think of themselves as peering into the future and settling all questions; instead, they wrote a document that in essence says, 'Work it out.'” (Garrett Epps; recently referenced by “rtr”)

To Originalists, this is not merely nonsense, but pure heresy.

To Originalists, the Framers did peer into the future and settle all questions, because, to them, the Constitution is not a secular product of a struggle about political and economic dominances at a particular time and place, but (sometimes claimed implicitly and sometimes explicitly) an actual irruption of the Divine into the world, in the same sense as the Giving of the Commandments on Sinai.

To them, the Constitution is the political equivalent of Holy Writ: very literally, God’s First and Last Word on everything regarding political structure, sufficient in itself. Thus, to refuse to recognize and submit with unquestioning obedience to the divine Intentions as expressed through the Framers, is to surrender to sin and unleash chaos on the world, just as Eve supposedly did when she fell for the wiles of Satan.

To Originalists, the Constitutional Convention was a unique event, signifying the blessing of the Divine on the American experiment. (“American exceptionalism”.) To the rational, it was a gathering of prosperous white males who had played significant roles in a coup which had successfully raised a subordinate section of a ruling elite to top status. Having recognized that the organizational structures created by the Articles of Confederation were significantly lacking, the Framers designed an improved system to preserve and extend the longitudinal dominance of their heirs along the axis of time. Nothing unique, just the way politics works.

Not surprisingly, the secular Originalist and Christianist Originalist ideologies are functionally indistinguishable from Islamist fundamentalism, such as advocated by Sayyid Qutb, Omar Abdel Rahman, and Osama Bin Laden. The two factions merely differ on whom the divine blessing to conquer and exploit has been bestowed.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Good News Only, For Once

Today is Tuesday, 25 January 2011.

Emma Goldman Cocker Spaniel is out of surgery and in ICU recovery. A tumour in her liver was removed, as well as her gall bladder. Bleeding was within normal limits, and a full recovery is expected. It will be 3-5 days before lab reports on nature of tumour. We expect her return on Thursday morning.

As a friend once said in another context, “She may not be the brightest penny in your pocket, but she’s the sweetest pastry on your plate”. We are thankful to all four of our animal friends, that they grace us with unlimited love and devotion.

"Mindless Rant"?

Today is Monday, 24 January 2011.


When I referred to “Justice” Scalia as a “pasta-gorging non-Aryan”, it wasn’t “mindless rant”, it was sarcastically making a point: I believe it’s obvious that many, and perhaps most, of the Framers would have perceived him that way.

Strip away all the high-flown rhetoric of the Framers meant to camouflage them as high-minded, forward-visioned children of the Enlightenment, and it’s obvious that the Constitution was meant to perpetuate in power their kind, and only their kind: a minority of males of Anglo-Saxon descent, higher-net-worth, and low morals, who either owned slaves or tolerated slavery, which is to say mass theft, mass rape, and mass murder.

T. Jefferson, for example, didn’t intend to be ruled by “wops”, "skirts", and the less prosperous. Clarence Thomas? Jefferson enjoyed owning Blacks, not taking orders from them.

As to “rant”. It was T. Jefferson himself who coined the phrase, “merciless Indian Savages”. It was, of course, the English invaders who were the merciless savages, crossing the Atlantic to conquer and plunder, killing all who stood in their way, and who would doubtless have exterminated the Native Americans, had they only the technology. As have political gangsters from every time and place, Jefferson delighted in libeling the victims as the aggressors.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Women's Rights

Today is Saturday, 22 January 2011.

On this date in 1973, in Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113, the Supreme Court held that privacy rights inherent in the Fourteenth Amendment gave females the right to certain abortions.

“Justice” Antonin Scalia recently claimed that there is no right to privacy literally stated in the Constitution, and that such a concept could be created only by legislation.

Interesting, isn’t it, how to-the-death, free-market capitalist fanatics so frequently believe that the State should own the conceptual apparatus of all human females? Interesting also, isn’t it, that one never hears of such a belief regarding the equivalent equipment of all human males?

Scalia is, of course, a rabid “originalist”, believing in an interpretation of the Constitution which owes much to the “thought” of Fundamentalism: only the “original intentions” of the Framers need apply. Does Scalia really imagine that the Framers intended that pasta-gorging non-Aryans such as himself should become Justices?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Good Intentions?

Today is Friday, 21 January 2011.

Several cases pend in the Federal courts, claiming that the new healthcare legislation is unconstitutional on multiple grounds, including mandated purchase of healthcare insurance.

It is therefore germane to examine “An Act for the Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen”, passed by Congress and signed by President John Adams in July of 1798. The Act created a payroll tax: American ship owners were required to deduct 20 cents per month from the wages of each seaman employed, such funds to be used to maintain a system of hospitals for “Sick and Disabled Seamen”. In essence, targeted socialized medicine, funded by a Federal insurance system.

The Congress which passed the Act included framers of the Constitution. Adams wrote most of the Massachusetts constitution and his ideas influenced the Federal Constitution.

Opponents of the healthcare reforms fantasize that they violate the original intent of the Constitution. Are Framers themselves and a hero of ‘76 “originalist” enough for ya?

Thanks to my friend Lee. W. from college for directing my attention to this Act.

Vladimir Lenin died on this date in 1924.

James Beard died on this date in 1985.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

More Republican Hypocrisy

Today is Thursday, 20 January 2011.

Of the House Republicans who voted to repeal the Obama healthcare overhaul, and thus deny offering affordable healthcare to more than 32 million of their fellow citizens, 97% continue to live it up on taxpayer-subsidized health insurance, or what they condemn as “socialized medicine”.

(The 97% include career politician John Sullivan, representing my district. Sullivan earlier distinguished himself when he sought treatment for a recurring alcohol problem: programs in Oklahoma weren’t good enough for the likes of him – Sullivan wanted taxpayers to pay for him to mingle with the stars at the Betty Ford Center.)

It’s fitting that this monumental act of hypocrisy and moral corruption occurred yesterday, one day before today’s tenth anniversary of the “inauguration” of the unelected W. Bush/Cheney team, who brought levels of hypocrisy and moral corruption which equaled those of the Nixon and Reagan regimes.

Con-servatives dote on damning their opponents as “elitists”. Sordid actions such as this demonstrate who are the actual elites.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

In Memory: Jan Palach

Today remains Wednesday, 19 January 2011.

On this date in 1969, Jan Palach died.

In Arkansas, Alabama, and Mississippi, Martin Luther King Day is also Robert E. Lee Day.

Jan Palach died for ... the good of humanity.

Robert E. Lee was born on this day ... and committed crimes against humanity.

Compare and contrast.

Infamous Anniversary

Today is Wednesday, 19 April 2011.

On this day in 1807, was born Robert E. Lee, traitor and in the first rank of incompetent American generals, who helped murder hundreds of thousands in pursuit of his greed legally to own, steal from, rape, and murder other human beings.

To Lee, all dishonour.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Modest Proposal

Today is Tuesday, 18 January 2011.

For all practical purposes, handguns have only one reason for existence: hunting human beings, either for homicide or suicide. (Rifles are far more efficient in hunting for subsistence purposes.)

(Those who kill for “sport”, that is, as a form of “entertainment”, well, rifles are more efficient also, but the entire activity is ethically despicable, and needn’t concern us here.)

Handguns aren’t a reliable defensive option for an obvious reason: almost none of those who own them are trained and refreshed in their use in combat situations. Pull a gun, and you and/or a loved one or other innocent are far more likely to be injured or killed than any attacker.

The obvious solution to the handgun menace is the draconian: restrict handguns only to sworn law enforcement officials during actual performance of their duties, and require that all other handguns be surrendered by, say, 31 December 2011, for recycling. Any unauthorized person apprehended with a handgun after that date would serve a mandatory ten year prison sentence, without possibility of parole, followed by revocation of citizenship and deportation to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, where they could enjoy the tender mercies of a regime which values human life as highly as do they.

Despite all the asinine rhetoric and pseudo-“masculine” posing of the lovers of human hunting, I doubt very many of them would put their monies where their mouths are.

Anyone who wanted to own a handgun would be welcome to surrender their citizenship and leave the country, but, of course, only after reimbursing society for the costs of publicly-provided education, health and social well-being expenditures, etc.

Considering the absurd use to which the current “activist” reactionary Supreme Court Justices have put the “well regulated Militia” passage of the Constitution, it would also require repeal thereof. (Anyone who imagines that handguns in private hands are a bulwark against governmental tyranny is living in fantasyland.)

Won’t be happening, of course, for two main reasons. First, too many “law-abiding” citizens wish to live in a society where they enjoy the option to hunt human beings. Second, and far more important, is that too many elected officials are bribed by the campaign contributions of the human hunting industry, including handgun manufacturers and the National Rifle Association.

So, continue to prepare, at any moment, to duck and cover, and/or meet your maker. The more cynical are advised to buy stock in handgun manufacturers and funeral home chains.

Monday, January 17, 2011


Today is Monday, 17 January 2011.

Today is the 50th anniversary of Dwight Eisenhower’s speech regarding the threat of the “military-industrial complex”.

Today is the 20th anniversary of the beginning of the USA/USE military attack on Iraq, in retaliation for the latter’s conquest of American oil in Kuwait.

Today is also Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Sales Day – check out Special Holiday Pricing on many fine name-brand products!

Special MLK Day greetings to Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), who voted repeatedly against a holiday for, in his words, “that pro-communist philanderer”. Paul also condemns the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as unconstitutional. Wouldn’t wish to take a peek under that fellow’s hood!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

In Memory: Jan Palach

Today is Sunday, 16 January 2011.

On this date in 1969, a 20-year-old Czech college student named Jan Palach set himself afire in Wenceslas Square in Prague.

You will recall: the previous August, the “Prague Spring”, the attempt to create “Socialism With a Human Face”, had been crushed by Russian tanks.

It seems that Palach and others had hoped to seize a central radio station, and broadcast a call for a general strike, but that didn’t work out. So, in hope against hope, several students agreed to immolate themselves in an attempt to arouse the Czech people to resistance.

Some would denounce Palach’s act as suicide and wrong. While I cannot endorse it as a political act to emulate, I honour Jan Palach as one who gave his life in an attempt to open space for the creation of a better world.

In contrast, there are those, so prevalent in American public life, who teach violence, but always and only from the safety of television broadcasts, journalistic columns, etc. They are too busy running for power in office and cashing checks to put their lives where their hate is, and commit their own violence. Their hearts are always with the tanks.

All honour to Jan Palach.

On Recent Comments 2

Today remains Saturday, 15 January 2011.

Perhaps I should pepper my remarks with “CAUTION: IRONY IMPENDING!”, “WARNING: SARCASM AHEAD!”, or ‘DANGER: PARODY!”.

Obviously, it’s insufficient to write “At the risk of seeming vulgar…”, followed by something vulgar which is obviously a parody of Hard Right rhetoric, specifically the love of violence, homophobia, and hatred of females and the feminine.

I reference yesterday’s comment by “Anonymous” on “More Palin Pogrom” .

Good golly, Miss Molly.

Not news that the Hard Right is historically the home of exaggerated, toxic hyper-“masculinity”. Provided, of course, one’s “ideal” of masculinity involves a love of violence, sexism, homophobia, racist ethnocentrism, nostalgia for slavery, etc.

Though, their love of violence is usually a love of someone else committing violence on their behalf, particularly if said committing would involve personal risk. That’s why virulent Hard Rightists such as John Wayne, Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon, Dick Cheney, W. Bush, etc. pulled strings to obtain draft deferments or cushy, non-combatant military sinecures. That’s why “Let’s you and him fight” is perpetually their motto.

That’s why the Hard Right loves to pose with firearms, and the larger, more automatic, and more deadly, the better. And of course there’s a vigorous dimension of sick phallo-centrism as both male and female Rightists publicly fondle and brandish.

And, naturally, Hard Rightists whose identity is inextricably bound up with phallo-centric violence will hate females and LGTBs, who they regularly defame and taunt as “sensitive”. Part of my sarcastic point was that when the Rightists swoon when tasked with responsibility for their lust for weapons of mass destruction (which include handguns and automatic weapons) and violent rhetoric, they are exhibiting the “oh-so-sensitive” behaviour they enjoy imagining and condemning in others. They are the homophobes, not HH.


Saturday, January 15, 2011

In Memory: Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today is Saturday, 15 January 2011.

The Museum of the Bourgeois remembers and honours the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Friday, January 14, 2011

More Palin Pogrom

Today remains Thursday, 13 January 2011.

“Let me make one thing perfectly clear”. As another famous American anti-Semite was wont to say.

Case 1. “Aryans” (a non-existent racist fantasy type) murder Jews for centuries. Who are the victims, according to the Nazis? The Aryans. Who are the victimizers, according to the Nazis? The Jews.

Case 2. A mentally-ill person attempts to kill a Jewish member of Congress. Sarah Palin is criticized in the news media for her rhetoric and values of hate and violence. Who is the victim, according to Sarah Palin? Sarah Palin is the victim. Who is the victimizer, according to Sarah Palin? The news media, who commit a “blood libel” against Sarah Palin.

Compare and contrast.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Palin's "Gaffe"?

Today is Thursday, 13 January 2011.

In response to yesterday’s column, “Palin’s Pogrom”, “what’s that mean” kindly wrote: “HH uses lots of "50 cent" words. Most of us use "10 cent" words. For those of you that, like me, did not know the definition of Pogrom:

an organized massacre of helpless people; specifically : such a massacre of Jews

I'm thinking that was a poor word/phrase choice on Palin's part. She is Ms. "Gaffe."”

Kindly spare the two-bit, juvenile anti-intellectualism of “”50 cent” words”. “Pogrom” should be familiar from high school.

“Gaffe n. 1. A clumsy social error.” (American Heritage Concise Dictionary. Houghton Mifflin: Boston, 1994.)

“Do you think those pants make your ass look fat?” That might be considered, at best, a gaffe.

I cannot imagine that Sarah Palin choose such a “loaded” term as “blood libel” through clumsy error. For Palin deliberately to choose a term whose only historical purpose has been to arouse the brainwashed to the mass murder of Jews is not a “gaffe”, but anti-Semitic malice aforethought.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Palin's Pogrom

Today remains Wednesday, 12 January 2010.

The “Blood Libel” is an infamous lie, dating at least to the Middle Ages, which claims that “The Jew” murders Christians, particularly children, to drain their blood and employ it in the manufacture of matzos for Passover, and for other ritual and medicinal purposes.

In Sarah Palin’s statement on the Arizona shootings, she said, “Especially within hours of a tragedy unfolding, journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence that they purport to condemn. That is reprehensible.”

Whatever in the world has an ancient anti-Semitic lie to do with the argument that advocacy of violence by the Hard Right incites violence?

Given that the Hard Right, of which Palin is a proud member, has for decades been home to vicious anti-Semites, and given that Palin is a proud proponent of “American exceptionalism” (the heresy that the USA/USE is the only nation specially favoured by “God”), I can only conclude that Palin means that the “JewsMedia” (which everyone knows controls journalism and Hollywood) has manufactured a blood libel, or vicious falsehood, against the (supposed) Christian American nation and Leaders such as Sarah Palin.

That is reprehensible.

On Recent Comments 1: "Name-Calling"

Today is Wednesday, 12 January 2010.

“Name-calling”, stripped of particular contexts, is a vacant emotive term.

Is it “name-calling” to apply “anti-Semite” to Ron Paul? Back in pre-Internet days, when political newsletters were all the rage on the Far Right, Paul published anti-Semitic screeds under his byline, which he has never repudiated. Thus, to say, “Ron Paul is an anti-Semite”, isn’t “name-calling”, but truth-telling.

When John Boehner elevates an anti-Semite such as Paul to a Congressional leadership role, it isn’t “name-calling” to say Boehner is dwelling in a moral sewer, along with Nazis and all other anti-Semites, but accuracy. (Given that Paul’s anti-Semitism has been repeatedly exposed, including in The New York Times during the ’08 presidential campaign, I don’t see how Boehner could plead ignorance.)

End-of-life counseling is a worthy endeavour which, ahead of need, informs persons of treatment options in terminal situations, enabling them to reflect and make responsible decisions about their lives. I find it impossible to believe that Sarah Palin was ignorant of these facts when she invented and popularized the “death panels” lie. (Whatever else Palin is, she isn’t stupid and she didn’t fall off a turnip truck yesterday.)

Palin put her tawdry ambitions above the right of persons to choose how they meet death on their own terms and with dignity. To say Palin is therefore a bully and a thug isn’t “name-calling”, but truth-telling.

When the Supreme Court justices produced the decision (absurd and false on its face) which stole the ’00 presidential election for Bush/Cheney, they knew that both had long records of supporting state terror, such as Nixon’s in Indochina and Reagan’s in Central America, and that installation of the usurpers would produce more of the same. Therefore, to judge the justices to be “terrorist-justices” isn’t “name-calling”, but truth-telling.

“Faggot”, “nigger”, and “bitch” are examples of “name-calling”. To label Bin Laden or George W. Bush as “terrorists” is no more name-calling than to label the Passer domesticus a “sparrow”.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

In Memory: Carlo Tresca

Today is Tuesday, 11 January 2011.

Some day, when the likes of Beck, Limbaugh, Nixon, Palin, and Reagan are rightfully relegated to the rogues’ gallery of infamy, I hope that Carlo Tresca will still be remembered and honoured.

Carlo Tresca was born on 9 March 1879 in Sulmona, Italy. He became a socialist, edited a left-wing newspaper, and in 1904, because of political persecution, immigrated to the USA/USE. Moving left, he became an anarchist, and spent the remainder of his life as a labour organizer, newspaper editor, and tireless tribune for the working class and justice.

On 11 January 1943, he was assassinated by the mobster Carmine Galante, acting on orders of a Mafia boss who resented his attacks on mob infiltration of unions and on Mussolini, whom many in the Mafia admired.

In 1993, on the fiftieth anniversary of Tresca’s death, at about 9.30pm, more or less the moment of his death, I drew in flour an outline of his body at the northwest corner of Fifth Avenue and 15th Street in Manhattan, where he fell, and then watched as the heedless feet of passersby dispersed it.

Tresca should serve as an inspiration and guide for all who seek a world of justice. One should read All the Right Enemies: The Life and Murder of Carlo Tresca, by Dorothy Gallagher.

“Near the snow, near the sun, in the highest fields
See how these names are feted by the waving grass
And by the streamers of white cloud
And whispers of wind in the listening sky.
The names of those who in their lives fought for life
Who wore at their hearts the fire's center.
Born of the sun they traveled a short while towards the sun,
And left the vivid air signed with their honor.”
- Stephen Spender

White Right + GOP = AZ

Today is Monday, 10 January 2010.


Read the YouTube … submissions … of Jared Loughner. Either he is severely mentally ill, or he has perfected the finest ever performance art project imitating mental illness. I doubt it’s the latter.

The USA/USE is the wealthiest society in the history of humanity, and refuses to create a medical system which can consistently identify and help people such as Loughner. And, thanks to the White Right and the GOP, mentally ill people are allowed access to handguns, nay, encouraged to “pack”, for a well-armed society is, of course, a happy society.


What’s happened to the Right in the wake of the Arizona shootings? At the risk of seeming vulgar: the Right and the GOP were always waving in our face that they only had the Big, Swingin’ Dicks, and the liberals and Democrats were the Party of Pussies.

And now the Right and GOP tell us they were misunderstood (like a gaggle of troubled adolescents, I suppose, or, perhaps even, horror of horror, girls), and that the Left is the party of violence and violent language, and that when the Right says “re-load”, it is with crosshairs that are actually “surveyor’s symbols”?

Why have the Right and GOP suddenly gone so limp in the wrist, so flaccid in the crotch?


As a matter of principle, the White Right and the GOP have always venerated violence. Thus, for example, it’s hardly surprising that so many of them love to be photographed, filmed, and taped fondling weapons of every description. Nor is it surprising that their language is filled with symbols of violence and death.

It’s very possible that Jared Loughner is a paranoid schizophrenic, and imagines himself beset on every side by dangerous enemies, and that, as do a minority of those who suffer this calamity, he struck out in what in his mind was “self-defense”.

I’m uncertain of the degree to which demagogues such as Beck, Limbaugh, Palin, etc. mean to arouse their dupes to acts of physical violence. However, the former are entirely responsible for arousing in their dupes immense paranoid lust for rhetorical, metaphorical, and symbolic violence, which latter, in the minds of some unfortunates, become translated into the impetus for physical violence.

Demagogues such as these didn’t physically pull the trigger in Arizona, but they certainly loaded the Glock and provided the motivation and justification.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

"The Thanks of a Grateful Nation"

Today is Saturday, 8 January 2011.

On behalf of the six persons killed today in the assassination attempt on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, The Museum of the Bourgeois extends to the National Rifle Association, “the thanks of a grateful nation”, for the N.R.A.’s tireless efforts to insure that affordable and effective handguns are available even to the most demented and homicidal.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Klan-Think Is Alive and Well

Today is Friday, 7 January 2011.

Amendment XIV, Section 1, of the Constitution of the United States: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside..."

The 14th Amendment was adopted in 1868 to overturn the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. 393 (1857), which held that Black slaves and their descendants, slave or free, could never be citizens.

On Wednesday past, a group of race-baiting state legislators announced a campaign to pass laws in the several states denying American citizenship to children born in the USA/USE to illegal immigrants. “We want to bring an end to the illegal alien invasion that is having such a negative impact on our states,” ranted state representative Daryl Metcalfe (R-PA).

Fellow Repugnicant Kris Kobach, Kansas secretary of state-elect, said the laws are designed to “revive the concept of state citizenship”. (Which statement demonstrates that having a doctorate (in Politics) from Oxford and a law degree from Yale doesn’t necessarily make one knowledgeable in the law.)

Doesn’t Kobach understand that one is a citizen of the USA/USE, and merely a resident of a state, as one is a resident of, for example, Piper, Kansas, as is Kobach, and not a citizen of Piper, Kansas?

Of course, I wager Kobach understands, and is simply dishonest. (I pity the taxpayers of the Show Me state, who employ Kobach as a professor of constitutional law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.) But I digress.

Daniel B. “Danny” Verdin III, a state senator (R-SC) and graduate of historically white-supremacist Bob Jones University, proclaimed that illegal immigration is “a malady of epic proportions”, which he compared to “the malady of slavery”. (Sur-prise, sur-prise: Verdin is white, and a former division commander, Sons of Confederate Veterans.) Why didn’t proud traitor’s descendant “Danny” just say that illegal immigration is even worse than what “the Jew” did to the Nazis, and be done with it?

In any case, citizenship is a matter reserved for determination at the level of the Federal Constitution, not by state legislatures.

The specter of alien hordes overrunning the “properly” Aryan USA/USE is as old as the country: it’s been the Irish, the Chinese, the Italians, the Blacks, the Jews, the whomever. The motivation is only and ever the same: to lure gullible bigots and fools into supporting cynical racist greedheads in their lust for power and wealth.

More at:

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Mo' Weep

Today is Thursday, 6 January 2011.

Thank you, “wow”, for commenting on yesterday’s column.

John Boehner’s high school nickname is relevant because “boner” is slang for “error”, and he’s composed of them.

JB is a life-long capitalist, and therefore must believe (and has demonstrated in his business life), that the Leader of an enterprise “deserves” more than the workers. If he doesn’t, he’s a secret socialist, boring from within. However, he’s just boring. (Dangerous, but a Same Old Tune of wickedness.)

Of course JB supports environmental degradation. He’s a hard-right Repugnicant, and therefore opposed to reining in harmful consumption.

Big money is investing in private jails, but not for their own kind, of “vicious opportunists with scant conscience”.

Playing SS Nazi soldiers isn’t “tasteless behaviour”, it’s celebrating and endorsing the Holocaust. One might as well be re-enactors of serial killing, child molestation, etc. It is plain and simple Evil.

When the entire new House Repugnicant majority votes for a Leader who campaigns for a Holocaust re-enactor, who has chosen a neo-Nazi for a subordinate leadership position … well, people who are soft on fascism have tarred themselves with their own brush.

Trying to alert people to Evil in the world, trying to understand the origins of wickedness and how it may be combated without resorting to violence … that is productive.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011


Today is Wednesday, 5 January 2010.

So far as I can determine, today is another milestone in the ethical decay of the Repugnicant Partei. It’s the first time a Speaker of the House has been sworn, who had two months before campaigned for a Congressional candidate who saw nothing wrong in joining his son in playing dress-up as SS Nazi soldiers. (Nothing like keggers to celebrate role-playing war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity!)

And Speaker John Boehner has chosen to join unto himself, in the Repugnicant leadership, as I noted last month, Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), whose anti-Semitism, white supremacism, and homophobia track the views of the late A. Hitler and company.

Now, before anyone blows a gasket so early in the year: I’m not asserting Boehner is necessarily personally a neo-Nazi.

“Boner”, as he was known in high school, is an enemy of working class people. He’s the type who believes that, as Leader of a business, his genius and hard work and those alone are the reason for the business’s success, and that he therefore deserves a disproportionate share of the profits.

Boehner believes in a Big Government which operates the most massive Military-Industrial Imperialist State in the world’s history, and is a die-hard supporter of increasing deficits to fight wars of conquest in Iraq and Afghanistan, which have caused immense suffering while actually weakening national security. He avidly supports political repression of civil liberties and human rights, through vehicles such as the Patriot Act.

Boehner supports degrading the environment to the point of imminent disaster for the planet, and endorses the fomenting by his compatriots of bigotry, hate, and the ensuing violence. He believes in creating massive deficits by shoveling more and more tax cuts to the freeloader wealthiest 2% of the population.

Boehner is a vicious opportunist with scant conscience.

While Boehner may not be, strictly speaking, a neo-Nazi, his support of someone who thinks that playing the part of an SS Nazi is harmless adult entertainment, and his support of a life-long professional politician such as Paul, who proudly professes allegiance to Hitlerite values, in themselves demonstrate that Boehner is morally unfit for any position of leadership or authority in any decent society.

A tip o’ the hat, and a resounding “Sieg Heil!”, to Boehner, Paul, and the incoming Republican House majority!

The sooner you’re driven back into the sewers in which you spawned, the better.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Happy New Year! (As It Were)

Today is Saturday, 1 January 2010.

“Atone” – that’s a sectarian religious thing with limited current relevance.

Of course, we’re all inheritors of guilt, when we inherit the goodies generated by the myriad crimes of our predecessors. History didn’t begin anew with us.

And have I ever suggest tearing it all down? Honour our victims, by building a better world. Stop using the crimes of yesterday to justify the crimes of today and tomorrow.

Some 8,000,000 human beings were slaughtered during the Indochina Wars of 1945- . USA/USE financed most of it. When many Americans tried to stop this horror, almost none of us chose violence, unlike those we were trying to stop.

A modest proposal: can you think of a better way, to help the violent see it’s a stupid way? I’ve not done so good.

(Apologies for the delay in reply. I never know when the big arthritis will strike, when all my joints complain at the onset of winter, and it's hard to walk and write. That was my Happy New Year. No complain: I'm alive. Hope, dear reader, yours was better).

I wish for all of you, a different year, but we know what it will be: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”